So I recently became interested in making a character for Kingmaker who puts a lot of focus on building constructs (mainly the Clockworks, freaking love those things). I was wondering if there was any justification or balance-based reason for the high caster level that many relatively low CR constructs demand? (looking at you, Clockwork Spy. CL 12 for a CR1/2 product? What's the point?) Other examples are the Clockwork Servant and Soldier, Wood Golem, and Caryatid Column.
Not seeing any real reason for the CL-CR disparity in those extreme cases, can anyone foresee any problems with editing the CL to somewhere within one or two, maybe three levels above the CR? I figure the high GP cost would offset the fact that there's no real limit to how many of those sorts of companions you could have with you, and would prevent anyone from spamming them out.
This came up in a campaign I ran. The argument I gave to the player was that the CL was there to encourage rarity.
See, with a low CL, even limited by cash, there are a lot more people out there who could make these things, resulting in making them more common. Add in a business model of craft for hire, and you start to get a golem based economy.
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Add in a business model of craft for hire, and you start to get a golem based economy.
That sounds awesome as hell.
I think though, that the enormous investment of gold into these things would still keep them from being very common. But, with a PC focused on building them, the idea is to have as many as you can so an archetype/class focused on golemetry would allow for ease of production while still ensuring the rarity of golems.
I have found a couple of such archetypes, although each have their kinks.
The Creator Summoner archetype, Grittier Rules by Eridanus
The archetype changes your Eidolon to a "Homunculus" (not like the familiar), which functions just like an eidolon, but is a construct, although it's rather vague about what exactly those changes entail. Summon Monster is replaced by a bunch of abilities for repairing and maintaining constructs, and while it does do a little bit to alleviate the caster level restrictions, it's not a particularly well though out archetype (by third level you can bring your homunculus back to full hp 3+cha mod times per day, for instance. wth).
Clockwork Mystery Oracle mystery, Divine Favor - The Oracle by Open Design
This is what I pretty much have my heart set on using, not just because it fits the character I had in mind, but also because it's a great mystery. Unfortunately, it does not help to alleviate the caster level problem, but it does do pretty much everything else (ignore spell requirements? yes please). Some of the revelations are a little lack luster and a lot of them focus more on controlling/beating up constructs than actually building them, but there's enough pure awesome in there to make a very cool golem-builder. Probably a house-ruled revelation to reduce/remove caster level requirements would make this exactly what I need, although understandably not many people have the oracle in mind when they imagine the guy building all the constructs. (This pdf is packed with way more awesome than just the clockwork mystery. The moon, old gods, snakes and wine - yes, wine - mysteries are all pure gold).
I think the extra revelation in the clockwork mystery pretty much solves my problem, but I think I'll try my hand at a construct-focused wizard archetype for your more run of the mill construct builders.