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Götz of the Iron Hand, Götz von Berlichingen

Götz of the Iron Hand, Götz von Berlichingen
  • Alias: Götz of the Iron Hand, Götz von Berlichingen
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Human
  • Occupation: Imperial Knight, Mercenary, Poet
  • Religion: Christian (specific denomination not specified)
  • Allies: Varying alliances with dukes, margraves, and barons during his mercenary career. Notable companions include Georg von Frundsberg and Franz von Sickingen.
  • Enemies: Feuds with the cities of Cologne, Ulm, Augsburg, the Swabian League, and the bishop of Bamberg. Opponents also included the Swabian League, Nuremberg, and the Principality of Mainz.
  • Abode/Base of Operations: Hornberg Castle, Neckarzimmern, Germany
  • Nationality: German (Franconian)
  • Languages: German (Franconian dialect)
  • Alignment: ( Neutral ) Varied depending on the situation. Often fought for causes he believed in, supporting the weak and defending justice.
  • Affiliation(s): Served under various rulers and leaders, including Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria, Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • Significant Others: Kilian von Berlichingen (father), Margarete von Thüngen (mother), Hans Jakob von Berlichingen (son), Three daughters (specific names unknown)

Götz von Berlichingen, known as Götz of the Iron Hand, is a German Imperial Knight, mercenary, and poet. With a fearless spirit and an indomitable will, Götz has carved his name in history through his remarkable exploits on the battlefield. Born into the noble family of Berlichingen, Götz grew up surrounded by tales of chivalry and honor.

From an early age, Götz showed exceptional skill in martial arts and warfare. His journey as a mercenary began when he joined the service of Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. Throughout his extensive career spanning over four decades, Götz fought in numerous military campaigns, including the German Peasants’ War and various feuds against rival cities and noble houses.

Götz is not merely driven by the thirst for power or personal gain. He is a man of principles, guided by a strong sense of justice and loyalty. He stands up for the oppressed and defends the weak, championing their cause in a world filled with corruption and greed. Despite his iron hand, Götz possesses a compassionate heart that beats for the downtrodden and seeks to bring balance to the chaotic realms of medieval society.

Through his autobiography, which recounts his many adventures, Götz leaves a lasting legacy. His iron hand, a symbol of his resilience and determination, becomes a testament to his unwavering spirit in the face of adversity. Götz’s poetic talents also shine through his writings, revealing a man of depth and introspection.

Driven by his desire to restore honor and uphold justice, Götz strives to create a world where righteousness triumphs over tyranny. He seeks to leave a lasting impact on the annals of history, not just as a fearsome warrior, but as a beacon of hope and a defender of the weak.

Götz of the Iron Hand, a name that resonates through the ages, stands as an embodiment of bravery, loyalty, and unwavering determination—a legendary figure whose legacy continues to inspire and captivate the hearts of those who hear his story.

Götz of the Iron Hand

Medium humanoid (human), neutral

Armor Class: 18 (plate armor) Hit Points: 170 (20d8 + 80) Speed: 30 ft.

20 (+5)14 (+2)18 (+4)12 (+1)14 (+2)16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Str +10, Con +9, Cha +8 Skills: Athletics +10, History +6, Intimidation +8 Senses: passive Perception 12 Languages: Common, German Challenge Rating: 11 (7,200 XP)


Multiattack: Götz makes three melee attacks: two with his longsword and one with his punch.

Longsword: Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage.

Punch: Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Crossbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.

Legendary Actions

Götz of the Iron Hand can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Götz regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Call to Battle (Costs 2 Actions): Götz lets out a commanding shout, inspiring his allies within 30 feet. Each affected ally gains advantage on their next attack roll.

Iron Resolve (Costs 2 Actions): Götz focuses his willpower, gaining advantage on his next saving throw against a spell or other magical effect.

Shield Slam (Costs 3 Actions): Götz charges at a target, delivering a powerful punch. If the attack hits, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away and knocked prone.


Parry: When a creature makes a melee attack against Götz and hits, he can use his reaction to add 3 to his AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss.

Lair Actions

Götz of the Iron Hand fights with tactical advantage when defending his castle or a fortified position. While in his lair, he can use the following lair actions on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties):

Summon Retainers: Götz summons 1d4 loyal knights to fight alongside him. These knights have the same statistics as a knight NPC (Monster Manual, p. 347) but are under Götz’s control.

Battle Command: Götz issues a command to his allies within 60 feet, granting them advantage on their next attack roll or saving throw.

Steel Defense: Götz gains resistance to all damage until the start of his next turn.


Götz of the Iron Hand wears a suit of plate armor, adorned with the heraldry of his house. He wields a longsword and carries a crossbow, along with a pouch of bolts.

Notable Magic Item

Götz’s Iron Hand: A mechanical hand crafted from steel, magically enchanted to function as Götz’s own hand. The Iron Hand grants him the following benefits:

  • Immunity to the effects of disarmament.
  • Advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks involving grappling or holding objects.
  • Can deal an additional 1d6 bludgeoning damage with unarmed strikes.

Currently in the World

By Unknown author -, Public Domain,, Gotz Of The Iron Hand
By Unknown author –, Public Domain,

Götz of the Iron Hand, also known as Götz von Berlichingen, is a tall and sturdy man in his early sixties. Despite his age, he maintains a commanding presence with his strong build and weathered features. His graying hair, once vibrant and fiery, now showcases the wisdom and experience gained through a lifetime of battles and adventures.

Currently, Götz finds himself in the grand hall of Hornberg Castle, his fortress nestled amidst lush green hills and overlooking the winding Neckar River. The hall is adorned with tapestries depicting scenes of valor and conquest, reflecting his own remarkable journey. Sunlight filters through the narrow windows, casting soft rays of light upon the worn stone floor.

Götz’s mood is contemplative as he sits at a long wooden table, surrounded by maps, scrolls, and the tools of his trade. His iron hand, a testament to his indomitable spirit and resilience, rests on the table, its intricate craftsmanship catching the glimmer of sunlight. His eyes, a piercing blue, hold a depth of wisdom earned through a lifetime of trials and triumphs.

With a furrowed brow, Götz studies the maps before him, plotting strategies and contemplating the complexities of the world around him. Though retired from the front lines, his mind remains sharp and his spirit unyielding. He knows that even in the twilight of his years, there are battles yet to be fought and injustices to be challenged.

Surrounded by the echoes of his past exploits and the weight of his responsibilities, Götz remains steadfast in his pursuit of justice and honor. He is driven by a desire to protect the weak, uphold the principles he holds dear, and leave a lasting legacy that will inspire generations to come.

Recommended Encounter: Clash with Götz of the Iron Hand

Encounter Background

The player characters have heard rumors of a renowned knight named Götz of the Iron Hand, who has become a local legend for his unmatched skill in battle. As they delve deeper into the region, they learn that Götz’s actions have become increasingly aggressive, endangering innocent lives and disrupting the balance of power. The characters feel compelled to confront him and put an end to his rampage.

Encounter Information

  • Enemy: Götz of the Iron Hand (CR 11)
  • Location: Götz’s Castle, a formidable fortress atop a hill.
  • Objective: Defeat Götz and restore peace to the region.

Encounter Features

  1. Fortified Castle: Götz’s Castle provides strategic advantages to him and his loyal retainers. The stone walls offer cover and can be used for defensive positioning.
  2. Loyal Retainers: Götz has 1d4 loyal knights (Knight NPCs, MM p. 347) fighting alongside him. These knights are skilled combatants and fiercely devoted to their lord.
  3. Tactical Advantage: Götz fights with tactical cunning, utilizing the terrain and castle features to gain the upper hand. He employs hit-and-run tactics, luring characters into unfavorable positions before striking with lethal precision.
  4. Iron Hand’s Might: Götz’s Iron Hand grants him enhanced unarmed strikes, allowing him to deal additional bludgeoning damage. This makes his punches more devastating than a typical unarmed attack.
  5. Legendary Actions and Reactions: Götz has legendary actions that he can use to rally his allies, bolster his defenses, or unleash powerful attacks. His Parry reaction makes him more difficult to hit in combat.


  • Götz starts the encounter with his loyal retainers by his side, using them to create a defensive line between himself and the player characters.
  • He relies on his heavy armor and Iron Hand to absorb blows, making him difficult to defeat in direct combat.
  • Götz takes advantage of his legendary actions to inspire his allies, provide tactical support, and unleash devastating punches.
  • He strategically uses the terrain to his advantage, such as bottlenecking the players in narrow corridors or using the castle’s battlements to rain down arrows on them.
  • If severely wounded or outnumbered, Götz might attempt to retreat deeper into the castle, forcing the players to chase him and face further challenges.


  • Defeating Götz grants a significant amount of experience points and reputation in the region as heroes who brought an end to his rampage.
  • Exploration of Götz’s Castle may yield valuable treasures, including historical artifacts, rare weapons, or a clue leading to the next step of the adventurers’ journey.

Note: Adjust the difficulty of the encounter based on the power level of your player characters, adding or removing loyal retainers or adjusting Götz’s tactics and abilities as needed.

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