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Golem

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 159

Golems are magically created automatons of great power. They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force—golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental. The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.

Being mindless, golems do nothing without orders from their creators. They follow instructions explicitly and are incapable of complex strategy or tactics. A golem's creator can command it if the golem is within 60 feet and can see and hear its creator. If uncommanded, a golem usually follows its last instruction to the best of its ability, though if attacked it returns the attack. The creator can give the golem a simple command to govern its actions in his absence, or can order the golem to obey the commands of another, but the golem's creator can always resume control by commanding the golem to obey him alone.

Constructing a Golem

The cost to create a golem includes the cost of the physical body and all the materials and spell components used in its creation. Each golem entry gives specific details on the materials required and the total cost for its creation.

Note: The market price of a golem with more Hit Dice than the typical golem described in each entry is increased by 5,000 gp for each additional Hit Die it possesses beyond the standard for its kind, and increases by an additional 50,000 gp if the golem's size increases. Building a golem with the advanced simple template increases its cost by 15,000 gp.

Shield Guardians

A spellcaster with enough talent, resources, and inspiration can create a special variant of a golem known as a shield guardian. Any true golem can be created as a shield guardian, but the choice to do so must be made during the golem's construction—a completed golem cannot later be “upgraded” to function as a shield guardian.

Shield guardians are designed to serve as bodyguards. When created, a shield guardian is keyed to a magical amulet that is constructed at the same time as (and as part of the cost of) the guardian. Henceforth, it regards the wearer of that amulet as its master, protecting and following that individual everywhere (unless specifically commanded not to do so). If a shield guardian's amulet is destroyed, the guardian ceases to function until a new one is created. If the wearer dies but the amulet is intact, the shield guardian carries out the last command it was given.

A shield guardian obeys its master's verbal commands to the best of its ability, although it is not good for much beyond combat, protection, and simple manual labor. It can also be keyed to perform specific tasks at specific times or when certain conditions are met. The wearer of the amulet can call the shield guardian from any distance, and it will come as long as it is on the same plane.

Shield guardians have the same statistics as the base golem, but with the following additional special qualities. A shield guardian's CR is equal to the base golem's CR + 2.

Controlled (Ex) A shield guardian that has the berserk special attack cannot go berserk as long as the wearer of its amulet is within 30 feet.

Fast Healing (Ex) A shield guardian has fast healing 5.

Find Master (Su) As long as a shield guardian and its amulet are on the same plane, the shield guardian can locate the amulet's wearer (or just the amulet, if it is removed after the guardian is called).

Guard (Ex) If ordered to do so, a shield guardian moves to defend the wearer of its amulet. All attacks against the amulet wearer take a –2 penalty when the shield guardian is adjacent to its master.

Shield Other (Sp) The wearer of a shield guardian's amulet can activate this defensive ability as a standard action if within 100 feet of the shield guardian. Just as the spell of the same name, this ability transfers to the shield guardian half the damage that would be dealt to the amulet wearer (note that this ability does not provide the spell's AC or save bonuses). Damage transferred in this manner bypasses any defensive abilities (such as immunity or damage reduction) the golem possesses.

Spell Storing (Sp) A shield guardian can store one spell of 4th level or lower that is cast into it by another creature. It “casts” this spell when commanded to do so or when a predefined situation arises. Once this spell is used, the shield guardian can store another spell (or the same spell again).

Construction: A shield guardian's base materials cost an additional 25,000 gp above the base golem's cost. The creature's master may assemble the body or hire someone else to do the job. The Craft check required to make the body is 4 higher than normal for the base golem's kind. The keyed amulet is fashioned at the same time—it costs 20,000 gp above and beyond the shield guardian's total cost. After the body is sculpted, the shield guardian is animated through an extended magical ritual that requires a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemist's laboratory and costing 500 gp to establish. If the creator is personally constructing the creature's body, the building and the ritual can be performed together. The creator must have a minimum caster level of 2 higher than the base golem's minimum required caster level. In addition, the following spells are added to the base golem's requirements: discern location and either shield or shield other.

Creatures in "Golem" Category

NameCR
Adamantine Golem19
Alchemical Golem9
Behemoth Golem17
Blood Golem6
Bone Golem8
Brass Golem14
Cannon Golem15
Carrion Golem4
Clay Golem10
Clockwork Golem12
Coral Golem9
Equine Bone Golem10
Fiend-Infused Golem13
Flesh Golem7
Fossil Golem12
Glass Golem8
Ice Golem5
Iron Golem13
Junk Golem4
Magnetitie Golem10
Marrowstone Golem8
Mask Golem4
Mithral Golem16
Noqual Golem18
Panthereon11
Quantium Golem20
Robot Golem11
Shadow Golem14
Stone Golem11
Wax Golem3
Wood Golem6

Golem, Fiend-Infused Golem

The fists of this stone statue radiate flames that flicker in red and black and reek of brimstone. Its chiseled face bears a feral, wicked grin.

Fiend-Infused Golem CR 13

Source Cheliax, the Infernal Empire pg. 60
XP 25,600
NE Large construct
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

Defense

AC 26, touch 8, flat-footed 26 (–1 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)
hp 121 (14d10+44); fast healing 5
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4
DR 10/adamantine and good; Immune construct traits, fire, magic

Offense

Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slam +23 (2d10+9 plus hellfire touch)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks berserk liberation, hellfire touch, slow

Statistics

Str 28, Dex 9, Con —, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +14; CMB +24; CMD 33
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Intimidate +29
Languages Abyssal, Infernal (can’t speak)

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Berserk Liberation (Ex) When a fiend-infused golem enters combat, there is a cumulative 2% chance each round that the animating fiend breaks free and the golem goes berserk. This chance resets to 0% after 1 minute of inactivity. When a fiend-infused golem goes berserk, the animating fiend explodes in a conflagration of hellfire, dealing 13d6 points of damage to all creatures within 60 feet (Reflex DC 17 half). Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. The save DC is Constitution-based. The berserk golem then loses the fiend-infused template permanently and thereafter attacks the nearest living creature, or smashes some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach. Once it goes berserk, no known method can reestablish control.

Hellfire Touch (Su) A fiend-infused golem’s body radiates the soul-scorching heat of the evil Outer Planes, dealing 2d6 points of damage with its touch. Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. Creatures attacking a fiend-infused golem with unarmed strikes or natural weapons take this same hellfire damage each time one of their attacks hits. A fiend-infused golem’s natural attacks are treated as evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Immunity to Magic (Ex) A fiend-infused stone golem is immune to any spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
  • A transmute rock to mud spell slows a fiend-infused stone golem (as per the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock restores all of its lost hit points.
  • A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the golem’s structure but negates its damage reduction and immunity to magic for 1 full round.
  • A banishment or dismissal spell quells the animating fiend temporarily, negating the golem’s hellfire touch ability for 1 round with no saving throw. The spell also increases the chance of the golem’s berserk liberation by 20% in subsequent rounds of combat.
Slow (Su) A fiend-infused stone golem can use a slow effect, as per the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem and a duration of 7 rounds. A successful DC 17 Will save negates the effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Although most golems are animated by the spirits of elementals, certain reckless or daring golem crafters instead bind evil outsiders such as daemons, demons, and devils to power golems. This fiend does not inhabit or control the golem in the usual manner of fiendish possession; instead, the outsider is subjugated within the golem to act as a mere engine. Although a fiend-infused golem has more self-awareness and cunning than a typical golem, it possesses only a brute, primitive intellect, lacking the animating fiend’s personality beyond a base desire to destroy goodness. The fiend’s rage at being imprisoned in such a manner manifests as ever-burning hellfire, which the fiend-infused golem uses as a weapon against its foes.

As with ordinary golems, fiend-infused golems primarily serve as guards or defenders. However, a fiend-infused golem’s marginally improved intellect means it can be given more complex instructions, such as evaluating an intruder’s intent, activating or deactivating traps, acting in disguise, or patrolling a convoluted territory. Although fiend-infused golems are obligated to follow their creators’ commands in the same manner as regular golems, they sometimes do so with sullenness or frustrated defiance.

The foremost golem crafters of antiquity served the Jistka Imperium many thousands of years ago, and that empire’s golem foundries at Rachikan experimented extensively with fiend-bound golems. Using evil outsiders as an animating force came with an inherent drawback that Rachikan’s golem crafters could never fully overcome: the fiend’s seething anger at serving within a golem increases the chance that the fiend-infused golem will break free of its command and run amok. Ultimately, the golem crafters of Rachikan succeeded only by increasing the size of their golems: Rachikan’s enormous behemoth golems (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Lost Kingdoms 40) are the only fiendinfused golems that do not risk the bound fiend going berserk. Although the Jistka Imperium is long gone, fiend-infused golems still guard its ancient factories and treasure vaults, particularly in the ruins of Rachikan and in other hidden sites along the Chelish coast.

With renewed interest in the Jistka Imperium among such organizations as the Pathfinder Society and Egorian’s prestigious Athenaeum, ancient secrets of fiend-infused golems have leaked to several modern golem crafters. Some of these crafters had already developed their own techniques for creating fiend-infused golems, and use the unearthed Jistkan lore to confirm or supplement their own designs. The artificers of House Thrune are particularly interested in harnessing and improving upon the Jistkan methods, both because the golems promise to be very powerful additions to the Thrune arsenal and because they are always looking for new ways to bind the spirits of Hell.

A fiend-infused golem is the same size and weight as an ordinary golem of its type.

Creating a Fiend-Infused Golem

“Fiend-infused” is a template that can be added to any golem that is not vulnerable to fire (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The fiend-infused template must be applied when the golem is created; an existing golem can’t later acquire this template. A fiend-infused golem uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

CR: Base creature’s CR + 2.
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Defensive Abilities: Fiend-infused golems gain fast healing 5 and immunity to fire. If the base creature already has damage reduction, it adds good to the qualities needed to bypass that reduction. If the base creature has the immunity to magic defensive ability, it adds susceptibility to banishment and dismissal (see the immunity to magic ability above).
Special Attacks: A fiend-infused golem gains the berserk liberation special attack described above and loses any berserk special attack of the base creature. The amount of damage dealt when the fiend-infused golem goes berserk is equal to 1d6 × its CR (Reflex half; DC = 10 + 1/2 the golem’s Hit Dice + the golem’s Constitution modifier). A fiend-infused golem also gains the hellfire touch special attack described above.
Abilities: A fiend-infused golem’s Intelligence score changes to 4 and its Charisma score changes to 10.
Feats: A fiend-infused golem has feats appropriate for its Hit Dice. The golem’s creator determines the golem’s feats as part of the process of creating the construct. Fiend-infused golems can be assigned any feats they are physically capable of using, although most feats are assigned from the following: Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, and Weapon Focus.
Skills: A fiend-infused golem gains ranks in Intimidate equal to its Hit Dice.
Languages: A fiend-infused golem understands Abyssal and Infernal, but it cannot speak.
Construction: A fiend-infused golem’s base materials cost an additional 25,000 gp above the base creature’s cost to account for the materials that are needed to bind the fiend within the golem. Add the spells dimensional anchor, magic circle against evil, and either planar ally or planar binding to the base creature’s requirements.

The DC of the Craft check required to make the fiend-infused golem’s body is 4 higher than the base creature’s construct skill DC, and the creator must have a minimum caster level 4 higher than the base creature’s minimum required caster level. The increase to the DC of the Craft check and to the caster level are halved (to 2 higher) if the creator possesses at least 10 ranks in Knowledge (planes).