Gaknulak is one of the few goblinkin deities with a primarily constructive aspect, being the kobold god of invention, traps, and protective construction. He is reluctantly subservient to Kurtulmak, and is frequently dragged into Steelscales’ ill-fated plots against the Gnomish gods. Enjoy!
Gaknulak (PDF Version)
(Trapmaker, the Protector, the Builder)
Demipower of Gehenna, LE (NE)
Portfolio: Protection, stealth, trickery, traps, invention
Domain Name: Khalas/Aknuthrak
Foes: Garl Glittergold, the gnome pantheon, the dwarven pantheon, the Seelie Court
Symbol: Cauldron with whirling ellipses
Wor. Align.: LN, N, CN, LE, NE, CE
Gaknulak (GACK-nuh-lack) the Trapmaker is the god of traps and trickery, having been granted those portfolios by Kurtulmak. He is also the Protector, the one who protects kobolds and defends their lairs. As the Builder, he teaches kobolds to always build sturdily and strongly, and to innovate in their creation of defenses and traps. In this way he is one of the few goblinoid deities with a focus on creation rather than destruction. He carries with him a magical pot of his own creation from with he can draw many a mundane or minor magical item; these he uses for his creations and sometimes gives to worthy followers. He is in all things a pragmatist, believing that every situation warrants an individual and well-considered response; he scorns those who act based on abstract ideals.
Amongst the kobold pantheon, Gaknulak has the fewest direct enemies, as his focus is turned mostly inward, upon protection and the creation of defenses rather than outward onto conquest and plunder. Such things do not interest him overmuch, although finely made devices have been known to catch his eye, for which he uses his powers of stealth and trickery to learn the workings of or capture outright. His own creations have earned him a modicum of respect amongst some of the other deities of invention and creation, in particular Hephaestus and Nebelun, although they still consider him foe. Amongst his own pantheon, he is firmly under the power of Kurtulmak, who constantly involves him in plots and schemes to gain revenge against Garl Glittergold and the gnomish pantheon, much to the Trapmaker’s exasperation. It is these plots more than any overt action of his own that has earned him the enmity of the gnomes. He dislikes the violence and havoc caused by Dakarnok, but works with him as necessary in the interest of their followers. Unlike Steelscales, Gaknulak holds no animosity towards Kuraulyek, although he has no love for the Winged Kobold either; he simply sees no advantage in feuding with the cowardly patron of the urd, and allows his priests to work with those of Kuraulyek as necessary. Like most of the rest of the kobold pantheon, there are few outside deities that the Trapmaker can call ally, and many that call him enemy. He has had, on occasion, cordial but tense contact with the Faerûnian deity Gond, but these have been rare and in secret. While he is not wantonly cruel, he sees little need for mercy. He has bested a few avatars of the various sylvan and subterranean races through trap, trick, and illusion; the knowledge that those defeated tend to end up as piglets in his cookpot usually leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.
Gaknulak is very active, and sends his avatar to teach kobolds new techniques for defense and trap creation, and instill in them a desire to innovate on their own and discover new ideas. He rarely confronts enemies directly, preferring to use trickery and defenses to defeat his foes, although he intervenes when large numbers of followers are in dire peril.
Gaknulak’s Avatar (Thief 21, Illusionist 16, Mage 16, Fighter 14)
Gaknulak appears as a kobold with dark red skin and a shock of white hair adorning his head. He typically wears workman’s leather armor and a cloak, each bulging with numerous pouches and pockets filled with magical and mundane items related to building and trap creation. He only uses spells from the schools of illusion/phantasm, alteration, and abjuration.
AC 1; MV 18, Fl 36 (MC A), Sw 12; HP 122; THAC0 7; #AT 2
Dmg 1d6+5 (hand axe +3, +2 spec bonus in hand axe)
MR 20%; SZ S (3 feet 6 inches)
Str 11, Dex 20, Con 13, Int 20, Wis 17, Cha 19
Spells W: 6/6/6/6/6/4/3/2*
Saves PPDM 5; RSW 4; PP 6; BW 5; Sp 5
* Numbers assume one extra illusion/phantasm spell per spell level.
Special Att/Def: Gaknulak carries Logcleaver, a hand axe +3 that perfectly splits any nonmagical log, limb, board, or tree with a smooth, clean cut exactly where the Trapmaker desires. While he typically uses this axe when building traps and defenses, in combat against treants, quickwood, or other woody creatures or constructs it is a deadly weapon and deals quadruple damage.
The Trapmaker has a wide variety of magic items at his disposal, most of which he can draw from his magical cauldron of holding. He always has two random useful ioun stones floating about his head. In addition, he carries items related to stealth, escape and detection, favoring a pair of boots of speed (which doubles all movement rates, including flying and swimming) and a ring of chameleon power. His favorite item is a wand of magic detection and polymorphing, using the polymorph power to turn his foes into piglets, which he loves to eat. He can draw any potion he desires from his cauldron, and often gives them to allies during combat. Finally, he wears the Trapmaker’s Cloak. This item combines the functions of wings of flying (granting a base flying movement rate of 18 and maneuverability class of A for an indefinite length of time), a girdle of many pouches (with twice the total number of pouches), and grants a base swimming speed of 6 and allows the wearer to breath underwater.
Gaknulak is immune to all magical and mundane traps, as well as illusion/phantasm spells, and can only be hit by weapons of +1 or better enchantment.
Gaknulak does not communicate directly to his priests often, preferring to act through his avatar or use omens and manifestations to assist or protect his followers. He likes to challenge his priests with subtle omens, forcing them to notice and decipher the message. Traps and defenses that are subtly triggered, tools, material, and everyday items that are misplaced or arranged in subtle patterns, and subtly rearranged weapons and armor are his favorite omens. When his followers are in danger, he may manifest as a sudden urge to take a specific path or tunnel, which will lead to safety; often these paths were unnoticed or did not exist before, and may close after the priest is through. He may also manifest as a magical trap behind a fleeing follower, or before an invading foe, typically taking the form of a wizard or priest spell of 2nd-4th level from the school of Alteration. Less often he may manifest about a favored follower, typically one cornered in a dangerous combat or embarking on a critical mission requiring stealth or speed, as a brief swirl of steam, causing them to benefit from either a haste or improved invisibility spell. Rarely, he may manifest as a brief swirl of steam around a priest’s weapon, causing it to emit a faint coppery glow. The next being struck with this weapon must make a saving throw vs. polymorph or be turned into a piglet; the clergy consider this a great gift from their deity, and will do their utmost to capture and the piglet, and make it the main course in a feast of thanks. Priests who anger the Trapmaker through repeated offenses may suffer a similar fate; their fellow priests are just as quick to serve up the victim of such wrath as they are for an enemy. Finally, he will gift a minor magic item drawn from his pot to a truly worthy priest who has performed exceptionally in his service; these items are a source of reverence amongst the priesthood, and all clergy members of the Trapmaker instantly recognize the item for what it is.
Gaknulak is served by baku dark ones, barbazu and hamatula baatezu, barghest, hell hounds, imps, linqua, lock lurkers, mites, and rogue modrons. The Trapmaker displays his favor through the discovery of chalcopyrite, galena, hematite, magnetite, and pyrite, as well as technological devices and traps that are new and unfamiliar. He displays his disfavor through devices that are useless or fused due to rust or other damage or new devices that are missing crucial parts that cause a follower to be unable to reconstruct or understand the mechanism.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, shamans, witch doctors, thieves
Clergy’s Align.: LN, N, LE, NE
Turn Undead: C: No, SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, T: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Sha: No, WD: No, T: No
All clerics (including multiclassed cleric/thieves), specialty priests, shamans, and witch doctors of Gaknulak receive religion (kobold) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.
Unlike the priesthood of Kurtulmak, those who follow the Trapmaker rarely get involved in political matters of their tribe. They are not as aggressive as many of their brethren, focusing on defense of their lands, as well as scouting and stealth to identify and undermine threats. Few members of the goblin races can match their skill at trapmaking and artifice; even gnomes are sometimes impressed by their skill and inventiveness. However, as reflected in the divine hierarchy, the priesthood is still subservient to the will of Steelscales’ clergy. Gaknulak’s followers do not enjoy a good relationship with those of Dakarnok. They prefer to avoid the Raider’s priests whenever possible, and their animosity quickly comes to blows if not prevented by the priesthood of Kurtulmak, although Gnomecrusher’s priests tend to be the instigators of such violence. The Trapmaker’s followers have no animosity towards the Kuraulyek’s clergy, and they can even be found in tribes worshipping the Winged Kobold, but this is rare, as they fear it would bring Kurtulmak’s ire upon them. In extremely rare cases, priests of Gaknulak have been found living amongst tribes that worship Meriadar, as both deities have an aspect of creation and artifice within their portfolios.
As with most of the subordinate deities in the kobold pantheon, shrines dedicated to the Trapmaker are generally found as part of a larger temple complex. However, independent temples are known, although they are most common amongst mixed-race settlements or as enclaves separate from any specific tribe. In all cases, temples and shrines resemble workshops more than typical goblinoid religious structures. Priests can be found within at all hours, repairing or working on new trap mechanisms, testing out new devices, planning defenses and ambushes, and other similar activities. The closest thing any of these sites have to trophies are captured mechanical devices, but they never last long as they are dismantled and examined for potential applications in the clergy’s own designs. Static decorations are typically in grey and green, and the space is dominated by tables and work benches, as well as cubby holes for small parts and materials. Larger shrines and temples will also invariably have some sort of smithy or metalcasting facility as well.
Novices in the service of Gaknulak are known as Snarers, while full priests are known as Trappers. Specialty priests are known as trapcrafters. Within a sizable population of priests, the most experienced is known as the Master of Defenses, and below are the positions of Defensekeeper, Snaresetter, and Scoutmaster, each in charge of a loose group of followers who follow their orders. The Defensekeeper is in charge of aspects related to the defense of the settlement, such as fortifications, determining locations for defensive traps, and other related duties. The Snaresetter is in charge of creating the traps that fill kobold dens, as well as inventing new ones. The Scoutmaster is in charge of steathly maneuvers against all enemies. They scout out settlements, lead sneak attacks, and infiltrate enemy positions. All three branches work well together for the most part, with rivalry being the exception rather than the norm. Kobolds make up the vast bulk of Gaknulak’s clergy, with only a small number of urds (1%) worshipping him. Females are more common amongst the Protector’s church than any other major kobold deity (22%), although they are still not particularly common. Within the clergy, there is a nearly even split between cleric/thieves (41%) and specialty priests (38%), with much smaller numbers of thieves (12%) and clerics (9%) filling out the rest. Shamans and witch doctors are not part of the clerical hierarchy, although they are considered brothers of the faith. Shamans are found in about twice as many Gaknulak-dominated tribes as witch doctors.
Dogma: The defense and protection of the tribe are of paramount importance. Use stealth and secrecy to gather information on potential enemies. Master the skills of trap making and defense building; they will be invaluable in defending the lair from invaders. Enemies will quickly become wise to old tricks and traps; be innovative and try to invent new ones. Pre-emptive defense is often quite effective; utilize ambushes and trickery to foil enemies before they can themselves attack.
Day-to-Day Activities: Gaknulak’s clergy has a number of duties within their tribe, focusing on active and passive defense. They scout out the areas around the tribe and keep track of the movement of their foes. They also attempt to acquire information and valuables from enemies they encounter through stealth and deceit, using the spoils of those activities to strengthen and prepare for possible attacks from those foes. When within the confines of their tribal land, they set traps to foil their enemies, and assist in the design and construction of defenses such as walls and gates. They constantly tinker with traps and devices in order to improve their effectiveness, and teach other members of their communities how to set traps and snares to catch prey and slay enemies.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The priesthood of the Trapcrafter has no fixed holy days. They celebrate the successful defense of their tribal lands where scouting, spying, traps, or fortifications play a part. The celebration, called the Thankful Ceremony of the Protector, is a solemn affair of appreciation for the part Gaknulak played, with the priests leading the lay followers in lengthy prayers to the deity. The prayers end with a great sacrifice of food, particularly roasted piglets, treasure, and trap devices. In addition, the discovery or invention of a new trap, device, or fortification previously unknown to the tribe’s priests warrants a cheerful feast dedicated to honoring the Trapmaker and the priests or followers who invented or discovered the device. These celebrations are more custom than officially recognized affairs, however, and as such have no name. Quite often, tribal and priestly politics play a part in these affairs, with favored members often getting more and larger feasts than disfavored members, regardless of the import of their individual discoveries or inventions.
Major Centers of Worship: Most major Kurtulmakan temples also contain lesser temples dedicated to the Gaknulak. However, there are a number of independent temples scattered secretly throughout the multiverse. Persistent rumors put a major temple called The Builder’s Cauldron on a moon or asteroid within the same sphere as Steelscales’ Temple of the Gnomeskull Throne. This sprawling complex is stated to be the major shipyard of spacefaring kobolds, where they design and build new ships, often for other goblinoid races. As with most rumors of an organized presence of kobolds in wildspace, these are usually discounted by most spacefarers. Another temple is believed to be within the same sphere as the gnome colony on Ironpiece. As all who have gone searching for it have either returned empty-handed or not returned at all, the elves surmise that the temple is, in fact, just a giant trap. However, the most well-known temple by far is Gaknulak’s Workshop located in Sigil, the City of Doors. While not overly large, the cosmopolitan nature of the city makes it a popular destination for those looking for machinery and trap installation, but are unwilling or unable to deal with the gnomish population. A major temple, called the Trapmaker’s Hallowed Hold, has been confirmed within the Grinder of Greyspace, although the precise location is unknown. Besides just being a place of worship, this secret complex has large hollowed out chambers for ship construction. The primary goal of this temple is to devise new ships and tools that can be used by the goblinoids on Borka.
Affiliated Orders: The only affiliated order within the church of the Trapmaker is based in wildspace known as the Wardens In Darkness, composed of cleric/thieves, specialty priests, and clerics, although a number of warriors and thieves serve on their vessels as crew. This group focuses on scouting and protection of kobold temples and fleets. Their mainstay ships tend to be black-painted Lampreys; those that scout are often rigged for maneuverability while those that are used for defense are usually armor plated. There are also a handful of Mammoth ships in their order, with the cargo area rigged for holding four Arrow vessels. These Mammoths usually double as mobile temples dedicated to Gaknulak. All ships used by this order have traps rigged throughout them as well. Some vessels may also be gutted and designed with more decks to better accommodate the short stature of the kobold race; other races taller than four and a half feet have to crouch or crawl, moving at half speed, and suffer a −2 to attack and damage.
Priestly Vestments: When performing ceremonies or leading services, the priests of Gaknulak wear iron-grey robes and a white cap. These robes are typically decorated with small iron rings and copper wire. The priesthood’s holy symbol is a miniature model of a pot or cauldron made from clay or iron.
Adventuring Garb: When not performing their ceremonial duties, priests of the Trapmaker generally wear clothing typical for their tribe. In addition, they usually wear a cloak with a number of pockets, and from their belts hang a number of pouches and bags of various sizes. These pockets and pouches are always filled with useful tools and items, and are carefully packed so as not to make unusual sounds. If they have encountered gnomes using gnomish workman’s leather, they will often duplicate the idea for their own garments, allowing an Armor Class of 7.
Specialty Priests (Trapcrafters)
Requirements: Intelligence 13, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.: Intelligence, Wisdom
Alignment: LE, NE
Weapons: Blowgun, dagger, dart, hand axe, hand crossbow, knife, light crossbow, sling, spear
Armor: Any up to and including studded leather or workman’s leather
Major Spheres: All, charm, creation, divination, elemental air, elemental earth, guardian, protection, wards
Minor Spheres: Combat, summoning
Magical Items: Same as clerics and thieves
Req. Profs: Set snares, hand axe
Bonus Profs: Engineering
- Trapcrafters must be kobolds or urds, although most trapcrafters are kobolds.
- Trapcrafters are not allowed to multiclass.
- Trapcrafters have some minor thief skills, including Hide in Shadows, Find/Remove Traps, and Open Locks, although each skill starts at 0%. They start with no discretionary points, but gain 1d10+10 points each level that they can distribute as they see fit (but no more than 10 points per skill per level). All skills are modified for race and armor, so kobolds actually start with a 10% Hide in Shadows skill.
- Trapcrafters can set traps that reduce the chance of detection (via the thief skill) by 5% per level. Thus, a 3rd level trapcrafter can set a trap reducing the chance to find by 15%. A thief with a score of 40% in Find Traps would only have a 25% chance of finding such a trap.
- At 2nd level, trapcrafters can cast alarm or mending (as the 1st-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 3rd level, trapcrafters can start casting wizard spells from the school of illusion/phantasm as defined in the Limited Wizard Spellcasting section of “Appendix 1: Goblinoid Priests.”
- At 5th level, trapcrafters can cast snare (as the 3rd-level priest spell) or hallucinatory terrain (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 6th level, trapcrafters can brew potions related to stealth, escape, or detection (such as potions of invisibility, speed, or magic detection) once per month. The brewing process takes a week, during which the priest cannot leave the potion alone for more than 10 hours at a time or it is ruined.
- At 7th level, trapcrafters can cast dig or rainbow pattern (as the 4th-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 10th level, trapcrafters can cast move earth or mislead (as the 5th-level wizard spells) once per day.
- At 14th level, trapcrafters can cast fabricate or permanent illusion (as the 5th-level wizard spells) once per day. The latter spell can only be used in the disguising or furtherance of a trap, however.
Conceal Traps (Pr 2; Divination)
Range: 90 ft.
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 hr./level
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 20-ft. radius
Saving Throw: None
This spell, the reverse of find traps, conceals all mechanical and magical traps within 20 feet of a point selected by the caster within 90 feet. A trap is any device or magical ward that meets three criteria: It can inflict a sudden or unexpected result, those setting the device or spell off would view the result as undesirable or harmful, and the harmful or undesirable result was specifically intended as such by the creator. Thus, traps include alarms, glyphs, and similar spells or devices.
Traps concealed by this spell are completely hidden from find traps and similar spells, although true seeing will reveal them. Thieves attempting searching for traps have their normal skill check reduced by three quarters; this modifier applies after the normal halving for finding magical traps. In addition, the spell confuses and disguises the working of traps, halving a thief’s normal chance to remove them, and doubling the chance to accidentally set them off.
This spell cannot be used to conceal anything that depends on a living component. For example, dangerous plants cannot be concealed, nor can murder holes or arrow slits behind which a creature can attack.
Gaknulak’s Cauldron (Pr 3; Conjuration/Summoning)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 turn/level
Casting Time: 1 rd.
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None
This useful spell permits a priest of Gaknulak to temporarily acquire one to five tools or other useful objects when needed. The object or objects conjured can weigh as much as 15 pounds in totality. The caster can continue exchanging items for new items throughout the duration of the spell. The caster can conjure a mallet in the first round, exchange it for a spade in round five, trade the spade for a pick in round eight, and so on. Only nonliving matter can he conjured. The tools cannot be taken more than 100 yards away from the cauldron. The cauldron is immovable and only the caster can take tools from it. The only tools that can be taken from the cauldron are simple items useful in trap creation or mining. Things that shouldn’t be taken from the cauldron include: thief tools, wax key blanks, ball bearings, magical weapons, and gem cutter blades. Things that might be drawn from the cauldron include: rope, wire, pegs, shovels, picks, large canvas sheets, nets, and sand.
The material component is a miniature ceramic or iron cauldron, which the priest draws the tools from. The cauldron is not consumed in the casting.
Glyph of Warding: Gaknulak’s Trap (Pr 3; Abjuration, Evocation)
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Until discharged
Casting Time: Special
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: Special
A glyph of warding is a powerful inscription magically drawn to prevent unauthorized or hostile creatures from passing, entering, or opening. The glyph of warding: Gaknulak’s trap is favored by priests of the Trapmaker. No other priesthoods are known to use it. The conditions, limitations, and material components for casting a glyph of warding: Gaknulak’s trap are the same as for a normal glyph of warding.
When triggered, Gaknulak’s trap causes magical arrows of force to shoot out from designated points within the protected area. These arrows of force strike as a magic missiles, and are blocked by the same protections that prevent that spell. They strike for 1d6+1 points of damage, and the spell can generate one arrow per two levels of the priest, to a maximum of ten arrows. In addition, the glyph of warding can set off other mechanical traps in the protected area, up to one per three caster levels.