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Golemancy

A magical precursor to robotics, Golems are made by inscribing magical runes in certain materials, which gives them a humanoid shape and a life of their own. While limited in abilities by the materials they are made from, they are still widely used today as "the poor man's robot" due to their relative ease of construction and high usefulness. While it is theoretically possible to have a golem made from almost any material, only four have proven to be the most useful: obsidian, stone, ice, and wood, which can be used to forge Magma, Stone, Ice, and Windwood golems respectively.   In order to craft a golem, one must first have a golemancer's chisel and a hammer. While it is not necessary, it is often helpful to have a book of golem runes as a reference tool. The crafter must inscribe the needed runes into their chosen material with the chisel, and then say the following chant: "Ooraka du, vo sheena!" Once the chant is said, the user must strike the chisel in the approximate center of the runes inscribed, and the runes will glow as the rearrange the material into a humanoid shape.   There are four types of golems that can be crafted by players in Star System Epsylon, which requires an Average (dd) Knowledge check.  

Magma Golem

Crafted from Obsidian, Magma Golems have the powers and temperament of fire and lava. While undyingly loyal to their masters, like all golems, they have a bad habit of ignoring orders and attacking anything that could vaguely be perceived as a threat against them. This does not make them dumb by any means, quite the opposite in fact. They are very calculating when attacking, but do not always consider the full consequences of their actions. Despite their temperment, they do have uses in industry and construction, and they will fight to the death to defend their masters without a second thought.

3 2 3 2 1 1
1 8 11 0 0
  • Skills: Golemancy 2, Brawl 2, Athletics 2
  • Talents: None
  • Abilities: Elemental Weakness: Magma Golems take double Water and Land damage, before applying soak.   Elemental Resistance: Magma Golems take half Ice and Plant damage, before applying soak.   Golemantic Powers: Magma Golems can use certain golem magic using their Golemancy skill, which is linked to their Intellect.
  • Equipment: None
Ice Golem

Crafted from ice, Ice Golems move like a glacier, but are calculating and patient. While not as resilient as Stone Golems, they can take a good amount of hits before being defeated, and use this time to study their opponents and look for crucial weaknesses. When they do attack, they strike with surgical precision. They are often used in maintenance, as their keen senses allow them to detect problems within a complex system in a few hours, as opposed to several days by even the best of mechanics.

2 1 2 4 2 1
1 10 11 0 0
  • Skills: Golemancy 2, Brawl 2, Perception 2
  • Talents: None
  • Abilities: Elemental Weakness: Ice Golems take double Fire and Sonic damage, before applying soak.   Elemental Resistance: Ice Golems take half Plant and Electric damage, before applying soak.   Golemantic Powers: Ice Golems can use certain golem magic using their Golemancy skill, which is linked to their Cunning.
  • Equipment: None

Stone Golem

Crafted from common rocks or boulders, Stone Golems are slow in every sense of the word, but at least twice as strong. They rarely move without orders, except to defend their master from an obvious attack, and they have very little ability to think outside the box. Despite these drawbacks, they are the most commonly crafted of any golem, owing in large part to their peaceful nature, obedience, and versatile powerset. They are used in everything from construction to landscaping, and can take a massive amount of hits before falling.

4 1 1 2 2 1
2 12 10 0 0
  • Skills: Golemancy 2, Brawl 2, Discipline 2
  • Talents: None
  • Abilities: Elemental Weakness: Stone Golems take double Plant and Water damage, before applying soak.   Elemental Resistance: Stone Golems take half Fire and Ice damage, after applying soak.   Golemantic Powers: Stone Golems can use certain golem magic using their Golemancy skill, which is linked to their Brawn.
  • Equipment: None
Windwood Golems

Crafted using very light wood, Windwood Golems have limited control of wind currents and plants, and the speed of a hurricane. They are as frail and light as a leaf, but fast enough so that hitting them at all becomes the main challenge. They are the only golems who rely solely on golem magic in battle, as their own physical strength is very limited. They are most used for surveying, scouting, and medical care.

1 4 2 2 2 1
0 8 12 0 0
  • Skills: Golemancy 2, Athletics 2, Coordination 2
  • Talents: None
  • Abilities: Elemental Weakness: Windwood Golems take double Fire and Ice damage, before applying soak.   Elemental Resistance: Windwood Golems take half Water and Electric Damage, before applying soak.   Golemantic Powers: Windwood Golems can use certain golem magic using their Golemancy skill, which is linked to their Agility.
  • Equipment: None

  There are a variety of ways to upgrade a golem, both during and after its initial crafting. However, some upgrades can only be applied during the crafting process, so it is recommended that the crafter have a solid idea of what they want their golem to do. All upgrades applied during the initial crafting increase the difficulty of the check by an amount listed beside it. Some upgrades are ranked, and can be applied a number of times equal to the rank, adding difficulty each time.   In addition, there is another subtype of upgrades: passive, which remain active constantly, and active, which require an order to activate. Active upgrades are generally called "moves," and a golem's master may order it to use a move by shouting its name and the target.  

Additional Armor

  Initial Only: Yes   Activation: Passive   Difficulty: +d   Rank: 3   Availability: All   Increases the golem's soak value by a number equal to the upgrade's rank.    

Elemental Punch

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +d   Rank: 1   Availability: Magma, Stone, Ice   Adds elemental damage to a golem's unarmed combat checks. The element type depends on the golem; Fire for Magma, Land for Stone, and Ice for Ice. To order a golem to use this move, replace "elemental" with the element the golem can use when commanding it. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an standard unarmed combat check of Average (dd) difficulty.    

Wind Shot

  Initial Only: Yes   Activation: Active   Difficulty: None   Rank: 1   Availability: Windwood   To make up for their inability to make effective physical attacks, Windwood golems come pre-packaged with a ranged attack that deals Wind Damage equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy. The golem must make an Easy (d) Golemancy check when attacking with it.    

Elemental Blast

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: All   This attack deals elemental damage equal to the stat linked to the Golemancy skill, and its element varies with each golem: Fire for Magma, Ice for Ice, Land for Stone, and Wind for Windwood. The golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check to use this attack.  

Uplifting Current

  Initial only: Yes   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Windwood   This move allows Windwood golems to fly by controlling the air around them. They can also use this to lift their masters and others as well, although this is a lot harder. The golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check, and add d for each additional individual being carried by the spell.  

Flaming Armor

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Magma   This move allows a Magma golem to cloak itself in flames, which deal Fire damage equal to the golem's Golemancy skill to anyone making an unarmed attack against them. This effect lasts until the end of the golem's next turn. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Vine Armor

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Windwood   This move allows a Windwood golem to wrap itself in spiky vines that deal Plant damage equal to its Golemancy skill to any unarmed attackers. This effect lasts until the end of the golem's next turn. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Stone/Ice Armor

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Stone, Ice   This move allows a golem to make a protective armor made of their element, which applies +2 soak, to their master, or whoever their master tells them to. The armor provided by Stone golems doubles soak against Fire and Ice damage, but halves soak provided against Plant and Water damage. The armor provided by Ice golems doubles soak provided against Plant and Electric damage, but halves soak provided against Fire and Sonic damage. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Wind Shear

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Windwood   This move allows a Windwood golem to send forth an extremely sharp gust of wind at a target. This attack deals Wind damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy, has a Vicious quality equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy, and has a critical rating of 2. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Vines

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Windwood   This move allows a Windwood golem to wrap a target in spiny vines, dealing Plant damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy. This attack also has the Ensnare Quality with a rating equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy. To successfully use this move, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy check.

Bullet Seed

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +ddd   Rank: 1   Availiability: Windwood   This move allows a Windwood golem to send a barrage of seeds against a target, dealing Plant damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy. This attack deals Plant damage and has the Auto-Fire quality. In order to successfully use this move, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy check.  

Fire Blast

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Magma   This move allows a Magma golem to send an explosive fireball at a target. This attack deals Fire damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy, has a Burn quality with a rating equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy, and has the Blast quality. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Magmelt

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +ddd   Rank: 1   Availability: Magma   This move allows a Magma golem to throw a sphere of fire that melts a section of floor into magma, which deals Fire damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy. This move also deals 10 times the damage to vehicles, and has a Breach quality with a rating equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy. To successfully use this move, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy check.  

Furrumi Purgatorio

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +ddd   Rank: 1   Availability: Magma   This move allows a Magma golem to make a giant sword made of fire and attack a target with it. This attack deals Fire damage equal to twice the stat linked to Golemancy, and has a Burn quality equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy. To successfully use this attack, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy Check.  

Stone Spike

  Initial Only: No   Activation: Active   Difficulty: +dd   Rank: 1   Availability: Stone   This move allows a Stone golem to attack by causing a large stone spire to erupt from the ground, which can also be used as cover after the fact. This attack deals Land damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Landquake

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +dd   Activation: Active   Rank: 1   Availability: Stone   This attack allows a Stone golem to either focus a ground tremor on a single target, or generate one that targets everyone around in in Short range. This attack deals Land damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy, and has the Knockdown quality. To successfully use this attack, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Stone Shatter

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +ddd   Activation: Active   Rank: 1   Availability: Stone   This move allows a Stone golem to take a loose boulder, around 5 ft. in diameter, shatter it, and send the fragments flying at a target. If a piece of stone is not available, one can be ripped from the ground, provided the ground is made of dirt, stone, or similar materials. This attack deals Land damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy, and has the Auto-Fire quality. To successfully use this move, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy check.  

Frost Beam

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +dd   Activation: Active   Rank: 1   Availability: Ice   This move allows an Ice golem to attack a target with a beam of elemental ice energy that freezes a foe. This attack deals Ice damage equale to the stat linked to Golemancy, and has the Ensnare quality with a rating equal to the golem's ranks in Golemancy. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy check.  

Ice Spike

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +dd   Activation: Active   Rank: 1   Availability: Ice   This move allows an Ice golem to generate a spire of ice from the ground and attack a foe with it. This spire can also be used as cover, provided it doesn't melt in the meantime. This attack deals Ice damage equal to the stat linked to Golemancy. To successfully use this move, a golem must make an Average (dd) Golemancy Check.  

Hydro Torrent

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +ddd   Activation: Active   Rank: 1   Availability: Ice   This move allows an Ice golem to attack with a high-pressure stream of water, conjured from the air. This attack deals Water damage equal to twice the stat linked to Golemancy. To successfully use this attack, a golem must make a Hard (ddd) Golemancy check.  

Increase Proficiency

  Initial Only: No   Difficulty: +d   Activation: Passive   Rank: 5   Availability: All   This upgrade allows a golem's master to increase its rank in a skill by one. To increase this skill, you must increase the Rank of this upgrade to the rank of the skill you wish to increase, and add 1. So, if you wanted to increase it's Perception skill from 2 to 3, you would give this upgrade a Rank of 3, and adjust the Difficulty accordingly. In order to upgrade a skill, the character must have some ranks in that skill, at least equal or greater than the rank they are trying to upgrade it to, so to upgrade a golem's Perception from 2 to 3, a character would need at least 3 ranks or higher in Perception themselves.   It is possible to give a golem a rank in a skill they do not have, but the character must that that skill themselves, and the initial difficulty for this is Hard (ddd). The Golemancy skill operates a bit differently; it requires a difficulty check decided as normal, but upgrading one die from d to c. There are some skills that a Golem cannot learn, these are: Arcana, Divine, Ki, Melee and all its subsets, Ranged and all its subsets, Piloting, Driving, and Operating.       It should be noted that moves that are added during the initial crafting require no strain to use, but any more installed afterwards requires the golem spend 2 strain to use it.

Utility

Golems are mainly used in construction, farming, and various other mundanities, although use in military and adventuring is just as common.
Access & Availability
Golemancy is available to almost anyone who can afford it, and is mainly used by farmers, construction workers, peacekeeping forces, and the military.

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Comments

Author's Notes

Is there anything unclear about this? Does everything seem balanced?


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17 Dec, 2018 14:48

I'm not really familiar with your RPG system to comment on that. So I'll stick to the concept itself.  

  • I enjoy golems. They're a big part of my own world as it happens. The concept of having different golems based on materials, with different uses and personalities is a fun one. I really enjoy it, and kudos to you for it. I was curious why you went with the types of golems you decided on?
  • Formatting wise, your opening paragraphs are too big. I suggest breaking them up a lot more. Smaller paragraphs generally means easier to read.
  • How intelligent are golems? It is mentioned they vary in intelligence, but compared to a human where do they rate? Dog-like, or are they fully sapient?
  • Utility could do with some expansion. How are they employed in these industries? What effect have they had on these industries?
  • I was curious about the mention of a golemancer's chisel. What makes a chisel special? Does it have to be enchanted or made from a special material to allow you to create a golem.
  • 17 Dec, 2018 18:43

    Thank you for reading and providing input, I shall try and answer your questions as best I can.   I decided on the golem types I did mainly based on what I thought would be easy to make one out of, and I'd say the most intelligent, Ice golems, are about monkey-level smart, while Stone golems are more dog-level smart. The other two fall somewhere in the middle.   I haven't really thought too much about what applications this could have in industry, maybe Magma golems can weld things, and Stone golems do a bunch of heavy lifting. The golemancer's chisel is magical, that's how it can inscribe the runes.

17 Dec, 2018 15:36

Unlike the different kinds and the article seems very thorough. How accurately do the runes have to be? Can unexpected results occur if you get too far off

17 Dec, 2018 18:44

The runes have to be pretty accurate, otherwise you may not get the result you want. Worst-case scenario, you break something important on the golem. Thank you for reading!

17 Dec, 2018 19:16

No problem. Sorry i can't contribute more. Work doesn't have many lulls where i can really dig. Another question i had but feared i may missed is whether anyone is working on new runes or types of golems.

17 Dec, 2018 20:13

I've decided that these will be the only ones available for player crafting, so I'm not sure if I'll add more types in the future. Only time will tell!

17 Dec, 2018 20:57

Cool cool. Good stuff.

17 Dec, 2018 20:57

Cool cool. Good stuff.

17 Dec, 2018 21:51

I'm not sure I can really add much that Xanthuss hasn't already covered. I too haven't come across the system before, but Golems/Constructs are something I've got to consider in my world soon so thanks for the inspiration!   I am just curious, is this entirely new, the Golemancy 'profession' or something you've embellished? There's a lot of details and aspects here, so either way, it's very impressive :)

17 Dec, 2018 23:10

Thank you for your feedback! I've been partially inspired by random bits about golems that I've seen in other works, from the ones in Terry Pratchet's novels to the ones in the Minecraft mod Thaumcraft. I did add my own bits, based mainly on what I think would be cool or fun to play with.