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Adamantrue
2011-05-27, 02:43 PM
In my world, Gnomes have established a sort of Steampunk Roman Republic (yes...Gnoman Republic). They use constructs for the majority of their labor (including their military), which frees them up to pursue politics, arcane sciences & arts, and even philosophy.

I wanted to create an alternative Living Construct to use, instead of simply defaulting to Warforged. I like them, but I wanted a different sort of feel. I called them Machina, and they ranged from gnome-sized household servants, to medium-sized heavy laborers and military units, to huge siege-engines that stand as monuments to their achievements.

They all are crafted artfully, appearing to be carved from solid stone detailed with bronze or brass plating, and when not active they assume a decorative role like true statues. They are actually cleverly engineered to have their joints obscured (but visible upon closer inspection), with internal clockwork machinery animating them.

I've been thinking of allowing them as a PC Race, but I need to get them balanced. I'm going to worry about one "model" at a time. I thought I'd try and get some feedback here, starting with the standard military model, the Machina Centurio.

Machina Centurio Racial Statistics:
● Living Construct Subtype (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/glossary&term=Glossary_dnd_livingconstructsubtype&alpha=): A living construct is a subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments.
● The unusual physical constructions of machina makes them vulnerable to certain spell and effects that normally don't affect living creatures. A machina is affected by repel metal and chill metal as if it was wearing metal armor. Likewise, a machina is affected by a repel metal or stone as if he were wearing metal armor. The iron in the body of machina make them vulnerable to rusting grasp. The creatures takes 2d6 points of damage from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14+ caster's ability modifier). A machina takes the same damage from a rust monster's touch (Reflex 17 DC half). Spells such as stone to flesh and stone shape affect objects only, and thus cannot be used on the stone and metal parts of machina.
● Medium: As medium constructs, machina centurio have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
● Machina centurio have a base land speed of 30 feet.
● +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). The artificial nature of a machinaís mind make it more resistant to such attacks.
● +4 racial bonus on saving throws against all necromancy spells and effects. The internal clockwork mechanisms of a machina isnít easily effected by necromantic effects.
● En Machina [Ex]: As a full-round action, machina can physically fuse with enim machina items, masterwork equipment that has been crafted with them in mind. When attached, they gain a +2 racial bonus to attacks (weapons), armor check penalties (armor or shields), or skill checks (tools), and cannot be disarmed of the items.
Disconnecting an attached enim machina item is a move action.
● Automatic Languages: Common, Gnome. Bonus Languages: None.
● Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass machina centurioís fighter class does not count when determining whether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Quality: Enim Machina
Cost: 1,000 gp Weapon, 500 gp Armor or Shield
Only masterwork quality or better weapons may be made enim machina. They retain their enhancement bonuses, but have mechanical elements that allows a machina to fuse with it, making it an extension of themselves.

Enim Machina Artisan's Tools
Cost: 225 gp
These masterwork artisan's tools retain their circumstance bonuses, but have mechanical elements that allows a machina to fuse with it, making it an extension of themselves.

Enim Machina Musical Instrument
Cost: 450 gp
This masterwork musical instrument retains its circumstance bonuses, but have mechanical elements that allows a machina to fuse with it, making it an extension of themselves.

Enim Machina Thieves' Tools
Cost: 450 gp
These masterwork thieves' tools retain their circumstance bonuses, but have mechanical elements that allows a machina to fuse with it, making it an extension of themselves.

I would like to keep them at LA +0, but sadly I've already established almost all of these elements. I suppose their Ability Score adjustments could be modified, and the bonuses they gain from enim machina items (as well as the prices for the items) could be changed, so there is still room for play there. There could be other elements added too, if they are subtle enough.

Any feedback would be helpful.

OmNomNid
2011-05-27, 02:50 PM
I like it, but I'm not very familiar with the rules of the warforged. How are your living constructs different from them?

Adamantrue
2011-05-27, 03:03 PM
Well...off the top of my head...

-No Ability Score modifiers. These can be made quite charismatic, if desired.

-No Composite Plating. More specifically, they can swap out different kinds of armor, or leave it off to allow for arcane spellcasting without arcane spell failure.

-No wooden elements. It a minor point, but it is there. Less minor is the Save bonuses, which is pretty significant in the case of necromancy.

-No Warforged Feats. So many of them were problematic from the door in previous games of mine, and this eliminated that set. Mind you, they could be used as a basis for new Machina Feats down the line.

-En Machina. Its a fairly noticeable racial bonus, and it can apply to so many kinds of equipment.

-More mechanical in flavor, less magical. Mind you, this is just a fluff issue, and really may just be a matter of how I've styled them, but it was desirable in my world.

I dunno if those are important enough differences, but it suited my tastes at the time.

OmNomNid
2011-05-27, 03:10 PM
Well then the race seems fine to me. It's still a little difficult for me to significant differences but if what you pointed out is true then these machina seem grand.

Silverscale
2011-05-27, 03:35 PM
I'm always interested to see new interpretations of Livnig Constructs. I can't wait to see your other incarnations.

Adamantrue
2011-05-27, 05:13 PM
I'm glad people like the idea, but I'm more concerned about balance. Though I do realize that the whole concept is relative.

I'm really concerned about the Machina Centurio at the moment, as there is a story element that kinda needs to be addressed quickly. However, here is the next one I want to eventually make PC-viable.

Machina Servus Racial Statistics:
● Living Construct Subtype: A living construct is a subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments.
● The unusual physical constructions of machina makes them vulnerable to certain spell and effects that normally don't affect living creatures. A machina is affected by repel metal and chill metal as if it was wearing metal armor. Likewise, a machina is affected by a repel metal or stone as if he were wearing metal armor. The iron in the body of machina make them vulnerable to rusting grasp. The creatures takes 2d6 points of damage from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14+ caster's ability modifier). A machina takes the same damage from a rust monster's touch (Reflex 17 DC half). Spells such as stone to flesh and stone shape affect objects only, and thus cannot be used on the stone and metal parts of machina.
● -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence. Machina servos are delicate creations, crafted instead for increased learning potential.
● Small: As a Small construct, a machina servus gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but it uses smaller weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a medium character.
● Machina servos have a base land speed of 20 feet.
● +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). The artificial nature of a machinaís mind make it more resistant to such attacks.
● +4 racial bonus on saving throws against all necromancy spells and effects. The internal clockwork mechanisms of a machina isnít easily effected by necromantic effects.
● Skill Focus: A machina servus gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat.
● En Machina [Ex]: As a full-round action, machina can physically fuse with enim machina items, masterwork equipment that has been crafted with them in mind. When attached, they gain a +2 racial bonus to attacks (weapons), armor check penalties (armor or shields), or skill checks (tools), and cannot be disarmed of the items.
Disconnecting an attached enim machina item is a move action.
● Automatic Languages: Common, Gnome. Bonus Languages: None.
● Favored Class: Rogue. A multiclass machina servusís rogue class does not count when determining whether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

Silverscale
2011-05-27, 06:49 PM
I'm not the best at balance but from what I can see, they're fairly balanced. My only question is why the Machina Servus have Rogue as their favored class. If they're supposed to be craft workers then wouldn't Adept be a better fit?

Adamantrue
2011-05-27, 07:04 PM
The best class for their "intended" use would probably be Expert (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/npcClasses/expert.htm), as they fill roles ranging from blacksmiths to scribes. I picked Rogue cause...well, if you are gonna use one for a PC, you probably wanna go either Wizard or Rogue (as far as the Core Classes are concerned), and I'll never push Wizard on anyone.

Besides, they are more of a work in progress than anything else.

OmNomNid
2011-05-27, 07:35 PM
I'm glad people like the idea, but I'm more concerned about balance. Though I do realize that the whole concept is relative.

I'm really concerned about the Machina Centurio at the moment, as there is a story element that kinda needs to be addressed quickly. However, here is the "rough" for the next one I want to eventually make PC-viable.
Machina Servus Racial Statistics:
● Living Construct Subtype: A living construct is a subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments.
● The unusual physical constructions of machina makes them vulnerable to certain spell and effects that normally don't affect living creatures. A machina is affected by repel metal and chill metal as if it was wearing metal armor. Likewise, a machina is affected by a repel metal or stone as if he were wearing metal armor. The iron in the body of machina make them vulnerable to rusting grasp. The creatures takes 2d6 points of damage from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14+ caster's ability modifier). A machina takes the same damage from a rust monster's touch (Reflex 17 DC half). Spells such as stone to flesh and stone shape affect objects only, and thus cannot be used on the stone and metal parts of machina.
● -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence. Machina servos are delicate creations, crafted instead for increased learning potential.
● Small: As a Small construct, a machina servus gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but it uses smaller weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a medium character.
● Machina servos have a base land speed of 20 feet.
● +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). The artificial nature of a machinaís mind make it more resistant to such attacks.
● +4 racial bonus on saving throws against all necromancy spells and effects. The internal clockwork mechanisms of a machina isnít easily effected by necromantic effects.
● Skill Focus: A machina servus gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat.
● En Machina [Ex]: As a full-round action, machina can physically fuse with enim machina items, masterwork equipment that has been crafted with them in mind. When attached, they gain a +2 racial bonus to attacks (weapons), armor check penalties (armor or shields), or skill checks (tools), and cannot be disarmed of the items.
Disconnecting an attached enim machina item is a move action.
● Automatic Languages: Common, Gnome. Bonus Languages: None.
● Favored Class: Rogue. A multiclass machina servusís rogue class does not count when determining whether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

In the name of balance it seems balanced but I'm probaly not the best person to ask as I play Pathfinder not 3.#. For Pathfinder it looks balanced. I do have to say having rogue as the favored class seems... wrong.

Aurenthal
2011-05-27, 07:53 PM
I have no experience with warforged or contructs at all... But I think that maybe a -2 dex would make more reallistic. I mean because they are made of metal their movements are a little clumsy. Also what about putting something that means that they attract electricity... Hope it helps...:smallsmile:

Adamantrue
2011-05-28, 06:37 AM
Because they are machines, it could be reasonable for them to be faster & more precise, and have a bonus to Dex. Its really just a matter of interpretation, but I wanted the Machina Centurio to have human-comparable ability mods.

As far as the electricity thing...I don't want to over complicate this, as it would eventually make it too involved for a player to enjoy. With that said, a "lightning rod" Feat of sorts could be cool somewhere down the lane.

Since it is getting so much attention, I suppose I should ask what the problem is with Rogue as a favored class for the Machina Servus? It seemed to work well with the general concepts, as they have all the right skills. Craft, Profession, the Diplomacy-related suite for more official functions, and even Perform for units dedicated to being entertainment.

I just don't see what the problem is, and would like to if it does indeed clash when outside my head.

Moose Man
2011-05-28, 07:23 AM
I'm sure most of us have bad memories of a warforged trying to pick a lock.
P1 (warforged fighter): I pick the lock. I rolled a six. Do I make it?
DM: no
P1: I try again and roll a five.
P2 (rogue): Let me try. I get a 567295. Do I get it open?
DM: No, the warforged broke the lock with his crappy rolls.

...

P1 is killed IRL.

Silverscale
2011-05-28, 08:24 AM
Since it is getting so much attention, I suppose I should ask what the problem is with Rogue as a favored class for the Machina Servus? It seemed to work well with the general concepts, as they have all the right skills. Craft, Profession, the Diplomacy-related suite for more official functions, and even Perform for units dedicated to being entertainment.

I just don't see what the problem is, and would like to if it does indeed clash when outside my head.If you see them as a kind of catch-all for Non-fighters and keeping in mind that they might be a PC race, then yes Rogue would be the best core class for them as it is the most flexible.

Moose Man
2011-05-28, 08:41 AM
Factotum is another good one, but not core.

Adamantrue
2011-05-28, 01:13 PM
I don't think I've ever seen a non-Core Base Class as a Favored Class. So, I'd assume Rogue is the way to go for the Machina Servus.

Silverscale
2011-05-29, 11:26 AM
I don't think I've ever seen a non-Core Base Class as a Favored Class. So, I'd assume Rogue is the way to go for the Machina Servus.Works for me.

Now what about those huge ones you were talking about?

Adamantrue
2011-05-29, 12:17 PM
Well...I guess I can pull the Machina Servus out of the Spoiler. Everyone peeked, and had no problem besides the Favored Class (which is straight now, I guess).
Now what about those huge ones you were talking about? Machina Colossus? I don't actually have stats for them yet, having used them mostly as a scare tactic.

They are probably going to be the hardest to balance, as far as making them PC viable. The only thing set in stone is that they are Huge creatures (25 ft tall), which gives them a Space & Reach of 15 ft, a Size modifier of -2 to attacks & AC, +8 to Grapple, and -8 to Hide.

I may have to put them on hold until later on this week, as I have other things I need to work on first.

Adamantrue
2011-05-30, 07:17 PM
It was brought to my attention that since I established the machina spend their off time standing inert, playing the part of statues, I should probably give them some sort of Hide bonus in specific environments, or perhaps something not unlike the Gargoyle (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/gargoyle.htm)'s Freeze ability.

It makes sense, but I'm not sure how far to take it. Again, I want to keep the Machina Centurio and Machina Servus free from a level adjustment.

What do you guys think?

Adamantrue
2011-06-01, 03:57 PM
Machina Colossus Racial Statistics:
● Living Construct Subtype: A living construct is a subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments.
● The unusual physical constructions of machina makes them vulnerable to certain spell and effects that normally don't affect living creatures. A machina is affected by repel metal and chill metal as if it was wearing metal armor. Likewise, a machina is affected by a repel metal or stone as if he were wearing metal armor. The iron in the body of machina make them vulnerable to rusting grasp. The creatures takes 2d6 points of damage from the spell (Reflex half; save DC 14+ caster's ability modifier). A machina takes the same damage from a rust monster's touch (Reflex 17 DC half). Spells such as stone to flesh and stone shape affect objects only, and thus cannot be used on the stone and metal parts of machina.
● +12 Strength, -4 Dexterity, +6 Constitution. Machina colossi are massive & sturdy creations, but are slowed by their bulk.
● Huge: As a Huge construct, a machina colossus has a -2 size penalty to Armor Class, a -2 size penalty on attack rolls, and a -8 size penalty on Hide checks, but it uses larger weapons than humans use, and its lifting and carrying limits are quadruple those of a medium character.
● Space/Reach: 15 ft/15 ft
● Machina colossi have a base land speed of 20 feet.
● +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). The artificial nature of a machinaís mind make it more resistant to such attacks.
● Racial Hit Dice: A machina colossus begins with six levels of construct, which provides 6d10 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +4, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +2, Ref +2, and Will +2.
● Racial Skills: A machina colossus's construct levels give it skill points equal to 9 x (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). It has no class skills.
● Racial Feats: A machina colossus's construct levels give it three feats.
● +7 natural armor bonus.
● Natural Weapons: 2 slam (2d6).
● +4 racial bonus on saving throws against all necromancy spells and effects. The internal clockwork mechanisms of a machina isnít easily effected by necromantic effects.
● En Machina [Ex]: As a full-round action, machina can physically fuse with enim machina items, masterwork equipment that has been crafted with them in mind. When attached, they gain a +2 racial bonus to attacks (weapons), armor check penalties (armor or shields), or skill checks (tools), and cannot be disarmed of the items.
Disconnecting an attached enim machina item is a move action.
● Automatic Languages: Common, Gnome. Bonus Languages: None.
● Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass machina colossusís fighter class does not count when determining whether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
● Level Adjustment: +3?

This has all the attributes I've already established, and seems like everything else is on the low end of what would be required.

That Level Adjustment, though...I don't feel very confident in that number. Its a guesstimate, and I don't expect it to actually be accurate.

I could use some real input on that aspect.

hushblade
2011-10-17, 05:51 PM
I don't think a huge PC race even has precedent. They're used by gnomes, I think large would suffice.
That would probably justify lessening the strength bonus and maybe drop 2 of the racial hitdice and one LA? Just some thoughts.

Andion Isurand
2011-10-17, 06:16 PM
I think the Centurio should take a -2 penalty to one ability score (probably wisdom), since I think it was a point of balance that Warforged got a -2 net total to their stats in exchange for all the immunities they enjoy.

I also think that you should give all machina (and similar living constructs) the following ability:

Climate Tolerant (Ex): Machina suffer little harm from environmental extremes of heat or cold. They do not have to make Fortitude saves in extreme environments between Ė20į and 140į F (severe cold to severe heat). This ability does not provide any protection from fire or cold damage. This ability counts as if a machina had the Cold Endurance and Heat Endurance feats for purposes of fulfilling prerequisites for other feats or prestige classes.

Adamantrue
2011-10-18, 07:08 AM
Wow...this was a blast from the past...

We've since moved well outside the Gnoman realms. One player did give a Machina Centurio a whirl, and I'll be honest...it was overpowered considering what I was going for. Too many ways to pick up Racial Bonuses for any task (including Attack Rolls & ACPs), too many immunities, and no real tradeoffs.

He graciously died a glorious death, in the name of keeping the game kosher.

I don't think a -2 to any one ability score is enough to balance this out. Perhaps in conjunction with a Level Adjustment of +1 or something. Something similar may be needed with the Machina Servus.

hushblade, the Machina Colossus has already been established as Huge before I wanted to make it a playable race. Oddly, I think it may be more balanced than the Centurio due to the Construct Levels (3/4 BAB, Poor Saves, Poor Skills), but one never saw combat.

Andion Isurand: I like the Climate Tolerant idea. I'll probably edit it in.