Because if they are not powered by soul magic then what are they powered by? If not from positive/negative energy then why do they work in AMF let along CAST through it?The robots are constructs (i think ill double check) why should they make living constructs at all where is that coming from. they just have bizarre construction rules. are those rules balanced? I would have to do some math and research but that's why he put them on the boards in the first place.
If not alchemical and not magic then how does it work? Where does the energy come from?really why does a fire bomb (fire ball) need to be magic? an anti magic field does not even stop orb spells on the logic you are summoning fire from somewhere (i think) else so in my opinion that means it only stops magic effects a steam punk lightning gun should work just fine.
I would be willing to say it could be alchemical and therefor goes past AMF, but if it does not require expendable materials to do that then it's either got a Su or a spell.
You could expend materials for the fuel, you could expend the battery cartridges for lightning or use the magical trap rules, ect.
I agree with all of this, but Gasoline would be alchemical, the same as Oil is.maybe it's not particularly realistic but hey high its dnd. what powers the device would probably vary from character to character or the setting. bottled lightning, clock work wind up the classic steam engine, gasoline, batteries their are plenty of things that could power a device does it really matter?
Construct crafters do not gain gold efficiency from crafting buddies, they lose gold. That's called balance.
Same as your rogue would lose gold by buying a thunderstone or your cleric by buying shapesand or your wizard from buying a Chaos Flask, regardless of the powers, 3.5 has always been about balancing around "doing with magic" and "doing things the hard way".