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Golem, Shadow Golem

This towering humanoid figure seems to be made of solidified shadows. Two pale orbs glare from its otherwise blank visage.

Shadow Golem CR 14

Source Pathfinder #102: Breaking the Bones of Hell pg. 88
XP 38,400
N Large construct
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, see in darkness; Perception +0
Aura shadow (60 ft.)


AC 29, touch 19, flat-footed 25 (+6 deflection, +4 Dex, +10 Natural, -1 Size)
hp 151 (22d10+30)
Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +7
Defensive Abilities immunity to magic; DR 15/adamantine and slashing; Immune cold, construct traits


Speed 50 ft.
Melee 2 claws +33 (3d10+12)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +15)
Constant—air walk


Str 34, Dex 19, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +22; CMB +35; CMD 55
Skills Stealth +0 (+16 in dim light); Racial Modifiers +16 Stealth in dim light


Environment any
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) As a free action once every 1d4+1 rounds, a shadow golem can exhale a 30-foot cone of shadows. All creatures caught in this area take 2d4 points of Strength damage and become staggered for 1 round. A successful DC 21 Fortitude save reduces the Strength damage to 2 points and negates the staggering effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Immunity to Magic (Ex) A shadow golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
  • Any spell with the light or darkness descriptor cast directly on a shadow golem suppresses its shadow aura for 1 round per spell level (no save).
  • A shadow conjuration or shadow evocation spell reactivates a shadow golem’s shadow aura if it had been suppressed and grants the shadow golem fast healing 5 for 10 rounds. The greater versions of these spells grant fast healing 10 for 20 rounds.
  • Both sunbeam and sunburst affect a shadow golem normally. Shadow golems are considered to be particularly susceptible to sunlight for the purpose of resolving damage inflicted by either of these spells. If a shadow golem fails its saving throw against one of these spells, its shadow aura is suppressed for 1d8 rounds.
  • A searing light spell that strikes a shadow golem deals no damage, but does slow it (as per the slow spell) for 1 round (no save).
Shadow Aura (Su) A shadow golem constantly exudes an aura of eerie shadowy illumination, causing the area surrounding it to a distance of 60 feet to function as if illuminated by dim light, regardless of the ambient lighting (or lack thereof). As long as a shadow golem is in dim light (such as that granted by its own aura), it gains a +6 deflection bonus to its AC and gains the benefit of a constant air walk effect. A character who attempts to cast a spell with the darkness or light descriptor while within a shadow golem’s shadow aura must make a successful DC 25 caster level check, or the spell is countered as it is cast. At the start of any round in which the shadow golem’s aura interacts with an in-place darkness or light spell effect, that effect is automatically dispelled if the effect is from a spell whose level is 4th level or lower. If the effect is from a 5th-level or higher-level spell, the golem’s shadow aura attempts to dispel the effect as if via greater dispel magic (CL 20th). The golem’s shadow aura can attempt to dispel any amount of spells in this way, and if it fails to do so during one round, it can attempt to do so again at the start of each following round.


Among the most exotic of golems are the enigmatic shadow golems, animated constructs composed not of any mundane material but of pure shadowstuff harvested from the Shadow Plane. Tempered by magic, this strange substance holds a solid shape yet retains its eerie otherworldly features, allowing the shadow golem to walk on the air or to resist physical attacks that don’t cut deeply—and even then, only the sharpest of adamantine edges can do significant harm to one of these creatures.

Shadow golems are typically built in the form of hulking humanoids with skin and clothing as black as spilled ink. Despite their muscular forms, they can move with surprising speed, and weigh much less than one might expect a muscle-bound statue to weigh. While the creator of a shadow golem can fashion the construct into any shape, a strange element of the way the animating magic mixes with the raw shadowstuff results in an unusual side effect—the facial features of all shadow golems are indistinct, with the exception of two glowing eyes that are difficult to spot in the cloak of shadows that surrounds every shadow golem.

The typical shadow golem stands 11 feet tall and weighs 400 pounds.


Shadow golems are rare creations that border on the mythical or nonsensical in the minds of many selfstyled sages of magic. To these people, the notion of crafting a creature of such resounding power as a golem from a substance as fleeting as a shadow appears the epitome of madness. However, more visionary scholars and researchers understand that anything is possible when a passionate creator is involved—particularly when such a person draws on preternatural resources such as those available in the Shadow Plane.

Shadow golems are most common in the nation of Nidal, and the golem crafters who serve the Umbral Court guard the secrets of creating these constructs with jealousy and fervor. Nevertheless, those formulae have leaked across the Nidalese borders time and again, and while these golems remain rare, they can be encountered outside of that land’s borders with increasing frequency. In particular, Nidal has awarded House Thrune of Cheliax this privileged information in return for unknown favors from the powerful empire.

Habitat and Society

Because of the difficulty of their creation and the aura of mysticism and mystery that their creators prefer to preserve around them, shadow golems are generally used to guard secret treasuries, the inner sanctums of temples devoted to Zon-Kuthon, hidden libraries, and portals between this world and the Shadow Plane. Of course, as the knowledge of their construction spreads through Cheliax, these eerie creations are slowly becoming more common in areas of importance to House Thrune and their closest allies.


Creating a shadow golem is quite complicated at best and hazardous at worst. The first step in making such a construct is crafting its body—this process must be performed on the Shadow Plane and requires the use of specially prepared chisels and picks along with rare and volatile reagents worth a total of 1,500 gp. The material that makes up the shadow golem’s body is known as shadowstone, a form of solidified shadows that can be found in quarries on the Shadow Plane, as well as in the walls of a few strange, ancient structures on the Material Plane, such as the Terapasillion of Ravounel’s North Plains. Before it can accept the magical infusions that grant life, the stone must be anointed with the vital essence of creatures native to the Shadow Plane. This extract need not be harvested without the donor’s consent, but most of those who craft shadow golems are not hindered by morality. As such, there is a tradition among such spellcasters of combining this stage of construction with sacrifices to Zon-Kuthon or various kyton demagogues. While the shadow golem itself is not an evil entity, the ritual to create it has become associated with evil intent as a result of these vile practices.

Shadow Golem

CL 14th; Price 180,000 gp


Requirements Craft Construct, geas/quest, greater shadow conjuration, limited wish, polymorph any object, creator must be caster level 18th; Skill Craft (sculpture) or Craft (stonemasonry) DC 24; Cost 100,000 gp

Creatures in "Golem" Category

Adamantine Golem19
Alchemical Golem9
Behemoth Golem17
Blood Golem6
Bone Golem8
Brass Golem14
Cannon Golem15
Carrion Golem4
Clay Golem10
Clockwork Golem12
Coral Golem9
Crystal Golem11
Dragonhide Golem16
Equine Bone Golem10
Fiend-Infused Golem13
Flesh Golem7
Fossil Golem12
Glass Golem8
Gold Golem15
Ice Golem5
Inubrix Golem14
Ioun Golem17
Iron Golem13
Junk Golem4
Lead Golem10
Magnetitie Golem10
Marrowstone Golem8
Mask Golem4
Mithral Golem16
Noqual Golem18
Obsidian Golem12
Quantium Golem20
Quintessence Golem20
Robot Golem11
Sand Golem9
Sentient Wax Golem4
Shadow Golem14
Stone Golem11
Viridium Golem18
Wax Golem3
Wood Golem6


Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 159
Golems are magically created automatons of great power. They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force—golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental. The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.

Being mindless, golems do nothing without orders from their creators. They follow instructions explicitly and are incapable of complex strategy or tactics. A golem's creator can command it if the golem is within 60 feet and can see and hear its creator. If uncommanded, a golem usually follows its last instruction to the best of its ability, though if attacked it returns the attack. The creator can give the golem a simple command to govern its actions in his absence, or can order the golem to obey the commands of another, but the golem's creator can always resume control by commanding the golem to obey him alone.

Constructing a Golem

The cost to create a golem includes the cost of the physical body and all the materials and spell components used in its creation. Each golem entry gives specific details on the materials required and the total cost for its creation.

Note: The market price of a golem with more Hit Dice than the typical golem described in each entry is increased by 5,000 gp for each additional Hit Die it possesses beyond the standard for its kind, and increases by an additional 50,000 gp if the golem's size increases. Building a golem with the advanced simple template increases its cost by 15,000 gp.

Shield Guardians

A spellcaster with enough talent, resources, and inspiration can create a special variant of a golem known as a shield guardian. Any true golem can be created as a shield guardian, but the choice to do so must be made during the golem's construction—a completed golem cannot later be “upgraded” to function as a shield guardian.

Shield guardians are designed to serve as bodyguards. When created, a shield guardian is keyed to a magical amulet that is constructed at the same time as (and as part of the cost of) the guardian. Henceforth, it regards the wearer of that amulet as its master, protecting and following that individual everywhere (unless specifically commanded not to do so). If a shield guardian's amulet is destroyed, the guardian ceases to function until a new one is created. If the wearer dies but the amulet is intact, the shield guardian carries out the last command it was given.

A shield guardian obeys its master's verbal commands to the best of its ability, although it is not good for much beyond combat, protection, and simple manual labor. It can also be keyed to perform specific tasks at specific times or when certain conditions are met. The wearer of the amulet can call the shield guardian from any distance, and it will come as long as it is on the same plane.

Shield guardians have the same statistics as the base golem, but with the following additional special qualities. A shield guardian's CR is equal to the base golem's CR + 2.

Controlled (Ex) A shield guardian that has the berserk special attack cannot go berserk as long as the wearer of its amulet is within 30 feet.

Fast Healing (Ex) A shield guardian has fast healing 5.

Find Master (Su) As long as a shield guardian and its amulet are on the same plane, the shield guardian can locate the amulet's wearer (or just the amulet, if it is removed after the guardian is called).

Guard (Ex) If ordered to do so, a shield guardian moves to defend the wearer of its amulet. All attacks against the amulet wearer take a –2 penalty when the shield guardian is adjacent to its master.

Shield Other (Sp) The wearer of a shield guardian's amulet can activate this defensive ability as a standard action if within 100 feet of the shield guardian. Just as the spell of the same name, this ability transfers to the shield guardian half the damage that would be dealt to the amulet wearer (note that this ability does not provide the spell's AC or save bonuses). Damage transferred in this manner bypasses any defensive abilities (such as immunity or damage reduction) the golem possesses.

Spell Storing (Sp) A shield guardian can store one spell of 4th level or lower that is cast into it by another creature. It “casts” this spell when commanded to do so or when a predefined situation arises. Once this spell is used, the shield guardian can store another spell (or the same spell again).

Construction: A shield guardian's base materials cost an additional 25,000 gp above the base golem's cost. The creature's master may assemble the body or hire someone else to do the job. The Craft check required to make the body is 4 higher than normal for the base golem's kind. The keyed amulet is fashioned at the same time—it costs 20,000 gp above and beyond the shield guardian's total cost. After the body is sculpted, the shield guardian is animated through an extended magical ritual that requires a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemist's laboratory and costing 500 gp to establish. If the creator is personally constructing the creature's body, the building and the ritual can be performed together. The creator must have a minimum caster level of 2 higher than the base golem's minimum required caster level. In addition, the following spells are added to the base golem's requirements: discern location and either shield or shield other.