Elite Opponents
Flesh Golems
By Andy Collins

This column aims to provide DMs with interesting opponents to pit against the PCs in their campaigns. Building off of a simple base -- typically a standard monster from the Monster Manual -- each column uses the building blocks provided in the rulebooks to craft a variety of foes. Through the addition of class levels or templates, or even via simple HD advancement, the creatures presented in this column are transformed from run-of-the-mill opponents into memorable foes.

The Flesh Golem: An Undead That's Not Undead

In our final installment of Elite Opponents, we present the flesh golem -- an amalgamation of physical remains stitched together and animated through an arcane ritual. Though the flesh golem lacks the innate evil nature of an undead creature, it remains just as grotesque as any zombie.

This article offers four different versions of the flesh golem, each of which draws new and exciting powers from a different source. The challenge ratings for these enhanced flesh golems range from 5 to 11. Adding extra Hit Dice, templates, or class levels can further augment each golem's ability to challenge your PCs.

Fedder the Incarnate Flesh Golem

The incarnate golem (created with the incarnate construct template from Savage Species) is unsuited for social interaction. Though it gains sentience from the animation process, its ability to deal with others is severely hampered by both its physical appearance and its extremely weak personality. Most incarnate golems choose to live apart from society rather than face the constant reminders that they don't fit in. Some, however, find special niches in the world, often as mercenaries or adventurers.

The incarnate flesh golem known as Fedder puts his formidable strength to work for those who pay for his efforts. He often works as a bodyguard or enforcer, but sometimes he augments his earnings with income from adventuring.

Fedder may be used as a player character if desired. His effective character level is 8th.

Incarnate Flesh Golem Fighter: Male incarnate flesh golem fighter 1; CR 5; Large giant; HD 10d8+10; hp 85; Init -1; Spd 40 ft.; AC 27, touch 9, flat-footed 27; Base Atk +7; Grp +16; Atk +13 melee (3d6+8/19-20, +1 greatsword); Full Atk +13/+8 melee (3d6+8/19-20, +1 greatsword); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SQ low-light vision; AL N; SV Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 21, Dex 9, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 3.

Skills and Feats: Hide -10, Intimidate -1, Jump +4; Weapon Focus (greatsword).

Possessions:+1 full plate armor,+1 greatsword,ring of protection +1,cloak of resistance +1, 4 potions of cure light wounds, potion of rage, 3 oils of magic weapon, 100 gp.

Flesh Half-Golem/Half-Troll

Using foul arcane rituals, an unknown wizard once managed to override a troll's natural regenerative powers long enough to attach a dead limb to its body, thus converting it into a flesh half-golem (see the half-golem template in Monster Manual II). Perhaps thankfully, the wizard was slain by adventurers before he could continue his studies, but his horrible creation now wanders the countryside, confused by its bizarre existence.

Since this flesh half-golem has not yet failed a Will save for limb attachment, it has not become a full-fledged construct.

Flesh Half-Golem/Half-Troll: CR 8; Large giant; HD 6d8+48+15; hp 90; Init +1; Spd 30 ft. (can't run); AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +4; Grp +17; Atk +12 melee (1d6+9, claw); Full Atk +12 melee (1d6+9, 2 claws) and +7 melee (1d6+4, bite); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SA berserk, rend 2d6+9; SQ damage reduction 5/adamantine, darkvision 90 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision, regeneration 5, scent; AL CE; SV Fort +15, Ref +3, Will +3; Str 29, Dex 12, Con 27, Int 1, Wis 9, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Hide -3, Listen +5, Spot +6; Alertness, Iron Will, Track.

Berserk (Ex): When the flesh half-golem/half-troll enters combat, its elemental spirit has a cumulative 1% chance each round to break free, causing it to go berserk. The uncontrolled half-golem/half-troll goes on a rampage, attacking the nearest living creature or smashing some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach, then moving on to spread more destruction. Its creator, if within 60 feet, can try to regain control by speaking firmly and persuasively to it (DC 19 Charisma check to succeed). It takes 1 minute of inactivity by the flesh half-golem/half-troll to reset its berserk chance to 0%.

Rend (Ex): If the flesh half-golem/half-troll hits with both claws, it latches onto the opponent's body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d6+9 points of damage.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): A flesh half-golem/half-troll is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below. A magical attack that deals cold or fire damage slows it (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw. A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the flesh half-golem/half-troll and heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause it to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A flesh half-golem/half-troll gets no saving throw against attacks that deal electricity damage.

Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to the flesh half-golem/half-troll. If it loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. It can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

Corrupted Flesh Golem

Though they are usually neutral, golems that spend too much time guarding places of powerful evil can become twisted and malevolent. When a flesh golem is corrupted in such a manner, its form becomes even more misshapen and discolored than normal, sporting hideously bulging muscles under a hardened skin. This creature was created with the corrupted template from the Book of Vile Darkness.

Corrupted Flesh Golem: CR 10; Large aberration; HD 9d10; hp 79; Init -2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 17, touch 7, flat-footed 17; Base Atk +6; Grp +17; Atk +12 melee (4d6+7, slam); Full Atk +12 melee (4d6+7, 2 slams); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft.; SA berserk; SQ damage reduction 5/adamantine and magic, darkvision 60 ft., disruptive attack, fast healing 4, immunities (acid, magic), low-light vision; AL NE; SV Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +2; Str 25, Dex 7, Con --, Int --, Wis 9, Cha 1.

Berserk (Ex): When a corrupted flesh golem enters combat, its elemental spirit has a cumulative 1% chance each round to break free, causing it to go berserk. The uncontrolled corrupted golem goes on a rampage, attacking the nearest living creature or smashing some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach, then moving on to spread more destruction. The corrupted flesh golem's creator, if within 60 feet, can try to regain control by speaking firmly and persuasively to the corrupted golem (DC 19 Charisma check to succeed). It takes 1 minute of inactivity by the corrupted golem to reset its berserk chance to 0%.

Disruptive Attack (Su): The corrupted flesh golem deals 4 points of vile damage (see the Book of Vile Darkness) when it touches uncorrupted, living, corporeal nonoutsiders.

Fast Healing (Ex): The corrupted flesh golem regains hit points at the rate of 4 per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow a creature to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): A corrupted flesh golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below. A magical attack that deals cold or fire damage slows a corrupted flesh golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw. A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the corrupted golem and heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A corrupted flesh golem gets no saving throw against attacks that deal electricity damage.

Advanced Flesh Golem

Flesh golems constructed from the body parts of giants are even more massive and terrifying than the normal versions. Giant flesh golems tower over their enemies, using their titanic might to pound intruders into jelly. The Huge flesh golem presented here is the largest version that can be created, and it makes a formidable guardian indeed.

Huge Flesh Golem: CR 11; Huge construct; HD 27d10+40; hp 188; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 21, touch 8, flat-footed 21; Base Atk +20; Grp +38; Atk +28 melee (3d8+10, slam); Full Atk +28 melee (3d8+10, 2 slams); Space/Reach 15 ft./15 ft.; SA berserk; SQ construct traits, damage reduction 5/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, low-light vision; AL N; SV Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +9; Str 30, Dex 10, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1.

Berserk (Ex): When a Huge flesh golem enters combat, its elemental spirit has a cumulative 1% chance each round to break free, causing the golem to go berserk. The uncontrolled golem goes on a rampage, attacking the nearest living creature or smashing some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach, then moving on to spread more destruction. The golem's creator, if within 60 feet, can try to regain control by speaking firmly and persuasively to it (DC 19 Charisma check to succeed). It takes 1 minute of inactivity by the golem to reset its berserk chance to 0%.

Construct Traits: A Huge flesh golem has immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. It cannot heal damage but can be repaired.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): A Huge flesh golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below. A magical attack that deals cold or fire damage slows a flesh golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw. A magical attack that deals electricity damage breaks any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A Huge flesh golem gets no saving throw against attacks that deal electricity damage.

About the Author

By day, Andy Collins works as a developer in the Roleplaying R&D department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His credits include the Player's Handbook v.3.5, the Draconomicon, Unearthed Arcana, and the upcoming Libris Mortis. By night, however, he fights crime as a masked vigilante. Or maybe not.


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