Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook

3.70/5 (based on 6 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook

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We Have the Technology!

Mortals have been obsessed with replicating life through metal and magic, and from their great labors have come all manner of constructs. The secrets to creating these marvels are usually reserved for the powerful and skilled, but now they are finally revealed! Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook opens the book on the powerful knowledge to create constructs and reveals never-before-seen clockworks, golems, and robots. Within these pages, you'll find:

  • Information on how to build a construct, as well as new modifications for your constructs.
  • Archetypes for characters who assemble or fight constructs, such as the construct caller, who builds constructs from planar energies.
  • New magic items that assist with both the creation of constructs and their destruction.
  • More than a dozen new constructs of all types, including clockwork goblins, gladiator robots, sand golems, and the powerful and enigmatic automatons.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-989-9

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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So this book is great bestiary and construct gm tool :D

5/5

I really love Automatons. Hopefully they won't disappear after this book, I want to see those in 2e! Not just flavor wise, they are also mechanically pretty tough. I also really like all the customization options and templates for constructs. I'm not good with words, but I've gotten great use out of this book


Kill your PCs -- with SCIENCE!

5/5

...or horrible robots with chainsaws, which is a decent proxy for science.

So, this is a GM-focused book, but with a bit of PC material. The first three chapters are fairly quick, covering general construct construction, archetypes, and magic items. By and large, this section is decent but not exceptional. A few good archetypes (I particularly like the Construct Caller Summoner and the Voice of Brigh Bard), some interesting items (an Automaton Core is a minor artifact with actual methods for PCs or NPCs to get, if they're not very nice), and a bunch of golem manuals.

The meat of the book is the fourth and final chapter, which occupies 2/3rds of the page count. And this has some beauties.

First up are the Automatons, which are my new favorite thing in Pathfinder. Short version, in ancient days the Jistka Imperium was waning, and so as a way to preserve it some of the elders of the Imperium started uploading their citizens minds into thaumaturgical robots. Thus you have the living constructs known as Automatons, ranging from the adorable and familiar-grabbable Familiar Automaton to the mountain-shredding CR 20 Master Automaton. These guys have everything. Imposing stat-lines, gorgeous art, fascinating backstories, oodles of plot-hooks... you want it, you got it.

There are a bunch of new robots, golems, and clockworks. The stand-out here is the CR 17 Gladiator Robot, which is what happens when you give a hyper-effective killing machine a chainsaw and a directive to please the crowd. This thing is basically a slasher movie villain, and thus awesome. At the other side of the spectrum is the Clockwork Goblin, which is small and silly and kind of adorable.

Finally, there are templates, a half-dozen of them. Golems wreathed in caustic mist, constructs haunted by ghosts, constructs with artificial psychic minds, constructs with someone else's brain stuffed into them, commando constructs (as scary as they sound), hilarious malfunctioning recycled constructs, and the most awesome, steam-powered mechanical dragons.

Allow me to repeat: steam-powered mechanical dragons.

Conclusion: This is a GM book primarily, though a few of the archetypes are nice for a PC. It is a very good GM book, useful if you want any kind of constructs in your game.


Automantions, Clockworks, Golems, and Robots...Oh My!

4/5

Not what I was expected but interesting non the less. I really like the automations, too bad they came around so late in 1e's life time. The book is more a min-bestiary + players companion then a campaign setting book but I could always use more monsters so that is okay with me.


A year late and not really worth the wait

1/5

I was incredibly excited when this was announced last year, as I love constructs and playing characters who make them, however this was mostly a letdown.

Most of the archetypes are just terrible, some like the Paladin one are unbelievably bad, trading away class abilities do something the altered/ruined smite already does. The Wizard one trades away all bonus feats among other things, in return for...a bonus feat. And +50% cost/time to every construct they ever make. Truly amazing.

The bard archetype however I will say was very interesting, though it's weird they gave bards the new way to reanimate constructs.

Alchemist can now kill themselves as an immediate action, so that's great. 1 con drain to heal a homunculus 1d6HP per drain. Phenomenal.

Additionally, in combat healing of constructs is still at the same awful level it's always been at. Fast healing 5,and 10 minutes of greater mending. Have fun.

Hurray.

The one good thing to come of this book are some of the new Templates for constructs, but most of the interesting ones are priced high enough as to mostly be DM territory. Steam was great though, as was the repaired one.

Somewhere between 1-2 of 5 stars, but we round down in Pathfinder.


Flavorful if not Accessible to Players

3/5

This book is...ok.
More of a GM's book than a PC's

While it presents a number of construct related character options, it doesn't really make coructs any more accessible for PCs; you still need to be quite high level and exorbitantly rich to really get into them.
Those who thought they would finally be able to march their golem army like the necromancer's shambling horde or the conjurist's heavenly legion are going to be disappointed.

A good chunk of the book focuses on Shory constructs.
An interesting bit of lore, but one ultimately tied to artifacts, making following in the Shory's footsteps a thing that serves best as a campaign focus rather than a PC option in any existing Adventure Paths.
That said, they are pretty cool.

The character options for construct flavored characters are...well, lukewarm.
There are better options in a number of preexisting books.

All in all, good for a GM or if you REALLY want to make a golemmancer.
If you have a casual taste in constructs, I can't really recommend.


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Dragon78 wrote:

Haven't had a chance to read the book yet, only glanced at it, though I do really like the automations. I will read it thoroughly when I get my physical copy.

Automations
** spoiler omitted **

The automatons really seem to be more interesting than I expected. I can't wait to see all these new constructs.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"


thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

It's a tough one indeed. If you want to stay on the good side, the creature would have to volunteer to be turned into a robot - for example because its natural body is close to death. And even then you would have to make sure the process inflicts as little pain as possible.

On the lawful side, there might be a bunch of restrictions what creatures are allowed be turned into what robots. For example you shouldn't provide a typical goblin with a battle robot chassis that allows him to tear down whole villages.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SheepishEidolon wrote:
thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

It's a tough one indeed. If you want to stay on the good side, the creature would have to volunteer to be turned into a robot - for example because its natural body is close to death. And even then you would have to make sure the process inflicts as little pain as possible.

On the lawful side, there might be a bunch of restrictions what creatures are allowed be turned into what robots. For example you shouldn't provide a typical goblin with a battle robot chassis that allows him to tear down whole villages.

But it could be Goblins villages...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

Well, per the book, where Frankenstein went wrong was not in creating his monster, but in subsequently being horrified by it and rejecting it. So as long as the creature volunteers to become a robot and you don't immediately then start being a huge jerk to it, you're probably fine. ;-)


Souls At War wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

It's a tough one indeed. If you want to stay on the good side, the creature would have to volunteer to be turned into a robot - for example because its natural body is close to death. And even then you would have to make sure the process inflicts as little pain as possible.

On the lawful side, there might be a bunch of restrictions what creatures are allowed be turned into what robots. For example you shouldn't provide a typical goblin with a battle robot chassis that allows him to tear down whole villages.

But it could be Goblins villages...

Suddenly I have this vision of Goblins getting hold of a mecha and going on a rampage through a Pact World city . . . Starfinder AP hook, anyone?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Souls At War wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
thecursor wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
I want to create robots out of living creatures... =/
Like Dr. Frankenstein?

No! No... Not like him... Well... Yes... But you know, in a lawful good way. =)

"Yes, Hello, is there a lawful good way to play God and to create an abomination of life itself?"

It's a tough one indeed. If you want to stay on the good side, the creature would have to volunteer to be turned into a robot - for example because its natural body is close to death. And even then you would have to make sure the process inflicts as little pain as possible.

On the lawful side, there might be a bunch of restrictions what creatures are allowed be turned into what robots. For example you shouldn't provide a typical goblin with a battle robot chassis that allows him to tear down whole villages.

But it could be Goblins villages...

Suddenly I have this vision of Goblins getting hold of a mecha and going on a rampage through a Pact World city . . . Starfinder AP hook, anyone?

What I'd like is a construct book or construct creation rules for SF period. Only constructs PCs can use are the Mechanic drones, the spell bots from a technomancer, or summoning one of like maybe 3-4 types of constructs from the summon creature spell as a technomancer....... Hardly anything towards a creative construct other than mild battle assistance unless it is higher lvl robot summon....


Back then I was talking about using a template to create constructs from a living creature... Not actually warping a living flesh creature into a construct... =O


A flesh golem-like creature template would be interesting.


Was hoping we'd get a Shackle Golem but I'm still happy with what we got in this manual. :D


Is this book compatible with the Original Pathfinder, or is this going to be for the Playtest/ v2?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

No PF2 stuff for sale until next summer. This book is for PF1.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

PF2 starts at GenCon 2019. All Paizo releases until then are PF1. This book is, as David Knott 242 said, for PF1.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Really guys, the Cruorchymist takes Con drain to heal his homunculus 1d6 per point? Seriously?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The shifter archetype reads like whoever wrote it hadn't actually done more than briefly glance at the shifter. It goes out of it's way to specify a difference between using wild shape and using major aspect, when those are the same thing.


James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Does the book describe alternate ways to build constructs? Like, I remember posters long time ago wondering if using elemental spirits in golem is technically slavery and if there is alternate way to build golems
It will discuss that element of golem building and provide alternate methods that aren't "stealth evil" soul-enslavement methods for golem construction, yes.

I don't see this mentioned though I might've glanced over it. Can someone point me to the page where non "stealth evil" soul-enslavement methods for golem constructs is written?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay I seriously want to know WHOSE brilliant idea it was to give the robot death machine an adamantine chainsaw???!!!!

Spoiler:
Because while it's insane it's also pretty damn cool.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Okay I seriously want to know WHOSE brilliant idea it was to give the robot death machine an adamantine chainsaw???!!!!

** spoiler omitted **

Because as proven in Iron Gods, chainsaws are the most badass weapon


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, reviewers! We're literally at the end of this edition cycle and you guys STILL haven't figured out that Campaign Setting books are for game masters and Player Companions are for players.


So, uh.... Does the Clocksmith Wizard seem a bit... odd to anyone else? The big draw of the class seems to be getting Craft Construct at level 1. Which might be great if everything you crafted didn't cost 150% of what it normally would (and they're absurdly expensive already). On top of that, most constructs (especially Clockwork constructs) have a minimum CL to make.

...So... Is it just a really bad archetype? I'm fine with something mechanically inferior, so long as it has a novel concept. This just doesn't seem to have that, though.


Dαedαlus wrote:

So, uh.... Does the Clocksmith Wizard seem a bit... odd to anyone else? The big draw of the class seems to be getting Craft Construct at level 1. Which might be great if everything you crafted didn't cost 150% of what it normally would (and they're absurdly expensive already). On top of that, most constructs (especially Clockwork constructs) have a minimum CL to make.

...So... Is it just a really bad archetype? I'm fine with something mechanically inferior, so long as it has a novel concept. This just doesn't seem to have that, though.

My first impression of the arcanist, wizard, and occultist archetypes devoted to dealing with constructs was that they were all bad. Which isn't too surprising, since most archetypes are bad, but disappointing that none of them rose even to mediocrity.


Brother Fen wrote:
Hey, reviewers! We're literally at the end of this edition cycle and you guys STILL haven't figured out that Campaign Setting books are for game masters and Player Companions are for players.

I would normally be fine with leaving it be. However, because we are at the end of the cycle, the book needs to hold up to being quite possibly the only construct-focused splatbook in the entire run of the game, and thus provide for both players and GMs.


Hi guys, I have a question.

Construct Caller (Summoner (Unchained) archetype) wrote:

Planar Tinkering (Ex): At 3rd level, a construct caller learns to better shape planar energy to improve her eidolon. The number of points in her eidolon’s evolution pool increases by 1. The number of points in the eidolon’s evolution pool increases by an additional 1 at 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter, for a total of 5 additional points at 19th level.

This replaces summon monster I.

Is this "replaces summon monster I" replacing the entire summon monster class feature?

Or just replace the summon monster I you got at level 1. When you level 3, you still get summon monster I? (So your progress will be slower 1 step.)

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It replaces summon monster in its entirety.


I'm sure I'm just missing something, but I have a question about "Self Destruct," here.

The save DC for Self Destruct is (10 + 1/2 Construct's HD + CON Modifier) but a Construct by definition has no CON Modifier and is treated as having a CON of 10.

So why is the CON Modifier even listed in this ability? Am I missing something in the book that gives a Construct a CON Modifier?

Or should this DC just be (10 + 1/2 HD)?

I'd be really grateful for some clarification, here, as I have need for an exploding construct in the not too distant future.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the Automaton sub-type (up-loaded souls!), and was disappointed to see that the book has only five of them. Did any more turn up, either by Paizo or a 3PP?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also: any ideas on how to make a Transformer-type robot with an AI, using the existing PF1 rules?

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
jemstone wrote:

I'm sure I'm just missing something, but I have a question about "Self Destruct," here.

The save DC for Self Destruct is (10 + 1/2 Construct's HD + CON Modifier) but a Construct by definition has no CON Modifier and is treated as having a CON of 10.

So why is the CON Modifier even listed in this ability? Am I missing something in the book that gives a Construct a CON Modifier?

Or should this DC just be (10 + 1/2 HD)?

I'd be really grateful for some clarification, here, as I have need for an exploding construct in the not too distant future.

10 + 1/2 HD + Con modifier is correct.

We try to make sure we tie DCs of all kind to an ability score in case a GM wants to tweak a creature's ability scores. Changes like these have rippling effects for a monster, so knowing what is or isn't affected by such a change is helpful. If a GM wanted to increase a creature's DC, they could easily do so by upping the associated ability score. As this is something we do across the board with our monsters, we try to avoid having exceptions so a GM doesn't have to relearn what they already know.

Thus, we have constructs with effects that are Constitution-based. (Take a look at the alchemical golem's alchemy ability or the ice golem's icy destruction for some examples.) In order to keep with this standard and to also somewhat mirror the clockwork golem's death burst, I made sure that the DC scaled with an ability score, in this case Constitution. 99.99% of the time, this will mean that the DC calculation is effectively 10 + 1/2 Hit Dice. However, as we can never know if that will always be the case, we have to keep that association with Constitution in place. Maybe a GM will decide to make a unique construct that does have a Constitution score or uses a different score in place of Constitution for the effects of determining DCs.If that were to ever happen, knowing the proper calculation is helpful.

Now, if you feel the DC is too low for the construct you plan to use, feel free to tweak the calculation to be something like 10 + Hit Dice or 10 + 1/2 HD + Str modifier. Don't be afraid to tweak the rules or even toss them out entirely to better suit your game!


Luis Loza wrote:
jemstone wrote:

I'm sure I'm just missing something, but I have a question about "Self Destruct," here.

The save DC for Self Destruct is (10 + 1/2 Construct's HD + CON Modifier) but a Construct by definition has no CON Modifier and is treated as having a CON of 10.

So why is the CON Modifier even listed in this ability? Am I missing something in the book that gives a Construct a CON Modifier?

Or should this DC just be (10 + 1/2 HD)?

I'd be really grateful for some clarification, here, as I have need for an exploding construct in the not too distant future.

10 + 1/2 HD + Con modifier is correct.

We try to make sure we tie DCs of all kind to an ability score in case a GM wants to tweak a creature's ability scores. Changes like these have rippling effects for a monster, so knowing what is or isn't affected by such a change is helpful. If a GM wanted to increase a creature's DC, they could easily do so by upping the associated ability score. As this is something we do across the board with our monsters, we try to avoid having exceptions so a GM doesn't have to relearn what they already know.

Thus, we have constructs with effects that are Constitution-based. (Take a look at the alchemical golem's alchemy ability or the ice golem's icy destruction for some examples.) In order to keep with this standard and to also somewhat mirror the clockwork golem's death burst, I made sure that the DC scaled with an ability score, in this case Constitution. 99.99% of the time, this will mean that the DC calculation is effectively 10 + 1/2 Hit Dice. However, as we can never know if that will always be the case, we have to keep that association with Constitution in place. Maybe a GM will decide to make a unique construct that does have a Constitution score or uses a different score in place of Constitution for the effects of determining DCs.If that were to ever happen, knowing the proper calculation is helpful.

Now, if you feel the DC is too low for the construct you plan to use, feel free to...

Hm.

Fair enough, I suppose.

Thank you for the swift reply!

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