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Construct Creature Month—Week One (November 2015)
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Construct Creature Month—Week One (November 2015)

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Four Horsemen Blog (November 2015)

Construct Creature Month Week 1 –  Elemental Golems

Welcome back to the Four Horsemen Blog for Creature Month! The first project the Four Horsemen ever conspired on was the Monster Menagerie: Construct Companion for Rogue Genius Games. To celebrate the positive reception of our first collaboration, we are focusing on constructs for the next four weeks!

For me, the most fascinating aspect to golems is one seldom addressed. To create a golem, a crafter takes an elemental spirit, and enslaves it within a physical body. The morality of such an action should be questionable, even if it something that tends to be hand-waved. The whole idea that there is an elemental being trapped screaming inside of your loyal mindless construct guardian fascinates me, and I try to touch on it with my writing when possible.

We begin with a new golem template allowing construct crafters to weaken elemental bindings for greater power, but also increased risk of the golem going berserk!  

Elemental Golem

Every golem is made by binding an elemental spirit to a construct body. An elemental golem is created when these bindings are purposefully weakened. The resulting golem possesses the powerful abilities of the elemental used to bind it, but also becomes more difficult to control.

Creating an Elemental Golem

Elemental golem is an inherited template that can be added to any construct with magic immunity that does not possess the version of the berserk special ability that results in permanent loss of control (as a clay golemB1).

CR: As base creature +1.

Type: When creating an elemental golem, the crafter must decide the elemental (air, earth, fire, or water) bound to the golem. The golem gains the elemental subtype chosen. This decision affects the resulting abilities gained as shown below.

Speed: The elemental golem gains a new movement type or speed increase by type, if the golem does not already possess a superior movement type or speed, as follows:

Air: fly 100 feet (good).

Earth: burrow 20 feet.

Fire: +30 feet to base speed.

Water: swim 90 feet.

Special Abilities: An elemental golem gains the following special abilities by type.

Berserk (Ex) All elemental golems gain the berserk special ability and control can be reestablished (as a flesh golemB1). If the base golem already possesses the version of the berserk special ability where control can be reestablished, then they instead gain the version that results in a permanent loss of control (as a clay golem). Golems that already possess the version of berserk where control cannot be reestablished cannot gain the elemental golem template as the bound elemental is already too loosely controlled to affect the resulting construct’s abilities.

Air: Elemental golems of the air type gain the air mastery ability as an air elemental, the whirlwind special ability as an air elemental of their size (or a greater elemental if their size is larger than Huge), immunity to cold, and a vulnerability to fire.

Earth: Elemental golems of the earth type gain Improved Bull Rush as a bonus feat, the earth glide, and earth mastery abilities.

Fire: Elemental golems of the fire type gain Improved Initiative as a bonus feat, the burn special ability as a fire elemental of their size (or a greater elemental if their size is larger than Huge), immunity to fire, and vulnerability to cold.

Water: Elemental golems of the water type gain the vortex and water mastery special abilities as a water golem of their size (or a greater elemental if their size is larger than Huge).

Abilities: Air and fire elemental golems gain +4 Dex. Earth and water elemental golems gain +4 Str.

Construction: The base golem’s cost is increased as if the golem’s CR was increased by 2, see Ultimate Magic for rules on building and modifying constructs.

Example Elemental Golems

GOLEM, AIR ELEMENTAL FLESH

Hard blasts of air whip around a hideous monstrosity crafted from ill-fitting body parts, held together with black stitches and flaps of skin.

Air Elemental Flesh Golem          CR 8

XP 4,800

N Large construct (air)

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 22, touch 10, flat-footed 21 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)

hp 79 (9d10+30)

Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +3

Defensive Abilities air mastery; DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits, magic*

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 100 ft. (perfect)

Melee 2 slams +13 (2d8+5)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks berserk, whirlwind (4 rounds/day, 10–40 ft. high, 2d8+5 damage, DC 19)

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 13, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +9; CMB +15; CMD 26
Skills Fly +7

Languages none

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary or gang (2–4)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Air Mastery (Ex) Airborne creatures take a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against an air elemental flesh golem.

Berserk (Ex) As clay golem.

*flesh golem ability


GOLEM, EARTH ELEMENTAL STONE

This towering stone automaton bears the likeness of an archaic, armored warrior. It passes through earth and stone without leaving a ripple in its wake.  

Earth Elemental Stone Golem     CR 12

XP 19,200

N Large construct (earth)

Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 26, touch 8, flat-footed 26 (–1 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)

hp 107 (14d10+30)

Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4

DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits, magic*

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., earth glide  

Melee 2 slams +24 (2d10+11)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks berserk, slow*

STATISTICS

Str 32, Dex 13, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +14; CMB +26; CMD 35

Feats Improved Bull RushB

Languages none

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary or gang (2–4)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Berserk (Ex) As flesh golem.

*stone golem ability


GOLEM, WATER ELEMENTAL ICE

The moving statue of ice chills and freezes the water around it, swimming swiftly like a miniature glacier.

Water Elemental Ice Golem        CR 6

XP 2,400

N Medium construct (cold, water)

Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (–1 Dex, +8 natural)

hp 53 (6d10+20)

Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +2

Defensive Abilities water mastery; DR 5/adamantine; Immune cold, construct traits, magic*

Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., swim 90 ft.

Melee 2 slams +11 (1d6+5 plus 1d6 cold)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks berserk, breath weapon* (20-ft. cone, 3d6 cold damage, Reflex DC 13 half, usable once every 1d4 rounds), cold* (1d6), icy destruction*, vortex (10–30 ft. high, 1d6+5 plus 1d6 cold damage, DC 18)

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 9, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 20

Skills Swim +7

Languages none

ECOLOGY

Environment any cold

Organization solitary or gang (2–4)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Berserk (Ex) As flesh golem.

Vortex (Su) A water elemental ice golem can create a whirlpool as a standard action at will. This ability functions identically to the whirlwind special attack, but can only form underwater and cannot leave the water.

Water Mastery (Ex) A water elemental ice golem gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. These modifiers apply to bull rush and overrun combat maneuvers, whether the elemental is initiating or resisting these kinds of attacks.

*ice golem ability


GOLEM, FIRE ELEMENTAL IRON

This iron automaton’s body glows a dull-red, heated from within like an oven. Its heavy footfalls scorch the ground beneath it.

Fire Elemental Iron Golem          CR 14

XP 38,400

N Large construct (fire)

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 30, touch 10, flat-footed 28 (+1 Dex, +20 natural, –1 size)

hp 129 (18d10+30)

Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +6

DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits, fire, magic*

Weaknesses vulnerability to cold

OFFENSE

Speed 50 ft.

Melee 2 slams +28 (2d10+16/19–20 plus burn)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Special Attacks berserk, breath weapon*, burn (1d8, DC 19), powerful blows*

STATISTICS

Str 32, Dex 13, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1

Base Atk +18; CMB +30; CMD 41

Feats Improved InitiativeB

Languages none

ECOLOGY

Environment any

Organization solitary or gang (2–4)

Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Berserk (Ex) As flesh golem.

*iron golem ability

Elemental golems introduce exciting dynamics into your use of constructs. The template adds new mechanics to golems, but as a GM or crafter you should also consider giving it a bit of personality or motivation to describe why it goes berserk. Does the fire elemental iron golem rage against containment and seek to burn, or does an earth elemental stone golem long to get back home?

Next week we introduce a non-mythic version of the abstraction template (first introduced in the Construct Companion)! We’ve all heard of golems composed of the elements or of sturdy and mystical materials. What about a golem partially composed of an idea? Thank you for reading!

 
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