Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Going Gonzo With John: Tin Woodsman

by John Belliston

Ah, Oz. Another grand and strange landscape dear to my heart. In that wilderness of poppies, and lions, and strawmen there is one character that has always been close to my heart. The Tin Woodsman.

And so when presented with the opportunity to wander the bricks of yellow I snapped up this character and his associated themes. There is something within this golem-like creature striving for empathy that strings a deep chord on my heart.

The story of the Woodsman begins with a cursed axe that slowly removes his limbs. Every time he has a limb removed he has it replaced with a tin replica. This continues until all but his heart is replaced with tin (his heart is simply not replaced at all).

In order to reflect this, and also because it’s an important part of my own gameworld (clockworkchaospublishing.blogspot.com), I’m giving you a template to reflect the idea of prosthetic golem parts.


Golem Graft Template (CR 1 or *2 Deslyn specific):

In some worlds the magic required to regrow limbs is rare or inefficient. Within these worlds some seek of means of regaining use, or perhaps they seek to augment themselves for greater strength and durability. Regardless of the reason there are those that seek to attach golem components to their living bodies.

The processes required to attach the limbs are more than the physical attachment. The magic used to make the limb function must be grafted into the creatures energy body itself, so that once completed the limb will not only act but feel like it is their own limb.

As a side effect of the spiritual graft a Golem Limb will grant additional abilities depending on the HD of the creature it is attached to.

1 HD: Regains use of replaced limb. Grafters gain +2 to Craft checks relevant to their new limbs material. This reflects a new intuitive understanding of the substance.

* For the 2 CR level grafters can sense other creatures with golem limbs in a 60 foot radius.

*5 HD: Can sense any active constructs in a 60 food radius.

6 HD: The grafter gains DR adamantine equal to half their class level of Hit dice.

7 HD: The grafter begins to lose emotional capacity. They gain a +4 bonus to saves against spells that create or target an emotional reaction (charm person, rage, cause fear.) They also require a Will save (DC 14) to enter a barbarian’s rage or even allow a beneficial emotion based effect.

*9 HD: Can telepathically speak to any other Golem or Golem Grafter within 120 feet.

11 HD: Gain 10 + 1/3 HD SR as you may now manipulate the magic of your replaced golem parts to disrupt spell effects that target you.

*12 HD: Gain the ability to control non=sentient constructs.


Golem grafts can be constructed out of many different materials but the most common are stone and metal.  If made from flesh, straw, or wood the grafter will suffer any vulnerabilities of those choices. Spells that target the type of materiel the graft is constructed of effect the target as though they were the golem in question. Thus a heat metal would slow a iron golem grafter.

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