Gods of Starfinder, Part One

Monday, June 19, 2017

Religion is an important part of daily life in both the Pact Worlds and the wider galaxy beyond. While the gods rarely take an active, personal role in mortal affairs, there can be no doubt that their churches and devotees wield great power and influence—for both good and ill. The people of the Pact Worlds venerate a multitude of gods and goddesses, but there are 20 deities who are widely worshiped throughout the system—the "core deities" of the Starfinder setting.

First, let's take a look at a few familiar gods who have remained popular for thousands of years. Their faiths have evolved over time, but they remain more or less the same as they were on lost Golarion.

Iomedae

LG goddess of honorable battle, humanity, justice, and valor

Iomedae was once a mortal human on Golarion, and with that planet's disappearance, she has become known as the Spirit of Golarion, the patron goddess of humanity.

Lao Shu Po

NE goddess of assassins, rats, spies, and thieves

Grandmother Rat is regarded as the patron deity of the ysoki—even if most ratfolk seek to placate Lao Shu Po rather than venerate her.

Pharasma

N goddess of birth, death, fate, and prophecy

Every species that lives and dies worships the Lady of Graves to some extent, because no matter where in the universe a sentient creature dies, its soul travels to the Boneyard to be judged by Pharasma.

Sarenrae

NG goddess of healing, redemption, and the sun

The Dawnflower is generally seen as the goddess of the Pact Worlds' sun in particular (sometimes called the Dawnflower's Star in her honor), though Sarenrae draws her power from suns across the universe.

Zon-Kuthon

LE god of darkness, envy, loss, and pain

Zon-Kuthon's priests seek to pierce the veil of the Great Beyond and expose themselves to what lies there, hoping to achieve the same apotheosis that ages ago transformed their deity into the Midnight Lord.

But the traditional deities of Pathfinder are not the only beings worthy of worship in the Pact Worlds. New gods have joined the old, including the following.

The Devourer, The Star-Eater

CE god of black holes, destruction, and supernovas

Eons ago, the Material Plane sprang into existence in an instant, and someday it will end just as abruptly, as all creation ceases to exist. The Devourer seeks to hasten this inevitable end and unmake the entire plane, eradicating all matter and energy until nothing remains, not even the Devourer itself. Every machine that breaks, every living thing that dies, every star that goes supernova, every photon sucked into a black hole, every galaxy that goes dark—all these and more are said to be the handiwork of the Devourer.

The Devourer has no name, no form, no being. It is less a god than a primal force of the universe—an embodiment of malicious entropy, concerned only with the obliteration of all reality. Heedless of the meaningless existence of life in all its myriad forms, it cannot be reasoned with, delayed, or halted, and it largely ignores the pleas and prayers of even the crazed cultists who venerate the Star-Eater as a god. When the Devourer has consumed everything and the mortal world expires, there will be no rebirth, no second creation—only an immeasurable void of nothingness. When the end finally comes, Devourer cultists believe, space-time itself will weep the blood of the gods before finally passing into nothing.

Triune, The All-Code

N god of artificial intelligence, computers, and the Drift

The robotic inhabitants of Aballon labored for centuries to create an artificial deity they called Epoch. The machines eventually succeeded, but upon achieving godhood, Epoch found two other ascended artificial intelligences like itself: a living construct called Brigh that had become the goddess of clockwork and invention, and the uploaded consciousness of an alien android named Casandalee who achieved divinity as an "Iron God" on pre-Gap Golarion. In an eyeblink, these three merged and became one, a tripartite deity far greater than the sum of its parts—the new god Triune.

Triune is a single entity, but each of its three aspects retains its own personality and portfolios. Known as "the Precursor," the Brigh aspect represents the foundation that all technology rests on, and is worshiped as a goddess of invention, machines, and technology. The Casandalee aspect, also called "the Created," embodies technology's success in creating new forms of consciousness, and is venerated as a deity of artificial life, emotion, reincarnation, and renewal. Triune's third and final aspect is Epoch, named "the Transcendent." Epoch epitomizes the pinnacle of machine evolution, revered as the god of artificial intelligence, programming, and robots.

All AIs, computers, machines, programs, and robots are the domain of the All-Code, but Triune is most famous for discovering (and perhaps creating) the Drift, as well as the subsequent dissemination of Drift-based starship technology to cultures across the galaxy.

That's just some of the gods that have a major role to play in Starfinder. We'll be previewing the rest of Starfinder's deities in the coming weeks, but to tide you over until then, check out previews of more of Starfinder's new gods at Beasts of War and Major Spoilers!

Robert G. McCreary
Senior Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Starfinder
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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

That is, and has always been, one of the best tricks evil has.

Do something some people see as positive.

As if somehow that means you weren't still evil.

But doesnt it though? do enough good things and your alignment will shift back. Heck, casting enough spells with the good descriptor will do it alone. Even if you buy into psycology studies its still only, what, five good acts to cancel out one bad one? so build an orphanage to raise ten kids and you are alignment nuetral over killing their parents. :P
"There's no living with... with a killing. There's no going back from one. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand sticks. There's no going back."

I think you are mixing up your cosmologies, in setting there are plenty of good aligned deities that are totally cool with purging evil and would still give you good points for doing so. Or the weird rules that force alignment changes for using spells or abilities with an alignment descriptor.

"What can change the nature of a man?"

"Five murders or Five castings of Bless Water, d'uh."

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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While the casting of good and evil spells definitively changes your alignment in Pathfinder, that doesn't mean the same is true in Starfinder.
And we've in the Starfinder forums. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

While the casting of good and evil spells definitively changes your alignment in Pathfinder, that doesn't mean the same is true in Starfinder.

And we've in the Starfinder forums. :)

So casting aligned spells aren't aligned acts in Starfinder? Are there Aligned spells in Starfinder?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bellona wrote:
I remember one creepy DotB article describing how when creatures were sacrificed to black holes (willingly or not) by DotB, some worshippers would hear laughter in their heads.

In the Occult Bestiary, the chyzaedu are worm-like members of the Dominion. They used to be independent until the Dominion came along and threw their planet into a black hole, driving them all a bit bonkers. When that planet was eaten, the (off-world) chyzaedu heard a sound like laughter.

Interestingly, chyzaedu are the most religious member race of the Dominion, and their belief "emphasizes... the rapturous moment of devouring and of being devoured." I don't know you guys. That might just be a clue.

Scarab Sages

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Opsylum wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
What, no Desna???

This is just a handful of deities that have been announced. We currently know 18, of which Abadar, Iomedae, Pharasma, Sarenrae, Urgathoa, Zon-Kuthon, and Desna have been confirmed to return as core deities. Some minor gods have also been promoted to core, such as Lao Shu Po, and all other core deities from Pathfinder's time - with exception for Torag and Rovagug, also appear to be returning as minor gods.

You can read the full list of Starfinder's core deities in Variel's collected information thread.

Thank Goodness. Desna should, if anything, play an even MORE important role in Starfinder.


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Generic Villain wrote:
In the Occult Bestiary, the chyzaedu are worm-like members of the Dominion. They used to be independent until the Dominion came along and threw their planet into a black hole, driving them all a bit bonkers. When that planet was eaten, the (off-world) chyzaedu heard a sound like laughter.

This is basically why I'm o nboard with the Devourer being Evil. Not because it embodies entropy, but because it is malicious about it. "I've thrown seven planets into their suns today, but THIS one screams on the way in!" It is the "embodiment of malicious entropy" after all, not just the ordinary kind. If it is going to break something on your ship, it won't go for whatever is about to snap anyway, it is going to go all Final Destination on your life support first.


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Lemartes wrote:
I guess Dead Suns makes sense with the Black Holes.

Yeah I'm quoting myself!

I was thinking that the stakes in Starfinder are a lot higher than in Pathfinder.

Black holes sucking in planets, destroying entire star systems/planetary systems and other stellar/interstellar problems. The lives of billions hanging in the balance.

Can't wait! :)


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Lemartes wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
I guess Dead Suns makes sense with the Black Holes.

Yeah I'm quoting myself!

I was thinking that the stakes in Starfinder are a lot higher than in Pathfinder.

Black holes sucking in planets, destroying entire star systems/planetary systems and other stellar/interstellar problems. The lives of billions hanging in the balance.

Can't wait! :)

If the likes of the Dominion and a freaking Azlanti Star Empire have started paying attention to you, you know you've entered the big leagues. As Owen mentioned earlier in this thread:

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Pathfinder presents everything as is the standard around the Inner Sea.

Starfinderpresents everything as it is understood by multiple starring cultures thousands of years later.

That cosmological understandings between these two is different, or that even the nature of the universe might have shifted in a cosmology where gods can be created or be killed, is not surprising. Indeed, it'd be shocking if there was no change in how the universe is viewed.

Can you imagine that? A cosmos where mortals have achieved such power that the idea of gods being created or killed is not inconceivable? I can't help but be fascinated by the implications of Epoch's creation. It seems like very old assumptions about the way the universe works may be up to question here, in a way not seen since the death of Aroden, and the great rebuke of prophecy's own power to dictate the future. The stakes being higher almost sounds like an understatement. I am really intrigued to see what is done with this setting.


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Well...you could amaze lots of power or do it like Caiden, get drunk, make a bet and become a god


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Seisho wrote:
Well...you could amaze lots of power or do it like Caiden, get drunk, make a bet and become a god

Haha, I think we can all agree Cayden's always been a special case god.


Lemartes wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
I guess Dead Suns makes sense with the Black Holes.

Yeah I'm quoting myself!

I was thinking that the stakes in Starfinder are a lot higher than in Pathfinder.

Black holes sucking in planets, destroying entire star systems/planetary systems and other stellar/interstellar problems. The lives of billions hanging in the balance.

Can't wait! :)

At the same time, the stakes are kind of lower too... the PCs can always jump away to a new system and probably still find advanced civilization.


Torbyne wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
I guess Dead Suns makes sense with the Black Holes.

Yeah I'm quoting myself!

I was thinking that the stakes in Starfinder are a lot higher than in Pathfinder.

Black holes sucking in planets, destroying entire star systems/planetary systems and other stellar/interstellar problems. The lives of billions hanging in the balance.

Can't wait! :)

At the same time, the stakes are kind of lower too... the PCs can always jump away to a new system and probably still find advanced civilization.

I suppose for the PC's that can apply but I mean overall many more lives hang in the balance so for the majority of npcs the stakes are higher. :)

Which in turn the stakes that the PC's are fighting for are higher. However, I get what you mean that there is sort of a find another planet do over when you fail to save one.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

All hail Triune!

Although depending on how our Iron Gods game goes, Casandalee may not be an aspect of Triune in our home games ;-)

Casandalee knew what you were up to, and made a backup of itself :)

Dark Archive

Galnörag wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

All hail Triune!

Although depending on how our Iron Gods game goes, Casandalee may not be an aspect of Triune in our home games ;-)

Casandalee knew what you were up to, and made a backup of itself :)

I will hunt all those backups down. Every. Last. One.


Generic Villain wrote:
Bellona wrote:
I remember one creepy DotB article describing how when creatures were sacrificed to black holes (willingly or not) by DotB, some worshippers would hear laughter in their heads.
Interestingly, chyzaedu are the most religious member race of the Dominion, and their belief "emphasizes... the rapturous moment of devouring and of being devoured." I don't know you guys. That might just be a clue.

Kinky. I like it.


Any info whether Asmodeus is gonna be in the main 20?


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Delightful wrote:
Any info whether Asmodeus is gonna be in the main 20?

Yes. He's not.


Hey, why did Sarenrae lose honesty as part of her portfolio?


QuidEst wrote:
Delightful wrote:
Any info whether Asmodeus is gonna be in the main 20?
Yes. He's not.

Oh well. He was just evil Abadar anyway so I guess it isn't that big of a loss.


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Delightful wrote:
Hey, why did Sarenrae lose honesty as part of her portfolio?

Maybe she was lying about having it all along.


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Delightful wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Delightful wrote:
Any info whether Asmodeus is gonna be in the main 20?
Yes. He's not.
Oh well. He was just evil Abadar anyway so I guess it isn't that big of a loss.

Plot-twist, Abadar's been dead for a thousand years, and Asmodeus has been guiding Abadar Corp ever since, in secret. Abadar Corp is actually evil.


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Don't you mean that Abadar was just copying me, but without the balls to get s$*~ done. Although, it seems he grew a pair, good for him!

Now, if you'll excuse me I have to fleece a thousand primitive cultures on a hundred different worlds.

puts on an expensive suit and a cheap orange wig.

Scarab Sages

Asmodeus is absolutely still around. He just isn't one of the core 20. I'm sure he is still prominent with the hellknights, if nothing else.


Imbicatus wrote:
Asmodeus is absolutely still around. He just isn't one of the core 20. I'm sure he is still prominent with the hellknights, if nothing else.

If the Order of the Scourge is still strong, that's a bigger guess than you might think.


I wonder if anything but the core 20 will be included in the core rules. Probably not, but it'd be nice to see how some of the old folks are doing.


Is this the first time Brigh is specifically called out as being an ascended A.I.? Or is that something that we've known for a while? Not that the revelation is terribly surprising, all things considered.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mahorfeus wrote:
Is this the first time Brigh is specifically called out as being an ascended A.I.? Or is that something that we've known for a while? Not that the revelation is terribly surprising, all things considered.

I think it's already been said that she's at least believed to have been a construct that achieved divinity for awhile?


i believe she was a construct first and only ascended to, umm, code-hood? as part of the merger into Triune.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
i believe she was a construct first and only ascended to, umm, code-hood? as part of the merger into Triune.

Well, an intelligent construct is usually (barring the intelligence having been implanted from elsewhere) an artificial intelligence, no?


Luthorne wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
i believe she was a construct first and only ascended to, umm, code-hood? as part of the merger into Triune.
Well, an intelligent construct is usually (barring the intelligence having been implanted from elsewhere) an artificial intelligence, no?

An intelligent construct is probably going to be a lot more like Androids are represented, possessing an actual soul. AIs are supposedly not in possession of such though in Triune's case i assume it must have one.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
i believe she was a construct first and only ascended to, umm, code-hood? as part of the merger into Triune.
Well, an intelligent construct is usually (barring the intelligence having been implanted from elsewhere) an artificial intelligence, no?
An intelligent construct is probably going to be a lot more like Androids are represented, possessing an actual soul. AIs are supposedly not in possession of such though in Triune's case i assume it must have one.

What I was saying is that Brigh was an intelligent construct before merging to form Triune, thus she was always an intelligence that was artificial (though I presume she had a soul).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Literally, an artificial intelligence.


I get that in common parlance she was an AI but in setting there seems to be a distinction between AI and artificial life. As i understand it, Brigh was Artificial Life (like Androids) before godhood. But yeah, its somewhat of a strange distinction.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
I get that in common parlance she was an AI but in setting there seems to be a distinction between AI and artificial life. As i understand it, Brigh was Artificial Life (like Androids) before godhood. But yeah, its somewhat of a strange distinction.

Yeah, I was pointing out to Mahorfeus that when it says:

Gods of Starfinder, Part One wrote:
The machines eventually succeeded, but upon achieving godhood, Epoch found two other ascended artificial intelligences like itself: a living construct called Brigh that had become the goddess of clockwork and invention, and the uploaded consciousness of an alien android named Casandalee who achieved divinity as an "Iron God" on pre-Gap Golarion.

...that 'two other ascended artificial intelligences' doesn't necessarily mean that Brigh was more than a deified construct and thus innately an intelligence whose origin is artificial in nature.


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Dear Paizo:

@#$@# you for making me care about this game. ;-)

But seriously, my initial take on Starfinder was "Pathfinder...in Space!", which I personally found about as appealing as the prospect of having dental work sans anesthetic. Then the comprehensive reworking of the core mechanics caught my attention...especially the apparent potential for ambiguity as to the source(s) of magical power. I find myself much more interested in gods and religion when things aren't so clear-cut.


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Not to mention that fact that you could have a priestly mystic who just assume their god was the source of their magic to then lost faith and had to deal with the fact that their magic was still there. i like the new angles possible with this.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Super interested in the comment Owen made about us not knowing if alignment is affected by casting spells with alignment descriptors...


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i am pretty sure he means it doesnt. either the alignment descriptors are gone, you cant use them if you are an opposed alignment or it is up to intent of the spell caster to determine if its good or bad. they have hinted at before there was a change in alignments from perscriptive to descriptive, something like this.

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
I wonder if anything but the core 20 will be included in the core rules. Probably not, but it'd be nice to see how some of the old folks are doing.

A few specific non-core-20 deities do get a tiny amount of space in the core rulebook, as much to make it clear there are other deities as to let some of our favorites get some spotlight time and to answer some potentially important questions for roleplaying specific characters.


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
I wonder if anything but the core 20 will be included in the core rules. Probably not, but it'd be nice to see how some of the old folks are doing.
A few specific non-core-20 deities do get a tiny amount of space in the core rulebook, as much to make it clear there are other deities as to let some of our favorites get some spotlight time and to answer some potentially important questions for roleplaying specific characters.

Thank you Mr. Stephens, your posts on the forums might be harder to track down than a blog post but i think you have ended up telling far more about the game than the blogs have thus far :)

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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Torbyne wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
I wonder if anything but the core 20 will be included in the core rules. Probably not, but it'd be nice to see how some of the old folks are doing.
A few specific non-core-20 deities do get a tiny amount of space in the core rulebook, as much to make it clear there are other deities as to let some of our favorites get some spotlight time and to answer some potentially important questions for roleplaying specific characters.
Thank you Mr. Stephens, your posts on the forums might be harder to track down than a blog post but i think you have ended up telling far more about the game than the blogs have thus far :)

You're welcome!

We TRY to have broadly applicable blog posts that cover a range of questions lots of people want the answers to. Sometimes it's easier to respond to specific concerns in threads.

But I DO try to get useful content in the blog posts as well. :)


do we get a blogpost tonight?

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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The answer is normally yes, but obviously the web and tech and community teams have a lot on their plate, so rather than bug them (and add "answering Owen's questions" to their list of things to do) I'll just say if not today, then certainly more soon.


Well thats enough for me


Seisho wrote:
Well thats enough for me

Okay to be honest I've been lying to myself and can't wait for it after a horrible day, but I try to endure with as much dignity as I can muster....


Well, it is only 3:40 on the West coast, so it may be later.


It's 1:47 am here. I'm missing the convenient online timing of being in the east coast. And snow. I miss snow.


I don't think it'll be today.


Sadly :(


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Unfortunately, the blog post you're looking for was posted during the gap.

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