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I believe that there is a typo in the summon construct spell from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. The spell is shown as a 4th-level spell in the table at the beginning of the chapter (p. 105) and in the main entry for the summon construct spell (p. 111).

However, the Construct Spirit's stat block lists its HP formula as:
"40 + 15 for each spell level above 3rd" (emphasis mine).

This is odd, because all of the other stat block formulas for all the other summon [X] spells in the book are formatted such that you only add extra HP if the spell is cast at a higher level.

By RAW, based on the given formula, the construct has 55 HP when cast as a 4th-level spell. However, have there been any designer statements or errata indicating that this was unintentional and that the base HP should actually be 40?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I removed the bit asking for designer's reasons, such questions are off topic. See here for more details: Are questions about rule intent on topic? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Dec 3 '20 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov: It looks like you removed the actual question. If you believe it's a designer-reasons question, it should be closed, rather than just editing the main question itself out of the post... The entire purpose of the question is to ask "This statblock says X, but all the others like it say Y; is it supposed to say Y instead of X?" I don't think the querent's confused about what the wording means as written - only whether it's a typo/error (i.e. whether it's intentional or not). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 3 '20 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I've rolled back, the title question is a perfectly fine question, I'll work on a better way to ask it without including designer's statements. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Dec 3 '20 at 14:26
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As written, 55 hitpoints.

As written, the stat block is unambiguous, if a bit odd. The hit points in the statblock says:

40 + 15 for each spell level above 3rd

So casting at 4th level obviously gives 55 hit points.

There is almost certainly something misprinted here.

I am almost certain this is not intended. Every other summon something spell in Tasha's follows the traditional formula of Nth-level spell and using N+1 in the "At Higher Levels" section.

As MonkeezOnFire pointed out in comments, there are several other places in the book where the spell is referred to as a 4th level spell.

The table at the beginning of the section "Magical Miscellany" lists summon construct as 4th level, and the clockwork soul sorcerer's additional spells table list summon construct together with freedom of movement, also a 4th level spell. Further, the additional wizard spells table lists summon construct as a 4th level spell.

The preponderance of evidence points to the intention being that summon construct is a 4th level spell.

Given this, I believe that statblock should read:

Hit Points 40 + 15 for each spell level above 4th

This would give it 40 hit points when cast at 4th level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I wonder, aside from the issue of consistency in phrasing - how does the summoned creature's HP compare to the base HP of other creatures created by similar summoning spells (particularly those of the same level)? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 3 '20 at 1:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast It looks like HP is pretty variable, probably need to consider AC as well for an adjusted hp. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Dec 3 '20 at 2:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, okay. Resistances (and how common the damage type is) could also be relevant, albeit probably less so... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 3 '20 at 2:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I actually did that comparison by calculating the offensive and defensive CRs of all the stat blocks from the Tasha's summon spells at all the possible spell levels you could cast them at. I didn't notice this typo so my calculations for the construct are based on 40 + 15 for each spell level above 4th. Like Thomas Markov said there's a bit of subjectivity in taking account of special abilities in the calculation but from what I found the construct is already plenty tough. \$\endgroup\$ – MonkeezOnFire Dec 3 '20 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...Interestingly, of the "summon [X]" spells in TCoE, I think summon construct is the only one that doesn't have a corresponding basis in the original UA 2020: Spells and Magic Tattoos PDF. I wonder if this has something to do with how its HP line potentially got screwed up. (Of course, that's just speculation, and the HP calculations for the UA versions are actually somewhat different from the final version anyway... It's an interesting coincidence, at the very least.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 4 '20 at 0:22

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