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One of my party members is a specialized construct creator (machinesmith/engineer), and we had a few crazy ideas of animated objects that would see some good use in combat. For the most part, creating a permanent animated object is similar to creating a golem, but there is one thing that bugs me : animated objects have hardness, like mundane objects, instead of standard damage reduction.

Does this mean that animated objects are still treated as objects and follow the same rules as objects when it comes to what deals damage or generally affects them ?

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Yes, animated objects have hardness.

As you linked, this situation calls for the animated object rules to be used because...

... any object can become animated, most commonly via the spell animate objects. Permanent animated objects can be built using the Craft Construct feat.

Which seems to cover your situation.

Instead, Animated Objects have construct traits, although they retain hardness instead of having damage reduction as per their stat block.

Constructs are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless). Constructs are not subject to nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. Constructs are not at risk of death from massive damage.

No, the other rules for objects don't apply to them. Animated objects are distinct from 'inanimate objects' and I can't see that the standard object damage rules would be used. For example you wouldn't be able to Sunder or Break them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Then if an animated object is treated like a creature, what type of damage is reduced by its hardness ? \$\endgroup\$ – user26561 Sep 22 '16 at 16:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FlashRebel "Each object has hardness—a number that represents how well it resists damage. When an object is damaged, subtract its hardness from the damage." Hardness doesn't apply only to specific types of damage. \$\endgroup\$ – Phlyk Sep 22 '16 at 16:57
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No. Animated objects have hardness but other properties of objects like how energy attacks interact with hardness do not apply to them.

Hardness is deducted from damage to calculate the number of hit points the animated object loses. Energy damage is also reduced by hardness, but it is not further divided like it happens with objects. Animated objects are creatures of construct type, not objects.

The ruling is clarified in the Universal Monster Rules entry for hardness:

Hardness (Ex) When a creature with hardness takes damage, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is subtracted from its hit points. A creature with hardness doesn't further reduce damage from energy attacks, ranged attacks, or other types of attacks as objects typically do. Adamantine weapons bypass hardness of 20 or less.

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