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ConstructA master maker’s gears do not click, they hum. The sound is unassuming, permeating a space with a hypnotic rhythm. Intrusion brings a cacophony. Joints scream with fresh momentum as a familiar form with an alien composition comes alive. It is at best an automaton, designed with purpose rather than will. It is without thought, or feeling, or mercy, it is simply an object, simply a construct.

Constructs as a creature type are on the border for me. They are presented as creatures, but aside from that presentation are really and truly magical items. Just like magical rings, rods, staffs, etc, constructs have creation costs and feats associated with their generation and while I understand their inclusion in the Pathfinder Monster Manuals, I can only think of two reasons why they remain there:

Iron Golem

The use of a construct always implies the existence of a creator, which is another character a DM has to either create or explain away. Personally, I’ve always liked the “long dead” excuse. Works like magic.

  1. An appeal toward the traditions of D&D.
  2. A need for convenience.

The first isn’t a rational reason for inclusion – it’s fan service. The second, however, is unbelievably important to both game design and ease of play. While constructs certainly belong in the magical items section their separation from the Monster Manuals would cause the “out of sight, out of mind” problem. Also, because they mimic monsters/persons in both form and function they are presented in the way of creatures. While I would personally like a Constructs section accompanying the Rings, Rods, Staffs, etc…it would be a disconnect for long time players to see monster statistics in with magical items.

While they can be built, bought, and enchanted as magical items, Constructs are a creature type, whether it makes sense of not, and are going to stay that way for a long time.