Learn more about the Last War in Forge of War, a supplement that can flesh out the history of your Eberron campaign or even help you to craft a campaign that is set during this time period. Take a look at a few excerpts, including some history, various scars of war, a spell list, some magic items, and a warforged raptor.
Four rounded leathery wings hold an enormous metallic body aloft. In silhouette, you could almost mistake the creature for a giant dragonfly, but only on a first, casual glance. Where you might expect a squat insectoid head, it boasts instead a long segmented neck, atop which is a featureless mass angled like a great hawk's beak or the striking end of a heavy pick. Rather than the graceful tail of a dragonfly, it sprouts a fan of metal, almost like tailfeathers of burnished mithral.
The warforged raptor is a construct of battle, designed by House Cannith for sale to those nations who required a counter to the Aundairian dragonhawks and Thrane wyverns. Although only moderately suited to combat against other aerial foes, the raptors are deadly when deployed against ground-based targets.
Warforged Raptor CR 8
Rock-Throwing (Ex) A warforged raptor can hurl rocks weighing 40 to 50 pounds each (Small objects), with a range increment of 120 feet. A Huge raptor can hurl rocks weighing 60 to 80 pounds each (Medium objects), with a range increment of 180 feet.
Strafe (Ex) If a flying warforged raptor moves at its full speed in a straight line, it can make three ranged boulder attacks over the course of its flight, rather than one. Each attack occurs roughly one-third of the way along its line of movement. (Thus, for a standard raptor, the first attack occurs 30 feet from its starting point, the second at 60 feet, and the third at 90 feet.) Each of these attacks must be made against separate targets, even if the rocks' range increment would normally allow them to all strike the same one.
Strategies and Tactics
Raptors prefer to make attacks from the air against ground-based targets, fully employing their Flyby Attack and strafe abilities. Although their power dive attack is devastating, most raptors use it only to finish off a foe they've already softened up, since they are incredibly slow once on the ground. Whether airborne or not, a warforged raptor prefers to focus its attacks against a single target until it is well and truly smashed, before moving on to the next. It reserves its strafe attack for multiple strikes against weak foes, such as standard low-level soldiers, or for devastating multiple sections of defensive fortifications.
Although warforged raptors function best in flights, or paired with other war-machines, their relative scarcity means that they most frequently operate alone.
Sentry (EL 8): A lone warforged raptor functions well as an airborne patrol, eliminating enemy scouting parties that cross into its master's territory.
Flight (EL 10-13): A flight of two to six raptors can devastate entire companies, or obliterate fortified keeps and strongholds, with a few simple strafing runs. It was this usage for which the warforged raptor was truly designed.
Air and Ground (EL 10): Several of the militaries of the Last War, particularly Cyre, occasionally pair a warforged raptor with a warforged titan (ECS 302). Between the two, the titan wading into melee while the raptor strikes from above or lands to flank, they can smash through most opponents with brutal efficiency.
As constructs, warforged raptors neither contribute to nor feed from the environment. They are completely outside nature.
Although equally as effective as the warforged titan -- indeed, even more so under some circumstances -- the raptor was never put into mass production. In order to enable it to fly, even with magical aid, the raptor's creators had to infuse notable amounts of mithral into the heavier iron and steel that make up the bulk of the warforged body. As such, the raptor was never sufficiently cost-effective for widespread use, and only a few hundred were constructed over the entire course of the Last War.
Environment: Any aboveground. Raptors go wherever they are ordered to fight, but because they are at their best attacking from above, they are rarely assigned to areas with substantial ground cover such as forests. Warforged raptors are seen far more frequently near the borders between hostile nations than they are deep within a given nation's territory.
Typical Physical Characteristics: A standard warforged raptor measures roughly 10 feet in length, over half of which is its segmented neck, and has a wingspan of almost 15 feet. Due to its frame-based construction and the inclusion of mithral, it is unusually light for its size, weighing roughly 1,250 pounds. It has no obvious sensory organs on its beaklike head, which serves as its primary weapon. A raptor has six insectoid legs, and four dragonflylike wings, constructed of leather on a metal frame. Although a raptor requires all four of its wings for efficient flight, it is capable of flying or hovering using only two wings for brief periods, allowing it to make wing buffet attacks even when in the air.
Early raptors carry a large leather pouch slung under the abdomen, containing small boulders for use with their rock-throwing attack. The pouch holds only half a dozen such boulders, allowing a raptor to make only six ranged attacks, or two full rounds of strafing. Later models incorporate additional magic in their construction that allows them to carry pouches full of fist-sized rocks that literally grow into boulders as the raptor hurls them. These later models have, for all practical purposes, an infinite supply of ammunition.
Alignment: Imbued with a modicum of intelligence, warforged raptors are usually lawful neutral -- smart enough to prefer to cling to rules and order, but unconcerned with the moral implications of their actions. A few warforged raptors drift toward evil alignments and cruel dispositions; good-aligned raptors are rare.
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