Animators use magic to breathe a semblance of life into inanimate objects. The simplest form of this involves animating normal objects to serve some function, such as a broom to sweep by itself, a lamp to hover without a lamp stand, or a cart to drive itself.
Animation requires the use of the Animator secondary skill.
This form of crafting skill is particularly open-ended, and the rules below cannot address every possible scenario. Players and GM are encouraged to discuss what is reasonable and what is exploitative. One of the simplest ways to do that is for a player to fully disclose what they intend the animated object to be used for prior to attempting to animate.
A more complex (but also more regulated) form of animation is practiced in the creation of Golems. Golems are typically humanoid constructs that can act as loyal and stalwart bodyguards of VIPs or as enforcers or keepers of the peace. Golems can come in almost any shape and size but must be formed into these shapes prior to animation (i.e. carving a dog out of stone or building a man out of timber). Some Golem forms such as Flesh or Bone are often incorrectly confused with Necromancy and as such animators who practice those forms are often shunned by society. A Golem’s body can be formed in such a way as to perform a specific function, but can only function based on the commands they were programmed with when they were first created. (See the Golem Metarace in the Codex of Creation – Constructs for more details)
Animations cannot function indefinitely, requiring a form of recharging to perform their basic functions. Any period of rest where the animated object or golem is completely inactive or “powered down” grants a period where of continuous activity/operations, after which the animated object or golem MUST “power down” or become inactive again. The length of this period of operation is based on how long the animated object or golem was “powered down” prior to operation.
- After a half rest -> 8 hours of activity before needing to power down again
- After a full rest -> 16 hours of activity before needing to power down again
- After a full day OR MORE -> 24 hours of activity before needing to power down again
Note that except in certain special cases (as determined by your GM), if an animated object or golem has been inactive or “powered down” for more than a full day this does NOT grant any additional hours of operation.
Alternately, you can prolong the hours of operation of an animate object or golem by using enchanting components fuel, at a rate of 2 components per hour (1 per half hour). This is an expensive option, but in an emergency can be worthwhile. The type of enchanting component depends on the animation and is subject to GM discretion. Some common examples would be:
- A clay golem fights for an extra 1/2 hour, costing 2 Thaumatite Ore as fuel
- A flesh golem is forced to march for additional 3 hours, costing 6 Primordial Sap Ore as fuel
- A flying metal disc transports its rider for an extra day, costing 48 Aether
When the process goes properly, all animations are programmed with the basic command to never harm their master and as well as the command to activate and deactivate them. An animator may program additional advanced commands and/or functions, however, each command must still be simple enough as to be communicated in a single word. Collectively these basic and advanced commands act as the animations intellect, beyond which the animation is effectively mindless. Common commands for animated weapons and golems are things like “follow”, “protect”, “attack”, or “flee”. Most advanced commands are possible as well, such as an animated sword with a command to “Parry” or a shield to “block”. While most commands are verbal, some animations may require a control device such as a command rod or pendant.
Most animations have the ability to move or self-propel when commanded or in order to fulfill a command of some kind. Wherever possible, movement is facilitated by some part of the animated object being used to move along solid surfaces. Where a GM decides this is impractical or implausible the animated object may require someone to carry it (i.e. a self-reloading crossbow). Alternatively, Rank 3 animated objects can be given the ability to hover. Hovering does NOT grant the ability to fly or move in 3 dimensions, simply to hover above the ground (i.e. if a hovering lamp is ordered to move out over a chasm, it will still fall). Rank 5 animated objects can be given the ability to fly or otherwise move in 3 dimensions.
Animators study long and hard to master their craft and as such must be reasonably bright, therefore they must have an Intellect Score of 15 or higher and be a minimum of level 3. Animators are NOT required to be Spirit classes, however, Spirit classes are typically more proficient at it.
One attempt at animation may be made each day and requires a workspace/shop on a scale with the size of the project. To perform an Animation requires Arcane, Elemental or Natural essences. Essences of the same type are required, as outlined by size in the table below. Depending on which type of essence was used, the animated object or golem is imbued with a corresponding bonus resistance equal to 1 per Essence (i.e. a Large Golem that was animated using Arcane Essence would have +15 Arcane Resistance).
Animation Success chance (%) is calculated based on the size of the animated object or Golem. For every command above and beyond the basic activation/deactivation and “do no harm to master”, reduce the success chance by 1. Spirit classes may add their + Cast modifiers to their success chances when animating. When animating weapons or other such inanimate objects convert item sizes to Creature Sizes as follows; S = Diminutive, M = Tiny, L = Medium, XL = Large. If animating suits of armor, use the overall size that the armor would be if being worn (i.e. typically medium).
‘X’ denotes that animation is not possible at this Rank
* at Rank 3 animations can be made to hover (typically 1x land speed)
** at Rank 5 animations can be made to fly (typically 2x land speed)
If animation fails roll 1d6:
1= Nothing happens, may try to animate it again the next day
2= Item/construct to be animated falls apart and is useless
3= Item/construct explodes causing 1d12 x size dam w/ radius 10feet
4= Item/construct animates but with no deactivation
5= Item/construct animates but 25% of commands are missing (randomly determined)
6= Item/construct animates but w/ NO objectives or deactivation, wild