Automaton core

From PathfinderWiki
Automaton core
(Magic item)

Aura (1E)
Caster Level (1E)
Minor artifact
Usage (2E)
Source: Guns & Gears, pg(s). 215, 36–43

An automaton core is a quintessence-infused artifact that provides the personality and mortal soul of the intelligent constructs known as automatons.1


A core is a glowing cylinder of glass and ornately designed metal plated with gold or silver engraved with arcane symbols.2


Automaton cores were originally developed by the Artificer Conclave of the ancient Jistka Imperium. Inspired by Jistkan reverence for and emulation of aeons and lawful neutral philosophies, they developed the combination of technology, magic, and metaphysics necessary to animate a construct with a fully mortal soul. Most automatons that survive to the modern era still house the souls of Jistkans.3


Jistkan artificers imbued each core with the mind and soul of a Jistkan—often using their most heralded paragons of virtues and talent42—and infused them with planar quintessence. The precise methods of creating a core is lost to time, though research in the centuries since the collapse of Jistka have led to some attempts that have approached success.1

Among those attempting to recreate the Jistkan methods is Ulistul, an artificer-priest of Jistka who herself became an automaton and continues her research.2

Use in automatons

An automaton core is typically permanently installed in an automaton's body. If a body is destroyed but the core remains intact, it can potentially be re-installed in another automaton body. As such, automatons are protective of all cores and are willing to fight to retrieve them from other creatures.5

Other uses

If removed from an automaton, a spellcaster can wield an automaton core to empower their spellcasting or cast spells beyond their typical ability. Doing so expends a core's energy, and there are no known methods for replenishing a depleted core.5


To destroy an automaton core, one must place six other empowered cores in a ritual magic circle and use them to overload the targeted core, destroying it.5

Master automatons continue following their directive to destroy automaton cores and absorb their energy.6


  1. 1.0 1.1 Michael Sayre, et al. “1: Gears Characters” in Guns & Gears, 37. Paizo Inc., 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 John Compton. Ulistul” in Monsters of Myth, 121. Paizo Inc., 2021
  3. Michael Sayre, et al. “1: Gears Characters” in Guns & Gears, 38. Paizo Inc., 2021
  4. Michael Sayre, et al. “5: The Rotating Gear” in Guns & Gears, 215. Paizo Inc., 2021
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Brian Duckwitz, et al. “Magic Items” in Construct Handbook, 16. Paizo Inc., 2018
  6. John Compton. Ulistul” in Monsters of Myth, 122. Paizo Inc., 2021