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HarmlessPenguin
2008-03-05, 04:25 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of playing an Incarnate Construct character as per the template from Savage Species but could someone kindly explain to me how exactly it works? According to the description it has a -2 LA, what is the base ECL for a golem, the HD? Also, for an Incarnated Golem, do you apply stat mods to a point buy system or do you literally use the Golem's base stats and raise Cha to 3 and roll for Con and Int? Finally, do you essentially HAVE to have a class to be anything close to effective, considering you apparently do not start with any skills or feats and you are now completely unarmed?

The_Snark
2008-03-05, 04:47 AM
Hi, I'm thinking of playing an Incarnate Construct character as per the template from Savage Species but could someone kindly explain to me how exactly it works? According to the description it has a -2 LA, what is the base ECL for a golem, the HD?

Golems don't have a base LA, except for the flesh golem, which is given an LA of +6; purely for purposes of the Incarnate Construct template, you might be able to assign LAs to golems, but without that they aren't playable even with Incarnate Construct. When assigning those LAs, it's probably best to compare them to giants, who have similarly high HD and Strength scores without a lot of other abilities. (They'll probably end up with lower LAs than a giant, simply because unlike giants, incarnate golems won't have any feats or high Con scores).


Also, for an Incarnated Golem, do you apply stat mods to a point buy system or do you literally use the Golem's base stats and raise Cha to 3 and roll for Con and Int?

Up to the DM. You would use point buy/rolling, whatever a standard characer would use for Str, Dex, and Wis (applying the golem's ability modifiers as usual), and probably also for Con and Int; it would seem reasonable to say that the golem's Cha mod is -8 and use the game's standard rolling method for that too, so as not to mess up game balance, but a DM might also rule that you simply have a 3 Charisma. The template is


Finally, do you essentially HAVE to have a class to be anything close to effective, considering you apparently do not start with any skills or feats and you are now completely unarmed?

Pretty much, yes.

It's sort of a poorly designed template, and doesn't make for terribly effective characters; most constructs have a fair humber of racial HD, and don't really have good enough physical abilities to make up for the complete absence of class features or even skills and feats. And on a less optimization-related standpoint, it's rather vague on certain points, particularly on what you should do with stats and whether or not it completely mucks up a point-buy system. But if you like the idea and your DM is amenable to making those rulings to make a workable character, go for it.

HarmlessPenguin
2008-03-05, 04:55 AM
Ahh, k thanks for your answers =). Yeah, I figured a character like this would more or less suck optimization wise, but I thought it'd be an interesting character concept...unfortunately the undoubtedly insanely high LA and HD ECL will render the character concept infeasible for any game I'm gonna be applying for, especially since I would prefer for the character to be of Large size. Oh well, it was a thought, but apparently one that is unlikely to work out in the system without heavy home brewing/DM calls

The_Snark
2008-03-05, 05:17 AM
Suggested LAs (after applying Incarnate Construct)...

-Clay Golem: 11 HD, LA +3. You end up with a base attack bonus of +8, a Strength adjustment of +14, +9 natural armor, and Large size. Contrast with the hill giant, who has nearly identical statsóbut has much better constitution, rock throwing, and actual feats to compensate for the LA and HD being 1 higher, each. If your DM is worried about that, you can up the LA by 1 without being too much worse off.

-Stone Golem: 14 HD, LA +3. Base attack +11, +18 Str, +9 natural armor, Large size. Comparable to the frost giant; the frost giant has slightly higher LA, but again, it ends up with considerably lower Con, lacks the frost giant's energy subtype, and will end up with five or six fewer feats.

-Iron Golem: 18 HD, so it's probably not playable before epic levels; given that, I wouldn't assign it an LA of more than +3, because by that level having no feats means you're missing out on a lot.

Flesh Golem: Technically, this should have an LA of +4 after the template is applied, according to Savage Species, but it really doesn't deserve more than a +3 or maybe even +2; it has a rather poor Strength score for a golem.

In an optimized game, you might consider having all of these LAs lowered by 1, since even the giant races are generally not all that spectacular as player characters. Fighter levels are probably advisable, since the character has some catching up to do on feats.

If you're not playing at those levels, a maug (Fiend Folio) is playable considerably sooner, since it only has 2 HD and an LA of +3. In fact, it's quite good as an incarnate construct, with positive adjustments to Strength, Dex, Int, and Cha; perfectly playable as a standard construct as well, since they're intelligent.

HarmlessPenguin
2008-03-05, 05:43 AM
Wow, thanks a lot for the suggested LA's, templates, and info =). I especially like the Maugs from FF though I do wish that they were default mindless, but it works out really well for my character concept regardless =).

Iku Rex
2008-03-05, 06:29 AM
According to the description it has a -2 LA, what is the base ECL for a golem, the HD?Savage Species page 21. The listed LAs are +6 (Flesh), +8 (Clay) and +6 (Stone).

I'm not sure if that includes the -2 from the template, but I don't think it does.

Also, for an Incarnated Golem, do you apply stat mods to a point buy system or do you literally use the Golem's base stats and raise Cha to 3 and roll for Con and Int? Monster PCs usually add or subtract their racial ability modifiers to/from their "base" ability scores. Determine those the same way as for any other PC.

Golems are trickier if you assume every golem has the same ability scores due to the magic that created them. I'd allow a PC to base his character on an exceptional (PC stats) golem - it's not like it's an overpowered template (other than for maugs).

For a flesh golem incarnate you'd have +10 Str, -2 Dex, +0 Con, +0 Int, +0 Wis, -8 Cha. (Assuming more control over Con and Int, rather than the default 4d6. DM call)


Finally, do you essentially HAVE to have a class to be anything close to effective, considering you apparently do not start with any skills or feats and you are now completely unarmed?Not at all. You won't get skill points or feats but you'll still have the normal wealth per level based on ECL. That's 110 000 gp for a incarnate flesh golem with no class levels (9HD+6 LA-2LA = ECL 13). See DMG page 135.

Nebo_
2008-03-05, 06:41 AM
Warforged with a +2 template balances out to +0, but it's oh, so cheesy.

HarmlessPenguin
2008-03-05, 06:55 AM
ahh, thanks for pointing those LA's out to me Iku Rex =) though I would like to point out that while an Incarnate Golem without any class levels might have the wealth and BaB for some nice equipment, he still lacks any proficiency with weapons and does not have a slam attack anymore =P.

Iku Rex
2008-03-05, 07:08 AM
ahh, thanks for pointing those LA's out to me Iku Rex =) though I would like to point out that while an Incarnate Golem without any class levels might have the wealth and BaB for some nice equipment, he still lacks any proficiency with weapons and does not have a slam attack anymore =P.A Large incarnate construct will arguably be "proficient with all simple and martial weapons" by virtue of its giant type (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#giantType).

Even if it's not there's always bracers of archery, or a skillful (CArc, +2) weapon.