Pierce the Heavens!
A Pathfinder’s Guide to Being A
By Eric Rollins (Aka Karai)
“A real man never dies… Even when he’s killed!”
In a world where Airships, mechanical marvels, and bizarre constructs, buried and hidden behind a world of magic and adventure it is not far fetched to assume those with the creative touch, may eventually stumble upon powerful weapons of massive size. Wondering juggernauts of stone and steel. Though their parts do not whir, they function all the same. These massive mechanical wonders, are controlled by particularly skilled pilots who learn to adapt to the use of this new, powerful, weapon… The Mech.
In the world of Pathfinder there are dozens of spells and spell combinations that exist that hold untold and unusual potential to single handedly build a character around. Where most build around a class, feats, and race, sometimes one can build an entire concept of a single spell and never need worry about much else. This guide is designed to discuss and present in a viable manner for both legal play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play and home games one of the more interesting and underused spells in Pathfinder. Possess Object, which is to not be confused with Object Possession. These two spells are very similar in concept but the execution of the first makes it far more powerful and it remains surprising that it is not banned altogether.
Also if you give this build a test run, I’d love to hear about your experience, and especially the character you’ve put the build to. Toss me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The entire build utilizes your caster level or Use Magic Device checks to activate scrolls of higher level then you yourself can cast. For a class that has Possess Object on it's list, it only has to make a 1d20 + Caster Level check vs a DC 9. So at third you have to roll higher then a 7. Obviously as you level this becomes easier and eventually you acquire the spell on your list become infinitely more useful as you can possess larger objects as you progress.
For all other classes, a DC 29 UMD check will be required. This check, is surprisingly easy to make though a bit costly. A good portion of this guide helps in optimizing your UMD to almost keep it toe to toe with caster level checks and to minimize your fail chance. For this build you will want to buy a number of items. A Scroll of Possess Object, a Statue of Appropriate size, and a way to transport that statue. The earliest you can acquire the scroll is level 3 in PFS organized play and in home games that is up to your play.
What this effectively does is turn you into a CR 7 creature with your class levels stacked on top in games balanced for characters of 1-5. Eventually you progress to a point the possessed object (Or Suit as we will call it) becomes not as useful as your normal form. However even then it is an extra set of Hit Points, Damage output, and Utility that you can have for cheap at those higher levels.
Let us talk about and explain the spell in detail before we move on to the build.
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Target one object; see text
Duration 1 hour/level or until you return to your body
This spell functions as magic jar, except you transfer your mind to a single object, animating it as if using animate objects, except your mind controls the object as if it were your own body. You cannot speak or cast spells while possessing the object. Because your original body is effectively dead while under the effect of this spell, this temporarily suspends disease, poisons, and other afflictions affecting you.
Wow, that is a lot to take in for those who immediately follow. For those who don’t let us break this down. First we have no components so the cost for the scroll is simply the base cost of the spell’s level which is 5th. 1250 gold!
Duration 1 hour/level or until you return to your body
Second the duration is ridiculous. It lasts for an Hour per Level or Until you return to your body. The minimum level for the caster to be to cast this spell is 9th. This means at minimum the spell will last for 9 hours!
So let us look at the actual text of the spell. This spell functions like Magic Jar? The spell Magic Jar basically explains that your soul jumps out of your body into a jar or other object of your making. Then from the jar to another creature. That creature’s soul then is placed in the jar and cannot act while you have control over the creature. Pretty simple so far.
If you are successful, your life force occupies the host body, and the host's life force is imprisoned in the magic jar. You keep your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, alignment, and mental abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. You can't choose to activate the body's extraordinary or supernatural abilities. The creature's spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body.
Wow. Look at that text wall. So when you posses the target you basically mix and match parts of your character with the possessed. In our case an Object. Of course our spell also reads that we cannot cast spells or speak when possessing the target. So there is a slight hit there. Next Possess Object reads, that the object is animated as if by an animated objects spell. This is another doozy.
Basically what it amounts to is that the size of the object you can animate is based on caster level which is 9th. As per Animated Objects, you can possess any object from Huge size to Small. Normally the spell also allows you to animate more than one object however our original spell does read the target is only a singular object and therefore you cannot possess more than one as Animated Objects would indicate. However the key here is… YOU CAN POSSESS A HUGE OBJECT.
Activate your Suit
There are two situations in which you activate your suit, primarily and other utility options.
This assumes that you have the time. The battle has started or is turning against your party, and that the huge object is within view. Each step will be labelled as an action. Some steps can be skipped if you already have taken them prior to starting the process.
I recommend upon a successful DC 29 check, recovering your body or moving to defend it until all is well. Your body still takes damage, but is frankly dead.
Outside of Combat
This is recommended in a few situations. If you know you're in an area where you will likely be facing the majority of your combats. If you're about to assault the big badguy’s base. You simply want to spend the least amount of time as possible running around. You have nine hours to use this and wasting a pop is a serious amount of gold to throw away. It is also a great way to move around natural hazards.
As it is outside of combat, casting the spell just follows the same steps as combat. Except you don’t have to think of this in rounds.
It is also safest to cast from inside your Suit too.
Purple: Using this will guarantee you some level of super optimization. To some, this is a Must.
Blue: Excellent. A great choice. Much better than nearly any other option.
Green: Good. A solid choice. Perhaps not the best, but these will serve admirably.
Black: Average. Functional. A good baseline measurement.
Orange: Sub-par or situational. Not actively harmful, but too narrow or niche.
Red: Poor. A bad choice. Broken, or else actively works against you.
“People think Small. They think in terms of swords and armor. In fireballs and lightning bolts. They never imagined we’d build something this big, and power it on will power alone!” - Karai Snillore, the first Pilot
I would like to think of this build as a Mech Pilot. You’re the Alpha Test for a new kind of weapon in a world with ever pressing and increasing dangers. As a result of how the build functions you actually maintain two roles. Your main role is simple, while your secondary roles takes up second fiddle. The main thing to remember is any abilities you cannot use as the Suit, remains for you to use outside of the suit. Thus a secondary role is only with the intent of the times you are not possessing an object.
The Tank / The Melee (Main Role)
Lets be fair. At it’s optimized you’re a Huge Size stone creature that may have up to 4 attacks landing at 1d8+10 (. At lower levels few things will have the AC to survive your attack and your range being huge will wreck anything trying to move near your party. In the meantime any DM wanting to gain control of the battlefield OOC and any opponent IC who wants to live will need to eliminate the giant robot that just walked into their base. As a huge construct you have 75 Health. With two construction points you can increase your Hardness of 5 to 10, forcing most enemy attacks to be utterly negated against you.
The only thing you have to worry about are casters. As your reflex is low and you do not have many defenses against magic. This also means they have to be first to die and even with your low AC, your high Hit Points and Hardness make you not very worried about provoking attacks of opportunity. IF you even need to with your reach.
The Skill Monkey (Main Role) / (Secondary Role)
First you are already focusing on dumping points in a vital skill. Use Magic Device. While your a technical powerhouse as your mech, there is nothing preventing you from using your skills. Many skills get a serious stat boost from the Suit. While others take a hit. The only downside in the suit is that knowledge of an enemy can’t be shared with the party easily. You can’t quite talk so diplomacy is out and even if you can sense motive the party may not know why you are taking the action you are. However many other skills are utterly in your favor and in no sacrifice to your ability to be a melee/tank powerhouse.
When you are outside of your suit, this becomes more useful as you both can communicate your knowledge and speak. You may not be as good at climb or swim as you are in the suit but your other skills become far more useful to the entire party.
The Healer (Main Role) /(Secondary Role)
While in your Mech you are not able to use spells for healing others or yourself. However class abilities that heal such as Channel Energy or Lay on Hands do in fact work. This means that while you are a powerhouse if the DM throws something too strong for the rest of the party at you, you’d be able to remain upright and fighting. Acting both to give your allies cover and to heal them as needed with these limited powers. Secondary, let's say after a big fight you are the only one standing. You can stop the spell, return to your body and pop out in time to heal the entire party up with the literal sum of spells you’ve maintained unused this entire game. Even if you do not have a spare scroll of possess object, you now serve a significant and vital role for the rest of the game in maintaining the party.
The Party Face (Main Role) / (Secondary Role)
While this isn’t a bad idea it doesn’t quite work most of the time. You will spend most games inside a giant robot that won't allow you to speak. Although you could have a familiar who speaks for you, it’s best to leave this up to someone else. However you will find yourself in situations where you do not have the chance to be in your mech. It could be vital to be able to talk your way in and out of situations. Mechanically all around it’s not the best, but as you do basically use STR, CON, and DEX as dump stats, abusing the fact could be done well.
The Pilot’s Guide to Ability Scores
The thing you need to know most about being a Suit-Pilot is that three of your own ability scores won’t be of any use during the 9 hours you are hopefully in your suit. Str, Dex, and Con are replaced by the suit’s Str, Dex, and Con. However these are not to be used as dump stats for a very good reason. While in your suit form you can still use the feats you’ve acquired as a regular joe. This means qualifying for the feats you want is still very important.
Mostly you want to build based on the class you are versus the Suit you become, or find a healthy balance between. 13 Dex or Str tends to be the qualifications for most feats and provides a decent bonus of +1. It is best if you do not play a class that is heavily reliant on Str, Dex, and Con for the little bit of time your out of your suit.
You can also go the complete opposite way. A Barbarian who gains the ability to UMD and gets a working suit, will find themselves with their full health, unspent rage, and weapons upon the suit being destroyed and can return to the melee frey. It however does not optimize the time you are inside the suit itself as some class features based on Cha, Int, and Wis can be used in your powerhouse suit, such as the Occultist’s Focus Powers, or the Paladin’s Smite.
The Pilot’s Class
“Is this really necessary? There are easier ways of doing this!” -Riven Sheridel in protest to the first alpha test.
Picking your class is finding the perfect balance between who your character is as a character, and what mechanically most benefits you AS your suit. You can also look at the idea of what benefits you the most if your suit goes down.
You get to rage! You lose to your AC which is already kinda crap in your Suit form but you gain more to your strength which is already at 30 in a Huge size Suit. The Con bonus doesn’t help as constructs do not have Con. The most interesting thing is your movement speed increase and the uncanny dodge. First being able to avoid damage better is always good. Second your movement speed is only rendered useless if you have equipped armor of more than medium. Not if YOU ARE armor of more than medium. This certainly makes your size kind of scary to boot.
While you can simply have a musical instrument of the size, dance, or do something else.. It is harder to maintain your inspire courage as a giant mech when you can’t speak. Your spells become useless unless you’re popping out of your suit, and in that case you may as well of been a Wizard. Not however entirely useless as you can find ways to still use your bardic music. However a lot of the class becomes unusable during the main portion of your play. The Magician and the Dirge Bard gains access to the spell and can use caster level check instead of UMD! It also means larger suits later on. The Magician also gains half their level bonus to UMD, leaving your options open.
On the bright side if you lose your suit, you can always buff your party.
You may not be able to use your extensive array of spells, but being able to save your spells for when the party is down and you’re the last one standing can be something special. What makes this useful is that you maintain your channel energy ability and aura in your suit. This means you can still channel and heal the party and have your build focus on channeling.
However with the right items or even the Iron Priest archetype, you can actually heal yourself! Making this a blue option if used that way.
Another great option is the Cloistered Cleric who gains a +2 on Scroll uses at level 2. Though a small boost, if you are going the UMD route it is a significant one. Just not as significant as a class that grants half their progression to UMD--however a two level dib grants a bigger bonus than two levels of your primary class!
Your wild shape alters your size so as a giant mech turning into a bear may sound cool… You shrink to do so! Your spells become unusable while in this suit but are still a powerhouse of spells if your suit is destroyed and then you even have your wildshape to turn into other things. The suit can be made of wood so it shouldn’t act against you. Plus leaving no tracks, moving quickly through difficult terrain, and the animal companion can be very interesting components to both RP and creating an odd build for yourself. What benefits this most. There are occasions that wild shape and your suit play well together. Sometimes you need to get into tight spaces.. Other times you need to fly and the suits own flight can be kinda terrible if you’re Huge. Basically your wild shape becomes a way to transport an already insane weapon.
So you get combat feats like crazy, which frankly you are already a combat monkey. The extra point to will is not as useful as Constructs already have a ton of immunities. You do however maintain your proficiencies and can equip gear of the appropriate size and use it on top of your already existing slam attacks. If the suit dies then you come out as a heavily armored, and full health warrior ready to take the front line.
Great saves which you need to survive as a Suit. Increased movement speed because you are not in armor! YOU ARE the armor. Then the unarmed strikes? You already can get upwards of 4 slam attacks, but add on top of that flurry of blows?! It’s actually a pretty solid class that can really make your Suit’s theme get pretty..Super Robot fighting. Sadly your Slams do not gain Unarmed Strikes. It does open up points as you may not need to buy all your slams, and you do more damage as a huge size Monk.
Great saves especially based off your Charisma. Charisma being one of the stats you maintain in your suit, buffing already powerful things increased by your suit makes this class a near unavoidable choice. Plus much of the healing, and smite is usable as a suit! No one needs to even blink at this hardcore choice.
Gaining some combat feats considering you maintain your weapon proficiencies in your suit means you can build up sort of like the fighter. Except you have special tactics and skills against specific enemy types. This could make for some fun flavor but other classes do most of what you could get out of this better and much of the usage of it’s powers are pretty situational.
You acquire a ton of skill points and can be a skill monkey even at your size. The Sneak attack damage although not needed on top of your already insane numbers, does come in handy as it’s easier for you to flank an enemy then someone else. However the rogue comes with one of the builds biggest defenses. Something it absolutely needs if you want to be extremely defensive. Evasion and Uncanny Dodge. The Mech has all sorts of resistances against physical damage. However spells and breath weapons still blow it away. Making your suit able to dodge is something of a miracle.
There is also an Archetype, the Eldritch Scoundrel which gains access to the possess object spell! Eliminating your need for costly items, and allowing you to use Caster level instead of UMD.
Counterfeit Mage is another one of those beautiful ones that grant half your level to UMD. This means if you’re going the UMD route, you have a pretty significant boost to it.
First you get to use your Caster Level as opposed to UMD, freeing up a large sum of feats and equipment. Next, if you go into the Necromancy school (a personal favorite) you can acquire Life Sight which thematically can be fun and a useful tool. Blindsight at 10 ft, with slowly increasing range only showing living and undead? May just be enough time to know when to react if all else fails! Then if your suit pops you have tons of spells to utilize the rest of the game.
You get to use your Caster level as opposed to UMD freeing up a large sum of feats and equipment! If your suit pops, you have a ton of backup spells, sure, but what is really interesting here is Blood Lines and how they can help. If your building into an Overrun Build, or even looking for a little extra smashing power, the Orc Bloodline gives you Strength of the Beast. Adding to your strength score every so many levels! This DOES transfer to your suit and as a result adds some nice muscle to an already beefy build.
Alchemist (Ectoplasm Master Archetype)
While ranged bombs are useful, sometimes you just can’t get up close to something in time. Though unlikely you certainly can make yourself ranged until you're in melee. Many alchemist mutagens and abilities will help you be a powerhouse if your popped out of your suit. The main reason this is green is a single archetype that gains wizard/sorcerer spells as extracts. This includes Magic Jar and Possess Object. Meaning it’s not on your spell list so you can still abuse the UMD but you can also start popping literal potions to do the same mechanic.
While the Cavalier’s mount becomes useless as you can’t ride it into combat, the only benefit you really get from this class is the ability to impart team work feats on others.
Buy a gun of the appropriate size and bullets as you go and you should be fine. When you run out you have fists to use. The best part? Almost all your Gunslinger abilities work in your suit. What have you done… The biggest downside is that your dexterity as the suit is really really bad.
An interesting class that can really play well for knowing what you're up against and giving an excellent RP out of the suit. With the Device Talent, he can use his inspiration on UMD checks which helps a lot. The Empiricist gets to use their Int instead of their Cha for UMD checks.
To be clear, this class doesn’t do much to synergize with the build itself. It’s real strength is that outside of the suit, you’ll have your full range of abilities ready to ‘burn’. Get it? Burn can’t be used in the suit as being immune to nonlethal prevents the ability from going off and spell-like abilities being spell like, cannot be cast.
The main thing making this class solid, is that with the spell blending arcana you can acquire Possess Object to your spell list and at later levels abuse Gargantuan sized suits! The build is a glass cannon, giving you a lot of extra punch and with most enemies unaware what you are, if your suit goes down you will pop out with all your spells in tact. Arcana also make this a pretty solid choice as you can use them to buff your Slams, or weapons you are wielding as the Suit.
Why unused? Because you can’t cast spells as your suit, and therefore cannot channel as the suit. Meaning a portion of your entire build is only useful outside of the suit.However with the Hexcrafter archetype, you gain access to a Hex which is viable for you to use while in your suit and you can cast the spell using your caster level which is a huge bonus!
Why not purple or solid blue? You can’t spellstrike. Which to me seems the core mechanic of the build.
Although a casting class there is a good number of reasons to play this class over others. First it grants you half your occultist level to UMD checks. Next you can use your Focus Powers while your in your suit. Many mimic spells and abilities you would not otherwise have access to. These abilities also give you some unique buffs, and utility ontop of a powerful utility build. Even being able to use Alter Size, if your DM recognizes that constructs are creatures (as per the text in the books) thus turning you bigger! Being able to give your weapons enhancement bonuses, see invisibility, shoot fireballs, and a large sum of other powers turn you to not just a physical powerhouse, but grant you some utility powers including FLIGHT at perfect maneuverability at level 7 if you take the right things.
With the appropriate curse you gain a +4 to UMD checks at level 5. Covetous means this class gives you some help in the department of making the appropriate checks. Oracle also opens up a slew of Utility, while it’s spells are saved for if your suit gets popped… Your supernatural abilities granted from Mysteries can be used in your suit!
Every bit as interesting as the witch, they can use their hexes while in the suit.While their spells get saved for when they pop out of the suit, the use of one of their key class features means much of your time getting to an opponent will be spent hitting your opponent with other effects or boosting yourself. The Spirit Warden archetype adds the spell to their list, which makes casting very much easier. In addition if your using The Mammoth spirit you gain access and bonuses to Overrun attempts!
Like the bard, the Skald bestows little to assist during the time they are in the suit, but at least can avoid combat and play music to assist the party outside of the suit. They have more health and the ability to make others rage which is fantastic! To their advantage, with the spell keening ability gains them access to the spell, allowing for caster level instead of UMD and larger suits!
The Summoner (Synthesist Archetype)
The Summoner makes an unlikely entry here. Normally the summon itself would be a powerful ally to fight beside, and could be pretty good at helping act as support or just additional damage on the field. However there is one Archetype, not PFS legal, that makes this build baller. The Synthesist who wears his summon like a suit. Now it does read that the Eidolon cannot be worn by a creature larger than it. At 4th level your Eidolon can be huge. From level 3 to 4 the builds don’t mesh too well. Except that when you pop out of your suit, you're in an entirely unrelated suit. However from 4 on this build gets baller!
First your Eidolon can cast spells of it’s own. It has it’s own limbs and natural attacks that you use, and your suit is now wearing it like an extra suit! You count as both an Outsider and a Construct, which heck if I know what that means. You’ll maintain what you gain from your construction points, so the extra attacks but get your extra attacks from whatever you’ve built into your Eidolon up to it’s limit. Then we have the hit points! So, the Eidolon has it’s hit points, that you eventually might blow through. If you do, you are left with your mech’s hit points. IF something makes it through that you have all your spells ready to go and your own hit points. The fact is you’re not going down.
Not only do you get your caster level to cast the scrolls and eventual access to be larger more powerful suits… Your supernatural abilities, the Hexes, are perfectly usable inside the suit. Though thematically they’d come with noise, the suit would simply make soundless motions as sound is not a component for casting them. This means outside of your spells, most of your class features boost your already crazy build.
There is also a pretty interesting way through the Witch to get an ‘Air Filtration System’ going. Adding a more mechanical feel to the suit. Using Aura of Purity you clear out diseases and other airborne issues within 10 ft, which can be pretty darn useful maybe not always for you but for your party or for if you are about to pop your suit.
More for flavor then mechanics this class comes with dual identities as it is. Having a giant robot on top of that, your build becomes pretty utility heavy. Though your social skills don’t come in handy as much, when they do your flourish.
Knowing Your Suit
First thing is first, we have to establish who assigns the points. An excellent point can be made that the GM assigns the points. Most I assume, in Society play will allow you for ease of play. Others will want to themselves to ensure some better balance. The Key is that your Suit has to have the capacity for whatever you want in your build. Claws, make for burrowing and climbing ease for example. Remember the biggest and most important part of this… A statue is a piece of art, and therefore looks like anything you pay for it to. This includes interchangeable parts and sliding mechanisms. While it can’t serve any hard purpose outside of when your suit is animated, YOU need to be creative if you want to be able to change your construction points with each animation.
Some GMs will rule that the suit, for very good, excellent, reasons must maintain the same spent points no matter how many times it is animated or what parts it has. This too works perfectly, although it eliminates the utility of the build, you still have a powerhouse suit that can serve a wide arrange of purposes. Remember, your GM has to be comfortable and enjoy your crazy as much as you do! So always default to their ruling.
Now on to building our suit.
In UE you can find various building material and the cost per pound. Using the guides on size and weight, the weight of a Huge creature is between 2 to 16 tons. A large is 500lbs to 4 Tons and anything lesser isn’t likely to be of use to us. Seemingly a 4 ton Object fits best as it’s a not quite the minimum of a Huge creature but isn’t dead center somewhere. So next you're probably thinking we should save up and buy ourselves an adamantine suit? Well sadly that does nothing to actually help you.
According to the text, an animated object only has hardness 5 no matter the material (assuming you control the points). Whatever material you use, the suit will just turn to the hardness of wood unless Construction points are used. The only exception is if at a home game a GM makes a special ruling or if the GM requires the points assigned to match the used material. However we can assume that you could build a suit of Cold Iron and possess it… Only for it to be turned into a suit of wood while you're in it. The same goes for other issues. Flammable material is only an issue if you're not possessing the suit, as well as material conductive of electricity. It magically is it’ sown material while animated.
However Glass can still shatter, charcoal can still burn, and iron can still conduct while it is not being possessed. Meaning that the material you choose is only important in two regards. Price and Maintaining it from being destroyed. The following is the full list of materials and the suit’s cost based on a 4,000lb Statue for huge, and 2,000lb for Large.
Now some may say the best and easiest route would be to just buy yourself some armor of the appropriate size and use that. While we intend for our suit to carry us around, some DMs may read the duration wrong. The Duration does indicate that upon returning to your body the spell ends. However, most rule that this means that when you choose to return to your body, via your spirit returning, it ends. Not all do. In those cases you want a mule with a sack that someone else will drag along for your body to be in. Otherwise, the suit needs to carry your unconscious body inside a compartment inside it. While armor works, it just isn’t built to house a medium or small creature in huge armor. A statue fits our purposes better. Another issue is that it literally reads in the text that the object cannot be worn at the time of animation. So the suit would have to equip itself after animation.
Some DMs may not like using the weight range listed as the weight for your construct. If you find a DM with a need to satisfy actual, real world, weight limits the following can also be used as it’s based on a real statue in Kunjargiri of Dwaita philosopher Madhwacharya. The actual statue is 32’ tall and weighs 97 Tons. Half of that rounded up is 49 tons as half the height is the minimum for a huge statue. We will also assume because all coins weigh the same in Pathfinder by rules, that all material should weigh the same and thus has the same density. Though the density we should be using is 10.44 due to the indicated density from coins… I’m unsure the material used in the statute we are using as example here. However based on a solid block of material at that density this statue weighs less.
Material Cost 32 Feet 16 Feet
Here are some tools that can also help you if for some reason using my listed prices are unfavorable in your DM’s eyes.
Take note you do need to figure in variations with the above calculator, as it is a solid block. The math above that is a bit over my head but if done right should make a lot of sense for simply converting weight of a creature of the appropriate size to the weight of the material in question. The math would be simple enough as 10.44 is the average density in Pathfinder so 10.44 x (weight of creature) equals the weight of a life size statue of that creature. This is also assuming we are just talking living creatures and nothing with a higher than normal density.
Example: An Aboleth weighs 6,000 pounds. That is 10.44 x 6000 = 62.640.
Then you simply take and times that by the price indicated above (ranging from 3 copper to 500 gold). We’ll use Masonry stone in our example. 62,640 x 5 = 313,200. However this is copper so we knock off two zeros. Our price in gold is 3,132 gold!
There is even more information you can use utilizing existing material and information. The Average height of humaid huge size creatures in all the bestiaries happens to come to 24’. The average height for gargantuan creatures comes to 40’.
Thanks to the work of Thristledown on the forums, the following statue size and weight list can also help a lot. Note that some of the weights are amazingly small and reflect the very clear fact that statue weight for construction comes with a little BS (thus why I’ve put this system together above)
Diana (Saint-Gaudens) II _____ 14.5 ft _____ copper _____ 700 pounds
David (Michelangelo) _________ 16.8 ft _____ marble _____ 6+ tons
Golden Boy (Manitoba) _______ 17.1 ft _____ bronze _____ 1.82 tons
Diana (Saint-Gaudens) I ______ 18.0 ft _____ copper _____ 1800 pounds
Statue of Freedom ___________ 19.5 ft _____ bronze _____ 7.5 tons
Statue of Nelson Mandela I ____ 20.0 ft _____ bronze ______ 1.5 tons
Colossal Statue of Shapur I ____ 21.8 ft _____ limestone _____ several tons
Oregon Pioneer ______________ 22.8 ft _____ bronze _______ 8.5 tons
Forever Marilyn ______________ 25.7 ft _____ steel & aluminum _____ 17 tons
Miss Freedom _______________ 26.0 ft _____ copper _______ 1600 pounds
Hermann Heights Monument ___ 27.0 ft _____ iron & copper _____ 2.2 tons
Statue of Nelson Mandela II ____ 30.0 ft _____ bronze _____ 3.5 tons
Paul Bunyan (Bangor, Maine) ___ 30.6 ft _____ ? ________ 1.85 ton
Statue of Vasupujya __________ 31.0 ft _____ stone _____ 110 tons
Paro (Biggest Easter Island) ___ 32.5 ft _____ tuff _______ 82 tons
Kouros of Apollonas __________ 34.8 ft _____ marble _____ 88 tons
Statue of Ramesses II ________ 35.8 ft _____ red granite _____ 83 tons
Black Hawk Statue ___________ 48.0 ft _____ concrete _______ 268 tons
An Alternate Method
There is another way to go about building your suit that previously I was advising against but have since decided is pretty stellar. Normally you can not possess armor, as it is being worn. You could possess armor that is not worn but it wouldn’t have an easy way to carry your body inside. There is however a fix to this.
Large or Huge Armor, built for non-humanoid could easily represent a base cost for a Suit of your needs. Doing this to Full Plate armor, would be sufficient enough to make you a proper suit.
The cost is 6000 for a Large Suit, and 12,000 for a Huge suit.
In this case, you may want to go with Large, as it will keep it at exactly 100 pounds allowing you to use Fortifying Stones, doubling your suit’s hardness.
Technically you could do this with most, Heavy Armors to have enough material to create a suit. You generally want to aim for less than 100 in weight so Huge will likely never be the case.
Additionally if you go this route, upgrading the material to Fire-Forged Steel, Some GMs will count the actual material toward the suit’s abilities. While I as a ruling believe the material magically is altered by the spell, if the ruling is that it is not this material gives the suit Fire Resistance 2. This can be done at an additional cost of 3,000 Gold.
Eventually you should also consider adding Mitral or even Adamantine spikes to the suit. Giving you a little bit of utility on top of everything else you have going on.
Although the spell doesn’t tell you you gain construction points upon casting the spell, what some DMs fail to follow is that CP is a part of the animated objects stat block. They simply have CP for existing, and this turns this build into a huge Utility. A Huge object has 4 and a Large has 3. There will also be some likely questions from DMs. Not everything construction points can be spent on list that they require the appropriate parts of the statue to be present to have. It is still good to represent.
However, a small sized object built of adamantine can’t have the CP to be adamantine as a small object. This leaves it up to DMs to either grant you free CP by making it spent on what your object is built of or to assume things like the material are magically altered as side effect of the spell.
To further support this, the following quote is needed directly from the bestiary, “ Unless an animated object uses a Construction Point to be made of another material, all animated objects are made of wood or material of equivalent hardness”. Considering that you can animate objects too small to have the points to be adamantine, it is more than likely going to just be the hardness of wood mechanically.
Additional Attack (1CP)
The Bread and Butter of this build. You gain additional slam attacks for only a single CP. That is a lot of damage output and chances to hit. Just remember, using more than one attack in a round reduces the full strength bonus, and you only get a +10 instead of a +15.
Additional Natural Attack (1CP)
For exactly the same reason. An extra attack for a single CP? Only condition is your suit has to have the appropriate appendage… But as a work of art as Statues are it can look like anything! Just remember, using more than one attack in a round reduces the full strength bonus, and you only get a +10 instead of a +15!
Additional Movement (1 CP)
You gain the ability to Burrow, Fly, Climb, or Swim equal to your base speed. However flying, is rendered useless due to the -8 from it being Clumsy and the -8 from being Huge. Climb, Swim, and Fly still require skill checks to maintain even with a movement speed. So while this is near perfect way to gain some extra power and Burrow is a rare ability to gain, one of your options is rendered useless. It does however provide you ways to get around a number of issues.
Augment Critical (1 CP)
While increasing the x1 to a x2 on a Slam attack, on a 5% chance to crit even with 3 attacks the likelihood your enemy is living long enough for a critical to matter is unlikely. Even when you're at high enough levels for it to matter, you are most likely against enemies with immunities to such. Or for the same cost you can get an extra attack.
An extra 1d6 Burning damage on a slam attack for 1 CP is super powerful. However some DM’s will rule that if you’re inside your Suit you will start taking burn damage to your body (as Burn usually is on Burning creatures). It however is fire damage and does continue to do damage over turns. So unless the enemy is immune this can be pretty bad for them. Or for the same cost you can get an extra attack.
Constrict (1 CP)
Your suit has the ability to constrict and deal its slam damage while holding something? With those stats this is pretty solid. IF something lives long enough for it to matter. Or for the same cost you can get an extra attack.
Exceptional Reach (1 or 2 CP)
An increase to the range of a single attack by five feet may be useful to a degree, but the cost of extending it to all for 2 with what points you have to use does not help as much as it would seem as your only down to two of what could be 3 or 4 attacks.
Faster (1 CP)
Increase the movement speed of a single mode of movement by 10ft? Could be useful in certain situations but at your size and strength by the time things want to run away they are already doomed.
Grab (1 CP)
With your CMB as high as it is, giving a single slam attack Grab could end with enemy after enemy in your grasps, and with constrict dieing on the next turn. It is however unlikely most enemies will live to this point. Or for the same cost you can get an extra attack.
Improved Attack (1 CP)
Increase the damage die of a single attack by a size category? Yeah this could be freaking epic! Or you can for the same cost get an extra attack.
Metal (2 CP - 6CP)
The downside is that it takes half your build. The upside is for 2 points it ups your Hardness to 10 as opposed to 5, which is a lot of damage reduction. If you’re crazy you can up it with 4CP to make it 15 hardness. These both also increase your AC by a decent amount. At the same cost though you could have 2 or 4 Slam attacks. So it can be a bit of an even trade. We however recommend you never spend more than the 2.
Piercing Attack (1 - 2 CP)
Turn a single slam into a piercing attack or for two turn them all. Or you can buy more attacks and just punch your way past the damage reduction of whatever enemy it is.
Pull (1 CP)
Gain Pull as long as you’ve already spent points to gain grab with one of your attacks. Or you can buy two extra attacks. Useful for altering where your enemies are as it is unlikely they can fight back.
Ranged Attacks (2 to 4 CP)
Too expensive for our tastes. It also only benefits one attack and gives it a 20ft. Range which you sort of have with your melee attacks….
Slashing Attack (1 to 2 CP)
Same as Piercing Attack. Except Slashing.
Better in some ways than Metal, as it only costs one point. It increases your Hardness to 8 instead of 10 which is still a significant hit and lets you keep a third attack!
Trample (2 CP)
You gain the Trample special attack… Or you can have two extra attacks.
Trip (2 CP)
You gain the Trip special ability with one of your attacks. OR you can have two extra attacks.
The key to success here is making your Use Magic Device so high that a DC 29 check is in no way a problem for you. There are a number of ways to go about this. First a high enough Charisma score, and ranks alone can make it decent but you really need to work this.
You’ll need the following to really truly Optimize it.
With these feats and those two rather cheap items, you have a plus 10 to your UMD. At level 3 you’d have 3 ranks in there and with the Dangerously curious trait that turns UMD into a class skill so you do have the bonus 3 from class. That puts us at 16. Then your Charisma either being 18 or 16 will add 3 or 4 to it making it somewhere between 19 and 20.
Right now to succeed on our roll we need higher then a 10.
If you are taking the class I recommend most for this, The Occultist, you gain half your class level to UMD and at this point that is only a 1. However you can also pop your insight bonus to add half your class level to your skill check, that at this point is a 1. At next level it’s a 2 but we’re only talking about the earliest rolls we can do here.
This puts us at 21 or 22. That means at minimum we need to roll a 7 or 8 to cast this scroll. If you're willing to sacrifice it and are playing in PFS organized play, two PR will give you a one time +4 bonus to a skill check. That could push the roll to 3 or 4 Minimum to successfully cast the spell.
At earlier levels it’s more vital to have this build up. However as you progress in levels you’ll find yourself less and less needing to worry about it as the scroll becomes easier to cast.
At a higher level you can buy a Wand Key Ring for 3,000 Gold that grants a +10 to attempts to cast a spell it’s designed for. In this case Possess Object.
Tall vs Long
You have to remember that your reach is different for being a tall or long creature of Huge size. A lesser known rule, your spaces for threat change on this.
A good reference for this is the SRD or the Core book.
You literally get six squares of threat vs four for being tall. So simply ensure it is made clear when you possess your object that it is designed Tall and not Long. Unless you want to do so thematically.
"See! I told you, One day I'd possess a roller-bladey tanky." - Snuf Wheeler, armored courier for the Exchange
Eventually you will need something more than your suit, your weapons, your armor, the various gear needed to pull this build off and your continual hungry need for Scrolls of Possess Object! Though we’ll list some of that here too.
Wand of Squeeze
Another item dependent on rather your GM recognizes that Constructs are Creatures. It will allow your construct at minimum level to squeeze through medium spaces for 3 minutes a use. With 50 charges, and a party member willing to apply it, this can significantly simplify a dungeon crawl. The cost? 4500 Gold.
(As a note in Society Play, Squeeze is only accessible for one race Vishkanyas.)
The Belt of Tightfit allows the wearer to act as if under the effect of the squeeze spell for 10 rounds a day. A significant help for getting your suit through tight spaces! It’s only downside is that it is only 10 rounds! It does require a move action to activate. The cost? 4000 Gold. Only downside is Reduce Person can’t be used on you while you're in the suit.
A corset that fits under your armor, it allows you to as a free action act as if under the effect of the Squeeze spell for 10 rounds a day. Like the Belt of Tightfit, a huge help at moving through smaller structures. The only downside is that it is only 10 rounds! It is activated as a free action as well making it a bit better then the belt! The cost? 3000 gold!
Wand of Enlarge Person
Let’s be fair. Going from Huge to Gargantuan at level 3 is insane. Really insane and overpowered. Plus it makes for great visuals! However extremely situational and hopefully someone is willing to cast it on you.
Wand Key Ring of Possess Object
There is nothing like getting a +10 insight bonus to your UMD check for a specific spell… When that spell is the key mechanic of your build! At only 3000 gold this can be a steal! Early acquisition of this can easily prevent you from worrying about failing your save.
Custom Item of Possess Object
It is worth noting that if you plan to play this in a home game and the DM allows for custom items, you can buy a 1/day Possess Object item for 16200 gold! Which is the same as 13 days of operating cost!
Belt of the Weasel A decent bit outside our price range for the general goal, at 10,000 gold you can get a belt with some useful abilities and the ability to compress allowing you to move into smaller spaces! The cost is the only thing kicking it down to an orange. Though in a home game, this may be more of a green.
Marvelous Pigments Is a pretty decent way to get around some of the more pesky problems. You don’t need the mech if you got the time to paint one. With 1000 Cubic Feet available you should be able to reach Huge size with a decent enough craft (paint) check. Not to mention it adds some amazing utility to your character and gets around the problem of travel.
Ring of Continuation This does a pretty impressive thing and extends the duration of the spell to a full 24 hours. Even more amazing, if you have the Object Possession spell (the one with the similar name but not the same effect) you could extend it and make it a viable replacement to Possess Object. The only downside is the extensive cost requiring 40 Fame to even buy in Society but super effective if acquired in a Home game at an early level! It can be a powerful aid to extending late leveling use.
Needles of Fleshgraving Holy cow! So there is no item size limit really given here. Though I’m sure a GM/DM somewhere will require one if you use this in this very manner. Have your suit, converted to a tattoo that can be peeled away and brought back to size? Who needs a horse when you got an artist!
Construct Channel Brick Remember how your construct can’t get healed in any easy way? Now it can. Now you get to keep going longer, as long as your cleric or an available player who can channel has this in hand! Hell! Be a cleric and use this yourself!
Scavenger's Stone If you happen to be one of the few existing Goblins in PFS play and plan to do this build OR if you are at a home game. This item can come in handy as a good, and quick emergency heal.
Tome of Stone Wards If held by a spell caster using Make Whole or Mending, adds 1d6 to the healing on your suit. It is a pretty cheap item and that extra die of healing can be significant. However it is only an extra die.
Bracelet-Braille A nifty way around the inability to speak. You can point to letters to communicate while possessed!
Chest of Keeping You know how we mentioned some GMs may take the returning to your body more literally? Fixes that! Worried about decay during your nine hours? No problems. The cost is pretty big but not undoable. Have your body tossed in this chest and throw it into your suit so no direct contact is made. It preserves your body and that's pretty damn cool!
Safecamp Wagon while unable to be possessed it CAN carry things that you can possess. Plus it shrinks when you need it to.
A Rowboat A handy back up suit. Let's say your suit is lost, you got nothing else or you're going into a place you won't be able to take the suit. A rowboat works just as well.
Mule back Cords Sometimes you're the one who has to carry things.Sometimes, everything.
Fortifying Stone These stones can only be equipped to items of under 100 pounds, so you first need a suit that isn’t in the tons! If you’re building more of a tank, these add extra hardness and HP to your suit. Interestingly if you have more partners, a favored use of one Pilot, Snuf Wheeler, is to have them in red, green, and yellow order alerting passengers of the damage as the tank takes hits.
If your suit is in fact, built this way and under 100 pounds… It is a Must!
Lucky Horseshoe Bonuses are hard to come by on your suit. This is one easy way to gain a little buff to your saving throws.
Wand of Reinforce Armaments If you have someone to cast it on you and if your suit is made of armor, it is a pretty big boost! As it doubles your armor!
One Way Window Got people riding around inside your suit? This will let them look outside the suit while not being seen. Not alerting the enemy to the additional enemies waiting inside.
Boots of Escape Got regular players who end up being your allies? Even just want to give someone an easy escape if they face danger? With this they can pop inside your suit as an easy escape if needed!
Stone of Good Luck An Ultra powerful item especially if paired with the Fate’s Favored trait, the only downside would be getting enough fame to actually buy it! Still grants a bonus to nearly everything especialy while in your suit.
Misc Items Not quite here for any mechanical use, they add to the fun affect of a Mecha and can be good tools for playing up the part. These include Magnets(10), Riding Kit(exotic, med.), Folding chair(small), Periscope(small).
You can also include any of these as ‘masterwork tools’ for a cool Mecha feel: Drop Absorbers, Enhanced Targeting system, Externally-Mounted Retrieval/Ejection-Seat Arm Rail, Fireman-style Entry Guide Poles, Juke Handle, O.S. Bars, Faux-Fleshy Fixtures, Padded Interior, Peddle-driven Flywheels(x3), Play Lists, climber's Harness
Ablative Barrier a spell that turns the first five points of damage into non-lethal, if cast upon you this can boost an already impressive defense as they must get over your base 5 hardness, then an additional five damage goes into non-lethal. Which doesn’t do jack as your a construct! Which are immune to non-lethal anyways.
Rapid Repair If cast on you while your in your suit, you gain fast healing 5 for 1/round a level! That can be powerful considering it’s a low level spell!
Make Whole If cast on you can do up to 5d6 points of healing per casting. This would be more useful if it didn’t take 10 minutes to cast. So it doesn’t have any combat use but outside of combat can easily bring you to full with a couple castings.
Hammer of Mending A bit excessive it can actually be a great tool if your entire party are pilots. It would be blue if not for being higher level and at it’s best if in a party of.
Unbreakable Construct In a fight against an enemy who is getting by your impressive defenses, this spell can mean a lot of power when cast on you. An extra 5 Hardness? A world of freaking difference!
Dreamed Secrets a feat that allows certain clerics access to the spell at 7th level. It would allow you to no longer require the gold dump however comes a little late to help early levels with caster vs umd. Also the RP with it would be killer! However it is not currently PFS legal.
Pragmatic Activator this can be pretty darn useful. If your class is INT based, you can use your INT as your base stat for your UMD instead of Cha!
Esoteric Linguistics An interesting option away from both using caster level and UMD, it allows you to use your linguistics check to cast scrolls! It does mean maxing this out gets you a lot of languages and builds on an already useful skill check. It may not entirely make up for the loss of use on other magic items you may pick up and find but it can play into an espionage character well!
Barroom Brawler Being able to suddenly have any combat feat you qualify for is hands down a useful skill. Remember that a lot of the idea behind this is that it gives you some really interesting utility. Adding a cherry on top of that ice cream, this feat can act quickly to change the course of a fight!
Tribal Scars; Great Tusks Lets face it. Once you go into that suit no matter what your class is, your a combat monkey. You have a serious advantage to a large sum of Combat Maneuvers and this… Well your huge! Overrunning or Bullrushing is going to happen! Use it.
Improved Familiar If you have access to a familiar getting one with Truespeach or that can read minds can be super handy. Especially if you learn to sign!
Improved Overrun Thematic if your going with a big, bulky weaponized mass running over your opponents it takes advantage of the build in a beautiful way. It’s hard, for most opponents to not fail or be overrun in your attempt and you’ll leave many of them prone and ready for a good pummeling!
Greater Overrun Going off of the above, you're simply perfecting an already beautiful art. The best way to survive a battle is to not be hit, and if your enemies are all prone who is going to hit you? That and it’ll be hard to not be beat down once they're on their backs.
Toughness Did you know effects like this transfer with you? So your suit suddenly gains extra hit points on top of it’s already massive amount of health? Plus this helps big time late game when you're slowly facing things strong enough to get through your defenses!
Healer's Touch Really useful if your built into it, which really, why would you have it otherwise? It allows you to heal as if using the metamagic Maximize on your spell. Combined with the right stuff, this can absolutely repair your damaged suit!
A Freaking Familiar a familiar is pretty useful most of the time. It can convey messages, be trained to take certain actions. With a high enough intelligence it can act on your behalf. Best of all give it a bunch of wands intended for use on you, and presto, a personal buffer for your Suit. Just remember: Mind Affecting Spells will not work on you!
Cyber Magic If you are going the route of Caster Level, this adds +1 to the spell itself and +2 to your caster level check! One of the few times you can actually get boosts to your caster level!
The following are some example characters of my own, though not optimized they show exactly how powerful this build can be on mostly any character.
Karai Lamarchand Snillore The First Pilot
This is one of the more difficult portions of the build. You need a way to transport your suit. there are a number of options available and all are pretty useful. The main thing to remember is that your not expected to chart how you transport all your goods in between games. So it can simply be written off as being transported by the Pathfinder Society on your behalf. The only time transportation is a real issue is during the actual game play. Also remember leaving your suit somewhere is not an issue either. As you can return off scene to recover your suit--after all... who the hell is going to steal a statue that size?
At lower levels I recommend buying a pair of Heavy Horses, a Heavy Wagon, and a wand of ant haul. The Wagon itself only requires one large horse, or two medium to pull however for the sake of being safe we'll buy two.
The Wagon itself can carry a max capacity of 4,000 pounds. Most of our calculations for a suit earlier are based on being 4,000 pounds. While we do not want to meet that exact capacity, it's easy to say that your suit is close to, max weight for the wagon. For the horses individually a heavy load is 1200 lbs. With the wand of Ant Haul, which lasts a minimum of 2 hours, it is 4,800 each.
Heck for that matter if your suit has wheels that alone will work. If your GM doesn't like any of this, the Heavy Wagon is a huge size object and can substitute as a super cheap, 100 gold, mech.
It does mean blowing through wands, if the travel is ridiculous. Eventually you can spend 2,000 gold for a Belt of Heavy Load and give it to your horses. This will make it significantly better. Additionally sometimes you get really strong players who have the strength on their characters, and the ant hall effect up who can assist in moving the object.
The same as above but at a cheaper rate, you can hire people to transport it for you. A heavy wagon is 3cp a mile. Simply provide them with the magical means to ensure their horses can drag the wagon with the suit on it and you'll be set. As long as the service is willing of course, to follow you into what is likely danger.
If you're aware you are not going far, and won't be spending days travelling. Just possess your suit then walk around!
If your suit exceeds 4,000 pounds, you obviously can’t use a Heavy Wagon. This is where you build wheels into your mech. The big thing to remember is that, the suit is a statue. As it is just art, it can look like anything, have anything. For example, mine doubles as a house that my character lives inside of the main compartment of with a hatch that opens for him to exit at any given time. I recommend not abusing this, just using it for things like RP effects like the suit pouring steam out of a whistle, or taking on unique looks.
In any case, giving it wheels (that likely retract inside when it animates) and having a couple of horses with ant haul effects on them should suffice.
Heavy Horse 200 Gold
Heavy Wagon 100 Gold
Wand of Ant Haul 2 PR
Belt of Heavy Load 2000 Gold
Either with direct use of the spell yourself, scrolls, or buying the caster service you may be able to get away with transporting your Suit using Treasure Stitching, the spell. This basically converts your entire suit into a quilt and leaves you with quite a surprise packed away. It does require more gold investment, but that's what this build is huh?
Transport nothing! Marvelous Pigments will allow you to paint yourself up one as long as you got the time to do so.
Needles of Fleshgraving allow for you to carry items, converted into tattoos on your skin. Makes for easy transportation!
Q: Is there anything saying your suit can’t wield weapons or armor?
A: No, actually you should maintain your proficiencies. Just make sure your suit has opposable thumbs!
Q: What about races with Spell Like abilities, classes, or even feats that grant them?
A: Sadly as they are spell-like abilities they cannot be cast. See, spells being unable to be cast means something that acts like them cannot.
Q: If spells can’t be cast, how can a Witch’s Hex or Occultist’s Focus Power be used?
A: Mostly due to them being super natural abilities. Such abilities don’t act like spells in how they function. Also Hexes don’t requires words even if the fluff seems to indicate it as per the wording.
Q: Can I have more attacks as my suit then I do without it?
A: Yes and No. You can’t do more attacks with weapons. However you gain all the natural attacks of anything you possess and can, make your full attack with all its attacks. This means you can’t have three arms to attack with three swords but you can have 3 arms to do three slams.
Q: Am I immune to mind-affecting effects?
A: Yes and No! When spells that target the mind target a possessed creature or object, it is assumed to always go to the possessed body’s mind. You can still be targeted with these effects but it would require that the enemy have 1) a reason to think you are a guy possessing a suit. 2) Figure out that IS what is happening and 3) then choose to target your mind with the spell. In that case, you can be targeted.
EB of the Idaho Pathfinder Society for Putting Up with my Shit
Thistledown for all the excellent Input and Information, from average weight of huge creatures to the weights and sizes of various real life statues fitting our needs! Archetypes and a ton of magic items suggested as well!
Snuf Wheeler for sharing an incredible item list and their own Mech Build, not to mention a quote and a picture of their mini, and a large list of feats and class features of incredible use!
Dasrak for a slew of great Archetype suggestions!
Dave Justus for excellent input and correcting prior wrong notions helping fix the build.
Avr for correcting some a pricing error
Pad300 for a spell suggestion that couples well with the build, Ablative Barrier.
Captain Battletoad For a ton of excellent input that helped correct some misconceptions I had going in.
ElterAgo Cause someone needs to notice my grammatical errors more as well as bringing up some excellent points!
Taenia for some excellent suggestions including Belt of the Weasel and using Familiars to cast wands on you.
VRMH for bringing up Dirge Bard archetype,
Illeist for clarifying legality and their excellent input and questions.
Ridiculon for suggesting Treasure Stitching!
Kaouse for their suggestion of Ring of Continuation!
Ravingdork for clarifying that natural attacks do not count toward magic jar’s attack limitations