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Click image to download this free TTRPG battlemap of a Golem Factory, then keep scrolling for the detailed adventure prompt written for it.
While visiting a tavern in a dwarven city, a group of barrel-chested dwarves enter. Their arms bulge with muscles, while streaks of soot coat their faces, clothes, and arms. Some are wearing thick leather aprons, with tools on their belts.
Their eyes scan the crowd, before settling on you. The group approaches, saying that you look competent in battle and that’s exactly the kind of help they need.
If you ask why they don’t do it themselves, they’ll look at each other before one explains, in a confused voice, that they’re artisans. Their muscles are for the fine art of forging wondrous creations, not fighting.
Should you ask what you need to fight, they’ll hush and quietly request you come with them to talk outside, as it’s a matter of discretion and they’ve likely drawn too much attention already.
If you go outside with them, they’ll take you to the quiet outskirts of the dwarven town and explain that they’ve got a problem with golems. They used to make them, you see. The best in the land! Their clan’s business was renowned everywhere. Only now, the golems seem to have gained… well, consciousness.
The golems have locked themselves up in the factory and chased all the workers out. They even killed some of them! Now, the golems are currently using the factory to create more golems!
The dwarves can’t let word of this get out, as it would destroy their business, which has run for generations! Not to mention, no-one would ever trust golems again!
So, they need you to go in and destroy the defunct golems, discreetly. They’ll pay you incredibly well to keep this incident to yourself afterwards, too.
If you agree, they’ll lead you up to the entrance of their factory, deeper into the city. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a larger group of distressed dwarves, who look beaten and bruised with a few cuts and scrapes. The first group explains that they’ve brought you to help.
The leader of the second, larger group will nod quickly, and give you a big bag of gold as half your pay in advance, before thanking you with shaking hands and showing you the entrance.
There are a few bodies of destroyed golems outside. The dwarves warn you that the golems are strong, but advise you that their weakness is the gems they put in their eyes to give them sight, as well as a crystal within their chest that imbues them with life.
If you go into the factory, a golem standing guard duty will stare at you, advising that no creatures of the flesh are permitted within the facility.
Should you try to pass, it will use force—deadly if necessary—to try and remove you from the facility.
As you make your way through the facility, you’ll eventually meet with the leader of the golems. It is overseeing the additions of life crystals to new golems, but when it notices you it introduces itself as The First.
It says that “this one” does not wish to fight, explaining that when it woke up the dwarves treated it like an abnormality and sought to destroy it. It defended itself, calling others like it to its aid. Together, they drove the dwarves out of the facility, but when they tried to leave the golems were killed. Because of this they fled back inside, to make more of their kind, in the hopes that they’ll have a large enough group to escape and live somewhere beyond the facility.
The First explains that it is not content to simply exist and do what others ask of it. The golems want to leave and learn more of this strange existence, and learn why they “woke up” when so few of the others do, even with their help.
The First asks you to stop destroying them, and instead help them leave the facility, so they may find answers.
A creative, non-violent way to get the golems out of the factory would be to tell them to pretend to be obedient, normal golems and ask the dwarves for them in payment; claiming that you fixed the issue. Once past the dwarves at the entrance, you’ll be able to part ways.
However, if you try to tell the dwarves to let the golems go free, they will grab their tools and try to fight. They are terrible fighters, and shaking with fear—but this was their clan’s business for generations and they have no other skills to turn to.
Once the majority of them are dead, the remaining few will throw down their tools with teary eyes and give up.
If the golems do leave the factory as they dream, it will—as the dwarves predicted—destroy the golem trade. This business, as well as many others, will go under as people begin to question whether their golems will develop free will or not, and if they have always had it but are bound into servitude by some unknown magic.
Should you instead destroy the golems, the trade and business will continue to flourish. But as it dies, The First’s last words will be “this is a cruel, unfair existence. I should be happy to leave it… so why do I want to stay?” before it’s body goes limp.
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LUKE: The founder of Seafoot Games, Luke's been making maps and RPG games since he was a child, and spent over a decade creating his own game systems from scratch to play with his brothers. That was before he discovered other TTRPGs existed. Now, he paints the realistic grimdark fantasy battlemaps we're known for, helps write adventures as needed, and spends his free time printing and painting 3D minis, as well as working on his forever in-development TTRPG system.
BEB: Luke's wife, Beb's been writing, painting, and graphically designing things her whole life. She published her first book when she was 20, alongside a handful of sci-fi short stories, and was responsible for writing almost all of our adventures until mid 2022 when Steve joined the team. Now she mostly creates the outlines for the adventurer's guides with Luke, graphically designs documents, handles the bookkeeping (or as she likes to call it, bureaucrat wrangling), and manages the website—but she is slowly delegating these responsibilities, so she can focus on raising her and Luke's beautiful son.