Swarm Golems (5e Race)
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There's a slithering of serpents and chirping of insects as the mass of disgust coalesced together before me. Seemingly as if on command, the swarm pulled together and swathed the creature with a cloak of leather, bugs covering it's surface. As the face, if that's what you could call it, formed in front of me, the scarabs it bore as eyes, burned towards me. It's "voice", laughed as a blade was handed to its writhing limb.
Covered, slithering, bodies that hold a silhouette of either male or female. Swarm Golems appear as a person covered entirely by insects, until a creature gets closer, only to realize that this figure is made of such crawling monstrosities. The form of a Swarm Golem is fluid, however retains a base shape that appears as though it is covered in static.
Swarm golems are created by the intentions of magical experiments, but are more than often, the results of the failures of those experiments. Swarm Golems have a history as mistakes and not generally as a formal race of creature that exist in the world. Various histories and ways that Swarm Golems created are listed below:
- Intentional Experiments
Created, largely by magical experiments, these are the cleanest and most stable looking Swarm Golems. These Swarm Golems have been raised or reared by their creators and tend to be highly civilized and learned. Swarm Golems created from intentional experiments trend towards being lawful as they were reared by some means.
- Accidental Experiments
Created as the result of an accidental experiment, the Swarm Golem themselves not being the desired outcome, and have come out of the experiment. These creatures are usually hated, scorned, or marveled at by their creators. They tend to be abused by their creators and have a reviling hatred towards the magic that created them. Swarm Golems created from accidental experiments tend to be chaotic creatures do to the unpredictable nature surrounding their birth.
- Aftermath of Magical Disaster
These Swarm Golems are made from the resulting magical energies that have been absorbed by the surrounding creepy crawlies. They have come together, either knowing or unknowingly, to form the gestalt intelligence that now resides. If created out in the wild, these Swarm Golems tend to learn from nature and the outskirts of cities. If created after the aftermath of a great disaster that destroyed a lab or city, the Swarm Golems learn from the resulting rubble, learning either correctly or incorrectly from the destruction around them. Swarm Golems created from the aftermath of magical disasters trend towards evil characters as they are scorned or feared as monsters in the area where they are born.
- Saving a Soul
Sometimes, Swarm Golems coalesce around the Soul of a previously living being. This person, has now become a Swarm Golem. If this was intentional, the creature retains their previous memories and self identity. However, as the gestalt loses and gains new creatures to hold it together, begins losing fragments of memory and self identity. Alternatively, a Swarm Golem could be considered the failed prospect of someone attempting to turn themselves into a Lich. Swarm Golems created in this manner can be of any type although will trend towards either the good or evil extremes.
Swarm Golems are generally not common enough to warrant a society. Their interactions with the rest of the world are brief and can come in many varieties.
Swarm Golem Names
Swarm Golems can have any name given to them by a creator, however, cannot necessarily pronounce them properly. Words such as Sam would be pronounced phonetically by the Swarm Golem as Sssammmm. Their speech is rumbled and tend to cater well towards the S, X, and Z sounds.
Swarm Golems choose their names, much as they choose their forms, although Swarm Golems themselves are gender neutral.
Male: Sselixx, Skizzix, Zachariah
Female: Felicity, Feeliss, Zelifix
Swarm Golem Traits
Gestalts made from swarms of creatures.
Ability Score Increase. Swarm Golems are very durable, as they are made of so many individual creatures, and receive a +2 to their Constitution score.
Age. Swarm Golems can have any age essentially being mature before birth and ageless as long as they continue to add new creatures to their gestalt. However, the older a Swarm Golem is, the more they refer to themselves in the Third Person and see themselves being a colony rather than an individual.
Alignment. Swarm Golems can have any alignment, although take their creation into factor. For example, a Swarm Golem created by an Accidental Experiment would tend to be of an evil alignment as abuse and experimentation would bend them towards hating other sentient races. Look back at how your Swarm Golem was created to help you determine a fitting alignment for your character.
Size. Swarm Golems can vary in size and shape, however are always considered Medium creatures.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. As long as a Swarm Golem is in golem form and not wearing medium or heavy armor, they may pass through other creatures spaces without the penalty of difficult terrain.
Blindsight. Due to the shear number of eyes and other senses at their disposal, you have blindsight out to 10 feet.
We Are Legion. Swarm Golems are amalgams of many sentient creatures, as such, they tend to refer to themselves in the third person, using words such as we and our instead of I and my.
Swarm Form. Swarm Golems take their namesakes from their gestalt like forms and their ability to transform into a fluid state.
Swarm Form. Swarm Golems, can as an action, transform themselves into their swarm form rather than their golem form or vice versa by using an action. While in swarm form, you are treated as your chosen swarm form creature with the following exceptions:
- Your abilities, proficiencies, hit points, vision, and movement speed, remain the same.
- While in Swarm form you may speak and understand any language your character could speak.
- All of your gear drops to the ground where you transformed if it cannot be carried within your swarm. You lose all of your items magical effects you cannot carry in this way, however, do not unattune to them until after a period of 1 hour has passed away from them.
- The damage for your swarm form is 1d6 piercing damage at level 1, 2d6 at level 5, 3d6 at level 10, 4d6 at level 15, and 5d6 at level 20. You use Strength for your attack and damage rolls for your swarm attack. You are considered proficient with your swarm attack.
- The damage the swarm form deals is reduced by half (rounded down) as long as your health is below half of its maximum (rounded down).
- You may not use any tools or items while you are in swarm form.
- You may cast spells in swarm form as long as they do not require somatic components.
- As long as you are in swarm form, you are immune to being grappled or restrained by nonmagical means. Transforming into your swarm from your golem form while restrained or grappled in this manner frees the Swarm Golem but expends all of the Swarm Golem's movement to do so.
- As long as you are in swarm form, you may pass through any opening large enough to fit a single creature of your form. Movement through small passages such as this takes longer than normal and should be considered difficult terrain.
Languages. Swarm Golems can speak and understand common.
Subrace. insects, snakes, spiders, beetles, and rats.
Swarm of Insects
These golems are made from the amassing and constantly churning forms of a variety of insects, and gain the following features:
Ability Score Increase. Swarms of Insects tend to be very adaptable, and increase an ability score other than Constitution by +1.
Swarm of Insects. This species of Swarm Golems turn into a Swarm of Insects upon assuming their swarm form.
Liquidize. Being made from the smallest and most nimble of creatures a swarm could be made of, attacks that impact a Swarm of Insects can be greatly reduced. As long as you are in golem form and not wearing heavy armor, you may spend your reaction to half the damage that any nonmagical attack would deal (rounded down). You regain use of this feature after completing a long rest.
Den of Venomous Snakes
These golems are made from the writhing bodies and entanglement of scales that comes from a group of snakes. Golems made of this group of bestial creatures have the following features.
Ability Score Increase. Swarms of Venomous Snakes tend to strike fast, and have their Dexterity score increased by +1.
Swarm of Snakes. This species of Swarm Golems turn into a Swarm of Venomous Snakes upon assuming their swarm form.
Strike of Venom and Fang. Swarm golems of venomous snakes have thousands of fangs and can, with the slightest movement, harm their foes with their venom. Whenever the swarm golem makes an unarmed attack or its swarm attack for the first time each turn, they may have the target make a Constitution Saving throw; the DC for this save is 8 + 1/2 your level rounded up. The target takes 4d6 poison damage, half as much upon a successful save.
Poisonous. Leaking venom out of thousands of fangs, a swarm golem forged from a swarm of venomous snakes have resistance to poison.
Cluster of Spiders
These golems are made from the spinning and twisting mass of spiders and as such a conglomerate of tiny beasts, gain the following features:
Ability Score Increase. Swarms of Spiders tend to have such slow and silent movements and have advantage on Stealth checks.
Swarm of Spiders. This species of Swarm Golems turn into a Swarm of Spiders upon assuming their swarm form.
Spider Climb. Swarm golems of this species have the same skill for climbing as their components, though their size and carrying capacity does limit their motion. You have a climbing speed equal to 1/2 your movement speed and can climb difficult surfaces; including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Web Walk. Being made from a mass of Spiders, your swarm golem suffers no movement penalty incurred from webbing.
Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the swarm knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
Web Production. Through the efforts of thousands of spiders, your swarm golem can produce up to 10 ft of silk rope or one Net made of silk over the course of a short rest.
Rampart of Beetles
These golems are made from interlocked and hardy bodies of beetles, and gain the following features:
Ability Score Increase. Swarms of beetles are strong and that strength carries over, increase your Strength score by +1.
Swarm of Beetles. The swarm golem uses the swarm of beetles as their swarm form.
Armored Shells. Being made from such hearty creatures, swarm golems made from beetles have a natural armor. While not wearing heavy armor, you increase your AC by +1.
Horned Charge. Beetles often lock horns in the wild, and this technique does translate to their golem form. When you move at least 25 ft on your turn, you may add a +2 to your next attack and damage roll.
Mischief of Rats
These golems are made from the twisting and chitterring bodies of countless rats, and gain the following features:
Ability Score Increase. Rats are far more intelligent than given credit for, as such your Intelligence score is increased by +1.
Swarm of Rats. The golem uses a swarm of rats as their swarm form.
Keen Smell. The golem has advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell.
Alert the horde. Due to the numerous whiskers and hair of the swarm, it has it's passive Perception increased by +2.
Teeth of Steel. The teeth of a rat are as hard as steel and often bite through it, whenever you make an unarmed or swarm attack against a target in metal armor, you make that attack with advantage.
Random Height and Weight
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*Height = base height + height modifier