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Does anyone remember a giant metal type monster from one of the older versions of D&D? I have a vague memory of some sort of monster that the gods of death might send in to balance out the universe if someone (or someones) had cheated death enough times that they were unbalancing the universe.

I was trying to track it down recently and can't find it, so I'm wondering if this is a real thing or someone's homebrew I'm misremembering.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. Feel free to choose a unqiue name for yourself. This is a nice first question, if you can edit in any other details you remember that might help with identification. By 'older versions' do you mean AD&D and older or also include 3.X and 4e? Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jun 1 at 2:06
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You are most likely thinking of the Marut, a powerful construct/outsider (depends on the edition) that hunts those who cheat death, and has been in every edition since AD&D.

What they are like for each edition:

1e AD&D - In 1e, They are the most powerful variety of inevitables, and although only a little information is given, it is mentioned how 'severity' plays a large role in their decision to pursue a target (sacrificing a city for immortality will likely draw their attention, while casting Ressurection once will not). They have a minimum of 15 HD, and advance up to 45. Although created with a divine mandate, these Maruts are constructs.

2e - 2e Maruts are very different from their original representation; they are celestial emmisaries who serve no particular purpouse, although their powerful single-target damage leads them to be sent to hunt individuals. They don't even have their signiature lightning and thunder fists in this edition! They do still have 15 hit dice, though.

3.5e - 3.5 Maruts are carbon copies of their 1e counterparts.

4e - Maruts are more similar here to their version from 2e, semi-celestial creatures that may be on any of a variety of tasks, but in the end serve the order of the universe as a whole.

5e - 5e statblocks are less readily available (it is the current edition), but this version seems more similar to the 2nd and 4th edition versions than the 1st and 3rd, being an enforcer of contracts rather than of death.

Pathfinder - Pathfinder seems to take off of the 3.5 interpretation, which isn't surprising. This holds true for Pathfinder 2e as well.

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The Marut that Sanford provided is most likely what you are thinking of.

The 3.5 version is, as you described, an enforcer against those that disrupt the natural order, specifically something called an Inevitable. Following the same link are other inevitable which target creatures that break contracts and elude justice.

The 5e version is sort of a combination of the 3.5 inevitables as it relates to purpose, however, it is much less forgiving than it's predecessors. The 3.5 inevitables sometimes gave consideration to intent. Not so for 5e's Marut. It cares only for what was written down and doesn't give a whit if the signing parties understood the terms. To that end, it will enforce the terms of the contract as written, but won't kill unless obligated to (either due to being attacked or the contract requires the death of the party that failed to uphold their obligation).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah - so in 5e the Marut went corporate? A pity <*sigh*>. Still, anything for options and a golden parachute..! :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Jun 1 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Read "corporate" as "corporeal", and enjoyed a brief minute of confusion \$\endgroup\$ – Cireo Jun 1 at 19:26

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