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Run-ins with the Tarrasque


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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The Tarrasque is a very terrifying creature that sleeps most of the time, in a cave far from civilization. It is said that when it wakes, kingdoms fall. I would like to know your stories with it.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/tarrasque This is it's creature page on d20

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm avoiding it. As soon as I use it, the druid will start turning into it and that will be a royal PITA.

Shadow Lodge Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Can druids even turn into Magical Beasts? I thought Wildshape had some limits that prevented that.

And even if it can, it wouldn't get most of the Tarrasque's insane abilities, I think.

Scarab Sages

I've always used it as more of a plot device than something to be fought.

I refuse to run a game with PC's strong enough to actually challenge the beast.

Liberty's Edge

I used the Tarrasque in place of the Nightmare Beast in "The Library of Last Resort" as part of my Age of Worms campaign.

The party woke it up, they spent a lot of time running from it, then eventually led it on a merry chase headlong into a primordial earth elemental.

The party was forgotten as the two nigh-invulnerable behemoths pounded one another.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Orthos wrote:

Can druids even turn into Magical Beasts? I thought Wildshape had some limits that prevented that.

And even if it can, it wouldn't get most of the Tarrasque's insane abilities, I think.

I'm dealing with a 3.5e CoDzilla here, not Pathfinder :) Druids can pretty much turn into anything.

Edit: And with the proper level dips and feats, get all the form's abilities too.


I can only remember encountering it once, but it was pretty epic.

We were playing through the City of Brass mega-adventure, and the GM inserted the tarrasque as something we encountered sleeping in a cave, bound deep on the Elemental Plane of Fire. There were several large geode-like rocks around it, which we discovered were tarrasque eggs. We ran away quite quickly, and didn't come back for a long time.

We did eventually want to cause a massive distraction in the city, and decided on the tarrasque as our weapon of choice. The party's flyers went into the cave as stealthily as high-level magic could make them, and grabbed one of the eggs. They woke the thing up and teleported outside the cave, then flew straight up several hundred feet, dangling the egg. Predictably, the tarrasque came barreling out of the cave and gave chase to the flying PCs. They led the thing straight toward the City of Brass while the rest of us prepared to do what we needed to, once the distraction was in full force. When they got to the City's front gates, they smashed the tarrasque egg on the city's walls and teleported to the rest of the group.

The city was quite well distracted while we did our business, and my character eventually went back and picked up a tarrasque egg to serve at his wedding.


Cuchulainn wrote:

I used the Tarrasque in place of the Nightmare Beast in "The Library of Last Resort" as part of my Age of Worms campaign.

The party woke it up, they spent a lot of time running from it, then eventually led it on a merry chase headlong into a primordial earth elemental.

The party was forgotten as the two nigh-invulnerable behemoths pounded one another.

Not sure about the Earth Elemental, but the Tarrasque actually is, as far as any method up to date has found, an unkillable, eternal being. You can never truly kill it, as it respawns (for lack of a better term) days later. You can however, banish it to some distant, ungodly plane of existence and never have to see or hear anything about ever again!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
Orthos wrote:

Can druids even turn into Magical Beasts? I thought Wildshape had some limits that prevented that.

And even if it can, it wouldn't get most of the Tarrasque's insane abilities, I think.

I'm dealing with a 3.5e CoDzilla here, not Pathfinder :) Druids can pretty much turn into anything.

Edit: And with the proper level dips and feats, get all the form's abilities too.

Let him. He will either:

A. Be very sleepy, or
B. Be very hungry.

Either way, you win.


Baron of the Sands wrote:
Cuchulainn wrote:

I used the Tarrasque in place of the Nightmare Beast in "The Library of Last Resort" as part of my Age of Worms campaign.

The party woke it up, they spent a lot of time running from it, then eventually led it on a merry chase headlong into a primordial earth elemental.

The party was forgotten as the two nigh-invulnerable behemoths pounded one another.

Not sure about the Earth Elemental, but the Tarrasque actually is, as far as any method up to date has found, an unkillable, eternal being. You can never truly kill it, as it respawns (for lack of a better term) days later. You can however, banish it to some distant, ungodly plane of existence and never have to see or hear anything about ever again!

I think he can die from drowning or starving maybe?


I believe the only way to "kill" a Tarrasque is to WISH it out of existence.


He would just respawn later. Also, I doubt it would ever be in a position to starve, as it's very impartial to what it eats, and it makes it's home in a giant forest full of trees which just so happen to be EDIBLE. And for similar reasons, I don't think it's going to drown.


In 3.x, it was written in the description that the only way to kill it was drop it to -30 HP and then use a Wish or Miracle spell.

In Pathfinder, there is no known way to kill it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only time I've ever dropped a Tarrasque into a campaign, it was a fake.

In the largest campaign I ever GM'd, set in Forgotten Realms, some players decided to poke a BBEG layer (sort of, it was complicated) that, through various divinations, they knew was too powerful for them, but didn't know how it was too powerful. The ancient inhabitant had created quite a number of epic illusions. One of which was an epic variant of Shades. That summoned the Tarrasque.

My players instantly left and decided to try the "back door" they'd discovered instead, as the Tarrasque (taunted by one of them) began a march south. They never found out that it wasn't real, until the very end of the campaign.

It was pretty hilarious, and easily one of the best ways to scare the holy crap out of a new godling or three.


hmmm. thinking mode on. no known way. that means no one has been creative enough yet.

Star Voter 2014

I ran the World's Largest Dungeon, which has an enslaved Tarrasque imprisoned in one section (IIRC it was via a poorly-worded wish, which made it charmed for as long as the caster was in contact with it, so he hasn't gotten off of its back for for several years...), and being used to tunnel out of the unescapable prison.

My players didn't go that way, though, so they never encountered it.


Looking at it's stats, Cha 14 meaning that it is more likeable then most people.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well who doesn't like the Terrasque?! It's all warm and cuddly! I mean, that one guy just never left it!


H.P. Makelovecraft wrote:

Looking at it's stats, Cha 14 meaning that it is more likeable then most people.

Doubtful anyone who comes acrss one would say, "AWWWWW. He's so cute. Can we keep him?"

how far can a 14 CHA really carry you as a Tarrasque?, and without looking thats probably the dump stat.


Also, I think the definition of Cha is force of personality, not necassarily likability.


As a plot device its neat. It suffers severely from metagamism though. I've never had a character high enough to fight it though.


g0atsticks wrote:
H.P. Makelovecraft wrote:

Looking at it's stats, Cha 14 meaning that it is more likeable then most people.

Doubtful anyone who comes acrss one would say, "AWWWWW. He's so cute. Can we keep him?"

how far can a 14 CHA really carry you as a Tarrasque?, and without looking thats probably the dump stat.

Ummmmmm..... I would totally cast a permanent Charm Monster on it, if I could. Do you know how awesome it would be to have that thing as a PET.


oh i bet you would do a lot of things to it if you could lol...


The Tarrasque is a Child of Rovagug, literally, as discussed in the Legacy of Fire adventure path. The Tarrasque has "brothers".

The most I have done with recent years of gaming was to cause a massive area of destruction where it looks like something was eating the trees and even mountains. Players speculated on what caused it and decided to stay the hell away from that region.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, INT is it's dump stat. Big time.

Linkified! (it was provided above, but not in the form of a link)

See?

Also, it's immunities make me sad.

Tarrasque wrote:
Immune ability damage, acid, bleed, disease, energy drain, fire, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, permanent wounds, petrification, poison, polymorph

Especially the immunity to mind-affecting effects and polymorph.

Those would be some delightful ways of owning-or-ending it!

EDIT: (Also the immunity to mind-affecting means that I'll never be able to mind-seed, mind-switch, smash crystal it. After making a ring of sustenance it's size. Sad Tac is sad. My elf was going to be so happy!)

EDIT 2: noting the edit 1


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mojorat wrote:
As a plot device its neat. It suffers severely from metagamism though. I've never had a character high enough to fight it though.

How does it suffer? I'm curious.


I'd drop it to zero (somehow) and planeshift it to Pandemonium.


Is suffocation considered a death effect?

Rules on regeneration say damage from suffocation is never regenerated.

He's not immune to electricity either, right? What if you get him to -hp and put the remains in a trap that does electricity damage every round? Or just bottom of the ocean? Would that count as dead?

Silver Crusade

Only popped the tarrasque in twice for 2nd edition adventures. First was part of a module where the tarrasque was ravaging a village; in order to achieve the greater good (one of those moral dilemmas) party had to let it be and finish their quest. Second group entirely sought it out purposefully to end its threat to the world but didn't have a Wish in hand to finish the deed.

No clue how it would look in Pathfinder, doubt my players want to find out.

Also recall a 2nd edition dragonlance adventure, which was beyond ridiculous, wherein a tarrasque was waiting in a large closet for whoever opened the door. Same adventure also had notes that BBEG will float in, cast spells on party, but can't be hurt... If that crap can get published... Anyhoo, off topic.


We encountered it in a desolate area in an oriental themed land and we barely managed to teleport it to another plane of existence where the damn thing is now somebody else's problem.

It was a D&D 3.5 instead of PF but we were not prepared anyway so we did not really bother fighting it and trying to get it out of our lives ASAP.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the Tarrasque is a spawn of Rovagug, shouldn't it be an Outsider instead of a Magical Beast?


Grimmy wrote:

Is suffocation considered a death effect?

Rules on regeneration say damage from suffocation is never regenerated.

He's not immune to electricity either, right? What if you get him to -hp and put the remains in a trap that does electricity damage every round? Or just bottom of the ocean? Would that count as dead?

No, it would count as trapped.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

We ran in to the Tarrasque in an Eberron game. At the time we were 17th or so, tracking down manifest zones to the various planes. It happened to be imprisoned in a chunk of ice at the south pole. When we finally got down to where the Tarrasque was, there was a group of Mindflayers attempting to release it from it's prison. It turned into one of the most memorable combats of that campaign. They managed to release it on the second or so round of combat, the parties psion spent several rounds hitting it with Dominate Monster while our Minotaur Barbarian kept it busy. My wizard hit it with a Magic Missile just to say that he did, and we walked out of there with a new pet. (Note: in 3.5 the Tarrasque was not immune to mind effecting spells like it is in Pathfinder)

There are some nasty things you can do with a dominated Tarrasque. The final battle of that campaign had us pitting our armies (my wizard and the mind blade/illuminated soul both had leadership) against massive forces of ghouls and skeletons. There were hundreds of enemies waiting at either end of a canyon for us, ghouls on one side, skelies on the other. We let Fluffy deal with skeletons, and they were gone in a matter of rounds.


Tacticslion wrote:
Mojorat wrote:
As a plot device its neat. It suffers severely from metagamism though. I've never had a character high enough to fight it though.
How does it suffer? I'm curious.

Because its a unique monster with its stats posted in a beastiary? In 3.5 there were lots of threads on other boards about how easy it was to beat.

Not that internet board talk is a good indicator of how actual games are played. But its a unique mythical monster that's so rare just knowledge ng its name is a quest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
the David wrote:
If the Tarrasque is a spawn of Rovagug, shouldn't it be an Outsider instead of a Magical Beast?

Perhaps, but it's not necessarily "spawn" in that way. It seems (from what I've read) much more like it's just a shed piece of him that causes the local reality to go berserk and create something like his spawn, which he then subtly influences.

And yeah, the 3.5 Terrasque wasn't immune to mind-affecting. That's why I wanted my elf psion (that I never got to play) to mind-switch with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mojorat wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Mojorat wrote:
As a plot device its neat. It suffers severely from metagamism though. I've never had a character high enough to fight it though.
How does it suffer? I'm curious.

Because its a unique monster with its stats posted in a beastiary? In 3.5 there were lots of threads on other boards about how easy it was to beat.

Not that internet board talk is a good indicator of how actual games are played. But its a unique mythical monster that's so rare just knowledge ng its name is a quest.

I... still don't understand the problem.

Actually, after re-reading maybe I do: do you mean that because it's a unique monster that has its stats published and theory-crafters can come up with ways of killing it dead that players have a tendency to "know" it's weaknesses more than they should? 'Cause that's a problem I've run into with trolls a lot (among other creatures).

I mean, 3rd pretty heavily expected you to RP this stuff, but some of the older game systems expected you to use out-of-character knowledge to just survive. So that's a dichotomy within the player base built in.

I mean, I've theory-crafted ways of ending Big T on these boards too, but not one of my characters knows that. The way they'd generally find out? By casting stuff at it and seeing what happens, then making arcana checks to understand their observations.

The other thing about the Tarrasque (and the other spawn of Rovagug) is that they're actually pretty well known by scholars anyway, as Rovagug's kind of this big thing in Golarion. While it is kind of esoteric knowledge, and not all spawn are equally known, the Tarrasque, at least, is comparatively well-documented.

Still, your point (both about in-character knowledge, internet boards, and game-playing at tables) is understandable.

Scarab Sages

I lost my minotaur ranger (9th level) to it. Party woke it up and I was the closest target. 2E days. It won init.


I'm glad Pathfinder has made it harder to kill again. It's kind of a buzz kill that there's so many easy kills for it floating around the internet.

I always thought it was supposed to be something to be really feared, more of a plot device/force of nature then just another encounter.


Never fought the Tarrasque in PF or 3.5 but we kicked it's immortal butt in 4e. It was a fairly epic fight at level 23. We basically rescued a gold dragon who was fighting it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To a point. But Pathfinder didn't make it harder to kill - they made it impossible to kill by rules.


I should have said harder to defeat. I think there's a couple ways to get it to neg hp and stop it from regenerating, no?

Anyway it's a truly awesome beast, sorry I don't have any stories about it, my games never get to high enough levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually, it specifies that you can't stop it's regeneration now. There are ways of trapping it forever... sort of... but then again, those few methods are kind of cheap, over all, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

I do still like it! It's just one of the few things I still prefer with 3.5 compared to PF.


Well it's always fun to have your PCs begin to think that they are so awesome and whatnot, then show them that no matter how strong they think they are, they still aren't unbeatable. Encounters like the Tarrasque, are things I like to do like that. They never end up beating it, then divine intervention (thanks to having a Cleric or Paladin, because there always are for mine), they escape. This only happens when they get to cocky though, it's not like I say "I think i'll screw you guys over tonight with an unwinnable fight with an unkillable enemy." That would just be cruel.


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Baron of the Sands wrote:
Well it's always fun to have your PCs begin to think that they are so awesome and whatnot, then show them that no matter how strong they think they are, they still aren't unbeatable. Encounters like the Tarrasque, are things I like to do like that. They never end up beating it, then divine intervention (thanks to having a Cleric or Paladin, because there always are for mine), they escape. This only happens when they get to cocky though, it's not like I say "I think i'll screw you guys over tonight with an unwinnable fight with an unkillable enemy." That would just be cruel.

I don't always make my party fight unwinnable fights, but when I do. I do it with the Tarrasque. Stay alive my friend.


Also don't forget that in Pathfinder, it has this:

PRD wrote:
Spines (Ex) The tarrasque can loose a volley of six spear-like spines from its body as a standard action with a toss of its head or a lash of its tail. Make an attack roll for each spine—all targets must be within 30 feet of each other. The spines have a range increment of 120 ft.


g0atsticks wrote:
Baron of the Sands wrote:
Well it's always fun to have your PCs begin to think that they are so awesome and whatnot, then show them that no matter how strong they think they are, they still aren't unbeatable. Encounters like the Tarrasque, are things I like to do like that. They never end up beating it, then divine intervention (thanks to having a Cleric or Paladin, because there always are for mine), they escape. This only happens when they get to cocky though, it's not like I say "I think i'll screw you guys over tonight with an unwinnable fight with an unkillable enemy." That would just be cruel.
I don't always make my party fight unwinnable fights, but when I do. I do it with the Tarrasque. Stay alive my friend.

ROTFLMAO


g0atsticks wrote:
Baron of the Sands wrote:
Well it's always fun to have your PCs begin to think that they are so awesome and whatnot, then show them that no matter how strong they think they are, they still aren't unbeatable. Encounters like the Tarrasque, are things I like to do like that. They never end up beating it, then divine intervention (thanks to having a Cleric or Paladin, because there always are for mine), they escape. This only happens when they get to cocky though, it's not like I say "I think i'll screw you guys over tonight with an unwinnable fight with an unkillable enemy." That would just be cruel.
I don't always make my party fight unwinnable fights, but when I do. I do it with the Tarrasque. Stay alive my friend.

Just remember, you have to use Paizo's Pathfinder Terrasque or they still have a chance to beat it. I guess technically they still could, but after calculating it's stats compared to everything fighting it, and your chances are still rather small.


I threw a tarrasque into my old 2nd ed campaign as a plot device for the PCs to use against an army of giants. However, they failed to recognize its hibernating form (it was largely covered up by sand/stone/growth) and went merrily on about their business. It wasn't until the end of the campaign that I mentioned they had seen a tarrasque and it took them by complete surprise.

The only time I have encountered it as a player was when our characters were around 12th level (gestalt) and the DM threw an aquatic version of it in our path. Fortunately, we could avoid it by staying out of the water. Scared the tar out of us, though, as it charged us from below while we stood on the shore.

Sovereign Court

g0atsticks wrote:
Baron of the Sands wrote:
Well it's always fun to have your PCs begin to think that they are so awesome and whatnot, then show them that no matter how strong they think they are, they still aren't unbeatable. Encounters like the Tarrasque, are things I like to do like that. They never end up beating it, then divine intervention (thanks to having a Cleric or Paladin, because there always are for mine), they escape. This only happens when they get to cocky though, it's not like I say "I think i'll screw you guys over tonight with an unwinnable fight with an unkillable enemy." That would just be cruel.
I don't always make my party fight unwinnable fights, but when I do. I do it with the Tarrasque. Stay alive my friend.

Well said, my friend.

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