[RPG] the weight of an iron defender in Eberron


What would be the approx weight of a basic Iron Defender construct in Eberron? Our party stumbled upon a few of these, and managed to deactivate them without damaging. I am thinking of taking one home for research purposes, but not sure how hard it would be to carry it. Eberron Campaign Setting says creating it costs 75gp worth of materials. Any idea how much the doggy would weigh?

Best Answer

An iron defender is likely to weigh around 150 to 220 pounds.

We know its size class, approximate shape, height, and material.

According to the Monster Manual, p. 29, a Small creature weighs at most 60 lbs, and probably more than the maximum for Tiny creatures, which is 8lbs—however, those figures are for animals, and iron according to one online source is approximately eight times heavier.

A Small creature made of iron would therefore be no less than 64 lbs and no more than 480 lbs.

We can narrow this down further: according to the table, a Small creature has a size of 2 to 4 feet, which for a quadruped refers to its length from nose to base of tail. We also know that its vertical height is defined in the Eberron Campaign Setting as 2 feet, and since it is described as doglike, we know that it is longer than it is tall, and probably similarly proportioned to a dog of its height.

According to Wikipedia, a Golden Retriever is exactly the right height at 22-24 inches, weighing 55 to 75 lbs. This is the upper bound of Small size weight, suggesting that an iron defender is closer to the 480 lbs limit.

However, it is described made from plates and bars, not necessarily solid as a meat dog would be, and therefore not quite as dense as a solid iron dog. An online source suggests that a skeleton is 30-40% of a human's weight is bones, giving the iron defender's iron bar "bones" a weight of 144 lbs to 192 lbs, and on top of that to calculate its iron plates we might add the price of full plate dog barding, or half a medium sized riding dog barding, at 25 lbs.

Therefore, an iron defender likely weighs, at most, around 169 to 217 pounds. It may weigh more or less than this by a reasonable percentage, but this is a good benchmark. KRyan's answer of 225 lbs is entirely within the range of possible values.

We also know one other thing: the iron defender costs 75 gp in materials to make. That's enough to buy 750 pounds of iron (according to PHB p.112). However, based on the other measurements, it is likely that much of the material cost is for things other than iron.