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What is Starstone's test to become a god?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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You know there is no standard for how long the test takes or anything of that sort.

For all the campaign world knows someone started the test 100 years ago, and a new god has just now emerged.

Could do some interesting things with that. One thing that is undefined, perhaps for the best, is how much a god can interact directly (in person) with the setting:

From the Pathfinder Wiki:

"After his ascension, Aroden worked hard to protect and aid humanity. He guided the brightest and finest of humanity to Absalom, where he encouraged the growth of the city. Usually, he preferred to provide aid from a distance (such as the siege of Absalom in 166 AR, when the Archmage Nex invaded). Even so, when necessary, Aroden took a very active role in the destruction of humanity's foes. Soon after his ascension, he led a host of mortal heroes and powerful outsiders into the abyss to slay the demon-lord Ibdurengian, who had been harassing Azlanti humans since before Starfall.[7] He also defeated the wizard-king Tar-Baphon in combat in 896 AR, although the exact reason for this conflict is unknown."

I'm of the school that there has to be some kind of compact or agreement among the gods to limit direct involvement by a god in the world. Just opens up too many problems if they aren't limited that way.

(You just thought Elminster and the Seven Sisters were bad)

If you don't, what is to stop a new god from emerging from the Starstone building and saying "Hear me O Absalom. I am the God of (insert something), and this is my city, wherein which I will dwell and rule you directly. This is now the center of my cult. Bow before me, the Age of Glory has begun!"


From what I recall, James Jacobs has hinted that the Test of Starstone changes depending on the individual, is equivalent to a megadungeon and should only be attempted by someone who's level 20 with at least a few Mythic levels since you otherwise stand no chance in passing it. Taking all of that into account, it's not really a surprise that only three people so far have actually made it to the end, though extra points of badass to Cayden for passing the test while drunk.

I wonder how he even managed to enter the cathedral since there's no bridge.
Did he just do the most epic drunken leap in all of existence, or did he wear magical boots?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:
If you don't, what is to stop a new god from emerging from the Starstone building and saying "Hear me O Absalom. I am the God of (insert something), and this is my city, wherein which I will dwell and rule you directly. This is now the center of my cult. Bow before me, the Age of Glory has begun!"

Very simple. Here's something that every winner of the test finds out right away.

As a mortal you were a giant among men.

As a newborn god, you're the freshmeat freshman in an unmonitored schoolyard where just about everyone else has been there longer, knows the pecking order, and is bigger than you are.

In other words... welcome back to the bottom of the heap.

Qadira

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
I wonder how he even managed to enter the cathedral since there's no bridge. Did he just do the most epic drunken leap in all of existence, or did he wear magical boots?

I'm willing to bet he cued up at the summoning stone as normal, got tired of waiting on his friends, yelled "Leeeeeeeeroy" and just charged in.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More seriously, though, I expect (and hope) that the new Mythic book will be tied to the Test of the Starstone somehow. A future campaign would be even cooler.

I wonder... why doesn't anyone ever write Society adventures around the Test? Hmmmm.....


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I imagined him yelling like the Demoman from TF2 instead of yelling Leeroy.

You know, because he's drunk. And they're both really awesome, even when drunk.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
I imagined him yelling like the Demoman from TF2 instead of yelling Leeroy. You know, because he's drunk. And they're both really awesome, even when drunk.

You mean like this?

(Of course, I suddenly respect CC a lot more now...)


Icyshadow wrote:

From what I recall, James Jacobs has hinted that the Test of Starstone changes depending on the individual, is equivalent to a megadungeon and should only be attempted by someone who's level 20 with at least a few Mythic levels since you otherwise stand no chance in passing it. Taking all of that into account, it's not really a surprise that only three people so far have actually made it to the end, though extra points of badass to Cayden for passing the test while drunk.

I wonder how he even managed to enter the cathedral since there's no bridge.
Did he just do the most epic drunken leap in all of existence, or did he wear magical boots?

You have to beat Cayden at a drinking contest to hear how he passed the Test of the Starstone. Just hope he will be sober enough to remember what happened really.


I understand the essay portion is a b*tch.

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:

From what I recall, James Jacobs has hinted that the Test of Starstone changes depending on the individual, is equivalent to a megadungeon and should only be attempted by someone who's level 20 with at least a few Mythic levels since you otherwise stand no chance in passing it. Taking all of that into account, it's not really a surprise that only three people so far have actually made it to the end, though extra points of badass to Cayden for passing the test while drunk.

I wonder how he even managed to enter the cathedral since there's no bridge.
Did he just do the most epic drunken leap in all of existence, or did he wear magical boots?

Honestly, I'm not sure that a character's ability to pass the Test of the Starstone necessarily has anything to do with character levels. Of the three people who are known to have passed the test, Iomedae definitely fits the mold of a high level Mythic character, and nothing at all is known about what Norgorber could do as a mortal. Cayden, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as having been a very high level character at all, and almost certainly not a mythic one.

As far as I know, there are no legends about CC's deeds as a mortal prior to taking the test; indeed, he only seems to have entered the stage of history when he made the drunken bet that resulted in his ascension. Furthermore, he is noted as having been a sellsword prior to having taken the test, which seems to imply that he was not a man of particular wealth or influence, which high-level characters tend to be.

I rather prefer to imagine that the Test of the Starstone isn't about individual skill or power at all. Indeed, descriptions of the first part of the test (crossing the pit) seem to imply that even masterful feats of acrobatics and powerful transportation magics have been known to fail some hopefuls despite having worked for others. I would guess that the Test has more to do with some intangible property of a person's character or spirit, like boldness, determination, purity of purpose, confidence, or perhaps even some quality known only to the gods that no mortal can perceive or articulate.


Gnoll Bard wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:

From what I recall, James Jacobs has hinted that the Test of Starstone changes depending on the individual, is equivalent to a megadungeon and should only be attempted by someone who's level 20 with at least a few Mythic levels since you otherwise stand no chance in passing it. Taking all of that into account, it's not really a surprise that only three people so far have actually made it to the end, though extra points of badass to Cayden for passing the test while drunk.

I wonder how he even managed to enter the cathedral since there's no bridge.
Did he just do the most epic drunken leap in all of existence, or did he wear magical boots?

Honestly, I'm not sure that a character's ability to pass the Test of the Starstone necessarily has anything to do with character levels. Of the three people who are known to have passed the test, Iomedae definitely fits the mold of a high level Mythic character, and nothing at all is known about what Norgorber could do as a mortal. Cayden, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as having been a very high level character at all, and almost certainly not a mythic one.

As far as I know, there are no legends about CC's deeds as a mortal prior to taking the test; indeed, he only seems to have entered the stage of history when he made the drunken bet that resulted in his ascension. Furthermore, he is noted as having been a sellsword prior to having taken the test, which seems to imply that he was not a man of particular wealth or influence, which high-level characters tend to be.

I rather prefer to imagine that the Test of the Starstone isn't about individual skill or power at all. Indeed, descriptions of the first part of the test (crossing the pit) seem to imply that even masterful feats of acrobatics and powerful transportation magics have been known to fail some hopefuls despite having worked for others. I would guess that the Test has more to do with some intangible property of a person's character or spirit, like boldness,...

So you're saying it's basically rigged?

The truth must be told to the people of Golarion!!

Cheliax

So say you pass this test.. Does it ever say how its determined what you are a god of.... Just asking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

James Jacobs and the developers have been deliberately vague on the mechanics of the Test of the Starstone. They might be waiting for the Mythic rules to be ironed out before they start to talk mechanics about it.

But then again, maybe not: ascension to godhood is supposed to be Very Mysterious.

I think it detracts from the wonder of the game if you lay out stats and mechanics for it. You also run the risk of hamstringing the GM of a high-level/mythic game who has a different set of ideas on how the universe works in that regard.

Taldor

I've noticed the heralds of many of the gods fill that Demi-God status. So maybe it's a VERY powerful template a god can play on you?

Andoran

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Malhavocblackthorne wrote:
So say you pass this test.. Does it ever say how its determined what you are a god of.... Just asking.

Actually, I suspect that, if it's not fairly obvious what your divine portfolio would be, you're not likely to pass the test to begin with. Iomedae was a just paladin who fought evil, so she became the goddess of justice and fighting evil. Norgorber was super secretive, so he became the god of secrets. CC was a drunk adventurer, so he became the god of... well, drunk adventurers, more or less.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
As far as I know, there are no legends about CC's deeds as a mortal prior to taking the test; indeed, he only seems to have entered the stage of history when he made the drunken bet that resulted in his ascension. Furthermore, he is noted as having been a sellsword prior to having taken the test, which seems to imply that he was not a man of particular wealth or influence, which high-level characters tend to be.

He was noted to be a successful sellsword, however (IIRC), which implies a certain degree of capability. That he might have frittered away his material gains in drinking and gambling and whoring doesn't necessarily indicate any lack of ability on his part.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
dunrosh wrote:

thanks anyway we try to right a pathfinder 6 volume to post for james jacob to be maybe approuved and we have to know what hapens to pass the test and what hapend if fail

anyway

thanks again

That's one of the most unimagnative idiotic questions I've seen. A GM who can't answer this question on his own is frankly not ready to handle that level of play.

The Starstone is not a wargaming test that comes down to dice rolls. It's a story event. The nature of the test, whether a character succeeds or dies, that's all dependent on the story being written. There's no cheat sheet to become a god. As the test was totally different for each person who went through it. Just like the Tests of High Sorcery on Krynn.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malhavocblackthorne wrote:
So say you pass this test.. Does it ever say how its determined what you are a god of.... Just asking.

The Final Test is a written exam where they do a psych evaluation and a Career Aptitude Test.

Quote:
He was noted to be a successful sellsword, however (IIRC), which implies a certain degree of capability. That he might have frittered away his material gains in drinking and gambling and whoring doesn't necessarily indicate any lack of ability on his part.

I don't think anyone is implying he was some vagabond just that he probably was not some 20th level fighter no one had ever heard of before. Personally I would like to think that part of the test is true personal conviction in yourself and the reason for taking the test to begin with. Cayden seems like the type of person who truly believes in himself and would find winning a drunken bet a perfectly valid reason why he should be made into a god. That type of conviction seems rare, even for evil would be world conquerors and righteous Paladins.

Andoran

From looking at the thread, there are a few errors form checking Pathfinder Wiki. By the time of Aroden's passing, there were four bridges spanning the chasm to the Starstone Cathedral. The bridge of Aroden collapsed in an earthquake in 4698 A.R. It is known that anyone wishing to pass the Test of the Starstone must do so without using a bridge.

A few people have emerged from the Starstone Cathedral without passing the test, describing it as a place of monsters where magic does not work properly.

There are many people who attempted the Test of the Starstone and did not return. The Pathfinder Wiki article talks about the Shrine of the Fallen. Some of them sound pretty interesting, and one has to wonder if they will ever be referred to in a future Paizo product.


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You finally reached the Starstone. Before you lies an immense ikosahedron, each side incribed with strange glyphs.
As you get closer, the Starstone rises high into the air, then suddendly drops down before Jaman, the upper surface marked with a single line. Jaman starts to scream in pain, withers crumbles to dust...
The ikosahedron rises again, landing before Thimolisk. This time, a circle accompied with a curved symbol is to be seen, as Thimoliskk starts to glow with power...

Andoran

My own suspicion is that the test of the Starstone is somewhat different for each participant. It could well be that Aroden intended it to be this way or that it is the nature of the Starstone itself to vary the tests. (For all we know, the Starstone is sentient.) I suspect that we will see the Starstone always remain somewhat mysterious in Golarion.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I actually hope that the test is kept in mystery. I would love more information, but having such a mystery revealed will ruin the excitement around it.

I personally think that the test is different for everyone, and that it doesn't follow any known natural or magical laws, but its own, possibly higher, laws.

Andoran

I also get the impression that the test is different for each person who experiences it, but I have to wonder what would happen if a whole group of adventurers tried to gain entry at once. As far as I can recall, I haven't read any mention of divine hopefuls trying to work as a team to overcome the tests; it seems like it's usually just a lone hero on a serious ego trip.

Now, it strikes me that it might be thematically appropriate for each person being tested to experience their trials alone, but Pathfinder as a game is obviously a group exercise, and splitting the party is usually not very fun for the players involved. For purely metagame reasons, therefore, I think it should be possible for an adventuring party to stick together and all experience the same tests.

Of course, even if they enter the Cathedral together, it's unlikely that all (or even *any*) of a group of hopefuls will find their way to the Starstone in the end. If there were ever a good excuse to pull out all the stops and play "killer GM," the Starstone Cathedral would be it.


Gnoll Bard wrote:

I also get the impression that the test is different for each person who experiences it, but I have to wonder what would happen if a whole group of adventurers tried to gain entry at once. As far as I can recall, I haven't read any mention of divine hopefuls trying to work as a team to overcome the tests; it seems like it's usually just a lone hero on a serious ego trip.

Now, it strikes me that it might be thematically appropriate for each person being tested to experience their trials alone, but Pathfinder as a game is obviously a group exercise, and splitting the party is usually not very fun for the players involved. For purely metagame reasons, therefore, I think it should be possible for an adventuring party to stick together and all experience the same tests.

Of course, even if they enter the Cathedral together, it's unlikely that all (or even *any*) of a group of hopefuls will find their way to the Starstone in the end. If there were ever a good excuse to pull out all the stops and play "killer GM," the Starstone Cathedral would be it.

The Starstone would probably adapt the test to chalenge both individual strengths and weaknesses and teamwork strengths and weaknesses.

As for the results...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Gnoll Bard wrote:
I also get the impression that the test is different for each person who experiences it, but I have to wonder what would happen if a whole group of adventurers tried to gain entry at once.

That's duck soup easy. You get magically separated and each of you have to succeed on your own.

Or you're all combined into a composite entity and succeed or fail together. becoming one new composite god... or failed lump of flesh.

Which of these is right? Both! None! Not everything needs a consistent rules answer! Not everything should get such an answer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Repeat after me: "It's up to the GM!"

Though I will repeat the rumor that Norgobers four-fold aspect is due to him being an ascended adventuring party, not a single person.

Osirion

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LazarX wrote:
Or you're all combined into a composite entity and succeed or fail together. becoming one new composite god... or failed lump of flesh.

I remain convinced that Norgorber was a team of four people when 'he' went into the Starstone.

It's entirely possible that one (or more) of them intended to use the others to help pass the test, and stab them in the back at the appropriate moment to seize the prize alone, and they were all 'rewarded' by being fused together into one divine entity at the end...

Andoran

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Set wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Or you're all combined into a composite entity and succeed or fail together. becoming one new composite god... or failed lump of flesh.

I remain convinced that Norgorber was a team of four people when 'he' went into the Starstone.

It's entirely possible that one (or more) of them intended to use the others to help pass the test, and stab them in the back at the appropriate moment to seize the prize alone, and they were all 'rewarded' by being fused together into one divine entity at the end...

I love it! Poor Norgorber; that's got to be an awkward way to spend eternity. :P


OMG! And this so explains the name as well. Norgorber has to be the melding of all four names. I mean..really, who would ever pick Norgorber as a name.

Sheesh.

Norgorber. *snorts* Not even a mother would love a child named that...so ridiculous.

Norgregor.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

I hope they never publish what the test of the star stone is.

I think it is much more interesting when left to our own imaginations.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Greg Wasson wrote:

OMG! And this so explains the name as well. Norgorber has to be the melding of all four names. I mean..really, who would ever pick Norgorber as a name.

Sheesh.

Norgorber. *snorts* Not even a mother would love a child named that...so ridiculous.

Norgregor.

Norgorber is the sister of the Boy Named Sue.


I think the test should be doable even at lower levels. Because from what I read about Cayden Cailean he didn't seem to be high in level.

It is not so much a test of your battle prowess as it is a test of your attitude and your will power. How far you are willing to go and how much you are willing to risk.

Because really. Relative to being a god it does not really matter if you had 5 levels or 20. The main difference I see in taking the test at a higher level is that you have more wiggle room for mistakes. So if you fail at something you might survive the resulting punishment to try a second time.

I imagine it would test the things you are good at, but mostly target the things you are bad at. So first you get to show your strength and then you have to overcome all your weaknesses (the last weakness being that you are mortal).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

You know there is no standard for how long the test takes or anything of that sort.

For all the campaign world knows someone started the test 100 years ago, and a new god has just now emerged.

Could do some interesting things with that. One thing that is undefined, perhaps for the best, is how much a god can interact directly (in person) with the setting:

From the Pathfinder Wiki:

"After his ascension, Aroden worked hard to protect and aid humanity. He guided the brightest and finest of humanity to Absalom, where he encouraged the growth of the city. Usually, he preferred to provide aid from a distance (such as the siege of Absalom in 166 AR, when the Archmage Nex invaded). Even so, when necessary, Aroden took a very active role in the destruction of humanity's foes. Soon after his ascension, he led a host of mortal heroes and powerful outsiders into the abyss to slay the demon-lord Ibdurengian, who had been harassing Azlanti humans since before Starfall.[7] He also defeated the wizard-king Tar-Baphon in combat in 896 AR, although the exact reason for this conflict is unknown."

I'm of the school that there has to be some kind of compact or agreement among the gods to limit direct involvement by a god in the world. Just opens up too many problems if they aren't limited that way.

(You just thought Elminster and the Seven Sisters were bad)

If you don't, what is to stop a new god from emerging from the Starstone building and saying "Hear me O Absalom. I am the God of (insert something), and this is my city, wherein which I will dwell and rule you directly. This is now the center of my cult. Bow before me, the Age of Glory has begun!"

For one thing, when I asked James Jacobs about this, he stated that Aroden was a demigod while he was walking the earth post-ascension. It seems that full gods generally do not manifest "avatars" on Golarion.


CC may not have started out high level.. but neither do PC:s :p
And yet after romping a dungeon they may come out level 20 having entered with barely 6hp and a feat.

Its probly a megadungeon that has exits, but no re-entrance.

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