Race: Construct

Last updated:

  • 1/13/2017 – minor language changes.
  • 5/18/2017 – complete rebuild for simplicity and clarity.

Constructs are a race of sentient objects, either made from technological design, cunningly crafted art, or the dark powers of necromancy. The first construct was born from Compassion alone in her desperate search to find a guardian to keep the First Blade safe from the other gods. In her travels she came across the tinkerer Daedalus, working alone in his workshop. Daedalus was a lonely man. His wife had died before they could have children, and he sought to have a companion of his own to pass down his skills to. Over time he crafted a lovingly created statue of wood and stone, cloth and leather, and spoke to it each day as he worked in his workshop. While many thought him mad, Compassion saw not only his desire but his kindness, and placed her hands upon the statue, granting it a soul and the ability to move and think. This became the first construct, and thereafter whenever someone crafted something with all of their soul, there was a chance that it too could come alive and become aware.

Charge of Compassion

Most constructs all have a secret mission passed down from Compassion: they must protect the First Blade and the Fool from the other gods. While an opportunity to do so may never occur in their lifetimes, should the opportunity present itself they frequently feel compelled by the Maker to aid in this mission.

The Uncanny Valley

Being alive without a biological body is not without its drawbacks, and many races, especially those of Fae and Vampire heritage, dislike and distrust Constructs. Fae fear their metal bodies as being naturally harmful to them, while Vampires see them as a mockery of their own curse of undeath, that life is so freely given to things of metal and stone yet denied to them. Beyond these races, Constructs are frequently seen as miracles of wonder and amazement by much of humanity, and though some constructs have become known for their war applications (especially those Technological Constructs of Grandmill), in most places they are seen as calm, useful helpers in whatever their application demands.

B.A.S.I.C. and D4D1-0S

Constructs all inherently know the language of B.A.S.I.C., a machine language of numbers and equations that they can communicate with others through what sounds like a series of static, beeps, and chirps. While a small number of other races learn to interpret this language, and even write it in some cases, none but Constructs may speak it effectively without magical or technological assistance. In addition to their language, Constructs all are aware of and venerate their original maker Daedalus, referring to him as D4D1-0S in their own language. While other faiths may also appeal to the individual, it is common for Constructs to praise “The Maker” even above the other gods they serve.

Traits: Construct

Constructs come in a variety of humanoid shapes and sizes, but generally they all have the following traits.

  • Ability Score Increase. Constructs are hardy and often made to be durable against wear and tear. Gain +2 to your constitution. Your design is specific to a unique purpose. Gain an additional +2 to a single ability score of your choosing.
  • Age. With regular tuning and maintenance, along with availability of materials, a construct could live forever.
  • Alignment. Constructs tend toward lawful alignments as their minds function primarily in code and mathematical processes. While outliers have been programmed to be “random,” it is an unusual state for a construct and they are usually only in this fashion when malfunctioning.
  • Size. Constructs are generally about the same size as their human creators, but tend to weigh twice their weight given their materials. Regardless of their weight they are considered Medium size.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Soul in the Machine. Even though you were constructed, you are a living creature. You are immune to poison and disease. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. Should you complete this inactive state, you regain your entire pool of Hit Dice.
  • Inorganic. Constructs are inorganic creatures and may not be healed with magical spells, potions, healing kits or other forms of herbal or regenerative healing. Non-magic class features (such as second wind) and hit dice restore health as normal, as do repair items specifically indicating that they heal constructs.
  • Rapid Repair. Constructs treat their Hit Dice pool as repairable spare parts. As an action, constructs can rapidly repair themselves, spending any number of their Hit Dice to quickly repair their mechanical bodies. For each Hit Die spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the construct’s Constitution modifier. The character regains hit points equal to the total. The construct can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll to increase their repair.
  • Technical Support: Constructs gain proficiency in Tinker’s Tools. In addition, those proficient in Tinker’s Tools may use them to stabilize a dying construct as an action. A stabilized construct may be repaired to 1 HP by someone proficient in Tinker’s Tools over a short rest.
  • Languages. Constructs can speak Ovidic (Common) along with B.A.S.I.C. (a language only available to them in most circumstances).
  • Subraces. Constructs come in a variety of forms below. Choose a subrace from the following.

Clockwork Construct

It is said that the earliest constructs where those things of great beauty that their creators poured their entire heart and soul into making. Such constructs were frequently statues, puppets, effigies, and toys that were created so lovingly that they gained a soul of their own and the ability to move and act. Frequently created out of wood, stone, metals, cloth, and leather, they gained sentience and locomotion through both the magical means of their creation and their technological design and mechanics. Clockwork Constructs come in a variety of shapes and forms, from the ubiquitous mailbots that roam the cities of the world to more human shaped designs focusing upon a specific task or job. Player constructs are always humanoid in appearance, with similar configurations of limbs and parts.

  • Careful Craftsmanship – When you take a short rest, you may spend time crafting replacement parts that will work for your body. Upon completing a short rest, you regain your proficiency bonus value in Hit Dice. If you have multiple pools of Hit Dice, you may choose which to restore.

Necromantic Construct

Some necromancers seek a way to create new life from the corpses of the fallen, trying to recreate the work of Morrigan and Samhain through their own dark magics. From these experiments a rare set of constructs emerge, not creatures of wood or stone or metal, but those of flesh and bone. These constructs frequently are terrifying to behold and are the stuff of nightmares.

  • Scavenge Flesh –  Whenever a living or undead creature is slain on the battlefield you may attempt to scavenge the corpse of an adjacent creature for usable parts in the form of one Hit Die. Creatures you to attempt to scavenge in this way must be living or dead Humans, Clont, Fae, Werefolk, Plantfolk, Vampire, or either Beasts or Undead of medium size. When you strike the killing blow of a creature and have a free hand, you may use your reaction to immediately scavenge parts as the body falls to the ground, having avoided dealing damage to valuable parts and/or loosened those you wanted. Otherwise, you may use an action to scavenge a fallen corpse. When you scavenge you regain one Hit Die. If you have multiple pools of Hit Dice, you may choose which to restore.When scavenging a corpse in this fashion, the body is destroyed in a gruesome display.  You may attempt to scavenge a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus value. Once you have reached this amount, you may not scavenge again until after completing a short rest.

Homunculus Construct

Some constructs are so well created that they are indistinguishable from other races, moving into the realm of the uncanny. When making a Homunculus constructs choose a sentient race you are designed to emulate. To nearly all untrained eyes you appear as that race unless the viewer passes a successful insight check or uses magical vision. Your insides, while constructed and slightly more sturdy than flesh, are vaguely designed to emulate those of an organic body (you have a blood like fluid, lung-like organs, etc.) though you do not require these for function.

  • Metabolize – Your quasi-organic design allows you to consume magical potions and gain magical healing effects to a limited degree. Upon consuming a potion or being the target of a magical or organic healing effect which could heal for 1d8 or more, you may receive this healing in the form of regaining one of your Hit Dice.

Aligan Construct

Note: Players generally do not begin the game as an Aligan Construct, but may become one over the course of the campaign. Players rolling new characters as Aligan Constructs should consult with their GM about how their souls were trapped in a machine (and this should have begun shortly before the campaign begins).

While all constructs are living beings with souls, some of these souls were not always constructs. The ancient arts of the Aligan warlocks wrenched the souls of the living from their mortal forms and sealed them into tools, weapons, and occasionally constructs for purposes of enslavement or immortality. Such magical arts are imperfect, and the soul steadily wears away outside of its natural form. Aligan constructs generally begin their lives as either willing sacrifices, giving up their mortal form in order to gain power as a construct for a short time; or as unwilling slaves who had their souls torn for the purposes of your new, dark master. In rare cases, one might subject themselves or a loved one to this dark power to perform one last mission or to extend a threatened life just a little while longer.

  • Constructed Rebirth – You have been reborn as a construct through your soul being wrenched from your original body. You recall your former life and experiences and retain the capabilities you had in your original form, with the exception of exchanging your original race for construct and change your racial traits and ability scores accordingly. Your original body falls unconscious where it stood, still living but comatose in the same state it had been left in. Without magical or medical stabilization your former body dies within 48 hours.
  • New Vessel – The GM chooses which construct subclass is most appropriate for your new body. This is most often chosen based upon the nature of your circumstances (an evil necromancer would likely use a Necromantic construct, while a mad scientist might be creating a Clockwork Construct, etc.).
  • Soul Decay – Whenever you take a short or long rest, you permanently lose 1 HP from your maximum total. Should your maximum total be reduced to 0, your soul has decayed beyond the ability of restoration and you die, leaving behind an empty shell of your construct body. While affected by Soul Decay you cannot gain levels or obtain experience.
  • Control Rod – Your creator holds a control rod, an object which specifically compels you to obey the holder. This object need not be a rod or scepter, it could be a bracelet, weapon, device, or other memento of significance. While your creator is in possession of the control rod, can communicate directly with you, and is conscious, it may make a command on you, forcing you to carry out some service or refrain from some action or course of activity as the holder of the rod decides. Each command lasts no longer than 24 hours, during which you may take other actions so long as they do not directly disobey your command. If you hold the rod, or if the rod is destroyed you are no longer bound by the Control Rod and may do as you see fit.

GM Note: Players who become Aligan Constructs should be given a path to restore themselves from their plight, either to return to their old bodies or have a more permanent construct body crafted for them that allows them to remain in their new form without the penalties of Soul Decay or Control Rod.