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Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules


Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 159

Golems are magically created automatons of great power. They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force—golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental. The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.

Being mindless, golems do nothing without orders from their creators. They follow instructions explicitly and are incapable of complex strategy or tactics. A golem's creator can command it if the golem is within 60 feet and can see and hear its creator. If uncommanded, a golem usually follows its last instruction to the best of its ability, though if attacked it returns the attack. The creator can give the golem a simple command to govern its actions in his absence, or can order the golem to obey the commands of another, but the golem's creator can always resume control by commanding the golem to obey him alone.

Constructing a Golem

The cost to create a golem includes the cost of the physical body and all the materials and spell components used in its creation. Each golem entry gives specific details on the materials required and the total cost for its creation.

Note: The market price of a golem with more Hit Dice than the typical golem described in each entry is increased by 5,000 gp for each additional Hit Die it possesses beyond the standard for its kind, and increases by an additional 50,000 gp if the golem's size increases. Building a golem with the advanced simple template increases its cost by 15,000 gp.

Shield Guardians

A spellcaster with enough talent, resources, and inspiration can create a special variant of a golem known as a shield guardian. Any true golem can be created as a shield guardian, but the choice to do so must be made during the golem's construction—a completed golem cannot later be “upgraded” to function as a shield guardian.

Shield guardians are designed to serve as bodyguards. When created, a shield guardian is keyed to a magical amulet that is constructed at the same time as (and as part of the cost of) the guardian. Henceforth, it regards the wearer of that amulet as its master, protecting and following that individual everywhere (unless specifically commanded not to do so). If a shield guardian's amulet is destroyed, the guardian ceases to function until a new one is created. If the wearer dies but the amulet is intact, the shield guardian carries out the last command it was given.

A shield guardian obeys its master's verbal commands to the best of its ability, although it is not good for much beyond combat, protection, and simple manual labor. It can also be keyed to perform specific tasks at specific times or when certain conditions are met. The wearer of the amulet can call the shield guardian from any distance, and it will come as long as it is on the same plane.

Shield guardians have the same statistics as the base golem, but with the following additional special qualities. A shield guardian's CR is equal to the base golem's CR + 2.

Controlled (Ex) A shield guardian that has the berserk special attack cannot go berserk as long as the wearer of its amulet is within 30 feet.

Fast Healing (Ex) A shield guardian has fast healing 5.

Find Master (Su) As long as a shield guardian and its amulet are on the same plane, the shield guardian can locate the amulet's wearer (or just the amulet, if it is removed after the guardian is called).

Guard (Ex) If ordered to do so, a shield guardian moves to defend the wearer of its amulet. All attacks against the amulet wearer take a –2 penalty when the shield guardian is adjacent to its master.

Shield Other (Sp) The wearer of a shield guardian's amulet can activate this defensive ability as a standard action if within 100 feet of the shield guardian. Just as the spell of the same name, this ability transfers to the shield guardian half the damage that would be dealt to the amulet wearer (note that this ability does not provide the spell's AC or save bonuses). Damage transferred in this manner bypasses any defensive abilities (such as immunity or damage reduction) the golem possesses.

Spell Storing (Sp) A shield guardian can store one spell of 4th level or lower that is cast into it by another creature. It “casts” this spell when commanded to do so or when a predefined situation arises. Once this spell is used, the shield guardian can store another spell (or the same spell again).

Construction: A shield guardian's base materials cost an additional 25,000 gp above the base golem's cost. The creature's master may assemble the body or hire someone else to do the job. The Craft check required to make the body is 4 higher than normal for the base golem's kind. The keyed amulet is fashioned at the same time—it costs 20,000 gp above and beyond the shield guardian's total cost. After the body is sculpted, the shield guardian is animated through an extended magical ritual that requires a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemist's laboratory and costing 500 gp to establish. If the creator is personally constructing the creature's body, the building and the ritual can be performed together. The creator must have a minimum caster level of 2 higher than the base golem's minimum required caster level. In addition, the following spells are added to the base golem's requirements: discern location and either shield or shield other.

Creatures in "Golem" Category

Adamantine Golem19
Alchemical Golem9
Behemoth Golem17
Blood Golem6
Bone Golem8
Brass Golem14
Cannon Golem15
Carrion Golem4
Clay Golem10
Clockwork Golem12
Coral Golem9
Dragonhide Golem16
Equine Bone Golem10
Fiend-Infused Golem13
Flesh Golem7
Fossil Golem12
Glass Golem8
Ice Golem5
Inubrix Golem14
Ioun Golem17
Iron Golem13
Junk Golem4
Magnetitie Golem10
Marrowstone Golem8
Mask Golem4
Mithral Golem16
Noqual Golem18
Quantium Golem20
Robot Golem11
Sand Golem9
Shadow Golem14
Stone Golem11
Wax Golem3
Wood Golem6

Golem, Ioun Golem

This four-armed metal construct has a roughly humanoid shape, with the obvious exception of a missing head. Veins of brass overlay a body of meshed platinum and silver, with intricate circular grooves visible above, below, and between its twin sets of arms.

Ioun Golem CR 17

Source Pathfinder #126: Beyond the Veiled Past pg. 88
XP 102,400
N Large construct
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
Aura ioun attraction (60 ft.)


AC 33, touch 18, flat-footed 24 (+9 Dex, +15 natural, –1 size)
hp hp 156 (23d10+30)
Fort +7, Ref +16, Will +7
DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits, magic


Speed 40 ft.
Melee 4 slams +32 (3d10+10)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks ioun surge


Str 30, Dex 28, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +23; CMB +34; CMD 53
SQ gem receptacle


Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure standard (up to six ioun stones

Special Abilities

Gem Receptacle (Ex) An ioun golem can socket up to six ioun stones into itself. Each socketed stone grants the golem full access to the stone’s abilities and benefits, as though it were orbiting the ioun golem. An ioun golem gains 10 temporary hit points for each ioun stone socketed in this manner, to a maximum of 60 temporary hit points if all slots are filled. Temporary hit points last for 24 hours and each socket can grant temporary hit points only once per day, regardless of how many ioun stones are placed within it during that period. A socketed ioun stone cannot be independently targeted, but it can still be the subject of a successful steal or sunder combat maneuver performed against the ioun golem. Socketing or removing an ioun stone is a move action.

Immunity to Magic (Ex) An ioun golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
  • A shatter spell deals damage to an ioun golem as though it were a crystalline creature (no saving throw) and has a 25% chance of dislodging a random socketed ioun stone, causing the gem to fall into an adjacent square.
  • A telekinesis spell can be used to attempt a disarm combat maneuver check to remove a socketed ioun stone. The ioun golem takes a –10 penalty to its CMD against such an attempt.
  • A mage’s disjunction spell causes all socketed ioun stones to turn dull gray and become useless for the next hour (no saving throw).

Ioun Attraction (Su) The innate connection an ioun golem has with ioun stones manifests in a specialized aura of magnetic force. Ioun stones orbiting a creature that are brought within 60 feet of an ioun golem are immediately targeted by a steal combat maneuver using the ioun golem’s CMB. Targets of this combat maneuver receive a +4 circumstance bonus to their CMD against this steal attempt. Any stones successfully stolen in this manner are pulled toward the ioun golem and can be immediately socketed into an available receptacle as a free action. If no free receptacles are available, the pilfered ioun stones orbit the ioun golem, granting the golem their powers as normal. Unattended or protected stones, such as those embedded in the skin or held inside a wayfinder, are unaffected by this aura. An ioun golem can suppress and reactivate this aura as a swift action.

Ioun Surge (Su) Once per round as a swift action, an ioun golem can channel the energy of one of its socketed ioun stones, as long as that stone is not dull gray. This manifests as magic missile (caster level 16th), except it conjures five missiles, each dealing 2d6+1 points of force damage. When the ioun golem uses this ability, the selected socketed ioun stone becomes dull gray for the next 1d4+1 rounds.


The Azlanti empire employed numerous different types of golems in its defense and also as members of a growing mechanized workforce. These golems eventually found themselves supplanted by increasingly popular clockworks in the waning centuries of the empire. Still, one model of golem remained as a constant reminder of Azlanti supremacy: the ioun golem. Designed to the unique specifications of the Azlanti intelligence agency, the Ioun Imperative, these golems were a visible sign of Azlant’s ability to harness magic as a replacement for conventional technology.

Immense quantities of alchemically purified brass, platinum, and silver are required for the construction of an ioun golem. Silver forms much of the base frame, while platinum is poured into areas intended as gem receptacles. Brass filigree overlays the body, conducting the magical energy necessary to animate the golem. Occasional lines of vibrant magical energy are visible along the golem’s brass sections when viewed with effects such as analyze dweomer, detect magic, or similar effects.

A typical ioun golem stands 12 feet tall and weighs close to 1,200 pounds


Ioun golems are the pinnacle of Azlant’s research into the esoteric science known as electro-thaumaturgy. This mysterious art allowed for the transmission and broadcast of pure arcane energy. The golem’s body is crafted to store magical energy and can even siphon further energy from other battery-like magical devices— specifically, the iconic Azlanti ioun stone. An ioun golem’s frame has enough energy to keep itself animate for centuries without rest, but the addition of an ioun stone, even for a moment, extends the active cycle of an ioun golem into millennia. By quickly siphoning the innate power of a socketed ioun stone, the golem can unleash the stored energy as a blast of magical force.

Habitat and Society

The cataclysm that consumed Azlant also destroyed most of the Empire’s ioun golems. Those that survived are now scattered across the shattered continent, either long inactive without access to their ioun stone batteries or ceaselessly fulfilling their last orders. Across the eons since the fall of Azlant, only three ioun golems are officially recorded to have made their way to Avistan—washed ashore after untold millennia of inactivity. The Red Mantis are said to keep one as a defender within the Crimson Citadel on Mediogalti Island. Another remains dormant and unpowered in a museum in the heart of Oppara. The final ioun golem is cited in numerous archives as appearing briefly across the continent, fulfilling some as of yet unknown agenda.

A handful of ioun golems operate across Golarion in secret, actively serving their surviving overseers. These golems no longer follow their original Azlanti masters but instead serve the powers truly responsible for their creation: the veiled masters. Seen as a status symbol among alghollthus, an ioun golem guardian demonstrates either the commanding veiled master’s cunning in acquiring the construct or the veiled master’s age and determination to survive.


The art of crafting an ioun golem is almost entirely lost to time. What few manuals remain on the subject of constructing an ioun golem may be found only in the most secure of Azlanti ruins, if any survive at all. Should adventurers discover some long-forgotten instruction manual, they learn that an ioun golem is built from 2,000 pounds of the finest brass, silver, and platinum, costing an extravagant 70,000 gp in raw materials alone. Six unique ioun stones must be provided during the construction, though these stones are not consumed in the attempt.

Ioun Golem

CL 18th; Price 220,000 gp


Requirements Craft Construct, Craft Wondrous Item, geas/ quest, wish, creator must be at least caster level 18th; Skill Craft (armor) DC 24, Craft (jewelry) DC 29; Cost 145,000 gp