Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On Golems

Golems. For some reason, I really like the idea of building a golem. Selecting the parts carefully, casting the final enchant or screwing the last screw, and seeing the result come to some semblance of life, I think, would be a very rewarding experience to any roleplayer. How do you build a golem?

First, you choose what kind of golem you want to make. Engineered golems would be made of some kind of metal, with perhaps stone and / or wooden parts. Magical golems could be made of magical rocks and crystals, or perhaps more mundane materials enchanted and alchemically enhanced. Rarer materials could be used to obtain desired results, like bones, leather, perhaps some magical jewelry. Or perhaps you want to mix many types, to have a partially engineered and partially magical golem. You just decide on what you want and start working.

First, the casing. How big a golem do you want? If you're a neophyte golem crafter, better stick with small golems. A henchmule golem or lab assistant (if you have a need of those) would certainly come in handy. Perhaps you want to fight; then make a fighting golem. Will it be made of adamantium and smash at enemies? Perhaps he'll carry firearms and send death from afar, or carry explosives and kamikaze at unsuspecting foes. Or perhaps it'll wield magic - sending fireballs from behind, or electrifying enemies on touch, while preventing them from reaching you. You just have to choose parts and functions, like any crafting skills - except that many of the parts will have to be built separately, since a golem is such a costly creation.

Once your golem is built, you have to command it. You can't take too many golems with you, since you can only command so many at once; the amount you can command depends on your Golem Crafting skill and, as a bonus, commanding golems allow you to train your skill, at low level. And if you want to upgrade it, just remove some parts (arms, legs, anything that isn't essential) and replace them with bigger, better ones.

What about those who have really invested in golem crafting, is there anything more for them? Well, you could always have specific-function golems - a golem enchanted with air magic could allow you to travel much faster, while a golem made of wood could double as a picnic table. And if you're really good at crafting golems, and are ready to invest a large amount into one, there's another possibility. Instead of commanding the golem, you can ride inside it. With levers (for engineered golems) or command crystals (magical golems), you control the golem from the inside. There are, of course, many advantages to this. For one, the golem protects you from battles. It is also much more intelligent, since you control it directly, and if it is magically charged, you can add your own magic regeneration to its powers, increasing its resilience and devastation potential. The look on the faces of your allies when you come charging into battle in a 10-tons machine of destruction is just another bonus.

What if you don't have enough Golem Crafting skill to make a decent golem, but want a powerful one anyway? Well, you can get help. Hire a golem artisan to make a greater golem for you; as long as you have the skill to command it, it should be fine. Be ready to pay a bundle, of course, but at least you'll get some decent skillups for commanding it...

Such powerful creations, of course, come at a price. For one, once destroyed, the golem is no more. You can pick up parts from the remains if you want, but a new golem will have to be built. Also, golems are not perfect. Wood golems are flamable, rock golems are smashable, magical golems are dispellable or disruptable while necromantic golems are smitable... You have to choose your golem according to what you're facing, unless you can decide what to face according to your golem...

In the end, golem Crafting is just another way of making the game more entertaining, and another possibility for the player who doesn't like being just average. After all, why should NPCs have all the fun?

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