Saturday, 22 August 2020

Paper Golem, a spell for menial tasks

 [ Paper Golem]     D: until next dawn     R: 10'

Target paper-doll enlarges to size of caster, adopts their attributes, and accepts instructions of [sum] nouns and verbs. Paper Golems have one hitpoint, weigh almost nothing, are blown by wind, and will wear off their fingers in an hour of hard work if they have them. They approach problems in the most obvious way that their caster would (as if in a dream, drunk, or half-asleep), have no self-preservation, and have miniscule problem-solving ability. While concentrating, caster knows approximate direction to golem and if golem is destroyed. When destroyed, material reverts to original size. Valid materials follow.

1 MD: Materials that are instantly destroyed by fire and quickly degraded by water (paper, dry leaves, reeds)

2 MD: Materials that are resistant to either water or fire (flake of wax, squashed cotton candy)

3+ MD: Any mundane material.

??? MD: A shadow (ask your GM)



 A Paper Golem is a simple construct animated by a spell which makes it move. The caster "stamps" a little bit of their psyche (the surface parts of Purple (Memory) and Red (Personality) and the complex interplay between the two, which is where skills live) temporarily into the spell, along with a task and the required power, and launches it at a little paper doll - which should have the same limb arrangement as the caster for best results.

Technically, paper isn't required, but it should be something like that; a flexible bit of reed, a dead leaf, though more advanced casters can make use of more durable materials like thin foil.

 The spell expands the little doll until it is about as big as the caster and sets about the given task immediately. They are the worst kind of golem in existence and are incredibly fragile. The spell stays with the golem - you can't make an army of them unless you really have that many of the spell.

A paper golem only knows one thing and that is how to pretend to be you - approximately. It knows that it is a fake version of you, and if you would be anguished by that thought, it pretends to feel that same anguish. The act of stamping yourself onto it forms a very weak sympathetic link between you and your golem, and if you concentrate you can sort-of know what direction it's in, and you will also know if it is destroyed. This also means that if a wizard can examine both you and your golem, they can determine that you made it.

If it completes the task or the body is destroyed, the spell goes and gets comfortable somewhere nearby to wait for the next day, when it returns to your brain, just like any other spell.

The paper golem spell, being desired by one and all, are frequently owned by a collective of villagers who all have a share in the labour (or by guild masters). Losing one is extremely shameful and theft of one is sternly punished... by the victims. Demand has always exceeded supply, despite the efforts of many wizards to breed as many of them as possible.

Nobles often pretend that they are too good to use them - having a large number of peasants clearly means that you are wealthy, but crude paper things that blow away in a strong wind don't really speak of power. In effect, it just means that they are kept out of sight.

In very safe parts you might see them carrying messages or an armload of goods from one village to another - as long as the ground is completely dry and there's no threat of rain.

Very clever people may attempt to tell the golem to "FOLLOW ARM INSTRUCTIONS" and pin on a sheet of paper with further orders. This almost never works out; it tends to completely overwhelm the golem's powers of comprehension, as they often lose their place, repeat instructions, combine steps in imaginitive ways, or just give up entirely. I appreciate clever use of resources, but I'm not letting you bypass the most important limitation of an incredibly good spell.

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Paper Golem, a spell for menial tasks

 [ Paper Golem]      D: until next dawn      R: 10' Target paper-doll enlarges to size of caster, adopts their attributes, and accepts ...