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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Conflict Constructs is the Battle Bots of D&D

Conflict Constructs is the Battle Bots of D&D

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I keep looking for way to add more magic and more non-standard fantasy into my D&D games. I feel the way the game is going is to keep increasing the magic in the world and I am on board for this. We have the normalization of the construct-like race in the warforged (and now true construct with the autognome). Baldur’s Gate: Decent into Avernus gave us magical hell vehicles usable by individuals or the whole party. Nerdarchist Dave even began a campaign with some minor conversions to use them in a post apocalyptic setting. I am sure there are other examples as well if you look at other third party stuff. But why stop there?

Activate D&D constructs

Looking at the Battle Bots show for some inspiration I imagine how much fun it would be for D&D artificers to design constructs to fight against each other in tournament style combat. Looking at D&D Beyond I count 172 constructs ranging from Challenge 0 all the way to Challenge 25. Characters could either design and build constructs, if you allow that in game, or they could be purchased or rented to be fought in the arena.

The stat blocks can also become jumping off points. Simulating Battle Bots in your D&D game could include giving characters the opportunity to modify these constructs with their own customizations. Increased armor, extra attack options, immunities to critical hits and the like are easy additions. You might also consider adding in magical effects like shield or the ability to attack as a reaction.

One of the minigames we developed a while back is called Conflict Constructs, which we designed specifically to engage with characters’ tool proficiencies. In this minigame each challenger rolls initiative twice: once for themselves and once for their construct. For the purposes of this scenario, animated armors are assigned to each challenger. On the challenger’s turn they can make a proficiency check using either smith’s tools, tinker’s tools or thieves’ tools (DC 10 + Challenge of construct). On a success, the challenger rolls to see which of the Find the Weak Point effects below to apply to their opponent’s construct. The effects are things like disorienting the opponent, immobilizing them temporarily and so forth. If you’re interested in this and lots of other games of skill and chance for your D&D games learn more about them here.

This idea came to me again with the most recent release of WizKids’ Critical Role: Monsters of Tal’Dorei minis. The Cobalt Golem and the Forge Guardian are super awesome looking minis and it would be really sweet seeing them fight each other in a spectacular battle. The Critical Role Minis Collection just keeps on expanding. Get popular characters like the heroes of the campaign, guest NPCs and marvelous monsters made by Matt. Go over to WizKids where you can get these fantastic sculpts in non-blind purchase so you can get exactly what minis you want in your collection super easy.

Now back to Construct Fighting Time. I was able to find 60+ constructs in the Challenge 1 or under bracket. Why not base your challenger off of a flying sword or the Metallic Warbler? The great thing about this process is you can use any stat block that is a construct and describe it how you like. Bring those constructs to fight and have a good time doing so.

If this is not enough feel free to modify beasts or other monsters and call them constructs and have even more options for your battle arena. Mix and match abilities and make some fun constructs to either have players control and fight or simply bet on some construct on construct violence. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: Along with Conflict Constructs that collection of minigames includes Goop Games so those with alchemist’s supplies, brewer’s supplies and herbalism kits can get in on the monster battle minigame action except with ooze creatures!]

Head on over to WizKids and pick up some awesome minis and terrain to make your own construct battle arena.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!

*Featured image — In one square it’s a Forge Guardian! In the other, a Cobalt Golem! Who will win and who will end up in the scrap heap?

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Ted Adams

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

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