A construct is a generic term for any magical devices which are able to move themselves or parts of themselves under their own power. They range in size from tiny watches owned by the wealthy (which are much more accurate than clockwork watches, and which don't have to be rewinded) to automated looms used in factories, and the vast siege engines.
In general, constructs are nearly mindless, and what little consciousness they have are small wisps of awareness spontaneously generated by and summoned from the astral plane and bound into the body. They are able to follow simple commands, but nothing that requires creativity or abstract thought. It is possible to imbue constructs with greater intelligence, but requires transferring the soul of a living creature into it. Animals almost invariably go mad, and the souls of humans and other sapient races rarely fare better. Best for this purpose are elementals which are ritually bound to the owner, although even they might become somewhat resentful of their situation and (if they are smart enough) interpret their orders creatively in order to twist their spirits. Binding outsiders into a construct bodies is certainly possible, although there is no good reason for doing so. This has not stopped people from testing out a staggeringly large number of bad reasons, though… While constructs are increasingly common, they remain highly expensive and most people will never be able to afford one. In industry and commerce, they tend to be used where their high strength is needed, but it is often more cost-effective to employ a few dozen human workers than to commission a single construct if no high strength is required, and even processes that use construct are rarely done entirely by construct . For example, while construct are used for digging new holes, they are mainly used for loosening up the earth and breaking down stone - it is still cheaper to hire living workers to carry the debris away, even if each worker can carry much less than a single construct . Beyond that, using construct is a status symbol - a show of power and prestige. For example, the headquarters of a place will almost certainly use construct guards - they are powerful, look intimidating, and impress the customers (and the bank might also use construct -powered elevators and other construct -powered amenities). In contrast, golems are rarely used for warehouses except those with the most expensive wares, as human guards are cheaper and better able to use their judgment in unforeseen situations. Sometimes, construct are also used for reasons of secrecy - they normally can't talk and are utterly loyal. The ways a construct can be commanded varies depending on the precise nature of their enchantment.
Constructs may be controlled by one of three methods:
1. They may be directly controlled. Controlled constructs respond well to arbitrary commands, but require direct supervision at all times and are helpless without someone 'driving' them. Draws on the mecha/probe mythos. Shield guardians are this sort of construct. An outside example is modern vehicles.
2. They may be programmed. Programmed constructs are clumsy to control directly. Instead, they are given an explicit set of instructions which they autonomously follow to the best of their abilities at all times. They are incapable of independant thought and prone to exploitation. Draws on the programmed robot mythos. Household servants and lone stone golem guardians of an ancient tomb are usually this sort of construct. An outside example are Asimov's Three Law robots.
3. They may be awakened. These constructs have free will, possibly constrained by prior programming. Awakened constructs are required to follow any immutable programming they posess, but where their programming is silent, they are free. Draws on the android mythos. Inevitables are this sort of construct. Outside examples are RoboCop and Commander Data.
How Programmed Constructs Work:
A programmed construct has a set of four to eight command "slots", each of which is filled with a command. These commands are generally simple, represented as a sentence in plain English.
A programmed construct will fulfill each higher priority command slot as a top priority, to the exclusion of lower slots. However, if it is possible to accomplish both a high and a low priority goal, it will do both.
Here is an example of a construct my party faced early on in the campaign: (It was a largish stone golem which they had no chance of fighting).
Remain within thirty feet of the cave mouth. Remain at ease while peaceful Yuan-Ti are present. Destroy all living creatures. Sound the alarm if attacking or being attacked.
Without knowledge of its programming this construct is quite dangerous--it remains inert until approached closer than 30 feet, at which point it becomes agressive and alerts the entire area to intruders.
However, with knowledge of its programming, exploits become clear. It is possible to (noisily) destroy it with ranged attacks (though the hefty 10/Adamantine DR still applies). Alternatively, find a peaceful Yuan-Ti or make it believe you are one, and you can slip past unhindered.
Gory Detail On Command Slots
While generally represented in plain English, a command slot really holds a complex arcane formula dictating every detail of an action. It cannot hold an arbitrary command, and is generally limited in scope and interpretation. Constructs have no intelligence and are not capable of interpreting complex commands which require judgement, ingenuity, or even actions it has not been told how to do. All behavior must be explicitly specified in advance.
A command slot can hold behavior as broad in scope as one or at most two related "tricks" taught to animals together with trigger conditions and constraints. However, specialized constructs have underlying knowledge which allow them to perform tasks much more complex than any animal can.
At creation, a construct may be imbued with innate specialized knowledge appropriate to its tasks. For example, a construct may be given a routine to "Clean the kitchen", complete with collecting and cleaning dishes, putting away and organizing ingredients and utensils, and mopping the floor. In a sophisticated construct, this routine may work on any kitchen--but generally it only works in a given one. At any rate, despite the behavior being complex, it is the same routine every time, carried out mechanically.
Innate knowledge is set at creation and cannot be changed or improved thereafter. Most constructs are given an innate understanding of how to effectively function in combat (though the exact strategy will vary from construct to construct). Some may be given specific battle strategies, an ability to write in certain languages, or knowledge of the complex controls of specific machinery (which it may then operate flawlessly). These routines are usually quite general. It is uncommon to encounter a construct with a built-in interpretation of something usually requiring judgement--such as "guard the cave"--unless the creator is sure she wanted every cave guarded according to exactly the same strategy.
Destroy all living creatures within 200 feet of the door. (Valid - Construct has an innate definition of living creature and combat, and is given a visual/tacticle definition of "the door" when the command is set.) When commanded by any guest, play whatever music is set up on the harpsichord. (Valid - assuming the construct has an innate understanding of musical notation. Of course, the musical interpretation is rather mechanical ;) ). Do whatever John tells you to. (Not valid - the construct has no way to interpret arbitrary commands.) Destroy any target John gives you, and desist on his command. (Valid)
Constructs, like most beings, are limited in perception to what they can see, hear, and feel. Trigger conditions are frequently vulnerable to exploitation through disguises and illusions. There is one exception to this: A construct has a permanent and supernatural connection to its master(s), and always knows who and where its masters are. A construct told to "find its master" cannot follow an intelligent route, but will always head in the right direction. (Note: I'm considering placing constructs under "Find The Path" with respect to their masters, but this might be a bit much. The idea is that they come when called and a clever player with a lot of construct control resources can use the lowly golem guardian to find the hiding lich. Advice on this front would be appreciated.)
Due to the clumsiness of direct control, most constructs used in warfare or as personal servants are either awakened or commanded. Programmed constructs are most commonly encountered as guardians in remote places, or servants given simple tasks.
Command slots may have the following characteristics:
They may be suppressed. These slots are treated as empty, the construct ignoring any commands they contain. Suppressed command slots show as "empty" to the scan spell. They may be mutable or immutable (set at creation). The contents of mutable command slots can be changed, but the contents of immutable Command Slots cannot be changed by any means. (This will make more sense when you see the spells.) They may be hidden (set at creation). Hidden command slots, though still active, show as "empty" to spells which scan the construct.
They may be masked. Masked command slots scan as one thing, but operate as another.
A command slot may reference other command slots in a general way. For example, a valid command is "When asked, open the door for anyone protected by command #1". However, it is not possible to store a full copy of one command slot in another, and under no condition may a Command Slot change the contents of another command slot, or add to or change the construct's master(s). Constructs are capable of reading their own Hidden Command Slots, and are not aware of or fooled by masks. However, they treat Suppressed Command Slots as empty.
Gory Detail On Masked Command Slots A masked slot has two elements: the Clear Command and the Mask.
The Clear Command represents the true contents of the Command Slot, and is a command in the usual way. It is subject to all the same constraints as other Command Slot contents, and is obeyed by the construct just like any other command.
The Mask is shown when spells like Scan Construct are used to read command slots. These spells show the Mask in the Command Slot, instead of the Clear Command, and give no indication that the Clear Command exists. The Mask has no other affect on the construct, and does not change its behavior in any way.
Due to space limitations, it is not possible to store two full commands in the same slot. Therefore, Masks are limited to a simple form. Masks may only take the form of passive constraints, and cannot be full-fledged active commands. A Mask always appears to limit a construct's actions, and never takes a form which would authorize any new activity. The plain language representation has the following form: "Do not [positive action or actions] [under condition or conditions]."
Any construct can store at most one masked Command Slot at a time.
Some examples of constraints and non-constraints:
A guardian stone golem:
Do not move farther than 30 feet from the cave mouth. (Constraint; suspicious) Do not engage in combat or movement while peaceful Yuan-Ti are present. (Constraint; suspicious) Destroy all living creatures. (Not a constraint) Sound the alarm if attacking or being attacked. (Not a constraint)
An enchanted broom: Put yourself away and come back out when commanded. (Not a constraint) Sweep any dirty surfaces you find. (Not a constraint) Do not leave the castle.(Constraint; suspicious) Roam freely. (Not a constraint)
A mask must always forbid a positive action, and never enables it. A command such as "Do not remain silent" is not a valid mask, as it requires positive action. When Scan Construct translates arcane formulas to plain language, potential Masks are always translated beginning with the words "Do not".
Scan Construct is a translation from a complex arcane formula, so equivalent command wordings are considered the same command. Therefore, if a command can be re-worded as a Mask, this may be done without changing the apparent contents of the slot. (Metagame - All potential constraints should begin with the words "Do not," so there is no confusion. But in the case of an oversight, a command such as "Remain silent" may be covered with a Mask of "Do not make sound," and the scanning spells will not detect a difference.)
Any effect which changes the contents of a Command Slot reveals the existence of the Mask. At the caster's option, the Mask may be discarded or retained. The Clear Command is not revealed and is erased in the process of replacing the command.
Building and modificationsEdit
The Craft Construct feat (see page 314 of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary) allows a spellcaster to create all manner of permanent constructs in a process much like magic item creation. Each construct has a purchase price and a crafting cost, along with a list of requirements and the skills used to create them. Some require special materials in addition to the cost for basic crafting supplies, generally for the construct’s body. Special material costs increase both the purchase price and the crafting cost of the construct. The DC to craft a construct is 5 + the default caster level of the construct, just like for a magic item. Like when crafting magic items, a creator with a sufficiently high skill bonus may ignore these requirements. Each missing requirement increases the Craft DC by 5. Regardless, the creator must meet all item creation feats and minimum caster level requirements. Crafting a construct takes 1 day per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price, excluding any special material costs. This process is identical to the process for crafting a magic item, including the rules for accelerating creation and handling interruptions (see page 548 of the Core Rulebook). Animated Objects Not all constructs are built with the Craft Construct feat. Spells like animate objects allow a caster to temporarily animate an existing object. These constructs are in many ways weaker than manufactured constructs, as they are susceptible to dispelling and antimagic. A caster can use the animate objects spell to instantly create a temporary construct. A permanency spell cast upon an animated object makes the construct permanent; however, it can still be dispelled or suppressed by antimagic. Craft Construct creates permanent animated objects not susceptible to dispelling and antimagic. The CR of a potential animated object depends on its size and abilities, as explained in the animated object entry on page 14 of the Bestiary. Anima ted Object CL 11th; Price as determined by CR Construction Requirements Craft Construct, animate object, permanency; Skill Spellcraft or appropriate Craft skill; Cost 1/2 price New Animated Object Abilities The following are new abilities that can be applied to animated objects, whether created by the animate objects spell or with the Craft Constructs feat. Adding to these abilities requires the expenditure of Construction Points (CP), as described on page 14 of the Bestiary. Augmented Critical (Ex, 1 CP): Increase the threat range for the animated object’s melee attacks by 1 or the threat multiplier by 1. This cannot combine with itself or with the piercing attack or slashing attack object abilities. Exceptional Reach (Ex, 1 CP): The object gains +5 feet of reach with one melee attack. Increase reach on all attacks for an additional +1 CP. Improved Attack (Ex, 1 CP): All the animated object’s melee or ranged attacks do damage as though it were one size category larger. A crafter must purchase Improved Attack separately for melee and ranged attacks. Piercing Attack (Ex, 1 CP): Replace one melee attack with an attack that does the same amount of piercing damage and has a ×3 multiplier. Replace all melee attacks for an additional +1 CP. Object abilities that specify slam attacks do not work on piercing attacks. Ranged Attack (Ex, 2 CP): Replace one slam attack with a ranged attack. It does the same amount of damage, and has a range of 20 feet. Replace all attacks for an additional +2 CP. Object abilities that specify slam attacks do not work on ranged attacks. Slashing Attack (Ex, 1 CP): Replace one slam attack with an attack that does slashing damage and has either a 19–20 threat range (for blade-like attacks) or a ×3 threat multiplier (for axe- or scythelike attacks). Replace all melee attacks for an additional +1 CP. Object abilities that specify slam attacks do not work on slashing attacks. Trip (Ex, 2 CP): The object gains the trip special ability with one of its slam attacks. Building New Constructs Constructs typically have no Intelligence score, an average Wisdom score, and a Charisma of 1. Their dexterity is usually poor to average, though exceptionally nimble constructs do exist. Nearly all constructs of size Medium or larger have high Strength scores; constructs never have a Constitution score. The monster creation rules in the Bestiary serve as your best guide for designing a new construct. New constructs should stick fairly close to the Monster Statistics by CR table found on page 291 of the Bestiary or the expanded table on page 293 of Bestiary 2. As they are usually mindless combat brutes, most use the “high attack” column, with damage falling in between the High and Low average damage columns. Note that all the construct’s saving throws are likely to be poor, and they have no favored saves. Lacking a Constitution score, a construct’s hit points also tend to be low in comparison to creatures with similar CRs. Consider giving any construct that doesn’t have either damage reduction or hardness a higher AC to compensate. Pricing a New Construct This section provides guidelines for those seeking to calculate the costs of crafting their own constructs. As a rough guideline, a construct’s price is equal to its challenge rating squared, then multiplied by 500 gp. Constructs with a fractional CR rating base their price on that fraction of 500 gp. For example, a CR 1/2 construct has a price of 250 gp. The cost of magical supplies for the Craft Construct feat is half this price, with the construct taking 1 day to create per 1,000 gp of the construct’s base price. Some constructs, particularly golems, have additional raw material costs that must be paid in full, regardless of whether the creator possesses the Craft Construct feat. Raw materials typically cost somewhere between 5% and 10% of the construct’s base price. Constructs with multiple special abilities cost more to create. The f irst special ability is included in the construct’s base cost. The next two special abilities increase the calculated price by +1/2 CR per ability. Thereafter, any additional special abilities add +1 CR per ability. Examples of special abilities include having a higher DR value than a typical construct of its CR (above DR 5 for CRs 1–8, above DR 10 for CR 9+), monster statistics that exceed those recommended for the construct’s CR (see page 291 of the Bestiary), the standard golem immunity to magic, DR or hardness that can’t be overcome by all adamantine weapons, ability to be fully healed by a single spell, and most special attacks and special qualities. Particularly powerful special abilities, such as an iron golem’s exceptionally high attack bonus, count as two lesser abilities. Animated objects are a special case— their base price is not increased by any abilities paid for with Construction Points (see page 14 of the Bestiary), since these abilities are already factored into an animated object’s CR. In addition, golems and homunculi created with extra Hit Dice, the advanced template, or shield guardian abilities should all be priced as described in the Bestiary, rather than by adjusting pricing for their new CR.
Abilities that weaken or potentially place a construct at a disadvantage rarely reduce the construct’s price. An exception is the berserk ability. Constructs that have a chance of going berserk receive –1 CR adjustment to their calculated price if control can be reestablished (like a f lesh golem) or –2 CR adjustment for permanent loss of control (like a clay golem). The following is an example of the calculated costs for creating a stone golem (CR 11). A stone golem’s special abilities are golem immunity to magic, full healing from transmute mud to rock, a high to-hit bonus (+22 vs. the +19 typical for CR 11), and the ability to slow its foes. Further, since its spell vulnerabilities are not tied to common spells or effects, its immunity to magic cost is doubled, giving the stone golem a total of 5 special abilities. The first special ability doesn’t affect the cost, the next two increase the cost by +1/2 CR each, and the final two each increase the cost by +1 CR individually, making its effective CR for pricing equal to 14. This produces a calculated price of 98,000 gp, rounded up to an even 100,000 gp. When designing a new construct, keep in mind that the above pricing formula only serves as a guideline. As with magic items, construct pricing remains more art than science, and like magic items, compare new constructs to existing ones for guidance. If you’re not sure, err on the side of a higher price. Repairing Constructs Even with the best of care, most constructs will eventually become damaged. Unless a construct suffers some sort of structural damage that radically alters its physical form, the construct continues to function at its full efficiency, and only falls apart once reduced to 0 hit points. Ideally, however, a construct should see some repair before it reaches that point. The make whole or rapid repair spells provide the easiest way to keep a construct in good condition. Both spells repair damaged constructs, even magic-immune ones like golems. Failing that, a crafter can repair a construct with the Craft Construct feat. When repairing a construct, its master spends 100 gp per Hit Die of the construct, and then makes a skill check as if he were crafting the construct with a DC of 5 less than the DC for crafting that construct. With a success, the construct regains 1d6 hit points per Hit Die of the construct. Completing a repair takes 1 day per 1,000 gp spent on the repair (minimum of 1 day). Repair in this way can only be performed while the construct is inanimate or nonfunctioning. At any time, a construct’s creator can deactivate a construct under his control with a touch and a standard action. A construct that has been completely destroyed cannot be repaired, though at the GM’s option some of the materials may be usable in the construction of a new construct. Additionally, some constructs have special means of repair, usually involving spells related to the golem’s nature (such as the use of acid damage to heal a clay golem.) Construct Modifications Standard constructs can be modified to enhance their base abilities, alter their appearance or function, or perform a variety of tasks beyond the intentions of their basic designs. Performing a modification provides a construct’s creator with a simple way to create a unique construct. A modification can only be performed while the construct is inanimate or nonfunctioning. Performing modifications on one’s own construct requires the Craft Construct feat, and the creator must pay any additional crafting requirements and/ or costs associated with the modification. Completing a modification requires 1 day per 1,000 gp of the modification’s base price (minimum 1 day). Basic Modifications These modifications are used to alter a construct’s basic properties: Armor Class, Hit Dice, and weaponry. Armor Modification: This modification adds an enhancement bonus to the construct’s natural armor bonus or adds a magic armor property. The cost for magical enhancements equals the cost for creating magic armor as described in the Core Rulebook. Hit Dice Modification: Hit Dice represent the overall strength and power of a construct. They affect a number of subsequent abilities, including hit points, saving throws, and base attacks. Determine the effects of a Hit Dice modification using the rules for adding creature Hit Dice on pages 290–291 of the Bestiary. Because a construct’s size is limited, a Hit Dice modification cannot increase its size. Therefore Hit Dice modification can never increase the base construct’s Hit Dice beyond 50% of its total HD. Some constructs have a defined cost for increasing Hit Dice. To calculate the cost per Hit Die of other constructs, divide the construct’s construction cost by its existing Hit Dice. Weapon Modif ication: This modif ication enhances a construct’s physical weaponry. This process includes adding actual weapons (such as blades or spiked chains) to the physical structure of the construct or enhancing existing weapons with additional magical properties. Structural changes alter the construct’s damage only. A construct is automatically considered proficient with any weapon added to its structure as a weapon modif ication. The cost for adding a weapon is determined by the cost of the weapon or weapon enhancement added. The cost for magical enhancements to these weapons is the same as the cost for creating magic weapons as described on page 468 of the Core Rulebook. Performing a weapon 113 Mastering Magic 2 modif ication also requires the Craft Magical Arms and Armor feat. Ability Score Modification: Using this modification, a crafter can permanently increase one of the construct’s ability scores by +2 per modification. He cannot increase any abilities with a score of 0. The cost for permanently increasing an ability score is 5,000 gp. Complex Modifications These modifications represent more complex changes to the structure and function of the construct. The cost is equivalent to the minimum level to cast the spell × the spell level × 250 gp. Bioco nstruct Modifica tion Requirements: Craft Construct, regenerate CR Increase: +1 Cost: 22,750 gp Merging the arts of transmutation and necromancy, powerful spellcasters work living organs into a golem, imbuing it with properties normally associated with beings that are alive. These organs are placed in canopic jars of specially prepared arcane fluids that are then sealed into the golem’s body, though not necessarily in anatomically correct locations. Specific organs produce specific effects. Each organ is counted as a separate upgrade, and the costs of multiple bioconstruct organs are cumulative. Bioconstruct upgrades only work with golems, and cannot be placed into animated objects. All bioconstruct upgrades have the same weakness—they are susceptible to critical hits. An attacker that confirms a critical hit against a golem with a bioconstruct upgrade deals damage to the construct and also destroys one upgrade. The damaged upgrade ceases to function and the construct loses abilities associated with the upgrade. If a construct has more than one bioconstruct upgrade, only one is damaged. The GM randomly determines the damaged organ. Heart: This upgrade permits a golem to receive partial benefits of magical healing and provides a hit point bonus as if the golem had a Constitution score of 12, but the construct does not gain a Constitution score in this process. Negative energy spells cast upon the golem can affect the heart, causing it to cease functioning for the duration of the effect (or 1 round for instantaneous effects). If the spell has a save, the heart uses the golem’s saving throws. Brain: This upgrade doesn’t permit the golem to think independently, but instead, the brain works as a storage device, permitting the golem to acquire skills and feats as if it had an Intelligence score of 10. Enchantment spells or spells with mind-affecting effects that are cast upon the golem can affect the brain, causing the brain to cease functioning for the duration of the spell. While the brain is suppressed in this fashion, the construct temporarily loses access to its skills and feats. If the spell has a save, the brain uses the golem’s saving throws. Construct Armor Requirements: Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate objects, the construct modified must be the same size as the creator CR Increase: +1 Cost: 35,000 gp This modification allows the construct to be worn like armor by its creator. So long as the creator wears it, the construct performs no independent actions, remaining under the 114 ® ™ control of the creator, and any attacks directed at the wearer first target the construct. When a construct is destroyed while serving as armor, the wearer loses all the benefits, but regains all the hindrances until the armor is removed, which takes the same amount of time that removing breastplate armor does. If the construct is still active, the creator can order the removal of the armor with a swift action, at which point the construct leaves the creator’s space and enters a space adjacent to the creator. Donning construct armor takes a full-round action if the construct is still active. The creator cannot don a construct with this modification if the construct has been destroyed. The construct’s wearer retains his base attacks and saves. Construct armor counts as breastplate armor for purposes of determining AC, weight, Dexterity modifiers to AC, and chance of arcane spell failure. Cra fter’s Eyes Requirements: Craft Construct, scrying CR Increase: none Cost: 8,000 gp The crafter gives her construct crystalline eyes that permit her to use a scrying or greater scrying spell to see from the perspective of her creation. This modification requires the crafter also to prepare a special crystalline orb magically bonded to the eyes, which serves as her focus for the scrying or greater scrying spell. The cost of creating that focus is included in the cost of modifying the construct. Unlike normal scrying or greater scrying, there is no chance of failure for viewing creatures though the sensor; the creator simply sees what the construct sees for the duration of the spell. Spells cast through the sensor still have the normal chance of operating through the construct’s eyes. Construct Limb Requirements: Craft Construct, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate objects, Small or Tiny construct CR Increase: none Cost: 27,000 gp This modification can be performed on a Small or Tiny construct, such as an iron cobra or a homunculus. The creator modifies the construct such that she can slip it over her arm and control its actions as part of her own. The construct limb retains any melee attacks that the construct has, and the creator can use special attacks as if she were the construct (using the construct’s attack statistics and effects), but treat the creator as the creature making attacks for the purpose of determining attacks of opportunity and other actions that could be triggered by an attack made by the creator. The limb also provides the wearer with limited protection in combat, roughly equivalent to that of a heavy steel shield. The wearer is considered proficient in this shield. The wearer retains the remainder of her abilities. A construct limb counts as a heavy steel shield for purposes of determining AC, weight, Dexterity modifiers to AC, and chance of arcane spell failure. Rune-Carved Requirements: Craft Construct, variable (see below). CR Increase: none Cost: variable (see below) This subcategory of complex modification allows a construct’s creator to carve a runic spell trigger into her creation. Choose one of the following runes. The cost of the rune and any prerequisites are detailed in the rune’s description. Once per day, the first time the rune is triggered, its effect occurs. As an immediate action, the creator can attempt to delay the effect until the next time it is triggered. Doing so requires that the construct be within line of sight of the creator (or for the creator to be using scrying or greater scrying through the crafter’s eyes construct modification) and that the caster make a Spellcraft check equal to 10 + the caster level of the rune’s effect. A construct can have more than one rune-carved modification, and even multiple runes of the same type. If it has multiple applications of the same rune, the first one goes off when it is first triggered, the second one goes off when the trigger happens next, and so on. Multiple runes of different types go off when first triggered, even if the different runes share similar triggers. It is rumored that there are many more runes than these, but the following are some of the best known and most common runes used by construct crafters. Rune of Agony Aura Moderate necromancy; CL 9th Trigger and Effect This modification is triggered the first time the modified construct takes damage. Creatures within a 20-foot-radius spread must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or suffer from wracking pains that impose a –4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks for 1 minute. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes the penalties imposed by the rune for 1 round. Modification Requirements symbol of pain; Cost 18,000 gp Rune of Impr isonment Aura Strong conjuration; CL 18th Trigger and Effect This rune is triggered the first time the construct is hit with a touch or ranged touch attack spell. The caster of the triggering spells must succeed at a DC 22 Will save or be captured, both body and soul, within a gem embedded in the modified construct’s body. The gem holds the caster until 115 Mastering Magic 2 either the gem or the construct is destroyed. A gem can only hold one creature at a time; once it captures a creature, the rune does not trigger again until the gem is replaced. While a creature is trapped within the gem, the gem is vulnerable to critical hits; if an attacker confirms a critical hit, the construct takes damage and the gem is destroyed, releasing the entrapped creature into a space adjacent to the construct. The broken gem must then be replaced before the rune of imprisonment can function again. Modification Requirements trap the soul, gem worth 20,000 gp to serve as the rune’s focus; Cost 57,600 gp Rune of Lightning Aura faint evocation; CL 5th Trigger and Effect This rune is triggered when the modified construct is hit by a melee attack. The rune releases a 5-foot-radius burst of electricity dealing 3d8 points of electrical damage to all creatures within the burst. A successful DC 12 Reflex saving throw halves the damage. Modification Requirements shocking grasp; Cost 2,000 gp Rune of Shielding Aura faint abjuration; CL 3rd Trigger and Effect This rune is triggered the first time the modified construct is attacked with a melee attack, ranged attack, or magic missile. The construct gains a +4 shield bonus to its Armor Class for 3 minutes. This is a force effect and applies against incorporeal touch attacks. Modification Requirements shield; Cost 1,200 gp Rune of Terror Aura moderate necromancy; CL 7th Trigger and Effect This rune is triggered the first time a creature moves adjacent to the modified construct. The rune creates 20-foot-radius spread of necromantic energy. Creatures in the area must succeed on a DC 20 Will saving throw or become panicked for 1d4 rounds. If the Will save succeeds, the creature is shaken for 1 round. Modification Requirements fear; Cost 11,200 gp Shatter Stash Requirements: Craft Construct, shatter, and variable (see below) CR Increase: none Cost: variable (see below) For this subcategory of complex modification, parts of the golem are made with hollowed sections carved from deliberately weaker materials, designed to shatter when struck by attackers. A confirmed critical deals critical damage to the construct and shatters the hollowed section, releasing whatever substance the creator placed inside. Once the shatter stash is damaged, this modification is destroyed (it cannot be repaired). A construct can only have one shatter stash at a time. After the modification is destroyed, the construct can be modified with shatter stash again at the normal cost. The following are some of the more common shatter stashes, though others exist. Corro sive Jet Stash A 15-foot burst of corrosive liquid sprays out of the modified construct’s stash. Creatures within the burst must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw or take 2d6 points of acid damage and be nauseated for 1d4 rounds. On a successful save, the afflicted creature takes no damage but is sickened for 1 round. Modification Requirements fireball; Cost 1,200 gp Firebomb Stash A 15-foot burst of fire explodes out of the modified construct’s stash. Creatures within the burst must succeed on a DC 12 Reflex saving throw or take 2d6 points of fire damage. A successful save halves the damage. Modification Requirements fireball; Cost 1,200 gp Fro st Mist Stash A 15-foot burst of frosty mist erupts out of the modified construct’s stash. Any creatures within the burst must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude saving throw or else take 1d6 points of damage and become entangled for 1 round. A successful save halves the damage and the target does not become entangled. Modification Requirements cone of cold; Cost 1,000 gp Lightning Lash Stash A 30-foot burst of electricity cracks out of the modified construct’s stash. Those within the burst must succeed on a DC 15 Reflex saving throw or take 3d8 points of electrical damage. A successful save halves the damage. Modification Requirements lightning bolt; Cost 1,200 gp Willsap Ga s Stash A 15-foot burst of toxic gas hisses out of this stash. Living creatures within this burst must succeed on a DC 13 Will saving throw or become confused for 1 round. This is a poison effect. Modification Requirements stinking cloud; Cost 2,000 gp 116