According to the description of the golems as long as the initial CR rating is low and they don't possess more than 1 special quality then the golems are extremely cheap. (CR 1/4 golem would cost 62 gold.) Is it possible to make a low CR golem and use them as laborers while giving them sentience special quality so that they can be used on other jobs as well effectively replacing human labor for 62 gold per laborer?


Keep in mind a CR 1/4 golem would have very low stats so it would not be able to do many forms of labor.

Golem also cannot heal naturally and have low hp (around 4-6 at CR1/4) a cheaply made golem would be made of cheap and therefore weak material so yeah it costs 65 gold but it also wears out in a few weeks. This also means disgruntled laborers can very easily ruin your investment since even a 1st level hireling can probably destroy it in one hit.

Also keep in mind an untrained laborer costs 1sp a day, that means your golem has to work for for about a year non-stop (night and day) before it is actually cheaper than paying a person.

Terry Pratchet had an interesting approach to this, due to prejudice and labor disputes golems tend to only be used for jobs humans can't do well, things that require continuous monotonous mindless labor like pumping water, basically the jobs we use electric motors for in our world.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The novel in question is "Feet of Clay" in case you feel there might be mineable material in it. "Going Postal" expands on the theme. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Mar 25 '18 at 16:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ yes I am assuming the golem is working night and day, that is one of their main benefits after all. \$\endgroup\$ – John Mar 26 '18 at 13:10

Well, it seems to make sense in terms of the rules, but the practicality of it could depend on what you use them for, and where. If you use them somewhere there are no human labourers to be hired, you should be fine.

If you stop hiring labourers and replace them with golems, your DM might decide that the labourers will get upset about that. The real-world precedent is the Luddite movement, but cheap sentient golems threaten many kinds of worker, not just weavers.


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