30/30 Day 8: Mecholister, Boss Archetype (D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder)

Hi, I’m Tyler Magruder, or sorryjzargo as I go by on the internet.  I am going to hopefully complete a 30/30 this month.  If you don’t know what a 30/30 is, it is a blog series where you write one blog a day for a month (on months with 31 days it is called a 31/31).  If I miss a day, I will make it up, but hopefully I won’t miss any days and can call this a success.

Mech Suit

As a preface, this is an enemy archetype used in my current D&D/Pathfinder game that I’m running.  If you are unfamiliar with D&D, this blog probably won’t make any sense to you.  If you do play D&D, I’m leaving the mechanical specifics out because this is more of a template that can be applied to an encounter than a specific boss.  This encounter is meant for a steampunk setting.

King Olister vanished from his kingdom, the human fortress known as Chrome Citadel, and the party was led to believe that it was a group of assassins, though some of them were skeptical of Olister’s motives.  When they were sent to investigate his disappearance, they made little progress until a massive airship appeared out of nowhere above the city.  Using teleportation scrolls, the party snuck aboard the ship.  They met some resistance from clockwork fencers, but made it to the command deck where they found King Olister restrained in a harness.  Olister plead for help, and two guards attacked the party.  Making short work of the guards, the party turned to find King Olister encased in a clockwork mech suit.  Betrayal!
Mecholister’s primary mode of attack is through melee.  It has a slow move speed (10 feet per turn) but heavy damage (3d8 from a direct hit).  Mecholister also has a low AC, but it has a damage resistance until it has taken a certain amount of damage (roughly 2-3 turns of damage from the players), then the armor plating breaks.  Mecholister is susceptible to electric damage.  The first two times it takes electric damage, it becomes stunned for a round.  After that, it grounds itself, removing the weakness.

Built into the environment are four pillars, each equipped with a shield generator.  Every two rounds or so, a generator will activate and shield Mecholister until the generator is destroyed.  While shielded, Mecholister is invulnerable to all damage except falling (which shouldn’t be a problem unless the players tear a hole through the airship floor).  I ended up only using two of these generators because I was short on time.  The generators aren’t very tough, and can only take 2-4 hits usually.

However, Mecholister has some tricks up its sleeve.  It has two very powerful moves, though each take a turn to ready and give subtle hints when they are about to happen, giving PCs the chance to avoid them.  Mecholister has rockets built into each hand and its hip can rotate freely, allowing it to balance itself then spin using the hand rockets, becoming a whirlwind of death.  The spinning stops after 3 turns or until Mecholister becomes entangled.  The spinning attack has a 5 foot radius and requires a Reflex save to halve the damage.  Its other attack is an energy blast.  Mecholister has two glowing apparatuses on the front and back.  Mecholister can take a turn to charge up an energy blast, and the glowing apparatuses will begin glowing on the side being charged.  The next turn, Mecholister will blast everything in a 10 foot cone in the side that was charged.  This attack is devastating and can potentially kill a PC.  However, it is easy to avoid as long as the PCs recognize the telegraph.  If they don’t, even a Reflex save won’t reduce the damage.  However, this attack can be stopped and permanently disabled by destroying one of the sensors.  As a DM, be sure to telegraph both of these attacks, but don’t make it too obvious.

There are multiple strategies to taking down Mecholister.  If the party has spellcasters, they can easily stay out of his reach and cast damaging spells, but if they’ve already used some spells then Mecholister will probably survive their barrage.  Also, it is possible to climb on top of Mecholister, with a Climb check opposed by Mecholister’s grapple check.  This allows the PCs to avoid most of his attacks and deal increased damage.  However, they are still vulnerable to his spinning attack if they fail a Reflex save to hang on.

When Mecholister is down to ¼ of his health, it bursts into flames.  When it is destroyed, it explodes, dealing damage to anyone caught in the blast radius.  When the party searches the wreckage, they don’t find a body.  King Olister was never in the mech in the first place.  Dun dun duuuuuuun!

(sorry, I rushed this one, I had a busy day)


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