Constructs And You


Table of Contents


Introduction

"I want it turned off until there are a lot more safeguards built into it....I don't trust a power like that. Not when I don't have any defenses against it. It could strike almost without warning. What were you thinking of when you built that thing?"

"You let me rewrite YOUR brain first, sahib, and then you can monkey with my source code. You're after me lucky charms! You're not my father! I'll never rule the galaxy with you!"

Constructs are, quite simply, artificial beings created by Shadow-walkers and endowed with some ability to access Real powers. The reasons for building one tend to range from a desire to test engineering and metaphysical theories to a search for a bigger hammer to use on one's foes. Regardless, most Construct creators tend to find that they get more than they bargained for...

Building a Construct requires a degree of knowledge on the part of the would-be creator. It is one thing for Gideon, master trump artist and constant researcher and artificer, to design a construct. It is quite another for Corey, big warrior type who only knows enough about the powers to walk from one Shadow brothel to the next. If you have described your character as someone who does not spend a lot of time coming up with abstract theories, pushing his knowledge of the universe, and fiddling with odd contraptions... don't expect to build a Construct. Also, unlike the other powers and items, Construct building is very much an up-to-the-GM thing.

While Constructs cost a certain amount of points to build, you do not own them. Constructs are sentient NPCs. They do not have to do what you say, and they may very well decide to turn against you.

In general, Constructs are very, very powerful. They are also not terribly mature, at least at first, which is not surprising when you think about their lack of developmental time. Finally, due to the fact that there is not exactly a lot of reliable data on how to make a Construct's 'brain', and also due to the tendancy of Construct builders to use not-very-stable things like the Logrus and Broken Patterns as a power source, Constructs are not always very mentally stable.

Picture a clinically psychotic five-year-old on LSD who can fire nuclear blasts from his hands and hack the Pentagon with his mind, and you're starting to get a picture of the 'average' Construct.

All Constructs have six stats. They lack the two Strength Stats, due to not exactly having bodies in the sense we think of. They get these Stats as the sum total of all the factors in building


The Steps of Construct Building

This is a list of all the steps and options that go into a Shadow, including how much they cost you.

1) Shadows

Every Construct is built in a Shadow, usually tapping into the greatest source of power in it. To restate the Shadow table:

2) Construct Components

These are the 'inner workings' of the Construct, the things that make up its brain and basic functions. Add the points and modifiers for each one that is applicable - it is possible to build Constructs that use more than one.

3) Scope

This is the mindset the Construct has been built with.

4) Add-Ons

These are things of power plugged into the Construct. They tend to give the Construct special abilities and extra points in attributes that depend wildly on what the plug-in is. Plug-ins don't cost points, but you have to actually acquire them, which is more easily said than done. Bear in mind that the attribute bonuses are in ADDITION to the usual powers and properties of using the item. For example, a Construct with a spikard not only gets the 25-points of extra attributes, but also can use the spikard to cast spells and suck in extra power.

5) Manifestations

These are the 'remote terminals' of a Construct, the things that let it interact with people outside its home Shadow. Of course, you can always Trump the Construct. Or, if the Construct has Trump, maybe it'll Trump you. These point costs are for Manifestations you start out with. Keep in mind that there's nothing stopping a Construct from manufacturing them on its own.

6) Construct Powers

These are the Real powers that a Construct can access.

7) Random Chance

The GM will then assign between 20 to 40 points into the Construct, usually into stats. He will not tell you where.


An Example of Building a Construct:

Horatio has decided that he wants to build himself a Construct. He decides to name it Trinity, because he has watched The Matrix too many times.

He goes out into Shadow and finds himself a nice site with a Broken Pattern. This is a 4-point Primal Shard Shadow, giving the construct a base of PP: 60, PF: 5, PE: 15, ME: 50, WS: Amber, and Tactics: 5.

Horatio is a Craefter and a Pattern Master. He uses both of these in designing Trinity's processing center, giving her Craefted Works (1 point) and Pattern Components (4 points). Trinity now has the following: PP: 100, PF: 35, PE: 45, ME: 75, WS: 5, and Tactics: 5. Horatio has now shelled out 9 points total.

Wanting his new creation to be able to comprehend as much as possible, Horatio sets her scope at All The Wonders of Creation, for 2 points. Trinity now has the following: PP: 110, PF: 45, PE: 45, ME: 75, WS: 5, and Tactics: 5. Horatio has spent 11 points total.

Getting really into his project, Horatio locks his sister Joan in a closet and steals her Patternblade, then incorporates it into Trinity as an Add-On. It is an Unsuitable Object, and the GM decides that the resulting 25 points go into PP and WS. Trinity now has the following: PP: 120, PF: 45, PE: 45, ME: 75, WS: 20, and Tactics: 5. Add-Ons don't cost points once you have them, so Horatio has still only spent 11.

Horatio builds one Manifestation, a snazzy looking laptop, which he gives a Flux-Pin Connection (1 points). Trinity now has a connection to the laptop any time the Flux-Pin is turned on, which either she or Horatio can do at will. Horatio has now spent 12 points total.

Horatio teaches Trinity Sorcery (0 points), Craefting (0 points), and Pattern (2 points). He has now spent 14 points total.

Finally, the GM secretly adds 30 points, splitting them between WS and PP.

So complete, Trinity looks like this:

Trinity

14-point Construct

Shadow: Broken Pattern Shadow (4 point Primal Shard)

Components: Craefted Works, Pattern Components

Scope: All The Wonders Of Creation

Add-Ons: A Patternblade

Manifestations: 1 Flux-Pin Manifestation.

Powers:

Horatio is justifiably proud of his new creation. He is somewhat less proud of it seven years later, when Trinity has strapped most of the family into her 'Matrix' and is using them as Add-Ons to power herself. But these things happen.


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Last Update May 20, 2003