We are due for another edition of Friday Night Fights and this week it is the battle of Rocky vs Rocky II. Who will come out on top in a fight between a stone golem and an earth elemental.
Usually I start alphabetically, so I will start with the earth elemental. Let's use a 16 HD elemental because an 8 or 12 hit die elemental cannot actually strike a stone golem, making the fight moot.
ARMOR CLASS: 2
HIT DICE: 16
HIT POINTS: 83 (rolled randomly)
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ ATTACK: 4-32
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +2 or better weapon to hit
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
SAVE: Fighter 16
Notes include being able to do structural damage and having -2 on each die of damage against airborne creatures. Neither of these specials is germane.
A 16 HD earth elemental needs a '2' to hit an AC 5 stone golem.
"Magical creatures with hit dice equal to or greater than those of the golem are able to attack it with effect. For purposes of determination of hit dice, figure 4.5 hit points per hit die, and points being rounded up. Thus a flesh golem has 9 dice, a clay golem 11, a stone golem 14, and an iron golem 18."
ARMOR CLASS: 5
HIT DICE: 14
HIT POINTS: 60NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ ATTACK: 3-24
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Slow spell
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Spell immunity, can only be hit by +2 or better weapons, or creatures with 14 or more hit dice
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Special
SAVE: As non-intelligent monster
SIZE: L (9½' tall)
It can also do structural damage and it can cast a slow spell within 1” of its front every other melee round.
It needs a '6' to hit an AC 2 earth elemental.
Let's assume an underground dungeon environment, as I could not find golems in any of the outdoor encounter tables in the DMG. At that point I didn't look for elementals.
First thing to do is roll for surprise. Eartha the Earth Elemental rolls a 3 and Stoner the Stone Golem rolls a 5, so no surprise. Next is encounter distance. An indoor encounter distance is 5” to 10” (d6+4) and I roll a 4, so the distance is 8”.
Declare intentions. Neither monster has a long range attack (the golem's is only 1”) and they both move at 6”, so they both close to combat. Initiative is pretty much moot, but they roll a 1 and a 6.
Next round. New intentions. The elemental will attack with the club-like fists and the golem uses the slow spell. Eartha rolls a 5 and Stoner rolls a 4, so Eartha goes first. It rolls a '20', so a hit for 12 points. The golem casts the slow spell, which: no saving throw! The elemental is now slow and will be so for 3+14 = 17 rounds, assuming the level=hit dice for purposes of duration.
End of round 1. The earth elemental is unharmed, but is slow (½ speed). The golem has 48 hit points left.
Next round. New intentions. The elemental wants to hit, but is slow, so it loses its attack this round. The golem can't cast a slow spell, so it will strike. It rolls a '18', so it hits for 11 points.
End of round 2. The earth elemental is slow for 16 more rounds and has 72 hit points. The golem is steady at 48 pips.
Round three. The elemental strikes out while the golem casts slow again. The elemental rolls a 5 and hits for 14 points. The golem slows the elemental again.
Round 3 is in the books. The elemental is slow at ¼ speed (it's cumulative!) and will be so for 15 more rounds, then he will be ½ speed for 2 more rounds after that. It has 71 hit points. The golem has 34.
Round 4 and the elemental can't attack. As a matter of fact, if my math is right, it can't attack until round 7. The golem spends round 4 hitting the elemenal for 15 points (he rolled a 7 to hit). The golem slows the elemental again in round 5, so it is now at 1/8 speed. In round 6, it attacks again for 9 points.
This slowness is getting out of hand. Never fight a stone golem on your own. I rule that the elemental gets its attack on round 7, but now can't attack again until round 15 or so. The golem is going to slow. Roll for initiative. The elemental rolls a 3 and the golem a 1, so the elemental rolls a 5 and hits the golem for 20 more points.
End of round 7. The elemental is now 1/16 speed and can't attack again until round 23. It has 71-24 = 47 hit points left. The golem has 14 hit points remaining.
On round 8, the golem rolls a 5 and misses. On round 9 it rolls a 8 and hits for 11 points. On round 10 it rolls a 20 and hits for 8 points. We are well past the point of checking the elemental's morale, but it couldn't run away even if it failed a morale check. On round 11 the golem rolls a 16 and hits for 14 points. On round 12 it rolls a 12 and hits for 17 points, turning the earth elemental into dust.
OK, its pretty obvious what happened. That slow spell was just too much for the elemental to beat, although the golem did get reduced to just 14 hit points.