12
\$\begingroup\$

So I just gave my party a Manual of the Golems (Flesh). They were really excited to be able to create a slave until...

  • One of them pointed out that they don't have a caster with two 5th level spells yet (they're level 8)
  • One of them pointed out the 50k cost to construct a CR 5 creature

You can get an army of undead hirelings, that are just as powerful, for a fraction of the cost.

Is Golem creation balanced compared to other ways of getting NPC servants/hirelings, or can I safely reduce the cost of Golem construction?

\$\endgroup\$
0
27
\$\begingroup\$

This seems like more of an opinion based question without a real concrete answer... But, having said that, earlier in editions of the game golem construction was costly and difficult - definitely a serious achievement for a high level cleric.

Additionally - while you're asking about Flesh Golems - and comparing them to undead, something makes me think that creating masses of undead servitors isn't usually the modus-operandi of "good" player characters. Golems (especially the Clay, Stone and Iron variants) avoid some of the stigma associated with creating undead - which might be worth the added cost. Not to mention they aren't vulnerable to turning.

\$\endgroup\$
0
28
\$\begingroup\$

Even if you look at it from the 5e mechanical/descriptive perspective, there are easy reasons to stick with golem creation rather than an undead army.

The first is control. You can only control so many undead before they start to lose it and attack people. This is evidenced by the necessity of constantly recasting the spell to retain control over them. Golems don't have that kind of a restriction, and although costly, you could conceivably create many golems to protect a major metropolis with the time and resources.

An individual golem is far more powerful than typically created undead. The difference between a CR 5 and a CR 1/2 is pretty high.

Golem creation isn't considered evil. All undead creation is generally considered inherently evil by RAW (some variance in specific settings). As a side note, golems cannot be turned.

Creating a golem is a higher achievement in the spell-casting arena, deserving of its own praise based on difficulty (and cost) of that achievement.

As it is for a 9th level or higher character, a golem's price really isn't unreasonable. There's no longer a market for magic items, so the components for a golem can be expensive without truly hampering the caster or their allies by its creation.

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

It's a way to turn money into combat power at the higher levels, once you run out of things to buy. If this were the 3.5 economy, it would be silly to invest large amounts of money into a minion who was that far below you, but 5th ed is different.

First, as @Aviose noted, you run out of things to do with your money. At higher levels, you need to look for things to spend money on. You might want a massive vault of gold to swim in. You might want to build a castle, or buy in to a major metropolis as a merchant prince. Alternately, perhaps you want to have a smallish army of golems. Regardless, the monetary cost isn't actually reducing your personal power all that much.

Second, "small army of CR5 golems" actually is a meaningful force on the battlefield, even at particularly high levels. They'll have enough HP that they won't just go down all that easily, and bounded accuracy means that they'll each still have a chance (not good, but not terrible) to hit the sorts of enemies you're likely to be facing. Figure out how to use them strategically, and they could be quite helpful.

By comparison, conjuring a CR 5 elemental takes a 5th level spell slot and your concentration, and only lasts for an hour.

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

You can have any number of golems running around with you in addition to as many undead as your character can control. However, undead have the limitation that you can only control as many as your character's powers can support, but a golem is completely independent of your character's power level. If it were cheaper, a golem would be just a straight-up power boost to the PCs. Imagine how powerful a level 1 character who got a golem manual would be if he didn't need to invest any resources into getting the golem.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. I get the sense that the downvotes you received were because of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, proper use of which is sort of expected 'round here; I took the liberty of fixing that for you, but you can revert to your previous answer or edit this one if you like. Downvotes might also be because much of what you're saying, although yours is more succinct, is covered in previous answers. Nonetheless, thank you for trying to help strangers and try not to let this discourage you from helping again. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 20 '15 at 15:44
-1
\$\begingroup\$

If you are looking for a practical solution to resolve the issue of cost (that has always worked well for me in the past) simply swap the word 'cost' for 'value' in the description. If the requirements are 50k for the total construction (25k for the body, 25k for consumables) have a way for the characters to get the materials needed instead of buying them. For flesh golems, in the past I have used, and placed a substitute value of, the heart of a dragon 5k, flesh from a mummy 4k, the spinal fluid of an aboleth 1k, etc. Throw in rare roots and flowers and you can make the price lower while illustrating the reason for the cost being what it is. It also gives you the opportunity to mix in fun little throwaway dungeon dives with weird and fun NPCs.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.