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Golem Core Decanting Research Paper

Mods/Thaumcraft/Golems are small utility mobs that the player can create. They are composed of a "golem body", an "animation core", and optionally various upgrades and accessories. To use golems effectively, the player needs an additional tool, the "Golemancer's Bell".

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Golem Bodies[edit]

All golem bodies are produced in the Crucible (or Thaumatorium), from a block of material and equal amounts (either 4 or 8 points apiece) of the aspects Humanus, Spiritus, and Motus. The different bodies provide very different levels of durability, carrying capacity, speed, and healing. All of these capacities can be increased with upgrades (see below).

Golem Cores[edit]

Besides a body, a functional golem requires an Animation Core, which gives it one of several specific functions. There can be up to three stages to produce a golem core:

  • A blank core is produced in the crafting table from 4 bricks and Nitor.
  • The basic cores are produced with crucible recipes (or in the Thaumatorium), by combining a blank core with 5 points apiece of two aspects of essentia, with the particular aspects determining their function.
  • The advanced cores are produced from basic cores by arcane infusion.
  • In 4.2, the Butcher core is considered "forbidden knowledge". It is also produced from the Guard core, but in the crucible rather than by infusion.
Basic Cores Aspect 1 Aspect 2 Function Base For
Gather Lucrum Terra Collects loose items and stores them in a home inventory.
Fill Fames Vacuuos Takes items from marked inventories to home inventory. Sort
Empty Lucrum Vacuuos Takes items from home inventory to marked locations or inventories Use, Sort
Harvest Messis Meto Harvests crops Chop, Fishing
Guard Telum Vinculum Attacks mobs Butcher*
Decanting Aqua Vacuuos Fills containers with fluid Alchemy
Butcher[2] Bestia Corpus Slaughters domestic animals
Advanced Cores Function
Chop Chops down trees (top-down).
Fishing Placed near water, will automatically fish in it (catches anything a player can!).
Use Can use most tools or trigger machines at specific locations.
Sort Takes items from home inventory to only those marked inventories that contain the same item.
Alchemy Takes essentia from a furnace or other device and stores it in a bank of warded jars.

Golem Upgrades[edit]

There are six "elemental" upgrades, of which any given golem type can only have one or two attached. There are also another eight "accessory" upgrades which do not count toward this limit, each adding new capabilities or enhancements. Many of the accessories apply primarily to combat golems.) There is also an "Advanced Golem" infusion (forbidden knowledge in 4.2), applied to any golem body, which provides multiple enhancements, including an extra slot for elemental upgrades.

Upgrade Effects
Air Movement, Ranged attack speed
Earth Increases Strength: Carry Limit (by 4-16 depending on original), Melee damage, harvesting etc.
Fire Adds more interface slots, melee attacks set target on fire
Water Vision: Increases activity range, also range & accuracy for Ranged attacks.
Order Allows use of colored markers, unlocks various features for different cores.
Entropy Adds "Thorns" effect. Can work more categorically with items, optionally ignoring "damage" value, ignoring NBT data, or checking ore dictionary for similar items.
Advanced Golem Slightly faster, slight increase to vision, adds one slot for elemental upgrades.
Tiny Hats Increases health, vitality (healing).
Tiny Spectacles Increases vision range.
Tiny Bowties Increases speed.
Tiny Fezzes Rapid healing.
Golem Dart Launcher Gains a ranged attack. Guard golems only.
Golem Visor Kills drop experience and "player-only" drops. Slight armor increase. (Guard or butcher golems.)
Golem Iron Plating Heavy armor, slower. Won't fit on Iron or Thaumium golems.
Golem Mace Increases melee damage (Guard or Butcher golems).

Golem Control[edit]

Unlike most mobs, golems can open doors and fence gates (they also shut them behind themselves). Also, golems can always see any items or mobs they would work on, regardless of barriers or line-of-sight, and may target them hopelessly (spinning in place or staring through a fence) even if there are "jobs" closer to hand. This can make managing them somewhat difficult. There are a number of ways to control golem activity:

  • Golems cannot walk over a Paving Stone of Warding, though like other mobs they can be pushed over one.
  • There is a special "Golem Fetter" block, which, when powered with redstone, will deactivate any golem, freezing it in place until the power is turned off (or the golem is pushed off the fetter).
  • Many golems have "item slots", limiting their activity to particular items. You need to double-click on the box (it's a bit tricky) with one of the item in question, but you keep the item. (You may need to double-click again to get it back in your inventory.)
    • Most golem cores come with six item slots, but the Fire upgrade can increase the number. If any item slots are used, any items not appearing in a slot will be ignored.
    • The "entropy" upgrade can make this more general, allowing you to ignore damage to tools, or NBT values (such as enchantments or names).
    • For items such as wool or mana beans which come in multiple colors, click on the border of the the box to choose "any color" -- when hovering there, you will see a message to that effect. (This is for 4.11; in 4.0 the Entropy upgrade automatically chose any color.)
    • The Order upgrade can connect different items to differently-colored marks, for example telling an Empty golem to put wheat and seeds in one chest, but carrots and potatoes in another. The color of the item box is selected with a tiny scroll-bar above the box.

Travelling Trunk[edit]

The research tree for golems leads early on to creation of the Travelling Trunk, a chest that follows you around, carrying its contents. It can teleport after you similarly to dogs and cats, but with the same limitation: It will only teleport to solid ground or shallow water, and if you are flying or boating, it can get left behind and stranded in an unloaded chunk. Unlike the pets, the Trunk can even follow you between dimensions. If its following you around becomes inconvenient, its GUI includes a button that orders it to stay where it is. Alternatively, it can be picked up with the Golemancer's Bell like other golems, but (with one exception, below) when picked up, it drops its contents. The trunks are quite sturdy, but they can be damaged and even destroyed by attacks, lava or other hazards, notably suffocation. If damaged, they can heal on their own, or be healed more quickly by feeding them any sort of food (including rotten meat).

Each Trunk can accept one of the elemental upgrades used for golems, with each element giving a different enhancement:

  • Air: Moves faster.
  • Earth: More item slots.
  • Fire: Attacks hostile mobs, setting them on fire.
  • Water: Nearly invulnerable, and (in SMP) can only be opened or picked up by the player who placed it.
  • Entropy: Sucks in loose items nearby (if it has room for them).
  • Order: Can be picked up with its contents. While the trunk's item form does not allow getting at the contents, it can be stored in any inventory, and such trunks can even be nested.

Every functional golem requires an "animation core" to operate. This core gives it a particular task, and golems are commonly referred to by their core name. Their body material determines their speed of movement and/or work, carrying capacity, and physical survivability. Possible upgrades can improve all of these, plus their range of action, and perhaps an extra bit or two of functionality, but their basic task will remain the same. For research examples, see the gallery on the Golemancy page.

Some golems will begin their task as soon as they are placed (or the core is added), while others need to have target locations or inventories "marked" with the Golemancer's Bell. For example, a "Chop" golem will chop down trees; depending on its body material and upgrades, it may move and/or chop trees slower or faster, or find trees further from its home location, but the only thing it can do is chop down trees.

Many golems have "item slots" in their GUI, 6 by default. Most such golems will default to handling all items, but if any items are specified, they will only handle those items. The exception is the Fill golem, which will not handle anything unless items are specified. Item slots are filled by dragging an item or stack to them and double-clicking. Bug: You may need to double-click the items back into your inventory to avoid dropping them. Regardless, you keep the items.

Note that most golem cores can only recognize a single block as an inventory. Unless noted, they will treat each half of a double chest as a separate inventory.

Crafting Edit

All cores begin with a "blank core", produced in the Arcane workbench: Place 4 bricks in a diamond shape, around Nitor You will need 5 vis each for Ignis and Ordo.

  • The basic cores are produced by adding essentia to (usually) a blank core in the crucible or the Thaumatorium. The recipes are also listed on the crucible recipes page. The Butcher core gets a second pass through the crucible, being based on the Guard Core instead of a blank.
Basic Cores Aspects Base For
Gather 5 Lucrum, 5 Terra
Empty 5 Lucrum, 5 Vacuuos Use, Sort
Fill 5 Fames, 5 Vacuuos Sort
Harvest 5 Messis, 5 Meto Chop, Fishing
Guard 5 Telum, 5 Vinculum Butcher (in crucible)
Decanting 5 Aqua, 5 Vacuuos Alchemy
Butcher 5 Bestia, 5 Corpus
  • The advanced cores are produced from basic cores by arcane infusion.
Advanced Cores Central Item Other Items Essentia
Chop Harvest Core Axe of the Stream, 3x Iron Axe 16 Arbor, 16 Instrumentum, 16 Meto
Fishing Gather Core Fishing Rod, Raw Fish, Raw Salmon, Pufferfish 16 Meto, 16 Aqua, 16 Bestia
Use Empty Core Comparator, Flint & Steel, Shears, Lever 20 Machina, 20 Humanus, 20 Instrumentum
Sorting Zombie Brain Comparator, Empty Core, Fill Core, Paper 16 Fames, 16 Lucrum, 16 Permutatio, 16 Vacuous
Alchemy Decanting Core Warded jar, 3x Water Bottle 15 Aqua, 15 Motus, 15 Praecantatio

Core Types Edit

Gather Edit

A Gather golem picks up items within a large range (16 blocks by default) and places them in its home inventory. It does not use marks, but it does have item slots which can be used to restrict the items it looks for. It can fill a double chest.


An Empty golem with this core will watch their home inventory for items, either all items or those specified by their item slots. If a suitable item is placed there, they will take it out and place it at a marked location.  If the location is an inventory, they will put the items inside, otherwise they will drop it there. Their item slots can be used to make them only empty particular items.  With the Order upgrade, they can also separate particular items into different locations or inventories.

Fill Edit

A Fill golem needs to have one or more inventories marked to work with, and particular items specified to handle. They will then watch the marked inventories for certain items to "appear", then they will go fetch the items and place them in their home inventory.

It also has two modes of operation, "precise" and "any". In "any" mode, it will move items until the marked inventories run out of items, or the home inventory runs out of space. In "precise" mode, an amount is specified for each item. The golem will only go to fetch items if there are not already that many items in the home inventory. However, if more items are added to the home inventory while it is fetching, it will continue and finish its current load.


A Sorting golem will move any items in its home inventory to any marked inventory, if and only if the target inventory already contains at least one of that item.  There is no way to limit the golem to particular items, or to specify items which are not in the marked chests.  However, the Entropy upgrade allows treating items more "generically":  Ignoring NBT data means that names,  enchantments, or such things as golem upgrades, will not make items "different".  Ignoring "damage" values does the same for tool durability, but also for such points as wool color. Consulting the Forge Ore dictionary allows consistently recognizing such things as silver ingots, which may be provided by several different mods.


A Use golem has the ability to "click" on marked locations similarly to a player, optionally with an item in hand.  This lets them place blocks, plant crops, press switches, and use some tools on a marked space or block. They cannot mine blocks, nor can they interact with mobs (shearing sheep or, milking cows).  If placed on an inventory, they will take items from that inventory to place or use, and item slots can restrict what items they can take out of the chest.  However, they can also be placed on a non-inventory location, in which case they can only click with an empty hand (for example, pressing a button).  The checkboxes in their GUI specify whether they should left-click or right click, whether they should be "sneaking" (that is, shift-click), or whether they need to click on an existing block or an empty space. 


A Decanting golem will collect liquid blocks (from a marked pool) and place them in its home inventory (which must be capable of accepting liquids).  They have a single item slot which can only accept a full bucket -- this restricts them to a particular liquid. While they do not work very well with cauldrons or even crucibles, they are useful in connection with various industrial mods that offer "tanks" and piping systems for liquids. 

If instructed to carry entire liquid source blocks, they will carry the same amount of liquid as a bucket. Otherwise (taking from liquid tanks or such) they will only be able to carry 100 "millibuckets" (a tenth of a bucket) per item of "carrying capacity". That is, if, an Empty golem with the same body and upgrades would carry 2 items, the Decanting golem will carry only 200 millibuckets of liquid. With an Entropy upgrade, they can empty a pool from the far edge, instead of picking up the same block repeatedly. They cannot handle essentia.


An Alchemy golem is used to distribute essentia from a source (their home) to various destination jars or other containers.  If they are placed on an Alchemical Furnace, they can take essentia from any alembic in the stack.  Their capacity is the same "carrying capacity" defined by their body and upgrades, but measured in points instead of items. They can only carry one aspect of essentia at a time.  They can also be placed on a essentia buffer (such as the output for a centrifuge) but may get confused in certain cases: specifically, if there are more than two aspects present, but none of them with enough of any to fill their carrying capacity. 

The Alchemy core's marks indicate either a device (such as a reservoir or buffer), or a bank of jars.  For each jar marked, they will "find" a group of jars which are directly (not diagonally) next to, above, or below each other, including the marked jar.  (It is wise to mark more than one jar in a row, in case some jars are removed and break up the group.)  If a device is marked, they will fill that device only, generally ignoring jars.  Otherwise, they will consider all the jars they know about, and will fill jars by a fixed priority:

  1. Labeled jars first, then unlabeled jars. 
  2. Then Warded jars before void jars
  3. They will finish fill partly-filled jars before starting a new empty jar.

Harvest Edit

A Harvest golem will harvest any recognized crop plant within its range. The range is much shorter than most cores, defaulting to 4 blocks. (Spectacles and Water upgrades will increase this by 1 block per upgrade, for a maximum range of 7.) Thus, it will normally harvest a 9x9 area centered around the golem, matching a "standard" farm plot. The range also applies vertically, so it can handle a multi-level farm (it can go out of range to use stairs or other paths). They will correctly handle crops such as pumpkins, or the "bushes" provided by some mods.

With the Order upgrade, Golems will attempt to replant ordinary crops (not pumpkins, bushes, etc), but they will do so with whatever seeds they find nearby after harvesting. Thus they will tend to mix up crops in multi-crop farms, and even between nearby fields. They also sometimes fail to replant wheat, since it does not always drop seeds. In many cases, it may be more useful to let a Use golem handle replanting.

Except for replanting, they will not pick up the harvested items, but will leave them where they fell. Harvest golems do not use inventories, marks, or item slots.

Chop Edit

A Chop golem harvests trees, chopping them from the top down (note that the core's recipe includes an Axe of the Stream). Their range is similar to the Harvest golems, and like those they will not gather the wood or saplings, nor can they replant trees. (A Use golem can help with that.) Their axe does not wear out. Chop golems do not use inventories, marks, or item slots. The speed of the woodcutting is determined by the strength of the golem. The Chop core is a hidden research, which is unlocked by researching Axe of the Stream.

Fishing Edit

A Fishing golem will fish in any nearby water. It can catch not only fish, but any other items (treasure and junk) that a player might catch with a fishing rod. Their fishing rod does not wear out. The fishing rate depends on the golem's strength. The items they catch will be strewn about the area, so a Gather golem will usually be needed to collect them. Fishing golems do not use inventories, marks, or item slots.

Various elemental upgrades can cut down on the "junk" (Entropy), increase the "treasure" (Ordo), let them automatically cook the fish (Fire), or occasionally catch two items at once (Air).

Guard Edit

Guard golem will seek out and attack hostile mobs. Guard golems do not use inventories, marks, or item slots. By default, they will not attack creepers. A number of accessories apply primarily to Guard golems: Armor and a Mace provide protection and increased damage; and a dart launcher can let them attack creepers (unfortunately they will not use it against flying mobs such as wisps). Importantly, a Visor lets their kills drop experience and perhaps some "player" drops. An Order upgrade lets them be set to attack other targets as well, including peaceful mobs and other players.

Butcher Edit

A Butcher golem will attack only "farm animal" mobs. They will not attack babies, or the last two adults (that is, a breeding pair) of any type within their range. They can be fitted with the Visor accessory to drop experience from their kills, or a Mace to speed the killing. Butcher golems do not use inventories, marks, or item slots. The Butcher core is forbidden knowledge.

Golem Control Edit

Golems have up to three major features that are used to control them, though not all cores use all the features: The "home location" where it is placed, "marks" placed with the Golemancer's Bell, and "item slots" accessible in their GUI. The GUI may also include "checkboxes" to select various options for their behavior. This table summarizes home and mark usage, and whether item slots are available:

Core Home Inventory? Mark Inventories? Item Slots?
Gather In No Yes
Empty Out Maybe Yes
Fill In Yes Mandatory
Use Out or none No Yes
Sorting Out Yes No
Decanting In (liquid) No Yes (1)
Alchemy Out (essentia) Yes (essentia) No

Harvest, Fishing, Chop, Guard, Butcher: These cores have a home location only. They do not use inventories or marks.

"Home, Home on the Range..." Edit

Whenever a golem is placed, the block face it was placed on becomes its "home" location. Right-clicking the golem with the Bell makes this visible as a glowing ring, the "home ring". The home location is remembered even if the block is removed, and can only be changed by picking the golem up (left-click with the Golemancer's Bell), and placing it somewhere else. Any time a golem has no other task visible, it will do its best to return to this location.

For some cores (Harvest, Fishing, Guard, Butcher, Chop), this is the only location they care about; these cores look for tasks in the environment, and do not work with inventories. For other cores, this location must be an inventory block such as a chest or hopper, which becomes the golem's "home inventory", where it will either place items in, or take them out. The Decanting and Alchemy cores are homed on specialized devices (liquid storage or essentia sources, respectively), but otherwise behave similarly. The Use-core golem can operate with or without an inventory, depending on what it's intended to do.

Note that most golem cores that do take inventories can only work with one side of a double chest, whichever side it was placed on. Marks can be placed on both sides of a double chest, but the two sides will (mostly) be treated as separate inventories.

A golem's normal range is initially measured from their home location. There are non-obvious subtleties, but range seems to work approximately like this: A Harvest golem, and probably a Chop golem, has base range 4, and gains 1 for each Water upgrade and another for Spectacles. Other types have a base range of 16, and seem to gain 4 per Water upgrade. Spectacles then add 1, plus another 1 per Water upgrade. However, golems can be led out of range if they find a new target while they are already away from their home ring.

"Point me in the Right Direction..." Edit

Once placed, right-clicking on a golem with the Bell (showing its home location), and also allows placing or removing "marks". (Again, not all cores use marks.) Marks appear as runed circles, with a string of runes connecting them to the golem; they must initially be placed on block faces, but like the home location, these will be remembered even if the block is later removed. A golem will remember its mark locations even if it is picked up and placed elsewhere. However, it may no longer be able to reach those locations, usually because they are out of range from its new home.

For most cores which use marks, these must be on inventories, but there are exceptions: Empty golems can drop items into the world; For Use golems, marks indicate where to use a tool, place a block, or trigger a device; For Decanting golems, marks indicate the liquids to fill its home container, and for the Alchemy cores, they mark banks of jars or other essentia containers to fill.

"I have a little list..." Edit

Many golems have "item slots", limiting their activity to particular items. You need to double-click on the box (it's a bit tricky) with one of the item in question, but you keep the item. (You may need to double-click again to get it back in your inventory.) Most golem cores come with six item slots, but the Fire upgrade can increase the number. If any item slots are used, any items not appearing in a slot will be ignored. Fill golems must have at least one item; unlike other cores, they default to "no items" instead of "any items".

  • The "entropy" upgrade can make their item choice more generic, allowing you to ignore damage to tools, or NBT values (such as enchantments or names). For items such as wool or mana beans which come in multiple colors, any color will be accepted (you will see an "Any Color" message warning you of this). This also applies to wood varieties.
  • For cores that use both marks and item slots, the Order upgrade allows marks to be assigned a color by repeatedly clicking it with the bell. Chosen item slots can then be assigned a matching color, by using the tiny scrollbars which will appear above their item slots. As an example, an Empty golem can be told to put wheat and seeds in one chest, but carrots and potatoes in another.

"Don't go There!" Edit

Unlike most mobs, golems can open doors and fence gates (they also shut them behind themselves). Unfortunately, their pathfinding seems to be better when "outbound" (going to a target mob, item, or chest) than "inbound" (returning to their home inventory or location). On the return trip, they are prone to getting stuck against fences or walls, even when a door or gate is just a block or two to one side. However, they can still find their path if the door or gate is opened for them. Careful placement of golems and gates/doors, and watching the golem's behavior, can help deal with this.

Also, golems can always see any items or mobs they would work on, regardless of barriers, line-of-sight, or elevation (for example a butcher golem working an underground farm may well be able to see animals passing on the surface.) In such cases, the golem may fixate hopelessly on the distant target, spinning in place or staring through a fence even if there is work closer to hand. These issues can make managing them somewhat difficult. There are a number of ways to control golem activity:

  • The most basic control is to use item slots to restrict their targets, and then keeping potential targets out of range. See above for more discussion of range, but note especially that most golems can pursue (or fixate on) a target which normally would be out of range, if they are already away from their home ring (after pursuing another target). Gather and Guard golems in particular, can be led far afield this way.
  • Golems cannot walk over a Paving Stone of Warding, though (like other mobs) if they have a block of height available, they can jump down onto the field.
  • There is a special "Golem Fetter" block, which, when powered with redstone, will deactivate any golem, freezing it in place until the power is turned off, or the golem is pushed off the fetter.
Bodies Animation Cores Upgrades Other
Straw, Wood, Flesh, Clay, Tallow, Stone, Iron, ThaumiumGather, Fill, Empty, Harvest, Guard, Decanting, Butcher, Chop, Fishing, Use, Sorting, AlchemyAir, Earth, Fire, Water,

Order, Entropy

Golemancer's Bell, Traveling Trunk, Golem Fetter

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