Animus Apparatuses (3.5e Race)

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Animus Apparatus[edit]

Animus Apparatus are the result of the advent of steam engineering and the soul-domineering powers of necromancy. Essentially, they are souls magically bound to a steam-powered, mechanical, more or less humanoid body. Beyond that, their original races and the varying builds of the body make for a greatly varied race.


The personality of an Animus Apparatus depends mostly on two things: 1.)Their original race (and subsequent personality) 2.)The purpose for which they were created They are sometimes angry

The fear of death and the lust for power fueled (and funded) almost all of the development of the Animus Apparatus.

Aging bourgeoisie constitutes one push for such a contraption, fearing the loss of life and all that was precious to them, they used their enormous wealth to fund engineers they hoped would use the technology of the recently developed steam engine to build them a machine which could house their soul.

Of course, they themselves didn't want to be the guinea pigs of the soul-binding process, so various undesirables were used instead. Prisoners, the homeless, the insane, monsters, animals, and the like all were involuntarily recruited (or tricked by bribery) to be the first pioneers of an extremely risky operation. Once a successful transfer was confirmed and tested, they were intended for execution, but some of the more aware or instinctual participants used their newfound bodies to flee their pernicious fate.

Of these escapees, some aspire to use their anonymity (since there is no immediate way to identify whose soul is inside the body) and complex machinery to falsely claim prestigious status. Others fear being found out and hide among the slums of cities or make their way into the countryside. Others still try to find acceptance and a normal life (far away from their captors). Lastly, some seek to sell themselves out to the highest bidder as the workforce/bodyguard that needs no food and little sleep.

Some of the bourgeoisie successfully lived to transfer their souls and became an Animus Apparatus. Results were mixed as some became greatly depressed at the realization of the reality of their new life - no feeling, no taste, no smell, no sex, and so they live their life away from the greater world, coping with their fate in the company of anyone they kept close. Others took well to the new lifestyle, preferring to pull strings from afar as they have always done and running their business/land/kingdom even more like the machine they have become. Not all of the bourgeoisie seeking new life got what they wanted - since the spells come at great cost to the necromancer, once the method has been perfected, all it takes is for the necromancer to kill the bourgeoisie and call it a failure, an accident, or what have you to make off with their wealth. If they want to keep the power, they can kill transfer the soul of a weak-minded monster into the Animus Apparatus and use their mind control powers to play it like a puppet. The most prestigious and learned necromancers sometimes switched places with the bourgeoisie once the soul was transferred, posing as the real bourgeoisie who killed off that good-for-nothing necromancer once he was no longer needed. A good necromancer is hard to find, but an honest one may be even harder to find.

Visions of an army that requires no food, no sleep, no bathroom breaks, and no sex fueled another push in the development of the Animus Apparatus. The sheer cost of the operations and the already mentioned unreliability of the necromancers quickly deflated this dream, although some kingdoms might still have a small company or two of Animus Apparatus in their military. Similar in method to the earlier bourgeoisie experiments, some of the successes escaped or defected and live lives along the lines of the bourgeoisie escapees, though the defectors are more skilled in combat and may feel more at home in an adventuring, mercenary, or bounty-hunter lifestyle.

The richest of the rich businesses also made their contribution to the population of the Animus Apparatus in an attempt to find cheap, round-the-clock labor. These Animus Apparatus are often produced using inexpensive metals and weak-willed monsters to become slave/servant labor for the top tier of aristocratic society.

The final group of significant contributors to the population of Animus Apparatus was the medical facilities. Alchemical and magical medicine sought to better the lives of the crippled, the maimed, and the incurable through collaboration with steam engineers. Success was a mixed bag including the above mentioned "post-corpus depression" and the newly discovered fear of (relative) immortality.

Physical Description[edit]

Because their construction took place under several different, isolated engineers, Animus Apparatus vary largely in their appearance. They do, however, share some commonalities:

All are created almost entirely of metal ranging from the cheaply produced (for prototypes) of aluminum, zinc, iron, copper, nickel, etc. to the grandiose units built for the bourgeoisie of vanadium, silver, gold, platinum, etc.

All take a more or less humanoid shape, with arms & legs, eyes made from glass lenses, ears with aluminum or titanium diaphragms to pick up sound vibrations, and similar metal diaphragms behind protective grates as a substitute mouth. The metal used for the voice diaphragm gives Animus Apparatus a "tinny" sounding voice, as though it were coming through a horn-type loudspeaker.

"Humanoid" is loosely used, as many Animus Apparatus represent the world's first attempts at mechanical bipeds and can appear rather primitive, lacking many details present in the races they attempt to emulate. Their bodies are usually covered with metal plating, protecting their vital inner mechanics.

Height resembles the average height of the original race that created them and weight varies with the weight of the metals, anywhere from 25 lbs (aluminum | halfling) to 400 lbs (lead | half-orc).


As with anything new and different which people remain ignorant of, Animus Apparatus are often treated with fear and/or hatred. Only the dwarves (for the implied practical applications of such a race) and the gnomes (for their love of gadgetry) have managed to give some level of respect to the Animus Apparatus, though a dwarf might as soon sell you into slavery and a gnome take you apart to see how you work as they would befriend you. Elves, because of their affinity for magic and nature, have an especially acerbic distaste for Animus Apparatus. Likewise, most Half-Orcs find technology too complicated and intimidating and develop their own hate out of a feeling of inferiority.

Those whose bodies are made of the more precious metals are taken to be the bourgeoisie and, until proven to be otherwise, they are approached in the same way any of the ruling class have always been approached: with a mixture of fear, envy, secret loathing, exploitation, forced smiles, and fake laughter. Even so, as long as they keep their wits about them, these Animus Apparatus find it relatively easy in to move about in society, as they are given gifts and granted free services (even if they have no real capital to repay the favors).

Those unfortunate enough to be made of the more common metals are subject to all sorts of prejudice and discrimination. Some folk mistake them for mere machines and treat them as such, while others view them as a sin against nature.

Finally, Animus Apparatus whose bodies are obviously built for military purposes are met with even further loathing as they are also looked down upon as deserters (normal military Animus Apparatus are confined to military housing and do not mingle with the public).

Animus Apparatus of the last two categories find a niche for themselves in solidarity with other outcasts and undesirables of society, often living in slums. If all of city life has cast them out, they may retreat to secluded or uninhabitable lands to live out their days as a hermit.


Since many of them have trouble fitting into the order of society, Animus Apparatus tend to be less lawful. Otherwise, their alignment usually follows their previous alignment before the soul transfer.


Because of the disconnect between their disparate pasts and purposes of creation, Animus Apparatus have no lands of their own. The city offers the greatest chance to find an engineer and supplies should ill fate befall them and repairs be needed, so as many stick to the cities as possible, though because of the severe prejudice, some are forced to retreat to rural lands.


Animus Apparatus may choose to continue their beliefs prior to the soul transfer, or they may follow The Machine-God as a measure of acceptance of their new bodies and hope for blessing upon them.


Animus Apparatus speak Common and any languages they knew before the soul transfer.


There is no uniformity in naming among Animus Apparatus, as they were born and named before they became Animus Apparatus. Most choose to keep their original racial name, though some may rather leave the past behind and create a new identity for themselves, choosing a name befitting the race or status they desire to be seen as.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity.
  • Construct type with the Gear subtype: Animus Apparatus have no Constitution score and possess the traits of a Gear construct except that because they have souls attached to their bodies, they are eligible for skills & feats, are able to be raised or resurrected (though the body must also be repaired through the Craft Construct feat), and are susceptible to mind-affecting effects. They also do not possess Darkvision.
  • Medium or Small size, depending on the race emulated. Animus Apparatus gain 4 extra hit points per character level until the maximum of +20 (the number of extra hit points due to their size) at their 5th level.
  • Natural Weapons: 2 slams, base damage 1d4.
  • Animus Apparatus base land speed is 30 feet (decreased to 20 ft. when wearing the medium or heavy armor package) for Medium Animus Apparatus and 20 feet (decreased to 15ft. when wearing the medium or heavy armor package) for Small Animus Apparatus.
  • Animus Apparatus cannot wear any armor, including boots and gauntlets, although they can wear rings, cloaks, necklaces and belts.
  • Customizable: Animus Apparatus can alter their bodies with customizations called upgrades and grafts. When they are first built, they do not carry any grafts, but they do carry a standard basic armor upgrade that gives their body a +3 AC bonus. This upgrade does not count as armor for the sake of classes whose abilities are impaired by armor, but any other armor upgrade does. Read below for additional information on Animus Apparatus Customization.
  • Pump Up the Volume (Ex): When voluntarily making a Listen check, an Animus Apparatus may choose to add a +2 or +4 to its result, but must make a fortitude save against 120dBSPL + above or 100dBSPL + above noises, respectively, made within the time frame of the check or suffer 1d4 or 1d6 damage, respectively. If 5 or more damage is taken, hearing is lost for 1d10 rounds.
  • Animus Apparatus automatically start with the Craft Construct feat for the sole purpose of repairing their own bodies, foregoing the usual prerequisites. With any ranks in Knowledge(architecture and engineering), they can make a DC 15 check to repair other Animus Apparatus (Body Familiarity does not apply here [see below]). With 6 or more ranks in Knowledge(architecture and engineering), they can make a DC 15 check to repair all other constructs (more intricate and advanced constructs result in a higher DC). For all other purposes of Craft Construct, they must meet the prerequisites or bypass them through class exceptions.
  • Body Familiarity (Ex): When using the Craft Construct feat to repair themselves, Animus Apparatus do not pay the 50gp/hit point cost, but instead need only ingots of their constructed metal [see table below for suggested cost]. One (1lb) ingot of metal repairs two points of damage. During a single, 8 hour night of "sleep" (for the rest of the party), an Animus Apparatus can repair their character level +1 damage. For a full day's work of repairs, they can repair up to 20 damage until character level 11, at which point they can repair their character level x 2 damage.
  • +2 racial bonus to Listen checks.
  • Automatic Languages: Common & any languages that come free with the race of the soul.
  • Favored Class: See Creating an Animus Apparatus Character below.

Creating an Animus Apparatus Character[edit]

When choosing Animus Apparatus for a player or non-player character, there are three choices that need to be made to completely understand the abilities of the character and how it interacts with its environment.

Body Construction[edit]

The construction of the Animus Apparatus' body affects both the monetary cost of healing with the Craft Construct feat, the delegation of either the Medium or Small size, and how other characters will relate to Animus Apparatus.

Body Material[edit]

The type of metal used in the construction of the body is determined by the original purpose of the operation. Three large categories cover the different purposes and their corresponding metallic structures.

Bourgoise = gold, silver, platinum etc.

Military personnel = iron, steel, mithral etc.

Prototypes/Patients/Servants = brass, bronze etc.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
years + + +
Table: Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
years years years + years
  1. Age has no discernible physical or mental effect on

Animus Apparatus as long as they keep themselves in good repair

Table: Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male ' " + lb. × () lb.
Female ' " + lb. × () lb.

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