The Golemist Class is a supplement by Eric Baumeister, containing – you guessed it – a brand new class centered around animating various types of Golems.
Golemists are a special category of conjurers, who create and animate their golem servants rather than call them from somewhere else. Obviously, it is a spellcaster class, although only a half-caster: you get access up to 5th level spells, most of them centered around support and control.
The core mechanic of the class is of course your Golem. It has stats that scale with your level and proficiency bonus, although its ability scores remain static. It has a melee and a ranged attack that can deal piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage (chosen when you create it), using your spell attack modifier for attack rolls and 1d8 + your proficiency bonus for damage. Depending on your specialization, which we will talk about afterwards, you can add some upgrades to it though. Normally, you can only have one golem active at a time, which lasts up to an hour, and you can summon a number of golems equal to your proficiency bonus before requiring a long rest.
The golems aren’t very tough on their base form, but that disadvantage is offset by the fact that they gain a death burst – various types of bursts, in fact, so you can respond to various circumstances. Another very importnat feature is that eventually, your golems can be effected by spells which effect you – so if you cast Haste on yourself, your golems can also gain that buff.
Let’s take a look at the archetypes now, called Fields of Study. The first is the Field of Elementals, which allows you to use a large variety of materials as a base for your golem, with each material granting new properties to it. For example, an Earth Golem gains tremorsense and a burrowing speed, while a Fire Golem leaves behind it a trail of fire and can use fire damage for its attacks. As you progress in levels, you unlock new materials and golems with more dangerous abilities; and you also lose the restriction of one golem active at once. The limit though is that you need to have the material present and consumed; so if you want an acid golem, you’ll need to have sufficient acid nearby. In short, the Field of Elementals is focused mostly on aggression, allowing you both a high damage output with multiple golems, and flexibility with various damage types and effects.
The Field of Robotics on the other hand is focused on a single golem, which however is modular and modifiable. It gains proficiencies with skills and tools, and you can also put Modules on it. Modules can be changed during long rests, and gives bonuses such as extra attacks, better senses, or improved movement. Also, perhaps more importantly, you can give your golem weapons and armor, which greatly ups both its damage and defense.
The Field of Cadavers is an interesting one. Rather than equipping modules or using elemental materials, your golem is more biologically-focused – and can learn abilities from harvesting recently-deceased corpses. As your golemist level increases, it can gain passive or active abilities (such as a kenku’s Mimicry, or an imp’s Invisibility action), skill proficiencies, damage resistances, senses, ability scores, et cetera. There is of course a CR restriction, but I really like the concept behind this – and it makes me wonder how some players would make sure to always have… fresh parts for the harvest. it could also give them a way to spend their gold, ordering rare and exotic monster parts to empower their golem.
Finally, you have the Field of Shellcraft, which is aimed more towards misdirection and escape. In this case, the golems you animate are just different bodies for you – and again you overcome the restriction of one golem (or shell in this case, I guess) active. The features of this Field allow you to teleport between shells, eventually also including allies and enemies in the shuffle, which can give you a very strong degree of battlefield control – you can easily save allies or disrupt enemies.
Along with the class mechanics, there are also some suggestions and ideas on roleplaying a golemist, as well as 10 new magic items (including an Annoying Gramophone, and a Flock in a Smock which has a chance to summon a horrible goose).
Overall, the Golemist is a fun class that offers a lot of different ways to play, both mechanically and in terms of roleplay. If you like the idea of a summoner-type character, you should definitely check it out.
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