Golems (pronounced: /ˈgoʊlɛmz/ GO-lemz) were several types of magically created constructs. They were mindless, emotionless creations that only knew how to fulfill the orders of their creators. The gods Azuth, Gond, Oghma, and Thoth favored golems and used them as servants. Clangeddin Silverbeard, Geb, Red Knight, and Segojan Earthcaller favored specifically stone golems, while iron golems were used by Flandal Steelskin and gem golems by Nephthys. Velsharoon favored flesh golems.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
They were tough, fearsome combatants with incredible defenses. Although they moved like living creatures, they were merely animated objects, giving them several advantages and disadvantages in battle. As constructs, golems were innately immune to a number of attacks; among these were mind-altering, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease and death effects as well as most spells. They never tired, got confused or distracted and possessed both low-light and darkvision. Because they were mindless, golems lacked much in the way of creativity and initiative.
Creation[edit | edit source]
The creator of a golem was typically a wizard or a cleric, both of whom had control over the creature. They can issue simple commands as long as they are within 60' of the construct. The creation process involves a spirit from the Plane of Earth was bound against its will into that of the golem. Thus the control of certain golems had a chance of being voided in proportion to the length of time that it was used in combat.
When a golem of a more expensive material was made, such as adamantine or mithral, it was originally made using a cheaper metal (usually iron) and then polymorphed, usually via a Wish spell.
Types of Golems[edit | edit source]
- Adamantine golem: Incredibly resilient golems that were sometimes found in the Underdark, usually in the service of drow, duergar or svirfneblin masters. One of the more powerful variants.
- Alchemical golem: Weighing 800lbs, these were composed from a single tough membrane in the shape of a humanoid and were filled with toxic liquids. 
- Brain golem: A creation of the mind flayers, these existed purely for the desires of the illithids and were unswayed from their goals. They appeared as huge, burly humanoids with oversized brains for heads. In fact, the whole body was made up of brain tissue. Brain golems were more intelligent than other golems.
- Brass golem: Made of brass, these were created to fulfill one goal, set at the time of their creation, and wait with absolute patience until activated to perform this task.
- Cadaver golem: Misshapen constructs easily mistaken for flesh golems, but they were more intelligent and dangerous, capable of making use of the skills and abilities of those who contributed to its body. These creatures constantly sought out humanoids who boasted talents that it wished to possess.
- Chain golem: Creatures of the Kytons made out of chains, these served as bodyguards for devils and as guardians of unholy places. They were composed entirely of shifting chains that varied in size and shape.
- Clay golem: Clay golems were created by clerics. While in combat, there was a cumulative chance as the battle progressed that the golem would be possessed by a chaotic evil spirit. If this happened, control over the golem was lost and it would attack the closest living creature.
- Coral golem: Resembling aquatic sea-creatures in shape, such as fish or crabs, these were made entirely of living coral. They were created by sea druids to guard threatened aquatic regions or to attack the ships of intruders.
- Crystal golem: Crystal golems were constructed from dagger-like shards of purple crystal and were surprisingly resilient given their fragile appearance. They could throw these crystals at their foes as missile weapons.
- Demonflesh golem: Demonstrating truly fiendish grafting of demonic body parts assembled into a vile whole. These resembled flesh golems. Most were reasonably intelligent. The making of demonflesh golems had become close to a sport on some levels of the Nine Hells.
- Dragonbone Golem: Crafted from the skeletons of one or more dragons and wired together into a gruesome whole, these were easily mistaken for skeletal dragons or dracoliches. They waded into combat without hesitation as commanded by their creators.
- Dragonflesh golem: Made out of the remains of dead dragons, these creatures could remember more complicated commands than most golems could, but because they could not think, they obeyed commands to the letter rather than evaluating the intent.
- Drakestone golem: Appearing as beautifully crafted statues of dragons, whose muscles looked like rippling stone flesh when in motion. Their breath could petrify flesh.
- Equine golem: Golems shaped as heavy warhorses. They were faster and more agile than a regular golem, but less durable. They were crafted from thick hardwoods and an animating air elemental spirit.
- Flesh golem: These golems were created from human remains. If control over the Flesh Golem was lost, it went berserk, attacking allies and enemies both.
- Grave dirt golem: Composed of magically coherent grave earth, these constructs left soiled wounds which were suffused with negative energy to further harm their foes.
- Hellfire golem: Built by devils, these appeared as towering humanoid creatures that seemed to be formed of brilliant lava and crumbling black crust. Most were reasonably intelligent.
- Ice golem: A humanoid formed of roughly chiseled ice, standing 9 feet tall and weighing around 800 pounds. They appeared to be normal ice sculptures when at rest.
- Incarnum golem: Towering humanoid forms that resembled smoky glass plates reinforced with shimmering metal bands. Within them was bound spirit energy which allowed the golem to adapt its attacks to fit the situation.
- Iron golem: Iron golems were among the strongest type of golem and never revoked the control of those who created them.
- Ironwyrm golem: An animated, self-contained furnace built into the shape of a dragon. Smoke trailed from its nostrils except when the creature rested, and when animated, it exuded a palpable heat.
- Minogon: A swift and deadly minotaur-like golem created using a furious minotaur soul and a fire elemental.
- Mithral golem: Relatively lightweight golems that moved with astounding agility, frequently surprising would-be adversaries.
- Mud golem: Swamp dwelling, mud golem with empty hollow eye sockets with glowing red spheres in them. 
- Puzzle golem: A specialised Stone golem constructed from smaller stone golems that split or reform. 
- Rimefire golem: Rimefire golems were powerful beings made of living ice that were thuggish and had little regard for their own well-being.
- Rope golem: Rope golems, also called Hangman golems, were wrapped and shaped in vague humanoid shapes. It only communicated with the twisting sounds of its ropes.
- Sand golem: Sand golems were incredibly evasive constructs that were more intelligent than most golems and could transform into storms of sand.
- Serpentflesh golem: This automaton was a grisly assortment of decaying serpentine body parts grafted together into a gruesome form.
- Shadesteel golem: Crafted from metal mined and forged entirely on the Plane of Shadow, these silent and powerful guardians were sometimes created by necromancers and powerful undead. They were very stealthy creatures which floated about.
- Stained glass golem: Made out of stained glass and built to harmonize with a structure's decor so that their presence was not obvious, these were flat, two-dimensional replicas of living beings. When they moved, they produce a tinkling sound like that made by delicate crystal.
- Stone golem: Golems of stone were twice as powerful as those of flesh. They were highly resistant to attacks because of their stone composition. They did not revoke their creators control like flesh and clay Golems.
- Tombstone golem: Powerful guardians which were constructed from grave headstones. They were able to slay living beings with the negative energy that empowered them through their powerful strikes.
- Web golem: Built by drow sorcerers, these were approximately humanoid and were built from masses of spider web. They typically had eight eyes about their head and poisonous spiders fangs.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
- Eric Cagle (2005-11-08). Winning Tactics against Golems. Tactics and Tips. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2019-10-20.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 134–137. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
- Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 10–15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 57–59.
- Obsidian Entertainment (October 2006). Designed by Ferret Baudoin, J.E. Sawyer. Neverwinter Nights 2. Atari.
- Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt (April 2003). Fiend Folio. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7869-2780-1.
- Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
- Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 19, 2009). Monster Manual 2 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 0786995101.
- Greg Bilsland (September 2008). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Mindless Monstrosities”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #367 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43.
- Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
- David Wise ed. (December 1994). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One. (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 156076838X.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 70.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 59–60.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 61–64.
- Greg Bilsland (September 2008). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Mindless Monstrosities”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #367 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 43–44.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 60–61.
- Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 81–83. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
- Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- James Wyatt (September 2002). City of the Spider Queen. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-1212-X.
- Eric Cagle (December 2002). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Construct of Destruction”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #302 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 57.
Connections[edit | edit source]
Flesh (Blood • Brain • Demonflesh • Fiendish flesh • Nyraala) • Gemstone (Diamond • Emerald • Ruby)
Gloom • Hammer • Iron (Furnace) • Lightning • Magic • Minogon • Necrophidius • Sand • Scarecrow • Siege golem • Snow
Stained glass • Stone (Spiderstone • Stone guardian • Stone juggernaut) • Thayan golem • Vault guardian