By Thilo Graf
This installment of Super Genius Games‘s mini-monster-manuals is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 12 pages of content for the new monsters, so what do we get?
The introduction tells us that we get unusual golems and it should prove to be right:
The very first creature is a CR 7 cactus golem, complete with needles and desiccating attacks. It should be noted that the creature is called both cactus golem and cactus crawler – a minor inconsistency.
On the upper hand, we get construction requirements for all golems in this pdf. All golems are resistant to magic and can be influenced by spells in unusual ways and these are no different – knowledge and fight smarting will help your PCs prevail when they lose in the brute-force department – an approach I really enjoy, as it encourages smart fighting and research. It#s unfortunate that no lore-sections are provided for the respective golems.
The iconic, mass-produced CR 1 Ceramic Soldiers make for nice low-level construct threats, complete with speed bursts and shatter-vulnerability – well done.
The CR 10 Gearwork Golem makes for a grinding clockwork nightmare, sundering weapons and disarming foes while rending anything it comes into contact with – the terrible golem makes for a foe the PCs will truly hate for its signature abilities – fighting these will be a baneful experience for any group.
The next creature is again, a rather low CR (5) golem, and a disturbing one at that, the enveloping hide golem – while not the most ingenious of creatures, it makes for a cool critter.
Two golem-variants are next on the list and both are pure narrative gold – the steed (CR +1) and vault guardian (CR +3) golem variant mini-templates that can be applied to any created creature make for some nice modifications – what about the insane alchemist with a flesh-golem-horse-creature, for example? Very cool!
The CR 12-Prism Golem has some rainbow-associated abilities and anyone who has played any incarnation of D&D knows that this prismatic attacks generally are bad news for those on the receiving end. While I usually like the illustrations of Marc Radle, this particular one is rather ridiculous and not one of his best.
The next golem is just what I want to see – imaginative in design and prose, cool mechanics and somewhat disturbing – the CR 8 Reefstalker is a primitive golem made from the jaws of sharks and its serrated defence and bleeding abilities will ensure a messy, bloody encounter your PCs will remember.
The CR 5 Rustmote Swarm on the other hand is the bane of items and metal golems and making it a swarm is mechanically interesting.
Even cooler golems are up next, though: The CR 6 Still Golem who can intoxicate foes via his scalding, alcoholic steam – that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a creature: An original concept married to nice mechanics. Come on, how can you say no to an animated Still?
Finally, the last golem, the Void Golem is another prime example of a cool creature: The CR 18 intelligent being is a sentient rift in space, conjured as a proxy and servitor of its dark masters from the void to assist the apocalyptic cults serving their unknowable ends. Slightly cthulhoid, armed with a deadly array of abilities and malevolent sentience, this golem is another winner.
Editing and formatting could have been better, I noticed inconsistencies and minor typos and glitches, which, while not impeding my ability to use the golems, could have been avoided. Layout adheres to the 2-column standard and the b/w-artworks are ok, but didn’t make me yell with excitement. The pdf has no bookmarks. Author Sam Hing provides us with a truly excellent array of golems and while some of the golems are not as awesome as others (Cactus and Prismatic felt a bit bland to me), my only true gripe with this pdf remain the formal glitches I mentioned – for the very low price, we get a stellar offering of cool, imaginative and unique golems that are only marred by the minor glitches and lack of lore sections. My final verdict due to these minor issues will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform – highly recommended for the fair price.
Mythic Menagerie: Engines of Destruction is available from: