Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Library Golems

SYSTEM: ICONS

I haven't used these, but they were inspired by a set of tweets that Mary Anne Mohanraj posted on her Facebook feed:



But it's not out of place for a superhero game to have a mystic library, and for that library to have mystic protectors... Hence these "book golems".

Book Golems

The book golems are spirits that roam the library. Treat them as ghosts, or astral projection without bodies: they can fly on the astral plane, pass through things (and there are very few rooms in the library protected against ghosts...because they would not be able to let these guardians in...but the library as a whole is protected), and have a great deal of trouble affecting things on the physical plane. They are not clever, but they do have a certain awareness. (In ICONS, they exist as the Servant power.) Vistors to the library are given protective tokens that identify them. Employees of the library are their own tokens: there is nothing to steal, and the attunement takes some time, but it can be revoked from a distance.

The library is decorated with headless statues of stone or bronze. The statues have books lying at their feet, which are never cleaned up—which seems odd, when the rest of the library is meticulously (even magically) tidied and organized. Here's why.

When the golem needs to take form on the earthly plane, it animates a statue, and places a book on its neck. From then on, the statue has the abilities described in the book (represented as variable abilities in the Servant description). Until that book is removed (a +2 difficulty to the task), the statue cannot change books. The book can be burned off, of course, but they are fire retardant; the statue can be immobilized, or the spirit can leave the statue, either by being exorcised by a puissant-enough magician or because its job is done. If the body is destroyed, the spirit is free to animate something else.

The books around the statues tend to be biographies of famous fighters, rogues, wizards, and so on.

If there is no statue around, the book golem can build itself a body entirely of books. It is not as tough as a body of stone or bronze, and more prone to flying apart if there is a sudden impact, but it has happened. The sight of an inukshuk of books stomping towards you does tends to give thieves pause.

There are ways to get around them. The book golems are not nearly as fierce on the astral plane, so they can be fought or imprisoned on the astral plane. It is possible that someone could switch the book before it is placed on their head so they have the abilities and skills of a renowned pacifist. There are a limited number of these spirits, so one could, in theory, turn off the protection for all the librarians and trust that the book golems will be busy with them instead of your operative.


Book Golem (Spirit form)
PrwCrdStrIntAwrWilSta
335-549
Powers
Incredible (7) Astral Projection, no body
Incredible (7) Servant, Extra: Variable Limit: Abilities depend on book
Qualities
  • Ghost
  • Protect the library!

Book Golem (Statue form)
PrwCrdStrIntAwrWilSta
557-5-14
Powers
Incredible (7) Alternate Form: Stone (Damage Reduction 7, Strength 7)
Weak (1) Super-Speed
Fair (4) Magic: Any other abilities
Qualities
  • Ghost
  • Protect the library!
  • Book is only Damage Reduction 3 versus fire

Book Golem (Books form)
PrwCrdStrIntAwrWilSta
533-5-14
Powers
Average (3) Alternate Form: Books(Damage Reduction 7, Strength 3, Slashing from paper cuts 3, Stretching 3)
Weak (2) Super-Speed
Fair (4) Magic: Any other abilities
Qualities
  • Ghost
  • Protect the library!
  • A moderate result on a slam or stun makes the body fly apart