Clockwork, Drillmaster

Family: Clockwork

Medium construct (iron, clockwork), unaligned

Armor Class 22 (natural armor) Hit points 36 (8d8)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 60 ft.

10 (+0) 16 (+3) 11 (+0) 3 (-4) 14 (+2) 1 (-5)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages understands Gnomish and Common but can’t speak
Proficiency Bonus +2
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


  • Clockwork Engine. When the construct dies, it inflicts 10 (3d6) slashing damage in a 5 ft. radius. Creatures in the radius can make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw for half damage. Alternately, when it suffers a critical hit or dies, roll on the Clockwork Engine Malfunction table.
  • Constructed Nature. A clockwork creature doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Earth Armor. The clockwork doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it burrows.
  • Hose. The drillmaster can use its action to extend a hose up to 60 feet, and it adheres to anything that touches it. A creature adhered to the hose is grappled by the drillmaster (escape DC 13), and ability checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage. The hose can be attacked (AC 15; 5 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying the hose causes no damage to the drillmaster, which can extrude a replacement hose on its next turn.
  • Magic Resistance. The clockwork has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Repairable. A DC 10 tinker’s tools check restores one hit point for each point rolled over the DC.
  • Siege Monster. The drillmaster deals double damage to objects and structures.
  • Tunneler. The drillmaster can burrow through solid rock at half its burrowing speed and leaves a 5 foot-wide, 5-foot-high tunnel in its wake.


  • Multiattack. The drillmaster makes two attacks with its drill
  • Drill. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 it, one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage. The drillmaster also drills through nonmagical objects. If the object isn’t being worn or carried, the attack destroys a 1-foot cube of it. If the object is being worn or carried by a creature, the creature can make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw to avoid the effect. If the object drilled is either armor or a shield being worn or carried, its takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. Armor reduced to an AC of 10 or a shield that drops to a +0 bonus is destroyed.
  • Inflate. One creature grappled by the drillmaster’s hose must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or it begins to inflate like a balloon for 1 minute. It increases by one size, loses all forms of movement, has disadvantage on Dexterity-based checks, and gains vulnerability to piercing damage. On each of the creature’s turns it floats upwards at a speed of 20 feet (but no further than 60 feet as it is connected by the drillmaster’s hose). If some solid object (such as a ceiling) is encountered, it remains there, oscillating slightly, for the duration. The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. At the end of each of its turns, the target can make another Constitution saving throw. On a success, the effect ends on the target. The effect also ends if the target suffers piercing damage, causing the target to fall back down. Constructs and elementals are immune to this effect.
  • Overinflate. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 60 ft., one incapacitated creature grappled by the drillmaster’s hose. Hit: The target takes 55 (10d10) bludgeoning damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the drillmaster kills the target by inflating it so much it explodes. Constructs and elementals are immune to this effect.


This humanoid clockwork has a drill tip for its left hand and its right is a long hose. Drillmasters are used by gnomes to clear areas of debris. The underground complexes and traps they build are first hollowed out by drillmasters, and then other clockworks move in to build the framework. But drillmasters go beyond digging. They are often required to pump water, air, or other materials in or out of an area. Drillmasters can use this to dangerous effect against creatures, pumping them full of gas until they explode.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E Foes: Video Game Bestiary. Copyright 2022, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael J. Tresca.

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