Does anyone know how Golems are animated?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Scarab Sages

I'm playing the kingmaker game by owlcat and my magister has protested to two projects so far. The first one was an undead workforce because animating them involves snipping a piece of a persons soul of them and using it to animate their corpse. I don't think it works that way but I had my own objections about an undead labour force so I went along with it. Now however they're objecting to golems because you need to trap an elemental spirit in them to animate them.

I don't recall anything like that in the descriptions I've seen and none of the spells required seem suited to this except possibly limited wish. So I'm curious does anyone remember a source that supports this view I'm not aware of? That is golems are animated by enslaved elemental spirits.


IT LIVES! Frankenstein's monster, the original flesh golem, was animated by channeling a lightning bolt into it. You could read that as an elemental being trapped - or otherwise.

I've read references to elemental spirits being used to animate golems in D&D before but I can't remember where just now.

Scarab Sages

Maybe though I think that's a nod back to Frankenstein.

Though browsing some of the more esoteric golem types on the srd (alchemical and behemoth for example which I've never seen) it does talk about them being animated by elemental spirits, demons or the like.

So it appears Octavia is in the right the golems would be powered by enslaved spirits from an elemental plane interesting.


According to the Bestiary: "They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force — golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental."

Scarab Sages

Hmmm I missed that thanks.

So learnt something new then.


You can certainly play it as binding a fully self-aware elemental with personhood in there.

From what I recall from the established traditions of the progenitor game, it's not like a sapient elemental, any more than the negative energy that you pump into a corpse in order to make a mindless undead is sapient negative energy.

I don't recall anything in the bestiary entries for golems about sapient elementals being enslaved or bound, though it does mention elemental spirits, and for Flesh Golems and, iirc, Clay Golems, their chance to go berserk has to do with imperfect control over the elemental spirit within. Or possibly imperfect vessels for the elemental power.

I haven't read the Construct Handbook, though, so there may be something in there that serves to better clarify things. If there isn't, you'll probably need to trawl through or find someone well-versed in D&D lore that can find where it's covered. Dragon Magazine probably had a few articles on the subject over the years.

Oh, right, and golems are compatible with being made as Clockwork constructs, which eliminates the need for animating spirits of any kind but does make them dependent on winding.

Construct labor forces:
If you want a construct labor force that can do things and is smart, there are two main options that I see, and, as a bonus, both are intelligent, 1. Rune Guardians (and determining prices for ones with higher level spells) or 2. Soulbound Mannequins.

Rune Guardians, as far as I know, don't specify what their animating force comes from. And even with just level 1 spells, Unseen Servant being spammed out at-will can accomplish a fair bit.

Soulbound Mannequins siphon off a piece of soul, but they do so harmlessly. I'd imagine, given the context, it's the part that would be discarded during the path to the afterlife and/or the part that connects the soul to the body which would probably need to be replaced anyway to shove the soul back on in there. Breath of Life significantly streamlines the process for doing it ethically, too.

Undead and souls:
Mindless undead and the relationship with the soul, if any, is a mess as far as subjects go. I still find Frank and K's Tome of Necromancy to be the best treatment of the two competing themes of negative energy and undead that were present in D&D 3.5 and still are to a variable extent in Pathfinder 1st Edition.

Scarab Sages

Thanks for the suggestions though in this case it was more curiosity on my part if the comments about elemental spirits being used for golems in the computer game adaptation were actually true to the PnP version or something the developers came up with.

Dark Archive

If you want to read more golem lore, Construct Builder's Handbook has more information on ethical methods of creating golems :D

And yeah, reason why golems have berserk ability has always been about the spirit animating them taking control of the golem.


Only intelligent undead involve the soul. Mindless undead are just corpses and negative energy. Twisting negative energy to bring something to life, the opposite of what it should do, is what makes creating mindless undead Evil.
That said, there's no real way to guess what sort of liberties the PC game took, since it's really good at PRETENDING to be a faithful adaptation of the Pathfinder ruleset.


Very well, thank you.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Only intelligent undead involve the soul. Mindless undead are just corpses and negative energy. Twisting negative energy to bring something to life, the opposite of what it should do, is what makes creating mindless undead Evil.

That isn't true. All undead involve the soul, thus Pharasma is pissed at all undead, the only difference is apparently how much of the soul is needed to make different undead.

A zombie might be made by just wounding a soul and taking a piece of it, but a lich would take the whole thing.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Only intelligent undead involve the soul. Mindless undead are just corpses and negative energy.

Counterpoint: If that were true, you could bring someone back via true resurrection even if their original corpse were currently a zombie. You cannot. The process of animating a corpse as an undead creature does something to prevent a creature's soul/spirit/whatevs from coming back. What that is is lore-specific, but in Golarion it's enough to piss off relevant deities like Pharasma and Anubis.

Edit: I was somewhat wrong in the struck-out area above--you can use resurrection or true resurrection on the undead itself to return the body to its living state. That's a special application of the spell listed in the undead subtype description. However, a normal use of true resurrection sans body would still fail if the original body was currently animated as undead elsewhere.


As far as I have been able to determine, intelligent undead actually contain the soul within them. The corpse that a mindless undead is made from and the soul which that body previously had are still conceptually linked through both being part of the same person, but the walking corpse is still an animated shell. Concept magic is a very interesting thing and Pathfinder's cosmology is literally made of it.


If you have some sources to cite put out by Paizo that specifically address all this, I'd be most interested to hear it, but everything I've seen so far mostly indicates that they largely kept with the wibbly-wobbly ill-defined mess on the nature of undeath they inherited from WOTC and, through WOTC, TSR.

Just with a lot more undead that are straight up "insane" and a lot fewer forms of undead that could be considered to have personhood proper.


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Coidzor wrote:

everything I've seen so far mostly indicates that they largely kept with the wibbly-wobbly ill-defined mess on the nature of undeath they inherited from WOTC and, through WOTC, TSR.

I've long been convinced that you can make a strong case for the ancient Egyptian concept of the soul being how many (default) settings work.


Senko wrote:
I'm playing the kingmaker game by owlcat and my magister has protested to two projects so far. The first one was an undead workforce

Umm, what is the alignment of your kingdom?

Senko wrote:

Now however they're objecting to golems because you need to trap an elemental spirit in them to animate them.

I don't recall anything like that in the descriptions I've seen and none of the spells required seem suited to this except possibly limited wish. So I'm curious does anyone remember a source that supports this view I'm not aware of? That is golems are animated by enslaved elemental spirits.

This seems like an interesting way for a campaign to go whoever is right. You can bring in other experts. Do research, have political groups debate this in town meetings over questions like, "Are Golems prisons for elemental spirits?" "Is it ethical to enslave Elementals?" and "Is it good or bad for the economy to have a Construct slave labor force anyway?" What does a Construct workforce do the Minimum Wage? Who owns these Construcs?


Coidzor wrote:

You can certainly play it as binding a fully self-aware elemental with personhood in there.

From what I recall from the established traditions of the progenitor game, it's not like a sapient elemental, any more than the negative energy that you pump into a corpse in order to make a mindless undead is sapient negative energy.

I don't recall anything in the bestiary entries for golems about sapient elementals being enslaved or bound, though it does mention elemental spirits, and for Flesh Golems and, iirc, Clay Golems, their chance to go berserk has to do with imperfect control over the elemental spirit within. Or possibly imperfect vessels for the elemental power.

I haven't read the Construct Handbook, though, so there may be something in there that serves to better clarify things. If there isn't, you'll probably need to trawl through or find someone well-versed in D&D lore that can find where it's covered. Dragon Magazine probably had a few articles on the subject over the years.

Oh, right, and golems are compatible with being made as Clockwork constructs, which eliminates the need for animating spirits of any kind but does make them dependent on winding.

** spoiler omitted **...

Constructs are really expensive, though. The least of Constructs I found cost 6500gp, that's 3500gp in components, and that's for 1 laborer.

To capitalize a labor force, wouldn't it make more sense to create Lyres of Building and hire Bards to play them? Each Lyre can perform 300 man-days of labor every week.

If the idea is to permeate your whole society with magic labor-saving, maybe you should create your own magic item:

Broom of Cleaning: Command Word, Cleans things for you for 1 hour: Cost: 1800 gp. Better yet, make them occupy the user's arms: Sleeves of Cleaning (instead of a command word, you roll them up.), and the cost drops to 900gp: CL 1 X SL 1/2 (Prestidigitation) X 1800gp.

Ring of Unseen Servant: Summons an Unseen Servant upon command for 1 hour: 1800gp CL 1 X SL 1 X 1800gp


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Constructs are really expensive, though. The least of Constructs I found cost 6500gp, that's 3500gp in components, and that's for 1 laborer.

To capitalize a labor force, wouldn't it make more sense to create Lyres of Building and hire Bards to play them? Each Lyre can perform 300 man-days of labor every week.

Cheapest construct: Tiny Animated Object for 250 gp

Next cheapest: Tiny Poppet for 310 gp

I don't think an animated object is a good worker, but the poppet is a good worker.

I do agree the Lyre is a great construction tool.

/cevah

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Senko wrote:
I'm playing the kingmaker game by owlcat and my magister has protested to two projects so far. The first one was an undead workforce

Umm, what is the alignment of your kingdom?

Senko wrote:

Now however they're objecting to golems because you need to trap an elemental spirit in them to animate them.

I don't recall anything like that in the descriptions I've seen and none of the spells required seem suited to this except possibly limited wish. So I'm curious does anyone remember a source that supports this view I'm not aware of? That is golems are animated by enslaved elemental spirits.

This seems like an interesting way for a campaign to go whoever is right. You can bring in other experts. Do research, have political groups debate this in town meetings over questions like, "Are Golems prisons for elemental spirits?" "Is it ethical to enslave Elementals?" and "Is it good or bad for the economy to have a Construct slave labor force anyway?" What does a Construct workforce do the Minimum Wage? Who owns these Construcs?

As he is speaking of the computer game, most probably the magister is a CG ex-slave. So she has plenty of reasons to be against enslaving someone, even elementals.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cevah wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Constructs are really expensive, though. The least of Constructs I found cost 6500gp, that's 3500gp in components, and that's for 1 laborer.

To capitalize a labor force, wouldn't it make more sense to create Lyres of Building and hire Bards to play them? Each Lyre can perform 300 man-days of labor every week.

Cheapest construct: Tiny Animated Object for 250 gp

Next cheapest: Tiny Poppet for 310 gp

I don't think an animated object is a good worker, but the poppet is a good worker.

I do agree the Lyre is a great construction tool.

/cevah

An animated deep furrow plow (I hope it is the right translation) probably will be worth the investment, for a farming community. Not for a single individual unless he rent it out. Even better if it is something that can power several agricoltural tools.

Toward the end of the XIX century, it was common (at least in Italy) to have a whole village rent a steam-powered thresher for a few days during the harvest season. The owner would rent it to different villages during the whole season and get a good return for the money he spent buying it while it was too costly for the single villager.
Most European farmers at the time didn't own huge tracts of lands, so for them buying equipment that would work only for a few days in a year wasn't economically feasible.
I think that the population in most gaming worlds is in a similar position. Most of them own relatively small pieces of land, so "automated" farming with constructs isn't convenient.
It is convenient for someone that own large tracts of land or a whole community.

@Scott Wilhelm

"Broom of Cleaning: Command Word, Cleans things for you for 1 hour: Cost: 1800 gp."
That is the price for 5 uses/day or unlimited. Single-use it goes down to 360 gp.

"Ring of Unseen Servant: Summons an Unseen Servant upon command for 1 hour: 1800gp CL 1 X SL 1 X 1800gp". Same as above.

My playing group has made a very rough estimate that the purchasing power of 1 gp is about 50 € or 50 $.

The first electric domestic appliances cost wasn't that far from that when you compare it to the wages of the time. A fridge cost was several months of pay for an employee or worker, but the benefit was worth it.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally, knowing how common was tainted food in the middle ages, I feel that the first buy of a wealthy family would be a "dinner set of food cleansing", i.e. a dinner set that cast Purify food and drink on the food.
An effect capable to cover a 12 person dining set will require a caster level higher than 1, but not particularly high, as 1 cubic food of food is a lot of stuff. And the size of a 12 person set, plus the need to use your hands to manage spoons, forks, and glasses make it nonportable, so it shouldn't suffer from the "no space limitation" multiplier.

Use activated (dining) x caster level 3 x spell level Cantrip (1/2) x daily used (3/5)
2,000x3x1/2x3/5=1.800 gp, affordable for a wealthy family, and probably well below the cost of the real-life showcase dinner sets.

Scarab Sages

Some interesting ideas here and I do like the magical mideval society series that debates the effect on a real world medival society of magic.

Plus apparenlty autocorrect dislikes both my spellings of midevil.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Constructs are really expensive, though. The least of Constructs I found cost 6500gp, that's 3500gp in components, and that's for 1 laborer.

To capitalize a labor force, wouldn't it make more sense to create Lyres of Building and hire Bards to play them? Each Lyre can perform 300 man-days of labor every week.

Cheapest construct: Tiny Animated Object for 250 gp

Next cheapest: Tiny Poppet for 310 gp

I don't think an animated object is a good worker, but the poppet is a good worker.

I do agree the Lyre is a great construction tool.

/cevah

An animated deep furrow plow (I hope it is the right translation) probably will be worth the investment, for a farming community. Not for a single individual unless he rent it out. Even better if it is something that can power several agricoltural tools.

Toward the end of the XIX century, it was common (at least in Italy) to have a whole village rent a steam-powered thresher for a few days during the harvest season. The owner would rent it to different villages during the whole season and get a good return for the money he spent buying it while it was too costly for the single villager.
Most European farmers at the time didn't own huge tracts of lands, so for them buying equipment that would work only for a few days in a year wasn't economically feasible.
I think that the population in most gaming worlds is in a similar position. Most of them own relatively small pieces of land, so "automated" farming with constructs isn't convenient.
It is convenient for someone that own large tracts of land or a whole community.

@Scott Wilhelm

"Broom of Cleaning: Command Word, Cleans things for you for 1 hour: Cost:...

Yep that's the one and the kingdom's lawful good.


Senko wrote:
the kingdom's lawful good.
Senko wrote:
an undead workforce
anyone who is Lawful Good seeing a Zombie-slave workforce wrote:
EEEEWWWW!!!!


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Senko wrote:
Plus apparenlty autocorrect dislikes both my spellings of midevil.

Medieval. Also, 'apparently'.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
avr wrote:
Senko wrote:
Plus apparenlty autocorrect dislikes both my spellings of midevil.
Medieval. Also, 'apparently'.

The correct spelling is middevil, the halfway age during the domination of the devils!

;-)


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Constructs are really expensive, though. The least of Constructs I found cost 6500gp, that's 3500gp in components, and that's for 1 laborer.

To capitalize a labor force, wouldn't it make more sense to create Lyres of Building and hire Bards to play them? Each Lyre can perform 300 man-days of labor every week.

Most constructs are expensive, and you'll almost never want a Golem for any job that involves doing work. About the only exceptions I can think of that aren't using the golems as new bodies for people using the Soulbound Construct template would be A. Mask Golems to do skilled labor in hostile environments or B. Wax Golems to exploit the fact that they gain sapience and class levels.

Even at the most Shenanigany, though, a Wax Golem's shtick is still probably inferior to just going through Trompe l'Oeil cheese. (But the Painter Wizard should amply explore that subject without me needing to spend any more time on it, although there would be some less super cheesy uses, too.)

There are some useful gems when it comes to constructs that won't break the bank or offer the opportunity to rewrite reality. Animated Objects are one notable example, and while they're not very good for combat purposes, they can accomplish quite a bit when it comes to affecting a world.

Constructs and work/labor:
A Tiny Animated Object costs 250 gp market price or 125 gp to make. A Small Animated Object is 2000 gp market price, 1000 gp construction cost. A Tiny Animated Object could potentially serve as a power source for a number of useful applications and a Small Animated Object definitely could, though it would involve mixing magic with mundane forms of technology.

Even using a Small Animated Object in one of the least creative ways possible, using it to power a mill stone (or even *be* a millstone) would have notable impacts on how you could structure a society and where you could have settlements. Although, in a place like the River Kingdoms where you're never far from a body of water that's probably suitable for a watermill, some of those effects would be less pronounced or relevant.

(Used in a similar way, a Hand Rotary Quern that is a Tiny Animated Object would be able to pay for itself after a bit more than 70 days, just grinding 13,500 pounds of wheat (~225 bushels) into as many pounds of flour.)

Poppets are almost as cheap as Tiny Animated Objects, with Tiny Poppets having a base cost of 160 gp and even with +4 Str and Tripled Carrying Capacity they're still less than 500 gp to make(485 gp) with 195 lb max load. Small Poppets have a base cost of 500 gp and with the same augmentations (825 gp) have a max load of 517.5 lb.

It's also made fairly explicit that you can basically program Poppets to react in a certain way in certain situations so that they can execute a series of individually simple actions in order to carry out more complex tasks, especially when you have multiple Poppets that can take a sort of assembly line approach to a process.

Going back to Soulbound Mannequins for a moment, though. If you used HD modification to put one at 15 HD, gave them max ranks in Craft Alchemy along with the Prodigy, Skill Focus, Master Alchemist, and Signature Skill feats; and gave them a proper Alchemist's Lab you could have that construct producing 2730 gp of product per day (or a dose of poison worth that much for each point of Intelligence bonus you give the construct, at a cost of 5000 gp each), for a net profit of 455 gp.

Such a Soulbound Mannequin would pay for itself within a month (~27.5 days).

Admittedly, doing the same thing with just the Gunsmith feat could be done without any HD modification and would produce a net profit of 400 gp per day by producing gunpowder or ammunition, paying for itself in less than 22 days.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Going back to your example 6500 gp market price, 3500 gp construction cost construct, that exactly lines up with the Rune Guardian, which is a *very* interesting little construct that is actually a lot more useful for labor purposes than it is as a guard or watchdog.

Rune Guardian stuff:
For one thing, they're sapient, so there's no extra cost or hoops to jump through in order to make them capable of following orders well. Even limiting them to only 1st level spells with CL 3, simply changing the SLA they have has a big impact.

That 3500 gp you spent to make a Rune Guardian of Sloth/Conjuration with Unseen Servant instead of Summon Monster is going to be able to have the equivalent of 1800 hands to throw at a problem with them sticking around for 3 hours each. While the "hands" are individually weak, one hour's worth of them can still lift a combined total of 12,000 pounds or 6 tons, and could pull or drag up to 60,000 lb or even 120,000 lb with favorable conditions. So there are some definite warehousing applications.

As a tireless construct, it can work 24/7, so it could provide the equivalent of 3 shifts of laborers. Let's lowball and say it takes 5 2-Strength Unseen Servants to be the equivalent of 1 ordinary 10-Strength laborer. That'd be the equivalent of 360 laborers across 3 shifts or 1080 man-days per day. If you earned or created value equal to the equivalent of 1 untrained laborer's day wage per man-day, that'd be 108 gp per day (or 216 gp if you count the saved wages along with the value created), paying for itself in a bit over 1 month and 2 days (or a bit over 2 weeks accounting for saved wages).

Rune Guardians are basically acting as foremen while they're at it, so they could even accomplish far more complicated tasks than just replicating the work of unskilled labor.

Sloth/Conjuration Rune Guardians also offer possibility of the incredibly useful Expeditious Construction spell as an option. At CL 3 that is 10 by 3 by 3 feet of either unmortared stone or packed earth, or 90 cubic feet. Masonry Stone is a trade good valued at 5 cp per pound. Limestone can range from ~110 lb per cubic foot and 160+ lb per cubic foot, so let's say it's 135 lb per cubic foot, and say that also accounts for the parts that aren't stone.

135 * 90 = 12,150 pounds or ~607.5 gp of masonry stone. So within 6 uses of its SLA, such a Rune Guardian would have more than paid for itself. It would take a single such Rune Guardian about 18 uses or a little under 2 minutes to make an 18' high, 9' thick, 10' long wall. To make something on the scale of Hadrian's Wall (73 miles long, 10 feet thick, 16-20 feet high), it would take 38,544 such segments and a bit over 48 days.

Old Snowball would also create a lot of ice/snow. If, say, it created a 3-inch diameter sphere of it per use of the spell, that would be ~39.27 cubic feet of it after one hour. A single Rune Guardian would be able to supply quite a few ice boxes and ice houses. (New Snowball would be Wrath/Evocation and may or may not be able to re-freeze thawing ice or freeze water or make ice even colder than it already was)

Expeditious Excavation is a Greed/Transmutation option that can excavate 5-ft cubes in 6 seconds, allowing a single Rune Guardian to accomplish the same amount of digging (75,000 cubic feet) in one hour as could be accomplished with 625 man-hours using ordinary shovels.

Abstemiousness is another Transmutation/Greed spell and having a construct with the ability to cast it at-will would open up a lot of possibilities as to how that could impact a location and the kind of population it can sustain.

Bless Water would notably allow for quantities of holy water to be produced. After less than an hour and 140 flasks of Holy Water produced, such a Rune Guardian would have paid for itself. (Although it would probably need to be working with a Rune Guardian with Unseen Servant to move the flasks around, etc., but it would still pay for that one, too, in less than that same first hour.) (When I think about at-will creation of holy water, I always get warm thoughts idly thinking about how much you'd need to produce in order to give someone in the Worldwound a very bad day when you drop it on them in the form of an ice meteor. Or to flood the Pit of Gormuz.)

Break would have numerous potential applications, although it might be partially redundant with Unseen Servants, they could still work in conjunction with them, to pulverize things smaller after the unseen servants break off a Medium or smaller chunk.

One with Crafter's Fortune could basically function as the basis for a factory workshop, allowing even completely unskilled people to have an 80% chance of successfully using Aid Another to boost a principle character's Craft check result or even to churn out goods with a DC of 15 or lower.

Enhance Water can be used to create any kind of alcoholic beverage at a rate of 3 pint per 6 seconds or 225 gallons per hour. Making plain old garden variety Ale, that's a mere 45 gp per hour(still less than 4 days to pay itself off, though), but making something like Baiju which is 10 gp for 2 pints(or less) that's more like 9000 gp per hour. Combined with cheap, available water or Create Water, it could also create a substantial amount of nutrition, between things like rumboozle, pulque, and kumis before getting into things like kefir or even (mildly) alcoholic smoothies of pureed whole fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fabricate Bullets creates 30 gp of value that can be sold for 15 gp per use. They generate a net profit of 13 gp per 6 seconds or 7800 gp per hour, though they would consume 600 pounds of metal in the process. Unless, due to the weird way the spell is written up, they're bringing the lead into existence similar to the exploit with Serren's Swift Girding, in which case they're generating a net profit of 15 gp per 6 seconds, 9000 gp per hour.

It's exploity, but Serren's Swift Girding would allow a Rune Guardian to effectively create armor on a person. Creating Armored Coats would be the most efficient way to go about it with 3 targets for the process at a time, since each armored coat could be removed as a move action, allowing 150 gp of value or 75 gp of profit when sold to be created each round. That would be 45,000 gp after just one hour of going through that process. Even just using it to outfit one's troops would almost certainly see it pay for itself in savings, even without equipping anyone with MW Full Plate.

(~57,857 gp with 3 people getting MW Fortress Plate put on them that they then take 3.5 minutes taking off. More people would mean it could get up to 4,050,000 gp in MW Fortress Plate that could be sold for 2,025,000 gp. Alternatively, 3 solid Gold Chain Coats per round that are each 60 lb and thus worth a total of 9000 gp in terms of gold as a trade good. Up to a cap of 5.4 million in an hour.)

Tears to Wine can function similarly to Crafter's Fortune, in that it can make a lot of people notably better at their jobs, though they will have to take more frequent trips to the water cooler or work out a way to efficiently disperse the liquid. The two combined would give a 90% chance of successfully Aiding Another, even for completely average and untrained people and a decent chance even to people with an Int penalty.

Looking at Gluttony/Necromancy, there's the Decompose Corpse to skeletonize it, Restore Corpse to give it skin and flesh, and then butchering and using Purify Food and Drink to make it no longer rotten (not necessarily in that order) and then repeating the process all over again that can produce all kinds of materials or just an infinite food source.

Defoliate will absolutely destroy plant life in order to further land clearance for a variety of purposes, and faster than using Unseen Servants would.

Preserve will prevent food from rotting or spoiling for 1 week. In one hour a Rune Guardian of Gluttony with CL 3 could preserve 600 pounds of food. I believe that's 302,400 pounds (151.2 tons) of food (or other substances) that a single one could preserve indefinitely.

Envy/Abjuration would open up things like Alarm or Endure Elements which would be able to provide 600 people with 24-hour protection against fairly extreme heat and cold over the course of an hour. Waterproof would be similar to Endure Elements but for making creatures or relatively light objects waterproof for the same duration.

Incendiary Runes would allow it to churn out quite a lot of no-save, 1d6 fire damage traps in a day.

As far as Lust/Enchantment goes, there are a few options that would be interesting.

Call Animal would be able to get any wild Animal of CR 3 or lower that's within 3 hours travel to come. This could have uses for hunting, but probably more useful would be taming animals and using it in conjunction with spells such as Charm Animal and Animal Purpose Training in order to get various potential uses out of said animals.

Fairness would have immediate and obvious ramifications for business deals, especially if its use was required in order for contracts, etc. to be legal and above board.

Keep Watch can revolutionize some industries or at least make it so that it requires deliberate hostile action in order to make guards fall asleep during their night watch.

Memorize Page could revolutionize education, especially when you remember that there is no size limitation on the page. It would also make it impossible for employees to forget what's in the employee handbook or proper safety procedures.

Sow Thought could, I believe, be used to brute force indoctrinate a person by flooding their mind with the thoughts that you want to take hold. There are certainly more possibilities that being able to spam this opens up, though.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for Lyres of Building, those are indeed pretty great. Although I think they're best used when it comes to massive public works projects and strip-mining. Roads, ditches, canals, massive earthworks and walls, that sort of thing.

Even there, though, constructs can be quite handy, since an appropriate construct would be able to play a lyre indefinitely. I would pick a Soulbound Doll or Soulbound Mannequin by my preference.

The Soulbound Mannequin can easily get 10 ranks in Perform (string instruments) in order to play the Lyre more than competently while taking 10. A Soulbound Doll would be cheaper at less than half the cost, but would require putting its feats in Skill Focus (Perform) and Prodigy as well as 4 ranks into Perform and using HD modification to give it a single extra HD.

(You could also get a certain amount of synergy with the Rune Guardian idea by basically taking the raw stone created by Expeditious Construction and processing it through the labor of a Lyre of Building until the stones fit together perfectly even without mortar or remaking the wall with mortar.)

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