Tar Golem

Family: Golems

Medium construct, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 119 (14d8 + 56)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

18 (+4) 9 (–1) 18 (+4) 7 (–2) 10 (+0) 5 (–3)

Damage Vulnerabilities cold
Damage Immunities fire, poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with adamantine weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, petrified, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3


  • Construct Nature. The tar golem doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Fire Hazard. When the tar golem takes fire damage, it bursts into flame. The golem continues burning until it takes cold damage, is immersed in water, or it uses Quench. A creature that touches the burning golem or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) fire damage. While burning, the golem’s weapon attacks deal an extra 5 (1d10) fire damage on a hit.
  • Hardened Tar. If the tar golem takes cold damage in the same round it is reduced to 0 hp, it is paralyzed for 1 minute, remaining alive. If it takes fire damage while paralyzed, it regains a number of hp equal to the fire damage dealt. Otherwise, it dies when the condition ends.
  • Immutable Form. The tar golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.
  • Magic Resistance. The tar golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The tar golem’s weapon attacks are magical.
  • Noxious Smoke (Burning Only). While the tar golem is burning, it gives off poisonous fumes. A creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the burning golem must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned as long as it remains within 5 feet of the golem and for 1 round after it leaves the area.
  • Spider Climb. The tar golem can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without having to make an ability check.


  • Multiattack. The tar golem makes three Slam attacks.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.


  • Draw Flames. The tar golem can extinguish up to a 10-foot cube of nonmagical fire within 5 feet of it, drawing the fire into itself and activating its Fire Hazard trait.
  • Quench (Burning Only). The tar golem extinguishes any fire on it, deactivating its Fire Hazard trait.


Hot, steaming tar rises from a barrel into a roughly humanoid shape with a menacing posture. There are two basic types of tar golems. The first is made from wood tar, rendered from the wood and roots of pine trees, while the second is made from naturally occurring asphalt, as that found in tar pits or rendered from coal. Other than the source of the tar, both types of golems are identical, with some creators preferring the more floral scent of the wood tar.

Seaside Constructs. Tar golems are typically found aboard ships or on docks, where tar used in waterproofing ships is plentiful. In combat situations, a tar golem can be a surprise defense against boarders and can help stop the spread of fire.

Military ships and well-to-do pirates often catapult the golems onto enemy ships to wreak havoc in advance of boarding parties.

Creature of Utility. While a tar golem is of great use in battle, on most ships it has a role in day-to-day life. The golem can waterproof sails and seal planks on the deck or in the hull. A ship’s doctor may use a golem to apply tar to a wound to prevent infection or to kill a fungal infection. Its magical nature allows a golem to replenish itself over time, provided it isn’t used excessively for such duties.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page