Although most golems are animated by the spirits of elementals, certain reckless or daring golem crafters instead bind evil outsiders such as daemons, demons, and devils to power golems. This fiend does not inhabit or control the golem in the usual manner of fiendish possession; instead, the outsider is subjugated within the golem to act as a mere engine. Although a fiend-infused golem has more self-awareness and cunning than a typical golem, it possesses only a brute, primitive intellect, lacking the animating fiend’s personality beyond a base desire to destroy goodness. The fiend’s rage at being imprisoned in such a manner manifests as ever-burning hellfire, which the fiend-infused golem uses as a weapon against its foes.
As with ordinary golems, fiend-infused golems primarily serve as guards or defenders. However, a fiend-infused golem’s marginally improved intellect means it can be given more complex instructions, such as evaluating an intruder’s intent, activating or deactivating traps, acting in disguise, or patrolling a convoluted territory. Although fiend-infused golems are obligated to follow their creators’ commands in the same manner as regular golems, they sometimes do so with sullenness or frustrated defiance.
The foremost golem crafters of antiquity experimented extensively with fiend-bound golems. Using evil outsiders as an animating force came with an inherent drawback that the golem crafters could never fully overcome: the fiend’s seething anger at serving within a golem increases the chance that the fiend-infused golem will break free of its command and run amok. Ultimately, the golem crafters succeeded only by increasing the size of their golems: enormous behemoth golems are the only fiend-infused golems that do not risk the bound fiend going berserk. Fiend-infused golems still guard ancient factories and treasure vaults, and in other hidden sites.
Ancient secrets of fiend-infused golems have leaked to several modern golem crafters.
Some of these crafters had already developed their own techniques for creating fiend-infused golems, and use the unearthed lore to confirm or supplement their own designs. Artificers are particularly interested in harnessing and improving upon these methods, both because the golems promise to be very powerful additions to the arsenal and because they are always looking for new ways to bind the spirits of Hell.
A fiend-infused golem is the same size and weight as an ordinary golem of its type.
“Fiend-infused” is a template that can be added to any golem that is not vulnerable to fire (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The fiend-infused template must be applied when the golem is created; an existing golem can’t later acquire this template. A fiend-infused golem uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: Base creature’s CR + 2.
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Defensive Abilities: Fiend-infused golems gain fast healing 5 and immunity to fire. If the base creature already has damage reduction, it adds good to the qualities needed to bypass that reduction. If the base creature has the immunity to magic defensive ability, it adds susceptibility to banishment and dismissal (see the immunity to magic ability above).
Immunity to Magic (Ex)
A fiend-infused stone golem is immune to any spells or spell-like abilities that allow spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
- A transmute rock to mud spell slows a fiend-infused stone golem (as per the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock restores all of its lost hit points.
- A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the golem’s structure but negates its damage reduction and immunity to magic for 1 full round.
- A banishment or dismissal spell quells the animating fiend temporarily, negating the golem’s hellfire touch ability for 1 round with no saving throw. The spell also increases the chance of the golem’s berserk liberation by 20% in subsequent rounds of combat.
Special Attacks: A fiend-infused golem gains the following special attacks. berserk liberation special attack described above and loses any berserk special attack of the base creature. The amount of damage dealt when the fiend-infused golem goes berserk is equal to 1d6 × its CR (Reflex half; DC = 10 + 1/2 the golem’s Hit Dice + the golem’s Constitution modifier).
Berserk Liberation (Ex)
When a fiend-infused golem enters combat, there is a cumulative 2% chance each round that the animating fiend breaks free and the golem goes berserk. This chance resets to 0% after 1 minute of inactivity. When a fiend-infused golem goes berserk, the animating fiend explodes in a conflagration of hellfire, dealing 13d6 points of damage to all creatures within 60 feet (Reflex DC 17 half). Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. The save DC is Constitution-based. The berserk golem then loses the fiend-infused template permanently and thereafter attacks the nearest living creature, or smashes some object smaller than itself if no creature is within reach. Once it goes berserk, no known method can reestablish control.
Hellfire Touch (Su)
A fiend-infused golem’s body radiates the soul-scorching heat of the evil Outer Planes, dealing 2d6 points of damage with its touch. Half of this damage is fire damage, but the other half results directly from unholy power and is not reduced by resistance to fire-based attacks. Creatures attacking a fiend-infused golem with unarmed strikes or natural weapons take this same hellfire damage each time one of their attacks hits. A fiend-infused golem’s natural attacks are treated as evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
A fiend-infused stone golem can use a slow effect, as per the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem and a duration of 7 rounds. A successful DC 17 Will save negates the effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Feats: A fiend-infused golem has feats appropriate for its Hit Dice. The golem’s creator determines the golem’s feats as part of the process of creating the construct. Fiend-infused golems can be assigned any feats they are physically capable of using, although most feats are assigned from the following: Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, and Weapon Focus.
Languages: A fiend-infused golem understands Abyssal and Infernal, but it cannot speak.
Construction: A fiend-infused golem’s base materials cost an additional 25,000 gp above the base creature’s cost to account for the materials that are needed to bind the fiend within the golem. Add the spells dimensional anchor, magic circle against evil, and either planar ally or planar binding to the base creature’s requirements. The DC of the Craft check required to make the fiend-infused golem’s body is 4 higher than the base creature’s construct skill DC, and the creator must have a minimum caster level 4 higher than the base creature’s minimum required caster level. The increase to the DC of the Craft check and to the caster level are halved (to 2 higher) if the creator possesses at least 10 ranks in Knowledge (planes).
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Cheliax, The Infernal Empire © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Amanda Hamon Kunz, Ron Lundeen, and Mark Moreland.