The Runic Servant

October 9th, 2014

Alex Riggs

Exotic Encounters Archive

                A little while back, my colleague introduced you to the training dummy, a low CR monster that was flavorfully designed as a “sparring partner” for low-level opponents. Well, today I’m here with a very similar concept, but instead of being a sparring partner for martial characters, it’s designed to be fought by spellcasters. And instead of looking like a mannequin, it looks like a giant stone pillar with spider legs and runes all over. Enjoy.


Runic Servant

                This strange creature resembles a stone pillar that has been covered with a variety of strange runes, which glow in various colors. Six spider-like stone legs emerge from a point half-way up the pillar, and as you watch, it lifts itself up and begins shambling towards you.

RUNIC SERVANT                                             CR 2
XP 600
N Medium construct
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1


AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 10
hp 26 (3d10+10)
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +2
Defensive Abilities hardness 8; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses weak to magic


Speed 30 ft.
Melee 4 slams +3 (1d4)
Special Attack whirlwind slam


Str 10, Dex 10, Con —, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 13 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Combat ExpertiseB, Power AttackB
SQ automatic recovery, fragile construction, healing explosion


                Automatic Recovery (Su): A runic servant that is reduced to 0 hit points is not destroyed. Instead, it begins recharging, healing itself at a rate of 1 hit point per hour, during which time it is dormant and unable to act. Once it is restored to full hit points, it animates again. Alternatively, casting make whole immediately restores it to full hit points and usefulness. A runic servant can be permanently destroyed by being dismantled (this requires 1 hour of work and a successful DC 20 Disable Device check), or destroyed completely (such as with disintegrate, or by reducing it to -50 hit points or fewer).

                Bonus Feats: A runic servant’s extensive magical programming allows it to adopt a variety of tactical approaches, granting it the use of Combat Expertise and Power Attack as bonus feats, even though it does not meet the prerequisites.
                Fragile Construction (Ex): A runic servant is particularly vulnerable to attacks, and gains only 10 bonus hit points from its size, instead of the normal 20.

                Healing Explosion (Su): When a runic servant is reduced to 0 hit points, it releases a wave of healing energy, which heals 3d8+3 points of damage to each living creature in a 30-foot-radius area.

                Weak to Magic (Su): A runic servant is particularly vulnerable to magic. Its hardness does not apply to damage from spells or spell-like abilities, and it suffers half again as much damage (150%) from spells and spell-like abilities that deal damage. Further, it suffers a -2 penalty on saving throws made to resist spells (although it remains immune to any spell that does not affect constructs).

                Whirlwind Slam (Ex): As a full-round action, a runic servant can flail all of its legs in the air, spinning its cylindrical body and creating a whirlwind of rune-covered stone. This allows the runic servant to make a total of eight slam attacks, although each attack suffers a -2 penalty, and no single creature can be targeted by more than three of the attacks.



                Runic servants were created to serve as target practice and sparring partners for young mages, allowing them to practice their offensive magic in a safe environment that simulates the dangers of combat. Although they do not make for exceptional combatants, they are actually very sophisticated constructs, and are capable of being commanded to fight in eight different combat styles, including aggressive, defensive, passive, and swarm tactics. In theory, each runic servant is capable of standing in for several opponents, as it is able to use its spider-like legs to rain blows from a variety of different directions simultaneously.

                Due to their ability to repair themselves and withstand a surprising amount of damage, some individuals—typically spellcasters—choose to use runic servants as guardians, rather than as training instructors. In these cases, the runic servant’s healing explosion ability is typically deactivated (this can be done on command). Most who are able to afford better constructs to serve as defenders do so, however.



                A runic servant’s body is built from 600 pounds of magically treated stone, engraved with a variety of mystic runes.

CL 7th; Price 6,000 gp
Construction Requirements Craft Construct, animate object, geas/quest, mass cure light wounds, mending; Skill Craft (sculptures); Cost 3,000 gp