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    How Mindless is Mindless?

    I am making a Construct and in the entry it says "gain feats and skill points unless it is Mindless", if it is Mindless it has no Intelligence score but what does that mean? Can it understand basic instructions like Attack, Come, etc like an animal or nothing?

 

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    Ignore Theo R Cwithin
    "Mindless" is just the term for the INT "non-Ability". A mindless creature operates instinctually or by simple programmed commands. To my reading, that means it can act reflexively or follow simple instructions, but only pre-programmed instructions. Such a creature can't learn anything new. So a mindless guardian-bot could attack, because that's part of its job; but a mindless cleaning-bot probably couldn't (not effectively, at any rate), because it likely wasn't programmed to fight.
    Last edited by Theo R Cwithin; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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    Does that mean something could be pre-programmed to attack on command or would it just be standing Guard attacking anyone except a particular race

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    (sorry for the long post!)

    Either or both of those sound fine to me. I think it's just DM's call: whatever you need for the scenario.

    Personally, I don't see any harm in giving mindless constructs fairly broad and sophisticated behaviors, just so long as that behavior doesn't stray too far from it's intended purpose, and isn't much more clever than an ant when acting autonomously.

    So if it's guarding an ancient dwarven crypt, it seems reasonable that it's last command might have been "guard against anyone but dwarves who enter here." Can it be fooled by simple or magical disguises? Up to you, whatever works for the adventure. And if it can be overrridden or controlled somehow, it seems believable that it could be easily commanded to halt, or raise that gate, or turn its axe on a specific dwarf, or anything else straightforward and similarly guard-related-- unless there's a nifty in-game reason to forbid one of those actions, for instance because it responds only to a certain priesthood, is damaged, is specifically programmed not to do something, or whatnot.

    Where I'd personally draw the line is probably at issuing compeltely unrelated commands: to "fetch water and fill up those troughs" or "escort the princess back to the entrance" or "pick the goldpieces out of this pile of trash", or the like. Those sorts of things fall well outside it's purpose of "guard the crypt". Of course, with some time and cash, the construct could presumably be re-programmed or upgraded by someone with the right knowledge. Why not, eh?

    Also, from a metagame perspective: the PCs likely won't interact with a particular construct for very long, so it's behavior doesn't need to be too set-in-stone, unless it ends up a "pet" or if there are very many identical ones encountered.
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    OK thanks, the main thing is just like MS-Dos there is a list of commands like Come, Attack, Chase but that's it, complex instructions are too much and any complex movement (say avoiding lava pits in the floor or altered gravity throughout the room) are very difficult.

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