Sunday, May 19, 2019

OSR: Constructs

I decided to do a post on Constructs, because why not.  This will be a post for referring to all my Constructs on this blog, but it does not cover any sapient artificial creatures, such as Warforged, Brass Men, Terracotta Men, or etc.  Those are a different animal and will be covered via separate rules.

That being said, let's talk about Constructs.

                                                         by Irvast

1.  Constructs don't have souls, minds, or free will.

A Construct doesn't choose to do anything.  Even if it speaks or talks and seems to be a free-willed moral agent, it is not. Constructs aren't bothered by this however.  In fact, nothing bothers a Construct because there is no one to bother.

This also has some benefits.  For example, Constructs cannot have their minds read, as they have no minds to read.  They are also totally immune to magically induced fear, charm or any spell or ability that would seek to influence someone's mind.  They are also immune to normal emotional or logical appeals or any form of persuasion, actually.

2.  Constructs follow pre-programmed orders or are manually controlled.

Autonomous constructs can seem intelligent, but they always are just following lists of orders. 
Constructs cannot be bought, seduced or reasoned with.  They will follow orders until they stop functioning.

Alternatively, if a Construct has not been pre-programmed, it is manually controlled.  The method through which Constructs are usually controlled is through a Control Egg, a small sphere of metal or stone inlaid with magical circuitry.  Generally, whoever holds the Control Egg controls the Construct.  Almost all Constructs have Control Eggs.  Some do not, but this is rare, as without one, it is very difficult to reuse a Construct. 

3.  Constructs cannot be killed, but they can be broken. 

You can't kill what was never alive.  You can break it, however.  Additionally as long as a Construct's frame is still intact, it can be repaired.

4.  Repairing a Construct is much easier than building a new one.

Building new Constructs is basically impossible.  The necessary knowledge of how to do so was lost in the The Deluge.  All Constructs are hold overs from pre-Diluvian times.

This is just for my Nukaria setting.  For Those who Know, I would refluff the Constructs here to be a blasphemous fusion of electronics and sorcery and simply make it really hard to create one.   

With that, let's get started.

Base Construct Statblock
HD X  AC Y  Atk Varies
Mor 12  Saves Varies

Construct: Constructs do not need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe.  They do not possess minds to read or influence with magic, so they ignore all charm, fear or other spells that affect the mind.  They do not get scared or tired.   

Programmed: Constructs are programmed to do specific things.  Some of them have sophisticated programming, others very simple programming.  They will follow these pre-programmed instructions no matter what.  If observed, the pattern should be obvious.

Control Egg: Constructs have a special magical device tied to them.  This device enables whoever holds it to control the Construct.  This is called the Control Egg.  The holder of a Control Egg usually controls the Construct, unless there are special circumstances, such as the Control Egg only responding to certain people or types of people.  

- Follow orders
- Be predictable
- Have no concept of fear or self preservation

Some Constructs:

                                            by Kate Clark

Mockeries are strange creatures, the lowest form of Construct.  Mockeries are false men or animals, created out of cloth and stuffed with sticks or straw, with charms added to the mix.  Then magic is breathed into their false lungs and they leap about, capering and doing as they are told.  Mockeries look like stuffed version of whatever they originally were, usually with masks stitched onto their faces to make them more approachable.  Mockeries are generally cheerful and pliable, eager to please.  They also tend to be dull, with little intelligence outside their usual field of expertise.

The exception to these rules are the Bare-faced Mockeries, which are universally disturbing and disturbed.  Bare faced Mockeries are known to systematically patrol empty complexes, killing any person they find and feasting on their corpses, their false stomaches full of rotting meat, the scent of blood and corruption proceeding ahead of them.

Types of Mockeries
1- Mock-Soldiers.  Dressed in ancient, patched military uniforms and carrying barely functional weapons, these soldiers endlessly fight against each other in pointless battles, then retrieve the "Dead" to be repaired, so they can do it all over again.  Alternatively, they may be guarding an abandoned fort, waiting for an enemy that is never going to counter-attack or endlessly fortifying a stronghold against an assault they are sure is to happen any day now.  Instructions: To follow orders, attack the enemy, defend allies.   
2- Mock-Workers.  These Mockeries were straw hats and coveralls, usually along with gloves over their burlap fingers.  Mock-Workers work whatever task they are assigned.  They harvest wheat and stack the sheaves in warehouses, unconcerned with the fact that it rots and no one ever comes to retrieve it.  Or maybe they mine coal and bring it down to the harbor, always surprised that the person they are supposed to be selling it too is never on time.  Instructions: To work their task, to listen to bosses, to never complain.       
3- Mock-Managers.  Dressed in tacky suits and hats, these Mockeries often look more like Orzane (pigmen) with tusks and perpetually smoking (but never burning) cigars, incense-like smoke curling over their rotund bellies full to bursting with straw and small coins.  Mock-Managers exist to manage lesser Mockeries and keep them on task.  They are rarer, as designing a supervisor that needs supervision itself is not actually that good an idea.  Instructions: To keep the workers on task, to collect small coins, to constantly gripe about being behind schedule. 
4- Mock-Constables or Mockstables.  Mockstables are the peace keepers you remember from childhood, big and bold authority figures who seemed so smart and intelligent, uniform always pressed, buttons shining in the sun.  They are also the peace keepers you remember from your adolescence, slow and plodding, but endlessly patient and impossibly perceptive.  Lastly, they are the peace keepers you remember from adulthood, never on time and tragically limited.  Instructions: To enforce the law, detain law-breakers, keep the peace.
5- Mock-Lion.  These Mockeries resemble giant stuffed lions with silly hats and for the male lions, mustaches.  These giants are used for a variety of reasons, but mostly they are used as substitutes for real lions in wildlife displays, to watch children or to promote reading among the same.  Instruction: Pretend to be a lion unless talked to, then speak and act like a decent creature.         
6- Mock-Dragon.  These Mockeries resemble Dragons as depicted in happy stories told to children.  They have chubby bellies and pastel scales and breath clouds of colorful smoke or bubbles.  Mock-Dragons are mostly used as a status symbol, as oversized toys, or as actors in any play that needs a dragon and doesn't just want to build one out of sticks and cloth.  Instructions: To hoard useless artifacts, to huff and puff, to be nice to children.

Statblock Changes:

HD: 1 (2 if Bare-faced)

AC: 11

Attacks: (+0) Weapon 1d6 (1d6/1d6)

Saves: 7 (9) or less is a success


Flammable: Mockeries take +1 damage from fire per damage die, as they are made almost exclusively of flammable materials.  All Mockeries are programmed to fear and avoid fire for this reason.

                                           by Cryptcrawler 

The difference between an inert substance, such as Green Slime and an Ooze is quite obvious.  Green slime, after all, will only dissolve you into goo if you step into it, or it falls on you, or etc.  It does not move, except in rare cases.  An Ooze is obviously different.  Oozes pursue creatures and seek to dissolve them.  Despite these differences, however, there seems to be a connection between the two of them, yet few know what that connection is.  This connection is actually simple.  Oozes are actually Constructs.

Oozes are created in labs.  First, the acidic base that composes the Ooze is created.  This acidic base is like that of green slime, though it varies in color.  The reason for the difference in color is based on the chemicals initially used to create the base.  Now, the base is immobile, with no ability to move or do anything.  Then, an Ooze Control Egg, alternatively called an Ooze Egg, is used on it.  Ooze Eggs come in two types.  The first type is the Partitioned type.  This type of Ooze Egg comes in two parts.  One part you hold, the second you submerge in the acidic base.  This second part sends magical signals throughout the Ooze, allowing you to command it.  This Ooze Egg is the more common type, as it allows control over larger Oozes and is simply easier to repair.  The second type of Ooze Egg is called the Broadcast type and has no piece you insert into the base, instead simply broadcasting a signal to all the acidic base within an area, then permitting control of that amount of base.  These are must harder to sabotage the Partitioned type, as there is no second piece to destroy.  That being said, Broadcast type Ooze Eggs consume large amounts of energy, so unless the user has access to a large power source, this permanently limits the size of the Ooze the user can control.  It also means that if the Ooze moves outside of the range of the Ooze Egg, it will automatically become immobile once more.   

Types of Oozes:
1- Gelatinous Cube.  Very hard to notice, as it is almost clear.  Beware of an ancient structure with no debris in the halls and suspiciously cleaned floors.  These Oozes patrol specific areas, gobbling up anything in their path.
2- Rainbow Ooze or Prism Ooze.  These Oozes transfer magical energy through them, refracting it and directing it against a random target within range.  This only applies to spells with one target.  If it an area-of-effect spell, it just affects everyone within range, with the exception of the Ooze. 
3- Fafernacky Pudding or Caramel Ooze.  These small Oozes are magically delicious!  If you smell one, save or try to eat it. This is bad, as despite the delicious smell, eating one of these Oozes will still result in a hideous death.   
4- Flying Fusion Ooze.  IT'S ALIVE!  ALIVE!  Some madman thought this would be a good idea, and it was.  For him and precisely no one else.  This Ooze has no acid, but instead fuses any two creatures trapped inside it into one hideous abomination.  It also flies, because of course it does.   
5- Black Pudding.  Take a normal Ooze, then dissolve enough material into it to render the usual brightly colored base colored black, as well as expanding it so there are several tons of the stuff.  That's what a Black Pudding is.  They usually fill whole rooms or levels of dungeons.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  
6- Velvet Ooze.  Primarily used as a sex aid and barely dangerous at all.  A Velvet Ooze has no acid and is used by salacious nobles and those who can afford it for forbidden pleasure.  You can feed it sugar to make it grow larger, but they're most convenient when you can keep one in a snuff box.

Statblock Changes:

HD: 1d6+1

AC: 8

Attacks: (+2) Pseudopod 1d8 acid + Engulf

Saves: (7+HD) or less is a success


Ooze Egg: Oozes have a 50% of having half an Ooze Egg in their bodies.  If so, if this Ooze Egg is removed, the Ooze collapses and returns to being a pool of acidic base.  This pool will still dissolve you, but only if you touch it.  If this is not the case, the Ooze is being animated by a Beacon type Ooze Egg, which is projecting a sphere of magical energy.  If the Ooze moves beyond this sphere, it automatically deanimates.  The Ooze will not move beyond this sphere unless forced to.

Hard to hurt: Oozes take no blunt, electrical or acid damage.  They take half damage from fire, ice and sharp damage.  Anything that dehydrates can hurt them severely, however, and salt damages them as well.    

Gelatinous Body: Oozes can fit through incredibly narrow spaces, such as under doors, through cracks, pipes and etc.

Engulf: If a creature is struck by an Ooze's pseudopod he or she is grappled.  That creature must then contest the Ooze in a contest of STR.  The Ooze has a STR score equal to 10+HD.  If the creature wins, nothing happens, and on his turn, he can take an action to try and free himself with a STR check.  If the Ooze wins the contest, the creature is sucked inside it.  Creatures inside an Ooze take 1d6 acid damage a round and can still attack the Ooze, though any damage done by non-Quick weapons will receive a -4 penalty.  If an Ooze is killed, they can rescued.

Acid: Oozes and the acidic base that they are created from can dissolve organic material, metal and most other substances.  However, it cannot dissolve plastic, glass, porcelain or anything enchanted or super-hardened.   


There are two views of the Ancients, those who lived before the Great Deluge.  One is that they were great, as the relics and ancient ruins that survived the disaster that destroyed them demonstrate a sophistication and level of development that we have only recently returned to under the Orzane and the merciful reign of His Imperium, the Emperor of Joyous Exultation, Lord Unquaro's prayers be upon him.  Others, however, say that the Ancients were fools, morally corrupt, arrogant or perhaps all three or some combination thereof, as they either brought the disaster upon themselves or they failed to evade it, despite all their power and wisdom.  In these arguments, many things are discussed or brought up, but one of the primary pieces of evidence for the first camp is the Golems.

Golems are widely cited as evidence for the Intelligent Ancients argument as Golems are the height of wisdom.  No artificer, living or dead, has replicated the amazing work of any of the surviving Golems discovered.  Golems are supreme in their craftsmanship, power and durability.  One of the most famous Imperial Artificers, Ser Barent of Tyzos earned his initial fame for repairing a damaged Golem and restoring it to partial functionality, a feat not yet matched by any known scholar.           

Common Types of Golem
1- Stone.  Resembles a statue, until it begins moving.  Widely believed to be the most ancient form of Golem.  There primary purpose seemed to be as guardians, but of what, no one can say.
2- Metal.  Metal Golems are terrifying, surging masses of blades and barbs.  No one doubts what their purpose was.  Metal Golems were clearly weapons of war.   
3- Flesh.  Flesh Golems were initially thought of either as some primitive form of necromancy or some failed attempt at immortality.  However, there is no soul in these bodies, only the surging elemental forces of magic.
4- Wood.  Wood Golems are one of the rarest kind, as they are the most fragile.  Some speculate that the Wood Golems were crafted by some ancient equivalent of the Handsome Men, but this hypothesis tends to fall out of favor and then be reintroduced every so often, generally around the time the Empire is at war with the Handsome Men.
5- Armor.  Armor Golems or Golem Armor is a Metal Golem that is not solid, but has a hollow interior.  It is believed that it is intended for the controller to climb inside the Golem and ride around in it, to use it as an enhancement of their own capabilities.  
6- Crystal.  Crystal Golems are actually the most ancient Golem, according to some scholars, as crystals are known for their ability to conduct magic very well, much better than stone.  Crystal Golems also tend to reflect magic back at those who cast it on them, so maybe it is not the most ancient type.  No one knows what Crystal Golems were used for, but most speculate that it had something to do with magic. 

Statblock Changes:

SHP: 1d4+3

AC: 10

Attacks: (+3) Slam 1d8/1d8

Saves: 12 or less is a success


Damage Threshold X: All Golems have a Damage Threshold equal to the number of SHP (Super Hitpoints) they have.  They only take damage from sources if the amount of damage equals or exceeds their Damage Threshold.  If a source of damage cannot equal or exceed the Threshold, instead ignore it, as if that source did no damage.

                                           by Charles E Downman
 Artificial Eyes

Artificial Eyes are a relatively unknown type of Construct, as for the longest time, they were assumed to be some form of jewelry or something like that.  Even when their Control Eggs were discovered, it was difficult to determine what these Constructs were meant to do.  Eventually, it was discovered, however, and the information was then suppressed.  The secret is that these small, metallic orbs can fly through the air and observe things.  What they see through their artificial eyes can be seen by the Control Egg's holder.  As such, the Imperial Cult of Silence has been aggressively purchasing as many of the Artificial Eyes as they can, along with concealing the truth of their existence and function. 

Being caught with an Artificial Eye is not enough to get you in trouble, unless you know what it is and how it works.  If you are ignorant, the Imperial Cult of Silence will be more than willing to take it off your hands, they will even pay you a tidy sum for the privilege.  However, if you do know what an Artificial Eye does and how to work it, you will be in serious trouble.

Statblock Changes:

HD: 1

AC: 16

Attacks: Electrified Body 1d4 lightning

Saves: 8 or less is a success


Flier: Artificial Eyes can fly and hover.  They get +4 to any initiative checks.

Video Feed: Artificial Eyes transmit video information to the holder of their control egg, usually in the form of a holographic display, but it could also be in the form of a display on a video monitor or something else.

Hostile Isolators

Hostile Isolators are an unknown type of Construct, found exclusively in abandoned techno-dungeons.  The reason there is so little information about them is because of their function- they are intended to isolate and contain intruders in a functioning techno-dungeon and prevent them from proceeding any further.  They are highly effective at this task, trapping intruders and would be grave-robbers inside, waiting until the intruders either die of natural causes or the Hunter-Killers catch up to them.

Statblock Changes:

HD: 5

AC: 13

Attacks: (+3) Restraining Pins 1d6 DEX

Saves: 9 or less is a success


Swarm: Hostile Isolators are individually tiny, but travel in large clouds.  These swarms resemble a school of steel fish swimming through the air or a swarm of glass locusts covered in blinking lights flying toward you.  Treat the swarm as one creature.  Any attack that could only target 1 creature does 1 damage and area-of-effect spells deal full damage automatically.  Torches or open flames swung through the swarm do 1d4 damage.

Restraining Pins: If someone is surrounded by Hostile Isolators, they will be fired upon by the Restraining Pins.  These are tiny needles that do 1d6 DEX damage to someone and paralyze their nerves.  If the DEX damage taken ever equals or exceeds someone's DEX score, they fall down and cannot move.  The points of loss DEX can be restored by pain-stakingly removing the needles shot into someone, with each one requiring a successful DEX check or 10 minutes, concentration and a steady hand.

                                                      from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Hunter-Killer Drones

Hunter-Killers are a minor form of Construct that is known about, though hard evidence is hard to come by.  This is because of their terrifying appearance and tendency to slaughter anyone they can get their blades on.  Often times Hunter-Killers are mis-identified by people who don't know any better, described by panicked witnesses as "Steel-skinned demons who spit fire and death" or "Undead abominations with the flames of the netherworld in their bellies".  Hunter-Killers deserve their dangerous reputation, but thankfully are quite rare, as Hunter-Killers tend to either break down from the constant wear and tear or attack everyone in a group until they are destroyed.  That being said, if you encounter a Hunter-Killer, say a prayer and fight like your life depends on it, because it does.

Statblock Changes:

HD: 3

AC: 14

Attacks: Wrist Blades 1d8/1d8 or Shoulder Cannon 2d6

Saves: 10 or less is a success

Silicon Surgeons

These terrifying constructs are wind mills of blades, lasers and other dangerous looking implements.  Most would assume they are engines of war or instruments of torture, yet nothing could be further from the truth.  The Silicon Surgeons are Constructs designed to heal people.  Anyone who is taken below one will be diagnosed and treated to the best of the Surgeon's ability.  Many of these Medical Constructs are damaged or lacking in vital supplies and thus, barely function, but even these damaged models can prove to be life savers for the critically injured.  A Silicon Surgeon is worth its weight in gold and possibly even more.      

Statblock Changes:

HD: 1

AC: 10

Attacks: (+6) Vivisection 3d6 sharp

Saves: 7 or less is a success


Medical Instrument: Anyone who goes under a functional Silicon Surgeons has any Horrible Wounds removed and is automatically brought back above 0 HP.  Any lasting damage, such as an amputated limb or lost appendage, as long as it is recent, will be repaired as well. 

Limited ability to harm: Silicon Surgeons can only harm someone directly in front of or under them.  All others are beyond the reach of their artificial limbs.

                                                from a misleading Surrogates movie poster
Life Model Duplicate

For the Artificers who fall into "the Ancients were morally corrupt" school of thought, no piece of evidence is more damning than the so-called Copulation Statues, strange devices found in many ancient techno-dungeons.  The statues seem strange but ultimately harmless at first, resembling vague humanoid shapes with no features or appearance, just constructed out of some kind of clear, gel substance with an internal skeleton made of metal or some other substance.  Almost no one knows what these Constructs actually do, so theorizing about their intended purpose is rampant.  However, one thing is known.  If a drop of blood is spilled on one of these "Copulation Statues" the statue will change shape, shapeshifting to look exactly like whoever's blood was spilled on them.  The scholars I mentioned above claim that this power was developed so women did not have to please their husbands by performing the marital duty of copulation, or possibly so that degenerate acts could be undertaken without scrutiny.  This is plausible, at least to some, though some scholars take it too far, claiming that the only reason there are no Ancients left today is because even if some of them managed to survive the Great Deluge, they were too busy using their statues to actually rebuild their civilization.

However, this is not what these Constructs are meant to do.  Anyone who has this Construct's Control Egg can tell you this. These Constructs are only controlled manually, and allow the controller to look and see and experience things through the Construct's artificial body, even from a great distance away.  There are only a small handful of individuals who know this and they are all keeping this information to themselves, for obvious reasons.       

Statblock Changes:

HD: 2

AC: 10

Attacks: as Controller

Saves: 7 or less is a success, unless it is a mental save, then use the Controller's saves


Shape-shift: If a Life Model Duplicate is not currently being controlled or if the Controller wishes it so, the Life Model Duplicate, if it touches a drop of blood, can alter its appearance to perfectly resemble the creature, as long as that creature is humanoid and possesses no strange features, such as a levitating crown of fire, large wings or etc.


  1. I love how out-there all of these are. Constructs deserve to be out there.

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