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


I saw an old comic on Mr. Kitty's Stupid Comics that had everyone decide that a giant robot would do a better job of ruling humanity because it could be programmed with pacifism and humility. It did a good job, but Hydra (it was a Marvel comic) tried to get it to help them take over the world. It refused, because it believed itself to be inferior to humanity and therefore couldn't do evil things like humans can.

...So maybe this kingdom had been ruled by a series of really bad kings, and a sentient golem is a breath of fresh air in comparison.

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The Golem is the reason that The Steward line is still just the acting ruling Stewards and not a monarchical dynasty even though generations have gone by. There could be lots of urban legends of the Return of the King who will be known by the Golem rising off the Throne to allow the True Sovereign to take control of the Kingdom.

Take that Sword in the Stone.


Dusty Dragon
So I had an idea that you may ... massage... to fit it to a golem.

Basically, my idea was of a king that was some kind of ... brute. Anger, base cunning, a tyrant. The king was hulking, almost as big as an ogre. He executed people himself, on a whim. A terrible king really.


The king has a growth - a smaller head. It is far wiser, cunning and patient than the king. The king denies its existence - in fact, it has killed courtiers for mentioning it. BUT the court has realized that "the small king" is a far better ruler than the brute! So court discussions are ... doubled. The courtiers and advisors inform the kings of the situation, listen to both kings' responses, and act accordingly. The small king understand this is going on, and - if all goes well - the brute king thinks the courtiers are speaking to him alone.


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.
Oddly enough, naming him Heartless somehow gives me images of the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. He too, became a king over a realm in Oz after Dorothy left, and was well-loved by the people he protected.


Obviously the "golem" is three kobolds in a trenchcoat. Hilarity ensues.

All jokes aside, this is a great opportunity to explore a AI in charge/Skynet situation in a fantasy context. Or to have that as a feint and end up with a Wizard of Oz situation.

The clear hook for me is that the golem is a just, fair and incorruptible ruler. So obviously the PCs are hired to destroy it.

If they turn down the offer once they find out that the golem is the good guy then have them hired again to kill it, and again, and again by... well basically everyone at this point.

The people will get the ruler they deserve. By any means necessary.


First idea that comes to my mind is some sort of idol given a semblance of sentience through the faith and prayer of the population; as directed by a fanatical priesthood. Maybe the golem isn't actually fully self aware - just kinda reflects the prayers and expectations of the populace. It might hold a stoic sort of court, adjudicating disputes and issuing commands with just a few cryptic words that are puzzled out by the priesthood. Probably not a very sympathetic or merciful ruler.

I definitely think this would be a "ruled by the court" / shogunate / regency situation where the real power is being the person who speaks for the golem king - at least until the pc's show up and everything changes.


Basically, you have a lot of the normal issues with an immortal ruler. The nation is stagnant and their limited ambition.

Golems aren't usually intelligent, so why is this one intelligent?

More of a problem, Golems are usually obedient, so why would anyone trust that a Golem wouldn't be subverted to act on someone else's behalf?

I'm very much reminded of the Emperor/Adversary in the Fables graphic novel series.

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?

I quite like this idea. I love golems. You might want to mine Van Richter's Guide to the Created for ideas.

You could kind of go the Dalek route with him and make him into a pretty terrifying antagonist. Also maybe this is exists elsewhere. You could have different kinds of golems governing and in position of esteem or power (a flesh golem made from the great kings of a kingdom's past for example).

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