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How to Kill a Tarrasque (official thread)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Dark Archive

James Jacobs had three 'sample methods' for the tarrasque's 'method of death' that were cut out due to space as discussed on this thread.

Here's hoping he finds the juicy bits on his office computer, but while we wait for those - any Golarion specific inspired nuggets for the final death of the beloved spawn of Rovagug from the peanut gallery are welcome.

And to the Tarrasque: May you live in every edition of the game!

Dark Archive

Tarrasque, meet Sphere of Annihalation.

Dark Archive

I wonder if riding on the back of the tarrasque into the hear of the Eye would let you survive to discover what is at it's center.

Dark Archive

Inside the heart of the Eye:

Spoiler:
The biggest Mirror of Opposition, EVAR.

Held in place by by four intelligent spheres of annihilation.

Hey you asked.

Dark Archive

I wish the Tarrasque never existed in Golarion.

Oops, did I say that outloud?

Dark Archive

THAT....IS.....AWESOME!

Dark Archive

Then there's this possible method.

Spoiler:
"What did you do, Ray?"

"Oh @#%$!"

"It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man."


What did DM_Blake ever do to you?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
baron arem heshvaun wrote:


James Jacobs had three 'sample methods' for the tarrasque's 'method of death' that were cut out due to space as discussed on this thread.

Here's hoping he finds the juicy bits on his office computer, but while we wait for those - any Golarion specific inspired nuggets for the final death of the beloved spawn of Rovagug from the peanut gallery are welcome.

And to the Tarrasque: May you live in every edition of the game!

Yeah, this would be a fun read. Here's to hoping the Chief posts it here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would love to see a high-level AP that deals with gathering things and making preparations to rid the world of the Tarrasque. It would be a great chance to fully flesh out the legends, myths, and history surrounding it.


In my homebrew, they had an interesting way of dealing with the Tarrasque when it entered their world - they turned it into a god. Since the gods aren't able to physically tread on the material plane, it kept the Tarrasque from directly slaughtering everyone. Instead, he just became the deity of violence and slaughter.

And then the fragments of the original deity of violence and slaughter killed the tarrasque and currently masquerades as it, still benefiting from all the followers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How about...

I wish the Tarrasque was Lawful Good!

... isn't that more or less how it worked in the original legend? ^-^

Then, they executed the poor guy. :(


I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom

Yes, a Colossal fluffy kitten...


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom
Yes, a Colossal fluffy kitten...

Does that make for Colossal Nom Noms?

Dark Archive

Tarrasque vs. Giant fire breathing sabertoothed hamstersaurus rex.Fight!


Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom

You successfully peer into the past and view the origins of the tarrasque. At its origins, before its horrid magical transformation, the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Not so anymore.


Maybryn wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom
You successfully peer into the past and view the origins of the tarrasque. At its origins, before its horrid magical transformation, the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Not so anymore.

This explains much.

The Exchange

Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom

You could always find a wizard who can cast 9th level spells. Then you don't even need to worry about killing it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Disciple of Sakura wrote:

In my homebrew, they had an interesting way of dealing with the Tarrasque when it entered their world - they turned it into a god. Since the gods aren't able to physically tread on the material plane, it kept the Tarrasque from directly slaughtering everyone. Instead, he just became the deity of violence and slaughter.

Since the god Rovagug has previously been on a rampage on the prime material plane, I guess this wouldn't work in Golarion. It would probably just turn into Rovagug.

As to the idea of using a Sphere of Annihilation, the Tarrasque would just regenerate from annihilation. As it would from any use of the Wish spell. Wish it was a kitten? It'll turn back into a Tarrasque. Wish it was never spawned? It'll recover from that too at the point of it's spawning, but with lots of horrible transformations of the world from distortions of the timeline from it's creation to the present moment.

I would guess that one of the only forces in the world that could destroy the Tarrasque is Rovagug. Feed it to it's parent, and that should do the trick.

Sovereign Court

David Fryer wrote:
Giant fire breathing sabertoothed hamstersaurus rex.

Wasn't that James Jacobs first avatar?

Dark Archive

I sure hope so.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
I wish the Tarrasque was a fluffy kitten. Nom nom nom

I Haz Tarrasques?!?!?!

Or wait...

A Tarrasque "Hang in there!" poster?

Damn, I might actually buy that...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kyle Baird wrote:
I would love to see a high-level AP that deals with gathering things and making preparations to rid the world of the Tarrasque. It would be a great chance to fully flesh out the legends, myths, and history surrounding it.

So would I. I've been trying to work the Tarrasque in to an adventure path pretty much since Age of Worms. The stars are not yet right, alas.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
I would love to see a high-level AP that deals with gathering things and making preparations to rid the world of the Tarrasque. It would be a great chance to fully flesh out the legends, myths, and history surrounding it.
So would I. I've been trying to work the Tarrasque in to an adventure path pretty much since Age of Worms. The stars are not yet right, alas.

Just don't do it the way Kenzer dropped their Tarrasque into Kalamar. The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali had an aquatic Tarrasque dropped right into the middle of the adventure... as the only Tarrasque in the setting. It was both out of place (as in hard to find in the adventure... you had to dive pretty deep to get to it in the middle of a desert lake) and you were force to metagame to even find out it was there. Horrible.

Edit: @ Stormraven... Nice Avatar!

Dark Archive

I would place my bet on a high level cleric of Sarenrae along with the aid of her companions. Having the help of Sarenrae's herald wouldn't hurt too.

The way I see it, if Sarenrae was capable of dealing the final stroke to Rovagug and thus ascending to godhood. It only makes sense that slaying the most powerful of his spawn is a task due to her most devout followers.

If it were my choice, I'd have the Tarrasque slay the Herald in the battle just as the PC Cleric deals the killing blow with his hard earned Burning Scimitar of the Sun artifact, and thus by doing so ascend to become the new herald of Sarenrae.


Hi hi,
Why kill it when you can build a viable living city around a captured live one? One of my favorite ideas about the Terrasque was one I found on another message board a few years ago about a Terrasque that had been captures and stuck in place. They harvested his ever regenerating meat for food, his bones for tools and used his blood to water there crops or something... it’s an idea that just makes me smile. :) My players didn’t want anything to do with that city but if u guys want to check out the ideas ill drop the link here.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=261519

Its a bit of a intensely disturbing thing, the idea of an entire city grown up around the torture and dismemberment of an immortal being.

hope you guys find this as cool as i did.


David Fryer wrote:
Tarrasque vs. Giant fire breathing sabertoothed hamstersaurus rex.Fight!

This gave me visions of the old mortal combat where you upercut them into the lava, and the tarrasque's healthbar keeps moving back up in a timed match.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, well! Turns out the copy of the tarrasque on my hard drive DID have the extra content we cut for being too-world specific and too-long for a 1 page monster. Here it is, in all of its undeveloped, unedited glory!

Slaying the Tarrasque

The tarrasque is meant to serve as a capstone event for an entire campaign, not a creature that is idly encountered by high level adventurers exploring a remote corner of the world. As such, you should determine for yourself what method is required to secure the mighty creature’s destruction, and then construct one or several adventures in which your PCs unearth the method for the creature’s destruction and, perhaps, create or recover the weapons needed to effect such a heroic task. Listed here are three sample methods that the tarrasque might be slain—feel free to use them as is, adapt them, or simply to draw inspiration from them to develop a method of destruction unique to your own campaign world.

Bones of the First World: The tarrasque is a sending from the mythical First World, another dimension from which the fey hail and which, it is said, served as a rough draft for the creation of the Material Plane. In order to slay the tarrasque, it must first be lured back into the First World, whereupon it can be lethally wounded by weapons made from the bones of the beast that inspired the tarrasque’s unknown creator to make it in the first place.

Poisonhenge: Although the tarrasque is immune to most poison, legend tells of a henge of spiked stones in the depths of a vast swamp. These stones radiate sickness and ruin, and the beasts that dwell in the surrounding marshlands are insane and mutated into hideous powerful monsters by Poisonhenge’s proximity. To slay the tarrasque, it must be lured into Poisonhenge so that as it falls unconscious from the final blow, it impales itself upon no less than half of the henge’s deadly spires.

Unholy Return: The tarrasque was unleashed upon the world by one of the gods of devastation and destruction, and only that god can end what it created. To kill the tarrasque, it must be brought before this god of destruction, who must then be entreated to murder its most ferocious offspring—but at a price that may be worse than leaving the tarrasque to rampage in peace.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The PF tarrasque is dumb, destroys mindlessly, and is invulnerable to everything but Plane Shift. This says to me "Weapon of the gods." So the game isn't so much about destroying the tarrasque, but instead channeling it and controlling it, or at least figuring out who is trying to and why.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

A Man In Black wrote:
The PF tarrasque is dumb, destroys mindlessly, and is invulnerable to everything but Plane Shift. This says to me "Weapon of the gods." So the game isn't so much about destroying the tarrasque, but instead channeling it and controlling it, or at least figuring out who is trying to and why.

Actually, the PF Tarrasque is not dumb nor does it destroy mindlessly. It's got an Intelligence of 3, and can actually understand a language. As mentioned in the text, it' isn't mindless on its rampages and often focuses on threatening targets and is difficult to trick. Banishing effects (such as plane shift or prismatic spray) are very much the best way to handle the monster.

And while it's Will save is not high for a CR 25 creature... it's SR is pretty solid—plane shift isn't a guaranteed solution as a result.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

James Jacobs wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
I would love to see a high-level AP that deals with gathering things and making preparations to rid the world of the Tarrasque. It would be a great chance to fully flesh out the legends, myths, and history surrounding it.
So would I. I've been trying to work the Tarrasque in to an adventure path pretty much since Age of Worms. The stars are not yet right, alas.

Just slap him into a random encounter table. That requires one line of text, max.

EDIT: Okay, the more I think about this, the more hilarious it is.

DM: Okay, so you're halfway to the Mindspin Mountains when you set up camp. Who's on watch?
Bob: I've still got some 5th level spells, so I'll take the first watch.
DM: Great. *rolls dice* Okay, make a Perception check, DC -15.
Bob: Uh...okay...I succeed.
DM: You see a monster heading your way through the forest. And when I say through the forest, I mean he's literally uprooting trees and destroying everything in his path. The thing must be 30 feet tall.
Bob: Uh...we're only 12th level...
DM: Sorry, the monsters on the table, and we're going to run it. Roll initiative.


I bet a pummeling from Sebastian's mighty hooves would kill a tarrasque.

Dark Archive

Sebastian wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
I would love to see a high-level AP that deals with gathering things and making preparations to rid the world of the Tarrasque. It would be a great chance to fully flesh out the legends, myths, and history surrounding it.
So would I. I've been trying to work the Tarrasque in to an adventure path pretty much since Age of Worms. The stars are not yet right, alas.
Just slap him into a random encounter table. That requires one line of text, max.

My pony!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Actually, the PF Tarrasque is not dumb nor does it destroy mindlessly. It's got an Intelligence of 3, and can actually understand a language. As mentioned in the text, it' isn't mindless on its rampages and often focuses on threatening targets and is difficult to trick. Banishing effects (such as plane shift or prismatic spray) are very much the best way to handle the monster.

It's not mindless with a capital M, like a zombie or something, but it wrecks stuff because that's all it can do, and it's not bright enough to know much else. It doesn't have an agenda or a plan. The fact that it has the ability to understand instructions but lacks the capacity to question them says to me that it's a weapon.

Plus, as a nice side effect, banishment effects are a lot more in-genre than standing there with a heavy pick and CDGing it every half-dozen seconds, the other way to keep it incapacitated once you've defeated it.

Although, how about the tarrasque laying in a cavern of nearly-pure adamantite ore with a fallen stalactite impaled through its skull. That's an image that someone could find a use for.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

A Man In Black wrote:
It's not mindless with a capital M, like a zombie or something, but it wrecks stuff because that's all it can do, and it's not bright enough to know much else. It doesn't have an agenda or a plan. The fact that it has the ability to understand instructions but lacks the capacity to question them says to me that it's a weapon.

Again... I wouldn't say it doesn't have a plan. Or that what/whoever created it didn't build a plan into its behavior. It's more than a mere giant pit bull that's been trained to attack, in other words.

It's a kind of weird example, but the behavior of the T-Rex in the recent "Land of the Lost" movie is probably a good example of how smart the Tarrasque is. Smart enough to know when someone's making fun of it, and smart enough to plot revenge and make threats and maybe even forgive.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:


It's a kind of weird example, but the behavior of the T-Rex in the recent "Land of the Lost" movie is probably a good example of how smart the Tarrasque is. Smart enough to know when someone's making fun of it, and smart enough to plot revenge and make threats and maybe even forgive.

I always pictured the spinasaurus in JP3 as a good model for the Tarrasque.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

You know, it just occurred to me that solars are immune to tarrasque damage and can cast Plane Shift. They aren't the avatars of good in the universe yadda yadda... they're dog handlers.

How about a plot where you have to get the tarrasque back to the God of Cute Animals? "Oh, you found Skippy, thank you! Isn't he just the cutest widdle thing, yes you are, yes you are." "*purring tarrasque noises*"

An alternate plot idea, more serious this time: solars can manhandle the tarrasque, but demons and devils and such can't. The tarrasque is the weapon of which gods now?

Liberty's Edge

What about space? Can you send it to space?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
...leaving the tarrasque to rampage in peace.

HA!


Xuttah wrote:
What about space? Can you send it to space?

Are you suggesting attaching a Spelljamming Helm to it and flying it off? That would be mighty funny!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Isn't Rovagug the creator of the Tarrasque in Pathfinder?
I'm fairly certain the seed of Rovagug that created the Tarrasque used a fluffy kitten as its template...

Liberty's Edge

Spacelard wrote:


Are you suggesting attaching a Spelljamming Helm to it and flying it off? That would be mighty funny!

Naw, there do seem to be a number of portals all over the world. You just 'port it into the Diaspora to play with the locals.

Or maybe a *powerful* springboard trap?

What about aboleth slime? Can you change it to breath only water or use the permanent change effect on it out in the desert somewhere?

BTW I was reading Lord of Madness in the hopes of finding a cure for aboleth slime for one of my party members, but drew a blank. Great article though!


Xuttah wrote:
Spacelard wrote:


Are you suggesting attaching a Spelljamming Helm to it and flying it off? That would be mighty funny!

Naw, there do seem to be a number of portals all over the world. You just 'port it into the Diaspora to play with the locals.

Or maybe a *powerful* springboard trap?

What about aboleth slime? Can you change it to breath only water or use the permanent change effect on it out in the desert somewhere?

BTW I was reading Lord of Madness in the hopes of finding a cure for aboleth slime for one of my party members, but drew a blank. Great article though!

Hmmm...Aboleth slime...I like that.

Or a giant anvil with ACME written on the side *combined* with springboard trap.


Here's a possible...
First, make sure you have a DM that is willing to expand on the uses of spells - ones that say "The GM may allow..."

Second, put on your track shoes... cuz you need to lead the beastie into a swampy area. When said beastie is in the swamp, cast Reverse Gravity - on the ground - I believe that is no save and no SR. In the swamp, there is unlikely to be anything the T can latch onto so it wouldn't get the possible Reflex save afforded by 'having something it can latch onto'.

Once it is floating nicely in the sky, cast Permanency on the Reverse Gravity. Here's where you need the right DM - "The DM may allow other spells to be made permanent". If she/he says 'yes', the Tarrasque is floating until some #^(#$&@ decides to cast Dispel Magic on the trap.

I haven't checked the details - but that might work to permanently stop the Tarrasque... but boy is he going to be PISSED when he gets down and you know some crackpot is GOING to try to undo the trap.

Liberty's Edge

Trap it in a demiplane. There are some of those kicking around too. :)

I'd prefer trapping it in a demiplane that is made out of double bacon cheeseburgers. Inside of a year, it'll die of clogged arteries.


Pocket plane?


So after being in space the Tarrasque eventually drifts out of the area of the Reverse Gravity spell and plummets to surface of Golarion, landing at the heart of a city in a wash of fiery devastation. He gets up and he's NOT happy and irradiated.

He's a Giant Radioactive Terrible Beast.


Illithar wrote:

So after being in space the Tarrasque eventually drifts out of the area of the Reverse Gravity spell and plummets to surface of Golarion, landing at the heart of a city in a wash of fiery devastation. He gets up and he's NOT happy and irradiated.

He's a Giant Radioactive Terrible Beast.

I smell 'plotline'. :) I never liked that city anyway...

I haven't read the spell description in awhile but I think the beastie reaches it's max height in one round and then is just suspended there unless it can fly, teleport, or levitate out of the field. So it wouldn't actually reach orbit, nor can it float out of the Reverse Gravity field, I think. But it would make a hell of a conversation piece to build your city around - a big ol' pissed off Tarrasque hovering say 70' off the ground screeching it's lungs out? Think of the marketing possibilities!

Liberty's Edge

Mouthy Upstart wrote:
Pocket plane?

Quite fancy, thanks for asking.

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