I'm currently looking for ways to optimize my damage output as construct crafter.

It seems like a solid option would be going into an Animated Object Weapon if they get their own weapon damage to attacks.

From everything I've read it doesn't seem to make any specific calls to weapons, but I found this entry for the Headman's Scythe.

Melee scythe +3 (2d4/×4)

The CP doesn't make any note of an upgrade to damage, nor is this a valid dice amount for a slam, so is this an aspect of this specific creature, or could it be said that other such items would do this as well?

And if it does weapon damage, does this include ranged weapons? What happens if the upgrade to damage is taken? Can it be used on the weapon attack, or only the Slam attack?


1 Answer 1


That's a lot of questions, and luckily the PFSRD page about Animated Objects may answer them. You've assumed that all animated objects must have slam attacks, and that's not always true. I'll address your question piece by piece.

nor is this a valid dice amount for a slam, so is this an aspect of this specific creature

The Headman's Scythe is a scythe, and the standard medium-sized scythe deals 2d4 slashing damage with a x4 critical multiplier. It does not have a slam attack. In general, an animated weapon deals the equivalent damage of its type of weapon.

does this include ranged weapons?

Yes, any weapon can be animated, including mounted weapons and siege weapons. I don't know what action it takes to reload itself, but I would guess that it takes the same amount of time for someone else to reload it (for example, an animated crossbow).

What happens if the upgrade to damage is taken?

If you're referring to the "Improved Attack" special ability, then you use the damage dice as if it was one size category larger. According to the values specified in the Lead Blades spell, if you upgraded the Scythe this way, then you would replace the 2d4 dice with 2d6 dice. From an optimization standpoint, you may want to pick a weapon with better damage dice, such as a greatsword.

Can it be used on the weapon attack, or only the Slam attack?

You choose which attack to improve. An Animated Object may have more than one attack, and so you can spend multiple Construct Points to take this upgrade again, for a different attack.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ With the exception of the Headman's Scythe, do you have any specific rules text, or examples of an animated weapon doing it's damage in Pathfinder? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2016 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nothing explicit, because I couldn't find other animated weapons in the bestiary, but the official list of weapon types defines the default damage dice and crit ranges for each weapon type. These are the default values, so any exceptions explicitly say the damage dice that are used instead (such as Spiritual Weapon). I suppose a close example would be dancing weapons, although they aren't technically constructs. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Dec 21, 2016 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would actually be inclined to discount the Headman's Scythe as a one-off. It's from a very early non-core book, it's described as partially undead, and there's no other examples of similar items. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Dec 22, 2016 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bobson That's true, however, crafting constructs allows a player to make custom creatures, which aren't core anyway. My point was essentially, "for damage dice, an animated X is still an X," and Headsman's Scythe has the appropriate damage dice for a medium scythe. Its other features aren't important in terms of determining damage dice. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Dec 22, 2016 at 20:16

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