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Steel Beetle

Large construct, unaligned

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
22 (+6) 14 (+2) 19 (+4) 1 (-5) 3 (-4) 1 (-5)

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 76 (8d10 + 32)
Speed 40 ft.
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, slashing from non-magical weapons
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 6
Languages understands the languages of its master but cannot speak
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Crushing Claws. A single target being grappled by both claws only makes one escape roll, but does so with disadvantage.
  • Magic Resistance. The steel beetle has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Energy Dependence. If the steel beetle has its hit point maximum reduced it is stunned until the end of its next turn.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The steel beetle makes two claw attacks.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) slashing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the steel beetle can automatically hit the target with its claw, and the steel beetle can’t make attacks with this claw against other targets.

Tactics

The steel beetle follows instructions to the letter, which means its tactics will depend on the foresight of its master, and it won’t adapt to the unexpected or show any creativity. In the absence of more specific instructions it will mindlessly attack the closest enemy and fight until destroyed.

This beetle shaped automaton’s steel carapace is stained with dried blood, as are the sharp edges of its two massive fore-claws. Its massive frame is easily as large as a grown horse.

Over the years, most of these constructs have worn out or been destroyed, but some have survived, either faithfully executing their last instructions or, more commonly, sitting inert, awaiting refueling.

Necromantic Fuel. Steel beetles fuel their powerful machinery with life energy, and only through the sacrifice of living beings can these devices be charged. The ritual, although there are few alive who still know it, also binds the beetle to the ritualist, and it will dutifully follow the instructions of whoever charges it. This necromancy leaves the beetle with a vulnerability, though: attacks that drain life energy can disrupt the dark magic that animates it.

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