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Ways to create golems that come to life

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Fingers McGee, May 24, 2015.

  1. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee New Member

    I'm creating a world with a variety of types of magic. One of with are golem engineers or golemer for short . Through magical means they create a variety of wood, clay or metal golems that they can mentally control. Through the use of telepathy they can give commands or can temporally move there minds into these golems and use them as there own body. I want golems to eventually to have life. By which I mean they become living thinking being, with thoughts and dream of there own. A SciFi reference is I want them to be a R2-D2 but with magic. At first I was going to have a deity grace them with life if the creator was deserving ( Pinocchio). But that didn't feel right as that would not give the ability to have "evil" golemers or golems. I did not want to use captured life for the inverse reason. Would it be too much of a stretch that the magic and the mental control eventual brought the golem to life. Like a golemer who has used his over the course of years that it starts by first have its own quirks then becoming its own being?
  2. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

    Do you need a reason? I mean, do you want the reason to be known to the people in-universe or is it to iron out details in world building?

    I ask because I've read a few well constructed stories where the people in universe don't know why or how the Golems come alive (and there's argument as to whether they actually are alive or not).

    Do you want the method known to people in-universe so they can do it intentionally? Or is it more of an accidental event?
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  3. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    I don't see why it would be such a stretch. Assume that the maker imbues the golem with a sort of quasi autonomy such that they can obey orders. That creates a bond (dare I say psychic) between the two. And as the maker continues to order the golem around, little by little the golem absorbs a little of the maker's will. A smart maker will scrap a golem and make a new one every few years to avoid this happening. But some are not so smart, and eventually the golem starts to rebel.

    Cheers, Greg.
    Laurence likes this.
  4. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    Or there's the extreme approach, used in Dragon Age. There, dwarven golems are the ultimate weapon, but the secret of making them has been lost because

    they can only be made by trapping a living person's mind in them to begin with.
  5. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Hmmm... you could go with the mental contact ends up shaping the golem's nascent soul which would lead to the golems having certain personality traits reminiscent of their creators.
  6. Vandor

    Vandor Dreamer

    To expand on what Wordwalker said,

    There is a point in the game that reveals that originally all golems were made of willing subjects. It was only later with corrupt rulers that political enemies and criminals, etc. were forced into being made golems. In all cases, the golems retained their identity and sense of self, though they lost control of their physical bodies to control rods, which the masters would use.

    The two odd cases that come up are the creator of the process - who made himself into a golem as guilt punishment for his not corrupt process- and one golem that no longer is compelled to obey it's control rod (this leads to quite amusing events). In all instances, the people's souls or life force was eternal as long as the body was not destroyed. Sometimes they'd just sit in abandoned cities or tunnels or tombs, just waiting for their masters to call them again.

    Another series that uses the golems is the Bartemeus series, though that focuses more on the old eastern legends.

    So, maybe something that binds the creature, still sentient, to the master, but can be destroyed by someone else, or has to be precisely made otherwise the results are a free golem or an insane one? traumatized by a botched transition?
  7. j-max04

    j-max04 Acolyte

    You could have them be pieces of powerful magical technology, effectively magic robots, but this is difficult to do right, and then having them become self aware brings up the age-old trope and issues it drags along of sentient ai. This is what I would do personally, but it seems like you may be looking for something else.
    On the other hand, you could do something mystic like separate someone's soul from their body and then magically enhance the body to become tougher and not age, which would make the body considerably rougher and less agile. Then there would only be a mind with no soul, which would, for a long time, only know how to obey orders. I s'pose most of this relies on the rest of your world.
  8. Bruce McKnight

    Bruce McKnight Troubadour

    Nothing is too far-fetched if it's consistent and has a reason.

    You could explain golems with any number of reasons:
    Golems are made on the third moon of autumn
    Every time a bell rings a golem comes to life


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