Nephilim FATE Magic — Golems

Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.

It’s no good to be an Alchemist if you cannot make Golems.

Only Alchemists of the Second Circle (White Stone) can make Golems.  The Alchemy of Golems is no place for dabblers and tourists. It is crafting a form of life.  It is hard core.

Golems come in one of four forms: Simalcrons, Automatons, Constructs and Golems, from simplest to most complex.  At their most basic forms, these crude human-like creatures follow simple sentence commands and carry out orders of their creators like “clean this room” or “kill everyone who comes near me.”  Imaginative Alchemists can construct quite complex Automatons and Constructs far beyond lumbering hulks of clay.

Nephilim are, as a whole, a bit twitchy around Golem as they can see the similarities between their own Simulacra and the hand-made bodies and wonder if the distance between here and there is but a short hop.  Some of the most intense (read: crazy) Nephilim Alchemists have figured out how to fuze Summoning with Alchemy to stuff the souls of Angels into manufactured alchemical bodies to force their Summonings to obey them long beyond their contracts.  This is considered “varsity level magic.”  Or perhaps “horrifying sacrilege.”  Or just “bad.”

Alchemists claim all Golem-based magicks come from the Grimoire of Ibbur, or the Fecundation of the Soul.  The author and the date of the original is unknown, but modern Alchemists know the Hebrew translation was handed down from Rabbi Judah Loew of the Prague Golem.  One copy of the original Arabic and a few copies of crude Latin translations theoretically exist, but no one knows where; several copies of Loew’s Hebrew translation exist for enterprising souls who wish to create their own man of blood and rock.

Rumor has it the Grimoire of Ibbur contains far more than instructions for crafting Golems but the secrets are locked away behind ciphers and codes.  They say it has a map to the Philosopher’s Stone.  But no one knows, since no one has an original copy of the book.

To create a Golem:

– A character or group of characters must undertake a quest to lay hands on a copy of the translated Grimoire of Ibbur.

– Golems are surprisingly difficult to reverse engineer but, once a character has made one Golem, the character can use Scholarship at the same Complexity to begin making variations on a theme.  Ie, if the character has figured out how to make a basic Earth Golem of Iron, it’s not that far of a shot to figure out how to craft some sort of horrible Mechanized Spider Golem.

– Mastering Summoning and Alchemy to Summon an Angel into the body of a Golem is often too much for one Nephilim; two Nephilim working at it might work up something worth writing home about.  The Summoning is the same as the regular Summoning.  The Alchemist must also overcome the Summoning’s Conviction with Discipline to synthesize the Summoning into the body.  This will not make the Summoning happy, but what the hell.

– The Complexity for a Golem begins at 5.  The GM may increase the Complexity based on:

  • Modernity.  The Golem uses modern substances (steel, aluminum, plastics, carbon fiber) over ancient substances (earth, water).  
  • Complexity.  Mechanized Steampunk Spider Golems are far more difficult than Earth Golems.
  • Size.  Enormous Golems are more difficult to raise than teeny bird golems.
  • Autonomy.  The more intelligent the Golem, the more difficult to create.
  • Summoning an Intelligence requires the standard Summoning plus Discipline rolls over the Summoning’s Conviction to move it from the Pentagram into the prepared body.
– Complexity may be subdivided into multiple formulae and the Golem can be upgraded over time.  For example, the Alchemist can raise a dumb Earth Golem (Complexity: 5).  Then the Alchemist can later add an Alchemical Brain Gem to the Golem (Complexity: 4 Black Stone adaptation of another formulae) to upgrade its intelligence.  And of course, later, because it’s fun, the Golem can add guns, but the guns may be just guns.
The most advanced White Stone Alchemists sit around in coffee shops and talk about just what sort of Golems they could make with the Philosopher’s Stone.  Just think!  World spanning Golems?  Golems with Archangels?  Perhaps everliving perfect bodies for themselves…