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A golem is a construct, a magically created monster in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. They are based upon the golems of Jewish mythology. There are four standard types of golems; these are (from weakest to strongest): flesh golems, clay golems, stone golems, and iron golems. All but the flesh golem are created from earthen components: clay, stone and iron respectively (and obviously). The flesh golem is created from human remains. In addition to these four types of golems, literally countless other types exist (see below).

The creator of a golem (typically a wizard or cleric) has control over the golem. The control of flesh golems and clay golems has a chance of being voided proportional to the length of time the golem is used in combat.

All golems have a neutral alignment.

In the discontinued Basic Dungeons & Dragons, there were similar enemies known as living statues, which included crystal, iron, and rock types. Crystal statues were the weakest but could be made to appear as anything, including humans. Iron statues were perilous to attack, as non-magical metal weapons had a change of being stuck in them and could only be removed upon the statue's death. Rock statues were the toughest and could shoot lava balls.

Types of Golems

The clay golem, flesh golem, iron golem, and stone golem are the most common types of golems and are those that appear in the 3.5 Edition Monster Manual. In addition to these, literally countless other golems made from all kinds of materials have appeared in supplement books and older editions and such. Below is a list of the known golems sorted by source.

Golems from 3.5 Edition Monster Manual

Flesh Golems

Flesh golems are created from various pieces of human remains, similar to Frankenstein's monster. If control over the flesh golem is lost it goes berserk, attacking friends and enemies indiscriminately.

Clay Golems

Clay golems are made of clay and created by clerics. There is a cumulative chance each melee round that a clay golem will be possessed by a chaotic evil spirit. If this happens control is lost and the golem attacks the closest living creature. They may only be harmed with blunt weapons. Given its creative components, and the fact that it must be created by a divine spellcaster, this golem is mostly likely representative of the traditional Jewish golems, including the Golem of Prague.

Stone Golems

Stone golems are made of stone and are twice as strong as flesh golems. They are resistant to attacks because of their stone composition. Stone golems do not revoke their creator’s control like flesh and clay golems.

Greater Stone Golems

These colossi of granite are the largest and most fearsome of stone golem created. They are often used to guard royal tombs, magical armories, and similar places of ancient power.

Iron Golems

Iron Golems are made of iron and are among the strongest type of golem. They never revoke the control of the wizard that created them. An iron golem is three times as strong as a flesh golem.

Golems from 3rd Edition Monster Manual II

Brass Golems

Made of brass, these are created to fulfill one goal, set at the time of their creation, and wait with absolute patience until activated to perform this task.

Chain Golems

Creatures of the Kytons made out of chains, these serve as bodyguards for devils and as guardians of unholy places. They are composed entirely of shifting chains that vary in size and shape.

Dragonflesh Golems

Made out of the remains of dead dragons, these creatures can remember more complicated commands than most golems can, but because they cannot think, they obey commands to the letter rather than evaluating the intent.

Stained Glass Golems

Made out of stained glass and built to harmonize with a structure’s decor so that their presence is not obvious, these are flat, two-dimensional replicas of living beings. When they move, they produce a tinkling sound like that made by delicate crystal.

Golems from Monster Manual III

Alchemical Golems

Weighing eight hundred pounds, these are composed from a single tough membrane in the shape of a humanoid and are filled with toxic liquids.

Gloom Golems

Misshapen brutes with taut flesh on which visages press out from beneath as though trapped within. Its “face” is a gaping orifice from which howls of pain issue. These creatures thrive on the despair they inflict on others. Their aura and touch can crush the personality and life out of an adventurer.

Hangman Golems

Composed of ropes that are twisted and wrapped into a humanoid figure. Their ropes become a dangerous whirlwind when they engage in combat.

Mud Golems

Anthropomorphic creatures composed entirely of mud, with crude limbs and plain faces.

Prismatic Golems

These appear as a ten-foot diameter sphere of scintillating, multicolored light. These constructs of pure light strike with tendrils of prismatic force. Though unintelligent, they are imprinted with the moral code of their creator.

Shadesteel Golems

Crafted from metal mined and forged entirely on the Plane of Shadow, these silent and powerful guardians are sometimes created by necromancers and powerful undead. They are very stealthy creatures which float about.

Greater Shadesteel Golems

More powerful versions of common shadesteel golems.

Web Golems

Built by drow sorcerers, these are approximately humanoid and are built from masses of spider web. They typically have eight eyes about their head and poisonous spiders fangs.

Golems from Monster Manual IV

Fang Golems

The creation of druids, shaped to resemble a wild beast, composed entirely of claws. These are often set to guard druid groves. They are tenacious, strong, and mindless combatants.

Golems from 3rd Edition Fiend Folio

Blood Golems of Hextor

Made of the coagulated blood of sacrificial victims, girded in magical armor and bearing masterwork weapons, these bring death to enemies of Hextor's faith.

Brain Golems

A creation of the mind flayers, these exist purely for the desires of the illithids and are unswayed from their goals. The appear as a huge, burly humanoid with an oversized brain for a head. In fact, the whole body is made up of brain tissue. Brain golems are more intelligent than other golems.

Demonflesh Golems

Demonstrating truly fiendish grafting of demonic body parts assembled into a vile whole. These bear superficial resemblance to flesh golems. Most are reasonably intelligent.

Hellfire Golems

Built by devils, these appear as towering humanoid creatures that seem to be formed of brilliant lava and crumbling black crust. Most are reasonably intelligent.

Golems from 3rd Edition Draconomicon

Dragonbone Golems

Crafted from the skeletons of one or more dragons and wired together into a gruesome whole, these are easily mistaken for skeletal dragons or dracoliches. They wade into combat without hesitation as commanded by their creators.

Drakestone Golems

Appearing as beautifully crafted statues of dragons whose muscles look like rippling stone flesh when they move in motion. Their breath can petrify flesh.

Ironwyrm Golems

An animated, self-contained furnace built into the shape of a dragon. Smoke trails from its nostrils except when the creature is at rest, and when animate, it exudes a palpable heat.

Golems from Libris Mortis

Grave Dirt Golems

Composed of magically coherent grave earth, these constructs leave soiled wounds which are suffused with negative energy to further harm their foes.

Tombstone Golems

Powerful guardians which are constructed from grave headstones. They are able to slay living beings with the negative energy that empowers them through their powerful strike.

Golems from Frostburn

Ice Golems

A humanoid formed of roughly chiseled ice, standing nine feet tall and weighing around eight hundred pounds. They appear to be normal ice sculptures when at rest.

Golems from Sandstorm

Sand Golems

These golems are human-like in shape and weigh roughly twelve thousand pounds. They are entirely constructed of sand and leave trails of the substance in their wake. They are constantly surrounded by dust cloud and their suffocating embrace has felled many opponents.

Golems from Stormwrack

Coral Golems

Resembling aquatic sea-creatures in shape, such as fish or crabs, these are made entirely of living coral. They are created by sea druids to guard threatened aquatic regions or to attack the ships of intruders.

Golems from Epic Level Handbook

Adamantine Golems

Appearing as a huge iron golem, but with the unique sheen of adamantine. Their steps cause the ground to tremble.

Mithril Golems

Fashioned of mithril, these golems often resemble sleek humanoids. It moves with agility that belies its size. They are deadly foes, especially to those who expect them to be ponderous like an iron golem.

Golems from Arms and Equipment Guide

Equine Golems

Golems shaped as heavy warhorses. They are faster and more agile than a regular golem, but less durable. They are crafted from thick hardwoods and an animating air elemental spirit.

Golems from Magic of Incarnum

Incarnum Golems

Towering humanoid forms that resemble smoky glass plates reinforced with shimmering metal bands. Within them is bound spirit energy which allows the golem to adapt its attacks to fit the situation.

Golems from Heroes of Horror

Cadaver Golems

Misshapen constructs easily mistaken for flesh golems, but they are more intelligent and dangerous, capable of making use of the skills and abilities of those who contributed to its body. These creatures constantly seek out humanoids who boast talents that it wishes to possess.


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