Power level of various gods?


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Aelreth wrote:

I would throw the gods of Gravity, Radiation, and Electromagnetism in this category.

These would be E(A/R)th (Gravity) and M(A/R)S (Electromagnetism, of which radiation is a subset).

Grand Lodge

Aelreth wrote:

While the actual source material itself is rather vague on ranking the power of various gods, this is how I usually think of it. If you disagree that is fine, this is just my thought on the subject.

At the bottom you have your Demon Lords and other CR 25-30 creatures. Pretty much anything that can grant spells but still is "mortal" enough to have actual stats.

Then you would have your accended who have, relatively speaking, only been gods for a short amount of time. Those who passed the Star Stone for example have only been Gods for less then human history. But you also have to include Gods like Besmara who "was a powerful water spirit with an affinity for manipulating sea monsters". All of these Gods have reached a level of power that defies having any kind of stats. But are still relativly minor in the grand cosmos.

Above them you have Gods like Abadar(cities), Torag(dwarves), Gorum(war), and Shelyn(love). Pretty much just any gods that either a) is credited with creating a whole race, or b) handles a very wide but still mortal concept. After all, if there were no dwarves, Torag couldn't be the God of the Dwarves. With out mortals you would have no cities, war, love, etc. Meaning no Gods to manage the affairs of those portfolios.

Beyond them you have the like of Asmodeus(Hell) and Sarenrae(Angles). Asmodeus who rules over all of Hell, and Sarenrae who stood against Rovagug. These gods go unchallenged by other gods.

At the VERY top you have gods who are the masters of a fundamental force in the universe. This is were Gods like Nethys (Magic), Gozeh(sea and sky), and Pharasma (life/death/fate) reside. They control fundamental parts of reality itself. If they had names I would through the gods of Gravity, Radiation, and Electromagnetism in this catagory.

Now I realize this is in NO WAY perfect OR complete. But it IS a starting point.

I would also like to add that you can out how strong some gods are by the number of domains they have. Most have 5 domains but some gods like Brigh and Gyronna only have 4 domains. Meaning they would most likely be weaker then other gods.


Aelreth wrote:

While the actual source material itself is rather vague on ranking the power of various gods, this is how I usually think of it. If you disagree that is fine, this is just my thought on the subject.

At the bottom you have your Demon Lords and other CR 25-30 creatures. Pretty much anything that can grant spells but still is "mortal" enough to have actual stats.

Then you would have your accended who have, relatively speaking, only been gods for a short amount of time. Those who passed the Star Stone for example have only been Gods for less then human history. But you also have to include Gods like Besmara who "was a powerful water spirit with an affinity for manipulating sea monsters". All of these Gods have reached a level of power that defies having any kind of stats. But are still relativly minor in the grand cosmos.

Above them you have Gods like Abadar(cities), Torag(dwarves), Gorum(war), and Shelyn(love). Pretty much just any gods that either a) is credited with creating a whole race, or b) handles a very wide but still mortal concept. After all, if there were no dwarves, Torag couldn't be the God of the Dwarves. With out mortals you would have no cities, war, love, etc. Meaning no Gods to manage the affairs of those portfolios.

Beyond them you have the like of Asmodeus(Hell) and Sarenrae(Angles). Asmodeus who rules over all of Hell, and Sarenrae who stood against Rovagug. These gods go unchallenged by other gods.

At the VERY top you have gods who are the masters of a fundamental force in the universe. This is were Gods like Nethys (Magic), Gozeh(sea and sky), and Pharasma (life/death/fate) reside. They control fundamental parts of reality itself. If they had names I would through the gods of Gravity, Radiation, and Electromagnetism in this catagory.

Now I realize this is in NO WAY perfect OR complete. But it IS a starting point.

One thing to point out, Nethys is only the god of magic in relation to Golarion. He was a human wizard who managed to research a 'make me a god' spell only a few thousand years ago in Osirion. One of two beings to ascend without the starstone from a purely mortal form that I know of, the other being Irori (and both human, go figure). He isn't the personification of magic. That's most likely an unnamed god who is far far older than he is.

Also, I'm really curious about Charon. Supposedly one of, if not the first, daemon. And while the Four Horsemen technically rule Abaddon as kind of a council, he's got seniority and potentially the most power due to being the only one around since the beginning. Was it him or the Oinodaemon that threatened Pharasma into giving them souls? It's not clear and I'm just really curious if the Horseman of Death is more than just a demigod playing with a title above his station.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
One thing to point out, Nethys is only the god of magic in relation to Golarion. He was a human wizard who managed to research a 'make me a god spell' only a few thousand years ago in Osirion.

Nethys probably replaced Amaznen, the Azlanti god of magic. Amaznen was most likely the original god of magic, but he died during earthfall after sacrificing himself to make the Starstone into just a really big meteorite as opposed to a meteorite imbued with aboleth death magic. To give Neths some credit, Amaznen was born divine, while Nethys achieved divinity through sheer power and force of will. In some ways that's more respectable than being born into godhood.


Not only that but the form of his godhood is impressive. He observed everything on every plane simultaneously. He's the only explicitly omniscient deity.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Not only that but the form of his godhood is impressive. He observed everything on every plane simultaneously. He's the only explicitly omniscient deity.

Except James said that only Pharasma knows how Aroden died, which by definition means Nethys doesn't know and therefore can't be omniscient. Additionally, I recall Inner Sea Gods mentioning that Nethys was intensely curious about Irori and wanted to experiment on him because he achieved apotheosis without magic... again, by being curious he can't actually know something which means he is not omniscient.

Grand Lodge

Myrryr wrote:
Buri Reborn wrote:
Not only that but the form of his godhood is impressive. He observed everything on every plane simultaneously. He's the only explicitly omniscient deity.
Except James said that only Pharasma knows how Aroden died, which by definition means Nethys doesn't know and therefore can't be omniscient. Additionally, I recall Inner Sea Gods mentioning that Nethys was intensely curious about Irori and wanted to experiment on him because he achieved apotheosis without magic... again, by being curious he can't actually know something which means he is not omniscient.

Or he could have seen both those things happen but maybe he doesn't understand whats happening. For example, technically we see atoms but until they were discovered we didn't know they were there. You can see everything happen but you might not understand whats happening.


You might also not be able to predict the future. Seeing stuff probably doesn't extend to knowing the thoughts or plans of others, for example.


His write-up also says that he saw "all that transpired on all planes". Not that he saw what had ever transpired or would ever transpire.

Basically, he was omniscient for a tiny split second of time, and it was enough to drive him irreparably mad. And then it was over.


I took that to be from the point of his ascension onward in more of a real-time feed into his brain. Precognition isn't necessarily part of that. This is how he can intervene should other gods plot against him. He'll almost instantly know the deception.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Sundakan wrote:

His write-up also says that he saw "all that transpired on all planes". Not that he saw what had ever transpired or would ever transpire.

Basically, he was omniscient for a tiny split second of time, and it was enough to drive him irreparably mad. And then it was over.

This is spot on correct. Nethys is not omniscient. None of the deities in Pathfinder, including Pharasma, are omniscient. Because that's kinda boring.

Doesn't mean there's no possibility of something ABOVE the level of deity that MIGHT be omniscient... but it does pretty much mean that we won't be putting something like that in print because it's not really on-theme for our campaign setting.

That said... Pharasma is in fact the most powerful of the core 20 deities. She MIGHT be the most powerful deity... but there could well be something tougher out there. The setting is constantly evolving, and what might sound like a good idea on day 1 might end up being superseded by an even BETTER idea on day 1,001.


Well if I had to rate them I'd think it would go like this;

1. Pharasma
2. Rovagug
3. Sarenrae
4. Asmodeus
5. Desna
6. Lamashtu
7. Nethys
8. Gozreh
9. Abadar
10. Urgathoa
11. Shelyn
12. Zon-Zuthon
13. Calistria
14. Torag
15. Erastil
16. Irori
17. Gorum
18. Norgorber
19. Iomedae
20. Cayden Cailean

Grand Lodge

Myrryr wrote:
Aelreth wrote:

While the actual source material itself is rather vague on ranking the power of various gods, this is how I usually think of it. If you disagree that is fine, this is just my thought on the subject.

At the bottom you have your Demon Lords and other CR 25-30 creatures. Pretty much anything that can grant spells but still is "mortal" enough to have actual stats.

Then you would have your accended who have, relatively speaking, only been gods for a short amount of time. Those who passed the Star Stone for example have only been Gods for less then human history. But you also have to include Gods like Besmara who "was a powerful water spirit with an affinity for manipulating sea monsters". All of these Gods have reached a level of power that defies having any kind of stats. But are still relativly minor in the grand cosmos.

Above them you have Gods like Abadar(cities), Torag(dwarves), Gorum(war), and Shelyn(love). Pretty much just any gods that either a) is credited with creating a whole race, or b) handles a very wide but still mortal concept. After all, if there were no dwarves, Torag couldn't be the God of the Dwarves. With out mortals you would have no cities, war, love, etc. Meaning no Gods to manage the affairs of those portfolios.

Beyond them you have the like of Asmodeus(Hell) and Sarenrae(Angles). Asmodeus who rules over all of Hell, and Sarenrae who stood against Rovagug. These gods go unchallenged by other gods.

At the VERY top you have gods who are the masters of a fundamental force in the universe. This is were Gods like Nethys (Magic), Gozeh(sea and sky), and Pharasma (life/death/fate) reside. They control fundamental parts of reality itself. If they had names I would through the gods of Gravity, Radiation, and Electromagnetism in this catagory.

Now I realize this is in NO WAY perfect OR complete. But it IS a starting point.

One thing to point out, Nethys is only the god of magic in relation to Golarion. He was a human wizard who managed to research a 'make me a god' spell only a few thousand years ago in Osirion. One of two beings to ascend without the starstone from a purely mortal form that I know of, the other being Irori (and both human, go figure). He isn't the personification of magic. That's most likely an unnamed god who is far far older than he is.

Also, I'm really curious about Charon. Supposedly one of, if not the first, daemon. And while the Four Horsemen technically rule Abaddon as kind of a council, he's got seniority and potentially the most power due to being the only one around since the beginning. Was it him or the Oinodaemon that threatened Pharasma into giving them souls? It's not clear and I'm just really curious if the Horseman of Death is more than just a demigod playing with a title above his station.

Honestly, I had forgotten about Nethys' backstory. But until I have another God to put in his position this is were I personally place him. Each Game Master is free to place him differently. Granted with how inaccurate legends and stories about Gods can be I personally view and will continue to use Nethys as THE God of Magic.

As for creatures like the Four Horsemen (who rule the Daemon), I would put them on a similar (but NOT equal) level as Asmodeus. Like Asmodeus they rule over a very large group of outsiders that influence all of existence on a cosmic scale. But each of these scales is in itself very large and varied in of itself. Part of the issue with my grading system but it is only a starting point.

Like I said this system is FAR from perfect and I just use it as a starting point and a frame of reference. Honeslty it has NEVER come up in a game I have hosted or played in.


James Jacobs wrote:

This is spot on correct. Nethys is not omniscient. None of the deities in Pathfinder, including Pharasma, are omniscient. Because that's kinda boring.

Doesn't mean there's no possibility of something ABOVE the level of deity that MIGHT be omniscient... but it does pretty much mean that we won't be putting something like that in print because it's not really on-theme for our campaign setting.

That said... Pharasma is in fact the most powerful of the core 20 deities. She MIGHT be the most powerful deity... but there could well be something tougher out there. The setting is constantly evolving, and what might sound like a good idea on day 1 might end up being superseded by an even BETTER idea on day 1,001.

You might want to steer future products to clarify this bit. :P Who gives a hoot if he doesn't know stuff before he ascended. His ascension story and write ups heavily suggest he's constantly surveying everything on all the planes at once. That's essentially omniscient even if you don't use the word.

Faiths of Balance, p. 14 wrote:
Ancient Osirian legends speak of the godking Nethys, a man whose monomaniacal pursuit of magic opened the fabric of reality to his probing vision, revealing to him the secrets of creation in this world and in the Great Beyond.
Osirion, Land of Pharoes, p. 17 wrote:
Laying waste to much of northeastern Garund, the beast was eventually brought low by the magic of a then-mortal Nethys—one of his final acts before attaining omniscience and godhood.

Emphasis added.

Inner Sea World Guide, p. 223 wrote:
Ancient Osirian texts mention a powerful God-King named Nethys, whose mighty sorceries allowed him to see all that transpired, even across the planes of the Great Beyond.

I mean, it's kinda his thing. A moniker of his is The All-Seeing Eye for crying out loud.

Sovereign Court

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Buri Reborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

This is spot on correct. Nethys is not omniscient. None of the deities in Pathfinder, including Pharasma, are omniscient. Because that's kinda boring.

Doesn't mean there's no possibility of something ABOVE the level of deity that MIGHT be omniscient... but it does pretty much mean that we won't be putting something like that in print because it's not really on-theme for our campaign setting.

That said... Pharasma is in fact the most powerful of the core 20 deities. She MIGHT be the most powerful deity... but there could well be something tougher out there. The setting is constantly evolving, and what might sound like a good idea on day 1 might end up being superseded by an even BETTER idea on day 1,001.

You might want to steer future products to clarify this bit. :P Who gives a hoot if he doesn't know stuff before he ascended. His ascension story and write ups heavily suggest he's constantly surveying everything on all the planes at once. That's essentially omniscient even if you don't use the word.

I think you need to re-read those quotes. They are all in the past tense. Furthermore, the omniscience described is really much closer to omnipresence. You've been adding an attribute to Nethys that isn't there.


The Osirion book outright says it and attributes it to him without reservation. Unsure how it can be any clearer. James saying otherwise doesn't change the material about Nethys hence my note to clarify in future releases. Maybe an author was naughty, maybe whatever. He's omniscient, point blank. Until otherwise is published, that's the current state of things canonically speaking.


Buri Reborn wrote:
The Osirion book outright says it and attributes it to him without reservation. Unsure how it can be any clearer. James saying otherwise doesn't change the material about Nethys hence my note to clarify in future releases. Maybe an author was naughty, maybe whatever. He's omniscient, point blank. Until otherwise is published, that's the current state of things canonically speaking.

Actually, reading that, the section I believe you are referring to starts off with "According to legend and backed by the lore of the church of Nethys..."

So, that's what they believe, not necessarily the truth. (My take on it at least)


Which is great. My only point is that it's the material we have. Combined with his alternate name, his general lack of involvement, and descriptions of only really taking action when he's being crossed all fit very well with a being who can truly see everything going on at once and makes for a very relatable reason for his madness. Why would he care about mortal worshipers when he is at once having a first-hand view of the plottings of pit fiends, the demented hunger of daemons, the majesty of the heavens, and so on? It's a great spot for a neutral deity. Plus, it's a ton more interesting than the simple story of a wizard who discovered a god spell that consequently made him go mad. Paizo is not for lack of keeping secrets close to their chest and enjoying gray, ill-defined boundaries. That this one is pointed out as definitely being one way just doesn't mesh with the source material, even ones that simply describe the setting and not necessarily his followers or "him," per se. So.... clarification or other tidbits in future releases would be lovely.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Buri Reborn wrote:
That this one is pointed out as definitely being one way just doesn't mesh with the source material, even ones that simply describe the setting and not necessarily his followers or "him," per se. So.... clarification or other tidbits in future releases would be lovely.

I still don't know what you think is contradicted.

You have your concept of Nethys. I can see how you read that from the text, but I also read what James confirmed. Maybe we'll hear more about him.


Comprehension fail?

:one of his final acts before attaining omniscience and godhood

parses as

:one of his final acts before attaining omniscience

and

:one of his final acts before attaining godhood

If the omniscience bit was "in the past" or somehow temporary then so must be the godhood bit. That's not a legalistic reading by any stretch. That's simply how the English language works. Also, his "title," I guess you could say, is The All-Seeing Eye. Omniscience defined is knowing everything with synonyms all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing, etc. So, for someone to say he's not is a direct contradiction.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

It just says he obtained them- nothing about what happened to them after that.


Correct, and in the absense of anything else, the understanding is he still has them. There would need to be some further event or decision along the way to get rid of it which is the "future releases" thing I'm talking about. It would go against the nature of the power-seeking wizard to just do away with somehting like omniscience. That just wouldn't make sense. So, tell us that story.

Though, also in his write up (maybe Shelyn's??) is a bit about curing his madness which strongly insinuates he could very well lose his divinity if that happened. So, I'm not quite sure how you'd have one without the other without some further explanation. Someone just coming on the boards and saying "he's not omniscient" isn't sufficient.

To further explain, I'm not really cool with modifying the setting I accept as "official" based on the whims of an individual kinda regardless of who that individual is. Releasing a new product has the buy-in of more than one person and going through the editorial process and full treatment for a new product implicitly carries the endorsement of the company. However, changing a fundamental aspect of a central figure to the game based on a forum post? No way.


And if you need to stat them, you can easily retrofit Deities and Demigods back into Pathfinder. I do it for avatars all the time, along with interloper deities from other realms in my Golarion campaigns. Besides we all know that the most powerful deity is the deity(s) that made the Paizo Golem...


Buri Reborn wrote:

Comprehension fail?

:one of his final acts before attaining omniscience and godhood

parses as

:one of his final acts before attaining omniscience

and

:one of his final acts before attaining godhood

If the omniscience bit was "in the past" or somehow temporary then so must be the godhood bit. That's not a legalistic reading by any stretch. That's simply how the English language works. Also, his "title," I guess you could say, is The All-Seeing Eye. Omniscience defined is knowing everything with synonyms all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing, etc. So, for someone to say he's not is a direct contradiction.

However, since all of that is prefaced by "according to legend", it just means "According to some people in the game world".


NECRO-ed!


Reading the whole thread (more or less) since I wasn't here for most of it, my theory on Tiamat's absence and the conflicting Draconic/Asmodean creation stories is that Asmodeus is Tiamat, in disguise. So Asmodeus really was one of the first two deities...from a certain point of view. But "he" didn't kill his "brother".

I think there's mention of relative power in the entries of some deities that can give a sense. Milani and I want to say maybe Besmara's Inner Sea Faith entries discuss them launching occasional attacks on stronger deities (I think Asmodeus is called out by name for Milani), but also being by and large beneath the notice/not worth the time of said deities.

Here's something that's always bugged me: you've got ancient, Demi-God level beings like Empyreal Lords that have existed since long before humanity, but a mortal can leapfrog them and reach full godhood by touching a rock. Or several other ways, apparently. I mean, if I'm Ragathiel I'm marching into the Starstone Cathedral and passing that test, darn it. If Iomedae can do it and take my herald, so can I.

For that matter, what if, say, a paladin of Ragathiel passed the test of Starstone? Could he say, in essence, "No way am I deserving of being elevated above my patron" and give his full divinity to Ragathiel (and maybe take his place as an Empyreal Lord?)? I feel like that would be a cool story.

Silver Crusade

As an alternate question, who is the oldest deity?

Which is older the Dark Tapestry or the Qlippoths? Is Rovagug as old as Pharasma?


Laird IceCubez wrote:

As an alternate question, who is the oldest deity?

Which is older the Dark Tapestry or the Qlippoths? Is Rovagug as old as Pharasma?

From what I remember from this thread (been a while since I last read it) Pharasma pretty much gave birth to the universe, meaning she created everything, so she would be the first.

If I remember, Rovagug is a Qlippoth that achieved god hood, but Pharasma would still older.

No idea about the Dark Tapestry.

Silver Crusade

Edward the Necromancer wrote:

From what I remember from this thread (been a while since I last read it) Pharasma pretty much gave birth to the universe, meaning she created everything, so she would be the first.

If I remember, Rovagug is a Qlippoth that achieved god hood, but Pharasma would still older.

No idea about the Dark Tapestry.

I thought James Jacobs never confirmed any creation rumor, though he did confirm she was the strongest deity.

She could be the strongest without being the oldest though. (Though the idea that she's all the other god's mom does paint a very cute family photo.)


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Laird IceCubez wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:

From what I remember from this thread (been a while since I last read it) Pharasma pretty much gave birth to the universe, meaning she created everything, so she would be the first.

If I remember, Rovagug is a Qlippoth that achieved god hood, but Pharasma would still older.

No idea about the Dark Tapestry.

I thought James Jacobs never confirmed any creation rumor, though he did confirm she was the strongest deity.

She could be the strongest without being the oldest though. (Though the idea that she's all the other god's mom does paint a very cute family photo.)

"Everyone sit still for the picture. Abadar, make sure you get everyone in the picture."

"Yes Mom."
"Rovagug, stop chewing on Torag's head."
"Grrr...yes Mom."
"Urgathoa, I know you don't want to be here, but please stop eating all that food, I want to see your face."
"...yes Mom. *grumble still a pain in my backside*"
"What was that?"
"YES MOM!"
"Asmodeus, where are you?"
"Just paying the photographer Mom."
"Well, get in here by Shelyn and Dou Bral...wait, where's Dou Bral?"
*Zon Kuthon shows up* "Right here Mom."
"We'll talk about what you did to your hair later. Now everyone smile and say cheese!"
"CHEESE!"
*click*
"All right, I'll see you all in a millenium for the next portrait. You can go now."
*chorus of 'yes Mom!' follows*

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Laird IceCubez wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:

From what I remember from this thread (been a while since I last read it) Pharasma pretty much gave birth to the universe, meaning she created everything, so she would be the first.

If I remember, Rovagug is a Qlippoth that achieved god hood, but Pharasma would still older.

No idea about the Dark Tapestry.

I thought James Jacobs never confirmed any creation rumor, though he did confirm she was the strongest deity.

She could be the strongest without being the oldest though. (Though the idea that she's all the other god's mom does paint a very cute family photo.)

IIRC she was stated once (maybe by James Jacobs himself) as being one of the oldest deities.

Saying she gave birth to the universe does not necessarily makes her its creator/Mother. More likely the midwife aiding in its delivery, seeing her portfolio ;-)

Also, she might be the most powerful of the Core deities because she has effective control over all reality if you use Paul Muad'Dib's criterion

After all, it is her finger staying on the pulse of Everything

Should she stop the flow of souls from progressing through her judgement, the outer planes will stop existing before long (cosmically speaking)


The Raven Black wrote:

Also, she might be the most powerful of the Core deities because she has effective control over all reality if you use Paul Muad'Dib's criterion

After all, it is her finger staying on the pulse of Everything

Should she stop the flow of souls from progressing through her judgement, the outer planes will stop existing before long (cosmically speaking)

But what's the power if you cannot abuse it? She may control the most important things, but she may have very little freedom about it, if any her action that is not in accord with cosmic order is a risk to the universe's existence.

In this sense, she's little more than a glorified office clerk.


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Adjoint wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Also, she might be the most powerful of the Core deities because she has effective control over all reality if you use Paul Muad'Dib's criterion

After all, it is her finger staying on the pulse of Everything

Should she stop the flow of souls from progressing through her judgement, the outer planes will stop existing before long (cosmically speaking)

But what's the power if you cannot abuse it? She may control the most important things, but she may have very little freedom about it, if any her action that is not in accord with cosmic order is a risk to the universe's existence.

In this sense, she's little more than a glorified office clerk.

Pharasma is STILL the most powerful of the known gods, meaning that "glorified office clerk" has more power than Asmodeus, or any other God for that matter.

Imagine IF Pharasma DID "abuse" her power, the entire multiverse could unravel! But Pharasma is not the kind of god to abuse her power, she is the judge of the dead, that is part of what makes her HER.

USING your power is also different than ABUSING it. Think about it, for outsiders souls are currency, food, crafting material, etc, all rolled into one. She CONTROLS that resource and decides who gets what. Yes a very small % of souls do get stolen (from my understanding it is a comparative drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.). Yet none of the gods have the power to challenge Pharasma's control over this very important resource that everyone wants.


Edward the Necromancer wrote:
Adjoint wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Also, she might be the most powerful of the Core deities because she has effective control over all reality if you use Paul Muad'Dib's criterion

After all, it is her finger staying on the pulse of Everything

Should she stop the flow of souls from progressing through her judgement, the outer planes will stop existing before long (cosmically speaking)

But what's the power if you cannot abuse it? She may control the most important things, but she may have very little freedom about it, if any her action that is not in accord with cosmic order is a risk to the universe's existence.

In this sense, she's little more than a glorified office clerk.

Pharasma is STILL the most powerful of the known gods, meaning that "glorified office clerk" has more power than Asmodeus, or any other God for that matter.

Imagine IF Pharasma DID "abuse" her power, the entire multiverse could unravel! But Pharasma is not the kind of god to abuse her power, she is the judge of the dead, that is part of what makes her HER.

USING your power is also different than ABUSING it. Think about it, for outsiders souls are currency, food, crafting material, etc, all rolled into one. She CONTROLS that resource and decides who gets what. Yes a very small % of souls do get stolen (from my understanding it is a comparative drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.). Yet none of the gods have the power to challenge Pharasma's control over this very important resource that everyone wants.

Are they incapable of standing up to her, or are they all just not stupid enough to think the other gods would just sit around and let them do that? Pharasma's in charge of the souls because everyone knows she'll be fair about it; if she wasn't fair, I don't care if she's "first among equals" in any sense, unless she's the literal Overdeity of this pantheon (and Paizo has stated in no unclear terms that their cosmology doesn't have one), she would have lost the job ages ago, because if she favored any one side a dozen different gods would team up to pitch a fit about it.

I certainly don't have a problem with the idea that Pharasma is the oldest and most powerful god, but she is not powerful enough to just do whatever she wants.


Laird IceCubez wrote:

As an alternate question, who is the oldest deity?

Which is older the Dark Tapestry or the Qlippoths? Is Rovagug as old as Pharasma?

I believe that'd be the Eldest, actually. The First World is the oldest plane and I don't think that's a 'creation myth'. However, there are likely at least some gods that were around for it being made (Pharasma likely being one of them), but most gods seem to be at least younger than the outer planes. The Maelstrom spawned the Abyss, and the First World was made prior to the Abyss, so we know that the First World (and by extension the Eldest) are older than qlippoths, which means older than Rovagug.

They'd be older than Asmodeus for the same reason. Any god that seems to be created/designed on/from the material or outer planes is likely younger than the Eldest. Torag, Urgathoa, the Four Horsemen... the only deity besides Pharasma that comes to mind as not really having any sort of 'this is where she came from' is Desna. Even the dragon gods still seem younger than the creation of the material plane, their own creation myth notwithstanding (for the same reason Asmodeus' creation myth doesn't.)


Myrryr wrote:
The Maelstrom spawned the Abyss

As I understand it, that's not true. Proteans of the Maelstrom caused a breach into the Abyss, opening it to the rest of the Outer Sphere, but they didn't create it. As the previous history of Abyss is unknown to everyone except possibly qlippoth, it's unknown which one is actualy older, Abyss or Maelstrom.

It's unclear wht causes the gods to appear, but I believe that Rovagug became a god as a consequence of opening the Abyss to the Outer Sphere. I consider him a champion of qlippoth, waging a war against the rest of existence that invaded Abyss.

Myrryr wrote:
the First World was made prior to the Abyss

Unclear. The First world created when the primordial gods decided to modify the system that powered the Outer Sphere with the energy of Positive Energy Plane, creating a Material Plane as a place for the souls to "rippen" and gain alignment. The First World was a test experiment for the new system. It is unknown whether that happened before or after the Abyss was opened, but I believe it was after; descriptions of the Boneyard and its Eight Courts suggest that the portal to the Abaddon was the only one that was added later, and all the other were there from the start. That would mean that Abyss was opened and able to accept souls before the new soul distribution system was created.

I believe that Pharasma, Desna and Rovagug may be the only ones of the current major gods that are older than the Material Plane. Possibly also Gozreh - I can imagine him/her to be the architect of a large part of the First World and the Material Plane, getting so attached to his/her creation that he/she chose it as his/her domain.


About who's oldest, I'd say its kinda chicken and egg. As goddess of birth, I can see Pharasma being present for and actually midwifing the 'birth' of the first being, even though that would inexplicably make her older. Maybe appearing at the same moment?

Liberty's Edge

What’s before Golarion?
Multiverse as an Origin and an age or exist from... timeless time?
The Originals Gods of Golarion were mortals of more ancient worlds (as happened to Aroden)?
Beyond Golarion the metaphysic changes; there are different gods in charge (such as in Krynn)?
Whose gods are worshipped in other worlds (Asmodeus? &?)?
There is some kind of cooperation between the gods of different pantheons and the gods ruling different worlds?
Material plane world number is infinite?
Every Material Plane world as a “private” set of related Planes?
So, for ex, the Prime World of Golarion is the same one of a Different world or they have different ones?
It changes something for external Planes?
(Planets of the same solar sistem such as Castrovel are linked to the same places in other planes and have the same Gods in Charge? Pharasma rules there too?)
Different planets sytuation is different or similar to distant worlds such as the Thriece Tenths Kingdom of Rasputin?

Liberty's Edge

@James Jacobs

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