Golem, Lightning

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Golem, Lightning
Climate/Terrain:Any land
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Semi- (2-4)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:0
Hit Dice:11 (66 hp)
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (8' tall)
Morale:Fearless (20)
XP Value:2,004

The lightning golem is an artificial being given animation, if not true life, by the infusion of an elemental spirit. It is created and controlled by powerful magics or with the aid of a Manual of Golem Construction (see the Dungeon Master's Guide). Like other magically animated creations it is often employed as a guard or ward by those powerful enough to fashion them.

Lightning golems are physically fairly simple. Their bodies are nothing more than a gold framework that is roughly humanoid in shape. The limbs of the creature are articulated, giving it the ability to move its arms and legs in much the same way that a man might. In fact, the “skeleton” of the creature has been likened to a mannequin or doll such as might be used by an artist in place of a model. What makes the construction unusual is the aura of electricity that constantly dances around it. Because of the energies used to empower the creature, it is alive with brush discharges, arcs of electricity, and a general haze of St. Elmo's fire. The shape of this aura is surprisingly man-like.

Lightning golems cannot speak, but obey simple commands given them by their creators. Their understanding is limited, however, making complex tasks beyond them.

Combat: The lightning golem moves much more quickly than one might expect an automaton to move. Because of this, it gains a +2 bonus to all initiative rolls that it is called upon to make.

When in close combat, the lightning golem lashes out with its metallic arms, trying to strike its enemies. Anyone hit by the being suffers 4d8 points of damage from the blow and its associated electrical shock. Anyone making a successful saving throw vs. spells or with some immunity to electrical damage suffers only half damage. Persons who fail their saves may be required (at the DM's option) to make saving throws for some or all of the items they are carrying.

If possible, the golem begins combat by unleashing a powerful stroke of chain lightning at its enemies. This attack is similar to that of the sixth-level wizard spell of the same name and has a range of 50 yards. The stroke inflicts 6d6 points of damage to the first target that it strikes.

Because of the inorganic nature of this being, the lightning golem is immune to all manner of life affecting magic or psionic powers. Thus, attempts to put it to sleep or cause disease fail. Spells and powers that influence the mind are similarly useless against this automaton. Attacks that depend upon heat or fire affect the golem normally, causing its golden skeleton to melt and deform. Those based on cold, ice, lightning, or electricity are ineffective. Spells and abilities that have power over metal, such as crystalbrittle, have their normal effects upon the lightning golem.

Lightning golems are considered greater golems, and are thus always under the control of their creator.

Habitat/Society: Because the lightning golem is an automaton, it has no society to speak of. From time to time, a truly powerful individual may assemble more than one of these beings, but golems do not have any social order or customs.

Ecology: The creation of a lightning golem is a task beyond any but a wizard of 18th level or higher. The labor begins with the manufacture of the construct's golden body from 2,000 pounds of gold. The gold itself, and the materials needed to fashion it into its new form, cost 150,000 gold pieces. The construction of the body requires 10 weeks. Once the body is completed, the enchanting can begin. This must be attempted in an open area during the height of a tremendous thunderstorm. When the storm reaches its peak, the wizard must cast a wish, permanency, chain lightning, enchant an item, and geas spell. As soon as the final spell is cast, a bolt of lightning is attracted to the body, striking it and infusing it with tremendous power.

Manuals of Lightning Golems construction exist, but such tomes are very rare. There is a 10% chance that any Manual of Iron Golems is actually a Manual of Lightning Golems.