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Hits: 5067
Comments: 24
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.6364
Condition: Normal
ID: 4429


April 9, 2011, 8:08 pm

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Cheka Man

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Asphalt Golem


A powerful golem of Tar and Sand, ideal for pulverizing one’s foes.

Full Description

A crude humanoid figure of black-grey asphalt, usually 7-8’ in height.  Asphalt Golems of this size generally weigh 700-800lbs.

Additional Information

The Asphalt Golem is a fair combatant, suited best to defensive actions, for it is slow moving. It is very strong - with a punch capable of shattering a man’s ribcage or staving in a breastplate, and its ability to absorb punishment is legendary.  Weapons tend to become imbedded within its body, requiring much effort to remove, a luxury not generally provided when fighting one.  Weapons that crush avail little - it simply deforms and then reforms when struck by such weapons.  Blows of sufficient violence to remove chunks of its body are required to cause telling damage.

Asphalt Golems are vulnerable to enchanted or elemental fire, igniting when struck by such and burning slowly for several minutes afterward. Mundane flames do not have this effect.  While aflame, the golem takes moderate damage but increases in speed. Mundane fire cannot overcome the magical forces which animate the golem. 

Magical cold has the opposite affect, slowing the golem down.  No damage is caused directly, but the golem loses some of its resiliency, and tends to shatter more under blows, and when frozen takes more damage from blunt weapons.

As mentioned before, it degrades when out of contact with tar - though by only a few pounds per year.  When back in contact with tar, it absorbs enough to affect repairs, healing any injury due to degradation or battle.  This absorbing ability is too slow to be of benefit during combat.

Optional extra powers

An asphalt golem can seek to grapple and envelop opponents, suffocating them with tar.

An asphalt golem can hurl portions of itself which will adhere and slow down a target unit removed. This attack damages the golem.


One of the easier Golems to create, all one needs to produce the body is a man-shaped mould, sand and tar. Of course, to infuse the golem with enchantment, a ritual of great length and expense must be prepared.  The exact nature of the ritual varies from culture to culture, and even from wizard to wizard.  A common theme is the inclusion of live beings to be enveloped by the mixture and suffocated.  The life force is absorbed into the golem, but the creation is not undead.  Asphalt golems made in this manner are tainted with darkness and though more intelligent then more humane methods, are also more willful and dangerous to all but their creator.

Helm of the Tar-pits
In the kingdom of Shelazair, known for its vast savannas, tar pits are common and a dangerous hazard to both man and beast.  The Helm of the Tar-pits, or the Crown of Kuhar’than, was created to draw upon this plentiful resource to help defend the kingdom from its many enemies.

The wearer is able to, once per moon, to cause a number of Asphalt Golems to arise from a tar pit up to 200’ distant.
Each Golem consumes a fair degree of the users concentration, with 25% per golem suggested.  Exceptionally low and high intellect should change these figures, with superior mental abilities taking less per Golem.

The Golems degrade more quickly then normal, and begin to settle after the 1st hour.  They lose 20% of their original mass each hour thereafter, growing smaller as time goes by and leaving a trail of asphalt behind.

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Comments ( 24 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Pieh
October 9, 2007, 20:53
This hurts. I really don't need more golems. Unique constructs? Maybe. But this is a bad idea done well. You provided a bit of a twist on normal golems with the asphalt throwing attack and the Helm of the Tar-Pits. Overall, this is not bad. Just... more golems make me feel icky.
October 9, 2007, 20:56
Don't blame me - blame the freetext challenge! :P

(See forum discussion!)

I've got at least one more coming, so brace yourself!
October 9, 2007, 21:04
Couldn't you have at least made it a Massage-giving Golem?
October 9, 2007, 21:07
Well, asphalt hands would definately be Exfoliating...
Voted Chaosmark
October 9, 2007, 22:12
Well, that's a new take on golems alright, but for some reason I'm not sure when asphalt was first created, and thus I'm just not sure if it's plausible. Amusing, and useful for something like castle/city defense though. Perhaps we should be thinking about it with regards to how they would use it, and why they would come up with it. Obviously it's not good for much aside from hard hitting, so it's very suited towards defense in a static location, but not much else.

Can anyone else come up with some good uses for one of these? It has potential, we just need to dig deeper than usual to find it.
October 9, 2007, 22:38
Well, I think if you let the lil ones created by the Helm to walk for a while they might leave paved paths... I'm not sure if that was the intention or not, but thats what it made me think of.
October 9, 2007, 22:51
Asphalt was created well before man walked the earth :)

ie. The Tar Sands in Alberta Canada...
October 9, 2007, 23:04
As for the paths - doh! Didn't think of that at the time. I just figured something made of asphalt would 'settle' over time.
Voted Cheka Man
October 9, 2007, 23:11
I like it. Good as a gate guard.
Voted Scrasamax
October 10, 2007, 3:40
Awesome, having lived in a place with real asphalt paving i know what this stuff is like. On a hot day, and I mean a really hot day you would be able to smell one of these golems a good ways off.
Voted manfred
October 10, 2007, 4:47
A good new variant of the old baked clay/stone golem concept. A construct of this kind would be limited to certain regions of the world, by its very nature. It is rather slow, and has some (minor) vulnerabilities... for fighting it, I could see people throwing lots of stuff on the creature, let it connect to just about everything, until it can't effectively move anymore; drive it through with spears or metal poles, and chain it up, etc.
Voted Murometz
October 10, 2007, 11:26
I echo Scras and manfred's comments. Another cool Golem!

(we could use one of these bad-boys here in NY, to clear some of the traffic on the high-ways and byways! :))
Voted Wulfhere
October 10, 2007, 12:18
A sort of tar-baby golem... This is one that the PCs might not expect, especially since the exterior could have a variety of substances coating it. It gives me this image of a "Stay-Puf Marshmallow" golem.

I particularly liked the helm. A wizard's tower situated among the tar pits could be an interesting battlefield...

The mage raises his arms, crackling with eldritch power, and shapes begin to rise from the black pools. Midnight-black figures shamble from the depths of the tar, distorted humanoid things shambling toward you...
October 10, 2007, 12:29
Heh, thats my next sub... The Palace of the Ebony Fields

October 11, 2007, 19:09
the problem with this place is there are so many great ideas and I have no one to try them out on (as in game) ahh well.
Imagine in Helm ...

Black fire rains down from the battlements, at first burning, melting and melding with whatever it touches. Suffocated shrieks of pain and terror emanate from the black molasstic pool, briefly. The flame extinguishes, steam rises, a ghostly spume evaporates giving way to a hardening crust. An ugly monstrous excrescence appears on the surface rising upwards. From the pool of tar, a torso and appendages give embodiment, the shape takes on a grotesque, blob dripping human like appearance. The original unstructured splat of tar is gone, transfigured into a giant heat shimmering, semi hardened statute. Then with unprecedented and unexpected horror coursing through your veins, you pale to white, for the creature, with slow and deliberate thought, moves towards you.
January 18, 2008, 14:05
I see an Asphalt Golem and I think Urban Fantasy.

Some modern wizard would cast such an animation spell at a road (or kill someone via the road, binding their soul to animate that road). Though a golem should be made "in the work space". Asphalt is cheap and easy to get in a modern setting, so it would be more prevolent in an Urban Fantasy and Fantasy Cyberpunk (ShadowRun) kind of world.
January 18, 2008, 15:42
Ahh, do you remember the foggy morning of October, when the Asphalt Golems were drawing down the highway? Dozens of massive bodies quietly stomped to the South, leaving but thin lines behind them.
Voted Kuseru Satsujin
March 11, 2008, 13:15
While I like the overall implementation, and find nothing wrong with adding yet more types of golems to the smorgasborg, the execution came across more as the creation of two types of golems, asphault and tar. Other than seeing a separation in abilities for the two types, I find this to be a good article.
March 11, 2008, 15:17
Fair enough - I just combined the effects, assuming the golem could adjust its sand to tar density to change it's form. A pure Asphalt Golem would be little more then a soft stone golem otherwise.
Voted RGTraynor
May 24, 2011, 12:17
This is quite realistic for low-tech campaigns - especially as a substance which naturally bubbles up to the surface in many areas, asphalt has been used since antiquity, and for many of the same uses you'd think: mortaring, caulking, waterproofing.   Egyptians used it to embalm mummies.  Heck, there's evidence it was used in the Stone Age for fixing arrowheads to shafts.

Possibly one disconnect is in what we think asphalt is. What a North American calls "asphalt" is really asphalt concrete; asphalt is the thick, sticky tar used to hold the aggregate composite together.

As far as its allegedly limited nature, err?  Golems are widely used for anything other than combat purposes?
Voted axlerowes
May 24, 2011, 19:48
I like it. Why not have a Tar Golem or an Asphalt Golem if you are going to have Golem? I also like the suggestion that these Golems were used to transport raw materials. "Why move the mountain when you get the mountain (or the tar) to come to you?" The write up isn't witty or entertaining, and perhaps that is why some didn't take to it. But it is a clear write up and it gets to the point. I may use this someday. Nicely done and thanks.
Michael Jotne Slayer
May 25, 2011, 20:08

Excellent medium sized submission and a nice addition to the lore of golems. Good job Val.


Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
May 25, 2011, 20:09

And a vote to go with that comment:)

May 25, 2011, 20:58

Agree with most above

also HAHAHA.

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