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Thread: I Am Golem

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  1. #1

    I Am Golem

    Before I go any further I want to confess that this is one of my favorite potential races. I can see where the concept has some limitations to overcome, but the idea of creating an army of metal men to overthrow the world Skynet style or to save the sentient races from themselves vis-a-vis I Am Robot is really cool IMO.

    To dive into the problems first (you guys will probably see more problems than I do, but I'll do my best) golem are just too powerful and in D20 they have no intelligence. They're so immune to everything in the universe it's ridiculous. You could throw the entire Mentalism school out of the window when facing them. Some of their lowest tier units would be top tier, so you wouldn't be able to build any units until your city was almost complete. So far it doesn't look like much of a faction option.

    So what can be done? Well, I would suggest following (loosely) the example D&D set with it's “living construct” sub-type. Now, we couldn't use it exactly for two reasons: First, it belongs to Wizards of the Coast (I think). Second, their implementation isn't a perfect fit for WoM.

    Once again, what do we do? Well, when I step out on new ground I start with the back-story first and work my way from there to mechanics and from there to balancing. So, let's say our construct race is “alive”. How did that happen? Some construct somewhere at sometime suddenly thought “Do I exist?” and BAM he thought therefor he was, thus becoming the first living construct. (We've seen this happen how many times before? Mr. Data, Hal 9000, MCP (Master Control Program), even R2D2 and C3PO.)

    Once he's alive he looses some immunities. Suddenly he has to wonder if those lights dancing around him are real or if they're just created by that man behind the curtain. He may also decide that he wants to run away from combat or spare the blubbering meat-bag before him. It opens up a whole load of new mechanics for weakening (and potentially strengthening) this new race.

    I like the idea because it's very open. Let's set “balancing” on the shelf for a few minutes and look at mechanics that are going to give us flavor. This Golem race doesn't “heal”. They can be repaired and you can build buildings to automate this process, but there is no natural healing. We might want to have “repair golem” that can travel with an army and patch them up as they go along. They have no children. They have to invest production in procreation (you heard me!) Do they pay taxes? Probably. They're intelligent. Sometimes they want to buy that ivory backscratcher even if it's just because they want to show they're human friends they have money. Mana feeds their existence, so they have to produce and consume mana. Do they wear armor? Some would. Their “natural” armor class wouldn't really add to AC it would add to damage reduction. If one gets chopped in the arm he may resist the damage, but he's still been chopped in the arm. Personally I would put on armor even if I was made out of stone. Let them chop on dead metal rather than living stone. What races do they like/dislike? I think I would friendly up to dwarves. There could be a lot of benefits, “Look at what Angus made me! I've never seen a better crafted foot!”

    There's a lot to think about. I like the idea. What do you guys think? If we go with it what suggestions do you have for units? What should the theme be?

    As always, I'm listening.

  2. #2
    Acolyte
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    As once I wrote golems/halfmechanic beings as a faction is not a good idea in my opinion. For me it collides with the MoM heritage.
    I agree that a faction like that brings a lot of exciting questions but seriously in a classic fantasy setting -which MoM's world is- they have no place.

  3. #3
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    In my mind, as in D20, Golems are powerful creatures. I like the idea they are created by dwarves, it's true to MoM and it's been cemented in my head by Dragon Age and other lore. I wouldn't mind other faction wizards being able to create them as well via finding Golem manuals (items) or possibly even a high level earth spell or similar but I don't really picture a spearman type (as far as strength) golem. I had a similar weakness with Draconians though and they are quite popular so I'll just defer to the masses. I do think of them though as fantasy robots (which is supported by many of your comparisons) and while I don't mind them as rare high level units having an entire faction of the "robots" running around for me is something I'm not a huge fan of in the fantasy setting. While I'm not a fan of Eberron it's quite popular and players can play as warforged (basically golems) from level 1 so perhaps there is your solution for inspiration.

    I definitely want to see golems in the game, I'm just not big on an entire faction of them.

  4. #4
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    How about something like, King Acydune De Lavin, whose kingdom was falling to the great plague was convince by the High Priestess that her god/goddess had given her a plan to save the kingdom by transferring the soul/ essence of the people in stone/ metal / wood golems. The upper class into metal the middle class into stone, lower class into wood. Then you could go on to say the only way to increase population would be to take captured people and turn them into to more golems. I am sure people with better writing skills can come up with some flowery way to say it. But it gives it a fantasy vibe and away to expand the type of units.

  5. #5
    In my mind Golems are squarely in the fantasy category (good backstory Rybon). However, it seems that not everybody feels that way, lol. I've been fighting Iron Golems in D&D games for more than 20 years. They're fairly common in Forgotten Realms. Either way, they shouldn't feel "robotish" (I know all my examples were robots! You don't have to mention it! Give me break! I've been working all day on this game you know!!! Lol.) They are supposed feel "magical". Still, if we can't shake the "robot" feel I would rather avoid them as a race. There are still going to be constructable golems in the game. (They were in MoM after all, as was mentioned before.)

  6. #6
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    If you're going to have Iron Golems though... you absolutely must have Rust Monsters, rofl.
    Also along Rybon's lines it would be interesting to see what 'Warp Wood' did to a Wood Golem, or for that matter the Undead faction could use 'Stone to Flesh' to turn Dwarven Stone golems into Flesh Golems, rofl.

  7. #7
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    DLC this. Consider using a lore hybrid rather than a pure d20 golem type. By their very nature, golems are created by other beings as servants. I'm all about a mechanized race though, sounds awesome.

    Let's say that there is a backstory like Rybon's that we can use to flesh (heh) out the race, that would make it much easier than just coming up with stats, of which there could be millions of combinations. Hell even saying that they're in opposition to a specific race fills out many details by itself.

  8. #8
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    Oh good Idea. The plague could be sent to them by facation and now the are driven to kill that race no matter who stand between them and their curse givers.

  9. #9
    Interesting. DLC material though. That's certainly the way it's heading. Still, that will give us "Golem lovers" time to work out the details, lol.

  10. #10
    Abecedarian Mage Trudd's Avatar
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    I think golem could be a "good" or "neutral" version of the undead faction.
    Instead of coming from the death plane, they belongs naturaly to the earth plane.
    the main difference is their way of growing : killing people for the undead, ressource and mana for the golem

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