You can create construct creatures like golems.
Benefit: You can create any construct whose prerequisites you meet. The act of animating a construct takes one day for each 1,000 gp in its market price. To create a construct, you must use up raw materials costing half of its base price, plus the full cost of the basic body created for the construct. Each construct has a special section that summarizes its costs and other prerequisites. A newly created construct has average hit points for its Hit Dice.
A homunculus is shaped from a mixture of clay, ash, mandrake root, spring water, and one pint of the creator’s own blood. These materials cost 50 gp. After the body is sculpted, it is animated through an extended magical ritual that requires a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemist’s laboratory, and costing an additional 1,000 gp to supply. If the creator is personally constructing the creature’s body, the building and ritual can be performed together. A homunculus with more than 2 Hit Dice can be created, but each additional Hit Die adds +2,000 gp to the cost to create.
The person whose blood is used to form a homunculus’s body becomes its master; it is possible for one person to give blood for the creation, another to sculpt the base material, and another to magically animate it as a minion for the one who provided the blood.
CL 7th; Price 2,050 gp
To create a homunculus with one or more improvements, the crafter must include large quantities of certain reagents (represented by the price listed for each of the improvements below) while performing the ritual to create a homunculus. For every 1,000 gp worth of additional abilities to be granted to the homunculus, the DC of the Craft check to create the homunculus increases by 1 (minimum +1).
The crafter can also add new abilities to an existing homunculus by performing a brief surgical procedure. To do so, the crafter must purchase the necessary reagents and make a successful Heal check (DC equal to the DC of the Craft check necessary to create such a homunculus from scratch).
- Acid Breath: By distilling brimstone and aqua regia, a crafter can bestow upon the homunculus the ability to spit a 15-foot-line of acid. This is a breath weapon that deals 1d6 points of acid damage per 2 Hit Dice of the homunculus. The damage from this attack can be halved with a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the homunculus’s HD). Price: +1,500 gp.
- Extra Eyes: By adding silver shavings to the homunculus, a crafter can imbue it with additional eyes, granting it the all-around vision special quality and a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks. Price: +4,000 gp.
- Spell-Like Ability: By incorporating 10 potions of the same spell in the homunculus’s creation, a crafter can imbue the homunculus with the power to use that spell once per day as a spell-like ability. Price: Total cost of the potions used.
- Spit Poison: By adding gold and realgar to the homunculus, a crafter can give it the ability to spit its poison as a ranged touch attack that deals no damage but exposes the victim to the poison’s effect as though it were a contact poison. The ability has a range of 15 feet with no range increment. Price: +6,000 gp.
- Toughened Hide: By adding diamond dust and cold iron to the homunculus, a crafter can increase its natural armor bonus to AC by 1, 2, or 3. Price: +1,000 gp (+1), +4,000 gp (+2), or +9,000 gp (+3).
- Voice: By adding dew of lunary and platinum to the homunculus, a crafter can grant it the ability to speak in a voice that sounds eerily like a diminutive version of its master’s. Price: +500 gp.
After encountering constructs firsthand on an adventure, it is only natural that you might want to have such a loyal and potentially powerful ally for yourself. The Craft Construct feat has been a part of the game from the beginning, but the process of crafting a construct, like crafting any magic item, can be confusing. The following section outlines in greater detail the various things to consider when attempting to craft a construct, making the process easier to understand.
Crafting Constructs Requirements
In addition to raw materials, you must supply certain spells to animate a construct, potentially in addition to any other requirements. The exact requirements vary from one construct to another and are included in its construction requirements entry.
Item Creation Feat: You must have the Craft Construct feat to create a construct. This requirement is mandatory and cannot be avoided unless you have a class feature, feat, or other ability that specifically allows you to do so. Note that because Craft Construct requires both the Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item feats, as well as caster level 5th, these prerequisites will need to be met as well. Some constructs may require you to have one or more additional feats. If these are item creation feats, they are also mandatory.
Spell Requirements: A construct’s spell requirements are listed in the construction requirements section of the stat block, in alphabetical order. As with other magic items, you must have prepared the spells to be cast (or must know the spells, in the case of spontaneous spellcasters) but need not provide any material components or focuses the spells require. The act of working on the construct expends the prepared spells, making them unavailable for casting during each day of the construct’s creation (that is, those spell slots are expended from the caster’s currently prepared spells, just as if they had been cast.) For each spell requirement you do not meet, the DC to craft the construct increases by 5.
Caster Level: Some constructs, especially the more powerful ones, require the creator to be of a certain caster level in order to craft them. Unlike some other crafting requirements, this requirement must be met in order to craft the construct, and cannot be ignored simply by increasing the DC of the skill check to craft the construct by 5.
Special Requirements: Some constructs have special requirements or restrictions governing their creation.
Robots, as a general rule, cannot be crafted by player characters, as their construction requires highly specialized and complex technology that is not normally available.
Other constructs have specific requirements that the caster must meet. As a general rule, unless the description of the construct indicates otherwise, any additional construction requirements other than feats can be bypassed by increasing the DC of the skill check to craft the construct by 5.
In order to create a construct, you must first gather the necessary materials. This includes both the materials that form the construct’s body and additional materials worth half the base price of the construct. Each construct that can be crafted lists a cost, in gp, in the construction requirements section. This cost includes both the cost of the construct’s body and the cost of the additional materials; this is the full amount that you must pay in order to create the construct.
The full cost for the construct, including any cost required to provide its body, must be paid before work can begin on the construct.
Finding Materials: Most of the time, it is assumed that the materials for creating the construct’s body are readily available and can simply be purchased as part of the cost of the construct’s creation. However, depending on the nature of the construct and the materials available at hand, this may not always be the case. Typically, a construct’s entry will describe exactly what its body is made of. If those materials are not readily available for purchase, then you must collect them by some other means, which may involve an adventure run by the GM. Other times, the construct’s body may already be found fully prepared, potentially inspiring the players to attempt to craft a construct of that specific type.
In this case, the cost for the construct’s body itself does not need to be paid.
Animating a construct can be a time-consuming process.
The act of animating a construct takes 1 day for every 1,000 gp in its market price (note that this is different than the cost that must be paid to create the construct). For the purposes of crafting constructs (as well as other magic items), 1 day of work consists of 8 hours of uninterrupted labor, which must occur in a fairly quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place. Certain types of constructs may require specialized equipment or laboratories in order to craft, and in this case, the crafter must have access to these resources and facilities.
Accelerated Work: You cannot rush the process of crafting a construct by working for more than 8 hours in a given day (even if you do not need to sleep, or are otherwise able to get extra hours out of the day). However, if you increase the DC to create the construct by 5 (a decision that must be made before the crafting process begins), you can accelerate the process to require only 4 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item’s base price. This allows you to effectively accomplish 2 days’ worth of work in a single day, or finish the construct in the same number of days by spending less time on it each day.
Dangerous Conditions: If you are not able to fully focus on your work, it takes much longer to accomplish. Characters attempting to craft in distracting or dangerous conditions, such as a crafter who is working while out adventuring, do so at a much slower pace. You can devote only 4 hours per day to item creation while adventuring or in similar conditions, and you work at half the normal pace (so you complete only 2 hours of work that day).
Intermittent Creation: You do not need to continue working on crafting a construct nonstop until you finish it. While each 8-hour (or 4-hour) block of time spent on crafting must be continuous, once those hours have been spent, you can stop work to pursue other activities as you see fit. You can leave a project partially finished for days, weeks, or even months, not making any progress toward its completion, without impacting the crafting process (provided you do not start crafting something else; see Simultaneous Creation below).
Simultaneous Creation: You can work on only one item at a time. If you start work on a new item, all materials used on the previous item (as well as all progress made on it) are wasted. This applies to all magic items, not just constructs, so for example if you are working on a crafting a stone golem and take a break to craft a hat of disguise, the materials and progress put towards the stone golem will be lost.
Crafting a construct isn’t easy, and not everyone is able to do it. Simply spending time and money does not make the construct spring into existence. Instead, the crafter must succeed at a skill check in order to successfully craft the construct. The skill check is not attempted until the very end of the process, once you have spent the required time working on the construct.
Skill Type: The exact skills that can be used to craft a particular construct are given in its construction requirements and vary from one construct type to another. As a general rule, most constructs require a Craft skill of some kind, although some may allow other skills (such as the flesh golem, which can be created with Heal). Most constructs list more than one possible skill, and you can choose which of these skills to use when making the check.
DC: The DC of the skill check to craft a construct is located in its construction requirements and varies from one construct type to another. Generally speaking, the DC is equal to 5 + the default caster level of the construct. Beyond this base DC, several modifiers can increase the DC.
Accelerated Crafting: When you begin crafting a construct, you can choose to work at an accelerated pace. This halves the amount of time required to create the construct but increases the DC of the skill check to create the construct by 5.
Unmet Prerequisites: As with creating any other magic item, there are certain prerequisites that are mandatory (such as the item creation feat) and others that are optional (such as the spell requirements). For each optional component that you fail to meet, the DC to create the construct increases by 5.
Failure: If you fail the skill check to craft the construct by less than 5, the attempt fails, and the materials and time spent crafting the construct are wasted. Normally, if a character fails a check to create a magic item by 5 or more, the result is a cursed item. At the GM’s discretion, if a player fails a check to create a construct by 5 or more, the results may be more dire—the magic animating the construct might fail spectacularly and result in a damaging explosion, or the resulting construct could be uncontrolled and violent.
The Finished Construct
Feats and Skills: Most constructs are mindless, and so they do not have feats or skills. However, a small number of constructs have an Intelligence score, and their creator determines what feats and skill ranks the construct has when it is created. This choice cannot later be changed.
Golem Manuals: The wondrous items known as golem manuals contain all the information and magical power required to create a particular kind of golem. This effectively grants the Craft Construct feat to anyone using the manual to craft a golem of that type, and it provides an increase in caster level for the purpose of meeting the prerequisite to craft that specific type of golem. Further, the manual grants a +5 competence bonus on skill checks to craft the golem and contains all the necessary spells, which can be activated by anyone who has the relevant spells on their class’s spell list (but only for the purpose of crafting the golem). When using a golem manual, you must still spend the normal amount of time to craft the golem and pay the cost of the golem’s body (or provide it through other means), but you do not need to pay the rest of the normal cost to create the golem.
For example, with a clay golem manual, you would need to provide a body worth 1,500 gp (rather than the normal full cost of 21,500 gp), spend 42 days constructing the golem’s body (1 for each 1,000 gp in the normal price of the golem), have a caster level of 9th or higher (as the manual provides a +2 bonus and the normal requirement is 11th level), have animate objects, bless, commune, prayer, and resurrection on your class’s spell list, and succeed at a DC 16 Craft (sculptures) or Craft (pottery) check (but the manual gives you a +5 bonus on the check.)
Purchasing a Construct: Rather than go through all the hassle of building a construct from scratch, you can always allow someone else to do all of the work for you and simply purchase the results. of course, this can be quite expensive, as a great deal of time and energy goes into the creation of constructs, and those who are skilled enough to craft them generally charge a premium for their services. Any construct that can be crafted has a market price, which is usually fairly close to twice the cost to craft the construct. Purchasing a construct follows the same rules as purchasing other magic items, meaning that for particularly powerful and expensive constructs, a prospective buyer might need to travel to a sufficiently large city.
Stealing a Construct: Generally speaking, constructs are quite difficult to steal, being large and heavy. More to the point, stealing them is not terribly effective unless you have a way to control them. One option is the spell control construct, which can grant a limited ability to hijack a construct. By using the spell to bring the construct to a desired location and giving it a final command before the spell ends, you can set the construct to guard a desired spot or direct it to simply wait for you to cast control construct on it again the next time you want to give it orders. of course, if the construct’s true owner is able to track it down or you lose control of the construct, you might find the stolen construct turned against you!
Movement Modification: This modification improves a construct’s existing movement. This modification can improve a construct’s land speed, increasing the speed by 10 feet, up to a total speed equal to double its original land speed. Each 10-foot improvement costs 2,000 gp. Constructs with a climb or swim speed can improve these speeds by 10 feet, up to a total speed equal to double the original speed, at a cost of 3,000 gp per 10-foot improvement. Constructs with a fly speed can improve these speeds by 10 feet, up to a total speed equal to double the original speed, at a cost of 4,000 gp per 10-foot improvement.
Constructs can also gain new means of locomotion with this modification. A construct can gain a climb or swim speed of 15 feet at a cost of 6,000 gp. A construct can gain a fly speed of 15 feet at a cost of 8,000 gp so long as it has at least 5 Hit Dice. A Tiny or smaller construct gains a maneuverability of good, a Medium or Small construct gains a maneuverability of average, a Large or Huge construct gains a maneuverability of poor, and Gargantuan or larger constructs gain a maneuverability of clumsy.
Resistances: This modification grants resistances to a construct or improves existing resistances. The construct gains energy resistance 5 to one of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. This base resistance costs 4,000 gp. This modification can also improve resistance to the above energy types, up to a total equal to double the original value or 15, whichever is lower. Improving energy resistance in this way costs 6,000 gp for every increment of 5 by which the resistance is increased. Constructs with vulnerability to one of the above energy types, such as an ice golem’s vulnerability to fire, cannot gain resistance to that energy type with this modification.
Sense Modification: This modification improves the construct’s existing senses. This modification can improve a construct’s darkvision, extending the range of that darkvision by an additional 30 feet, up to a total range of 120 feet. Each improvement costs 2,500 gp. This modification can also provide blindsense and blindsight to a construct. Blindsense can be added at a cost of 4,000 gp per 30 feet of blindsense, up to a total of 60 feet of blindsense. Blindsight can be added to a construct with blindsense at a cost of 7,500 gp per 15 feet of blindsight, up to a total of 30 feet of blindsight.
Spell-Like Ability Modification: This modification allows a construct to cast a spell-like ability in a limited capacity. A spell-like ability chosen for this modification can be of any level, but it must be one that the construct’s creator can cast. The construct can cast the selected spell-like ability once per day. Using this modification, a construct’s creator can provide additional castings of the same spell-like ability by paying the cost for that spell multiple times. For example, a construct can gain the ability to cast fireball three times per day if the creator pays for the cost of the spell-like ability three times. A construct’s Hit Dice limit the total amount of spell-like abilities it can gain from this modification. A construct can gain only a number of spell levels through this modification up to a total equal to its Hit Dice. Following the above example, the construct requires at least 9 Hit Dice to cast fireball three times per day. The cost for adding a spell like ability is equal to 3,000 gp per spell level of the spell. For the purposes of this cost, a 0-level spell has a spell level of 1/2.
These modifications represent more complex changes to the structure and function of the construct; each has specific requirements, a cost equivalent to the minimum level to cast the spell × the spell level × 250 gp, and a potential increase to the construct’s CR.
CR Increase none; Cost 250 gp
This modification allows a construct to alert its creator with a mental alarm. The creator sets a specific password for the construct. Any creature it encounters that does not speak the password within 1 round causes the construct to activate the mental alarm, which alerts the creator so long as the creator is within 1 mile. The mental alarm awakens the creator from non-magical sleep but does not otherwise disturb concentration.
The creator can deactivate or reactivate a construct’s alarm feature as a standard action. The maximum distance of the mental alarm can be increased by paying an additional 250 gp for each additional mile of maximum distance.
CR Increase none; Cost 11,250 gp
This modification allows a construct to transform into a shelter capable of housing its creator and her allies. The transformation is a rigorous process that requires 10 minutes to complete. Once transformed, the shelter can house a number of inhabitants based on the construct’s size. A Colossal construct can house one Colossal creature, two Gargantuan creatures, four Huge creatures, eight Large creatures, 16 Medium creatures, or 32 Small creatures. A Gargantuan construct can house one Gargantuan creature, two Huge creatures, four Large creatures, eight Medium creatures, or sixteen Small creatures, and so forth. A construct shelter does not have any accommodations beyond the basics required to rest.
Creatures within the shelter can see out, but creatures outside cannot see into the shelter.
The construct can still receive orders and can eject a creature or prevent a creature from entering according to its creator’s orders. A creature can avoid being ejected with a successful Reflex save (DC = 10 + the construct’s CR). A creature that attempts to enter the shelter must attempt to break through with a Strength check opposed by the construct’s Strength check, forcing its way into the shelter on a success. Alternatively, a creature seeking entry can attack the shelter. The shelter always has an AC of 10, but it retains any damage reduction or hardness the construct has. The attacker must deal damage equal to one-quarter the construct’s total hit points to gain entry, reducing the construct’s hit points by an equivalent amount.
CR Increase none; Cost 11,250 gp
This modification creates an extradimensional space within the construct, allowing the creator and her allies to store objects within the construct. The construct’s size determines the amount of storage available. A Small construct contains 4 cubic feet of space that can hold up to 25 pounds. This space and weight limit is doubled for each size category larger than Small, up to a total of 128 cubic feet and a weight limit of 800 pounds for a Colossal construct. The construct can retrieve any object held within this space as a swift action. Other creatures accessing this space can retrieve an object as a move action. This extradimensional space otherwise functions like a bag of holding.
CR Increase none; Cost 16,500 gp
This modification allows a creator to issue orders to its construct via a mental connection. The creator must be within 100 feet of the construct to issue orders in this way. Unintelligent constructs and constructs unable to communicate can receive orders but not respond through this mental connection.
CR Increase +1; Cost 1,500 gp
This modification allows a construct to use some of the innate magic that powers its body to repair damage to itself. As a swift action, the construct can gain fast healing 5. A construct can activate this fast healing for a number of rounds per day equal to half its Hit Dice (minimum 1 round). These rounds do not need to be consecutive. A construct can gain this modification multiple times. Each time, the total number of rounds per day increases by a number equal to half the construct’s Hit Dice (minimum 1 round), up to a maximum equal to double the construct’s Hit Dice. Constructs that already have the fast healing ability instead increase their fast healing value by 2, up to a maximum equal to double the construct’s original fast healing value.
CR Increase +1; Cost 3,750 gp
This modification causes a construct to explode in a shower of razor-sharp scrap and debris when it is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points. All creatures within a 10-foot burst of the construct take a number of points of slashing damage equal to 1d6 times the construct’s CR. A successful Reflex save (DC = 10 + half the construct’s Hit Dice + the construct’s Constitution modifier) halves this damage. If a construct already has a similar ability, such as the death burst of a clockwork golem, the DC of the ability instead increases by 4.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Brian Duckwitz, Andrew Hoskins, Nathan King, Kris Leonard, Luis Loza, Adrian Ng, Tom Phillips, Alex Riggs, and Nicholas Wasko.
Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams
Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, and David N. Ross.