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D&D 3.5: The (Mini) Astral Construct Handbook
« on: September 23, 2022, 04:59:51 PM »
Astral Constructs



Introduction

Firstly, I will go ahead and apologize right off the bat - there will be no 'ratings' highlight colors and key because while there are a few exceptional 'must-haves', everything else is highly situational. That is actually why Astral Constructs are so damn versatile - they can be whatever you need them to be when you need them to be that thing. Every time you manifest the Astral Construct power, you get to customize the ability/abilities they get. Everything from a straight forward melee powerhouse to an invisible magic gun turret. Shock troops that fly, burrow, explode, launch energy attacks, soak damage like a sponge and keep ticking, or even specialist troops that grapple or trip multiple times a round with incredible reach.

The point is, Astral Constructs are amazing, and in this mini handbook, I'm going to lay out and consolidate all your options in one place, give you a brief description on why something is awesome or not, and let you bookmark this convenient list (with cited sources and links to the original OGL material - thanks to the Wayback machine), so you can easily use these wonderful temporary warriors as you see fit without having to track down every crumb and nugget of Construct-related material.

However, if you came here looking for pure 'handbook' advice - Take the Boost Construct feat as your level 1 feat. Never not take that feat, because it is absolute gold. From there, be sure to be mindful of the prerequisites for any prestige classes you plan on entering. Astral Constructs are amazing, but they require several feats to be truly badass and/or completely versatile. And remember that any serious Astral Construct user that wants to field an army is going to need at least 9 levels of the Constructor prestige class in order to field up to four main constructs instead of the usual 1 - and you'll need the Enhanced Construction feat to field several lesser constructs at the same time.




The Astral Construct Power

The Astral Construct Power is a staple of the Shaper Discipline for the Psion class. You can gain access to it in one of three ways.
  • Taking levels of the Psion class, and taking the Shaper discipline.
  • Taking the Hidden Talent feat at level 1.
  • Taking the Expanded Knowledge feat at any level once you are at least a 3rd-level Manifester.
That's right, this entire handbook is devoted to one single, solitary Level 1 Psionic Power. And oh, what a power it is.

Once you have the Astral Construct Power, you can manifest it for a single Power Point (which I will mostly just refer to as 'pp' from now on), and further augment it by paying 2 pp, and the construct's level goes up by 1. You can augment it as far as you're able (the maximum pp that a manifester can only spend to manifest a Power is equal to their Manifester Level). Astral Constructs range from level 1 to level 9. So, if you can spend a total of 5 pp as a 5th level manifester, you could manifest the power (1pp), augment it twice (+2pp+2pp) and end up with a Level 3 Astral Construct.

Each time you manifest an Astral Construct, you can select an 'ability' that construct has from the Abilities Menu (See bottom of the page for full list), allowing you to customize what role you want your astral construct to fill. But the really hardcore Astral Constructs require some beefing up, and to do that, we need to supplement them with some feats.



Feats That Boost, Change, or Otherwise Interact With Astral Constructs


Skin of the Construct [Psionic] (Complete Psionic, p. 57)
Prerequisites: Know astral construct power
Basically lets you burn 1pp to pick a single Menu A astral construct ability to gain the benefit of for 1 hour. That's it. Cannot be manipulated or boosted, and is therefore a waste of a feat unless you are somehow VERY spoiled for feat slots. Fly (20ft - Average) for an hour per pp isn't necessarily bad...but if you are focusing on Astral Constructs, you are going to need as many feat slots that you can lay hands on to boost them instead of yourself.

Tainted Construction (Web)
Prerequisites: Conjunctive Mind(Web)
While this adds 2-3 decent options for your astral construct power menus, the prerequisite feat is a solid nerf to your character. The way that the prerequisite feat reads is that it gives the DCs of your Metacreativity, Clairsentience, and Telepathy discipline powers +1 and you get a +1 to your manifester level for them... but only for checks to overcome power resistance for powers from these disciplines. Whereas the downside is a flat decrease in your manifester level (full stop) when manifesting powers from the Psychometabolism, Psychoportation, and Psychokinesis disciplines. Would be a great feat for Shapers if it was a flat +1/-1 exchange, but it goes out of its way to remove any real benefit ('balancing' the gain with an equal or greater negative... oh, and it also permanently lowers one of your stats by 2 points that you cannot regain, completing the 'F-You'.

While the handful of construct menu options that the Tainted Construction feat adds are by themselves useful, they are just not worth the absolute trainwreck of a prerequisite feat that is Conjunctive Mind...but if you want all the construct menu options...this still exists. It might be worth asking your DM to handwave the feat requirement, or change the Conjunctive Mind feat requirement to something more reasonable to be more like a standardized magical counterpart like Spell Focus, but for a psionic discipline (Metacreativity).

Note: I did not include these options in the master list at the bottom, simply so as not to get people's hopes up before they read this warning about the dumpster fire of a required prerequisite feat. Instead, I will list them separately, in the spoiler here for the sake of completion and information transparency.
(click to show/hide)

Ectopic Form [Psionic] (Complete Psionic, p. 50 / Web)
Prerequisites: Know astral construct power
You can select a slightly different base form for your astral constructs when manifesting. Each iteration of the feat lets you pick a new alternate base form.
  • Agile Loper - turns your construct into a quadruped. Would make a decent, cheap mount for short periods, if you have a way to extend it. Also gets +4 Initiative and a 20ft boost to land speed.
  • Alabaster Aerial - Arms turn into wings and gains a fly speed while its feet turn into hands with which to use its slam attacks. Gets a 20ft (average) fly speed that jumps to 30ft (average) fly speed if manifested at level 4 or above, and again to 40ft (average) at level 7 and above.
  • Amber Tunneler - Gets a burrow speed that mirrors its land speed, and looks like a many-legged bug.
  • Anathemic Carapace (This requires you to have already selected one of the other 3 forms before choosing this one) - The additional requirement is sad because this is definitely the best option. Starting the turn after you manifest it, you can have your astral construct explode as a Standard Action and does 1d6 +1d6 per hit die it has to every adjacent creature (Reflex half; DC 10 + 1/2 construct's HD). Their explosion is also triggered if it simply gets destroyed, so if you know something is going to hammer it HARD...might as well churn one that is going to bite back, even in death. The drawback is that the damage goes down by -1d6 at the end of every round, starting the round after it is manifested - so you have to use it or lose it. Considering a level 9 astral construct has 19 hit die...that's 2 rounds to set off a 20d6 bomb. Or a single round 20d6 bomb, if you also have a way to quicken the manifestation, or it dies the first round. This form also looks like a bug, apparently.
  • Astral Aquan - Gets a swim speed that mirrors its land speed, and looks more like an eel, but with mouth tentacles...for some reason.
  • Ebony Stinger - Attacks become Piercing attacks, and damage now includes -1 Con damage. The description says it looks spider-like, but with a tail stinger....so scorpion-like, but without pincers, I assume.
  • Emerald Gyre - Gets Improved Grab as a bonus. Because it gets a third arm. On its back. Because of...reasons.
  • Iridescent Serpent - Gets resistance to one type of energy of your choice when manifesting it. Looks like a serpent, go figure.
As far as I can tell from the entries, these extra abilities are on top of the construct menu options. Read carefully, however, as someone has mentioned they thought there was some downside (that I am apparently too tired to notice in my reread) to using these alternatives to basic constructs.

Boost Construct [Psionic] (Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 43)
Prerequisites: None
Your bread and butter - this allows you to grab a free second ability from the astral construct abilities menu (or a 3rd choice, for a level 9 construct). By far the most useful feat for someone focusing on Astral Constructs, and is needed for the Constructor PrC which is the best PrC for someone focusing on Astral Constructs.

Augment Construction [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Manifester 2nd Level or more
+1Hp/HD & +1 on Attack and Damage rolls for all Astral Construct. Minor boost, overall, but is a prerequisite for the 'good' feats listed below.

Advanced Construction [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Augment Construction
If you are not going to take the Constructor prestige class, this is the only way you'll be able to expand your Astral Construct Abilities menus. There is some overlap between the abilities this nets you and what the Constructor prestige class nets you, so be sure to go over the differences before deciding which route you want to go with - but if you have feats to burn...no one is stopping you from taking both the feat and prestige class, giving you the 'full list' for every menu.

Ecto Manipulation [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Augment Construction, Manifester 3rd Level or more
Allows you to swap 2 menu choices of the same level for a menu choice one level higher. Can be amazing, but only works at low levels if you grabbed Boost Construct as well for the second menu choice (which you definitely should have done anyway). Requires Augment Construction as a prerequisite.

Extended Construction [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Augment Construction, Ecto Manipulation, Manifester 3rd Level or more
This changes the Astral Construct Power's 1 Round/lvl duration to 1 Minute/lvl, which can be a game changer

Enhanced Construction [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Augment Construction, Ecto Manipulation, Manifester 6th Level or more
NOW WE'RE TALKING! Every time you manifest an astral construct lvl 3-9, you also manifest 1d3 additional astral constructs of 2 levels lower, absolutely free! If you combine this with the Constructor class feature of the same name, you get to toss out 4+4d3 construct...all at once. As a standard action. You are welcome.

Infused Construction [Psionic] (Web)
Prerequisites: Manifester 6th Level or more
The maximum pp you can spend on augmenting the Astral Construct power goes up by +2. So, a 7th level Manifester would normally be able to augment it to increase its level (for +2pp) a total of 3 times, meaning they could spend 7pp to get a level 4 construct. If they had this feat, however, they could augment it a total of 4 times for a total of 9pp to get a level 5 construct.

While this is very useful most of the mid-to-later levels, it literally becomes less than worthless when you hit level 17, and can manifest a level 9 construct for 17pp. It becomes worthless even sooner if you take a feat like Overchannel, or have an item like a Roc of Power Preservation. If your DM will let you 'retrain' it later or the campaign is for sure going to end before level 17, it might be worth taking. But again, starting at manifester level 17, it is less than worthless.



Other Useful Feats

Hidden Talent (Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 67)
Prerequisite: This feat can only be taken at 1st level
Can get you the Astral Construct power even as a non-shaper, or get you another level 1 power to qualify for other PrCs, like Psionic Charm Person to qualify for the Mindbender PrC.

Overchannel [Psionic] (Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 49)
Prerequisite: None
Allows you to take damage in exchange for manifesting at a higher caster level, allowing you to churn out higher-level constructs via augmenting the Astral Construct power at the cost of some HP. Benefits begin at +1 Manifester Level (ML) for -1d8hp. At level 8, you can opt to go further and get +2 ML for -3d8hp. Finally, at level 15, you can get +3 ML for -5d8hp. I know that seems harsh...but read the Talented feat below. Trust me.

Overchannel [Psionic] (Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 49)
Prerequisite: Overchannel
Allows you to manifest powers as a higher level manifester without taking any damage via Overchannel, as long as the power you are manifesting is level 3 or lower. Astral Construct is a level 1 power. This translates to all your level 1, level 2, and level 3 powers being able to be manifested as +1, +2 (starting at 8th level), or +3 (starting at level 15) ML...absolutely free. This means that you can bust out level 9 constructs at level 15 instead of level 17. You can push further and start popping out level 9 constructs at level 14 if you also have a Torc of Power Preservation that lowers the cost of your powers by -1pp. This combination is also important if you want to churn out extra high-level constructs via the Enhanced Construction feature of the Constructor class (For every 2 power points you spend, an additional construct is created. The additional construct's level equals that of the first construct created. You can create up to three additional constructs per manifestation. Additional constructs have the same menu selections as the first construct). Combine that with the Enhanced Construct feat listed above for 4+4d3 constructs. Doing so is highly recommended.

Expanded Knowledge [Psionic] (Expanded Psionics Handbook, p. 46)
Prerequisite: Manifester level 3rd lvl or more
If you need versatility or need a specific power to qualify for something, this is your best bet to snatch up any power you need from any list. Use as necessary.

Practiced Manifester [Psionic] (Complete Psionic, p. 57)
Prerequisite: Psicraft 4 ranks or more
If you multiclass but still want to be able to augment your powers further than your actual manifester level, this is how you do it. Works just like the Practiced Spellcaster feat, but for psionics.



Useful Prestige Classes for users of Astral Constructs

Constructor (Web)
Prerequisites: Craft (any) 9 ranks, Boost Construct feat, Manifester level 5th or better, and able to manifest the Astral Construct, Ecto Protection, and Psionic Repair Damage powers

This is the absolute best PrC for people wanting to focus on Astral Constructs. You do lose a manifester level with level 1 and again at level 10 in this prestige class, but you can skip the 10th level and still get all the best things from this prestige class by level 9.

You get several exclusive abilities added to the Astral Construct Abilities Menus, the ability to always Extend your constructs duration from 1 Round/lvl to 1 Minute/lvl (Just like the Extended Construct feat, which you can skip if you plan on taking this PrC), all your constructs get another menu selection of the same level (Just like the Boost Construct feat - and it stacks!!!), the ability to augment Astral Construct by 2 points to DUPLICATE the astral construct up to 3 times (for a total of 4), and if you took the Enhanced Construction feat as well, that means you can pump out 4 Astral Constructs of level 3-9 and have 4d3 constructs of 2 levels lower at the same time that all last 1 Minute/lvl, with more than one menu option (3-4 if you took the Boost Construct feat as you should have) - all for a standard action and the cost of a single augmented power. This makes you a one-man army, and that army is the most versatile, sustainable, and robust that any caster/manifester can field with a single action.


Body Leech (Web)
Prerequisites: Evil, Bluff 8 ranks & Diplomacy 8 ranks, the Body Fuel and Inquisitor feats, and the ability to manifest both Ectoplasmic Cocoon and Mindswitch

While this PrC loses you 2 manifester levels over its 5 level span, it does grant you three new powers known: Stasis Cocoon, Tether hound, and Greater Stasis Cocoon. Its main class ability revolves around the two cocoon spells - when you imprison someone in such a cocoon, you can basically use free actions to drain the victims of their ability scores and that gets converted to restored PP. So if you find yourself always low on PP (And...uh...morals?), this is a great way to top up your tank!

The Tether Hound power is basically a hyper-specialized Astral Construct that can be manifested to guard your cocoon(s) while you are not there, allowing you to have a relatively safe source of PP on tap. If you designate one cocooned victim as a Cheat Death Target, if you're about to die, and if you roll a decent save, you can basically Mind Switch them for free! So if your Astral Construct army fails, it is nice to have a backup plan!



Astral Construct Abilities Menu


Menu A

Armor Spikes (Ex) - Limited to those with either the Constructor Prestige Class, or the Advanced Construction feat
The construct's body is covered in spikes, which allows the construct to deal an extra 1d6 points of piercing damage with a successful trample, constrict, bull rush, or grapple attack. The construct also can make a regular melee attack with the spikes, and they deal 1d6 points of damage (x2 critical) in that case.

Brawn (Ex) - Limited to those with either the Constructor Prestige Class, or the Advanced Construction feat
The astral construct does an additional +1 point of damage on a successful melee attack.

Buff (Ex)
The astral construct gains an extra 5 hit points.

Celerity (Ex)
The astral construct’s land speed is increased by 10 feet.

Claws (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct has razor-sharp claws. Attacks are now considered claw attacks instead of slams. Damage from these claw attacks is 1d8 + Strength modifier. These claw attacks are considered slashing or piercing weapons. The type is chosen when the construct is manifested.

Cleave (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Cleave feat.

Deflection (Ex)
The astral construct gains a +1 deflection bonus to Armor Class.

Dodge (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct gains the Dodge feat even if it does not meet the prerequisites.

Fly (Ex)
The astral construct has physical wings and a fly speed of 20 feet (average).

Improved Bull Rush (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Improved Bull Rush feat.

Improved Slam Attack (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Improved Natural Attack feat.

Mobility (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Mobility feat.

Power Attack (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Power Attack feat.

Resistance (Ex)
Choose one of the following energy types: fire, cold, acid, electricity, or sonic. The astral construct gains Resistance 5 against that energy type.

Swim (Ex)
The astral construct is streamlined and shark-like and gains a swim speed of 30 feet.

Trip (Ex)
If the astral construct hits with a slam attack, it can attempt to trip the opponent as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking attacks of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the astral construct.


Menu B

Energy Touch (Ex)
If you are a kineticist with the Expanded Knowledge feat tied to this power, the astral construct’s physical attacks are wreathed in your energy type, dealing an extra 1d6 points of energy damage. Otherwise, the astral construct deals an extra 1d4 points of damage of an energy type you choose (fire, cold, acid, or electricity) when you manifest the construct.

Expertise (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The expertise extraordinary ability works as the Expertise feat, and though no prerequisites are required (Int 13+), constructs do not get the benefits from the prerequisites, either.

Extra Arms (Ex)
The construct has an additional set of arms and can make an additional attack with an attack bonus equal to its highest attack bonus -2. (A construct with Squeeze or Rend ability can use them with these arms, as well.) This ability cannot be chosen more than once.)

Extra Attack (Ex)
If the astral construct is Medium or smaller, it gains two slam attacks instead of one when it makes a full attack. Its bonus on damage rolls for each attack is equal to its Strength modifier, not its Strength modifier × 1½. If the astral construct is Large or larger, it gains three slams instead of two when it makes a full attack. Its attacks are otherwise unchanged.

Fast Healing (Ex)
The astral construct heals 2 hit points each round. It is still immediately destroyed when it reaches 0 hit points.

Great Cleave (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct gains the Great Cleave feat even if it does not meet the prerequisites.

Heavy Deflection (Ex)
The astral construct gains a +4 deflection bonus to Armor Class.

Improved Brawn (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct deals an additional +3 points of damage on a successful melee attack.

Improved Buff (Ex)
The astral construct gains an extra 15 hit points.

Improved Critical (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Improved Critical feat with its slam attacks.

Improved Damage Reduction (Ex)
The astral construct’s surface forms a hard carapace and provides an additional 3 points of damage reduction (or damage reduction 3/magic if it does not already have damage reduction).

Improved Fly (Ex)
The astral construct has physical wings and a fly speed of 40 feet (average).

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, the construct must hit with its slam attack. A construct can use this ability only on a target that is at least one size smaller than itself.

Improved Swim (Ex)
The astral construct is streamlined and shark-like and gains a swim speed of 60 feet.

Mobility(Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The mobility extraordinary ability works as the Mobility feat, and though no prerequisites are required (Dex 13+, Dodge), constructs do not get the benefits from the prerequisites, either.

Muscle (Ex)
The astral construct gains a +4 bonus to its Strength score.

Poison Touch (Ex)
If the astral construct hits with a melee attack, the target must make an initial Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ astral construct’s HD + astral construct’s Cha modifier) or take 1 point of Constitution damage. One minute later, the target must save again or take 1d2 points of Constitution damage.

Pounce (Ex)
If the astral construct charges a foe, it can make a full attack.

Reach (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct's arms elongate, which increases its reach by 5 feet.

Smite (Su)
Once per day the astral construct can make one attack that deals extra damage equal to its Hit Dice.

Spike Volley (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct can send forth a volley of 3 spikes as a standard action. This ranged attack has a range of 120 feet with no range increment. These spike attacks are treated as thrown weapons, so the construct's Strength bonus is applied to damage (see page 97 of the Player's Handbook for more on thrown weapons). Damage is 1d6 + Strength modifier per spike. The construct can use this attack up to three times. (The construct must have the Armor Spikes ability to use this attack.) This volley can be fired in any direction (including straight up) regardless of the direction the construct is facing.

Stunning Fist (Ex) - Limited to those with either the Constructor Prestige Class, or the Advanced Construction feat
The astral construct gains the Stunning Fist feat even if it does not meet the prerequisites.

Tough (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct's HD is d12+1 instead of d10+0 (7 hit points per die, instead of 5.5 per die)

Trample (Ex)
As a standard action during its turn each round, a Large or larger astral construct can literally run over an opponent at least one size smaller than itself. It merely has to move over the opponent to deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d8 + its Str modifier. The target can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + ½ astral construct’s Hit Dice + astral construct’s Str modifier) to negate the damage, or it can instead choose to make an attack of opportunity at a -4 penalty.


Menu C

Blindsight (Ex)
The astral construct has blindsight out to 60 feet.

Concussion (Ps)
The astral construct can manifest Concussion Blast (manifester level 7th) as a free action once per round.

Constrict (Ex)
The astral construct has the Improved Grab ability with its slam attack. In addition, on a successful grapple check, the astral construct deals damage equal to its slam damage.

Dimension Slide (Ps)
The astral construct can manifest dimension slide (manifester level equal to Hit Dice) as a move action once per round.

Ectoplasmic Form (Sp) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct manifests ectoplasmic form as a standard action.

Energy Bolt (Ps)
The astral construct can manifest Energy Bolt (manifester level 8th) as a standard action once per round. The creator sets the energy type that the astral construct can manifest when he creates it.

Extra Brawn (Ex) - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct deals an additional +5 points of damage on a successful melee attack.

Extra Buff (Ex)
The astral construct gains an extra 30 hit points.

Extreme Damage Reduction (Ex)
The astral construct’s surface forms hard, armor-like plates and provides an additional 6 points of damage reduction.

Extreme Deflection (Ex)
The astral construct gains a +8 deflection bonus to Armor Class.

Natural Invisibility (Su)
The astral construct is constantly invisible, even when attacking. This ability is inherent and not subject to the invisibility purge spell.

Power Resistance (Ex)
The astral construct gains power resistance equal to 10 + its Hit Dice.

Rend (Ex)
The astral construct makes claw attacks instead of slam attacks (it deals the same amount of damage as it would with its slam damage, but does slashing damage instead of bludgeoning damage). An astral construct that hits the same opponent with two claw attacks in the same round rends its foe, which deals extra damage equal to 2d6 + 1½ times its Str modifier.

Spike Flurry (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct can send forth a hail of spikes as a standard action. The attack is a cone shape with a range of 60 feet. Anyone caught in the flurry is immediately struck by 2d4 spikes that deal 1d6 damage each. A successful Reflex save (DC 13) halves the damage. This attack can be used only once. (The construct must have the Armor Spikes ability to use this attack.)

Spring Attack (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Spring Attack feat.

Tail Slap (Ex)  - Limited to those with levels in the Constructor prestige class
The astral construct has a tail, and it can slap one opponent each round with its tail. A tail slap deals 2d8 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times its Strength bonus (round down) and is treated as a secondary attack.

Tougher (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct's HD is d12+2 instead of d10+0 (8.5 hit points per die, instead of 5.5 per die.)

Whirlwind Attack (Ex)
The astral construct gains the Whirlwind Attack feat.


Menu D
(Note: Only the Advanced Construction Feat has a Menu D & it requires both the Boost Construct and Ecto Manipulation feats in order to have and then sacrifice two Menu C abilities to select a Menu D ability.)

Extra Hard Carapace (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct's surface forms hard, armorlike plates. The construct gains a damage reduction of 20/Magic. This replaces any damage reduction the construct might already have.

Mass Concussion (Sp) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct manifests Mass Concussion as a free action 3 times per day.

Super Buff (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct gains 17d10 temporary hit points. Multiple selections do not stack.

Toughest (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The construct's HD is d20 instead of d10+0 (10 hit points per die, instead of 5.5 per die)

Ultraheavy Armor (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The astral construct gains a +10 deflection bonus to Armor Class.

Whitefire Aura (Ex) - Limited to those with the Advanced Construction feat
The entire surface of the construct radiates with an intense white-hot flame. Creatures within 5 feet of the construct take 5d4 points of damage. The fire ignites combustibles as the whitefire power. Once activated, the aura burns for a number of rounds equal to half of the construct's Hit Dice. Multiple selections do not stack.



Final Notes

  • If your DM allows you to make use of Traits, ask if they would allow the Spellgifted trait to work for Psionic Disciplines instead of Spellschools. Increasing your manifester level for Astral Construct means you can pump it up to higher levels sooner.
  • Another reliable way to increase your manifester level is via an Orange Ioun Stone (+1 Caster Level), but costs 30,000gp, so isn't an early game item, sadly. Be sure to save up and ask your DM in advance if Caster Level would apply to Manifester Level.
  • The Torc of Power Preservation is an extremely important item for any Manifester, and the Astral Construct manifester is no exception. It allows you to shave off 1pp from your powers. So instead of spending 9pp to manifest an Astral Construct of 5th level, it would only cost you 8pp, letting you use higher level constructs a level early, in most cases (by level 8 in this example, instead of level 9). However, this item is a whopping 36,000gp. While pricey, it is definitely one of the most useful items any manifester can have.
  • When a construct (or any psionic creature) manifests a psionic power 'as a manifester of X level' or similar unless otherwise stated, the power manifests as if augmented as much as a manifester of the stated level could do so. So, if a construct with the Concussive Blast power uses its ability "as a 7th-level manifester", you would augment it accordingly. The maximum cost is equal to the caster level (7), and Concussive Blast normally takes 3pp to manifest but can be augmented by either (or both) of its +2pp augment options a total of twice, resulting in a final pp cost of 7. So, you can add +1d6 to the damage twice (2pp each), affect an additional target twice (2pp each), or augment it with both powers once each to affect 2 targets with an additional +1d6 damage. This is the only reason such abilities ever give a 'Manifester Level', as Psionic Powers have no level-dependant effects - only augmented effects constrained to a Manifester Level's maximum pp expenditure limit. If a Manifester level is not given anywhere for a creature's psi-like ability, then it simply cannot be augmented and is manifested as the base version of that power.

Go forth and manifest your own destiny, my friends! Or manifest a small army and go seize someone else's. ;)



Note: The information within this Handbook, including Wayback links was compiled with the assistance of Biscuit. Any spelling or grammar mistakes are solely my own and no fault of Biscuit.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2023, 06:49:54 PM by GeeksTheNewSexy »

Offline Garryl

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Re: D&D 3.5: The (Mini) Astral Construct Handbook
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2022, 03:31:28 PM »
The link for Ectopic Form leads to Advanced Construction's article instead. If I recall correctly, doesn't Ectopic Form trade away the ability to freely select ability menu options in favor of fixed choices, making it decidedly mediocre in many cases?

Subpsionic feats (https://web.archive.org/web/20050322110122/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/pse/20021025a) also add a few abilities via Tainted Construction. The abilities are pretty poor, though, so they're only worth mentioning for completeness's sake.

A small note about Menu D abilities. 9th-level Astral Constructs get 2 Menu C abilities by default, so they would be able to access a Menu D ability with just Ecto Manipulation (no need for Boost Construct). That said, Advanced Construction was made for 3.0 psionics, which gave even more menu abilities to Astral Constructs (up to 3 Menu C abilities at level 9), which made those abilities available even earlier.

Offline GeeksTheNewSexy

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Re: D&D 3.5: The (Mini) Astral Construct Handbook
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2022, 02:16:02 PM »
The link for Ectopic Form leads to Advanced Construction's article instead. If I recall correctly, doesn't Ectopic Form trade away the ability to freely select ability menu options in favor of fixed choices, making it decidedly mediocre in many cases?

Subpsionic feats (https://web.archive.org/web/20050322110122/http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/pse/20021025a) also add a few abilities via Tainted Construction. The abilities are pretty poor, though, so they're only worth mentioning for completeness's sake.

A small note about Menu D abilities. 9th-level Astral Constructs get 2 Menu C abilities by default, so they would be able to access a Menu D ability with just Ecto Manipulation (no need for Boost Construct). That said, Advanced Construction was made for 3.0 psionics, which gave even more menu abilities to Astral Constructs (up to 3 Menu C abilities at level 9), which made those abilities available even earlier.

Ah! I had completely forgotten about subsonics! Thank you for the notes - I have updated the link and added the subsonic feat (and the few Ectopic Forms I had forgotten to include, while I was at it - though I could not quite track down anything that said the ectopic forms lost anything, but seem like pure gains. If you can think of any errata or a line I am missing somewhere, please let me know!). I appreciate you!

Offline Nanshork

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Re: D&D 3.5: The (Mini) Astral Construct Handbook
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2022, 10:01:04 PM »
Ectopic forms on their own are fine and you are correct, they are only additions and don't trade away the ability to select menu options (although it looks like they trade away the ability when you look at the stat blocks).

Honestly the main issue with ectopic forms is that if you are using them you are probably also using the nerfed Astral Construct power in Complete Psionic which prevents you from having more than one construct at a time, and that's a huge nerf.

Offline GeeksTheNewSexy

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Minor Updates
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2023, 08:57:36 AM »
  • I updated the Subpsionic feats section (Tainted Construction & Conjunctive Mind) and included more information about them.
  • I fixed numerous spelling and grammar mistakes (thank you, Grammarly).
  • I added to the Final Notes section, as some people have PMed me asking about abilities like Concussion which grants the use of the Concussion Blast power, and Energy Blast which grants the ability to use the power of the same name, and why such abilities give a 'manifester level' when that does not affect the base spell, and how to utilize them to the fullest.

Also, for those confused and PMing me about the difference between the words 'Effect' and 'Affect' as both words are used in this mini handbook (and no, they are not interchangeable like flammable and inflammable, which mean the same thing), here is a simple memory tool: F*** Around & Find Out. Effect is you f***ing around (the thing that is happening). Affect is you finding out (the consequences of the thing having happened).

When an Effect like a fireball happens, those in the radius are Affected by the explosion. Having a fireball coming into being and heading towards you is 'f***ing around' (the Effect, which is the beginning of the process or 'the thing that is happening') and the results & consequences of the fireball going off (aka final results of 'the thing happening') is 'finding out' (the Affect it has on you, the end result of the process). Hope that helps, as that is the only real explanation that I can think of as it relates to the subject at hand.

Offline Garryl

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Re: Minor Updates
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2023, 10:45:26 PM »
Also, for those confused and PMing me about the difference between the words 'Effect' and 'Affect' as both words are used in this mini handbook (and no, they are not interchangeable like flammable and inflammable, which mean the same thing), here is a simple memory tool: F*** Around & Find Out. Effect is you f***ing around (the thing that is happening). Affect is you finding out (the consequences of the thing having happened).

When an Effect like a fireball happens, those in the radius are Affected by the explosion. Having a fireball coming into being and heading towards you is 'f***ing around' (the Effect, which is the beginning of the process or 'the thing that is happening') and the results & consequences of the fireball going off (aka final results of 'the thing happening') is 'finding out' (the Affect it has on you, the end result of the process). Hope that helps, as that is the only real explanation that I can think of as it relates to the subject at hand.

Effect is a noun (as in something that happens). Affect is a verb (as in to influence the state of something). Typically. Effect is also a verb (as in to cause or induce something) and Affect is also a noun (as in an unusual mannerism), but those aren't their typical use cases.