Must multiple stone golems save against their own slow effect?


Rules Questions


Let's say I have 5 stone golems, all crowded around the party tank. These golems badly want to slow the tank, because he's high level and getting TONS of attacks per round. So the golems all turn on their supernatural slow effect. The hero/tank character must make a DC 17 will save now. That's low & easy for a high-level dude, but with 5 saves to make, we're pulling for the hero to roll a natural 1, maybe.

But what about the stone golems themselves? Do they each make 4 saving throws (1 per each of the other 4 golems)? Do they each make 5 saving throws (versus the other golems AND vs. their OWN effect)? Or do they make no saves as if they are immune to the slow effect of golems?

Any advice much appreciated!


I suppose that according to RAW they would be affected. Technically the Slow effect is a Supernatural ability, but since the description says 'as the spell', I'd rule they are immune even were I not inclined to do so otherwise.


Is your thinking that because they're immune to spells & spell-like effects, that maybe Slow should also be something they're immune to, even though it's a Supernatural effect in this case? So, nothing to do with monsters being immune to their own attacks, instead it's just that their immunity to magic might be extended to shut down Supernatural effects?

Or were you thinking something else, some other reason? Thanks for the tips/advice.


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Quote:

A stone golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A transmute rock to mud spell slows a stone golem (as the slow spell) for 2d6 rounds, with no saving throw, while transmute mud to rock heals all of its lost hit points.
A stone to flesh spell does not actually change the golem’s structure but negates its damage reduction and immunity to magic for 1 full round.

Quote:

Slow (Su)

A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem and a duration of 7 rounds, requiring a DC 17 Will save to negate. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Magic resistance only applies if spell resistance would apply. Spell resistance does not apply to the supernatural Slow ability.

Not only are golems not immune, they aren't intelligent so they wouldn't think about not harming their allies. They absolutely would use Slow in this case, and would Slow each other (and they would fail their save more than half the time). Of course this hardly matters because the poor tank is being squished by five golems.


Medusas can look at each other and not worry about petrifying each other. If you have a particular DR, you bypass that DR in others. It seems likely that Stone Golems would be immune to each other's Slow for the same reason. Also, Stone Golems seem to be immune to most stuff.

Stone Golem wrote:
A stone golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance.

Is the Stone Golem Slow ability a spell or Spell Like Ability?

Stone Golem wrote:
A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell,

Yup.

Does Slow allow spell resistance?

Slow wrote:
Spell Resistance yes

Yup.

There you go: Stone Golems are immune to each others' Slow.


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It's a supernatural ability not a spell or spell like ability. It's an effect and the effect is like the spell.

But that is still a supernatural ability. So you're wrong Scott.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Supernatural Abilities (Su): Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). A supernatural ability’s effect cannot be dispelled and is not subject to counterspells.

Yes, they impact one another because they are not immune in any way.


outshyn wrote:

Is your thinking that because they're immune to spells & spell-like effects, that maybe Slow should also be something they're immune to, even though it's a Supernatural effect in this case? So, nothing to do with monsters being immune to their own attacks, instead it's just that their immunity to magic might be extended to shut down Supernatural effects?

Or were you thinking something else, some other reason? Thanks for the tips/advice.

My thinking is exactly as I said: technically it is a Supernatural ability, so it is not affected by SR according to RAW. However, the actual ability says 'as the spell', which can be interpreted to mean 'is affected by SR'. I'm not entirely sure what the designers intended but I rule that it is subject to SR, especially considering it used to be a proper spell in earlier editions.


Cavall wrote:

It's a supernatural ability not a spell or spell like ability. It's an effect and the effect is like the spell.

But that is still a supernatural ability. So you're wrong Scott.

Well, I brought the evidence, and you haven't. I win. You lose.

I have proven that Stone Golems are immune to Spells and Spell-like effects that allow spell resistance.

I have proven that the Stone Golem's Slow Ability is like the Slow Spell.

I have proven that the Slow Spell allows Spell Resistance.

And that proves that Stone Golems are immune to Stone Golems's Slow effects.

You have not proven that the Stone Golem's Slow ability is a Supernatural Ability and not a Spell-like Ability.

And even if you do, there is still the matter that the Golem's ability states it is "as the spell," and the spell states that it does allow Spell Resistance.

And that means you have to prove that General trumps Specific, which, in general, it doesn't.


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Slow (Su) A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell, as a free action once every 2 rounds. The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem and a duration of 7 rounds, requiring a DC 17 Will save to negate. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Supernatural Abilities (Su)

Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). A supernatural ability’s effect cannot be dispelled and is not subject to counterspells. See Table: Special Ability Types for a summary of the types of special abilities.

The entry in the stone golem stat block clearly states that their slow ability is a supernatural ability. The section on supernatural abilities is also clear that spell resistance does not apply. Therefore spell resistance does not apply vs the slow ability of a stone golem. The as the spell is simply a way to save Piazo from having to print out the full description in every instance it is found. If they did this the books would be massive and cost 10 times as much.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like.

Yeah, it does say

Slow wrote:
(Su)

doesn't it?

But, the Stone Golem Description of the ability literally states that it is spell-like!

Stone Golem wrote:
A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell,

Another thing to bear in mind: the scenario we are talking about is multiple Stone Golems. Considering how much they cost and the problems with using them, it is highly unlikely we are talking about a PC with an army of Golems, but rather a GM-created encounter.

I have never met a GM that would Slow his own Golems.


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If a GM wants to hose rule that the other golems are not affected by the spell as a house rule that is their prerogative. The fact of the matter is that RAW their magic immunity does not work vs SU abilities which their slow is.

If it acts like a spell then each golem would provoke an attack of opportunity for using it. It could also be dispelled or counterspelled. As it stand the slow effect of the golem is not subject to any of these things. So which is worse for the golem? Taking a hit from any creature that is threatening it, and having the party spell caster be able to counter or dispel the affect, or losing one attack and taking some minor penalties?

This is actually a very good tactic for the golems to use, because it hurts the tank more than it hurts them. Golems only have two attacks per rounds, but a high level fighter probably has a lot more.


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I find it interesting that people can read the same things, witness the same events, etc... and come to opposite conclusions. I can see how you could interpret "as the spell" to include it being the spell. But I disagree. It says "Slow (Su) A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell,...". The ability is a Su effect, not a spell. "As the spell" means to look at the Slow spell for what effect the Su ability has, not to mean it is a Slow spell. And Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance, so they do have the chance to effect each other. That is how I would rule it.


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It is an effect as the spell.

That does not say anywhere that it is a spell-like ability, which is a game term clearly defined. As is supernatural.

It is saying that is is a supernatural (game term) ability (game term) which has an effect as the spell. The word like is not in that sentence nor is it a spell. Just that it is an effect that works as a spell.

Since it is an ability that works as the spell and the spell offers spell resistance but the source is NOT a spell or spell-like ability, they are not immune.

Only evidence needed to be provided was "is this a spell or spell-like ability"

It is not. The source is supernatural.

Therefore case closed. Willful misreadings do not count as evidence.


Seems likely to me that the description of "slow effect, as the spell" was intended to save word count and not to create an additional layer of rule effects.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
You have not proven that the Stone Golem's Slow ability is a Supernatural Ability and not a Spell-like Ability.

"The following special abilities include rules commonly used by a number of creatures, spells, and traps.

Extraordinary Abilities (Ex)
Extraordinary abilities are non-magical. They are, however, not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training. Effects or areas that suppress or negate magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities.

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp)
Spell-like abilities, as the name implies, are magical abilities that are very much like spells. Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). Spell-like abilities can be dispelled but they cannot be counterspelled or used to counterspell.

Supernatural Abilities (Su)
Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like. Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance and do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated (such as an antimagic field). A supernatural ability’s effect cannot be dispelled and is not subject to counterspells. See Table: Special Ability Types for a summary of the types of special abilities."

The golem's slow effect is clearly, unarguably defined as a supernatural ability.
It is clearly, unarguably NOT defined as a spell-like ability, and furthermore I don't think I've ever seen a special ability that was in more than one category.

The golem's slow effect is like a spell, but it is not a "spell-like ability", the system term as defined by the game. If you want to try and argue otherwise, I'd call most special abilities, be they supernatural or spell-like, to be pretty extraordinary. I mean, shooting fireballs out of your hands? Extraordinary!
But "...effects or areas that suppress or negate magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities", so I guess the spell-like ability to cast fireball at-will can be used in an antimagic field, then?

Game terms and definitions are important. Disregard or twist them, and things fall apart pretty fast.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Supernatural abilities are magical but not spell-like.

Yeah, it does say

Slow wrote:
(Su)

doesn't it?

But, the Stone Golem Description of the ability literally states that it is spell-like!

Stone Golem wrote:
A stone golem can use a slow effect, as the spell,

Another thing to bear in mind: the scenario we are talking about is multiple Stone Golems. Considering how much they cost and the problems with using them, it is highly unlikely we are talking about a PC with an army of Golems, but rather a GM-created encounter.

I have never met a GM that would Slow his own Golems.

Yet, by RAW, they would. This isn't a case of interpretation, the rules are pretty clear (as has been explained several times).

Personally I'd rule them immune, and that's certainly RAI, but RAW they are not.


Okay, I have to admit, I did miss the part where it said that Stone Golem Slow is a Supernatural ability and no other kind of ability.

I do stand behind my findings, though. And I do stand behind demanding Cavall make a real argument to counter mine rather than just hand-waving it with a you're-wrong post. I feel very justified in demanding evidence. And I do appreciate the fact that you did deliver the evidence.

I concede that Stone Golem Slow is a Supernatural Ability, and Supernatural Abilities are not listed amongst the Stone Golem Immunities, so that means that Stone Golems should not be immune.

I do assert though, that Stone Golem Slow does state that is as the spell, and Stone Golems are definitely immune to Slow Spells.

So I do think it is fair to assert that any PC with a million gold pieces to spare who decides to build 9 Stone Golems should be cautioned to space their Golems apart lest they get caught in each others' Slow. I do assert that they have a powerful counter argument to make against their GMs, but winning arguments like that depends on the GMs willingness not to mess with their players, and that seems scarce.

Likewise, a GM creating an encounter where the party has to face 9 Stone Golems might well face a strongly-worded argument that they will get themselves caught in their own Slows, but the GM has more than ample justification within the rules to declare that their Golems are immune. And that players' argument depends on GM's willingness to entertain rules-debates at the gaming table, and that seems scarce, too.


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I wouldn't run them as slowing each other, since it doesn't make much sense thematically and it's just more numbers to keep track of.
But all GM-fiat, Rule Zero, homebrew and common sense aside, the RAW states one thing. You attempted to claim that the RAW stated another. Cavall offered a concise counter-argument using well-established terminology. They didn't define said terms in their post, but that doesn't mean it's not evidence. I think most of the people on here have enough system mastery to know at least the basics of most of the jargon and key words (you don't see everyone laying down the in-system definition for "standard action," "class level" or "feat"), but even when we're unfamiliar, it's at least as much our responsibility to get our facts straight on what exactly the other person has said before we jump to our own conclusions or down each other's throats.


It’s a funny leftover from early 3.x. The old srd says:

Quote:

Immunity to Magic (Ex)

Golems have immunity to most magical and supernatural effects, except when otherwise noted

But Pathfinder didn’t copy that line over. And oddly for each individual golem they only mention spells and spell like abilities.


I think that was to make golems vulnerable to things like dragon breath, but it could just be a copy-paste error.

You never really know with some of these changes.


From the PFSRD

Quote:
Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Quote:
In a high-level game, multiple medusas attacking simultaneously constitute a legitimate threat, as they are immune to each other’s gazes, while PCs must continue to save every round for every medusa as long as they are within range.

Medusas don't have a special immunity to petrification (ironic) and their ability didn't specify whether they are immune or not.

I think WotC and Paizo never thought of multiple stone golems because... has anyone ever had an encounter with more than one?


One thing people seem to be ignoring is that if the golems are immune to each other’s slow in this situation they will be immune in others. What happens when you have golems fighting each other? That would mean that opposing golems cannot affect each other. If that is the case where do you draw the line? Can the stone golem affect a brass golem with its slow; does the brass golem affect the stone golem with its breath weapon? What if a player character has spell resistance, does he get a roll to ignore the supernatural abilities? If so it really weakens the golems.

House rules are fine, but should be done in a logical and consistent manner. This type of thing seems like it is going to open a big can of worms.


Kimera757 wrote:

From the PFSRD

Quote:
Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Quote:
In a high-level game, multiple medusas attacking simultaneously constitute a legitimate threat, as they are immune to each other’s gazes, while PCs must continue to save every round for every medusa as long as they are within range.

Medusas don't have a special immunity to petrification (ironic) and their ability didn't specify whether they are immune or not.

I think WotC and Paizo never thought of multiple stone golems because... has anyone ever had an encounter with more than one?

I'm pretty sure it's happened. I've definitely designed such encounters myself. Fiend-Infused stone golems are a spicy encounter in close quarters.


Artofregicide wrote:
Kimera757 wrote:

From the PFSRD

Quote:
Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Quote:
In a high-level game, multiple medusas attacking simultaneously constitute a legitimate threat, as they are immune to each other’s gazes, while PCs must continue to save every round for every medusa as long as they are within range.

Medusas don't have a special immunity to petrification (ironic) and their ability didn't specify whether they are immune or not.

I think WotC and Paizo never thought of multiple stone golems because... has anyone ever had an encounter with more than one?

I'm pretty sure it's happened. I've definitely designed such encounters myself. Fiend-Infused stone golems are a spicy encounter in close quarters.

Actually, there is a rule that speaks exactly to that.

Gaze Attack wrote:
A creature is immune to gaze attacks of others of its kind unless otherwise noted.

I raised this point to suggest that maybe the intent of the rules would be that just like Medusas can't petrify each other, so too should Stone Golems not affect each other. It was a minor point: far from definitive.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

One thing people seem to be ignoring is that if the golems are immune to each other’s slow in this situation they will be immune in others. What happens when you have golems fighting each other? That would mean that opposing golems cannot affect each other. If that is the case where do you draw the line? Can the stone golem affect a brass golem with its slow; does the brass golem affect the stone golem with its breath weapon? What if a player character has spell resistance, does he get a roll to ignore the supernatural abilities? If so it really weakens the golems.

House rules are fine, but should be done in a logical and consistent manner. This type of thing seems like it is going to open a big can of worms.

Im not sure I understand. The concept of a monster being immune to the special attacks of it's own kind is pretty standard.

No one's suggesting that golems are immune to the special abilities of other types of golems, or that spell resistance suddenly works in a way it shouldn't. Just: monster X is immune to the special attacks of other X's. Just like gorgons, fire elementals, and white dragons.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Okay, I have to admit, I did miss the part where it said that Stone Golem Slow is a Supernatural ability and no other kind of ability.

I do stand behind my findings, though. And I do stand behind demanding Cavall make a real argument to counter mine rather than just hand-waving it with a you're-wrong post. I feel very justified in demanding evidence. And I do appreciate the fact that you did deliver the evidence.

Cavall wrote:

It's a supernatural ability not a spell or spell like ability. It's an effect and the effect is like the spell.

I mean, I thought I was very clear the first time. You just missed it twice.


Why should they need to be immune if they are not targeting each others ?
Slow is not an area effect, but target selection within a range.
In the Slow(Su), the range is modified to a 10 ft burst centered on the golem, the maximum number of targets is not defined.


Larsen wrote:

Why should they need to be immune if they are not targeting each others ?

Slow is not an area effect, but target selection within a range.
In the Slow(Su), the range is modified to a 10 ft burst centered on the golem, the maximum number of targets is not defined.

You're right about slow spell,

Slow wrote:
Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart

I think Stone Golem Slow is different:

Stone Golem wrote:
The effect has a range of 10 feet in a burst centered on the golem


CRB Magic Chapter wrote:
A burst spell affects whatever it catches in its area, including creatures that you can't see. It can't affect creatures with total cover from its point of origin (in other words, its effects don't extend around corners). The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst spells are specifically described as cone-shaped. A burst's area defines how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.


It's a bit of a catch 22. Its reasonable to assume stone golems be immune to it as a house rule, but it makes the rare corner case of a golem vs golem fight harder to judge with that kind of ruling.

Guess golems just work well with things immune to slow or fort saves.


Larsen wrote:

Why should they need to be immune if they are not targeting each others ?

Slow is not an area effect, but target selection within a range.
In the Slow(Su), the range is modified to a 10 ft burst centered on the golem, the maximum number of targets is not defined.

I'm not sure if Stone Golems have the intelligence to differentiate targets, tbh. But I suppose their master could just program them to.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:
I'm pretty sure it's happened. I've definitely designed such encounters myself. Fiend-Infused stone golems are a spicy encounter in close quarters.
Actually, there is a rule that speaks exactly to that.

Yes, but that has literally nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Which is the likelihood of there being an encounter with two or more stone golems in it.

I did indeed find such an encounter in an AP. I think I think I remember a second as well. I've put them in spoilers:

AP Spoilers:

The final boss of RoW has two templated Stone Golems (it's complicated, the PCs may be able to steal them).

I also believe the final boss of Mummies Mask may have four shield guardian stone golems, but I haven't double checked.

I will point out, to Scott's credit, there isn't anything that talks about the Golems accidentally targeting their allies, much less each other.

RAW he's still wrong, but RAI he's correct.


I don't think there is a RAI here. Just some bad copy/paste. The original 3.x golems were immune to magic as the ability suggests, and this included supernatural abilities. It's not like the ability is called "immunity to spells". When Pathfinder copied over the rules they just neglected to carry over the immunity to supernatural.

Edit: Of course, that's just conjecture. Maybe the designers removed it on purpose and didn't consider the issues it would cause.


I figure it was a purposeful removal much like changing how sneak attack worked to make it more useful against golems and undead creatures.


Melkiador wrote:

I don't think there is a RAI here. Just some bad copy/paste. The original 3.x golems were immune to magic as the ability suggests, and this included supernatural abilities. It's not like the ability is called "immunity to spells". When Pathfinder copied over the rules they just neglected to carry over the immunity to supernatural.

Edit: Of course, that's just conjecture. Maybe the designers removed it on purpose and didn't consider the issues it would cause.

We're saying the same thing here. Making golems vulnerable to their own abilities is not likely intentional, especially considering that in every official encounter I can find (admittedly the AP and module writers aren't necessarily the developers) there's no mention of golems affecting one another.

Removing the supernatural phrasing may have been intentional but I doubt the effects were.


Artofregicide wrote:
Melkiador wrote:

I don't think there is a RAI here. Just some bad copy/paste. The original 3.x golems were immune to magic as the ability suggests, and this included supernatural abilities. It's not like the ability is called "immunity to spells". When Pathfinder copied over the rules they just neglected to carry over the immunity to supernatural.

Edit: Of course, that's just conjecture. Maybe the designers removed it on purpose and didn't consider the issues it would cause.

We're saying the same thing here. Making golems vulnerable to their own abilities is not likely intentional, especially considering that in every official encounter I can find (admittedly the AP and module writers aren't necessarily the developers) there's no mention of golems affecting one another.

Removing the supernatural phrasing may have been intentional but I doubt the effects were.

But would they need to make a note about them affecting one another? Every encounter that includes a wizard fireball doesn't list that his allies are affected by it, or any other spell for that matter. It might point out if one or more are immune so that they would likely not be an issue when using it. Couple that with golems acting on orders not tactically thinking most of the time and there would be no reason to point out that the effects would work on them if that's the default assumption made by the rules.

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