Merciless Monsters 8: The Gourd Golem

Gord Golem - A pumpkin monster from the Power Rangers showWhen an adventurer thinks of a golem, they think of a challenging foe. Golems never tire, and never feel the pain of their injuries. Most are constructed from materials like stone or iron, and even putting a scratch on their bodies requires a blow of titanic strength. Golems are relentless, and powerful.

At least, most of them are.

Gourd Golems are most commonly constructed by bush wizards. Casters who desire the services of a construct, but lack the skill or the gold to make a proper one. Long ago one such wizard discovered that they could use relatively common crops during the harvest season to construct a simple, cheap golem. One which, while admittedly not very effective in combat, could still serve as a decent porter. Or even a guard against minor threats such as wild animals or common burglars.

While Gourd golems are constructed from a variety of squashes, they are most notable for the large orange pumpkin which is used to form the creature’s head. These pumpkins must be hollowed out, and a specially enchanted candle placed within them. The magic which animates the golem is stored in the candles flame, and nothing less than complete submersion in water is sufficient to put it out. Since it’s more difficult to put out this flame than to simply smash the golems to pieces, most gourd golems have terrifying faces carved into their pumpkin heads, to make them appear more menacing.

Physically, Groud Golems do not appear to be as sturdy as they are. Their bodies are made of various crops which are bound together by the magically animated vines of the pumpkin. If one were to make a crude comparison to human anatomy, the gourds form the skeletal structure of the creature, giving it shape. The vines hold that structure together, and give it mobility and strength, as muscles and tendons do for humans.

Gourd Golem

Shambling awkwardly on limbs made of long stems wrapped around squash, the creature approaches. Its malicious intent is clear from the evil grin carved into its pumpkin head.

Gourd Golem; CR 2; [Construct] [Farmland] [Temperate Climate] [Always Active]

XP: 600
N Medium Construct
Init -2; Senses Darkvision 60ft, low light vision, Perception +5


AC 16, touch 8, flat-footed 16 [10 + Dex(-2) + Natural(8)]
HP 43 (3d10)
Fort +1 Ref -1 Will +1;
Immune Construct Traits
Weakness Vulnerability to Bludgeoning (+50% damage)


Speed 30 ft.
Melee +4 Slam (1d6)(Bludgeoning)(May choose to tangle on successful slam attack)


Str 12 Dex 7 ConInt Wis 10 Cha 1
BAB +3; CMB 4; CMD 12
Languages None
SQ Tangle, Burrow


Burrow If the earth is loose enough, a Gourd Golem can bury itself within 2 minutes, submerging itself up to its pumpkin head. Those who control the Gourd Golem often command a number of them to do this in farming fields, hiding amongst the crops until intruders approach. Gourd Golems can leap out of the dirt and attack in a single round.

Tangle Gourd Golems are most effective at trapping, rather than killing their enemies. Upon a successful slam attack, the golem can wrap its vines around a victim, performing a grapple check at a +10 bonus. If successful, the Gourd Golem will continue to entwine itself around its victim on subsequent turns, strapping the gourds which make up its own body to their limbs, making it difficult for them to move. Eventually the golem even fits its own pumpkin head over the head of its victim, restricting their vision severely. A tangled character is not controlled by the golem, and they are rarely harmed. Rather, the purpose of the tangle ability is to hold an intruder until someone comes to retrieve them.


Environment Most commonly in farmland, where the necessary resources are plentiful.
Organization Solitary or band (6-12)
Activity Cycle Constructs do not sleep.
Diet Constructs do not eat; Natural Enemies Squirrels, Dogs, most herbivores and omnivores.
Treasure Typical


A Gourd Golem’s body is constructed from roughly 100gp worth of pumpkins and other gourds. In addition, high quality candles worth 10gp each must be used.
Requirements Craft Construct, Entangle, Summon Nature’s Ally II, creator must be caster level 5th;
Skill Craft (Sculpture) or Craft(Topiary) DC: 17 Cost 110gp

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8 thoughts on “Merciless Monsters 8: The Gourd Golem”

  1. Awesome! I like the idea of having golems that can fight the party at many challenge ratings (or that PC wizards can try and construct themselves). Back in Dragon 341 there was an article with lesser golems in it (paper and tin I think) I was a big fan of and I think the gourd golem makes a great addition to that lineup.

    The other thing I think is cool about this is that it’s one of those creatures that on paper, seems a little bit silly, but in the game would be absolutely terrifying (a line D&D walks constantly). The entangling is also a great image.

    I only have 1 question. When it hits with its slam attack it can either do damage *or* grapple yes?

    1. It may deal damage *and* tangle, if it so chooses.

      I’ve never really understood why golems were unique to difficult creatures either. There are low level demons, why not low level golems?

  2. Very cool LS. I think this rivals a dragon that Zalekios faced once, in the Marsh of Madness, for the most fantastic monster of all time.

  3. On your earlier question about low level golems vs. low level demons, I think it goes with the mindset that your average lowbie golem isn’t much more than an animated item.

    This is a very cool take on it though (I also remember a Calzone Golem from an old WotC thing that was neat. Interesting Story Time: there was a gnome wizard in the party at the time who cast Endure Elements on himself and dove -into- the golem. Seriously, like.. Men in Black, that whole “EAT ME!!” thing. Yeah. Once inside the molten cheese and tomato sauce core of the Calzone Golem he cast Enlarge Person while using a hero point to take another action to begin eating his way out.)

    I love Halloweenesque monsters and this one fits the bill as exactly what I’d be looking for to have an over the top but not entirely grim/deadly Halloween adventure. Maybe the four (now six because of you) goblins from We Be Goblins can reprise their roles in something of an odd adventure where this thing features as the boss of a patch of animated pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns.


    1. That’s a good point about animated items. I hadn’t considered it. Makes sense, though, since “Animate Item” is a required spell for the lowest level golems. (Replaced by Geas/Quest for the higher level ones.)

      Campy Halloween goofiness is at least as important as terrifying and grotesque Halloween adventures. I’m glad you like these lil’ guys!

      1. I think that’s why around Halloween I try to run a themed one-off with premade characters like the We Be Goblins crew. One for each PC. Last year’s was a “You are the monsters!” sort of adventure at low levels. The PCs were playing dungeon monsters who were under orders from the ‘boss’ monster to only hinder the ‘hero’ types, not kill them, as it was sacrilige for a ‘random battle’ to kill off the heroes.

        Cue the PC monsters, random monsters with ambitions of becoming bosses! They ran their own little dungeon complex that attracted better and better heroes to its depths (ultimately their ends at their cruel hands) until they had become Boss Monsters and had little minions of their own. All in all it was a very campy little one-off, but the players loved the cheesiness of it and did their best to be terrifyingly hilarious. Hilarifying?

        1. I love the idea of a game where the players are low level bad guys on the road to becoming super villains.

          One of these days I would like to run the original ravenloft module around Halloween time. I think that would be an immense amount of fun.

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