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Animated Armor Template Graft

Spellcasters and engineers have developed techniques to animate suits of armor indefinitely, instilling sentience—or even sapience—into these defensive tools.

Spellcasters animate armor through various supernatural approaches, including some akin to techniques used for making magic items. Infamously, Hellknight mages cover the inside of the armor with an infernal contract, infusing the creation with a minor devilish being forced into submission. Such armors serve as decorative sentinels in Hellknight facilities or disposable shock troops on the battlefield. Xenowardens use similar means to infuse armor with quiescent fragments of angelic will, elementals, or nature spirits. Some technomancers instead instill armor with rudimentary unlife, sometimes using the remains of undead too damaged to operate without the artificial casing armor provides.

Use an existing suit of armor to create animated armor, setting the CR to equal the armor’s item level.

Required Creature Type and Subtype: Construct. Some animated armors are mindless constructs. Others are not, functioning either as a robot or with magical awareness (perhaps from a supernatural force). Most often, animated armor has the magical and technological subtypes. Some suits are wholly technological constructs akin to robots.

Suggested Array: Combatant, although animated armor that lacks the mindless trait could have the expert array.

Traits: Size is typically Medium but it can be smaller or larger, depending on the size of the armor that is animated. Set land speed to 30 feet, adjusted for the armor’s speed adjustment or to powered armor’s speed; add a slam attack with bludgeoning damage according to the array; add comm and integrated weapons.

Suggested Ability Score Modifiers: For heavy or powered armor, set Strength highest and Dexterity next highest. Light animated armor should have Dexterity highest and Strength next highest. Charisma is usually –2, although animated armor that isn’t mindless might have higher Charisma.

Skills: Most animated armor has Acrobatics and Perception as good skills, with Athletics as a master skill. Animated armor that isn’t mindless might have other skills.

Languages: Animated armor that isn’t mindless usually speaks one or two languages, including Common.

Gear: One weapon can be of an item level equal to the animated armor’s CR + 1, but other gear should be of item levels equal to or less than the CR. Animated armor can have as many armor upgrades as the armor has upgrade slots. Each upgrade should be of the armor’s CR or lower, with no more upgrades of item levels equal to the armor’s CR than the array’s number of special abilities.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Starfinder Alien Archive 3 © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Saif Ansari, Kate Baker, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Katina Davis, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, Leo Glass, Sasha Lindley Hall, Amanda Hamon, Thurston Hillman, James Jacobs, Jenny Jarzabski, Virginia Jordan, Jason Keeley, Natalie Kertzner, Luis Loza, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Crystal Malarsky, Robert G. McCreary, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adrian Ng, Joe Pasini, Lacy Pellazar, Samantha Phelan, Jessica Redekop, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Jason Tondro, Diego Valdez, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.