The current set-piece for my campaign is modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. One of the magical defenses of this buried Palace, I though, could be terracotta warriors. Here's an image for reference, in case the term doesn't ring a bell:
One cool thing about them is that each one is slightly different from the others, just like in a real army, and this is them with the paint they used to have long since worn off or faded. Anyway, I wanted to have some terracotta warriors who were guardians of this Hidden City.
I started with golems, which for a level 3 party were obviously way too powerful, but thought I could go for a basic-level golem. I modeled them on the clay golem for obvious reasons, and tuned down the challenge level and changed a few things that were in line with the unique metaphysics of the setting (elements interact differently is a major one). This is what I came up with:
Unaligned Medium Construct
Str +2 Dex -1 Con +2 Int -5 Wis -2 Cha -5
Immune: acid, poison, piercing (Int check to realize this)
Resistant: fire, psychic
Vulnerable: blunt, force, thunder
Blindsight 60' (blind beyond that), Perception DC 8
False Appearance: normal statue
2x Slam +4 1d6 +2
Immutable Form: cannot be polymorphed or shapechanged
The PCs have only seem them as decorations thus far, and haven't really met them yet. For a level 3 party I think a handful of them will be a healthy challenge.
Very cool. Although the actual ones no longer have their original weapons, in a magical world, they may still be holding their spears and crossbows. You might want several "flavors" of these nifty clay constructs, some that shoot, some that melee, etc.
The mausoleum of the first emperor of Qin has long been a favorite subject of eastern fantasy. Modeled to emulate the emperor's palace and country, the buried tomb was meant to be a replacement of the king's assets in life, with all the infrastructure necessary for civilization, including rivers and canals. Mercury was used to emulate these rivers, which was constructed with literally arcane mechanisms. The technology and designs employed to create the tomb were lost with the craftsmen and laborers that constructed it when they were buried alive upon the completion of the project - all 700,000 souls.
The First Emperor was a king obsessed with attaining immortality and dedicated enormous amounts of wealth and human resources to this end. According to folklore, he was willing to sacrifice many young men and women in the creation of the potion (or pill) of immortality. The necropolis he created was only one of the many projects aligned with his ultimate goal.
What would your fantasy emperor do to secure eternal power?