Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Complex Monsters II

Here's another attempt at a monster that would require more explanation to run.  In the last post the monster was complicated because it had something like a biological life cycle.  Complexity can also come from Magic and its quirky rules and steps, so let's explore that angle.  An older monster that might fit the bill is the Nested Golem.  I can imagine a seperate illustration for each stage making even more than a page possible to present it.  Here is a similar but slightly different Golem.  This one doesn't have actual physical stages but magical rule stages:

Hermetic Golem
The most learned of Kabbalists could not only make inert matter come to life, but make it impervious to harm.  Not completely impervious; always one secret way remained to make the creations able to be harmed.  Refinements to the process led these sages to layer the dweomers so that even if a person were to dicover the secret to harming the golem, another different secret awaited underneath.  Like tumblers in a lock these secrets must be presented in the right order:

Hit it with:
  1. a blunt weapon
  2. a sharp weapon
  3. magic
  4. wood
  5. iron
  6. earth
  7. water
  8. fire
  9. salt
  10. acid
Cause it to walk across:
  1. a map
  2. a piece of clothing that was worn by its maker
  3. a singular book
  4. salt
  5. accidentally spilled wine
  6. a poem written in chalk
  7. its shadow
  8. the shadow of a child
  9. the clothes of someone you love
  10. the hair of a dead family member
Do this aloud:
  1. speak it's name
  2. speak your name
  3. speak the name of its maker
  4. rebuke it in the language of its maker
  5. speak a secret word
  6. sing a song in the language of the maker
  7. recite the story of its making
  8. give the just reasons that you must pass
  9. laugh genuinely
  10. lists the names of your children awaiting you
Assign a d10 of a particular color to each list and roll them.  Determine from how they land what order they will be in.  This gives 1000 possible combination to get past the  Hermetic Golem.  Obviously some research or divination might be required.


  1. Very cool. Excellent concept.

  2. Very cool. Excellent concept.

  3. Very cool. Excellent concept.

  4. Thanks.

    @Rusty: I'm not sure if that was a mistake or just you unlocking me with hermetic praise ;)

  5. Whoops, I forgot the lists could be in any of the three positions, thanks for the correction, anon!

  6. Stooooooooolen.

    This reminds me of a clockwork golem I had in a 2nd ed AD&D game I ran in high school. The only way to stop it was for a thief to use his backstab ability to jam a blade or something into the gears, causing it to grind to a halt.

    (Well, high level magic would've have been able to destroy it, but the PCs were very low level.)

    Anyway, cool idea. :)

  7. Thanks. I like the idea of clockwork constructs and would like to make a dungeon that has some programmable by brass scrolls.