Golem, Hive

Family: Golems

Large construct, unaligned

18 (+4) 11 (+0) 18 (+4) 3 (-4) 11 (+0) 1 (-5)

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 133 (14d10 + 56)
Speed 30 ft.
Damage Immunities poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Immutable Form. The golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.
  • Magic Resistance. The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The hive golem’s weapon attacks are magical.
  • Berserk. When a hive golem is reduced to 51 or fewer hit points, is immersed in water, or receives a critical hit, it goes permanently berserk, breaking free of its creator’s control. While berserk it attacks random targets, its slam attacks do additional damage (see below), and its Swarm ability affects all creatures.
  • Self-Repair. The hive golem regenerates 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the golem is immersed in water this trait doesn’t function at the start of next turn. The golem is destroyed only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.
  • Swarm. The golem is surrounded by an angry, stinging swarm. Any creature that attacks it and ends its turn within 10 feet of the golem must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 5 (2d4) piercing damage and until the end of its next turn can’t take reactions and has disadvantage on attack rolls. A strong wind will prevent this ability from functioning on the golem’s next turn.


  • Multiattack. The hive golem makes two slam attacks.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage or 17 (3d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage if the golem is berserk.


Unless directed otherwise by their creator, hive golems lumber into combat and use their slam attacks against any foes that come within reach. They will often head into the largest concentration of opponents, where their swarm of stinging insects can do the most damage. Hive golems are usually used to support and protect gnolls, and are rarely encountered alone.


This creature is only vaguely humanoid in shape, with a rough skin formed of several materials. Its thick, malformed limbs end in heavy hands and feet. From a distance it seems to be surrounded by a cloud of wispy vapor or smoke, but closer this can be seen for what it is: a flying swarm of busy, angry insects.

Home on the Move. Hive golems are a nasty surprise for anyone who intrudes into gnoll territories. They are insect hives formed into large humanoid shapes and animated by an elemental spirit. Each one carries within it swarms of insects that defend the golem and repair damage to the hive. Gnoll druids create these golems to defend their sacred sites and villages and as engines of destruction when they make war on neighboring tribes. Hive golems differ depending on the species of insect that inhabits the golem.

Fear of Water. Immersion in water suppresses the hive golem’s ability to repair itself, and the golems are consequently wary of going anywhere near bodies of water. They will not willingly cross any water deeper than a few inches.

Variant: Beehive Golem

Beehive golems are a composite of beeswax honeycombs and wood.

  • Cold Hating. If the beehive golem takes cold damage its Self-Repair and Swarm abilities do not function until the end of its next turn.
  • Sticky. When the beehive golem is struck with a melee weapon the attacker must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw; on a failure the weapon sticks to the golem. The attacker may use an action to attempt to pull the weapon free, requiring a successful DC 15 Strength ability check.

Variant: Termite Mound Golem

Termite mound golems are large constructs of hardened brown clay. They are bulky figures without necks, faces, or fingers, having the least humanoid shape. The gnolls that inhabit the Centaur Plains are particularly noted for sending termite mound golems against their neighbors.

  • Packed Earth. The termite mound golem has an Armor Class of 18.
  • Earthen. Any spell that affects earth or stone will suppress the golem’s Self-Repair until the end of its next turn.

Variant: Wasp Nest Golem

Wasp nest golems are paper and mud constructs. The constant drone of wasps surrounds them, making them easy to notice at a distance.

  • Poison. A creature that fails it saving throw against the golem’s Swarm ability must also make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On a failure the creature is poisoned for one minute; on a success the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
  • Vulnerable to Fire. The wasp nest golem is vulnerable to fire damage, and fire damage prevents its Self-Repair from functioning until the end of its next turn.
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