Gargoyle, Guardgoyle

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Gargoyle, Guardgoyle
Climate/Terrain:Any landAny land
Activity Cycle:AnyAny
Intelligence:Low (5-7)Low (5-7)
No. Appearing:1-61-6
Armor Class:44
Movement:9, Fl 15 (A)9
Hit Dice:1+13+1
No. of Attacks:33
Special Attacks:Surprise, poison bitePoison bite
Special Defenses:Shriek, spell immunitiesShriek, spell immunities
Magic Resistance:NilNil
Size:S (2' tall)M (4-6' tall)
Morale:Fearless (20)Fearless (20)
XP Value:975975

Guardgoyles are created by Zhentarim wizards to guard their treasures, families, residences, and secret locations that the wizards hold dear. Guardgoyles are constructed like golems, but are much easier to fabricate. Guardgoyles are only 2 feet tall (or long), carved from hard stone (such as granite or basalt), and formed into a modified gargoyle shape or that of some reptilian creature.

Guardgoyles. relatively small size allows them to easily hide among wizards' possessions, sometimes masquerading as decorative statuettes or paperweights. These creatures may or may not possess wings, depending on their construction, but all have the ability to fly.

Combat: A guardgoyle's small stature often allows it to surprise opponents, penalizing their surprise rolls by -3. The construct's claw and bite attacks cause only small amounts of damage. The real danger lies in the creature's poisonous bite, which requires a saving throw vs. poison at -1. If the saving throw is failed, the victim dies in 1d4+ 1 rounds. The guardgoyle has enough poison in its fangs for two such bites, and its owner must replenish the poison after its use. While deadly poison is the norm for the creature's fangs, any type can be applied by the owner.

The guardgoyle can also issue an ear-piercing wail that can be heard for up to half a mile, alerting members of the city watch or possibly even setting off preset traps or spell effects. This shriek prevents any spellcasting within 20 feet of the creature, which can continue the scream for up to 6 rounds - even when attacking.

Because the guardgoyle is a construct and not alive, it is immune to all charm, hold, and mind-affecting spells, as well as all forms of poison. The creature takes only half damage from fire- and cold-based spells because of its stone form, and takes no damage from electrical attacks. Casting stone shape on a guardgoyle restores all damage it has suffered and returns it to a brand-new condition. The following spells instantly destroy a guardgoyle if it is made their target: earthquake, stone to flesh, and transmute rock to mud. It receives no saving throw.

Habitat/Society: Guardgoyles take no independent actions, existing only to react as commanded at a previous time by their owners. These creatures can recognize up to five beings, aside from their owner, whom they are not to attack. All others will be attacked instantly. Guardgoyles follow simply stated commands (“Guard this room”, “Allow no one in but me”, etc.), but they are not intelligent enough to complete complicated tasks, such as delivering messages.

To create a guardgoyle, a wizard needs a block of stone at least 4 cubic feet in size. This block must be molded into the desired guardgoyle shape with a stone shape spell. Afterward, a series of additional spells known only to the Zhentarim are cast over the construct to animate it and imbue it with its minimal intelligence.

The cost of creating a guardgoyle ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 gold pieces. Most of the money goes toward selecting and quarrying the proper stone and purchasing the components needed to empower the construct.

Guardgoyles usually live as long as their owners, after which time their animation ceases and they become merely statues. Guardgoyles that are sold or given away before their owners' deaths do not become inanimate. Instead, their lifespan becomes tied to their new owners' life. After 50 years, the duration of the spells that animate a guardgoyle expire. The guardgoyle may then be reanimated at the cost of its original creation and by using the same procedure that first created it.

Ecology: Guardgoyles live only to serve their masters and have no other goals in life. Over the years, the creatures may require small amounts of repair, depending on where they are kept (indoors or outdoors). Guardgoyles may be repaired by casting stone shape on them. They have no need for food or sleep, and are constantly vigilant. If properly maintained, guardgoyles make simple, cheap guardians.

Greater Guardgoyle

A greater guardgoyle is a larger and tougher version of a normal guardgoyle, ranging in size from 4 to 6 feet in height. Greater guardgoyles cannot fly or surprise opponents as guardgoyles do. Their movement rate is 9.

The construction of a greater guardgoyle requires the casting of a wish or limited wish spell to animate it, due to its greater mass. The cost of a greater guardgoyle can be as high as 10,000 gold pieces, due to the amount of high-quality rock needed to create it and the extra spells needed to animate it. Only the most powerful of mages have the ability to create greater guardgoyles, and few know the secret of their creation.