The Secrets of the Iron Titan (PFRPG) PDF

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Become More Machine

The same folks who brought you playable dragons, now want you to try your hand at constructs. This new 1st-20th level base class is designed for use by player characters at every level of play, allowing the character to emulate an iron golem, a transforming construct, or a watchman brought back from the dead as a cyborg.

The iron titan gains a pool of points it can use to select specific construction builds similar to how a summoner's eidolon works. The iron titan becomes more and more mechanical as it advances until ultimately it becomes nigh-indestructible. This class can also be easily introduced into any new campaign assisted by a simple plug and play style first person introduction.

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Author: Steven D. Russell
Cover Artist: Bruno Balixa
Pages: 28

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An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

5/5

This installment of Rite Publishing's "Secrets of..:"-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 29 pages of content, so let's take a look!

As with almost all Rite Publishing books, we are introduced to the matter at hand in immersive in-character prose, here provided by Captain Timothy Woodman - who recounts a tale of high-adventure, of infiltrating the courts of the fey and facing off against a dread golem of legendary proportion. Losing all limbs to the creature, the captain volunteered for the transformation into an Iron Titan. The complex procedure and its repercussions for the body and psyche of the transformed are provided for in interesting prose that should provide a sufficient insight and inspiration to properly portray one who has left humanity behind in favor of a new, mechanical body. Relationships with religion, races etc. - there is a bunch of ideas herein.

The base-class itself may choose any 10 class skills, but receives a -4 penalty to Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Sleight of Hand, Stealth and Swim-checks. They receive d10 as HD, 2+Int skills per level, a full BAB-progression and have only bad saves. The iron titan begins play with a +2 natural armor bonus that increases by +2 at second level and again by +2 at 5th level and then alternates between increasing the bonus every 3 and 2 levels, for a total of +18 at 20th level. The iron titan also has a maximum number of attacks at his disposal - he begins play with a cap of 2 and increases the cap by +2 at 6th level and then by +1 every 5 levels thereafter for a hard cap of a maximum of 6 attacks. The Iron Titan also sports a construction pool that begins with 3 points and scales up to 26 over the levels, but more on this resource later. Iron Titans only receive proficiency with their natural weapons and do not gain any armor proficiency. Furthermore, they may not benefit from any armor bonus. On the nitpicky side, one could make a case for natural armor bonus being a kind of armor bonus, though that is obviously not intended to be excluded as well - still, the wording here could be more precise.

Type-wise, the iron titan is NOT a construct, but rather a humanoid of the ironborn-subtype (see In the Company of Monsters for more information on them, though the rules for the subtype are provided), which means they can be healed, repaired via Craft Construct, etc. I mentioned the construction pool, which represents the customizations available for the body of the iron titan. Said modifications can be changed upon gaining a level. Attacks granted by customization need to be subject to the maximum number of attacks available and may not exceed those. Attacks can either be primary or secondary natural attacks, with secondary attacks being executed at 1/2 Str-mod and -5, whereas iron titans with only one natural attack instead add 1.5 their Str-mod - concise and conforming to the rules. Iron Titans begin the game with the constructions of arms, legs and a slam attack. At every odd level thereafter, new constructions are unlocked.

The construction customizations available range from costing 1 point to a whopping 12-points and some of them sport minimum levels required to take. The latter of these, the one 12-point construction build, can only be taken at 17th level and above, providing an adamantine body - and yes, this means DR-ignoring, DR and potentially, via synergy, even hardness. Thus, it should be obvious that the general composition of a titan can be upgraded - and yes, there are some interesting choices to be found - beyond the obviously powerful adamantine upgrade, cold iron or lead (which e.g. helps against divination spells) can be had a bargain rate of 1 construction point and still provide significant bonuses; however, one should be aware that obviously, only one such basic composition can be chosen at a given time, though one can, as per the usual rules, change composition at level ups.

Obviously claw and bite attacks as well as darkvision, climb speeds and similar modifications can be found within the pages of this pdf. You may also further increase the natural armor bonus granted by the class or combat the horrendous saves by getting yourself resistances (and at 7th level, immunities) versus energy types and the iron titan can also receive a reflexive damage to weapons that strike him. Poison reservoirs are also pretty nice and the previous wording ambiguities with starting customizations have been eliminated
The interaction/choice of which natural weapon to get is pretty interesting - rending requires claws, for example, whereas slam attacks offer other, additional abilities, and bites allow for trips, for example. Now if you're not aware of this - yes, the abilities granted by the customizations may be depending on the natural weapons available, but they also offer a plethora of varied monster abilities that do not usually end up in player hands - and for a reason: if they do, said abilities tend to end up in some nasty, nasty builds.
So yeah, the customizations can indeed be used to make some fearsomely effective melee brutes, but at the same time, the iron titan is rather fragile and does not have significant enhancement capacity for the natural weapons it has, so in the long run, this did seem to offset the power-gain provided by Trip (Ex) + Rend and similar combinations. Be aware, though, that multiclass iron titans, when putting their minds to it, can render these combinations very powerful, so be careful when allowing multiclassing or certain combos.
So far, so akin to eidolon-customizations or the aegis, underterror or masquerade reveler, just less flexible, right? Well, kind of, yes, but where the pdf shines is with the unique construction builds - becoming large or even huge are pretty distinct options that radically change how a character plays - note, though, that you should be bring options for size reduction along...or take the squeezing customization, otherwise you may be left standing in front of the complex you're eager to explore. Scaling breath weapons (with daily uses depending on the construction points spent) and the option to throw imprisoning iron at foes are unique - but what about e.g. stuffing foes into a furnace interior, complete with upgrades for the burn quality and even a blurring shimmer effect? Yeah, wicker man's got nothing on an iron titan with this one. So that is pure awesome.

The thing that made the inner 7-year-old in me squee with glee, though, would be the transformer ability - from digger forms to alternate forms - vermin, vehicle or animal. These allow for further wildering in the evolutions of eidolons as customizations of the same cost, with base forms gained by the alternate form aligning themselves with those of eidolons et al. I'm am very weary of this, since the crossover can be used to potentially provide rather nasty combos and renders the class's balance framework vulnerable to outside intrusion, when the ability's second form and thus, increased flexibility, alone makes for enough benefit for the customization. This customization also obviously changes the free base construction points, meaning you get to re-assign your customization points. The previously problematic wording has been cleaned up.
On the rather interesting side, getting scaling shoulder cannons is just awesome, as are rocket launchers and fist attacks that can be enhanced with significant electricity or sonic damage, with corresponding debuff effects - these unique options are what sets this class imho apart and render it very much fun. Self-destruction is also another star in my book.

Now all of these do obviously not change the vulnerability to magic resulting from the horrendous saves - well, here is the change I hoped for - instea dof providing instant immunity to magic like before, the customization has been rewired to provide scaling SR that upgrades to immunity at a level high enough to make me consider it okay - kudos!

Now on the rather interesting side, iron titans can increase the construction points available by taking construction flaws. Beyond aforementioned customization options, iron titans can have their focus plate, a piece of metal, enchanted as if it were an armor and go into overdrive for a short burst, gaining temporary customizations for a limited duration and multiattack, no longer requiring eating, breathing, sleeping, etc. and similar, slowly gained immunities drive home the concept of the construct-apotheosis. The capstone sees admantine and fast healing compositions added for free and renders the iron titan nigh impossible to kill.

There also are a bunch of feats, from extra customization points to ones that build on specific abilities - there for example is a feat that lest you projectile vomit swallowed foes with deadly velocity - however, once again, the feat does not specifically specify it only works on swallowed creatures - while the text makes it clear that this is the intent of the feat, one can misread it as working for all foes. Feats like awesome blow which usually are not available for PCs due to their prereqs can also be found herein and a sidebar covers the idea of taking a fallen character and rebuilding the hero as an iron titan.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting have been improved in this revised version. While there still are quite a few typos and the like here, the really bad ones have been purged. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing's 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

I absolutely adore parts of this pdf - the fluff and the unique abilities, the transformer capacity etc. - these are so high-concept, so cool, I *LOVE* them. They may the boy in me squee with joy and represent the strongest points of this pdf - cannons, fists of lightning...heck yeah. I wished this pdf had more of these unique customizations, for they are what makes the class stand apart from similar eidolon-ish classes. Well, that and becoming a huge engine of destruction. I love that this class unabashedly is the transformers-class and Steven D. Russell delivers his usual, high-concept style!

Rite Publishing revises products if there's work to be done - and it is this service that makes customers come back to them. So yes, this one has been revised and improved. The iron titan still does leave me with some trepidation. I do not expect this to work with obscure multiclass combos; however, the evolution-scavenging is akin to opening Pandora's box in the long run and should hence be carefully monitored by the DM. That, however, once again is something that can be excused and chalked up to the sensibilities of the individual DM.

The balancing of the class is interesting - at low levels, we have bad saves, potentially vulnerabilities even, versus a death machine in melee; The revised edition has put player-agenda regarding magic immunity/SR higher on the list, which imho makes the overall design more organic.

The revised Iron Titan is a huge step forward for the book - the class is more interesting, better streamlined and now is much, much easier to grasp. The rules-relevant issues have been purged and I gladly deleted lines upon lines of me ranting while writing this review. So is the new version perfect? No, but it is now a fully functional, fun base class that has been purged of the hiccups that plagued its previous incarnation. This increases the rating by +1 star, to 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform because only typos remain as issues and they are not enough to drag down this high-concept pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.


5 Star Character Trapped In A 2.5 Star Body

3/5

UPDATE: A new version of this book has been released (5/14/15), touching on several issues with the original, with an additional update being promised. I have removed an error I made in the review after being informed of the correct ruling.

Length: 34 pages at the time of this writing, after downloading the updated version: 1 page front cover; 2 pages of credits and licenses; 2 pages of advertisement at the end; 29 pages of content.
 
Format: 2 column, easy to read, with full bookmarks to each topic, even when multiple topics appear on a single page. The first five pages of content are presented as being the words of a person who has undergone the transformation from man to Iron Titan, and they describe how the concept came to be, the various types of personalities they may have, shared characteristics, potential alignments, races, religions and so on. This section is interesting, and touches on plenty of topics to explore while role-playing, but was filled with numerous typographical and grammatical errors that distracted quite a bit from my reading. One simple example would be on page 5, where a character is named 'Steffen Augustine' in the alignment section, but the name is spelled 'Steffen Augstine' right next to it, under a painting of the character. The paragraph introducing that character has no less than five punctuation and grammatical errors. Any one of the errors could be overlooked, but together they served to stop me in my tracks and pull me out of the story being told. Sadly, this happened many times while reading this pdf, even after getting past the opening chapter and in to the mechanical portions (pun not intended).
 
Art: Cover + 11 pictures of various forms an Iron Titan may take and abilities they may gain, all in full color. The art is in multiple styles that do not always mesh well with one another, but they do a good job of corresponding to the text and being evocative, giving inspiration for character creation options. They are spread out enough that the differences in style are not jarring while reading normally; it is only really noticeable while skimming quickly. Overall, the art is very good.
 
The Iron Titan's Secrets: The Iron Titan is designed as a Base Class that can advance from level 1 to 20 and be applied to any race. Hit Die: d10. Class Skills: Any 10 the player chooses, but they receive a racial -4 to many of the physical skills. Skill Ranks per level: 2 + Int. They receive full BAB, low saves across the board, Natural Armor that increases as they level up and, most importantly, Construction Points, which are used to customize and upgrade them much like a robotic version of an Eidolon.
 
Due to their construction and magical nature, they are only proficient with their natural weapons and weapons granted by their Construction Points (hereafter referred to as CP), and aren't allowed to receive an armor bonus, relying on their Natural Armor to protect them. As an amalgam of living and non-living matter, they may be healed by positive energy and by spells such as make whole, as well as raised from the dead.
 
One of the interesting touches as far as role-playing and backgrounds are concerned is the concept of having a 'creator' to whom an Iron Titan is innately connected to. Unless the creator gives them their freedom, the Iron Titan must make a Will save in order to disobey any direct order they give, unless the order is suicidal in nature. The DC is fairly low, so past a certain level it will be easy enough to do as you please, but for low-level players, it adds an interesting wrinkle to the game.
 
The Construction Pool is one of the most important components (no pun intended) of the Iron Titan class, and is in many ways similar to a Summoner's Evolution Pool, granting a selection of parts and pieces that may be assembled into almost any combination you would want. This is and has always been a great idea that is hard to balance in practice. Many of the combinations that can be made with the CP are quite powerful, but it should be kept in mind that the Iron Titan does not gain access to the Summoner's spell list or casting ability, which is a source of much of its power. The Iron Titan also has low saves across the board and cannot use any of the normal magical armor available to most martial classes, so even though it is very easy to make an Iron Titan excel at up-front physical combat, they will always need to have a party backing them up. Below, I'll address a few of the more interesting powers (called Construction Builds) you can spend your CP on.
 
• One is Cold-Iron Composition, granting the benefits of cold iron to your natural attacks and grappling, as well as granting +2 to all saves vs. spells and supernatural abilities. To me, this immediately conjured an image of a mechanical, industrial creature acting as the bane of any nature-loving fey creatures they come across. Lending role-playing potential and mechanical advantage at the same time? Yes, please!
• Or how about Lead Composition? Incompatible with Cold-Iron Composition, the lead protects the Iron Titan from all divination spells and effects, as well as from rusting!
• One of the most complicated Builds is Passenger, which, as you may guess, allows the Iron Titan to serve as a mount so long as they are at least one size category larger than their passenger. Enemies may also be targeted for involuntary grabbing, similar to the swallow whole monster ability. There are extensive rules pertaining to this Build, but unfortunately, there is some awkward wording that interferes with my being able to parse all of them. It looks like a couple sentences were squished together during the recent update, which had less information on this ability and also had multiple typographical errors. It's unfortunate, because this Build is one of the most appealing to take, but it requires a little touch-up by the GM before a player would be able to use it.
• Self-Destruct. Enough said?
• Furnace Interior grants the ability to stuff people into your fiery belly, burning them alive unless they manage to break the iron bars that close behind them.
• Immunity to Magic becomes available at level 9, and seems ridiculous, granting immunity to any spell which allows spell resistance, with a few exceptions. One, magical attacks which deal electricity damage slow the Iron Titan. Two, any magical attack that deals fire damage breaks any slow effect and actually heals damage instead of dealing it, granting temporary hp if they're already at full health. Along with many other spells and spell-like abilities that this Build renders moot, this makes the level 9 Iron Titan completely immune to the effects of Wish and Miracle. I'm not sure I'd allow this ability on a level 19 character, much less a level 9. Granting a scaling SR seems like it would be a much more balanced approach than outright immunity. Ironically, the 20th level ability of the Iron Titan is Indestructible and, among other things, allows an enemy to cast Miracle or Wish and bypass Immunity to Magic in order to kill the Iron Titan while it is at negative hp. Therefore, in some circumstances, you might actually be harder to kill if you took 1 level in anything else rather than take that 20th level.
• Transform is probably the reason why this entire book was made, granting the ability to take on another form at-will, with no time-limit in that form. You are limited to only one alternate form and one base form, but they can be very different, allowing you to play out your fantasy of turning your giant walking robot into a flying dragon or great burrowing sand worm. Once you design your alternate form, you cannot change the Builds you've chosen for it, but there is no rule saying you cannot allocate more as they become available. This whole section is awesome. If the form you take is of an animal or vermin, you can select an evolution from the Eidolon list that costs as many CP as it would normally cost in EP. I'm not a big fan of this particular addition, due to the increased likelihood of shenanigans from the expanded list. Still, the flavor of Transform is so good that I'd be willing to work with a player on balancing it.
• Cannon grants you a shoulder-mounted cannon with a range-increment of 100ft. This thing is awesome, with good damage and limited ammunition that you can recover after wiping out your enemies.
• In the same vein as the cannon, we come to Rockets. This Build has a range of 800ft and deals fire damage of 1d6 per class level to everyone within 30ft of impact who fails a Reflex save. While cool, there are no rules pertaining to accuracy and since it's an area attack, it seems like it would always hit your target as-written. It mentions making new rockets out of scrap metal and collected components, but there are no costs listed, so it seems to be free.
 
In addition to Builds, we have Construction Flaws that may be chosen to grant extra CP to spend, similar to how the Race Building point work in Advanced Race Guide. Some examples are: Brittle, resulting in vulnerability to cold; Fragile, taking extra damage from critical hits; Haunted, taking damage from positive energy and healing from negative energy; Sunlight Dependency, gaining the sickened condition in areas of darkness.
 
After the main chapter detailing the class, a number of Feats are listed, but it is not made clear that these are specific to the Iron Titan or that they receive any of these as bonus feats. Most of them have Iron Titan class features or certain Construction Builds listed as prerequisites, but some do not. Here are a few other issues I noticed:
 
• There is a feat which allows you to expel a creature from within you as a projectile, which is awesome, but it says it can be used as an immediate action, dealing slam damage to them, plus any appropriate damage from your swallow whole or furnace interior Builds, and any enemy they are expelled into takes the same amount of damage. The range increment is 10ft per size category above medium that you currently are, and you can hurl them up to 5 increments. This could quickly turn into an extremely nasty combo, and seems too powerful for a single feat.
• There is a feat which says, "This feat can be taken once at 1st level, and again at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th." You do not normally receive feats at level 10 or 20 and, as I noted above, the Iron Titan does not seem to gain bonus feats (apart from Multiattack, granted by a 9th level ability).
 
Verdict: There are a lot of great abilities in here and many of them have great flavor specific to playing a fantastic half-robot. I absolutely love the concepts at play here and really want to like it, but the balance issues and huge number of typographical errors have worn me down while working my way through this. There are a number of abilities and rules that I still am not entirely sure how they're supposed to work, and would have to come up with an ad hoc ruling at the table for. Most of these issues can be fixed, and the fact that Rite Publishing has already put out one updated version makes me hopeful that these will be addressed soon, but at the time of this writing, I have a hard time fully recommending this book.

I've been waffling back and forth on whether to give this pdf 2 stars or 3 for several minutes now, but the quality of the ideas and the promise of more updates leads me to settle for 3. If the text and a few mechanics were cleaned up, this could easily be a 5 star product, and I sincerely hope that I can update this review in the future, after another editing pass has been performed.


Solid

5/5

This is a very neat supplement if you want golem-like characters in your setting, and want to easily be able to implement it without too much fuss or hard work for the dm. It can be used for pcs or npcs; the iron titan is a class you add to a character. The character, having at some point, having been turned into an iron titan from an original form.

There are plenty of special abilities and choices to be made. Good art so as to guide the reader in what type of iron titans can be created. Iron titans get a lot of resistances and invulnerabilities making them, after they level a bit, very suited to facing specific foes and existing in hostile environments. Woe to the party that is vulnerable to iron titans.

What I most liked though, was the "we can rebuild him" section. This covers converting a dead character over to an iron titan, and it also throw in the possibility of how a party could continue from a tpk (everyone comes back as an iron titan). In doing so, the character or party are rebuilt, taking the class levels of the iron titan. What also interests me would be the possibilities of multi-classing. Just a bit, to secure some very cool abilities to complement the MANY options for iron titans in this book.

There are also feats, including feats for huge titans. Yes, you can be huge, and that means you have huge guts.

5/5


Webstore Gninja Minion

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Now available!


You can check out a free preview HERE!


Typo in the first sentence of product description: "what" instead of "want"...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This sounds amazing...


Thank you Liz for fixing the typo.

Nate Z, thank you for saying so.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Just bought it. Can't wait to give it a look. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

0.0
So, looking this over....I don't know if the author is a Transformers fan, but either way I want to give them a hug if I ever meet them at a con. THANK YOU for this class!


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Yes I was a transformers fan. But it was just one of the options.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:
Yes I was a transformers fan. But it was just one of the options.

Oh I understand, but the other options are really great frosting on an AMAZING cake my friend & I have been trying to figure out how to make for a very long time. :D


Jacob Blackmon just posted his Megatron (Mecha-Traan). I don't think I could have made this without the eidolon being around, and then it was a lot of research into all the different construct abilities, the transformer ability came from a combination of the basic mechanics of polymorph and the Transforming Construct from the Advanced Bestiary.

I am glad you are enjoying it.


So... fantasy Robocop is on the table. Interesting.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Jeff Grubb did it much earlier with Minder A female dwarf whose mind was been transferred to a golem, in the forgotten realms comic book :)

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rite Publishing wrote:
Jeff Grubb did it much earlier with Minder A female dwarf whose mind was been transferred to a golem, in the forgotten realms comic book :)

There's also Shale from Dragon Age.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Rite Publishing wrote:
Jacob Blackmon just posted his Megatron (Mecha-Traan).

Where can I find this "mecha-tron"?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This product has a lot of cool ideas, but it really feels like it should have been gone over by the editor more thoroughly. There's a lot of errors, things where it looks like the ability was changed but not everything was revised to match with the new concept, or things that are just odd or confusing. Just the things I noticed going through it:

Spoiler:
Starting from the beginning...the Iron Titan has a Fort Save, a Ref Save, and a Ref Save. Obviously, it should be Fort, Ref, and Will.

Speaking of the saves, I'm not sure whether this is an error or just weird, but while constructs do have all bad saves, the Iron Titan actually has worse than bad saves. Normally, a bad save starts off at +0, and increases by +1 at 3rd and every three hit die thereafter, to a maximum of +6 at 18th level. On the other hand, the iron titan starts off at +0, and increases at 3rd and every four hit die thereafter. It gives the impression that you used the table for an animal companion or eidolon, both of whom only get 15 hit die, and correspondingly lower saves. It's possible that this is an attempt to reign in the iron titan's power by purposefully giving it saves that are worse than bad, but just in case you accidentally built off the lower hit die animal companion or eidolon, I thought it should be pointed out.

Ironborn: A minor nitpick, Ironborn states, "For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger's favored enemy and bane weapons), iron titans count as both humanoids and constructs, and gain the subtype ironborn." It should be ironborn subtype.

Next, the phrase, "An iron titan’s outer body is largely composed of metal. It counts as a ferrous creature for the purpose of rusting grasp and other spells that have special effects." First of all, relatively minorly, it seems awkward. The intent is relatively clear, but 'other spells that have special effects' arguably constitutes all spells. Also, one might nitpickingly argue that being largely composed of metal is not the same thing as being made of metal, ie body capacitance, resounding clang, shocking grasp, and other such. I think a DM would be right to smack you upside the head for it, but. You should probably include magic items and special attacks instead of just 'spells that have special effects'. And finally, given the existence of the various X Composition (cold iron, lead, etc.), it seems strange that these are not addressed, either in the construct builds themselves, or in the base ability, as to whether or not they still count as being a ferrous creature when you are composed primarily of lead. Logic would suggest you should not, but as written, it isn't addressed.

Lead Composition: Further into the nitpicky category, Lead Composition mentions detect alignment as though it were a spell; I presume this is detect chaos/evil/good/law, or alternatively, any spell that discerns alignment (thus including see alignment), though honestly, it might just be simpler to say that it blocks any divination spell that is blocked by a thin sheet of lead.

Passenger: The passenger construct build is very interesting, but also has some confusing things about it. In particular, the following sentence, "If it uses the transform construct build this becomes a shell the passenger is immune to all attack forms except for mind-affecting, negative energy, and death effects, although the subject gains the benefits of the iron titan’s defensive abilities." You need either a period or a semicolon after the 'shell' bit, and which it is varies a fair bit. Honestly, I also somewhat dislike being shoehorned into the 'shell' thing if you transform...what if you want to turn into a robo-panther with a built-in saddle, for example? Conversely, what if you want to have the shell as a normal humanoid? Furthermore, the question arises, can someone inside the shell choose to leave it, or are they essentially trapped inside, whether they were tricked into getting on, mind-controlled into doing so, or even potentially grappled into the passenger seat before the construct transforms? As written, I think the only way to get someone out would be to completely destroy the construct. It also seems problematic that as written, the shell cannot be opened or closed...I would personally suggest some sort of action the iron titan can take to open or close the shell, as well as perhaps establishing some method to break out or in without totally destroying the iron titan...I'm not sure. Another odd thing is that apparently the passenger's line of effect is prevented...but the reverse doesn't seem true when it comes to mind-affecting, negative energy, and death effects? Shouldn't it be the same both directions? I really like the concept of this, but I feel like it has issues as it is right now that should be addressed.

Resistance: It feels like you should have changed the wording on; if an iron titan's outer body is primarily composed of metal, how is it going to have an ashen hide?

Spark: If you're going to say, "The iron titan can use this ability 2 additional time per day by spending an additional 1 construction build point (maximum 3/day)," why not just say "The iron titan can use this ability three times per day by spending an additional construction build point"?

Ability Increase: "Increase the iron titan’s Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution one of the iron titan’s ability scores by +2." Either "Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution" or "one of the iron titan's" shouldn't be there, and I presume it's the latter.

Poison Reservoir: "This reservoir can magically refills itself with poison." Should be either 'reservoir magically refills' or 'can magically refill'.

Engulf: "The iron titan can transform engulfing creatures in its path as part of a standard action." Should be: "The iron titan can transform, engulfing creatures in its path as part of a standard action."

Pound: "An iron titan can slam an opponent that is at least two size categories smaller than itself into the ground, wall, or other nearby solid surfaces, dealing bludgeoning damage, when it makes a successful grapple check, in addition to any other effects caused by a successful check, including additional damage." First off, this is some serious comma abuse. At a minimum, it should read, "dealing bludgeoning damage when it makes a successful grapple check". Also, it says damage is dealt, but what damage is dealt? An amount equal to you slam attack I would guess off-hand, but it's not actually specified as-written.

Transform: This ability is great, but honestly, I would remove the "of a vehicle, an animal, or as a vermin" bit, since you later on go to say that the cosmetic appearance of the form can be altered. After all, that Transform (Flyer) image doesn't look like a vehicle, an animal, or a vermin...unless you count a mecha as a vehicle, anyways. Or perhaps just alter it to "an alternate form, such as a vehicle, an animal, or as a vermin", so it's less restrictive...I think people should have the freedom to design their alternate forms, and since they're already restricted to one of the base forms listed below, I don't think it's important.

Animated Object: Fairly minor, but you have "Energy Attacks Energy attacks deal half damage to the iron titan." It should be "Energy Attacks Energy attacks deal half damage to the iron titan."

Indestructible: This is less an error and more of something that bothers me a bit, first of all, you get adamantine composition for free, which is pretty good, but it prevents other compositions from being taken. What if you had a build going on that was using mithral composition's spell turning effect? Or went lead because you were focusing on poison (sure, not optimal, but some people might) or your robot was focusing on hiding their true alignment in a setting where there's a lot of detect spells going on, and they were enjoying the advantage? I would suggest some sort of 'alloy' ability instead, allowing you to gain the benefits of both adamantine composition and the potential to gain the benefits of a secondary composition construction build, or retain an already existing one. I'd also suggest a line about what happens if you already have adamantine composition or fast healing, though I presume you can potentially free up your construction build points?

Expel Creature: Maybe not an error, but it just seems like an oversight that it deals the acid damage from Swallow Whole if you have it somehow (presumably via Transform), but not the fire damage from Furnace Interior...besides, shooting the flaming body of one of your enemies at another enemy is just too cool to pass up.

Improved Awesome Blow: A feat by this name was published in Advanced Class Guide, so it might be confusing to people to have two versions. I might suggest renaming it to Greater Awesome Blow or Improved Awesome Blow or even just Brutal Blow or Giant Blow, especially considering (oddly enough for an 'improved' feat) it doesn't require you to actually have the Awesome Blow feat.

Improved Engulf: "You can engulf as part of a move action and increase you engulf DC by 1." Should be: "You can engulf as part of a move action and increase your engulf DC by 1."

Massive Stomp: "Make a combat maneuver check all creatures smaller than your character, within 10 feet per size category above medium you possess, whose CMD you exceed fall prone, Creatures with ranks in Acrobatics can make an Acrobatics check (DC equal to your Combat Maneuver Check) to avoid this effect." This is a really awkwardly written sentence. I'm pretty sure you meant to have a period instead of a comma after 'fall prone', judging by the capital Creatures following...but it's still really awkward. Maybe something like... "Make a combat maneuver check against all creatures one or more sizes smaller than your character within 10 feet. If you are bigger than Large, increase the area creatures are affected within to 10 ft. per extra size category. Creatures whose CMD you exceed with this combat maneuver check fall prone. Creatures with ranks in Acrobatics can make an Acrobatics check (DC equal to your Combat Maneuver Check) to avoid this effect." I'm not sure, it's still kind of awkward though...it just bugs me.

Despite this multitude of niggles, however, this is a really fun concept. You have a lot of really fun new concepts, especially when you break away from the normal summoner evolutions to create your own, like Fists of Thunder and Lightning, Transform, Rockets, Quake, and other such thing, which provide amazing mental images of awesome things. I'm not completely sure about some aspects, like Immunity to Magic, which seem quite powerful, but then again they might almost be necessary with the Iron Titan's terrible saves. I don't consider myself an expert on balance, though, so I could be wrong, but balanced or not, there's a lot of awesome. I hope my concerns and nitpicking come across not as someone being overly critical, but rather as someone who enjoys your product and hopes it can be improved upon.

(...especially since I had to rewrite all of this after my laptop ran out of power when I was halfway through...stupid, stupid me for not keeping it saved in Notepad...)

The Exchange

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Nate Z wrote:
Rite Publishing wrote:
Jacob Blackmon just posted his Megatron (Mecha-Traan).
Where can I find this "mecha-tron"?

Mecha-traan CR 12

XP 19,200
Ironborn iron titan 13 (In the Company of Monsters, Secrets of the Iron Titan)
LE Huge humanoid (ironborn)
Init +0; Senses Perception +11
DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 8, flat-footed 26; (+18 natural, -2 size)
HP 167 (13d10+91)
Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +3
Defensive Abilities focus plate
DR 5/magic; Immune poison, sleep
Weaknesses rust vulnerability
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +21 (2d8+10), or
roller form ram +21 (2d8+15)
Ranged cannon +13/+8 (6d6/x4)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks overdrive 3/day (6 pts.), trample (roller form; 2d6+15, DC 26)
STATISTICS
Str 31, Dex 11, Con 22, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +13; CMB +25; CMD 35
Feats Extra Construction Points (x3), Intimidating Prowess, Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Toughness, Weapon Focus (cannon)
Skills Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +17, Knowledge (planes) +3, Perception +11, Spellcraft +19, Use Magic Device +22; Racial Modifiers -2 Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive
Languages Common
SQ construction pool 20 pts. (damage reduction, cannon, huge, transform [roller form]), diabolic design (infernal glower), reconstruction, renewable energy
Gear +1 unholy cannon, gauntlet of rust

Mecha-traan was designed by the infernal artificer Welker; an instrument of tyranny and malice upon the world. Welker assigned Mecha-traan to seek out other ironborn and turn them against their masters; claiming to bring about a revolution against the organic fleshlings that deigned to command their mechanical superiors. Unfortunately, Welker’s plan succeeded all too well. Mecha-traan used his army to turn against his own creator, destroying the hellspawn and claiming his keep as his own.
Mecha-traan seeks to enslave all living creatures, whether organic or construct. Those who do not bow to him are crushed under his feet. As a mean to an end, Mecha-traan scours the world for powerful artifacts that he can use in his crusade against freedom; the more vile and sinister the magical item’s purpose the better!
As one would expect, Mecha-traan has made many enemies in during his existence. The most noteworthy is Paladin Primus, an ironborn who briefly served in Mecha-traan’s army until the discovery of a mythic legendary item that freed him from the tyrant’s influence and set Primus on his heroic destiny.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber
Jacob Blackmon wrote:
Nate Z wrote:
Rite Publishing wrote:
Jacob Blackmon just posted his Megatron (Mecha-Traan).
Where can I find this "mecha-tron"?

Mecha-traan was designed by the infernal artificer Welker; an instrument of tyranny and malice upon the world. Welker assigned Mecha-traan to seek out other ironborn and turn them against their masters; claiming to bring about a revolution against the organic fleshlings that deigned to command their mechanical superiors. Unfortunately, Welker’s plan succeeded all too well. Mecha-traan used his army to turn against his own creator, destroying the hellspawn and claiming his keep as his own.

Mecha-traan seeks to enslave all living creatures, whether organic or construct. Those who do not bow to him are crushed under his feet. As a mean to an end, Mecha-traan scours the world for powerful artifacts that he can use in his crusade against freedom; the more vile and sinister the magical item’s purpose the better!
As one would expect, Mecha-traan has made many enemies in during his existence. The most noteworthy is Paladin Primus, an ironborn who briefly served in Mecha-traan’s army until the discovery of a mythic legendary item that freed him from the tyrant’s influence and set Primus on his heroic destiny.

Where can I find this Paladin Primus?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Really liked the Ironborn update for Pathfinder. Think I'm going to have to pick this up soon.

The Exchange

DragoDorn wrote:


Where can I find this Paladin Primus?

I have not yet built Paladin Primus.


As Luthorne pointed out above the saves seem to be a bit off. Is this on purpose or was this an oversight?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Greetings folks

After some feedback from a dedicated fan (Thanks Luthorne) we have updated the file, the new version is V2 please delete V1 and download the new version. A short summary of the corrections is listed below. (This may take till Monday, as Paizo is out of the office, but you will get an update email.

Corrected a major error in save progressions (and calling will saves reflex saves).

Significantly revised the Passenger construction build.

Revised wording on spark, engulf, pound, indestructible, and Expel Creature

Improved Awesome Blow’s name changed to Massive Blow

Corrected some cosmetic layout and editing issues

Also for those who really care check out Issue #48 of Pathways the free-ezine for additional construction builds.

Thank you for your time

And thanks again to Luthorne!

Steven D. Russell
Rite Publishing


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop. Hope this is polished, the awesome concepts deserve to shine!


Updated my review in all the usual places to reflect the changes made! Cheers!


So, here's a question-- I like the concept, but there is no "Caster" class that gives you build points. Anyone have a suggestion on creating an iron titan specific archtype that lets you cast while also making use of the evolutions?

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