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ffone
2011-04-04, 03:59 PM
Most constructs have a market price (usually 1x cost of the body + 2x the crafting cost, like a magic item).

For a party without the Craft Construct feat, is there a way to make them 'treasure' and-or obey PCs who are not their creators (and who may not have the creator around to command them to obey the PC, if that's even possible)? Shield Guardians seem 'designed' for this (each obeys the wearer of a certain amulet it is keyed to) but otherwise I'm no sure.

If so, what are good candidates for construct companions? (For any price range / good value for their price)

This is primarily a non-PC-or-Leadership-cohort question: constructs which can be obtained or used purely by gold. But hearing about useful construct cohorts is always interesting too.

NNescio
2011-04-04, 04:27 PM
Most constructs have a market price (usually 1x cost of the body + 2x the crafting cost, like a magic item).

For a party without the Craft Construct feat, is there a way to make them 'treasure' and-or obey PCs who are not their creators (and who may not have the creator around to command them to obey the PC, if that's even possible)? Shield Guardians seem 'designed' for this (each obeys the wearer of a certain amulet it is keyed to) but otherwise I'm no sure.

If so, what are good candidates for construct companions? (For any price range / good value for their price)

Warforged cohort.

Clockwork Mender. (http://kolidascope.wikia.com/wiki/Clockwork_Mender) A useful scout, especially in places filled with poisonous gas.

ffone
2011-04-04, 09:30 PM
Warforged cohort.

Are Warforged buyable?

I should make the OP more clear - I'm looking for a non-Leadership method. Something you can throw at a general party, like 'Creatures as treasure'.



Clockwork Mender. (http://kolidascope.wikia.com/wiki/Clockwork_Mender) A useful scout, especially in places filled with poisonous gas.

Interesting. Are those homebrew or a copy of an official entry? I can never tell with wikia.com and dndwiki.com.

NNescio
2011-04-04, 09:57 PM
Are Warforged buyable?

I should make the OP more clear - I'm looking for a non-Leadership method. Something you can throw at a general party, like 'Creatures as treasure'.

Interesting. Are those homebrew or a copy of an official entry? I can never tell with wikia.com and dndwiki.com.

Clockwork menders are from MM IV.

Warforged were buyable before the Emancipation Proclamation Treaty of Thronehold, and "The Forge of War" lists an initial cost of 5-6 thousand GP per warforged.

That said, treating a warforged as property may be awkward to some people, due to similarities with slavery.

Edit: Typo.

TroubleBrewing
2011-04-04, 10:50 PM
Players being what they are, however... I can only speak for my players here, but after years of watching them enslave, maim, kill, and generally mistreat every racially different group of NPC's (I had a player with a Dwarf Rogue in a game who hated goblins with a fiery passion. After he died horribly to a pyrohydra [One bad saving throw. That's all it really takes.], he rolled up a goblin rogue, who hated dwarves with a fiery passion.), I'm guessing they won't take umbrage with it.

ffone
2011-04-05, 12:36 AM
Players being what they are, however... I can only speak for my players here, but after years of watching them enslave, maim, kill, and generally mistreat every racially different group of NPC's (I had a player with a Dwarf Rogue in a game who hated goblins with a fiery passion. After he died horribly to a pyrohydra [One bad saving throw. That's all it really takes.], he rolled up a goblin rogue, who hated dwarves with a fiery passion.), I'm guessing they won't take umbrage with it.

Yeah. My experience is that 99% of players have the following mindset:

- If they do it, it's great roleplaying (if they don't have a real reason to be doing it) and/or shows what they'll do for the Quest (if they do).

- if Lawful or religious NPCs do anything like that (especially any NPCs who resemble medieval European knights, church, etc.) then they are horrible fascists who must die.

- If other types of NPCs do it, it's vaguely amusing. And a reason to kill them for GP and XP.

"DnD players: explaining why Neutral Evil behavior is Chaotic Good since 1979."

Darrin
2011-04-05, 10:14 AM
I'd recommend taking a look at the Homunculi in Eberron Campaign Setting (p. 284) and Magic of Eberron (p. 151). They are created by Artificers and telepathically bonded to their creators, but I'm not sure the rules say what happens if their creator dies. You could house-rule that they try to bond with another character with a similar alignment/class/personality. They can't be sold, but the construction costs are given, so you can just double that if you need a market price.

Dedicated Wright. Tiny construct. Stays home and crafts, refuses to fight. So might be slightly useful, but otherwise exceedingly boring.

Expeditious Messenger. Diminuative construct. Fly speed 100' (perfect), and it can speak, so it can activate command-word items (Talisman of the Disk + fly 100' could be interesting). Str 1, so it can carry up to 3 lbs without getting encumbered. Give it some additional HD and you can put some skill ranks in UMD, or give it a feat to activate spell-trigger items (Arcane Schooling or Planar Touchstone -> Catalogues of Enlightenment -> Magic domain).

Furtive Filcher. Tiny construct. Hides/sneaks, steals things. I'd give it the personality of a Kender: almost homicidally curious/inquisitive, an extremely flexible definition of the concept of ownership/personal property, and prone to impulsiveness, particularly when bored. Tends to "acquire" items from the other PCs that it thinks its master might need, if they are being left unguarded in what it considers "out in the open", or if it just sees something shiny. To keep the PCs from murdering it outright, it also occasionally produces an item from out of nowhere that just happens to be amazingly useful at that particular moment: "Where the *bleep* did you get a potion of gaseous form?!?!", "Who did you steal this Necklace of Fireballs from?", etc. If seriously threatened, the PCs discover it has "acquired" a Rod of Wonder, which it only uses to defend itself, but it has the uncanny ability to select which "random" effect would most likely save its bacon.

Iron Defender. Small construct. Dog made out of metal. Make a Will save DC 30 to resist naming it "Dynomutt". I'd probably add some Maug grafts (Fiend Folio p. 213) such as Stone Spitter (+2000 GP) and Rollers (+10000 GP).

Arbalester. Tiny construct. Includes a built-in quiver and crossbow that can be enchanted. Unlike most homunculi, I'd give this one a loud, booming voice and intermittent deafness/tinitis ("Speak up, gov'nor! Ears still ringing from all those bombards."). Artillicus ("Artie" for short) frequently likes to volunteer tactical advice that all boil down to some variation on "Shoot it with a crossbow." Heartily insists the owner should invest in a wide variety of specialized ammunition (serpentstongue/dragonsbreath bolts, tumbling bolts, fowling blunts, bolt of freedom, bolt of voices, etc.), and complains loudly when a particular bolt could solve the current problem: "If only you'd listened to me and bought a few dozen Bolts of Acidborn-Shark-Repellant!" Will even make up bizarre specialized ammunition and insist they exist, but if pressed may actually even *know* where such ammunition can be obtained.

Packmate. Small construct. Inspired by the "The Luggage" from Discworld. Carries items for its owner, who can retrieve an item from the packmate as a swift action. It can also be directed to administer a potion to an incapacitated ally, or throw any alchemical/flask-like item as a splash weapon. I'd recommend increasing the HD and adding some ranged attack feats such as PB Shot, Rapid Shot, Grenadier, Precise Shot, etc., then load it up with something like Acidic Fire, Aboleth Mucus, Eggshell Grenades, etc.

Persistent Harrier. Small construct. Designed to tumble around opponents and provide flanking, but also has 1d6 sneak attack. Add some additional HD and give it Skill Focus: Tumble, Combat Reflexes, Adaptable Flanker, and Vexing Flanker feats. Martial Study/Stance to pick up Assassin's Stance, Craven, Staggering Strike, or Undo Resistance would also be very nice.

Some other constructs that might work as treasure/sidekicks:

Gold Stamp of the Messenger (2750 GP, Waterdeep: City of Splendors p. 151). Fine-sized animated construct with a 40' fly speed, can carry small objects (up to 0.5 lbs) or messages. Great for letting people know that "I studied explosive runes today."

Clockwork Steed (MMIV p. 32). 2150 GP for a 6HD mount is a pretty sweet deal, and the upgrades are all pretty cheap.

Maug (Fiend Folio p. 121). Kinda expensive for a 2HD construct (probably at least 20000 GP, based on the cost to construct), but add Rollers (mentioned previously) and you can ride it around like a tank.

Paper of Forms (10000 GP, Oriental Adventures p. 141). Create any animal, large-sized or smaller. No HD cap, so you can go all the way up to Legendary Tiger (26 HD). If you don't allow legendary animals, the cave dinosaurs (Miniatures Handbook) are quite nice, and there's the megaraptor in core (large size, check the MM 3.5 errata). Vulnerable to fire, but that can be fixed by casting mantle of the fiery spirit (16200 GP, Sandstorm p. 118). You can even train it to add the Warbeast template.

Flying Riverine Spiked Gauntlet +1 (10305 GP, custom magic weapon). By adding the Flying property (Magic of Faerun p. 140), this spiked gauntlet becomes a tiny-sized animated object with a 30' fly speed that can be directed or given instructions as if it were an animated skeleton (i.e., like an unseen servant that can also attack/guard things). Make it out of Riverine (1 lb = +2000 GP, Stormwrack p. 128) and it's immune to all damage and almost all spells (make it a Spellblade for +6000 GP to make it immune to disintegrate). Add the Sizing property (+5000 GP, MIC p. 43), and you can increase it to a colossal-sized spiked gauntlet with 8 HD (huge construct). As a tiny animated object, it can carry up to 26 lbs as a light load. It's shaped like a hand, so it can manipulate objects (essentially a permanent mage hand with unlimited range), attack by itself or with a weapon, retrieve objects, reload a crossbow, etc.

Brass Steed (19000 GP, Heroes of Battle p. 153). There's a lot to love here... 8HD, good AC, immunity to magic, and laser-beam heat-ray eyes. There are also some quirks, such as acid damage slows it, and fog spells entangle it (WTF?). The entangling thing is easy enough to get rid of via fire damage, which like an iron golem also heals it. Even better, excess heat damage can be converted into temporary HP, and there doesn't seem to be any cap or duration on those, which means you might as well just park this thing in your campfire every night for nigh-infinite HP. I also don't see anything that would prevent this thing from using its laser-beam heat-ray eyes on itself. And all of this potential abuse for about the same price as a Figurine of Wondrous Power.

Dragonfly Medallion (29760 GP, Arms & Equipment Guide p. 131). Grants the owner the Improved Initiative feat. Also transforms into a large but rather fragile construct (16 HP) that you'd never want to risk in combat, but there is no duration for the dragonfly-form and thus offers unlimited 60' flight for as long as you like.

ffone
2011-04-05, 03:48 PM
Fantastic list and ideas Darrin, thanks!! The party rogue would looove a Persistent Harrier for a flanking buddy, esp. if it has Adaptive Flanker. The brass steed sounds hysterical (heat-laser eyes are too funny to pass up, even if the PCs just sell them off at the first chance), and magic immunity will add a lot of staying power for a construct buddy (I imagine monsters would tend to target PCs first, most Sp area damage effects are SR Yes, and the most common Su energy element is probably fire.)

And the possibilities for the others as scouts, spies, messengers...heehehe. Trying to use them to trigger magic items is a great idea.

Is there a template for giving a construct a fly speed? This is a high level flight-using party and the main reason they'd have not to use a construct as if it slowed them down. Also a golem with 'thruster' feet, or jet wings...heehee. Almost Transformers territory.

NNescio
2011-04-05, 04:00 PM
I'd recommend taking a look at the Homunculi in Eberron Campaign Setting (p. 284) and Magic of Eberron (p. 151). They are created by Artificers and telepathically bonded to their creators, but I'm not sure the rules say what happens if their creator dies. You could house-rule that they try to bond with another character with a similar alignment/class/personality. They can't be sold, but the construction costs are given, so you can just double that if you need a market price. ...

Rules explicitly mentions that homunculi dies if their master dies.


If the creature’s master is slain, the homunculus also dies, and its body swiftly melts away into a pool of ichor.

Of course, feel free to ignore this, as Eberron Homunculi are otherwise quite nifty.



...Is there a template for giving a construct a fly speed? This is a high level flight-using party and the main reason they'd have not to use a construct as if it slowed them down. Also a golem with 'thruster' feet, or jet wings...heehee. Almost Transformers territory.
Artificers with the Improved Homunculus feat (or anyone with Craft Construct, really) can make flying homunculi (Gains fly 20 ft. [good]), with further improvements for additional HD.

Darrin
2011-04-05, 06:57 PM
Rules explicitly mentions that homunculi dies if their master dies.

Of course, feel free to ignore this, as Eberron Homunculi are otherwise quite nifty.


Ah, sorry. Missed that. Still... as my last group of PCs would point out, "Flesh to stone fixes everything." Charm/dominate the owner, have him direct his homunculus to follow your orders as if you were its master, and then petrify him. As per the flesh to stone description, the creature is no longer considered alive or dead. You'd have one very confused but still living homunculus mewing plaintively at a statue. If the statue disappears, and it's suggested to the homunculus that this PC might know how to find/release its master...




Is there a template for giving a construct a fly speed? This is a high level flight-using party and the main reason they'd have not to use a construct as if it slowed them down. Also a golem with 'thruster' feet, or jet wings...heehee. Almost Transformers territory.

Half-Dragon (LA +3) or Half-Fey (LA +2) can be added to any living corporeal creature. So if you add the Soulfused Construct (LA +1) or Incarnate Construct template (LA -2... yeah, it's... kinda wonky template) to a construct, it can become a living creature and thus eligible for Half-Dragon or Half-Fey... assuming you don't look too closely at the whole inherited/acquired issue.

As far as flying constructs go... Warforged Raptors (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20070618a&page=5) make a pretty sweet ride.

Forged Fury
2011-04-05, 09:08 PM
Plus, there's a very good chance they broke that rule in the very first Eberron adventure at the back of the ECS (The Forgotten Forge)
Featuring two Iron Defenders whose master is almost certainly dead, considering how long the forgehold had supposedly been sealed off.

ffone
2011-04-06, 01:37 AM
Half-Dragon (LA +3) or Half-Fey (LA +2) can be added to any living corporeal creature. So if you add the Soulfused Construct (LA +1) or Incarnate Construct template (LA -2... yeah, it's... kinda wonky template) to a construct, it can become a living creature and thus eligible for Half-Dragon or Half-Fey... assuming you don't look too closely at the whole inherited/acquired issue.

lol, and the -2 and +2 LAs could cancel out.

a construct/fey...heh.




As far as flying constructs go... Warforged Raptors (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20070618a&page=5) make a pretty sweet ride.

Ohh, that's neat. Very mobile and Large to make a nice mount or flanking buddy (big size and reach both help with that), a ranged option, a pounce-like ability, and a nice level of intelligence (5, like a Griffon - so it gets feats and can understand more complex commands, but dumb enough to treat it like a sidekick). DR 10 and all energy resistances 10 so it will hopefully stay alive (construct immunities protect from many status effects). No crafting market price - darn Eberron Warforged with their "Johny 5 is alive! political correctness"

Fizban
2011-04-06, 05:14 AM
You've got it pretty much right already. Anything that has a price can be bought, and by it's nature is meant to be available to the PCs in some way (otherwise it wouldn't have a price). PCs get treasure all the time without crafting it, and there's no reason you can't just give them any construct you want through whatever means you deem appropriate. Most constructs would require an order from their creator to change hands (unless you have the Rod of Construct Control from the AaEG, which is quite expensive), so most constructs would have to be gifts-coercion doesn't work because the original creator can always override whatever orders it has if he's within range, even if he supposedly ordered it to stop obeying him.

Depending on weather it works for the party or belongs to a single person, you'll want to count the price against the WBL of the party or single owner appropriately. This means that they will have a lot less gear-in order to pay for having another fighting body that doesn't take a share of xp. If you think of it as paying for extra actions in combat, the Belt of Battle says that's at least 12,000gp per round of fighting per day, so they're probably getting their money's worth.

As for good construct minions/companions: I like the Slaughterstone Evicerator (MMIII) as a good general base. It's cheap enough that you can afford to create it at a level where it's still powerful, and it's not immune to magic (just SR, which can be lowered on command), so you can buff it to the gills and watch it... slaughter things. Stone Golems and their variants are extremely easy to heal with Transmute Mud to Rock. Coral Golems (Stormwrack) are amazing with 4 attacks, a ranged attack option, stunning on every attack, and fast healing to go with their lich-like damage reduction. The dragon golems in Draconomicon are incredibly expensive, but also crazy powerful. If the whole party splits the cost of a Drakestone or Ironwyrm Golem it's doable, and basically gives the fighter a permanent vacation.

Finally, no one seems to have mentioned Effigy Creatures. The easiest construct of all, simply apply template and calculate cost. No spell requirements, just caster level and Craft Construct. No special immunities or features, just the constructified body of the templated creature. I went through the books and found that the most obvious candidates were basically also the best: Red and Gold dragons are the best in basically every way compared to other options at large size, once you can afford the hit dice. Meanwhile effigy Hippogriffs, though fragile, are fast and affordable aerial transit.

ffone
2011-04-07, 02:24 AM
Wow, thanks Fizban. The rod of construct control is crazy powerful - if I'm reading it right, unintelligent constructs get NO SAVE - you just control them automatically. Solves all mindless construct encounters forever, and you can pay for the rod many times over if you sell them off! Not that the DM will let all that go down... If I as a DM inserted it I'd probably allow a save for any construct (maybe with a DC 4 higher if it's mindless)...of course, constructs tend to have terrible saves anyway (3 poor saves, no Con mod, and typically Dex 9 Wis 11 or so) and rely on construct immunities and SR / Magic Immunity.

Effigies seem like a good deal pricewise. (2K per HD plus a value based on size, like 2, 5, 10 for Med/Large/Huge). The true dragons are a great suggestion....6 natural attacks, great flight speed, AND you can even keep feats 'that improve its attacks' (Multiattack - awesome for dragons - is an example). Since true dragons make you choose all the feats....

True dragon effigies seem hard to beat for mobile (and fun-looking) mounts, with that flight speed 150' (and burrow or swim speeds for some). Hmm, need a way to get full-attack-charges on them. Doable at 21 HD via Dire Charge if that's ruled as a keepable feat. Or...maybe you can keep class features (it's amazing how many threats at GitP end up mentioning pouncebarian) if they meet the other requirements. Or maybe when it says 'drop class level HD to a minimum of 1' that means you lose them all if you have any racial HD.

Pounce as a racial feature is definitely keepable, in fact it's in the example (a dire lion).

It occurs to me that if templated base creatures are allowed for Effigies, that'd give it more stuff for free, since templaes don't increase HD (and most don't increase size). But even if that's RAW it seems too cheesy ("quick, add almost every template ever").

Thanks for reminding about the slaughterstone eviscerator; always thought they looked cool and wanted to use one. They seem suitable as mounts (have 'long' orientation) and their move 15' and still full attack ability is nice. Also their 'tunnel fighting' ability really helps with Medium PCs not feeling like they ought to leave it behind in cramped quarters.

Holy cow, the Ironwyrn golem! Very neat. In addition to its power, I like that it's only Large, for better use as a mount and for fitting into indoor places; its power level - 40 HD and Str 41 - is at a level typically associated with Huge or Gargantuan creatures. Too bad it can't fly. I suppose Wings of Flying would 'only' add another 54K to its 225K list price.