In Axioms 6 Alex mentioned that constructs in the future would use the major and minor abilities from Lairs and Encounters. This is something i was toying with as most automatons come off very costly and some choices like weight cost more than the cost of a hit dice.
So, what would the build power look like if converted? Below I have a crack at it sorted by - core powers, core negatives, and some of my house rule abilities.
Next i will post some conversions of some of my template vehicles (not posting basic puchy hit dice stuff as its easy to make).
Im going to make a google doc version eventually, but feedback first!
In order of listing in text-
(By default I have started by assuming they are all * unless I find something on the special abilities table in lairs. Then i adjust down based on utility)
AC bonus (##) - Similar to tough with 1d4 = 2.5 = 2 without ramp up condition. So it’s effectively ## per +2. Alternatively # per plus 1.
Immunity (*) - I threat this as mandatory and it is just immunity 5 in the L&E listing being - sleep, charm, hold, and poison. Still worth a full *
Other immunities (##) - as special ability in L&E - fire##; lightning##; cold##; acid##; fear##; blunt weapons ##; edged weapons ##; piercing weapons ##;
(Removing all nonmagical weapon*, some of the others may need to be removed as well.)
Double move (####, *, *) - Similar to Swift in the L&E table. 30’ is ## on a base of 120 so a quarter is two.
Starting at base 60 to 120, each 30’ costs ## - therefore 120’ ####;
120 to 240, again can keep ## per 30’. 240 cost and additional *;
240 to 480, here the increment ramps up, making it 60’ per ## - to 480’ cost an additional *
Other move (# to ####)- If fly is two then they could all be two, but climb has less utility than fly. Burrow ##, climb #, fly - moving ##, fly - hover ####, swim ##.
Passenger (#) - At its core this is just the seat, cargo capacity is under weight below. Generally a passenger weighs 7-15 pound and up to 20 with gear. As its really just representing the function of being able to carry and not the weitht i am allocating a cost of #.
Protected compartment (####) - this actually provides a combat benefit. But I don’t feel it’s a full star. Use a half star #### given it’s admiring a number of people.
Attacks (as special) - count directly as special abilities.
Ranged attack (##) - this doesn’t seem like a major ability as it’s not adding damage. So like bonus attack it’s not increasing anything, therefore the cost of ## seems reasonable and in line with the other abilities converted.
Change weight (##) - weight is both a blessing and a curse. It gives cargo but makes a thing bigger. It’s not a combat effect (directly) so it’s tempting to land it on a one hash, but interestingly all the previous not attack abilities have been two hashes, so I’m going with that ## it is.
These are negative powers.
No move (-*) - very severe, full increments reduction *
No attack (-*) - is severe and warrants a *
Requires operator (-*) - This is a bit unique, without this the construct comes with a brain, so removing this is representing that loss. Leave it as a full special.
House rule abilities
These are used in some of the next posts.
Restricted movement (-####) - The automatons movement mode is severely restricted in a common environmental condition. Eg Uncontrollable in strong winds (guarantee crash, must be tied down). If no move is a * then half can be half. So restricted environmental conditions could be ####. This could be extended to quarter or three quarter.
Stationary hover (###) - This is a version of fly/hover that cannot move up or down without moving forward, but can hover in place. So it is halfway between the two at ###.
Vulnerability (-##) - pretty much the opposite of immunity above.
Proficiency (#) - The autonomous automaton is programmed or designed to perform a common task an gains a proficiency to reflect its capability. This is generally restricted to art, craft, labor or profession proficiencies. As class powers/ proficiencies in L&E. Each proficiency costs #.
Object (-) - Treat the automaton as an object or item, effectively ignoring its hit point points and targetability. The object is now subject to sunder. The wielder must have a relevant proficiency (sword to sword, plate to heavy armor etc.)
For weapons and items the weight should be two stone or less. For armour The items can be heavy but generally should be no more than 2 hit dice. This is generally for making a sword or armor suit, and not having it treated seperately to current items, i am monitoring this as in not sure how abusable it is.
Requires ammunition (-# to -####) - The automatons primary form of damage requires ammunition. It must account for both the cost of this ammunition and the weight, though the automaton itself may not have to bear the weight. The weapon should benchmark the cost and weight of it ammunition against a similar like item such as arrows, ballista stones, etc to find a reasonable value for the given weapon. The judge may allow a tradeoff of cost versus weight by using the product of the two as the means of balance.
For instance, a medium ballista does 3d6 damage; each shot costs 2gp and weighs 3lb. 2x3=6. You might say that for an automaton weapon doing 3d6 damage, each shot costs 6gp and weighs 1lb, costs 12gp and weighs 1/2lb, costs 1gp and weighs 6lb, etc. 6x1, 12x1/2, 1x6, 2x3, all equal 6.
Notes: Currently automatons have infinite ammo. So in prolonged combat they have an advantage. And in terms of campaign costs they have an advantage too. Requiring ammo takes this away but in the short term it has no combat impact. Where the required ammo is for all the damage output of the vehicle it’s a big impact but not worthy of a star, so let’s say #### being half. Where it’s for a minor damage element, say less than half the damage, it would only be #.
Carrying Capacity (####) - Weight comes with Carry capacity but can be a bit of a curse, so is carry capacity without weight better? Yes it is, as in some cases it allows objects to be carried. Double seems reasonable to discourage this kind of miniaturisation but still allow it. It’s therefore costing around a hit dice anyway.