Half-golems are the results of good-intentioned actions taken too far. While the application of a poultice infused with curative herbs or the casting of a spell can save the life of an injured or diseased person, only powerful magic can replace a missing limb. Such magic is often beyond the reach of the ordinary person working in a quarry or a mill, or scything a field of grain, who suffers the loss of one or more limbs.

Arcane artisans applied their knowledge of golem construction to come up with a way to restore such a person to wholeness. While the initial results were promising, there was a limit to the effectiveness of the technique - many people who received one or more new limbs through this process proved unable to withstand the trauma of the transformation and became permanently evil as a result. Individuals of evil intent now exploit this limitation, purposely creating ravening, unholy crosses between living beings and golems.


There are two steps to making a half-golem. The first is constructing the limbs, and the second is attaching the limbs.

Molding a limb from clay, preparing one made of flesh, carving it from stone, or forging it from iron requires an appropriate skill (see the specific half-golem descriptions for details) and can be done by anyone. Infusing a formed limb with magic requires the Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor fears. It takes one month to complete the magical rituals. The creator must labor for at least 8 hours each day in a specially prepared laboratory or workroom. The chamber is similar to an alchemist's laboratory and costs 500 gp to establish.

When not working on the rituals, the creator must rest and can perform no other activities, just as if he or she were creating a golem. As with a golem, if the creator is personally constructing the limbs, he or she can perform the building and the rituals together.

Once created, the limbs are treated as spell completion items. Any character capable of casting the appropriate level of spell (see specific descriptions) can attach a limb. All that's left to do is perform the final gestures and speak the words needed to imbue the limb with magic. All the limbs to be attached to a particular body must be of the same type - it's not possible, for instance, to attach a limb made of iron to a half-golem that already has a new limb made of stone. Any such attempt automatically fails, leaving the second type of limb unattached.

The Danger

Each time a limb is attached to his or her body, the recipient makes a Will save. The DC of the save varies according to the number of new limbs the character has received.

First new limb15
Second new limb19
Third new limb25
Fourth new limb33
Fifth new limb43
Sixth new limb55

A character who succeeds at all the saves he or she is required to make takes on the attributes of a half-golem as described below - except that the character retains his or her alignment, gains a +4 bonus to Constitution, and does not change type or gain construct traits. As soon as the character fails one of these required saves, he or she becomes a half-golem of neutral evil alignment. The character then has no Constitution score and the character's type changes to construct, granting him or her construct traits. A neutral evil half-golem retains the memories and knowledge of its former life, but its personality becomes murderous and cruel. It demonstrates the hatred of flesh creatures common to elementals, and it seeks methods appropriate to its class to slaughter as many flesh creatures as possible.

Creating A Half-Golem

"Half-golem" is a template that can be added to any animal, beast, giant, humanoid creature, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid (referred to hereafter as the character). There is no minimum level or Hit Dice requirement to become a half-golem. The character's type changes to construct once a Will save is failed. Each half-golem takes on the characteristics of a particular type of golem (flesh, clay, stone, or iron) as described later in this section.

A half-golem's abilities are primarily those of the character, with the following exceptions.

Hit Dice: Same as character.

Initiative: Same as character -1, to account for the half-golem's reduced Dexterity (see Abilities, below).

Speed: Same as character, but a half-golem cannot run.

AC: A half-golem replaces any natural armor bonus it may have had with a new natural armor bonus that varies according to its type (see the table below). The change to Dexterity (see Abilities, below) also affects the half-golem's Armor Class.

Attacks: Same as character.

Damage: Same as character.

Face/Reach: Same as character.

Special Attacks: Same as character (and see the table below).

Special Qualities: Same as character; plus construct traits (upon a failed Will save), damage resistance (see table below), and others by type (see table below).

Saves: A half-golem gains a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves; otherwise same as character.

Abilities: Half-golems have -2 Dex, +4 Con (or no Con upon a failed Will save), -6 Int, +0 Wis, and -6 Cha. Strength varies by type (see the table below). The number of limbs attached does not alter a half-golem's Strength score.

Skills: Same as character, modified by new ability modifiers. The drop in Intelligence does not retroactively remove skill points spent.

Feats: Same as character.

Climate/Terrain: Same as character.

Organization: Solitary pair, or squad (5-20).

Challenge Rating: Same as character +3.

Treasure: Standard.

Alignment: Same as character (if all Will saves succeed) or always neutral evil (if any Will save fails).

Advancement: By character class.


A half-golem fights as the character from which it is created. Half-golems are usually straightforward, unsubtle combatants that rely on their great strength to win the day. They rarely use teamwork or cooperation, even when banded together.

Construct Traits: A half-golem is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. The creature is not subject to critical hits, subdual 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. A half-golem has dark-vision (60-foot range). Magic Immunity (Ex): Half-golems completely resist all magical and supernatural effects, except as noted in the appropriate golem descriptions.

Half-Golem Characters

Half-golem characters are shunned by society, so they either seek revenge against the world around them or retreat from it. Those who seek revenge generally become fighters or rogues. Those who retreat from it become barbarians, rangers, or druids. A rare few become, or remain, evil clerics.

Common Half-Golems
Natural armor+5+7+9+11
Special attacks-WoundSlowBreath weapon
Damage reduction5/silver10/silver15/+125/+2
Special QualitiesBerserkBerserk, haste, immune to piercing and slashing-Rust vulnerability
Magic immunityAs flesh golemAs clay golemAs stone golemAs iron golem

Template Index