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RPG Superstar 2015

Test of the Starstone


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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So, my group finished the Rise of the Runelords, and we decided that we loved our characters so much that we didn't want to let them go. It happens a lot. We didn't want to convert 3.5 epic rules to take them past level 20, per se.

My concern is this: Having read the various deities, I've noticed one similarity with a lot of the newer ones - the Test of the Starstone. We decided that it would be cool to become deities, but there isn't much to go on. I haven't found anything in any of the books I own on exactly what the test is, and the PRD auto-fills for Starstone's Test, but nothing comes up.

Has anyone else thought of this as an ultimate end to their characters? (I'm quite certain SOMEONE has.) And if so, what would you do? Also, if anyone has any more information on the Starstone, the test, or how deities are made, please let me know. I've read Deities and Demigods from 3.5, but like I said, converting takes time. Any advice offered will be appreciated.

Scarab Sages

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The test of the Starstone has not been detailed yet. I was just reading a post by the developers discussing it. They said the test will definitely be an adventure in the future, but only after the epic-level rules have been redone (which they referred to as "mythic" instead of epic). My advice is to move on to another campaign and wait for the mythic rules to come out. Then you can switch back to those characters you love so much and continue, eventually challenging the Starstone. Or you can just make up the test yourself...


From what I know about the Test of the Starstone is that it is different for everyone. And incredibly hard. Only 3 people ever succeeded on it so far, while I guess a couple of thousands went in.

What that means is, you can come up with all kinds of hijinks that you've always wanted to do or throw at your groups but that never made sense. It does not have to make sense in there.

I know that probably doesn't help you very much, sorry :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can't be that difficult, surely. A Pathfinder Monk could do it.


If you want to know more about future Paizo projects, take a look at this thread from Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/sg3g3/we_make_pathfinderask_us_anythin g/

Your question would probably be answered here in this excerpt:

YES! We will do this eventually, likely some time in the next couple of years. I must confess that the third edition epic-level rules have almost no "champions" at Paizo. The math underlying the d20 system rules gets shaky enough at the standard high levels, so simply patching another 20 levels on top of that with a bunch of uber feats and some lame monsters doesn't really work for us. We've been experimenting with a totally different concept that allows for the sort of high-octane "mythic" adventuring that we think fans of epic content want, but with a completely different mechanical approach. We're still in the concepting stage for how exactly this will work at the moment, but it's definitely something we will be getting around to in the relatively near future.
As for the Test of the Starstone, that's meant to bridge the gap between "mortal" and "demigod," and at present we're not exactly sure what level that should be. A proper treatment of this dungeon would probably be appropriate for the 20+ set, which means we need to create the rules for those types of characters before we can do justice to this idea.
As the inventor of the Test of the Starstone, however, I can say that we WILL do this at some point. My current Pathfinder campaign, "Kings of Abslom" (which all the other Paizo people participating in today's AMA have played) is sort of a long-form prelude to the Test of the Starstone, so this is definitely something we're thinking about and planning toward.

Dark Archive

really it needs to be a "meat grinder"

every skill check you can conceive of, tests of will, endurance, TRAPS TRAPS TRAPS!!!!

it should teleport you to different dimensions, some with slow time, some with reverse time, ect

have them solve a puzzle, then find out they are the ones who set it. put them in a continual loop of stalking themselves

if you have 3.5's book of exalted deeds have them fight their Aleax's

Aleax
(when a Deity is particularly
mad at someone, he/she/it
makes a Construct that is a
copy of the offender and
uses it to deal with the
problem. each Deity only
has one Aleax at a time)
(BoED p158)
Looks exactly the
same as its target,
except its eyes glow
gold or silver.
The copy can be
made of any
creature that a Deity
wishes to deal with.
Becomes a Construct.
Has d10 HD, plus a sizebased
HP bonus.
Low-Light Vision.
Darkvision 60’.
Fast Healing 5.
SR 10 + HD, or the target’s
SR if higher
Con —
CR +3
+1 Insight bonus to Initiative checks.
+2 Perfection bonus to AC.
Singular Enemy – only the Aleax’s target can effect it in any way.
Searing Light, once per round as a Standard Action.
Shapechange, at will. A given Aleax usually has one or two forms
that are in line with the Deity it serves. The Aleax keeps its
Extraordinary & Spell-Like abilities in its new form.
True Seeing, at will.
If the Aleax slays its target, the target’s spirit is immediately
brought to the Aleax’s Deity for judgment.
If the target slays the Aleax, the Deity can never send its Aleax
against the target again –and– the target gains +2 Wisdom, +1
Insight bonus to Initiative checks, +2 Perfection bonus to AC, &
Spell Resistance (10 + HD).


Also since the Test of the Starstone will raise you to godhood if successful, it's possible that some gods will actively interfer with it. Either to hinder you or to help you.

Dark Archive

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From Pathfinder wiki...

Test of the Starstone

The Test of the Starstone is a test that anyone can take by attempting to reach the Starstone at the center of Absalom.

The Starstone is surrounded by a large, deadly maze containing traps, guardians and wards. The exact nature of the obstacles changes over time, but constant hazards include magic not always working right and prevention of extra-dimensional movement.

Those few who pass become demigods, while those who fail usually die, although a select few manage to escape, occasionally with great wealth, but no divinity. The first known person to pass the test was Aroden, who did so when he took the stone from the bottom of the sea to the Isle of Kortos in 1 AR when he founded the city of Absalom. Since then, only three of the vast number who took the test have passed: Norgorber, whose life prior to the test is unknown, Cayden Cailean, who took it on a drunken bet, and Iomedae, a worshiper of Aroden who became his herald.

The Test of the Starstone is mysterious; the only publicly known part of the test is that hopefuls must cross the bottomless pit surrounding the Starstone Cathedral without using a bridge.
- Crossing the pit is a necessary first step, but not sufficient to enter the cathedral and continue the test, and what has worked for one hopeful may fail for another. Hopefuls have leaped across, flown with magic, or used tightropes, and the spectacle of an attempt nearly always draws an enormous, attentive crowd.

- No one knows for certain what lies within the Cathedral itself, as only a few brave or lucky souls have returned from a failed attempt at the Test of the Starstone. Those who have entered the Cathedral and returned to tell of it describe a place where magic does not function properly and which regularly changes its configuration, challenges and guardians.

Dark Archive

Here is what Pathfinder has to officially say how to play beyond 20th level. They have given these guidelines

Advancing Beyond 20th Level

Spoiler:
Paizo Publishing may eventually publish rules to take your game into these epic realms, but if you can't wait and would rather not use existing open content rules for epic-level play, you can use the following brief guidelines to continue beyond 20th level. Note that these guidelines aren't robust enough to keep the game vibrant and interesting on their own for much longer past 20th level, but they should do in a pinch for a campaign that needs, say, 22 or 23 experience levels to wrap up. Likewise, you can use these rules to create super-powerful NPCs for 20th-level characters to face.

Experience Points

To gain a level beyond 20th, a character must double the experience points needed to achieve the previous level. Thus, assuming the medium XP progression, a 20th-level character needs 2,100,000 XP to become 21st level, since he needed 1,050,000 XP to reach 20th level from 19th. He'd then need 4,200,000 XP to reach 22nd level, 8,400,000 XP to reach 23rd, and so on.

Scaling Powers

Hit dice, base attack bonuses, and saving throws continue to increase at the same rate beyond 20th level, as appropriate for the class in question. Note that no character can have more than 4 attacks based on its base attack bonus. Note also that, before long, the difference between good saving throws and poor saving throws becomes awkwardly large—the further you get from 20th level, the more noticeable this difference grows, and for high-level characters, bolstering their poor saving throws should become increasingly important. Class abilities that have a set, increasing rate, such as a barbarian's damage reduction, a fighter's bonus feats and weapon training, a paladin's smite evil, or a rogue's sneak attack continue to progress at the appropriate rate.

Spells

A spellcaster's caster level continues to increase by one for each level beyond 20th level. Every odd-numbered level, a spellcaster gains access to a new level of spell one above his previous maximum level, gaining one spell slot in that new level. These spell slots can be used to prepare or cast spells adjusted by metamagic feats or any known spell of lower levels. Every even-numbered level, a spellcaster gains additional spell slots equal to the highest level spell he can currently cast. He can split these new slots any way he wants among the slots he currently has access to.

For example, a 21st-level wizard gains a single 10th-level spell slot, in which he can prepare any spell of level 1st through 9th, or in which he can prepare a metamagic spell that results in an effective spell level of 10 (such as extended summon monster IX, or quickened disintegrate). At 22nd level he gains 10 spell-levels' worth of new spell slots, and can gain 10 1st-level spells per day, two 5th-level spells per day, one 7th-level and one 3rd-level spell per day, or one more 10th-level spell per day. At 23rd level, he gains a single 11th-level spell slot, and so on.

Spellcasters who have a limited number of spells known (such as bards and sorcerers) can opt out of the benefits they gain (either a new level of spells or a number of spell slots) for that level and in exchange learn two more spells of any level they can currently cast.

You might want to further adjust the rate of spell level gain for classes (like paladins and rangers) who gain spells more slowly than more dedicated spellcaster classes.

Multiclassing/Prestige Classes

The simplest way to progress beyond 20th level is to simply multiclass or take levels in a prestige class, in which case you gain all of the abilities of the new class level normally. This effectively treats 20th level as a hard limit for class level, but not as a hard limit for total character level.

We have done a game up to 27th and it worked well.

Enjoy!

If you want 3rd Party built to be compatible with Pathfinder...

Legendary Levels (PFRPG) PDF
- Little Red Goblin Games

Spoiler:
Finally!
Rules for play beyond 20th level for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System! This is the definitive guide to epic level play, allowing you to continuing playing even after other games end! Legendary Levels by Little Red Goblin Games pits your players against challenges on a scale you never thought imaginable. Watch as your characters gain the might to battle entire armies, slay deities, and even combat the cosmos themselves!

This Book Includes:
•Rules for play beyond 20th level (Including new “legendary damage” and “divinity score” rules!)
•Continued advancement for all of the core classes for levels 21 to 30.
•Continued advancement for the noble, handler, and skirmisher base classes from Little Red Goblin Games.
•5 new prestige classes suited for play beyond 20th level!
•New “sacred spells” for divine casters
•The return of the all-powerful “true dweomers”
•Over 50 new feats for legendary characters!
•3 new templates for creatures to raise the challenge of existing creatures to legendary levels! (Including the return of the colossal + creatures!!!!)
•Legendary magic items/weapons/armor rules!
•15 new enchantments
•Over 20 new magic items
•Rules for gestalt play
•SO MUCH MORE!


Quatar wrote:

From what I know about the Test of the Starstone is that it is different for everyone. And incredibly hard. Only 3 people ever succeeded on it so far, while I guess a couple of thousands went in.

What that means is, you can come up with all kinds of hijinks that you've always wanted to do or throw at your groups but that never made sense. It does not have to make sense in there.

I know that probably doesn't help you very much, sorry :)

Sounds like a lot of freedom is given to the DM about this. And I approve.


Rasmus Wagner wrote:
Can't be that difficult, surely. A Pathfinder Monk could do it.

What Pathfinder monk passed the Test of the Starstone?

The only deities I can think of that passed it are Aroden (wizard?), Iomedae (paladin), and Cayden Cailean (probably fighter or rogue?).

Irori didn't take the Test of the Starstone, he attained godhood through monastic enlightment, or something like that. As god of self-perfection, I'd think he'd hold disdain for the Test of the Starstone as a "shortcut."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Wolf Munroe wrote:
Rasmus Wagner wrote:
Can't be that difficult, surely. A Pathfinder Monk could do it.

What Pathfinder monk passed the Test of the Starstone?

The only deities I can think of that passed it are Aroden (wizard?), Iomedae (paladin), and Cayden Cailean (probably fighter or rogue?).

Irori didn't take the Test of the Starstone, he attained godhood through monastic enlightment, or something like that. As god of self-perfection, I'd think he'd hold disdain for the Test of the Starstone as a "shortcut."

I'm not sure if sparking a discussion about Golarion was Rasmus Wagner's intent there.


WhipShire wrote:

Here is what Pathfinder has to officially say how to play beyond 20th level. They have given these guidelines

Advancing Beyond 20th Level

** spoiler omitted **...

Good stuff and thanks for the link.


Thanks for all your answers!

To answer Obirandiath: we had considered that we would have to come back to the characters. We even came up with an evil-aligned campaign to fill the gap.

Desriden: I'll definitely check out that campaign, and thank you for your answer. I agree that uber monsters and feats probably wouldn't do Pathfinder justice. I don't know about other players, but I don't see "mythic" as a way to overdo my character, but as a continuation of the path she is currently set upon. Since she's an elf Ranger/Wizard/Arcane Archer and a folower of Desna and Erastil, I had simply considered making her into an avatar, not a deity. She was never about combat uber DPS anyway, ha!

Rasmus Wagner: We have a Pathfinder hafling monk with the Serpent Style in our group, and he's already stated that being a deity isn't in his character's mindset, since he basically becomes damn near a god at level 20 anyway.

Quatar: We had considered doing that. And with our GM being more of the "I'm out to kill you" variety, we all knew dying was a possibility, lol!


Arralyn wrote:
We had considered doing that. And with our GM being more of the "I'm out to kill you" variety, we all knew dying was a possibility, lol!

More heavy probability than possibility. If you read the Absalom sourcebook (if my memory is right) there have been 3 succesful tries in about 3000 years, roughly one every thousand. There is also a section of the temple districted setup with shrines for those who tried and failed and it is littered with thousands upon thousands of these small remembrances.

If you LIKE your characters, perhaps the Test is something you would want to AVOID! :)


Gilfalas wrote:


More heavy probability than possibility. If you read the Absalom sourcebook (if my memory is right) there have been 3 succesful tries in about 3000 years, roughly one every thousand. There is also a section of the temple districted setup with shrines for those who tried and failed and it is littered with thousands upon thousands of these small remembrances.

If you LIKE your characters, perhaps the Test is something you would want to AVOID! :)

Haha! True! We were lucky to survive him converting Karzoug to Pathfinder. And I totally plan on getting the sourcebook, thanks!


Wolf Munroe wrote:


The only deities I can think of that passed it are Aroden (wizard?), Iomedae (paladin), and Cayden Cailean (probably fighter or rogue?).

Norborger overcame the Test of the Starstone, but he's also not a monk. And Razmir, of course, falsely claims that he did, but he's not a monk, either.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

The Test of the Starstone is a challenge to GM if everyone is at the table. It is probably better to DM it with individual players. Why? Because the test itself is for individuals.

Now, of course, you can easily hand-wave that aspect because there are no official rules yet, but I think it would be more fun to have individual tests that cater to a character's strengths, but more importantly, weaknesses.

The manner in which a character overcomes adversity will demonstrate their potential to be a deity. The character's methods may also determine their portfolio as a deity.

If you want to try something fun that involves every player, have your players design a test for another player. Obviously they would need to keep their ideas secret, or ruin the concept. But, I think it would be interesting to see what they could throw at each other in terms of challenges.

Cheers

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

Wolf Munroe wrote:
The only deities I can think of that passed it are Aroden (wizard?), Iomedae (paladin), and Cayden Cailean (probably fighter or rogue?).

This list is incorrect. While once Human (and a Wizard), Aroden was a God prior to raising the Starstone from the depths. And, as someone else mentioned, it leaves off Norgorber.

And, according to James Jacobs, Norgorber was a Rogue and Cayden Cailean a Fighter.


Designing challenges to become a deity are, well, challenging. In my old Masters campaign (Basic rules set for high level characters intent on becoming demigods) I ruminated about what tests I would throw my players. They were less about overcoming traps or monstrous enemies and more about weird esoteric things.

For my cleric player I considered having him stand up to the scrutiny of the morning sun. Translation: admit to your imperfections and embrace them as a part of your whole being, a zen-like sense of transcendance (sp?). I never did come up with a satisfying mechanic to achieve this, so I think I resolved to roleplaying it out with the player.

For my wizard player I actually had him magically create a live bunny rabbit (not conjuring it, but actually creating it out of nothing). The idea was to get him to understand life at a fundamental level and how complex and fragile it is. Mechanically it boiled down to a series of intelligence, wisdom, and constitution checks which we eventually adjudicated into rp.

So I don't really see the test of the starstone as being able to crawl your way through the dungeon to touch the starstone and claim your reward. I see it more as the starstone is in a dungeon and once you reach it you still face the actual test, which is something esoteric that most mortals cannot grasp. YMMV.

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Dosgamer wrote:

Designing challenges to become a deity are, well, challenging. In my old Masters campaign (Basic rules set for high level characters intent on becoming demigods) I ruminated about what tests I would throw my players. They were less about overcoming traps or monstrous enemies and more about weird esoteric things.

For my cleric player I considered having him stand up to the scrutiny of the morning sun. Translation: admit to your imperfections and embrace them as a part of your whole being, a zen-like sense of transcendance (sp?). I never did come up with a satisfying mechanic to achieve this, so I think I resolved to roleplaying it out with the player.

For my wizard player I actually had him magically create a live bunny rabbit (not conjuring it, but actually creating it out of nothing). The idea was to get him to understand life at a fundamental level and how complex and fragile it is. Mechanically it boiled down to a series of intelligence, wisdom, and constitution checks which we eventually adjudicated into rp.

So I don't really see the test of the starstone as being able to crawl your way through the dungeon to touch the starstone and claim your reward. I see it more as the starstone is in a dungeon and once you reach it you still face the actual test, which is something esoteric that most mortals cannot grasp. YMMV.

Or the starstone's dungeon could embody the personalized test of character and inner nature, and the stone itself is just a symbol of the desire for ascension. It could be just a pretty rock... The victor simply realizes they are already a god.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Jeff Erwin wrote:
Or the starstone's dungeon could embody the personalized test of character and inner nature, and the stone itself is just a symbol of the desire for ascension. It could be just a pretty rock... The victor simply realizes they are already a god.

That's kind of cool. Enlightenment.

The realization that certain levels of reality are just metaphor, perhaps?

I'm not sold completely, because I think that's a little short on fun factor, but I can see that being part of it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wolf Munroe wrote:
The only deities I can think of that passed it are Aroden (wizard?), Iomedae (paladin), and Cayden Cailean (probably fighter or rogue?).

This list is incorrect. While once Human (and a Wizard), Aroden was a God prior to raising the Starstone from the depths. And, as someone else mentioned, it leaves off Norgorber.

And, according to James Jacobs, Norgorber was a Rogue and Cayden Cailean a Fighter.

Ah, yeah, was thinking about deities that became a deity with the help of the Starstone, not only ones that had passed the Test of the Starstone. I'm still under the impression that Aroden got his divinity from the Starstone though, in spite of there being no formal "test" for it yet. So while Aroden didn't pass the Test of the Starstone, he created the Test and placed the Starstone in its present location (above sea-level).

Forgot about Norgorber as a Starstone alum. (He'll be upset he missed the reunion.)

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Jim Groves wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Or the starstone's dungeon could embody the personalized test of character and inner nature, and the stone itself is just a symbol of the desire for ascension. It could be just a pretty rock... The victor simply realizes they are already a god.

That's kind of cool. Enlightenment.

The realization that certain levels of reality are just metaphor, perhaps?

I'm not sold completely, because I think that's a little short on fun factor, but I can see that being part of it.

I'm kind of knee-deep in South Asian myth with my personal project - but that's the basics of how people become godlike in that region. One was already linked or a part of the immanent godhead, and one just because capable of understanding it. In any case, Irori and Aroden are self-made gods, and at least with Aroden himself, it seems possible that was his path of ascendance. He certainly took on multiple personae in his life - perhaps as a part of self-determining his nature.


Well, since Varisia is rife with left-overs of the powerful Runelords (who did not become gods), I figured ascension into godhood by power alone does not make a very interesting story. That being said, we did not discount that the Starstone was the ONLY way to becoming a deity. It's just that it was already placed there, so why not use it? We considered winging it, but as every group knows, there will always be the rules warrior who will leave with a bad taste in their mouth. We didn't want that. But, there are some very interesting ideas here! ^_^ I definitely didn't think it would spark such a large discussion. lol!

As of now, it's just a pipe dream in my boyfriend's mind(the GM). But, I am showing him these comments, because he loves collaboration.


I'm running Rise of the Runelords right now, and my players are dead-set on attempting the Test of the Starstone as soon as they finish. Here's some ideas I'm considering as I design it:

1. Quite a few people attempt the test, and few return - but with level 15+ creatures, there's a decent chance that plenty of them won't be able to complete the test, but also won't be destroyed. What if there is a city within the test filled with heroes from across the ages who were unable to achieve godhood? This also serves as a testing ground for the heroes as there are plenty of agents stationed to prevent travelers from progressing further...

2. The gods themselves are unlikely to look kindly on adding new members to the pantheon and possibly altering the delicate balance of power; even for devout PCs, why wouldn't a god want their champion to be remembered as a servant of their cause instead of a competitor for attention and honor? Each PC will need to survive a confrontation (either RP or through a herald/avatar) with a deity who shares an alignment with them and a deity of the opposite alignment.

3. I agree that RP should be the most important aspect of the test; otherwise, any creature or NPC with the appropriate stats should be able to become a god; what makes a god is their dedication to their causes and ability to sway the hearts and minds of their followers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Novawurmson wrote:

I'm running Rise of the Runelords right now, and my players are dead-set on attempting the Test of the Starstone as soon as they finish. Here's some ideas I'm considering as I design it:

1. Quite a few people attempt the test, and few return - but with level 15+ creatures, there's a decent chance that plenty of them won't be able to complete the test, but also won't be destroyed. What if there is a city within the test filled with heroes from across the ages who were unable to achieve godhood? This also serves as a testing ground for the heroes as there are plenty of agents stationed to prevent travelers from progressing further...

2. The gods themselves are unlikely to look kindly on adding new members to the pantheon and possibly altering the delicate balance of power; even for devout PCs, why wouldn't a god want their champion to be remembered as a servant of their cause instead of a competitor for attention and honor? Each PC will need to survive a confrontation (either RP or through a herald/avatar) with a deity who shares an alignment with them and a deity of the opposite alignment.

3. I agree that RP should be the most important aspect of the test; otherwise, any creature or NPC with the appropriate stats should be able to become a god; what makes a god is their dedication to their causes and ability to sway the hearts and minds of their followers.

I love the idea of a city of heroes or would be heroes or antiheroes. Man, you could do a whole campaign just on that alone.


Agreed. That could span a whole adventure in and of itself. I'll keep that in mind.


Besides Irori, Nethys ascended to divinity by his own power, too. He was a very early Pharao who was that magically potent that he was finally able to gain omniscience and divinity.
Although this method seems to have some side effects (split personality, madness and having half of your body disfigured, in Nethys' case).


That Living God king claimed that he had passed the test of the Star stone, but he is a sham. However, he has 31 steps that lead up to his throne. They represent the 31 tests/challenges of the Starstone. I would suggest making 31 challenges ranging from CR1 threats to CR31 threats. If they pass, they then must face the Mantis God of Assassins!!!!


Jim Groves wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Or the starstone's dungeon could embody the personalized test of character and inner nature, and the stone itself is just a symbol of the desire for ascension. It could be just a pretty rock... The victor simply realizes they are already a god.

That's kind of cool. Enlightenment.

The realization that certain levels of reality are just metaphor, perhaps?

I'm not sold completely, because I think that's a little short on fun factor, but I can see that being part of it.

There should definitely be some element of enlightenment in transcending to godhood, imho. It has to be more than just a test of character, because characters are tested constantly in daily life.

I like the idea of a city (perhaps trapped in limbo) of failed contestants quite a lot. Maybe they are there awaiting some final confrontation (armageddon if you will). I may have to figure out a way to make use of this in my homebrew campaign. Hmm...


here's what I think I know about the starstone:

1. the Test is mysterious and highly personal.
2. the stone was called down from the heavens by aboleth to destroy Azlant.
3. it elevated Aroden to godhood.
4. the Starstone seems to have an intelligence of its own, but its an alien way of looking at reality.
5. the Starstone seems to have incredible powers - it created the island of kortos after all.

suppositions:

1. the starstone has an agenda.
2. the starstone was called down by ABOLETH! they like to dabble in slimy horror magic. could the stone be tainted by the dark tapestry?
3. there are other means of achieving divinity...the starstone is merely one means among several. why is the starstone method so well known? you would think that something like that would be a Big Secret.

there's a lot of unknowns regarding that god rock. given a choice between lichdom and taking the Test of the Starstone, I think I'd go with lichdom. at least you know what you're dealing with...I just don't trust anything connected to the aboleth.


Mr. Quick wrote:

here's what I think I know about the starstone:

1. the Test is mysterious and highly personal.
2. the stone was called down from the heavens by aboleth to destroy Azlant.
3. it elevated Aroden to godhood.
4. the Starstone seems to have an intelligence of its own, but its an alien way of looking at reality.
5. the Starstone seems to have incredible powers - it created the island of kortos after all.

suppositions:

1. the starstone has an agenda.
2. the starstone was called down by ABOLETH! they like to dabble in slimy horror magic. could the stone be tainted by the dark tapestry?
3. there are other means of achieving divinity...the starstone is merely one means among several. why is the starstone method so well known? you would think that something like that would be a Big Secret.

there's a lot of unknowns regarding that god rock. given a choice between lichdom and taking the Test of the Starstone, I think I'd go with lichdom. at least you know what you're dealing with...I just don't trust anything connected to the aboleth.

Well, considering that Iomadae is Lawful Good, and has been for several thousand years AFTER her ascension with the test, I doubt it is corrupting her. But the rest of the suppositions are interesting. And Lichdom is only good if your character doesn't worship a God/Goddess that basically hates undeath. And I agree about the vast sea of unknown about it, but I think that's a good thing - it leaves it open for interpretation. Also, I think the best way to keep a Big Secret is right under everyone's nose. :)


Arralyn wrote:


Well, considering that Iomadae is Lawful Good, and has been for several thousand years AFTER her ascension with the test, I doubt it is corrupting her. But the rest of the suppositions are interesting. And Lichdom is only good if your character doesn't worship a God/Goddess that basically hates undeath. And I agree about the vast sea of unknown about it, but I think that's a good thing - it leaves it open for interpretation. Also, I think the best way to keep a Big Secret is right under everyone's nose. :)

well...if you want to just run with the idea that 1. the starstone is alien and 2. it's got an agenda then I think you're on firm ground no matter where you take it.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

Mr. Quick wrote:
3. it elevated Aroden to godhood.

How do we know this? I believe James Jacobs has explicitly contradicted this statement (and he's the guy who'd know). If I'm wrong, please provide documentation of some sort.

As I understand it, Aroden rose it from the ocean but was already a deity when he did so, not needing the Startstone to ascend to godhood.

Arralyn wrote:
Well, considering that Iomadae is Lawful Good, and has been for several thousand years AFTER her ascension with the test, I doubt it is corrupting her.

While I agree with the rest of your point, I'd like to note that Iomedae is only a bit over 900 years old. If you want an example of someone effected by the Starstone but uncorrupted, Cayden Cailean is a better example, being unambiguously Good and having been a God much longer.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mr. Quick wrote:
3. it elevated Aroden to godhood.

How do we know this? I believe James Jacobs has explicitly contradicted this statement (and he's the guy who'd know). If I'm wrong, please provide documentation of some sort.

As I understand it, Aroden rose it from the ocean but was already a deity when he did so, not needing the Startstone to ascend to godhood.

In the introduction to Gods and Magic (page 3), it discusses the ascension and death of Aroden and what it meant for the gods.

"The most remarkable event of this period was the elevation of Aroden to a living god through the power of the Starstone."

Further down the page, regarding his death: "For ages they were guarded, and then reticent, and now the gods knew fear. Were they doomed to sudden and unpredictable destruction? Was this a flaw of the Starstone's gift or was any god susceptible to it?"


Mr. Quick wrote:
2. the starstone was called down by ABOLETH! they like to dabble in slimy horror magic. could the stone be tainted by the dark tapestry?

I can't be bothered to look it up, but I think James has said that while the aboleth may have called down the Starstone, they didn't do it on purpose - they just called down a bunch if big rocks to stone Azlant from orbit, the fact that one of them happened to be a big magical deity-creating one was not part of the plan.

Scarab Sages

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

From the Inner Sea World Guide, Pg 235. "Some 5,000 years after the destruction of Azlant, it's last true son - the immortal hero Aroden - raised the Starstone from the depths of the Inner Sea, installed it in Absalom's Ascendant Court, and became a living god."

Seems pretty clear that Aroden used the Starstone to become a god. But also that he was somehow immortal before that and the last survivor of Azlant. All that sounds interesting in itself.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

Wolf Munroe wrote:

In the introduction to Gods and Magic (page 3), it discusses the ascension and death of Aroden and what it meant for the gods.

"The most remarkable event of this period was the elevation of Aroden to a living god through the power of the Starstone."

Further down the page, regarding his death: "For ages they were guarded, and then reticent, and now the gods knew fear. Were they doomed to sudden and unpredictable destruction? Was this a flaw of the Starstone's gift or was any god susceptible to it?"

Huh. You're absolutely right (and the information is repeated in the Inner Sea World Guide, so it's not something that changed between editions).

My memory mst be playing tricks on me. Damn, that doesn't usually happen. I probably got confused by the whole '5,000 year old epic hero' thing (that being close enough to a God for government work).


Kajehase wrote:
Mr. Quick wrote:
2. the starstone was called down by ABOLETH! they like to dabble in slimy horror magic. could the stone be tainted by the dark tapestry?
I can't be bothered to look it up, but I think James has said that while the aboleth may have called down the Starstone, they didn't do it on purpose - they just called down a bunch if big rocks to stone Azlant from orbit, the fact that one of them happened to be a big magical deity-creating one was not part of the plan.

which implies that either the Aboleth were somehow blind enough to miss a HUGE FREAKING ENERGY SOURCE they called down to smash Azlant (quite a miscalculation from a species known for their mastery of magic) or that somehow the starstone hid its powers from Aboleth scans and let them pull it out of the sky. that also further assumes that the starstone merely saw the Aboleth's call as simply the most efficient means to touch down on Golarion...the fact that it ended up destroying the crap out of Azlant and kicking off a thousand year life murdering storm of ash was somehow acceptable to the godrock.

i'm still not sure i'd trust the starstone any further than I could throw the chapel its house in these days. the godrock seems to have an agenda, it definately thinks on a time scale almost incomprehensible to mere mortals and it's a source of unspeakable power. AMORAL power. it's elevated evil gods as well as good aligned ones. if you passed the test of the starstone and you wanted to become the god of He-Who-Talks-Loudly-On-His-Cell-Phone-During-Movies then the godrock would be just spiffy with that and zap you into divinity.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anticlimax - The Test of the Starstone is a "shell game" in which a being places the starstone under a cup and mixes it up with other cups. Each player must successfully guess which cup the stone is under in order to become a deity.


Golden-Esque wrote:
Anticlimax - The Test of the Starstone is a "shell game" in which a being places the starstone under a cup and mixes it up with other cups. Each player must successfully guess which cup the stone is under in order to become a deity.

*spoiler* -- The stone ends up in his left coat pocket.

Aroden knew where he was going to put it.
Norgorber expected a trick, and saw him slip it there.
Cayden was still drunkenly singing the Golarion equivalent of "Red Solo Cup" and bumped into him, knocking it out of his pocket.

Scarab Sages

I've been thinking of using the Star Stone as a mega-dungeon that would take characters from 1-20th level. The hook is that the characters are already high level when they enter the Test - welcome to your worst nightmare!

Grand Lodge

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

So, my group finished the Rise of the Runelords, and we decided that we loved our characters so much that we didn't want to let them go. It happens a lot. We didn't want to convert 3.5 epic rules to take them past level 20, per se.

Have you considered just accepting the level cap and continue playing them as they are? I'm sure you can think of other reasons to motivate you beyond level advancement.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2013

Eric Jarman wrote:
Golden-Esque wrote:
Anticlimax - The Test of the Starstone is a "shell game" in which a being places the starstone under a cup and mixes it up with other cups. Each player must successfully guess which cup the stone is under in order to become a deity.

*spoiler* -- The stone ends up in his left coat pocket.

Aroden knew where he was going to put it.
Norgorber expected a trick, and saw him slip it there.
Cayden was still drunkenly singing the Golarion equivalent of "Red Solo Cup" and bumped into him, knocking it out of his pocket.

Iomadae just refused to play, as gambling is wrong. The being scratched his head and shrugged. *Boom* She's a goddess.

See, Lawful Stubborn can make you a deity!

Sovereign Court

I think I'm going to go against the flow here by saying that I would like to see the Test of the Starstone done without using high/epic level rules, but possibly geared for high level characters anyway.

That would probably sound very odd to most people who didn't immediately assume I meant using some alternate to pathfinder set of rules. I am now going to preface this by saying that I am not a follower of Kabbalah if I mess anything up here.

One of the basic assumptions of Kabbalah as I understand it, is that we were in heaven, enjoying various heavenly powers, when we signed up to come to earth in the form of humans, and started playing a game of hide and seek with God, loosing access to most of our old memories.

With a setup something like this, a 20th level character could go into the test of the starstone, and once inside forget about their previous lives, that they ever had access to any kind of magic, and are basically placed on a new footing in comparison to anyone else that might take the test - hey, level 1 sounds like a good place to start that - the character could then adventure through their "second" life, eventually culminating in finishing the test sometime around the time they would hit level 20 the second time.

This does a couple of things, like making it more likely for low-mid level types to finish the test - Which is honestly how I envision the people that have passed the test before. Cayden Cailean wasn't some grandly powerful person, he seemed just as amazed to have passed as the people that dared him to try. Norgorber has gone out of his way to hide his past (which must be difficult, considering there were already deities by the time he became one), which leads me to believe that he must in some way be embarrassed by his past, I'm thinking very low level rogue to begin with - young enough and having done few enough jobs to not have shown up on the "radar" of anyone important yet. Iomedae, (Not Aroden), who was the 3rd person to pass the Test of the Starstone is I suspect the person who was the highest "level" of the three. Her entry says that she led the Knights of Ozem in a series of victories against The Whispering Tyrant. Making a slightly wild guess at Tar-Baphom being something like a level 24 Lich (The last Volumes of Carrion Crown might have a better idea of this for all I know, I haven't read them), I wouldn't guess at the person leading an entire army against him being higher than 17th level - In Iomedae's entry in Gods and Magic it notes that Aroden didn't really have attention on her until she passed the test, which being much higher than 17th level would probably grant.

The thing I think the three people who did pass the test of the starstone shared were strong personal values that could translate well into their "second" lives, and eventually godhood.

Hm, this brings me back to my original comparison to Kabalah. The Bible ends with the Church getting married to Jesus. The Bible also talks about how marriage relationships shouldn't be to uneven. Drawing your own conclusions you might say that we are currently going through a real life version of the Test of the Starstone, and we're definitely not using Epic Rules to live our everyday lives :)

Radical changes to self while inside, could explain things like why a spell-caster may not be able to use magic or magic as powerful as usual.

Also, as a person who isn't honestly excited to see Epic Rules, I like the idea of a campaign that "restarts" with the same characters in a way that's more Epic than getting amnesia.

In summary, I think the test should be balanced out for all levels, mainly use normal Pathfinder rules and progression, and leave some room to expand for once you've actually become a deity. (Leave off epic rules for that :P )

Scarab Sages

Anewor7 wrote:

I think I'm going to go against the flow here by saying that I would like to see the Test of the Starstone done without using high/epic level rules, but possibly geared for high level characters anyway.

That would probably sound very odd to most people who didn't immediately assume I meant using some alternate to pathfinder set of rules. I am now going to preface this by saying that I am not a follower of Kabbalah if I mess anything up here.

One of the basic assumptions of Kabbalah as I understand it, is that we were in heaven, enjoying various heavenly powers, when we signed up to come to earth in the form of humans, and started playing a game of hide and seek with God, loosing access to most of our old memories.

With a setup something like this, a 20th level character could go into the test of the starstone, and once inside forget about their previous lives, that they ever had access to any kind of magic, and are basically placed on a new footing in comparison to anyone else that might take the test - hey, level 1 sounds like a good place to start that - the character could then adventure through their "second" life, eventually culminating in finishing the test sometime around the time they would hit level 20 the second time.

This is exactly what I was saying.

Sovereign Court

Oh, wow, sorry completely missed your post :P

- anyways I see it as being much more open ended an adventure than a mega dungeon though

Scarab Sages

Anewor7 wrote:
Oh, wow, sorry completely missed your post :P

It happens; I do like your idea though. I've also been toying with the notion of them slowly building their portfolio as they complete the test, perhaps starting with one minor quasi-god power at 1st level.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you're going for the test of the Starstone you're actively attempting to become a god. The Red Mantis God will try and stop you.

Good luck trying to kill him.

Also, You may end up fighting Behemoths who are sent by the gods to destroy civilizations of great Blasphemy. Probably a Thallasic Behemoth since, well, Absalom.

That's in addition to involuntary plane shifts, AMFs, Reversed gravity, non-euclidean dungeon rules, and of course other competitors in the dungeon at the same time trying to stop you. There are probably new monsters too, and illusions and traps as well. Mythic level Traps. And given how few competitors return. you're probably getting some high level Haunts and Undead too.

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