I got the idea from another question someone asked.

Could you increase an intelligent items ability scores using magic or other items (likely slotless) or lower them?

They are clearly allowed to be treated as creatures

Intelligent items can actually be considered creatures because they have Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Treat them as constructs. Intelligent items often have the ability to illuminate their surroundings at will (as magic weapons do); many cannot see otherwise.

You could get some interesting effects by doing this.


2 Answers 2


Yes, they are (mostly)

This is actually an interesting question. While things like Eagle Splendor clearly won't work on golems and most constructs (which lack an Int score), I don't think there is anything preventing constructs (in general) from being affected by mental spells or wearing magic items and benefitting from it.

Most of those spells, though, are subject to spell resistance, and many constructs are immune to spells like that. But there is no blanket protection on constructs as a creature type. So, while an Iron Golem cannot be affected by Owl's Wisdom even having a Wisdom score to be increased, due to their magic immunity, there is nothing preventing them from being affected by a Genius Avaricius (they have 1 charisma) and suddenly become more charismatic (as weird as that sounds). And is exactly how the game allows them to be targeted by Awaken Construct, and become an intelligent creature.

But, when dealing with constructs, you have rules all over the place. What would prevent your talking magic sword from having ioun stones orbiting her? Well, to activate an ioun stone you have to hold it, so that is impossible for our magic sword. Which equipment slots would be allowed is entirely GM Fiat, we don't have any rules for that.

So, if the magic intelligent item is created with the ability to cast Burst of Insight on itself (which costs an additional 1,200 gp), suddenly it can perform certain tasks much better than before.

However, there are many mental effects that still cannot affect a construct, even if they do have all 3 mental scores (like sleep), simply because they are immune to those effects by being constructs.

  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).

  • Immunity to bleed, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.

  • Not subject to ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, or nonlethal damage.

  • Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless).

  • Constructs do not breathe, eat, or sleep.

They are immune to all these effects, regardless if intelligent or mindless. But keep in mind that magic items (intelligent or not) are never given Hit Die, so we can't tell for certain which effects should affect them as creatures or not. For instance, what would be the effects of Simulacrum or Reboot on an intelligent magic item?

All we know is that they take damage just as any other item and not as creatures:

Magic items, unless otherwise noted, take damage as nonmagical items of the same sort. A damaged magic item continues to function, but if it is destroyed, all its magical power is lost. Magic items that take damage in excess of half their total hit points, but not more than their total hit points, gain the broken condition, and might not function properly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's more ambiguous than this. Can this answer take into consideration the fact that intelligent magic items lack Hit Dice? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan got an example of a mental effect that requires HD? \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 19:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm less concerned about the specifics than the wider implications. That is, even though intelligent magic items "can be considered creatures" and we're to "[t]reat them as constructs," that doesn't tell the reader under what circumstances intelligent magic items should be considered creatures and treated like constructs. There's no when — so that could be all the time or it could be whenever the GM feels it's appropriate. Had they HD, we'd know that answer is all the time. (I was hoping that Paizo addressed this somewhere in the vast Pathfinder wilderness!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can only think on two situations where this shows up, Simulacrum and that one spell that can bring a destroyed construct back to life (which the name escapes me), both mention HD on their effects, and if memory serves me right, allowing them to affect an intelligent magic item would be GM fiat (as you said, they lack HD). \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 19:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If I could upvote this again, I would. The simulacrum spell is a perfect example of what I had in mind. ("Who cares if they're made out of snow? You get an intelligent +5 vorpal longsword, and you get an intelligent +5 vorpal longsword, and — heck, why not! — everybody gets an intelligent +5 vorpal longsword!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 20:22

If the effect can affect constructs, then yes; if the effect cannot, then no. It says treat them as constructs, so you treat them as constructs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Most magic gear doesnt say one way or another so its assumed to work \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering I don’t really know what your comment means or how it’s supposed to improve my answer. Intelligent items aren’t “most magic gear,” they’re a special class of magic gear with special rules. This would not be true of other magic items. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ While this question is factual it might want to delve into whether constructs are generally affected by stuff like that - I can't see a reason why not in d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Exactly—there is no reason why not. There is nothing special or unusual going on here that isn’t already covered, quite explicitly, by the quotation in the question. I really do not think that a blatant “read the book to me” question deserves more than this. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:48

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