Experience for Automatons

Does designing and building constructs or automatons qualify as magical research for the purposes of campaign experience gain? If so, does that then let a 2nd level mechanist invest 2,000 into a design to immediately jump to nearly third level within a week and 2 days?

I am not an Autarch.

However, here are my thoughts:

  1. A very strict reading of the rules says that designing and building automatons is a “proficiency throw” where magical research is always described as a “Magical Research Throw.” Letter of the law implies that the bonus is not given.

  2. Since experience thresholds are very low at low levels, this would allow a mechanist to essentially just double his XP gain if he re-invested all his gold into constructs. I’d argue then, that this is probably not the spirit of the law.

Agreed. I think there is a reason that characters are restricted from magical research generally until level 5, however, I don’t want to deny what may be one of the chief advantages of the mechanist arbitrarily. Since most of their class worth is sunk into the several powers for designing and building automatons earlier than anyone else. My inclination is to say it’s an abuse of the system, but I wanted some firmer footing than “Cause I say so.”

I mean one further wrinkle is I have little problem saying that gaining experience from designing or building is a problem at low levels where it seems clearly overpowered, but that logic holds less weight at higher levels. Should my mechanist player ever reach 9th level and build a manufactory following the mage tower rules he would be in a pretty similar situation to any other 9th level owner of a wizard tower except I’ve already essentially decided that he can’t gain any experience from the one form of magical research his class arguably gets. At that point the rule call seems absurd from the opposite direction.

I’m not an autarch, but my instinct is to say no, for the following reasons.

1 - The book doesn’t say that they do. This is the least important reason, but it makes my default ‘no’ unless I have a reason why it should be ‘yes’.

2 - It would be silly at low levels as you point out.

3 - Most classes at high level have no equivalent of magical research. The machinist can still gain XP by building their dungeon and their stronghold, by ruling their domain, and by any other means available to most characters. I make an analogy to fighters in my head that works to explain it for me; fighters don’t get XP for paying their mercenaries or armies, they get XP for what they do with them.

I have not done the math on it, but I wonder if the fact that the machinist can use automatons to garrison their domain/dungeon can work to offset the increased garriosn cost for having a dungeon, and thus increase net profits, which increases your XP gained. That would be a sort of hidden XP gain for building automatons.

The machinist does not gain XP from constructing automatons.

However, this thread has highlighted a strange asymmetry I hadn’t previously thought of: At around 9th - 11th level mages and clerics are getting XP for activities in their strongholds (magic research) while machinists are not.

Therefore I think it would be a reasonable ruling to allow machinists to start to gain XP from automatons once they reach 9th level and establish a manufactory.

I’ll probably use this rule in my own campaign.

Sounds like a reasonable compromise. Now to see if my fledgling Acks groups makes it past level 2.

If they do, you’re obviously being too nice.

I kid, I kid.