Everyone knowledgeable in the creation and use of constructs knows that such creatures obey the commands of their creators. Constructs without instructions are no more than mindless hulks, following their last commands to the best of their feeble ability or awaiting commands until their parts begin to decay.
Though it comes as a shock to most when an object still moves after the duration of the spell that gave it the semblance of life ends. Even more shocking is the rare instance when a created construct goes rogue. Few understand why such events occur, since most creators who discover that their constructs have a free will destroy them immediately. Some constructs, however, imbued with an intelligence and will of their own by some spark of life, escape or overcome their creators to pursue whatever ends suit their developing minds and souls.
“Lifespark” is an acquired or inherited template that can be added to any nonintelligent construct (referred to hereafter as the base creature). At the GM's option, intelligent constructs that go berserk might instead gain the lifespark template. A lifespark construct uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted below.
Type: Type is unchanged, but some features of the construct type no longer apply, as noted below.
Weaknesses: The lifespark construct gains the following weakness.
Abilities: Replace the base creature's Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores with new ones as if you were creating a new character. Determine each one by your preferred ability score generation method. If you use the point buy method, use half the allocated points before you buy the new ability scores. All the creature's other ability scores remain the same.
Feats: The lifespark construct retains the base creature's, but bonus feats, but it loses all other feats that the base creature had except racial bonus feats. Recalculate the number of feat slots the lifespark construct has based on its character level (racial plus class HD) and assign feats as desired, giving preference to the feats that the base creature originally possessed. The lifespark construct must still meet any prerequisites for feats chosen to fill vacant feat slots.
Skills: Because of its recently awakened intelligence, a lifespark construct gains a number of skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per HD. A lifespark construct typically devotes skill points to whatever Craft skill is appropriate for repairing damage it sustains (see the base creature's description for details), and other skills favored by its creator.
Languages: A lifespark construct can speak even without a mouth. It can automatically speak the language of its creator and chooses its bonus languages from among those its creator knows.
Special Qualities: The lifespark construct retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those described here.
Unlike normal constructs, the lifespark construct is not immune to mind-affecting effects. In fact, perhaps because of its past need for commands, its mind is especially vulnerable to magical compulsion. A lifespark construct takes a –2 penalty on saving throws against mind-affecting effects. Golems are still immune to magic as described in their entries.
Though the lifespark construct is not a living creature, a “spirit” still resides within it. Unlike most constructs, the lifespark construct is not immune to all necromantic effects. Certain spells that rely on the existence of a creature's soul (not “life force”)—namely astral projection, clone, magic jar,and soul bind—can affect lifespark constructs. No other necromantic effects affect lifespark constructs, and they are still immune to death effects. Though they cannot be raised or resurrected, lifespark constructs can be reincarnated as described by the reincarnate spell. Lifespark golems are still immune to magic as described in their entries.
As a full round action, a lifespark construct can heal damage to itself by jerry-rigging itself. The lifespark construct attempts an appropriate Craft skill check vs. a DC of 10 less than the DC to create the construct (minimum 10). With a successful roll, the lifespark construct heals itself of 1d4 hit points of damage per number rolled above the DC. Accelerated repair provokes attacks of opportunity. If it wishes, a lifespark construct can make a standard effort to repair itself (see Repairing Constructs) but without the standard repair cost. This repair takes 1 day of constant work.