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Craft Construct allows player characters to create their own homunculus, golem or shield guardian. Other than by the spell animate objects with permanency, are there any rules allowing the creation of permanent animated objects under the control of the caster?

If not, what would be a fair price?

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So far as I know, animated objects are the result of an animated object spell, nothing else. Hiring an NPC to cast animate objects and then permanency would cost 16,540 gp minimum (caster level 14th for the casting of permanency on animate object; at that CL you could get a Huge one).

Crafting a Construct by the Craft Construct rules would result in a creature not vulnerable, as a permanent animate object is, to dispel magic, which is a rather huge advantage. On the other hand, it takes longer to set up (the whole crafting time), not to mention the Craft Construct feat itself, so it perhaps makes more sense to compare it to other Constructs that you can craft. It’s better than a Flesh Golem (20,000 gp) most likely, but not as good as a Clay Golem (40,000 gp). I’d probably put it around 25,000 gp then, base cost.

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Given the unyielding nature of the XP cost of the spell permanency [univ] (PH 259) when applied to the spell animate objects [trans] (PH 199)--that is, it always takes 3,000 XP to apply the spell permanency to anything affected by the spell animate objects, no matter its size or composition so that making a cute talking tea cup is as difficult as a Lincoln Memorial Bot--one would think somewhere in official D&D 3.5 land someone would've found a way to differentiate between permanency + animate objects WMDs and horribly French candelabra.

But nobody did.

There are some things to look at, however. The autonomous harp (Dragon Compendium Volume 1 131-2) (6,250 gp; 40 lbs.) is a sort-of reasonably priced Medium animated object that can play itself "[i]n addition to the normal actions an animated object can take," like beating the crap out of folks. (Because harps, y'know? What are you gonna do?) The requirements for building it don't include the permanency spell nor Craft Construct but caster level 11 and the animate objects spell (and 5 ranks in the Perform (strings) skill).

Using that as a model, making other Medium wooden animated objects capable of performing tasks in which the creator possesses ranks and are capable of duking it out with baddies doesn't seem far-fetched. The creator will have 5 ranks in the Profession (apprentice) skill, yes?

The rug of welcome (Complete Arcane 150) (30,000 gp; 15 lbs.) is a much more dangerous beast, with more HD for its CR 5 than any other Craft Construct-created creature except an advanced stained glass golem, but it's expensive--moreso than all but the most obscure golems and constructs (arcane ballista, I'm lookin' at you)--so while it's not very good, it's interesting for what it means: exceeding HD caps, special abilities, still no need for permanency in conjunction with animate object to create something that can come to life, and no need for the Craft Construct feat but only the Craft Wondrous Item feat.

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