The Unliving and custom powers

I would like to create two non-living "races" for ACKS: clockwork men and revenants.

They have the following in common:

1. No need to eat.

2. No need to drink (revenants might need to drink blood and/or eat flesh of recently slaim sentient beings).

3. No need to breath.

How should I calculate these as custom powers? All of them as a single "non-living" power, or each as a power?

Also, they do not sleep and heal normally:

* Clockwork men must rewind. This takes 4 hours; I will model this on Elves. Healing magic does not work on them, mending (I'll add a spell) does. Otherwise, they will need to repair themsleves, i.e. heal at the normal rate. Will that be a negative custom power?

* Revenants are sleepless. They heal by reverse healing spells or by drinking blood/eating flesh (no automatic natural healing). Will the limit on healing balance out the lack of need to sleep?


I'd say that not needing to eat, drink, or breathe is collectively worth 1 custom power.

Immunity to healing magic is at least -1 custom power, possibly -2 custom powers. I'd say if there is no magical way to heal them then it's -2 powers, but if there is an alternative way to heal them different from normal magic, then it's -1 power.

Not needing to sleep and needing to eat flesh/drink blood to heal seem like +1/2 to +1 power and -1/2 to -1 power. 





The toughest thing about designing clockwork men, automatons, and robots is healing and death - they would probably need their own Mortal Wounds table, and would need new healing spells. I'm not sure about the spells, however; the "hardcore" route would be to avoid any magical healing - but allow quick repairs (quicker than human natural healing). The question is how much does this disrupt adventuring...

With the clockwork men you can always have "repair" kits, that either work like comphrey or (cheaper) healing potions.  Essentially these would be bits and pieces that are commonly needed to build them/fix them put togeather in a portable fasion due to the Clockwork men being more common within the setting.  This would have a monetary cost involved but could allow for quicker or slower results depending on your desire.

For me I'd think clockwork men would likely heal more but not able to benefit from instant heals (ie recover x hp in a round, like from a cure spell), but actually able to 'heal' innately (kinda like in 5th edition D&D having Hit Dice of recovery on a short rest) as they repair themselves.

As to the mortal wounds tables, they may not need any real change to actual effects outside of flavour.  Though that would be depending on how removed from normal 'human' structure (ie. Major weaker internals and structural joints) they are.  Presumably they would have some kind of power source (how they store the power when they rewind) representing internal organs of fleshies, with other structures representing the effect of joints.

Revenants are simpler in that aspect as they generally have the more humanoid physology and undead representations.

All in all I guess it comes down to how diverse from the typical humanoid aspect you want them to be.

Thanks for the input!

My thoughts about clockwork man health and wounds are:

  • Spells do not heal clockwork men. However, on a "rewind cycle" (8-hour "sleep"), they heal much faster than humans (would that be a power?).
  • The equivalent of the "Healing" skill here is Magical Engineering.
  • Repair kits are the clockwork man equivalent of Comfrey.
  • Mortal wounds work as in ACKS core. Restoring limbs and other parts requires a magical research roll by a spellcaster of level 9 or greater (who is capable of creating magical items) and 500gp part cost. A failed roll means that the limb cannot be restored due to internal damage, except for by a Wish spell.
  • "Resurrecting" a clockwork man requires 2000gp and a magical research roll by a level 11 or greater spellcaster capable of creating constructs.

What do you think?

How would your clockwork men interact with the Dwarven Machinist class from the Player's Handbook?

A Machinist might be able to "heal" them using the regular automaton repair rules.