How does an animated object (Colossal) ship work?


Rules Questions


Hello everyone Korskov here (my alchemist PC).
Sorry for the wall of text!
My party and I recently got a side quest that involves a BIG detour, like opposite place of the world detour. We're planning on doing this trip via sea voyage.
So... my alchemist got the Promethean disciple feat (among other crafting feats, via master craftsman), and we were thinking of building our own vessel (until now, we traveled in our own crafted huge animated wagon, upgraded to have a decent fly speed too).

So following the example of the "Table: sample animated objects" on the Animated objects page, a Colossal animated object can be made from a Ship, right? And it also states a little below there "Using the Craft Construct feat requires the creator to construct or purchase the object he wishes to animate. He must then spend an amount of gold on reagents—to determine the amount, add the animated object’s HD to its CP, and multiple the total by 1,000."
So... That would mean "Price: varies (cost of object + [(animated object’s HD + CP) × 1,000])" just under this part there's the construction requirements that states "Feats Craft Construct; Spells animate objects, permanency; Skill optional (determined by object being created; crafting the object reduces its cost); COST 1/2 price" (caps by me) it specifically differentiates it's price and cost (which normally means, price = market amount and Cost = crafting amount) so would that mean, that in the case of building a Sailing ship that's also an Animated object (Colossal) the formula for it's price, assuming we're not crafting the base ship, would be: (10,000gp) + [(13HD + 6CP) * 1,000] = 29,000gp. Therefore it's COST could be 14,500gp. (That seems way too cheap)

To make things more complicated, if we go to "Table: Bestiary 1 and Bestiary 2 Constructs" in Building and modifying cosntructs there's an example for the price of buying and the cost of crafting a Colossal animated object, those being "Price: 60,000gp and Cost:30,000gp" while not specifying if the base object's price is included there.
If it is, the 30k COST seems to be in-line with the 29k PRICE we got from the formula, and that's assuming a full price 10k ship.

So which Crafting cost should I use? (I know that i should bring this up to my DM to choose, and I will next session, I just wanna know if there's any kind of ruling)
We're almost done, trust me.

Now for the mechanics of the ship itself.
My idea is to keep the construct very much in the shape of the ship and invest all of it's Construction points (and leftover gold) in giving it better means of travel, for example a swim speed in case there's no wind for the sails, and maybe a fly speed, both propelled (mostly for flavor) by an alchemical engine. I'm also making a crew of homunculi, but that's for another post. And here's where a lot of additional questions came up.

As you can see, both the Animated object (Colossal) and the Sailing ship have different statistic, one as a creature and the other as an object (Vehicle), so if we're sailing on water, would we use the "new" creature statistics or could we combine them, like lets say their speeds (assuming there's a wind and water current).
Also, assuming we have a crew to man the cannons, could we make use of the Sailing ship's siege engines? The base price for the ship includes some siege engines.
And assuming there's someone steering, could we use the Sailing ship's ram attack? Maybe combine it with the Colossal object's own Slam attack.
What would the creature's (or object's) HP be? Going from 900 or 1600 HP (Sailing ship) to 151(Colossal AO) seems like quite the downgrade. Specially if our ship ends up in a battle with a "normal" one.
I know there might not be a consensus, but I'm really excited to read your opinions.

Thank you if you made it all the way through, sorry for any mistakes, English is clearly not my main language and i'm still learning the ropes of formatting.

TL;DR
What's the real cost of crafting a Colossal animated object that' also a sailing ship (or better)?
Being a creature and an object (vehicle) how does a Colossal AO sailing ship work while sailing and in encounters?


As a GM I hesitate to tell another GM what the cost should be for something like this.

Personally, I wouldn't have let you have the permanent animated flying wagon.

With the sailing ship, I'd probably suggest you buy the ship you want and use the spell, skeleton crew to operate it.

Anyways, you also have an error in your understanding of things.

The boat you're interested in costs 10,000 gp. You could in theory also craft the boat for time + 5,000 gp. But normal mundane crafting is pretty slow by the rules, so it usually not worth doing. So now you have a completely normal non-magical boat, which you would need to animate into your animated object colossal creature.

The ritual/spell casting of animating an object requires a certain amount of reagents, expressed in a gold value. The price price does get reduced by crafting feats. That price is 19000 gp, or 9500 if you craft it yourself.

Of course, the rules are really bad on something like this because there are multiple ways to achieve the same end result.

Such as using the spell permanency when castings the animate objects spell, which strangely has a 14000 gp flat cost and a minimum caster level of 14.

The crazier thing though is that using the animate objects spell gives you a number of small objects you can animate and some rules for equivalency. 32 small objects are equal to a colossal. But you only get 1 small object per caster level....so without finding stuff that raises your caster level you couldn't actually animate a colossal object in the first place.

I guess what I'm trying to point out here is that the rules are contradictory and don't make a lot of sense.

And as a GM, I'd probably ignore them all and figure out what made sense for me.


Whereas a wagon has moving parts that can (if animated) provide propulsion, a sailing ship doesn't. So in the absence of wind, it will just sit there bobbing about on the waves. But what it can do is operate its own sails, rigging and rudder, so the crew requirement is vastly less. I think you'd need to animate all the cannon and so forth (anything that's not really a part of the ship) separately.

How good an animated ship is at sailing is another question. It has no idea about navigation and is likely to steer blindly into the rocks. So you'll need a competent captain, navigator and lookouts. It might be very much a matter of telling the ship to weigh anchor, hoist the mizzen topsail and all that, as it may not have a clue otherwise.

So I suspect that (for a fairly reasonable cost, as above) you have a stupid ship that's voice controlled by a small crew of experts, rather than dozens of jack tars.

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