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The Clockwork Automaton template makes a creature a construct with a soul. The Inorganic Functioning extraordinary ability says "if the creature reaches 0 HP or below, the automaton will case [sic] functioning and be treated as unconscious." (I think 'case' should be 'cease'.)

Rapid Repair says "It has no effect on a construct that has been brought to 0 hit points or destroyed."

Does Rapid Repair work on a construct with less than 0 hit points? Is this a loophole or just a overlooked posibility?

Is the additional cost for negative hit points described in Inorganic Functioning only added when using Craft to repair or also when using a repair spell?

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This is probably a matter of two different things that operate in unusual ways not accounting for one another.

Usually, when a construct is reduced below 0 HP, it is destroyed. The limitation on rapid repair covers this case, and doesn’t work.

But Clockwork Automaton has the creature become Unconscious, rather than destroyed, when below 0 HP. The whole point of the ability is so that they can be repaired more easily than typical resurrections; it explicitly says they “can be restored by use of the make whole spell [...] or other repair spells for constructs.” That said, I note that make whole does not use the same line as rapid repair about not working for constructs that are destroyed or at 0 HP.

Ultimately, the fact that rapid repair does not work for constructs at 0 HP (when a construct is normally inert but not destroyed) implies to me that it should not work for Clockwork Automatons below 0 HP. RAW, however, this unusual exception to the typical construct rules is not explicitly covered by rapid repair.

But this is a specific limitation of rapid repair; other spells that lack the line about not working on constructs with 0 HP, I would allow to work, per Inorganic Functioning’s statement that Clockwork Automatons “can be restored by [...] other repair spells for constructs.”

Regarding extra costs, that much, at least, is clear: “Regardless of the method used,” repairing a Clockwork Automaton with 0 or less HP is going to be expensive. Even if the method used would usually be free.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ what about the additional cost, does it count for make whole? \$\endgroup\$
    – shaggy1987
    Aug 11, 2014 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @shaggy1987 Added to the answer; yes, yes it does. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 11, 2014 at 13:03

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