• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

Mythological Figures: Talos (5E)

In today’s Mythological Figures entry we’re going after probably the only forged *cough cough* individual on the list: Talos, the metal man of ancient Crete!

In today’s Mythological Figures entry we’re going after probably the only forged *cough cough* individual on the list: Talos, the metal man of ancient Crete!


FZhIgGQ9c0Bssr5hjKpZatXHO0Mnse5_LRG3ntSgTCrem7fOsPGF2jeijKbkZsodCTerYAcYfZmMpXXnW955aYa2zJ96eJotO8UJtQmFCkbfRkQb3brhZtZXpYFWg8W1HQ2ikxNg

Where precisely Talos is from isn’t completely clear--was he made by Hephaestus and gifted to Minos or Europa, or the last bronze man from the third age of man and gifted to Europa by Zeus? It depends on which scripts and translations you’re reading. Regardless of his origins his thing was wandering around the island of Crete (doing the perimeter three times a day), throwing rocks at unwelcome visitors before they could come ashore. A critical weakness (in his ankle no less!) leads to his downfall when Medea (or a brilliant Argonaut archer named Poeas) causes him to take a wound in this most vital vein, killing him--again it matters what you’re reading for how that came to happen. Did she blind him with magic? Pull out a bronze nail plugging up the vein after tricking him?

Design Notes: Ideally Talos is throwing much bigger rocks (dealing at a minimum 2d6 damage) but the goal in this side of the column is to do things RAW for character creation so here we are. If you’re interested in more of a monstrous take on Talos check out the D&D Greece series on my website.


Talos
Medium humanoid (forged folk), neutral fighter (archer) 6

Armor Class
17 (light proficiency)
Hit Points 45 (6d10+12)
Speed 35 ft.

STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
10 (+0)​

Saving Throws Str +6, Con +5
Skills Athletics +6, History +3, Perception +3, Survival +3
Damage Resistances poison; bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities disease, sleep
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Background: Wildborn. Talos never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, he can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Talos can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Critical Vulnerability. Talos is immune to sneak attack damage and extra damage from critical hits, and has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. A creature targeting Talos’ singular point of vulnerability (its heel) has a -10 penalty on its attack roll, but on a hit the attack deals normal damage (ignoring the immunities and resistances of this feature).

Efficient Steps. When traveling by himself for one or more hours, Talos can move stealthily at his normal speed at no penalty.

Excellent Aim (3/Short Rest). Talos can spend a bonus action to aim a wielded ranged weapon at a target within its range. Until the end of his turn, ranged attacks that Talos makes against the target deal an extra 5 damage on a hit.

Feat: Brawling. Talos is proficient with improvised weapons.

Feat: Superb Aim. Talos ignores half cover and three-quarters cover when making a ranged weapon attack, and he doesn’t have disadvantage when attacking at long range. When Talos makes his first ranged weapon attack in a turn, he can choose to take a -5 penalty to his ranged weapon attack rolls in exchange for a +10 bonus to ranged weapon damage.

Forge Resistant. Talos has advantage on saving throws against being poisoned. He does not need to breathe, drink, or eat. Talos still requires a 6 hour resting period that emulates sleep in order to recharge his inner workings. While resting he is still conscious but any movement by Talos interrupts his rest. In addition, he does not become exhausted from lack of rest.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Talos can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+6 hit points.



ACTIONS

Extra Attack.
Talos attacks twice.

Unarmed. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) bludgeoning damage and Talos can use a bonus action to grapple the target with a successful Strength (Athletics) check opposed by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) bludgeoning damage.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

dave2008

Legend
Thank you as always for sharing. Personally I don't see the benefit in doing Talos as a PC build. That was never how I understood his character (but then again I don't know a lot about him). I would prefer seeing this in the Epic Monster series. (PS I know there is another version on your site, I just don't quite understanding doing this version.)
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Thank you as always for sharing. Personally I don't see the benefit in doing Talos as a PC build. That was never how I understood his character (but then again I don't know a lot about him). I would prefer seeing this in the Epic Monster series. (PS I know there is another version on your site, I just don't quite understanding doing this version.)

I was keen to get a warforged up here at some point but more importantly somebody requested him so he was on the queue. Certainly a strange build for a PC ("I want to be a guy made of metal that throws rocks! har har har") but there it is.

Mind you to any new readers--these are all by request. If there's somebody you want to see appear in the column, tell us here! So long as they're in the public domain we will get to them eventually. :)
 

JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
While I see that making Talos immune to sneak attack is thematic, I think its too "unfun" for a monster. I would recommend changing the wording so that sneak attack damage applies fully and buffing up Talos' HP to compensate. Its better to give the rogue a moment in the sun rather than just telling them to sit out a fight.

BBEGs being immune to sneak attack reminds me too much of the catastrophic end to the Age of Worms adventure path way back in 3.5. The party rogue just walked away and didn't take part because it was one big monster immune to sneak attack (the only way high level rogues have of doing useful amounts of damage).

DS
 


Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
While I see that making Talos immune to sneak attack is thematic, I think its too "unfun" for a monster. I would recommend changing the wording so that sneak attack damage applies fully and buffing up Talos' HP to compensate. Its better to give the rogue a moment in the sun rather than just telling them to sit out a fight.

BBEGs being immune to sneak attack reminds me too much of the catastrophic end to the Age of Worms adventure path way back in 3.5. The party rogue just walked away and didn't take part because it was one big monster immune to sneak attack (the only way high level rogues have of doing useful amounts of damage).

DS

I can see how that'd be a problem! A few things:
1) This is hardly a BBEG (CR 4 feels a bit flat for that)
2) Rogues can still sneak attack him they are just at a huge penalty to do so
3) I don't think Talos here is going up against any high-level rogues but that's why they got Use Magic Device in previous editions and the Thief archetype gets it as well. Sometimes having that backstab just won't cut it and you need to use that thing you stole from the party's wizard. ;)


a character from one of my favorite mythological stories. thanks. i may use him for my game with 3rd level PC’s.

Woot woot! Have at it and let us know how things went! :D
 


Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
I always thought that Talos was a triple iron golem . . .

The goal of Mythological Figures is to keep the builds as RAW as possible so if you wanted to play Talos, you could do so. Some GMs might ban warforged as a player race but I reckon nearly *all* GMs will ban iron golems.
 

pemerton

Legend
The goal of Mythological Figures is to keep the builds as RAW as possible so if you wanted to play Talos, you could do so. Some GMs might ban warforged as a player race but I reckon nearly *all* GMs will ban iron golems.
I was alluding to Gygax's description in his DMG. Gygax certainly wasn't envisaging Talos as a PC!

I assume a "triple iron golem" has 3x the hit points of a standard MM golem (ie 240 hp) and does 3x the damage (ie 12d10). And mabye is also three times as tall (ie 36'). (An ordinary iron golem already attacks on the 16+ HD table, so no improvement there.)
 

JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
I can see how that'd be a problem! A few things:
1) This is hardly a BBEG (CR 4 feels a bit flat for that)
2) Rogues can still sneak attack him they are just at a huge penalty to do so
3) I don't think Talos here is going up against any high-level rogues but that's why they got Use Magic Device in previous editions and the Thief archetype gets it as well. Sometimes having that backstab just won't cut it and you need to use that thing you stole from the party's wizard. ;)

1. I (possibly in error) assume that even though you are designing this as a character, its really meant to be a "monster" to challenge the players. Giving a monster lots of PC abilities makes it much more complex than other monsters of its CR neighborhood and as a GM I usually look at these more intricate monsters as a BBEG in my campaigns. The CR of 4 just means to me its a BBEG for the first adventure in my campaign, not one I would use at higher levels. This may not be your intention and only my interpretation.

2. Assuming a low level PC has a +5 to-hit bonus...they already have to roll a 12+ to hit this guy in melee. Tacking on the crazy -10 modifier to an already difficult attack roll means you are asking all the martial damage characters to roll 20s to have a chance to do normal damage which means you are essentially telling the PCs they are just going to be doing half damage (and no SA/Crit) with any of those attacks because nobody is going to take that gamble.

I guess my feelings on this monster comes down to what your design goal is.

If you are trying to make an opponent that PCs have to tackle with other tactics (like swarms do) then I would just eliminate the crazy -10 modifier special rule and just make it immune to SA/Crits/BSP damage.

If you are trying to make an opponent that the PCs are encouraged to "gamble" to get around the SA/Crit/BSP defenses then I would change the -10 modifier to instead use Disadvantage.

Edit: It is more clear to me based on the replies after my original one that your series is intended to create PLAYER characters, not monsters for the PCs to encounter. You can pretty much disregard everything I have been saying since that was based around creature design, not character design.
 

Remove ads

Remove ads

Top