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View Full Version : [3.5] Cheap golems : animate objects + permanency ?



Johel
2008-10-21, 12:06 PM
The goal here is to estimate the likeliness of creating a cheap Iron Golem.
Iron Golem (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/golem.htm#ironGolem)
We don't want its magical powers or magical immunity. We just want a Large-sized construction made of iron with undying loyalty and no limit of activation. So, let's get creative, people :smallwink:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/animateObjects.htm


Animate Objects
Transmutation
Level: Brd 6, Chaos 6, Clr 6
Duration: 1 round/level
....
An animated object can be of any nonmagical material.
....
You may animate one Small or smaller object or an equivalent number of larger objects per caster level. A Medium object counts as two Small or smaller objects, a Large object as four, a Huge object as eight
....
Animate objects can be made permanent with a permanency spell
And
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/permanency.htm

Permanency
Universal
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
....
This spell makes certain other spells permanent.
Depending on the spell, you must be of a minimum caster level and must expend a number of XP.
....
The following spells can be cast upon objects or areas only and rendered permanent.
Animate objects, CL 14th 3.000 XP

And
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#spell


....
Spell, 5th-level Caster level 50 gp
Spell, 6th-level Caster level 60 gp
....
If the spell has an XP cost, add 5 gp per XP lost.



Question 1 :
Does it mean that, if a 12th level priest and a 14th level wizard work together, can they animate objects permanently ?

Yes
No
Question 2 :
How many Medium-sized objects can be animated permanently in ONE casting session (the priest cast one "Animate objects" spell and the wizard cast one "Permanency" spell) ?

All the 6 object
Only one object
Question 3 :
If the material of the animated objects are, let's say, stone or metal, is it logical to adapt the natural AC of said objects ?

Yes
No
Question 4 :
If it is logical to adapt the natural AC of said objects, how much :

for stone ?
for iron ?
Question 5 :
If our duo of casters was just hired by a friend to create him THREE of large-sized iron animated objects, what would they charge him ? They don't want to make any profit but want a fair price (Material, loss of XP, casting charge,...)

If the "group permanent animation" was possible (3 Large objects) ?
If the "one permanent animation" was in effect (1 Large object only )?

Answer the questions then express your opinion about it.
The idea behind the concept is to avoid to pay 240.000 gp + 16.800 XP to get 3 Iron Golems, knowing that their magical powers are not required, nor is the magical immunity.

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-21, 12:33 PM
1) Well, actually, the wizard/cleric combo is not necessary; the Time domain, IIRC, has Permanency as a domain spell.

2) I would say you could do it on all of them, provided that you are of sufficient level.

3) I would think so.

John Campbell
2008-10-21, 01:17 PM
Actually, it looks to me...

You cast the desired spell and then follow it with the permanency spell.
... like you can only make spells permanent if you cast them yourself. So, no, a wizard/cleric team couldn't do it. A Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 8 could, though. (Practiced Spellcaster to get the Wizard CL high enough.)

(And why isn't animate objects a Sor/Wiz spell, anyway? It's not "The Cleric's Apprentice"...)

AKA_Bait
2008-10-21, 01:39 PM
Actually, it looks to me...

... like you can only make spells permanent if you cast them yourself. So, no, a wizard/cleric team couldn't do it. A Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 8 could, though. (Practiced Spellcaster to get the Wizard CL high enough.)

(And why isn't animate objects a Sor/Wiz spell, anyway? It's not "The Cleric's Apprentice"...)

Scrolls would work too I'd think.

That said, if my 3 Iron Golems dropped to one Dispel Magic I'd want my money back.

mabriss lethe
2008-10-21, 01:44 PM
You might be able to pull off the same trick with a shadowcaster, but I'm away from my books and don't honestly remember if they have any sort of Permanency option availible to them...

But a Spellthief could do it.

Heck anyone with a high enough UMD could do it. access to rings of spell storing could ease the way.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-21, 01:48 PM
Question 3 :
If the material of the animated objects are, let's say, stone or metal, is it logical to adapt the natural AC of said objects ?

Yes
No

No, that would suck.
Objects have terrible AC.
Look in the monster manual. You have the AC have an animated object.
You have the Hardness of Stone, Metal, or Bone (if making animated Corposes).



Question 5 :
If our duo of casters was just hired by a friend to create him THREE of large-sized iron animated objects, what would they charge him ? They don't want to make any profit but want a fair price (Material, loss of XP, casting charge,...)

If the "group permanent animation" was possible (3 Large objects) ?
If the "one permanent animation" was in effect (1 Large object only )?

It takes caster of 12 to make 3 large objects.
It takes 1 casting.

Assuming Wizard ios a party member:
You'd need 3 large objects made of material (whatever that costs; in PHB I think it details cost), 3K Xp from Freindly Wizard, and 2 spell slots (1 permanency and 1 Anmimate Object).


If you are paying a Wizard: You'd need 3 large objects made of material (whatever that costs; in PHB I think it details cost), 15,000 gp given to employed Wizard (inaddition to regular spell cost of minimum 700 gp), and 2 spell slots (1 permanency and 1 Animate Object).



Answer the questions then express your opinion about it.
The idea behind the concept is to avoid to pay 240.000 gp + 16.800 XP to get 3 Iron Golems, knowing that their magical powers are not required, nor is the magical immunity.

The issue is the "golems" are dispellable.

Jayabalard
2008-10-21, 01:50 PM
Actually, it looks to me...

... like you can only make spells permanent if you cast them yourself. So, no, a wizard/cleric team couldn't do it. A Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 8 could, though. (Practiced Spellcaster to get the Wizard CL high enough.)

(And why isn't animate objects a Sor/Wiz spell, anyway? It's not "The Cleric's Apprentice"...)You can be both singular and plural, and I don't see anything in that text that gives preference of one over the other. Treating it as plural would mean that a wizard/cleric team could indeed do it.

BRC
2008-10-21, 01:51 PM
Forget Golems, my party once used this trick to build a tank.
We had fun with that.

Catch
2008-10-21, 01:54 PM
Actually, it looks to me...

... like you can only make spells permanent if you cast them yourself. So, no, a wizard/cleric team couldn't do it. A Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 8 could, though. (Practiced Spellcaster to get the Wizard CL high enough.)

(And why isn't animate objects a Sor/Wiz spell, anyway? It's not "The Cleric's Apprentice"...)

I'm pretty sure that text is in relation to making spells permanent on yourself. Quite a few of the spells available to be cast on other creatures, objects and areas are not on the Sor/Wiz spell list.

Johel
2008-10-21, 02:13 PM
I'm pretty sure that text is in relation to making spells permanent on yourself. Quite a few of the spells available to be cast on other creatures, objects and areas are not on the Sor/Wiz spell list.

Yeah, that was my though as well.
Animate Objects is a cleric spell and bard spell.
And I doubt that it's easy to find a 17th level Bard around, seeing most of them are killed by their own party members. ("Bluff bluff bluff the stupid ogre..." = dead sentence, either by the ogre or your party. :smallbiggrin:)


The issue is the "golems" are dispellable.

Yeah, that's a BIG problem... :smallfrown:


... like you can only make spells permanent if you cast them yourself. So, no, a wizard/cleric team couldn't do it.

You may be right for the "It won't work" but not for this reason. You can actually cast permanency on objects and areas.
My question was more : can we affect several objects with only one permanency spell ? Or to say it differently : Does the permanency spell target the object or the spell itself ?


Forget Golems, my party once used this trick to build a tank.
We had fun with that.

WHAT ? :smalleek: Well... if you can craft it, I guess you can animate it.

Cuddly
2008-10-21, 02:17 PM
If you are paying a Wizard: You'd need 3 large objects made of material (whatever that costs; in PHB I think it details cost), 15,000 gp given to employed Wizard (inaddition to regular spell cost of minimum 700 gp), and 2 spell slots (1 permanency and 1 Animate Object).

How is your wizard animating objects?

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-21, 02:18 PM
Does the permanency spell target the object or the spell itself ?

Read the first sentence of the spell.

BRC
2008-10-21, 02:22 PM
WHAT ? :smalleek: Well... if you can craft it, I guess you can animate it.
Well, the setting already had gunpowder in the form of rocket-firing cannons (It was an oriental setting) My character (Cleric) already had one.

We built a cart with a turret on the roof, armor on the sides, arrow slits and spikes on the front, then used animate object and permenancy on it.
I sat on the roof in the armored turret with my cannon, other people were inside and we rammed things. The Brax (as we called it, after the first thing we killed with it) could have been described as having "Summon Door" as an SLA.

And in the last adventure we convinced our DM to let our wizard use a Mass Fly spell to let it fly, that was very fun.

Johel
2008-10-21, 02:51 PM
Read the first sentence of the spell.

This one ? :smallbiggrin:

Target, Effect, or Area: See text

I know what you mean but it's not really clear. The SRD says what the permanency spell do ("This spell makes certain other spells permanent.")

The SRD also says :

"You can make the following spells permanent in regard to yourself."
"Permanency can be used to make the following spells permanent on yourself, another creature, or an object (as appropriate)."
"The following spells can be cast upon objects or areas only and rendered permanent."


...So ? I'm not an English native speaker but as I understand it, many objects could be affected by one single permanency spell if the spell targeted by the permanency spell had affected them all.

True or false ?
And if false, please write the correct explanation :smalleek:


And in the last adventure we convinced our DM to let our wizard use a Mass Fly spell to let it fly, that was very fun.

Mass Fly spell ? Not core so I don't know but why not... :smallsmile:
If the GM hadn't accepted, you could still have cast "Fly" directly on the tank, which was an animated object, which is a construct type, which is creature... which qualifies as target for the spell :smallwink:

BRC
2008-10-21, 03:08 PM
:



Mass Fly spell ? Not core so I don't know but why not... :smallsmile:
If the GM hadn't accepted, you could still have cast "Fly" directly on the tank, which was an animated object, which is a construct type, which is creature... which qualifies as target for the spell :smallwink:

Yeah, The Brax was fun. It was wheeled so it had a movement rate of 60ft/round (It probably should have been less due to the encumberment, but nobody cared.) It was made of wood so it technically could have had a swim speed (though we never used it in that manner). It could ram things very well (we started more than one fight by driving through the wall). At one point we actually drove it around inside a giant fortress. The DM had the enemy soliders line up in very neat ranks, which we then squished.

Earlier our DM had let us by an animated puppet that had 10 ranks in every skill, it drove (so we treated it more as a vehical than an animated object rules-wise, but whatever)

John Campbell
2008-10-21, 04:12 PM
You can be both singular and plural, and I don't see anything in that text that gives preference of one over the other. Treating it as plural would mean that a wizard/cleric team could indeed do it.
"You" in spell descriptions is (almost?) always singular, and means "the caster". IIRC, that's actually made explicit somewhere in the explanation of spell descriptions, but I don't see it on a quick skim and am too lazy for a real hunt right now.


I'm pretty sure that text is in relation to making spells permanent on yourself.
It's a badly written and formatted spell description in any case. I'm not, I'll admit, 100% certain that that sentence is supposed to be generally applicable, but I'm not convinced that it isn't, either. If it's not, there's an explanation of how you actually use the spell missing from the rest of the description.


Quite a few of the spells available to be cast on other creatures, objects and areas are not on the Sor/Wiz spell list.
Only animate objects and (greater) magic fang, I think.

BRC
2008-10-21, 04:25 PM
"You" in spell descriptions is (almost?) always singular, and means "the caster". IIRC, that's actually made explicit somewhere in the explanation of spell descriptions, but I don't see it on a quick skim and am too lazy for a real hunt right now.


It's a badly written and formatted spell description in any case. I'm not, I'll admit, 100% certain that that sentence is supposed to be generally applicable, but I'm not convinced that it isn't, either. If it's not, there's an explanation of how you actually use the spell missing from the rest of the description.


Only animate objects and (greater) magic fang, I think.
Call me overoptomistic, but I have trouble believing that WotC would make a spell that explicitly required a character to multiclass to use all it's applications.

Johel
2008-10-21, 04:58 PM
That would be mean... but it's WoTC. :smalltongue:

Seriously, the Mystic Theurge is a solution but it would require too much overall levels to be efficient.


3 levels of Priest
3 levels of Wizard
6 levels of Theurge for Permanency
2 levels of Theurge for Animate objects
maybe 2 more level to have the CL 14 for Permanency. the CL is calculated by type of magic, then you need CL 14 in arcane magic.


A 16th level character needed to "give life" to a mere chair ?
Again, that's possible but I find it odd.
With a 16th level Wizard, I can make a permanent Symbol of Insanity and don't need anymore golems. If I carve the symbol on, say, little balls, I can even sell them for a fair price. Lichs like them, or so I heard. :smallwink:

Ganurath
2008-10-21, 05:04 PM
Hmm... What cost would one pay for hasted goblin zombies?

Johel
2008-10-21, 05:19 PM
Hmm... What cost would one pay for hasted goblin zombies?

If it's sarcasm
I get your point. These golems might look crapy but they will still be a match for most adventuring party, if only by the force of number. Just imagine medium sized iron spider "crapy golems".
You could have ten or more of those for the price of a single "True" iron golem, which will make every single evil genius have wet dreams.

Of course, in a duel, a "True" iron golem will just hack his way across those spiders, which will need a natural 20 to hit him... but again, they are not meant to duel a walking juggernauth. :smallbiggrin:

If it's not sarcasm
I'll say random zombies are as good as hasted ones.
So, Let's say the caster is level 7
280 po for the basic casting charge.
The caster can animate up to 14HD of Undeads per spell.
This means you have 7 zombies
280 / 7 = 40po per zombi
+ 50po per zombi for material component
This means you'll have to pay 90po at least. Probably 100po ? seems reasonable for walking rotten meatbags.

BRC
2008-10-21, 05:27 PM
That would be mean... but it's WoTC. :smalltongue:

Seriously, the Mystic Theurge is a solution but it would require too much overall levels to be efficient.


3 levels of Priest
3 levels of Wizard
6 levels of Theurge for Permanency
2 levels of Theurge for Animate objects
maybe 2 more level to have the CL 14 for Permanency. the CL is calculated by type of magic, then you need CL 14 in arcane magic.


A 16th level character needed to "give life" to a mere chair ?
Again, that's possible but I find it odd.
With a 16th level Wizard, I can make a permanent Symbol of Insanity and don't need anymore golems. If I carve the symbol on, say, little balls, I can even sell them for a fair price. Lichs like them, or so I heard. :smallwink:

Not really, you just need one level in Cleric and a scroll of animate objects.

Ganurath
2008-10-21, 05:37 PM
If it's not sarcasm
I'll say random zombies are as good as hasted ones.
So, Let's say the caster is level 7
280 po for the basic casting charge.
The caster can animate up to 14HD of Undeads per spell.
This means you have 7 zombies
280 / 7 = 40po per zombi
+ 50po per zombi for material component
This means you'll have to pay 90po at least. Probably 100po ? seems reasonable for walking rotten meatbags.It's not sarcasm, and let's take some factors into consideration.

Zombies have limitations on actions per round. Animated corpses do not.
Zombies have 16 hp on average and 12 AC. Animated corpses have 15 hp average and 14 AC.
Zombies cannot be dispelled. Animated corpses can.
Zombies can be turned. Animated corpses can.
Zombies have a finite number you can command at a given time. Animated corpses are limited only by how many goblins you can kill.

Ravens_cry
2008-10-21, 06:21 PM
The great thing about of these animated objects is the psychological warfare effect. The thing to do, is not TELL the players they are animated objects. Say things like "It appears' or "it looks like. . ." You don't tell them if they have failed their 'find trap' roll, so why tell them what these creatures truly are. Even better, describe it , let the the players draw their own conclusions. Watching them wet their pants at an army of iron "golems" will get them to want and try and role play their way out of it. Give hints though of their true nature though. If they are coming up against a big bad magician, they likely already have dispel magic at the ready. At least, that is what I did, and it was super effective. But they may only have one prepared, so that makes the fight with the actual baddy that much harder. It makes for tough choices too, once they figure the 'ruse' out. Fight the objects, and save the dispel for the baddy bad, or drop that bomb now, but have more trouble with the caster later.
This thread is a real gold mine.

quick_comment
2008-10-21, 06:41 PM
Forget describing them as iron golems. Make them even better.


"As you open the epic wizard's chest, an alarm goes off. Down at the other end of the treasure chamber, the wizard's robot guards rush in. They each stand 15 feet tall and have a gleam that is instantly recognizible as that of hardended adamantium."

Ravens_cry
2008-10-21, 08:16 PM
Forget describing them as iron golems. Make them even better.


"As you open the epic wizard's chest, an alarm goes off. Down at the other end of the treasure chamber, the wizard's robot guards rush in. They each stand 15 feet tall and have a gleam that is instantly recognizible as that of hardended adamantium."
Yeah, true, but ain't adamantium rather expensive? We are trying to be a wizard on a budget here. It WOULD add to the soil-thine-armour factor. My basic point still stands though, describe, don't tell. And your players will hate you as long as you live.:smallwink:

Erom
2008-10-21, 08:26 PM
Mixing animated iron statuary in with your real iron golems is a good way to get more bang for your buck as well. Instead of 3 real golems, get 2 plus 3 animates. They all punch just as hard, and your player will be really confused if they "figure it out" and then try a dispel on one of the real ones, and it keep coming.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-10-21, 08:30 PM
A single-classed arcane caster with the feat Arcane Disciple for a domain that grants Animate Objects can do this by himself. As for your questions:

1. Yes.
2. One casting of Permanency affects one entire casting of Animate Objects, so one casting of Animate Objects on three large objects and one casting of Permanency to make it permanent on all three.
3. No, but they still get their Hardness as per the material they're made from. Iron has Hardness 10, which reduces damage taken from all sources by 10 points, including spell damage, falling damage, and damage from weapon attacks.
4. No, but maybe cast (Extended) Mage Armor on them regularly.
5. Animate Objects is 12 (CL) x 6 (Spell) x 50 gp, for 720g for that, and Permanency is (14 (CL) x 5 (Spell) x 50) + (3000 xp x 5) gp, or 15,700g. Total 16,420 gp not counting the cost of the objects to be animated.

turkishproverb
2008-10-21, 08:33 PM
1) Well, actually, the wizard/cleric combo is not necessary; the Time domain, IIRC, has Permanency as a domain spell.


Why did everone miss this? Clerics can now build their little holy object army.

Jack_Simth
2008-10-21, 08:44 PM
Mixing animated iron statuary in with your real iron golems is a good way to get more bang for your buck as well. Instead of 3 real golems, get 2 plus 3 animates. They all punch just as hard, and your player will be really confused if they "figure it out" and then try a dispel on one of the real ones, and it keep coming.
You don't need a targetted Dispel. An Area dispel will do quite well...

That, and Arcane Sight will differentiate them instantly if they want to know what's up.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-21, 11:44 PM
If you really want fun with Golems, but don't want to spend the money, just electroplate skeletons. Or cast Animate Dead on a Steel Dragon or similar monster.

newbDM
2008-10-22, 02:36 AM
Well, the setting already had gunpowder in the form of rocket-firing cannons (It was an oriental setting) My character (Cleric) already had one.

We built a cart with a turret on the roof, armor on the sides, arrow slits and spikes on the front, then used animate object and permenancy on it.
I sat on the roof in the armored turret with my cannon, other people were inside and we rammed things. The Brax (as we called it, after the first thing we killed with it) could have been described as having "Summon Door" as an SLA.

And in the last adventure we convinced our DM to let our wizard use a Mass Fly spell to let it fly, that was very fun.


Dude, that is all awesome on so may levels!

I had a similar idea a while ago of using a wagon with the wood to iron spell, but this is so much cooler.

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-22, 04:08 AM
My basic point still stands though, describe, don't tell.

Y'know, I'm actually of that same train of thought. It thus greatly disappoints me that one of my players has no appreciation for it, constantly asking me to use game terms.

Johel
2008-10-22, 10:42 AM
Zombies have limitations on actions per round. Animated corpses do not.
Zombies have 16 hp on average and 12 AC. Animated corpses have 15 hp average and 14 AC.
Zombies cannot be dispelled. Animated corpses can.
Zombies can be turned. Animated corpses can.
Zombies have a finite number you can command at a given time. Animated corpses are limited only by how many goblins you can kill.

...I just realise you're talking about animated CORPSES, not animated objects !! Kick ass !!
Man, you're sick but I like it !! :smallbiggrin:
Yes, the spell describtion says "any nonmagical material" so flesh counts. It will not have the damage reduction of iron or stone, though. But yes, your zombies will be harder to kill... but it will cost you more to animate them permanently than with a "Animate dead" spell. Ok, I got my "crapy flesh golem" at least...

Starbuck_II
2008-10-22, 10:50 AM
...I just realise you're talking about animated CORPSES, not animated objects !! Kick ass !!
Man, you're sick but I like it !! :smallbiggrin:
Yes, the spell describtion says "any nonmagical material" so flesh counts. It will not have the damage reduction of iron or stone, though. But yes, your zombies will be harder to kill... but it will cost you more to animate them permanently than with a "Animate dead" spell. Ok, I got my "crapy flesh golem" at least...

Stronghold builders guide gives Hardness 5 for Bone I believe.

erikun
2008-10-22, 07:36 PM
I don't see why not, but remember that animated iron statues are a lot more fragile than iron golems, and aren't immune to the same laundry list of spells.

Also, I use spell research to make a Wizard version of Animate Objects. Not a wizard spell? That's messed up...

newbDM
2008-10-22, 09:11 PM
But isn't Permanencey a huge XP drain?

turkishproverb
2008-10-22, 11:50 PM
I once played a permanently animated statue that thought he was a Stone Golem. He walked into an anti magic field and "died".

Johel
2008-10-23, 04:17 PM
But isn't Permanencey a huge XP drain?

Well... yes and no.
If you want to create 1 Iron Golem, it will drain you 5600XP
Casting permanency on 3 Large sized iron statues will drain you 3000 XP.
Nearly two times less (but again, yes, it's not the same quality)

This and the saving on the golds, you can probably buy enough equipement to defeat some huge monsters and make up for the losse of XP. Damn, you can even pay a high level wizard to do it for you, if needed.


remember that animated iron statues are a lot more fragile than iron golems
Dissipation and lower AC are the only real problems.
They still got damage reduction from iron and together, they can make far more damage than the golem would have (if they hit...).


I use spell research to make a Wizard version of Animate Objects.

We're not in Epic yet, but yes, we can still houserule it that way. A Wizard who, after having study the bardic lores and secrets about this magical effect, is finally able to duplicate it somehow. I like it when A LITTLE houserule makes things A LOT easier :smallwink: