Run-ins with the Tarrasque


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Oh, yeah, that reminds me!

I enjoyed tinkering with the Tarrasque, and, though I never used it, delighted in putting the old 3.5 multi-headed template, the Monster of Legend template, the Half-<insert stuff here> template, or others onto it.

The funniest one was when I combined all of the above with the ELH templates (paragon and psuedonatural*).

That creature was the most frightening thing imaginable.

I obviously never used it (otherwise that would be about the worst thing I could do to my players), but it was a blast, nonetheless.

Sadly, I don't have any of the stats left (that was several computers ago), but I really like doing that stuff, and coming up with silly, strange, or interesting combinations.

* There are at least two psuedonatural templates. I'm referring to the one from the Epic Level Handbook, instead of the one from Complete Arcane. It's much more broken and awful that way.

EDIT: to clarify

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We played a long running campaign(went from 1st all the way up into epic) back into 3.5. When they were in their upper teens, the group had to travel to plane travel a bit and went to a demi-plane that bordered on the plane of shadows. Before they left they took an artifact that was keeping the stability of the realm intact, so they had to pop back quickly to the material realm quickly amid negative energy flooding the landscape.

Fast forward a few levels and the group had to face a tarrasque and after managing to knock it unconscious briefly, they came up with the idea to plane shift it to that realm, counting on the constant negative energy/levels to keep it immobile until they could come up with a way to more thoroughly deal with its threat.


Did they ever?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
Did they ever?

In a sort of round about way. In the campaign odd rifts had started opening on the material plane, releasing unusual and powerful beasts(pseudo-natural creatures, lovecraft style horrors, ancient extra-planers, ect) which was how the tarrasque arrived. They discovered that someone was actually destroying planes somehow to unbalance and eventually destroy the multi-verse. So the party spent a while trying to track down the few artifacts that might have the power to actually destroy a plane.

Once they had one of these objects in their protection, they did enough research to make sure that destroying a demi-plane wouldn't actually do more damage to the multi-verse and effectively nuked the plane the tarrasque was trapped on.

It was my groups only foray into epic play, and while the rules didn't really suit us, we had a lot of fun with the high level story.

Liberty's Edge

I wonder what would happen if one were to stuff pieces of the Tarrasque into Bags of Devouring....
Of course, the players would have to "kill" it first. Then keep cutting bits off and putting those bits into Bags of Devouring, while continuing to inflict damage on it to prevent it from getting back up.

I figure two dozen or so gunslingers with Epic magic guns and lots of ammunition might be able to do something lie that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Teconiel, I actually read a fairly neat thing about an idea someone hand(I don't remember the name to give credit). They were talking about having their players encounter this ancient order of mages who had at one point effectively managed to capture a tarrasque, between magical/starmetal shackles and steady damage to keep it unconscious. They then harvested it, using its skin and organs for components in making magical equipment, keeping it alive so it would steadily 'heal' and they could harvest it further.

It was meant as a sort of moral dilemma for the characters, whether such a thing should be allowed. Even as a force of destruction, the tarrasque still is effectively just an animal. It may need to be stopped, but seeing it taken to be nearly powerless and living in steady torture is pretty strong emotionally.


Tarlane: for your game, that sounds pretty terrific!
For the second, I've read that elsewhere too. It was a pretty interesting thing.

Actually, I found it! (the site, though unknown to me, is trusted by McAfee antivirus)


I... have to confess something: I totally forgot that I had, in fact, had the Tarrasque in more than one campaign... sort of!

I'd completely forgotten! I feel silly!

First: in the very first campaign I ever GM'd (for 3.0, a combination of Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk and homebrew) there was, deep within the bowels of a forgotten and reclusive monastery, I had a creature called the "Godkiller". It was basically a gestalt Terrasque/Astral... thingy (I forgot the name, they're huge and have one eye) only bigger with the half-fiendish template (hey, it was I had!), and was literally untouchable by the gods (it, however, had no such problems). Only mortals could ever effect it.

Anyway, it had been petrified long, long ago by a "noble" sap-er... I mean a noble "sacrifice" and none had dared awaken it ever since (for obvious reasons). It was petrified with its two eggs (kept in its mouth).

As a "<censored>-you!" to Vecna, a few centuries ago, however, a guy had stolen in there, and ritually trapped an avatar of Hextor to seal away both the Hand and the Eye of Vecna within the eggs of the Godkiller. Hextor was actually okay with this because it bound up some of Vecna's divinity, and, as Vecna had been trying to find Hextor's weaknesses to gain his power, it was a kind of punishment.

Anyway, that campaign went on hiatus before it ever finished, though I had several plans for how it could have ended (there were villains fighting villains over other villains... and the like.)

So, although the characters saw it, and realized its importance, they never knew how it connected with the plot, and never did anything with it.

Second: in a recent 4E campaign I had there was a very fancy and very expensive restaurant in Geldaneth in Ilmaskar. Under it, they had multiple elemental motes (like earth motes of various elements) that they used in conjunction with free artificer rituals to create literally anything that anyone would order.

So, of course, my players wanted Tarrasque steak. It was, like, the first thing they thought of. It worked. Since it was just a steak, not the real Tarrasque (and not alive) and the ritual couldn't create a living creature anyway, I ruled that it didn't regenerate (though I think 4E removed its regeneration anyway).

But yeah, those are the other two times the Tarrasque has come into play.


Fought a Tarrasque once. I hit it with my sharpened metal stick. It ate me. I cut my way out of its throat. Rest of the party did enough damage to bring it down (there was epic level dragon magic involved). When it fell, I was given a woodcutter's axe to try and take the head... I couldn't. We found out a wish could end its regeneration. We called a favor from a friend and it finally stopped moving. Then, our necromancer animated it. We stopped using our black wyrm skeleton as a carriage and started using our new tarrasque skeleton.. Rogue was pissed cuz he heard he could burn the things shell and it would turn into diamonds. I was just tired of swinging that woodcutter's axe for eight hours a day.


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My players happened to wake up a Big T. in my last campaign. It had actually been buried during it's sleep and it's spines were the only thing above ground.
The party had hung their tents off of the spines for the night. That evening the party had been discussing how to fight a Tarrasque. It wasn't until the morning when they started tearing down camp when they woke it up.
It was an interesting fight with half of the party running due to fear and the other half trying to fight it. In the end it had been a goblin with a sword lined with a hair from Lady Fate (long story) that crit'ed the creature through the eye. The hair of Lady Fate meant the damage was permanent. With the sword still in it's eye the party sorceress cast lightning at the sword transferring the damage through the sword and into the creatures brain.
We had another character in the party who is some sort of celestial...not sure how that got in there, but she teleported it to the sun.
Now the Tarrasque is half blind and brainless, it is still alive and roaming the surface of the sun.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

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Tacticslion wrote:
...I'm referring to the one from the Epic Level Handbook, instead of the one from Complete Arcane. It's much more broken and awful that way.

One of my absolute favorite templates, though I really try hard not to overuse it :)

Who wouldn't like SR = 5 x HD?


Hahah, yeah!


at the very beginning of my RPG career, my GM told us once "and today you will fight the tarrasque", we were lvl 5 or something around that.
The only experienced player looked suspicious at the GM, but knew him good enough to know he had something up his sleeve.

And deep underground we found him, it as a mechanical, smaller copy of the tarrasque, and we killed it. I summoned 3 monkeys and he said "well how much damage do you expect them to do against metal", I smiled and said "I order them to screw and wrench at everything they can find", and while my comrades did HP-damage, my monkey did a good job as well, and we finished the fight in around 5 rounds.

This was my first and only encounter with the mighty tarrasque.


My friend ran a game where the planes kinda exploded in on each other and tge Tarrasque was destroyed, unfortunately due to its regeneration this led to the creation of the Tarrasque Swarm, thousands of diminutive sized Tarrassques...I still wake up in a cold sweat to this day.


In all my campaigns, it only made a brief appearance once.
Years ago, in the times of 3rd Ed., I had random-encounters tables based on terrain. One of my players' PC was wandering the hills, looking for a hidden fortress on his own, without any clue of its actual whereabouts and all. He also had paid a Wizard to get teleported on those hills. And so he wandered and wandered, and encountered many monsters. Barely survived the glance of a happy Beholder and other things. Saw the Tarrasque rampaging (probability on the table was something like 1/10,000, but it happened) and avoided it. Only to end his life, after days of pointless wandering, in the maws of some shapechanger turned into a Dragon. To the joy of all other players, who were tired of watching him play alone without purpose.


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H.P. Makelovecraft wrote:
My friend ran a game where the planes kinda exploded in on each other and tge Tarrasque was destroyed, unfortunately due to its regeneration this led to the creation of the Tarrasque Swarm, thousands of diminutive sized Tarrassques...I still wake up in a cold sweat to this day.

You should totally catch a couple of those and make them pets. That would be awesome. And there is just something about fun-sized Tarrasques that make them seem cute.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

we fought a tarrassque BBEG... it had 20 int... that DM was an a$$


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I and one of the other people in my group who often DMs are pretty fond of the Tarrasque, so it's shown up in a number of our campaigns.

One of our running rules in all of our campaigns is that every planet has a Tarrasque. It might be dormant, but it's there.

1) 3.5E - In one campaign, the Tarrasque had a compunction that it would never attack deities or those with a real divine spark. And so, there was a new, very violent race (that we called the beastmen) that had arisen from the world being contaminated with the essence of two dead gods (as in, since the death of the two dieties, 1 in 10 children mutated into a beastman at puberty). The beastman had essentially tamed the Tarrasque (who didn't recognize beastmen as food), and in the campaign's finale the leader of the beastmen arrived riding Big T. The party was very strong (25th level, with 20th level allies), and so Big T had flight, essentially double its normal physical stats, the Die Hard feat, and 90 hit dice. It was at approximately -1,200 HP before the party caught on to the Die Hard part. It made for a good fight.

2) 3.5E - In a epic level campaign where the party was around L27, I took the Tarrasque from #1, added the epic level handbook psuedonatural template, and also gave it the ability that if it could see something, it could attack it, normal range/reach be damnned. The party took it down and went on to destroy Pale Night, who'd been granted use of the Far Plane Tarrasque's services in exchange for aid given to an evil and very powerful wizard that the party was tracking through the Abyss.

3) 4E - a much sillier appearance - Big T was the mate of Bearthoskalys, the Primordial source of all bears. Bears being "god-forsaken killing machines" had been a running gag all throughout that campaign.

4) 4E - L25 or 26 or so - my epic tier party faced Mike Shea's Tarrasque, which had been awakened and summoned to a dwarven citadel, as the start of what was a pretty rough day. Mike Shea's version of the Big T could score critical hits of over 100 damage, which under 4E is an incredible amount of damage to deal to a PC. The fight was brutal, nasty and short. It was an excellent warm-up for the fight that came afterwards, involving the party essentially fighting a great wyrm green dragon and a great wyrm blue dragon at the same time. Yeah, that was a pretty damn strong party.

5) Pathfinder. In the extended epilogue of our Kingmaker campaign, the party needed to face an evil godling who'd been manipulating the big bad of Kingmaker. In a prior encounter we'd learned he had some means to control the Big T, and we had time to prepare. So our witch researched a 9th level spell for sealing the Big T, and then we went to another planet to fight its Big T as a practice run. And so we did. It is so very, very handy that eidolans are expendable. In the actual fight with the godling, the DM had the Big T get peeled off and handled by PC allies as a handwave, since we'd already actually fought one.

So yeah, we've made pretty extensive use of the Tarrasque. It's a good puppy.


Bump!


When Inner Sea Bestiary came out I saw the rules for the Spawn of Rovagug to include the hibernation rules, which is the only thing that saved my players as the party wizard and sorcerer used three Wish spells to first wish for an airless demiplane to come into existence, the second wish for big-T to have a one-way trip to the demiplane, and the third wish to close the demiplane permanently. Tarrasque can't breath and thus goes into hibernation until conditions are right for it to awaken again.


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Sadly, with me, the Tarrasque is a bit of a running gag. Usually, if I'm in the group, I either unleashed it or did something that caused it to wake up. There are, really, probably over 200 stories I could tell about fighting the Tarrasque by this point. My current group likes to tease me a lot about it, especially given the time I caused a paladin to permanently fall by accidentally killing dropping the Tarrasque's mostly-dead body on top of the prime temple of his god. I told that one on here, actually.

The tale I am going to share happened while my net was out. It is a tale of vengeance. Of playing with the minds of characters. Of making a point about how far is too far with teasing. It is the tale of the Ninja Tarrasque.

Basically, the teasing about unleashing the Tarrasque had hit a crescendo with one campaign where I was GMing. I had let the players know I was getting tired of it. Just because I accidentally unleash it when I'm a player doesn't mean they have to spend four days cracking nonstop jokes about it. But, they wouldn't stop and I had enough. So, finally, I announced, "As you pass under the tree, you hear it groaning as, suddenly, the sun seams to be blotted out. Make a perception check."

They did. I promptly described the Tarrasque sitting on top of the tree, wearing a ninja mask. Given the Tarrasque is much, much larger than the tree... they thought this was an illusion of some sort, assumed I cooked up some kind of new monster or curse, and rushed back to town to get Atonement cast.

The spell did nothing; no god had cursed them. Nor had they been cursed at all. That was when they correctly determined they were being hunted by something I had cooked up.

After that, they arrived in the inn... just to see the innkeeper had been replaced by the Tarrasque, which was crammed into his clothes. They got a room. When they checked the closet, the Tarrasque was crammed inside. Opened a dresser drawer and the Tarrasque was there. Opened a chest to find him crammed inside the chest. Woke up to him crammed under the bed. Checked the bathroom to find him crammed inside the shower. And the entire time, every time they found him, he was just silently staring.

From that point on, no matter where they looked or how flat-out impossible it was, the Tarrasque was there. They saw him crammed into alleyways, in windows, replacing mannequins, replacing shopkeepers, crammed into a guard's uniform, between books on a bookshelf, in soup bowels, replacing lamps, in their backpacks, inside rings... And the entire time he was. Just. Silently. Staring.

And worst of all, they were not the only ones who saw it. Everyone they talked to saw it too.

By the end of lunch (in-game), the characters were panicking. OOCly, the players were freaking and digging through every sourcebook we have, looking at templates and classes and archetypes as they tried to figure out just exactly what I had done to the Tarrasque and how badly outmatched they may be.

And then, just to mess with them more, I had it stop showing up. They spent the rest of that campaign constantly looking for it and keeping an eye out, just in case it ever came back. I made certain to drop hints throughout that it was still around and that other adventuring parties encountered the same... only for it to mysteriously stop, followed by the parties mysteriously vanishing as soon as they relaxed.


I have only ever seen the Tarrasque in mated pairs.


MagusJanus wrote:

Sadly, with me, the Tarrasque is a bit of a running gag. Usually, if I'm in the group, I either unleashed it or did something that caused it to wake up. There are, really, probably over 200 stories I could tell about fighting the Tarrasque by this point. My current group likes to tease me a lot about it, especially given the time I caused a paladin to permanently fall by accidentally killing dropping the Tarrasque's mostly-dead body on top of the prime temple of his god. I told that one on here, actually.

The tale I am going to share happened while my net was out. It is a tale of vengeance. Of playing with the minds of characters. Of making a point about how far is too far with teasing. It is the tale of the Ninja Tarrasque.

Basically, the teasing about unleashing the Tarrasque had hit a crescendo with one campaign where I was GMing. I had let the players know I was getting tired of it. Just because I accidentally unleash it when I'm a player doesn't mean they have to spend four days cracking nonstop jokes about it. But, they wouldn't stop and I had enough. So, finally, I announced, "As you pass under the tree, you hear it groaning as, suddenly, the sun seams to be blotted out. Make a perception check."

They did. I promptly described the Tarrasque sitting on top of the tree, wearing a ninja mask. Given the Tarrasque is much, much larger than the tree... they thought this was an illusion of some sort, assumed I cooked up some kind of new monster or curse, and rushed back to town to get Atonement cast.

The spell did nothing; no god had cursed them. Nor had they been cursed at all. That was when they correctly determined they were being hunted by something I had cooked up.

After that, they arrived in the inn... just to see the innkeeper had been replaced by the Tarrasque, which was crammed into his clothes. They got a room. When they checked the closet, the Tarrasque was crammed inside. Opened a dresser drawer and the Tarrasque was there. Opened a chest to find him crammed inside the chest....

That is one of the funniest gaming stories I have ever heard.

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