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Thread: The Construct: Why a Construct?

  1. #1
    OPA Belta
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    The Construct: Why a Construct?

    I'm trying to wrap my head around the Construct archetype.

    P.109-110 of the Deluxe Hero's Handbook states, "Creatures with no Stamina suffer and recover from damage like inanimate objects (see Damaging Objects under the Damage effect). They are immune to fatigued and exhausted conditions, but cannot exert extra effort." Page 110 also notes, "Mutants & Masterminds heroes cannot be absent an ability without Gamemaster permission, as it can have significant effects on the character and the game."

    And then, there it is, the Construct archetype has no Stamina. In the Quick Start sections, the Construct options also lack Stamina. I have questions.

    First of all, how is it that one of the basic archetypes has a trait the handbook says probably should not be allowed? Looking over the rest of the rules, the character has some odd vulnerabilities, including being affected by Affects Objects effects that may not allow much of a resistance check. And the character can't use Extra Effort, which seems like a significant drawback, especially considering the game's heavy reliance on power stunts. And is it really logical that a robot has no fatigued trait? Robots get strained and overloaded all the time. Even Equipment can suffer from extra effort, if the user pushes it too far. Weird!

    Second, is it in fact true that constructs can't use Extra Effort? No power stunts? No extra actions? No redlining the boot jets?

    Third, if it is not true, how has the handbook can through several versions and printings without the language on pages 109-110 being addressed?

    Fourth, does a creature lacking a stamina work within 3e's framework, or is this just a holdover from D&D 3e? Even D&D has moved on from the idea nonliving things shouldn't have Constitution. Things with energy requirements and moving parts do get worn down, are subject to various effects that impeded them without physically destroying them, and do have traits like durability and such that work for constructs pretty much how they do for people. It also means there is no way to quantify how a construct-type is affected by things they might resist, and which would logically affect constructs.

    Fifth, was the construct concept ever meant to apply to heroic characters, or just lifeless Minions? And if not, what happened?

    Just wondering.

  2. #2
    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    First, the Corebook is somewhat sloppily written (with several inconsistencies & inaccuracies). And it's quite annoying that there's still no official errata or FAQ for 3e. So some good ol' common sense on both GM's & players's parts is needed - blind adherence to RAW can run your game into the ground.
    On the (rather old...) issue of constructs & EE: This problem was inherited from 2e - they errata-ed it in the FAQ, but then failed to incorporate this into 3e (several sentences in 3e corebook were simply copied from its 2e counterpart).
    Here's an excerpt from the old FAQ:
    Can constructs use extra effort? Do they suffer fatigue from doing so?
    Yes and yes. Construct characters can use extra effort, much like some Devices. The “fatigue” they suffer has the same
    effect as fatigue does on other characters, but in the case of constructs it represents damage or wear-and-tear on the
    construct. Since constructs have no Constitution, they cannot recover from fatigue, they must be repaired instead.
    Constructs with a recovery bonus—such as self-repairing constructs with Regeneration—can recover from fatigue
    normally. Like all characters, constructs can spend hero points to ignore the effects of a fatigue result.
    Yes, some rules-lawyers will of course bitch about "not valid because 2e", but think for yourself: Robot or undead heroes are legitimate choices, and there's no point in denying them the use of a core mechanic (EE, powerstunt). You pointed it out yourself ("no redlining the boot jets").
    Also, there are already rules for EE & the resulting fatigue (named "strain" in this case) for devices, vehicles & mecha.

  3. #3
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    I think Bothrops has explained it well. An oft-overlooked rule in 3e is that, for Constructs, the first rank of Regeneration just lets you heal normally.

    Personally, I think the whole Affects Objects thing gets to be a hideous rules patch. In general, most PC Constructs are better built normally with an Immunity Biological) for 10 pp or so to divert not being affected by things like poisons or chemical descriptors, but vulnerable to being shocked, dissolved, etc, unless bought otherwise.

  4. #4
    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    Personally, I think the whole Affects Objects thing gets to be a hideous rules patch. In general, most PC Constructs are better built normally with an Immunity Biological) for 10 pp or so to divert not being affected by things like poisons or chemical descriptors, but vulnerable to being shocked, dissolved, etc, unless bought otherwise.
    True. While I personally use the standard rules for constructs (no STA, Immunity 30 [fortitude]) combined with the 2e errata, I once cooked up a "retcon-template" for constructs as an alternate solution. This template costs exactly the same as the standard construct build (20p), and can be easily applied to all existing constructs without any changes in point budget (I hate the latter).

    Construct Retcon Template (20p)
    base STA 0 (can be modified by Growth ranks)
    Fortitude 5
    Immunity 15 (biological effects)

  5. #5
    OPA Belta
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    Personally, I think the whole Affects Objects thing gets to be a hideous rules patch.
    It's one of the few left over D&D artifacts in the game. Absent abilities should not really be a thing. To make some go unconscious use Damage or Affliction, not Weakness/Nullify Presence (or Awareness or Intelligence). Setting a negative limit of -5 is fine but the whole absent abilities thing is a D&D artifact that is not helpful.

  6. #6
    OPA Belta thaumonuclear's Avatar
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    I'd ignore the Construct rules anyway. Build with stamina as usual, and just buy Immunity: Life Support, Poison, Disease, etc. to represent not being a living being.
    Fortitude effects like Dazzle or Disintegrate should still effect you like normal.
    Apprentice Mastermind:
    Assorted Builds: https://calubrecht.us/mutantsAndMast...iscreants.html

  7. #7
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    Re: The Construct: Why a Construct?

    Immunity to Fortitude actually never really makes much sense. After all most Will effects seem like they should not work on constructs.

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