Golem, Gear
Golem, Gear

Golem, Gear

Gear Golem

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Mechanus, Sigil, Lawful Planes
ALIGNMENT:Lawful Neutral
HIT DICE:14 (64 hp)
SPECIAL ATTACKS:Crushing, metallification
SPECIAL DEFENCES:Immunities, gearshell, regeneration
SIZE:Large (10′ tall)
XP VALUE:16,000
AD&D 2e statistics

Actually misnamed, gear golems were first created some 600 years ago with the endorsement of the modrons. Though not truly golems (see below), they fill the same role as magical constructs.

Gear golems are tall, hulking beings. they tower over most at their full height of 10′, and are only vaguely humanoid in shape. They are composed almost entirely of gearwork, which is obvious and unprotected. Unlike most golems, however, they are quite intelligent and their man-like faces reflect this intelligence. They move with clockwork efficiency and in total silence, the only noise of their movement being a light metallic tick when their feet touch the floor.

Gear Golems, because of their mechanical nature, are incapable of speaking audibly. All gear golems, however, are literate and most can write messages if given the proper materials. On Mechanus. their messages are universally understood. On other planes, however,the language barrier comes into play again and the gear golem must write in a specific tongue. Most can write fluently in the modron or common tongues, and a select few can write and understand other languages.

They are like family to me.

—Unit 86, Rogue Modron

COMBAT: Created primarily as guardians, gear golems are fearsome opponents in melee. They have an effective strength of 22 for the purpose of lifting, throwing, and breaking things, and can strike twice a round with gear-toothed fists for 4d4 points of damage each.

If facing a small group of powerful enemies, a gear golem typically tries to use its crushing attack. In order to do this, it must forego a melee attack to grab at the target. This grabbing attack adds an additional +1 penalty to initiative and a -2 to THAC0, but the target counts only Dexterity and magical protection when calculating AC. On a successful grab, the gear golem has grasped its target, and shoves the target into its gears, which crush for an automatic 6d6 points of damage each round. A Strength check may be made each round after the initial attack at a -6 penalty to try to escape.

A gear golem’s most frightening power is that of metallification. Usable only once a day, this attack turns a single target into a statue of solid iron, exactly like the type used in the gears of Mechanus. The gear golem forgoes all attacks and must make two grabbing attacks at the victim. Once both attacks have succeeded, its target is instantly transformed into iron. Oddly, the more lawful the target, the more susceptible they are to this power. A saving throw vs. petrification is allowed, but those of the Chaotic alignment get a -2 penalty, those of a Neutral (Neutral Good, Neutral Evil, and True Neutral) alignment get a -4 penalty, and those of a Lawful alignment get a -6 penalty. It is believed that the iron, being the truest essence of law, is more similar to a lawful mentality.

Gear golems are not without defences. They can only be hit by magical weapons of a +2 enchantment or higher, and are immune to all gas, poison, or cold-based attacks. Acid does full damage, and rusting attacks do double damage. Non-magical fire has no effect on a gear golem, but magical fire restores 1 hp per die of damage. Magical force (e.g. magic missile) also restore health at the rate of 1 hp per die.


—The last thing you want to read on a note handed to you by a gear golem

While in direct contact with the metal of one of Mechanus’ gears, a gear golem regains 1 hp per round. The same applies if the gear golem is in physical contact with a modron. A gear spirit, if allowed to enter a gear golem’s machinery, can restore 10 hp each round. Because gear spirits frequently come to their aid in Mechanus, gear golems are powerful enemies there.

A gear golem’s most potent defence is known as a gearshell. If reduced to 15 hp or less, a gear golem allows its gears to come apart and reshape themselves into a solid sphere of gears 7′ across, which surround and protect the central ‘life force’ of the golem. Because the gears are reduced to lifeless metal while in a gearshell, 150 hp of damage must be done to break through enough clockwork to be able to damage the core. During this time, if on Mechanus, a gear spirit will try and heal a gear golem of injury. It is important to remember that, when it returns to its original form, all damage done to the gearshell is taken directly by the golem’s life force. Thus, heavily damaged gear golems usually remain in this form until recovered and healed.


—Derogatory cant term for a gear golem

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Created as protectors by the Guvners, gear golems are almost without fail associated with the Fraternity of Order. There are a very small number of gear golems presently in existence, and most protect area of high importance with unending zeal. Others are assigned as assistants in labour projects. Because they are fairly intelligent and educated after their creation, gear golems are at least as well-read as the average Guvner, and only their artificial state keeps them from having full faction abilities. They are particularly sought by Mathematicians who wish to have working models to study.

Gear golems are sometimes used as scouts, spies, or stenographies, for their silence, perfect memories (they are incapable of forgetting anything), and efficiency. If a body sees a gear golem in their trial at a Guvner court, the care is probably considered very important. As such, a few gear golems have been encountered outside of Mechanus, either collecting information for the Guvners in areas dangerous to human health or attending legal functions in various cities.

I’ve got two words for you: Chaos Imps

— ‘Sly’ Nye, to a gear golem stenographer in the City Court

ECOLOGY: As stated above, gear golems are not true golems. This is because a typical golem is infused with the life force of an elemental spirit. Because of the planar boundaries between Mechanus and the Elemental Plane of Earth, the Guvners petitioned the modrons for assistance. Primus, after some seconds of reflection, deemed that, if such creatures were to be made, they would have to be unyieldingly lawful, something not typical in the Inner Planes. Thus, the modrons provided the Guvners with the knowledge necessary to bind a willing petitioner from Mechanus into a golem’s constructed body.

As such, all gear golems are effectively petitioners. For reasons of identification and simplicity, most petitions keep their original names when they are transferred, which is engraved in a plaque on the chest. In order to qualify, a petitioner must be willing to undergo the transformation and serve the Guvners and, ultimately, Law as a concept. They must also be without religious devotion (i.e. their spirits must not belong to any one Power), because this conflicts with the operations of representatives of an unbiased organisation. The construction of a gear golem’s body is difficult, and it said to cost over 100,000 gp, requiring materials taken from the gears of Mechanus themselves. The Guvners must get the concept of the modrons before making a new gear golem, because mining of the gears in Mechanus is generally frowned upon. The secrets of a gear golem’s creation are dark, but the list of spells needed is known to a select few: animate object, fabricate, grease, wall of gears (see Planar Handbook or here), life force transfer (see the Complete Necromancer or here), major creation, and limited wish or wish.

Though they are not a formal part of Mechanus’ nearly nonexistent ecology, gear golems relate well with modrons and gear spirits. The are ignored by parai and they dislike moignos. They have no innate dislike for scurpyons, though they will hunt them down if ordered.

Source: Belarius


  1. Terral

    What is “The Mimir Spellbook” anyway? No search has tipped such results into my lap. It’s hard to find a lot of the old netbook content. I was only barely able to get my hands on The Complete Book of Bariaurs and The Bariaur Belief Book, as well as the Planescape Creature Codex before all of its sources died off.

    1. Oh now that’s a good question. I think it was something I planned to do and never got round to, then forgot to edit it out when I relaunched the site. Looks like there’s a spell with that name now anyway! I’ll edit the monster entry, thanks for being a better proof-reader than I am!

      1. Terral

        Hah, no problem. That being said, a ‘Mimir Spellbook’ might not be a bad segment. There’s a variety of netbooks oriented around Planescape and planar spells, like the Great Elemental Netbook having spells oriented around not just the four elements but also the para- and quasi-elemental planes too. Same goes for the variety of items, trinkets and weapons. Warranted some stuff is pretty painfully broken and might need rebalancing, hah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *