Golems 201 -- A Historical Reference
Part Five: Tod
By Mark A. Jindra

To wrap up this series of articles I decided to give you one more variant on the iron golem (my favorite type). I felt that I should end with a lesson on the dangers inherent in the construction of golems.

Part Five

Good morning, everyone. I would like to start by thanking each of you for your devotion to this class. I have confidence that all of you will do quite well in Golems 301 -- Rituals. Our final review was on our friend Tod, and all of you did an excellent job researching his history. However, instead of reading one of your papers I thought instead I would read you some entries from my journal.

Tod (From the Journal of Hollison D’Erbauer)

The townspeople have told me that a war is brewing; the mayor believes that our fair city may be in the path of a great evil before the year is done. I fear that I may have to leave my home soon. Perhaps I can create a golem to aid in the city’s defense.

The blacksmiths of the town have been very busy fashioning armor and weapons, and do not have the time or resources to devote to creating me a golem body. But today I received a note from my brother Darren, who claims to have found a magnificent body of an iron golem for me. He has purchased it and expects to be here in the next few days to help me with the ritual.

Darren was right. He did indeed find a magnificent specimen: 28 feet tall, covered in runes, a head fashioned as a great armored helm, its entire skin the color of the darkest night.

I have begun preparations for the ritual. I do not know whether the runes on the golem’s body will cause any problems, but there is precious little time left. With the modifications I have made, I should complete the ritual only days before the city comes under siege.

The ritual is complete, and I must prepare to take my place in defending the city. I have sent my creation to stand watch at the city gates in hopes that I am not too late.

When I arrived at the city gates, our defenses had just engaged the attackers. I could see that my creation had moved into the middle of the fray. A lightning bolt cast by an enemy mage struck him, but instead of slowing him it only seemed to enrage him. The runes on his body began to glow as though the metal grew hot, and a yellowish green mist poured from the openings in his body. I immediately recognized this ghastly cloud.

The battlefield filled with the fog as my creation fought onward, unaware that his attack was killing friend and foe alike. I tried to order him to stop his fog attack when I was struck from behind. My attacker caught me unawares; my weakened state triggered my contingency -- sending me to the safety of my keep.

When I awoke, the battle had ended and my brother was dressing my wounds. He explained that I had been unconscious for several hours. My recollection of events at the battlefield were hazy at first, but unfortunately my memories fully returned in time.

After a few days of rest, I felt well enough to leave the safety of my keep and returned to the battlefield. There stood my creation, surrounded by hundreds of corpses. How could I have let this happen? I caused the death of these people.

Conclusion

We have only scratched the surface of the history of golems and their construction, but it is my hope that you have learned much about how exacting this field of study can be. The rewards can be great; however, failure to devote oneself fully to this art can end in disaster.

Iron Golem

Tod

Large Construct

Huge Construct

Hit Dice:

18d10 (99 hp)

38d10 (209 hp)

Initiative:

-1 (Dex)

-2 (Dex)

Speed:

20 ft. (can’t run)

20 ft. (can’t run)

AC:

30 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +22 natural)

31 (-2 size, -2 Dex, +25 natural)

Attacks:

2 slams +23 melee

2 slams +40 melee

Damage:

Slam 2d10+11

Slam 2d10+14

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.

10 ft. by 10 ft./15 ft.

Special Attacks:

Breath weapon (poison gas)

Berserk, cloudkill

Special Qualities:

Construct, magic immunity, damage reduction 50/+3, rust vulnerability

Construct, magic immunity, damage Reduction 50/+3, rust vulnerability

Saves:

Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +6

Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +12

Abilities:

Str 33, Dex 9, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1

Str 41, Dex 6, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1

Climate/Terrain:

Any land

Any land

Organization:

Solitary or gang (2–4)

Unique (1)

Challenge Rating:

13

17

Treasure:

None

None

Alignment:

Always neutral

Neutral

Advancement:

19-24 HD (Large); 25-54 HD (Huge)

Combat

Iron golems are mighty combatants. They strike with deadly accuracy and incredible force. Their bodies are nearly invulnerable but can be reduced to piles of rubbish by rust monsters.

Magic Immunity (Ex): Tod is immune to all spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural effects, except as follows. An electricity effect causes Tod to become berserk with no saving throw. A fire effect cures 1 point of damage for each 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. For example, a iron golem hit by a fireball cast by a 5th-level wizard gains back 6 hit points if the damage total is 18. The golem rolls no saving throw against fire effects.

Berserk (Ex): When Tod is struck by an electricity effect its elemental spirit breaks free and goes 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. In this berserk state, a cloud of gas emanates from the runes in Tod’s body and the golem becomes hasted. The golem’s creator, if within 60 feet, can try to regain control by speaking firmly and persuasively to the golem, which requires a successful Charisma check (DC 19). One minute of rest by the golem resets the golem’s berserk state.

Rust Vulnerability (Ex): An iron golem is affected normally by rust attacks, such as that of a rust monster or a rusting grasp spell.

Cloudkill (Su): Upon becoming berserk, gasses emanate from Tod’s body. The effect (save DC 29) lasts until the golem is no longer in a berserk state and otherwise functions the same as the spell.

Haste (Su): Upon becoming berserk, Tod is hasted per the spell. The effect lasts until the golem is no longer in a berserk state and otherwise functions the same as the spell.

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