- The intent here is an object which isn’t progressing through class features but is rather just a purchased “beast”, like you can buy pets or mounts or whatever through the Ultimate Equipment guide
- Animated objects are expensive and somewhat powerful off the hop, but PCs can really only access them when they have the money to do so. The wording of our “money spent on one item” rule is a bit non-committal, but holding to those rules, the following is true regarding getting an animated object through purchase of the “ownership” of it:
^ tiny animated objects cost 250g and are CR 1/2, pretty much available at 1 xp (level 1)
^ small animated objects cost 2,000g and are CR 2, able to be purchased at 6 – 7 xp (level 3)
^ medium animated objects cost 4,500g and are CR 3, able to be purchased at 10 – 11 xp (level 4)
^ large animated objects cost 12,500g and are CR 5, able to be purchased at 18 – 19 xp (level 7)
- Basically, the practice of taming an animated object involves one of two methods: a “wild” animated object was “tamed” by someone proficient with Use Magic Device as their method of “whispering” the furniture, or it was sold by the caster to a shop, transferring ownership. There’s no real difference between the two processes; basically the end goal is getting the animated object to be cooperative with the character (said another way: “to recognize the character as its master”, which means it will receive commands from them) and not try to kill them.
- At any rate, after either purchasing the “tame” object or by taming it themselves (discussed below), the character can use it as they’d want to. At this point though, they require rolls, just as with Handle Animal checks to get an animal to do things, only in this case, the character is attempting to get the verbal components or the gestures correct in order to direct their object, which also doesn’t “learn”; only “acts as directed”. So for this mechanic, the same rules regarding animal control apply: the roll will be Use Magic Device instead of Handle Animal, but the principle remains the same, except that the animated object has no autonomy when it’s being “handled” by its master. It receives its instructions and then carries them out to the best of its abilities, ad infinitum, until it either falls apart or receives a new set of instructions (as per the brooms on Fantasia which Mickey animates).
- The DC to handle an animated object would be 10 + the object’s CR. In the case of a medium object, the DC is 13 all the time, unless the object is damaged (as per the Handle Animal rule variables), wherein the DC goes up accordingly as it is “in distress” and less responsive to directions.
- If the character succeeds in the UMD check (a move action, as normal for “handling” an animal that doesn’t have link), the object will receive an instruction in the manner that the character was informed of by the shop keeper (or figured out when “taming” the object), and the object will perform the task.
^ The object will continue to do that action unless given an “act as normal” or “stand down” command. Newer commands override older commands in all cases with this proposal (this makes the object a handful in combat, and not very combat effective, as it both continues to act and doesn’t stop on it’s own. As it is not an animal companion, it cannot be handled by anything less than a move action).
- If the character fails the Use Magic Device check (including any modifiers that apply to the roll) by less than 5, the object either does nothing or continues what it was doing, ignoring the handling attempt (50/50 chance of either outcome).
- If the character fails the Use Magic Device check (including any modifiers that apply to the roll) by 5 or more, it is instead affected with the “mount confusion table”, as normal confusion rules don’t work as well in this case. This table is as follows, adapted from the normal confusion table:
|01-25||Does nothing (dances, capers, attempts to play instead, etc)|
|26-50||Does something at random (GM’s choice), possibly including following the directions given|
|51-75||Attempts to throw its rider if it bears one, or attacks nearest creature if not|
|76-100||Runs away as if frightened|
- If another creature tries to handle or manage the object without the “ownership” of it, they must make the Use Magic Device check, as normal, but each day after in which they manage the object’s affairs, the DC to handle it increases by 2. This reflects the object’s desire to continue serving its master and not some usurper. Any other creature who wants to become the object’s new master must either receive ownership for it or attempt to tame it themselves (see below).
The topic sounds silly, but besides destruction, what can be done with a roving animated object? In this case, I’m proposing adoption. Obviously this is exactly like a druid/ranger trying to tame a ferocious beast, only people attempting to tame animated objects don’t have some of the boosts druids possess.
- As such, it uses the same rules as in the “Rear a wild animal” section of “Handle Animal”, only the DC is equivalent to the “Use Magic Device” skill’s “Activate Blindly” ability + the HD of the object instead of 15 + HD. This reflects the difficult and temperamental nature of animated objects, and the fact that the person attempting the checks (and it takes a long time, just like the rules for “Rear a wild animal”) is basically guessing at the password for a computer while trying to avoid it killing him.