A Stone Golem

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2008

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Writing role-playing books is not my day job"

Every so often, people nudge me regarding The Construct Toolkit. When will it be ready? How do you create Golems and Constructs in HARP? Etc. Fortunately for my bank balance, mortgage repayments, and everything else, writing role-playing books is not my day job. Unfortunately, that means there's only so much time that I can devote to writing role-playing books. There is a complete manuscript of The Construct Toolkit on my hard drive and in other safer places; interior and cover artwork was commissioned from Rick Hansen and is also safely squirreled away. So why am I not hitting the Go button yet? Well, for starters, one of the features of Construct Companion was that demons, elementals and other intelligent entities could be imbedded into golems and constructs. That means I need a mechanism by which characters can perform that imbedding, to wit appropriate spells. In fact, I need canonical spells in HARP to summon and control such entities. This part of the problem I can resolve through Something Wicked with the Demonologist profession and Elemental-related spells for the Witch/Warlock and the Elementalist.

I do have a more philosophical issue. Rolemaster does not have hard guidelines on creating monsters. Construct Companion considered golems and constructs to be a form of magical item first and foremost (because they are) and its approach with spell lists, creation levels, and entity stats determined through the tables and formulae works well (I believe) for Rolemaster. Now while I have been able to resolve the character mechanics (i.e. how a character creates a golem or a construct) in a way that is appropriate to HARP, there is a disconnect between artificial entities as exotic magical items (as statted up by my HARP conversion of the player mechanics) and artificial entities as monsters. HARP does have monster creation guidelines and templates for taking an existing creature and turning it into an Undead or Gigantic version. (And if we look further afield to HARP SF, robots are created using a version of the ordinary character creation rules.) It's this philosophical issue of how to make created entities more consistent with HARP monsters while still keeping their peculiar origin as created magical items that I need to resolve before I can really finish The Construct Toolkit and press that Go button.

Anyway, let's quickly build a Stone Golem using the current rules set.

Stone Golems are the favored artificial creations of mountain cultures, ranging from roughly hewn granite giants to exquisitely sculpted marble statues. Stone does not provide any special magical ability. It has a creation level of 7. Stone provides an intrinsic Defensive Bonus of 60, +0 bonus to Martial Arts Strikes and Crush/Bash attacks, a -20 penalty to Grapple attacks, and a -30 penalty to other attacks. A Medium-sized Golem has 180 concussion hits simply through being made of stone. If we stick with a humanoid golem of Medium size, the creation level remains at 7.

The default value of an entity's physical stats (Agility, Constitution, Quickness, and Strength) is 75 (just like organic monsters). The Golem's Stamina RR "racial" bonus is +10 (purely from stats) - Magic and Will RRs are dependent on the nature of the imbedded sentience, so they start at +0.

Assuming a six-foot tall Golem, the Base Movement Rate is 11' (10' from height and 1' from Quickness stat). The default Pace for a Golem is Run. Improving this to Dash increases the creation level by 3 to 10.

Our Stone Golem can carry up to 250 lbs.

The Stone Golem has the Immune to Stun Talent.

At a cost of 2 additional creation levels, we can add another 50 hits to the Golem raising its hits to 230 and creation level to 12.

The base OB for a Medium-sized humanoid Golem is 80 and this can be increased in steps of 10 (+1 creation level) per attack. Raising both Martial Arts Strikes and Bash attacks from 80 to 120 will add 4 creation levels each, making the total creation level 20. As a Golem, our entity cannot have mechanical abilities and we want to keep things simple so no magical powers.

By the existing rules set, a Golem without a resident imbedded spirit, demon, elemental or whatever is considered a 1st-level being for the purposes of posessing skill ranks and so forth. As most HARP monsters are built as Fighters, we'll do the same here. Thus we have:

Stone Golem:
Lvl: 1; Size: M; BMR: 11'; Init: +15; DB:65; Hits: 230; Attacks: 170-Martial Arts Strikes (Medium), 160-Medium Bash
Stamina: 15; Will: 5; Magic: 5
Talents: Immune to Stun, Survival Instinct, Tough Hide

That at least is what would be generated for a very basic Stone Golem using the current rules set in The Construct Toolkit. Though much weaker defensively and in terms of resistance than the Iron Golem published in the HARP core rulebook (which has more skill ranks from Survival Instinct and in its RRs due to its higher "level") this Stone Golem could still be a deadly opponent in melee combat.