Welcome to the January 2012 Edition of No Assembly Required, a monthly column that provides DMs with a ready-to-use monster for a Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition campaign. The monster can of course be adjusted for other gaming systems as well. Each monster in the series is displayed complete with Stat Block, Lore, Tactics, Power Descriptions and potential plotlines that a DM can use in a campaign.
Of special note is the spectacular artwork provided by Grant Gould. He previously designed the mascot, Iddy the Lich, for my blog, The Id DM, and is illustrating each monster in the No Assembly Required series. He also developed the sweet logo below for the column. Visit his site to learn about commission pricing and view galleries of artwork.
I originally posted January’s entry for No Assembly Required on my blog earlier in the month as I was unsure about the future of This is My Game. However, the future for the site seems bright and I am excited to continue the series here, so I have decided to repost January’s entry here as well. Please be sure to come back next week for the new February monster that can be used in your campaign. Batteries Included! This month, I present a monster for the late Paragon Tier, Wobet. Design and details are below.
This month’s monster is the result of me being consumed by Tim Tebow Fever last month. For the non-sports initiated, Tim Tebow is a second-year quarterback in the National Football League who (until recently) demonstrated an amazing knack for playing terribly in the first three quarters of the game before rallying for amazing last-quarter comeback victories. He helped his team, the Denver Broncos, win seven of the first eight games he started, often in absurdly ridiculous fashion. He was eventually vanquished in the playoffs, but his run was truly a spectacle. I thought about Tebow’s change in performance over the course of the game and how much drama it created. I found myself watching Broncos’ games when they looked awful because it felt like “something special” would happen near the end of the game. I wondered how a similar shift in performance could increase the level of tension and drama during a combat encounter.
I informed Grant that I was brainstorming the idea of creating a monster based on Tebow. He responded with a great direction, “Maybe it could be like some kind of Construct or Golem, and it starts off real slow while taking a beating, but then gets revved up, so to speak, and starts kicking ass.” I loved the idea, and began to think about how to translate the “Tebow Theme” into a monster.
The cleanest method to accomplish this was to create a monster and have its statistics change once bloodied. However, I wanted to change the statistics so much that I decided to create one monster but with two Stat Blocks. The first Stat Block represents the initial stage of the Construct, which is an underpowered monster compared to the party. While still able to hit with powers, the first phase of the monster is not much of a threat; it is more likely to miss and the damage dealt is weak. In addition, I added some traits to make the Construct less effective. However, once the Construct is bloodied, his Stat Block changes to become a higher-level monster with significant upgrades to defenses, attack bonuses and damage.
I believe this monster can be useful as a bodyguard for any number of interesting villains or locations in a campaign. Wobet’s powers and associated flavor text should create a memorable encounter for the party. Even if you do not know Tim Tebow from Max Rebo, Wobet can be inserted easily into any campaign!
Wobet Tinkertrain was a quirky ELF? who operated a small store in the first floor of his quaint home. Mr. Tinkertrain’s Transmutations housed a unique assortment of interesting alchemical potions, supplies and instruments. Wobet dabbled in many arts and sciences as he absorbed obscure knowledge during his travels. He purchased odd materials from merchants whenever they passed through town. Wobet enjoyed experimenting with metallurgy, and developed a fine skill in crafting metalwork from alloys such as iron, copper, gold and platinum.
Wobet began to gain renown for his metalwork and his creations were viewed as artwork by wealthy citizens. The influx of income resulted in Wobet traveling to seek out education – and often just rumors – of new discoveries in alchemy. After each trip, his store and home became more loaded with trinkets, devices, tomes and scrolls.
Wobet continued to operate his store, but his experiments with alchemy and metallurgy led him to explore magic and conjuration. His production of metalwork slowed significantly and the popularity of this goods declined. As the years progressed, his store became a joke to locals who considered the elf to be hoarding worthless junk. Wobet lost himself in the study of magic and alchemy and barely noticed that the patronage of his store dropped significantly. When a customer did enter Mr. Tinkertrain’s Transmutations, they were typically greeted by the distinct smell of sulfur and Wobet calling out from the back room with grease and oil soiling his clothes and goggles.
Wobet wished for an assistant as he could find no one that shared the same dream of achieving perfection in the arts of magic, alchemy and metallurgy. Whenever he reached out to another scholar, the individual would scoff at his request. Wobet decided to carry out his most ambitious experiment yet – to build his own assistant.
He spent months drawing diagrams of his assistant. He wished for the assistant to be incredibly strong to assist with handling and shaping metals. He realized his assistant would likely have limited intellect, but would hopefully respond to simple commands. Wobet understood he did not own enough metal to create such an assistant, and he planned to combine the earth and his metalwork to achieve the assistant’s humanoid form. He intended to power the assistant with magic and a variety of tiny gears and other inventions he had collected in his years of study.
Wobet spent years building his assistant; the assistant slowly took form. Stone was fused with metal and other instruments. After vigorous effort, Wobet was able to bring a modicum of life to his assistant. He attempted to educate the assistant in speech and often repeated his name, “I am Wobet. Repeat after me, Wobet.” He continued with this exercise until finally a groaning sound escaped the assistant’s metal dome of a head, “Wobet.” Thrilled with his success, Wobet attempted to bring more life and intellect to the assistant through magic and other spells, which were unfortunately beyond his capabilities.
The night when Wobet’s assistant gained life, Wobet lost his. As the assistant came to life and steam burst from a variety of vents on its body, a thundering noise erupted from the metal dome, “WOBET!” The construct thrashed in a frenzy, destroying anything nearby before collapsing to one knee on the ground.
Wobet attempted to calm the construct and get control over the creation, but the construct droned a single word over and over again, “Wobet. Wobet. WOBET!” The construct once again sprang to its feet and leveled Wobet with a might strike of its metal fist. Wobet was crushed by the construct, which smashed through the store and left a path of destruction and chaos before finally losing power on the outskirts of town.
New of the tragedy spread throughout the land, and the construct was planned to be disassembled before a wizard paid the city a hefty sum to take the construct for study, “We must be sure this never happens again, you see.” The wizard reprogrammed the construct to serve as a protector, but was later defeated by an adversary and the construct changed hands once again.
It is unknown how many owners have employed the construct, but one thing remains unchanged when the construct is in action – the thundering drone of a single word, “Wobet!”
History DC 17: The name Wobet likely refers to the an ancient alchemist, Wobet Tinkertrain, who was renown for a time for his intricate metalwork. Legend tells that Wobet created a construct to assist with his experiments. Once activated, the construct was unable to be controlled and rampaged through Wobet’s shop and throughout the town. Wobet was crushed by the construct, and numerous other people in town were killed or injured before the construct lost power.
Arcana DC 23: Constructs have been known to be employed as protectors by magic users and other powerful beings. Constructs are often infused with special powers by their master, and are programmed to protect their master at any cost. An improperly built construct may be completely ineffective, but a well-built construct can be an unstoppable force.
Wobet In Combat
Wobet is used in conjunction with other bodyguards and its master. Wobet operates best in a large open area so he can use his ranged attacks and take advantage of his Stage Two powers. At Stage One, Wobet will use Rock Hurl until enemies come into closer range. Hit Me With Those Laser Beams is then used on the closest enemy. The Creaky Wheels and Imprecision traits decrease its effectiveness in combat. Wobet relies on Iron Punch as enemies enter melee range, and creates a debris field with each successful hit. Wobet attempts to protect its master with Failed Guard whenever it is in range of the master. When Wobet – Stage One is reduced to 0 hit points, it uses Never Tell Me The Odds to enter Stage Two.
The second stage of Wobet is significantly more dangerous. It uses Stable Footing to ignore the difficult terrain, Energizing Bolts to gain power if it takes lightning damage and Uncanny Accuracy to increase the chances of a succesful attack.
Wobet will use Steam Vents to blind enemies followed by Intense Focus to damage as many enemies as possible. Wobet uses then uses Tackle to heavily damage one enemy, and will rely on Stiff Arm to push back against an aggressive attacker. Wobet will use Rock Hurl if unable to charge or out of melee range.
Wobet is more skilled in protecting its master with Excellent Teammate. And when Wobet is finally destroyed, it explodes with Ugly Demise, which damages all creatures in the area.
Power Descriptions: Wobet – Stage One
Creaky Wheels: The construct appears completely unstable on its legs. After a burst of activity, the construct wobbles clumsily to both sides before crashing with a clatter onto the ground. A metallic squeak escapes the dome of the construct, “Wobet.”
Imprecision: The construct measures its attack for several seconds too long. The speed of the battlefield seems to overwhelm its gears. The attack previously aimed in your direction is now directed at your foe.
Rock Hurl: The construct throws a great rock in your direction. The impact is not as bad as you fear. The construct appears pleased with the result however.
Hit Me With Those Laser Beams: A high-pitched sound escapes the construct, “Wobet.” The construct’s eyes light with a blue-purple energy that erupts in your direction. The lightning courses around your body, but the construct whines and whirls around. Sparks explode from a variety of joints on its body and it appears to lose energy.
Iron Punch: The construct slowly lunches with its metal fist. The strike connects with a heavy thud and the jolt causes the construct’s armor plating to shake free in areas. The debris from the construct now litters the battlefield.
Failed Guard: The construct moves awkwardly to protect its master. As it attempts to shield the master from the incoming blow, it stumbles wildly. The construct fails to shield the master from the damage and instead knocks the master down to the ground. The master scolds the construct, “Wobet, what are you doing? This isn’t how we prepared!”
Never Tell Me The Odds: The construct drops to one knee. Numerous steam vents on the construct’s back exhale as if in the last moments of operation. A tiny sound is heard above the ventilation, “Wobet.” As the light in the construct’s eyes begin to fade, it raises a single fist in the air. A thunderous boom fills the room, ”WOBET!” You see numerous gears and plates shift into place on its body. The construct rises to both feet once more, and somehow looks more imposing and dangerous.
Power Descriptions: Wobet – Stage Two
Energizing Bolts: The construct appears to welcome the lightning damage. Instead of suffering ill effects, the constructs appears to gain power as if the lightning has fueled it.
Uncanny Accuracy: The construct’s ability to track you during the fight have obviously improved. It quickly measures your movements and somehow hits you.
Stable Footing: The construct is now steady on its feet as it confidently tramples over lose ground and other debris.
Rock Hurl: The construct booms, “Wobet!” It grabs a chunk of rock and launches it in your direction. The rock explodes from the heavy impact and fragments of the rock’s impact damage everyone around you.
Stiff Arm: The construct almost crouches and then builds up speed as it charges into you. Attacks bounce off the construct as it deflects them on its way to you location. The construct slams you with a heavy fist, which forces you to lose ground and stagger back from battle.
Tackle: The construct clanks and bangs through the battlefield as it charges you. The construct is able to move so quickly that attacks against it are futile. The construct dives and smothers you. The crushing weight of the construct causes you great pain and you feel the breath from you lungs expiring as it stays on top of you.
Steam Vents: The construct extends its arm out in front of its body and numerous vents blast out steam. The acrid steam quickly fills the room, and is so thick that you are unable to see properly.
Intense Focus: The construct levels its blue-purple eyes at the party. A fiery blast of lightning shoots from its metal dome of a head as it drones loudly, ”Wobet!” The fire and lightning surrounds you and continues to burn and shock you long after the attack ends.
Excellent Teammate: The construct deftly manuevers to protect its master, successfully absorbed some of the damage from your incoming blow. The master approves, “Excellent work, Wobet.”
Ugly Demise: The construct drops to one knee once again, but this time the steam vents on its back stop and its eyes go dark. A lone slow drone escapes from the head of the construct, “Wobet?” The construct’s head begins to whirl and spin on its shoulders. Sparks shoot out in all directions and the construct finally combusts in a massive explosion damaging anything nearby.
Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. The Id DM is a psychologist during the weekdays. He DMs for a group of fairly loyal and responsible PCs every other Friday night. In the approximate 330 hours between sessions, he is likely anxious about how to ensure the next game he runs doesn't suck.