The Mithral Golem is arguably the best golem in Pathfinder. The Adamantine Golem is tougher, but slower. It doesn’t have the special Quickness ability of the Mithral Golem, nor does it have it’s speed of 50′. If the Mithral Golem does have a significant downside, it is that it is too big. A Mithral Golem is size Huge, meaning that it is 16′ to 32′ tall and weighs between 2 and 16 tons. That makes it difficult to take into many dungeons — or other structures.
However, Pathfinder’s Monster Advancement rules give us guidance on making custom creatures, so let’s make a size Medium Mithral golem.
When we change the Mithral Golem’s size from Huge to Medium, it loses 16 points of strength, but gains 2 points of dexterity. It also loses 7 points of Natural Armor. This changes the Mithral Golem’s stats from Str 33, Dex 24, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1 to Str 17, Dex 26, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1. The loss of 7 points of Natural Armor is slightly offset by the gain of +1 AC from the increase in Dexterity. In addition, the number of bonus hit points drops from +40 to +20.
|Old Size*||New Size||Str||Dex||Con||Natural Armor|
|* Repeat the adjustment if the creature moves up more than one size.|
The size adjustment causes our golem to gain 3 points of AC. That lowers the net AC loss to -3. Our golem also gains 3 points of Attack bonus and 3 points of CMB/CMD bonus. It also loses a -6 penalty to the Fly skill and a -12 penalty to the Stealth skill.
|Size||AC/Attack||CMB/CMD||Fly Skill||Stealth Skill|
Building a Better Golem
Let’s play around a bit more with the Monster Advancement rules. We’re allowed to add Hit Dice to our golem, within this guideline “As a general rule, creatures whose Hit Dice increase by 50% or more should also increase in size, but GMs should feel free to ignore this rule if warranted by the individual creature or situation.” The standard Mithral Golem is 24HD. 50% would be 12HD, so let’s bump ours by 8HD. This allows us to improve our golem’s ability scores as follows: “For every 4 additional Hit Dice gained by the monster, add 1 to one of its ability scores.” If we assign these points to strength, the new stats are Str 19, Dex 26, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1. 19 strength (+4) is far from the 33 strength (+11) of the huge Mithral Golem, but the 3 points of attack bonus we gained reduces the loss on attacks down to only -4. The 8 additional Hit Die give our golem an average of 44 (5.5 * 8) additional hit points, which more than makes up for the 20 hit points we lost earlier.
According to the Golem rules, each additional Hit Dice should cost us 5,000gp. These 8 HD, then, increase the price of the golem by 40,000gp.
Building an Even Better Golem
The rules for Building and Modifying Constructs give us a few additional enhancement options beyond those provided for generic creatures.
Adding the Advanced Template gives our golem and a +2 bonus to Natural Amor and a +4 bonus to all Ability Scores (except Int scores of 2 or less). That improves our golem’s stats to Str 23, Dex 30, Con —, Int —, Wis 15, Cha 5. Our Attack Bonus is now only 2 lower than the huge Mithral Golem and our AC is now only 1 lower. According to the Golem rules, building a golem with the advanced simple template increases its cost by 15,000gp.
Adding the Shield Guardian Template gives our golem Fast Healing 5, at a cost of 25,000gp for the materials and an additional 20,000gp for the amulet.
For 5,000gp per modification, we can increase any of our golems stats by +2. For 25,000gp we can raise our golem’s strength back to the original 33, while retaining the improved dexterity we gained in the size reduction. For an additional 5,000gp we can add two points of dexterity, which raises our golem’s AC back to the same level it was before the size change.
If desired, we can now cast Awaken Construct to gift our golem with sentience. By default, this gives our golem 3d6 (average 10) points of intelligence and increases its charisma by 2d6 (average 7). However, if we cast Empowered and Maximized Awaken, our golem gets (3d6*.5) + 18 points of Intelligence (average 23) and increases its charisma by 12 points — for a total charisma of 17.
Mac’s final ability scores are Str 33, Dex 34, Con —, Int 23, Wis 15, Cha 17.
The final bill is 150,000 for the base golem (unless you get a discount for building a smaller golem), 45,000 for the Shield Guardian Template, 15,000 for the Advanced Template, 40,000 for the 8 additional hit dice, 25,000 for the 10 additional points of strength, and 5,000gp for the additional two points of dexterity — bringing our total to 280,000gp. This means that a single character won’t likely be able to afford Mac until around 19th level (Wealth By Level at 19th level is 685,000gp).
Due to his Immunity to Magic, Mac (Medium Animated Construct) is an excellent mage killer. His weakness in that area is his vulnerability to cold spells of 6th level or higher.