D&D 5E Help me brainstorm a kingdom ruled by a golem

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I've had an image in my head for a while of an Iron Golem sitting on a throne.

What could be fun and interesting about a kingdom ruled by a Golem? What would be some fun adventuring hooks? How would the towns, the politics, the economy be different?

Here's what I've go so far:

Centuries ago, the ruling family (King and Queen Morovahn and their adult children) went off to a distant realm for some act of politics or war. They left behind their loyal Iron Golem, guardian of the family bloodline, to guard the throne until their return. They never returned.

For hundreds of years now, the Iron Golem known as Heartless has been sitting on the throne.

And that's about all the solid ideas I have. But here are some loose thoughts:

A kingdom ruled by a golem may instead be ruled by its advisors. I could see petty squabbling among the golem's advisors, maybe even leading to war between the various towns of the kingdom?

Maybe the golem has developed a personality over the centuries, based on its observations of court politics? I like the idea of a huge iron golem caring very much about what the latest style of hat is.

Or what if the golem does have its own priorities, choosing to elevate other animated objects to seats of power? Shield Guardian barons, constructs running mines where peasants work to provide coal and other fuel...

So what do you think would be the most fun for adventurers? What other ideas do you have for a kingdom ruled by a golem?
 

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Delazar

Adventurer
Makes me think of the Emperor of Mankind (WH40K) for some reason. So maybe the realms is indeed ruled by a mob of advisors and nobles, and the golem sits there silent and still for most of the time. Only sometimes, something happens that "wakes him up', and he lops off the head of one of the counselors. The other counselors have no idea why that happened. But the dead noble knew what he did...

Or maybe not even the victim saw it coming, and everyone leaves in fear of the judgement of their silent iron king.
 

Grantypants

Explorer
You could lean into the golem's silence. Maybe the advisors constantly try to justify their actions by claiming that whatever movement or gesture by the golem was actually an order to do something. Or, if you're using more intelligent golems ala Discworld, maybe the golem can't speak but can write, and so all court business (maybe all the business in the kingdom) can only be done in writing.
 


aco175

Legend
I could see the political ambitions of several houses not aligning with a golem. Hate is certainly stirred with rumors of mom-humans, non-caring, non-whatever that needs to be said to get the people thinking the golem is not with them. The golem is not in the bloodline- it is only a servant and do we want a servant on the throne. We need new blood on the throne for the new times. All the current political rhetoric will fit.

There can also be some wishing to keep the golem in power. Perhaps the slow, logical, thoughts of the golem have kept the kingdom safe and prosperous.

Another idea is that over time the golem will attract a cult of its own and be worshiped. Perhaps a splinter cult of a god of time or metal. People having spend several generations under its rule may see it as inevitable. I think the infighting and will to overthrow it would have happened very early in its rule though. But, maybe it had and the golem defeated the usurpers.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I love all these ideas!

For some reason I really like the image of the Golem as a hero of the people. Maybe when monsters have threatened the kingdom, Heartless has come out and beat them down? No counselor or advisor dares to try to remove him from the throne because they know either the Golem will kill them, or the people will.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Clearly his subjects, especially courtiers and other sycophants, would adopt dress and speech patterns similar to their monarch.

Golem dolls would be especially popular in the toy stores. Rich kids get magically animated ones.
 

TheSword

Legend
The golem is un-bribable, utterly even handed, unmoved by threats and treats commoner and noble alike. A selfless guardian against corruption and personal interest. Of course the people love it.

The Golem still follows orders as though the king and its subjects will return, and wont entertain suggestions otherwise.

Secret: the golem has started to become more biased towards good after watching the nobility/merchants/criminal enterprises try to circumvent its authority even though it maintains its appearance of absolute neutrality and logic to the court. If the PCs prove themselves honest servants of the kingdom the golem reveals itself secretly and sets them partisan quests. Maybe even to try and recover the original royal bloodline because the golem has started to doubt.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Also, I think the Golem should be suffering from Pinocchio complex, with developing insecurities about the fact that it isn't "real". I'm thinking of how the Numnenoreans started to envy the elves and wanted immortality, and all the problems that caused.
 

jgsugden

Legend
A golem has a base intelligence of 3. As such, they make exceptional politicans.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Jokes aside, I'd look at this as more of a 'Wizard of Oz' scenario where the legend of the 'Golem King' exists, but in truth the golem is piloted by secret rulers that steal the throne back and forth by taking control of the golem. Perhaps a secret council exists and the members of the council vote on someone to control the golem for a set period of time. The PCs might be brought in when someone steals the method of controlling the golem and the person that is supposed to be in control doesn't want anyone else to find out it has been taken before it is used or the secret is revealed.
 


Couple of ideas:

It's not a standard golem. It could well be superintelligent. If it's capable of independent action, it could well be able to defeat all comers in combat. (In older editions they were immune to nearly all magic, after all.) Imagine one of the Transformers in a D&D world, and assume it doesn't have to worry about getting energon. It's easily more physically powerful than anything around.

With no biological children it will not be prone to the usual maneuvering that caused so much grief to real-life monarchs.

Hero of the people? Maybe 10 hedge mages raised it up from mine tailings through a ritual or something.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I like the idea that over the centuries the golem has developed something of a personality, even if it's just minor preferences for things. But it is EXTREME in its preferences. A rose once pricked the finger of a princeling... Because of this, NO ROSES shall ever be grown in the kingdom.
 

You might want to check out Age of Treason: The Iron Simulacrum for Mythras/RuneQuest 6- "You are a citizen of a great empire ruled by an unseen and immortal emperor through his viceroy, a magically animated statue known as the Iron Simulacrum."
 

My first thought was a gods of Lankhmar type situation. The people mostly manage their own affairs, and dread the rare situations when the Golem King takes it upon himself to get involved, because they know some sh*t is about to go down.
 

My first thought was a gods of Lankhmar type situation. The people mostly manage their own affairs, and dread the rare situations when the Golem King takes it upon himself to get involved, because they know some sh*t is about to go down.
That could make for an interesting scene.

The court has assembled for the weekly Briefing of the Regent Enduring, where the Seneschal of Writs presents to the golem the status reports from across the kingdom. Week after week, the seneschal reads the reports to the unmoving figure, waits the traditional two minutes for a response, bows, and then leaves. The collected nobles and courtiers spend the allotted three hours socializing, networking, deal making as they have since Their Majesties left. There is a constant buzz of conversation during this time; the respectful silence traditionally maintained during the report given the barest nod and often completely forgotten.

"... and this concludes the Briefing of the third week of Gemini, 47th year of our Majesties' reign. Your words, Regent Enduring?"

The quiet murmuring contiues. The laugh of Marquise de Meurtile as she flirts with the Baron van Linden is heard over the intense but quiet discussion of the three Marchers of the Southlands.

"ATTEND."

Silence, abrupt and total. It is as if the tapestries found a voice. That which doesn't speak has, and although their Majesties said that this would happen, it was a long time ago.

"CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION."

At first, nothing happens. Then, finding his voice first Count Twinriver takes a step forward. "What is this madness?" he addresses his fellow nobles. "Who uses this puppet to slander me?"

The grinding of metal echoes through the hall as the Regent Enduring turns their head to look at the Captain of the Guard. "CAPTAIN MONTROSE, BY YOUR OATH ATTEND. ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION!" The Captain, startles, strides towards the counts to place them under arrest. "COUNTS, YOU HAVE REVEALED YOURSELVES THROUGH GRAIN SHIPMENTS, IRON PURCHASES, TRAVEL OF YOUR KNIGHTS. YOUR PLANS ARE TRANSPARENT. YOU WILL REVEAL YOUR GOALS AND ALLIES UNDER QUESTION." The Regent Enduring turns its gaze to a group of adventurers invited to the Briefing through the favor of a noble patron. "ATTEND. TWINRIVER AND SESHTRA'S PLOT REQUIRES MORE THAN A SIMPLE UNRAVELING. THE CROWN HAS NEED OF AGENTS SUCH AS YOURSELVES. WILL YOU SERVE?"
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
That could make for an interesting scene.

The court has assembled for the weekly Briefing of the Regent Enduring, where the Seneschal of Writs presents to the golem the status reports from across the kingdom. Week after week, the seneschal reads the reports to the unmoving figure, waits the traditional two minutes for a response, bows, and then leaves. The collected nobles and courtiers spend the allotted three hours socializing, networking, deal making as they have since Their Majesties left. There is a constant buzz of conversation during this time; the respectful silence traditionally maintained during the report given the barest nod and often completely forgotten.

"... and this concludes the Briefing of the third week of Gemini, 47th year of our Majesties' reign. Your words, Regent Enduring?"

The quiet murmuring contiues. The laugh of Marquise de Meurtile as she flirts with the Baron van Linden is heard over the intense but quiet discussion of the three Marchers of the Southlands.

"ATTEND."

Silence, abrupt and total. It is as if the tapestries found a voice. That which doesn't speak has, and although their Majesties said that this would happen, it was a long time ago.

"CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION."

At first, nothing happens. Then, finding his voice first Count Twinriver takes a step forward. "What is this madness?" he addresses his fellow nobles. "Who uses this puppet to slander me?"

The grinding of metal echoes through the hall as the Regent Enduring turns their head to look at the Captain of the Guard. "CAPTAIN MONTROSE, BY YOUR OATH ATTEND. ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION!" The Captain, startles, strides towards the counts to place them under arrest. "COUNTS, YOU HAVE REVEALED YOURSELVES THROUGH GRAIN SHIPMENTS, IRON PURCHASES, TRAVEL OF YOUR KNIGHTS. YOUR PLANS ARE TRANSPARENT. YOU WILL REVEAL YOUR GOALS AND ALLIES UNDER QUESTION." The Regent Enduring turns its gaze to a group of adventurers invited to the Briefing through the favor of a noble patron. "ATTEND. TWINRIVER AND SESHTRA'S PLOT REQUIRES MORE THAN A SIMPLE UNRAVELING. THE CROWN HAS NEED OF AGENTS SUCH AS YOURSELVES. WILL YOU SERVE?"
This is fantastic!
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Is it still Int 3 Wis 11 Cha 1

Or go with a Doombot

That could make for an interesting scene.

The court has assembled for the weekly Briefing of the Regent Enduring, where the Seneschal of Writs presents to the golem the status reports from across the kingdom. Week after week, the seneschal reads the reports to the unmoving figure, waits the traditional two minutes for a response, bows, and then leaves. The collected nobles and courtiers spend the allotted three hours socializing, networking, deal making as they have since Their Majesties left. There is a constant buzz of conversation during this time; the respectful silence traditionally maintained during the report given the barest nod and often completely forgotten.

"... and this concludes the Briefing of the third week of Gemini, 47th year of our Majesties' reign. Your words, Regent Enduring?"

The quiet murmuring contiues. The laugh of Marquise de Meurtile as she flirts with the Baron van Linden is heard over the intense but quiet discussion of the three Marchers of the Southlands.

"ATTEND."

Silence, abrupt and total. It is as if the tapestries found a voice. That which doesn't speak has, and although their Majesties said that this would happen, it was a long time ago.

"CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD, ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION."

At first, nothing happens. Then, finding his voice first Count Twinriver takes a step forward. "What is this madness?" he addresses his fellow nobles. "Who uses this puppet to slander me?"

The grinding of metal echoes through the hall as the Regent Enduring turns their head to look at the Captain of the Guard. "CAPTAIN MONTROSE, BY YOUR OATH ATTEND. ARREST COUNT TWINRIVER AND COUNT SESHTRA FOR SEDITION!" The Captain, startles, strides towards the counts to place them under arrest. "COUNTS, YOU HAVE REVEALED YOURSELVES THROUGH GRAIN SHIPMENTS, IRON PURCHASES, TRAVEL OF YOUR KNIGHTS. YOUR PLANS ARE TRANSPARENT. YOU WILL REVEAL YOUR GOALS AND ALLIES UNDER QUESTION." The Regent Enduring turns its gaze to a group of adventurers invited to the Briefing through the favor of a noble patron. "ATTEND. TWINRIVER AND SESHTRA'S PLOT REQUIRES MORE THAN A SIMPLE UNRAVELING. THE CROWN HAS NEED OF AGENTS SUCH AS YOURSELVES. WILL YOU SERVE?"

Now this I like alot. Absolutely thinking of ways to yoink it now….
 

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