The type construct includes this trait:

Not at risk of death from massive damage. Immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. (MM 307)

Besides the 9th-level Clr spell miracle [evoc] (PH 254), the 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell wish [univ] (PH 302), and similar effects, is there a spell or other effect that can undestroy a construct?

As precedent, the Spell Compendium includes 2 spells that bring back from death or destruction creatures outside the purview of the 5th-level Clr spell raise dead [conj] (PH 268) et al. The 6th-level Clr spell revive outsider [conj] (SpC 175) brings back from the dead a creature of the type outsider, and the 6th-level Sor/Wiz spell revive undead [necro] (SpC 175-6) brings back from destruction an undead creature. Is there an effect like this specifically for constructs?1

Casting the 7th-level Clr spell greater humanoid essence [trans] (Races of Eberron 186) on the remains of a destroyed construct may transform the construct's remains into humanoid remains, permitting the spell raise dead to work on the destroyed construct then, but that seems shady.2 It there a more elegant solution to return from destruction a packmate or shield guardian?

He was really expensive.

  1. Bonus: And what about elementals? Everyone forgets about elementals.
  2. Or the spell may not. Although I believe dead creatures are creatures with the dead condition not objects, there is no destroyed condition. A destroyed construct that's the target of the spell greater humanoid essence may just be a destroyed humanoid with the dead condition--alleviating that combination becomes really tricky.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, how would you define a DESTROYED humanoid? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mouhgouda
    Sep 30, 2014 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mouhgouda Head in fragments, separate from vital organs, something in that vein? \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Sep 30, 2014 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mouhgouda Read the spell description for Destruction (d20srd.org/srd/spells/destruction.htm). \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Oct 1, 2014 at 3:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut If the spell destruction described what happened when a creature were destroyed, the spell revive undead would always fail. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2014 at 6:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Disintegrate may be a better "explanation." (d20srd.org/srd/spells/disintegrate.htm) Whenever something is gone and only some dust is left, that may be what destroyed could be. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Oct 1, 2014 at 7:29

3 Answers 3


Since there is no RAW requirement, think about what a construct is: material + magic. Also, a construct is quite literally crafted.

By the reasoning a construct can be crafted, treat it as a magic item. From d20srd.org Magic Item Basics:

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.

So by destroying a construct, you also dispell it, causing it to cease existing, like any other destroyed permanent spell. Even if you reassemble it from it's component parts, and recast the spell that makes it a construct, it's a new construct, not the same as the previous one. You could cast Greater Humaniod Essence on the reassembled item, but you would not be casting it on the actual construct, which has ceased to exist. So you would end up with a humaniod body, but there wouldn't be a soul to return to it.

Also, note how Craft Magic Arms and Armor states:

You can also mend a broken magic weapon, suit of armor, or shield if it is one that you could make

yet Craft Construct states:

A creature with this feat can repair constructs that have taken damage

implying that it is impossible to fix a broken construct.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the comparison between the feats Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Construct, but it adds to my confusion: A construct at 0 hp has been dealt damage. Is there a reason a dude with the Craft Construct feat can't just repair the construct--starting at 0 hp--by spending lots of time and gold? For that matter, could then a repair minor damage spell restore animation to a destroyed construct? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2014 at 19:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It has been dealt damage, but it has also been 'killed'. It's like using a heal check on a dead body. You can make it look nice, but it's still a dead body. Same with a construct. The difference is that the person's body has a soul. I base the following on existence of a reincarnation spell and that the revive spell can work with only a toe: Revive uses the part of the body as a material component to locate the soul, pulls the soul to the material plane, then creates a body around it. A variation of revive for constructs wouldn't be able to find anything to drag to the Material Plane. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 2, 2014 at 0:40

A "regular" construct? Maybe with researched, exclusive spells.

However, is not every construct that is a regular construct. There is a special family of constructs that can be ressurrected just fine.

Living Construct Subtype

A living construct is a new subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments. Living constructs combine aspects of both constructs and living creatures.

This is the solution that WOTC thougth about to solve this issue. Not exactly a spell, but a new subtype to be aplied to any race that is meant to be a player race.

Most famously, this is the case of the construct-player race, the Warforged. The Warforged race was created with the players in mind, so WOTC needed a way for a party to bring those dead adventurer-robots back to life.

You can solve those issues of bringing back a construct from the dead by giving it this subtype, and making the relevant changes to it. More on the subtype can be seen here, but the most important changes from the "normal constructs" is that the Living Construct indeed have a Constitution Score, and can be raised from the dead.

So, the "easy way out of this issue" is making the construct in question a "living construct", probably via some kind of blessing from a god or something like that to make it "true alive". After that, the construct will start "having a soul", and can be brought back from the dead, enjoy earthly pleasures, and have fun like most mortals. Heck, you can even make this without divine intervention, making the construct becoming "alive" because he found "true love", or something like that. Also, if your players would be creating this construct from scratch, it would make sense to allow them to create one with this template.

The other option is considering the construct a machine. If the construct is destroyed, the group could gather back all the parts they can, including the "memory module" of the construct in question, and taking it to a Master Artificer, that would gladly rebuild the construct in exchange for a bag of gold pieces, rougly equivalent to a handfull of diamond dust. That would need DM fiat, of course, but is not so far fetched. Destroyed doesn't mean "completly obliterated beyond any repair" (at least, there is no formal definition of what destroyed means on 3.5).

Most constructs were created by WOTC with the idea that the players would be killing them, not fixing them. So, you definetly will need a bit of DM fiat here, I'm afraid.


Homebrew from WOTC Forum Archives:

Courtesty of http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?119196-Resurrecting-and-Reviving-Constructs

For Those Wanting To Downvote, Read Page 189 From the Dungeon Master Guide

Researching Original Spells

If you decide to allow characters to develop original spells, you can use these guidelines to handle the situation. A spellcaster of any kind can create a new spell. The research to do this requires access to a well-stocked library, typically in a large city or metropolis. Research requires an expenditure of 1,000 gp per week and takes one week per level of the spell. This money goes into fees, consultants, material component experimentation, and other miscellaneous expenditures. At the end of that time, the character makes a Spellcraft check (DC 10 + spell level). If that roll succeeds, the character learns the new spell if her research produced a viable spell. If the roll fails, the character must go through the research process again if she wants to keep trying.

A viable spell is one that you allow into the game. Don’t tell the player whether you think the spell is viable when research begins. (That’s the point of the research.) However, feel free to work with the player before the research begins and give him guidance on the parameters under which an original spell might be acceptable in your game.

Research to create new spells is always in addition to any other research involved for gaining spells that are already part of your campaign (if you decide to also require spell research for the new spells that casters are entitled to as they attain higher levels).

The number of spells that sorcerers and bards can know is strictly limited; members of those classes can never exceed these limits even through the research of original spells.

Revive Construct

Level: Sorc/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Target: Destroyed construct touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

Often used by spellcasters with favored golems, or by Wizards who possess Spellbook Familiars, this spell returns destroyed Constructs to full health and mobility. The construct in question must have been destroyed for no more than one day per caster level.

A revived Construct has a number of hit points equal to its current Hit Dice. Any ability scores damaged to 0 are raised to 1. This spell regenerates any constructs that have been disintigrated or, in the case of Spellbook Familiars, burnt. None of the construct's equipment or possessions, if any, are affected in any way by this spell.

In the case of mindless constructs, this spell simply restores them to good physical condition, restoring all physical identifiers. Not only are intelligent constructs restored in the same way, but this spell allows them to return with the same mind as they had before they were destroyed - all memories and personality are intact. No construct which has been thus revived has ever been convinced to speak of what they experienced during the interim - all such questions are ignored. Some scholars wonder if this reluctance indicates that they experienced nothing at all, while others believe that whatever manner of soul animates such things is bound to silence in whatever realm in which it passes the interim.

For unknown reasons, this spell does not function on constructs with the Living Construct subtype.

Material Component: Raw materials similar to those from which the construct is constructed, costing at least half of the total cost of that construct (minimum 1,000 GP).

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's actually kind of a neat spell, and it pleases me that I'm not the first person who'd thought of this problem. It's odd that the author'd make it Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless) instead of Spell Resistance: No, as the former prevents the spell from working on constructs--like most golems--that possess magic immunity. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2014 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I think... if the construct is "dead," wouldn't it's magic immunity not be functional? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Oct 1, 2014 at 7:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why would the magic immunity end when the creature's destroyed when we don't have a definition of destroyed? (It's along the same lines, I guess, as Are dead poisonous creatures poisonous? except building a castle out of destroyed golems is even cooler if destroyed golems keep their magic immunity.) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 2, 2014 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the spell there is someone else's work, please put a quote box around it. It's unclear what is or is not your work here. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Dec 2, 2014 at 16:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .