Random Encounters09/01/2003


Golden Guardian

The adventurers moved past the smoldering body of the wyvern and into the treasure cavern. They had survived a great many monsters and traps to get this far, and the pile of gold before them was their reward. As the rogue began to pick up coins and examine them, the pile flowed together into a vaguely humanoid shape that took on more definition as the adventurers watched. When its form became completely humanoid, it extended a tentacle of golden coins and slapped the rogue hard. The adventurers scrambled to regroup before this new, and previously unseen, threat.

Gold Golem
Large Construct
Hit Dice: 10d10 + 30 (85 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 24 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +16 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 24
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+19
Attack: Slam +14 melee (2d10+8) or tentacle +4 melee (1d10+8)
Full Attack: 2 slams +14 melee (2d10+9), or slam +14 melee (2d10+8) and tentacle +9 melee (1d10+4), or 2 tentacles+14 melee (1d10+8)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Energy reflection, tentacle
Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 10/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., half damage from slashing weapons, immunity to magic, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 8, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1
Skills: --
Feats: --
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: Special
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 11-30 HD (Large), 31-50 HD (Huge))
Level Adjustment: --

This automaton appears to be made from thousands of gold coins, bars, and other golden objects. It is nearly twice the height of a normal human and glistens as the light reflects from its golden surface.

A gold golem has a humanoid body that is comprised of a very large number of gold coins, gold bars, gold jewelry pieces, or other golden objects of value. It appears as a humanoid with a featureless face. It wears no garments or armor.

A gold golem is constructed from the gold of a treasure pile. In its natural state it appears as a pile of treasure, and indeed its creator can remove golden coins or objects from the pile and spend them, thus robbing the golem of part of its body mass. When the treasure pile is disturbed by anyone other than the creator, it swirls and forms the golem's humanoid form, and attacks.

Gold golems understand the language of their creator, but do not speak. They do not eat, breathe, or sleep. They weigh at least 2,000 lbs, which is the weight of gold required to create them. Each additional 10,000 gp added to the golem increases its weight by 200 lbs.


The tentacle ability and their magical protections and energy reflection make gold golems a truly terrifying foe. Additionally, damaging a gold golem damages the treasure that makes up its body. Every 10 points of damage reduces the total worth of the treasure by 10,000 gp. If the golem is reduced to 0 hit points, it dissolves into its constituent treasure components, with the decrease in value from damage.

Tentacle (Ex): A gold golem can use part of its body to extend into a whiplike appendage and strike with a reach of 30 feet. The appendage is reabsorbed into the golem at the end of the attack. Using this attack provokes an attack of opportunity from foes that threaten the golem. The golem uses its Dexterity modifier to resolve tentacle attacks.

Energy Reflection (Ex): The gold in the golem's body is inert energetically. Thus, any energy attack directed at the golem is absorbed. From this energy, the golem first is healed 1 point for every 5 points of damage that the attack would have done. Once the golem is at full hit points, the remainder of the attack is reflected on the source as a free action in the same round. The golem must expel the extra energy every round; if somehow it is prevented from doing so then it takes half damage from the attack in the following round as the attack energy is forcefully dissipated.

Half Damage from Slashing Weapons (Ex): Because the golem's body is made of thousands of parts, slashing weapons pass through the body without causing as much damage as normal. The coins or objects part somewhat to let the slashing weapon through.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): A gold golem is immune to any spell or spell-like effect that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells or spell-like effects function differently against the golem, as described below.

Telekinesis can cause the golem to temporarily lose part of its form. Used in violent thrust option, the spell pushes 10,000 gp to 18,000 gp worth of the golem out of the golem's body for the duration of the spell (depending on caster level). This results in the golem suffering -1 to attacks and damage, and the temporary loss of 6 hit points. It also prevents the golem from using its ranged slam attack for the duration of the spell.

Transmute metal to wood does not change the golem's nature, but it does negate its magic immunity and damage reduction for 1 round.

Dismissal deactivates the golem for 1 round, returning it to a pile of golden objects.

Construct Traits: A gold golem is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. It cannot heal itself but can be healed through repair. It cannot be raised or resurrected.


To create a gold golem, one must have a minimum of 100,000 gold coins or gold in other forms that makes up the same mass. The gold becomes the body of the golem; there is no construction of a body. The creator can remove parts of this "body" at any time when the golem is not in humanoid form. The golem can be improved only through using more gold for the body. For each additional 10,000 gp added to the base requirement, the golem gains +1 HD (and 5.5 hit points). Additional Hit Dice increase the golem's abilities as noted under the rules for advancing monsters on page 294 of the Monster Manual. The only limit to the power of a gold golem is the amount of gold that can be amassed to make one. Gold golems cannot have additional treasure added to their bodies once construction is complete, so all the gold to be used must be present when the golem is made.

Spending the gold that makes up the golem reduces its size and power, at the same rate as additional gold adds to its statistics. If half or more of the gold is permanently removed by the creator, the golem is destroyed. Any gold removed cannot be returned to the golem.

A gold golem is always created with the default instruction to defend itself from anything other than its creator. Control of the golem can be passed to another only if the treasure hoard that makes up its body is given to another; whoever controls the gold controls the golem.

CL 16th; Craft Construct (see page 303 in the Monster Manual), animate objects, limited wish, polymorph any object, Bigby's clenched fist, caster must be at least 16th level; Price equals value of gold used to create it; cost equals the value of gold plus an additional 25% of the gold's value (for components) plus 4,000 XP. Additional gold used in the construction adds 400 XP per 10,000 gp added.

Bringing the Parts Together

Rassin, on a mission to steal something, could need the characters' help against the gold golem. Or, the characters could be in a dungeon and use a gold finder spell to locate a treasure hoard that just happens to rise up and attack. . . .

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