Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wax Golem

Before we get started, the Water Naga entry is now up!  That entry was a big day for this blog, so please forgive my tardiness, check it out, and if you feel so inclined throw some likes/reblog its way.

Wax golems!  Okay, for this adventure seed exercise let’s just take wax museums off the table, shall we?  No disrespect—I live in a city famous for its National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.  But a museum of statues coming alive is a little obvious, right?  (Plus, speaking as the player of an eldritch knight, if the GM sends my PC into a wax museum, I’m going to have a flaming sphere prepped before I’m two steps into the room.) 

Instead, here are some adventure ideas that (with a little help from Wikipedia) ditch the museum setting entirely and take into account the golem’s troublesome habit of gaining sentience…

When the archduke died, a wax effigy was made so that mourners from afar could pay their respects even after his body was interred.  Weeks of lying in state absorbing tributes and whispered comments arouse the wax golem to sentience, and it seeks to take its place on the grand ducal throne.

The sculptor Camton Trass is in dire financial straits after buying precious materials for a lord’s commission, only to have the noble rescind the offer.  The need to raise cash fast has led Trass into some shady entanglements that are now quickly unraveling.  Depending on what side of the law they are on, adventurers might be hired to call in his debts, stake out the workshop for the local authorities, search for smuggled goods, or toss the place as a message.  Doing so exposes them to an unexpected danger—some of the wax models Trass uses in his bronze castings are now golems.  Trass’s apprentice, a young orphan boy, has an innate talent for magic, and has animated Trass’s leftovers to ease his solitude.

A medical college uses wax statues when fresh corpses are not available from the resurrectionists.  The moulage bodies also make excellent after-hours guards should adventures on the lam attempt to raid the college for spell components and supplies.  The golems attack anyone not in the designated garb of a professor or chirurgeon’s assistant.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #47 90–91 Pathfinder Bestiary 4 133

Just because the wax golem is a Pathfinder monster doesn't mean my D&D 3.5 readers shouldn’t check it out.  Tome and Blood’s candle casters and the Monster Manual II’s abeils are both begging for wax golem defenders.

Tim Hitchcock’s Hungry Are the Dead also features a tallow golem courtesy of Tome of Horrors Revised.

Also, I got through this entire post without referencing “puttin’ it on wax” as the new style of golemcrafting.  You're welcome.

Want to delight a hospitalized girlfriend?  Pictures of robots are requested.

Finally, one of the nice side effects of all the recent upheaval and plane flights in my life is that I have finally gotten caught up on all my unread Pathfinder Campaign Setting books (even Pathfinder Online: Thornkeep, which had been languishing at the bottom of the pile forever).  I’m also all caught up on all my Pathfinder Player Companions and am tearing through Wrath of the Righteous as we speak (on the third installment now).  I also enjoyed Mike Shel’s The Dragon’s Demand, which struck me (at least as a reader) as a very easy-to-run but still engaging adventure.  Any modules/sourcebooks striking your fancy?

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