This is my first attempt to get a review of a monster stat block. If I'm doing something wrong, let me know.

My goal for this creature is to be a trash mob, but with enough resistance/immunity to not get crowd-controlled too easily so the party focuses on tactics.

The core is based on the Palimpsest (a spell scroll that eats people), with some construct condition immunities that make sense. Some features from Rug of Smothering, and generic golems. I'm not 100% happy with all the features, and will likely tweak stuff before my party encounters this. I know Challenge Ratings in 5e are hardly accurate, but I'm aiming for no more than ~5-6 tops.

Parchment Golem

Medium construct, neutral

Armor Class: 12
Hit Points: 18 (4d6 + 4)
Speed: 5 ft., fly 15 ft.

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
2 (-4) 14 (+2) 12 (+1 4 (-3) 16 (+3) 10 (+0)

Damage Immunities: fire, poison, necrotic, piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities: charmed, exhausted, poisoned, frightened, blinded, deafened, paralyzed, petrified
Senses: blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages: one language their creator knows
Challenge: 4?


Immutable Form. The golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Magic Resistance. The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. The golem's weapon attacks are magical.

Antimagic Susceptibility. The golem is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the golem must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

Damage Transfer. While it is grappling a creature, the golem takes only half the damage dealt to it, and the creature grappled by the golem takes the other half.

False Appearance. While the golem remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from normal paper.


Multiattack. The golem makes two cut attacks.

Cut. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 2) slashing damage.

Smother. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one Medium or smaller creature. Hit: The creature is grappled (escape DC 13). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the golem can't smother another target. In addition, at the start of each of the target's turns, the target takes 10 (2d6 - 4) bludgeoning damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason you've opted to make this golem immune to fire damage? Thematically, it seems like that should be a vulnerability. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking the same for slashing damage... Scissors beats paper, after all. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13 at 20:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please refrain from changing the stat block for your homebrew on this post, as it invalidates the answers already made below. Instead, if you feel like your creation has changed enough that it's worth evaluating again, post a new question linking to this one with the newer version and a quick explanation of what you changed and why. We ask for 72 hours between each iteration at the very least. You can find the whole guidelines for homebrew reviewing here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Feb 14 at 9:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xisnue no worries, I know I have to fight myself not to rebalance my homebrews on their posts directly as well. It was more about the damage immunities/resistances, which were a point that was noted a few times in comments and answers. The whole point is to keep the problems to fix and their relevant solutions, for the sake of future readers. The addition of more lore-related details and correction of inaccurate averages seems fine to me though, since it shouldn't invalidate answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Feb 14 at 9:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xisnue you should not make any edits that invalidate already posted answers, and if you did, you should rollback them, and then start the 72h timer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Feb 14 at 9:44

2 Answers 2


You mixed and matched oddly


Grapple is not a 'to hit' attack, it's an Ability Check, and with a Strength of 2, I don't think it's going to work... ever. So there is no real point to Smother as you have it. The Rug of Smothering you copied this from has a strength of 17 making it a much more viable option.

There is also a problem with damage for Smother; you have it listed as 2d6 MINUS 4. which is correct for a creature with only 2 for Strength (see Rug with 17 Strength and +3 to damage). But that means it is only ever going to do 0 to 8 hp (around 2 average). Once again the whole grapple/smother thing doesn't work with a creature of low strength.

I would also plan ahead (although it doesn't need to be part of the stat blocks) for someone trying to "fold" the golem. With a low strength, I could see barbarians using their attacks to fold it into submission.

False Appearance

The False Appearance trait may work well for a scroll, it probably won't fool a lot of adventurers as a Medium-size mound of paper. Even next to a printing press, it would seem a little out of place.


Speaking of appearance, I'm not sure how you picture a paper golem to "look" (like an origami creature? a swirling mass of individual papers? one big sheet of newsprint?), and "trash mob" does't give a good mental image, you may want to consider adding:

Amorphous. The golem can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.


As mentioned in the comments, it seems odd for a creature made of "paper" to be immune to fire and slashing (Scissors beats paper).

Wile they may be common for golems in general, it may be worth reexamining these traits.


Since it has no mouth (unless you're thinking about the messages from Harry Potter), you probably want:

understands the languages of its creator but can't speak



Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius)

Final opinion

You said:

I'm not 100% happy with all the features, and will likely tweak stuff before my party encounters this.

So we really can't judge until you have what you consider to be the final version.

But this is a list of a lot of things to work on.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was picturing paper mache, though I don’t know if that’s what OP was thinking. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14 at 0:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheDragonOfFlame paper mache look doesn't fit the False Appearance trait. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Feb 14 at 7:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can see several things I can immediately change, and I hope I can uncover more info to refine this encounter. Thank you for your time and input. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xisnue
    Feb 14 at 8:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xisnue no, you can not edit this post, it would invalidate answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 14 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xisnue, you shouldn't update the original question beyond formatting and typos. If you implement changes and improvements it invalidates existing answers. For instance, if you updated the immunities, then this answer looks stupid because they are taking about a problem that doesn't exist. Or making suggestions that are already included in the now edited question. So you should leave this be for at least 72 hours, then create a new question with your improvements that reference this question. I have a home brew bard class that is up to v4 \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 15 at 21:16

You mixed and matched oddly

MivaScott's answer details the odd nature in which you mixed the traits of golems with the rug of smothering, I'm going to focus upon the balance elements which are a bit out of whack with consideration for your stated goal to have something in the realm of a CR5-6, but also considering your goal of having a monster that is a disposable minion on the order of a goblin.

Armor Class: 12; Hit Points: 18; Damage Immunities: fire, poison, piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning from nonmagical weapons

Off the bat, this strikes me as bizarrely easy to hit and down for a CR5 monster, which would typically recommended to have an AC around 15 and hit points around the 130-145 range. Granted, this is supplemented with notable immunities, which actually make it substantially difficult to harm. A comparable evaluation point is likely the Flesh Golem, which is a CR5 and does deviate from the standards (likely because of its notable immunities).

Presumably, your choice of AC and hit points is to allow this enemy to go down in one swing from the beefy fighter using their magical sword. My concern with this presumption is that it assumes the fighter has a magical weapon. Notably, without one, the only manner to defeat this creature is using magic (unless you've got a bag of acid vials). Which leads to the next issue:

Immutable Form, Magic Resistance

This creature has a notable number of powerful defenses, but besides abysmal AC and hit points, no real weaknesses. In comparing to the Flesh Golem, one of the balancing factors for that creature is the Berserk feature and the Aversion to Fire. The former mitigating it being an excessively powerful minion in battle and the latter giving a thematic weakness for the players to exploit. Frankly, given the paper nature of it, it may be prudent to consider giving it the Aversion to Fire feature.

Overall, I think you're sitting on a difficult balancing act for monster balance primarily due to you playing around with immunities to physical damage. This is a fact that's been mentioned by the developers via the DMG on page 277 when discussing how to calculate CR for creatures with resistance/immunity to non-magical weapons:

Giving a monster resistances and immunities to three or more damage types (especially bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage) is like giving it extra hit points. However, adventurers have more resources at higher levels to counteract such defenses, making resistances and immunities less relevant at higher levels.

Personally, in my own play, I recall fighting a group of shadows as a monk in a party of entirely martial characters at level 4. This was an extremely difficult fight for us because the shadows effectively had twice as much health due to their inherent resistance to our attacks. Had this fight occurred at level 6, my monk would've found is substantially easier and not just because of the extra levels, I also would've had magical unarmed strikes.

Overall, it is too difficult to assess this monster at this time. I think you need to consider the following carefully as you revise:

  • At what level will your party encounter this monster and what resources are available to them? The boundary between a minor nuisance and a minor boss fight hinges on this because you're playing with these types of immunities.
  • Can you re-skin an existing enemy to do the same thing? For example, can you just use Rugs of Smothering and call them Palimpsets? Or is it critical that it be a golem with all the accompanying immunities?
  • Keep in mind how long you want combat to last. Right now, as written, a 10th level fighter encountering this might need to resort to defeating it via some convoluted manner that involves finding ways to throw acid vials at it. But perhaps even more likely is they'll just run past it (15' flight means I can stick it behind a door).
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did get a chance to do some play testing with an estimate of my party's rogue getting caught in an ambush, ie most unfavorable scenario. The results of 3 attempts were put in the 1.2 version of the Parchment Golem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xisnue
    Feb 21 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most of the immunities come from the Palimpsest, which I don't have any clear ideas why it's immune to fire. The og construct being an ambush monster that has a good chance of killing a single party member if the group handles the encounter badly. This homebrew is supposed to be used in groups, to try and overwhelm then, but in the end are just a weaker/inferior golem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xisnue
    Feb 21 at 5:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ It occurs to me due to the golems nature, that they'd have issues with a lot of effects. Like a Wind Wall would be more effective than an Wall of Force with their lightweight forms. So there isn't a huge shortage of weaknesses, just a bit of writer's block in determining how to word such circumstances. I've also considered that slashing resistance rather than immunity might highlight this inherent frailty of material. In the end I still want it to feel like a golem, but be cannon fodder compared to more durable material. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xisnue
    Feb 21 at 6:11

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