Encounter Fleeing Fleeto EL

The dust has barely settled on the burnt-out fire elementals when you hear another sound, coming from the black smoke ahead. "Help!" someone yells. "Help me! Somebody! It's after me!" The voice is squeaky and gasping for breath. A moment later, a harried goblin bursts out of the smoke, running like his pants were on fire. He's dressed in ragged clothing and strange boots, with a large pistol strapped to his chest. His eyes light when he sees you. "Please help me!" he squeals, making no attempt to go for his weapon and continuing to run. "It's Goldknuckle! He found out I left, and sent IT after me!"

Depending on the circumstances, this encounter can take place immediately after the conclusion of the fire elemental battle, or several rounds later. (Probably no more than 5 rounds after the battle, though.) If the players speak quickly, they can take 1 round of actions between the time they hear the first "Help!" and the moment the goblin appears — this is an acceptable interruption of the boxed text.

The goblin is Fleeto, an engineer until recently employed by Zykos Gazzo in his lair (a drilled-out natural cave he calls the his Secret Lair). Fleeto served his master until he realized the depths of Goldknuckle's madness. Fleeto fled, intending to warn anyone who would listen, but Goldknuckle sent a mechanical creation to hunt him. This creature arrives 2 rounds after Fleeto emerges from the smoke — be sure to keep careful track of elapsed time, as players will only have enough actions available for a couple of questions. If they ask Fleeto anything, he replies truthfully, but is panicked and breathless, apparently at the end of his rope.

Creatures: The hunter-killer chasing Fleeto is a large, mechanical humanoid. It bears a set of treads instead of legs, and immense weapons instead of arms. Goldknuckle's Hunter-Killer: CR 10; Large construct (mechanical); HD 11d10+30, hp 120; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 24, touch 9, flat-footed 24; Base Atk +8; Grp +19; Atk +15 melee (1d8+8 plus bleeding, buzzsaw); Full Atk +15 melee (1d8+8 plus bleeding, buzzsaw) and +15 melee (2d6+4, drill); Face/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SA customized weaponry, trample 1d6+10 (DC 22); SQ darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, damage reduction 10/ adamantine, immunity to magic, trundling treads, construct traits; AL N; SV Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +3; Str 24, Agy 10, Sta—, Int — , Spt 11, Cha 1.

Feats: Weapon Focus (slam)B.

SA — Customized Weaponry (Ex): The hunter-killer's right arm ends in a whirring buzzsaw, while its left ends in a huge spinning drill. (These are treated as slam attacks for purposes of the construct's feats.) Whenever a living creature takes damage from the saw, he must make a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 1d3 points of Stamina damage from excessive bleeding. The drill ignores the first 5 points of damage reduction (regardless of source, even DR X/—).

SQ — Trundling Treads (Ex): The hunter-killer can move and charge over difficult terrain without penalty, but cannot run. In this respect it is treated as having the trundling treads steam armor enhancement (see Chapter 5: Technology).

Fleeto, Male Goblin Tinker 11: CR 9; Small humanoid (goblin); HD 11d6+22, hp 63 (currently 21); Init +5; Spd 20 ft.; AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 11; Base Atk +8; Grp +5; Atk +14 ranged (3d6, repeating pistol); Full Atk +14/+9 ranged (3d6, repeating pistol); SA bomb bouncing; SQ low-light vision, cobble (2/week), coolness under fire 4/day, evasion, resistance to fire 5, packrat, scavenge; AL CG; SV Fort +5, Ref +12, Will +8; Str 13, Agy 21, Sta 14, Int 15, Spt 13, Cha 10.

Languages Spoken: Common, Darnassian, Goblin and Low Common.

Skills: Appraise +18, Concentration +16, Craft (technological device) +19, Decipher Script +16, Disable Device +19, Knowledge (the planes) +16, Open Lock +19, Search +16, Use Technological Device +16.

Feats: Delay MalfunctionB, Emergency RepairB, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms), Firearm KnackB, Goblin Engineering SpecialistB*, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Scavenge Materials.

Possessions: Modified repeating pistol (with 15 rounds of ammunition and gunpowder), goblin army knife, goblin rocket boots (no fuel), pouch with 80 silver pieces.

Special Note: Fleeto is fatigued for the duration of the encounter.

Tactics: The construct initially goes after Fleeto and ignores the heroes unless they attack it or get in its way. If they let it slay Fleeto, it carves up his corpse into tiny bits and then goes back the way it came. If instead they intervene, it engages the hero who presents the greatest threat (typically the one with the most armor). It doesn't retreat.

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