Exactly how far are mythic characters from actual deities, in terms of power?


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Paizo has seemed to refuse to provide stats for the gods of Golarion, claiming that they're "above mortal power" and cannot be defeated by other beings. However, they definitely don't seem to be all-powerful abstract entities, since mortals can ascend to godhood and even the original gods have made several appearances in the mortal world even in the recent past.

Besides, should high-level mythic PCs even be considered "mortals"? Hell, immortality is even a base mythic ability! Let's look at a 20th level wizard or sorcerer with 10th tier archmage with a few specific mythic path abilities. They can alter reality on a whim, create their own plane of existence and populate it with sentient life, grant divine power to their worshipers, take the form of any humanoid and almost any monster, defeat demigods, and destroy armies or cities in an instant. This "mortal" doesn't die of old age, and can't even be slain except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Sounds godlike to me.

Also, gods *have* been defeated by lesser beings before. The one that first comes to mind is Lamashtu killing Curchanus. In this case, Lamashtu was a demon lord before ascending to true divinity, and had a horde of lesser demons helping her out. The most powerful of the demon lords have all been statted out, and can certainly be defeated by a well-optimized 20/10 with some strategic planning. An army of demons or similar creatures is certainly attainable by max-level PCs. So if Lamashtu could kill a god, then why can't a PC?

Also, Tar-Baphon fought Aroden on the Isle of Terror for days *before he was a lich* and therefore before the height of his power. And according to Archives of Nethys Aroden was already a god at that point. Yes, Aroden did come out on top, but Tar-Baphon put up a damn good fight, and Aroden could quite finish him off. So let's be generous and say that Tar was a wizard 20/archmage 5 at that point. Now imagine what would happen if there was an entire party of 20/10s in that fight.

Yes, I know that the answer is probably because Paizo doesn't want to encourage munchkin players to go on a god-stomping rampage and screw up Golarion or whatever the GM's world is. But at the same time it isn't too implausible for something like that to happen. An entire adventuring party of 20/10s seems unheard of in PF lore. As far as I know, there are a grand total of *two* confirmed 20/10 characters that have anything to do with Golarion, and one (Tar-Baphon) is effectively dead for now while the other (Baba Yaga) is wandering the reaches of space and only occasionally stops by Golarion. A max-level party would be so rare that it makes sense for it to be a possible threat to the gods.

And yes, I know that some gods are more powerful than others. I would never expect to fight or expect my players to fight Rovagug or Pharasma head-on. But some don't seem too far from demigod level, in particular any god that was once mortal (with the possible exception of Nethys). In fact, the three Starstoners and Irori could probably be represented as 20/10s with Divine Source and maybe some outsider levels. None of them seem to have any feats that put them too far above PC capabilities; in fact, I'm fairly certain that Iomedae fights normal demons and devils quite often.

OK, rant's almost over. I was just trying to make a reality check to see if their philosophy held up to logical reasoning. Am I missing something? What are your thoughts on this matter? I personally think that if Paizo wanted true gods to be invincible, they should have dropped the "mortals ascending to godhood" thing and made the gods philosophical entities that have never explicitly shown themselves on the mortal world.

TL;DR High-level mythic PCs are basically gods, and actual gods don't have much evidence that confirms them to be too much more powerful than statted beings, so what makes the actual gods much more powerful?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
slachance6 wrote:

...

Yes, I know that the answer is probably because Paizo doesn't want to encourage munchkin players to go on a god-stomping rampage and screw up Golarion or whatever the GM's world is.
...

I believe that this is the exact reason Paizo has not, and will not, provide an answer to a question like yours.

I don't know how many times I've seen someone go down that munchkin route, and it's really annoying.

Once they publish the stats for a deity, that will open the box. I would prefer that the box remain sealed.

I personally like to think of mythic characters as being more akin to the heroes of myth such as Perseus, Jason, or Achilles. Heroes raised in the mortal world, possibly immortal, welding awesome powers maybe, but still heroes. Rather than powerful mortals reaching for the ladder of divinity and all that, as if it were a new level to take their game, battling other demi-gods, gods and goddesses, taking over their portfolio's and reordering the cosmos. That should be beyond the game's scope.


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Gods have exactly the level of power and, by extension weakness, that a story requires. You can't even fight a god unless the story requires it. They don't have stats - they are pure narrative device.
Mythic heroes are still bound by the rules of the game.


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The way I've always run gods in games like this is that gods don't need to roll for anything in their portfolios; they automatically succeed. The downside of this is that they can't really do anything opposed to their portfolio. It should be possible for a deity to invest a portion of their divinity into a mortal vessel to serve as a terrestrial avatar (which is something that can have a stat block) but if you kill the avatar you haven't really done anything other than mildly inconvenience the deity who now has a reason to dislike you personally.

If you really want to run a situation where the players kill a god, you really need to construct some plot device through which they can weaken the deity and make them vulnerable for a short period of time. Then you can stat out the target and let the PCs whack at divinity for a while. That way, since plot devices exist at GM discretion, the PCs have no expectation of being able to kill any other deities, no matter how powerful they get.


The following is spoilers for "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth", so you have been warned:

Spoiler:
When the PCs meet Iomedae, she's basically invincible, and the PCs at this point at 15th level and Mythic Tier 7. As a funny aside, it sets her up as a petulant, irascible taffer, and I find that hilarious

So, mechanically, mythic PCs are very, very far from gods, even if they can gain worshippers and give cleric powers and such.

However, high level/high mythic PCs are most assuredly on the level of Demon Lords/Empyreal Lords/Archedvils, et al. And given that Lamashtu ascended from Demon Lord to god, and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are frequently replaced when beaten by a some other Daemon (except Charon, of course), it's not impossible in universe for a non-god to defeat a god. It just requires GM fiat.


To quote one of my old Planescape rulebooks:
"Don't. Mess. With. POWERS."

One might do some harm to an avatar or incarnation of a deity. In order to actually do in a deity would be extraordinarally difficult. Remember that (in most settings) divine beings to some degree exist on multiple planes of existence, drawing on the power/faith of worshipers/devotees numbering in the thousands (on the low side). Even mythic PCs don't have that kind of gravitas. They might manage to attain some stature as a "little god" (as per Exalted), but that is still a far cry from Ra or Indra.


Paizo has so far only stated demi gods which can be worshipped and grant spells. They've typically ranged from CR 25-30.


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Well, you see, various Mythologies have deities which vary in power. In some cases, they are very human, especially their avatars, able to breed with humans, and be "killed". The Sidthe seemed to be just very powerful Mythological heroes more that world creating demiurges.

You could have a mead with one of the Norse or Celtic deities, hang out.

Cú Chulainn, while the son of Lug, was very much mortal and he nearly killed the Morrígan.

Egyptian deities were far more intangible and world spanning.

It occurs fairly often in fiction.

So, I understand why the actual deities of Golarion arent stated out foes.


Infinity. They are infinity apart. Gods are just that, gods. If they want something to happen, it does. Mythic characters on the other hand are still characters in the world, operating under the rules of the world. "Immortal" isn't actual immortality. It's a very specific ability that makes you effectively immortal... until someone else goes all highlander on you and decapitates you with their fancy artifact sword. Heck, at ML 9 you can be killed by any Joe Schmoe with a +6 equivalent weapon. How is that immortal?


Several Spawn of Rovagug have been slain.

Achaekek look made to order to be a foe for high level PCs.


Achaekek's stats are hilarious. XD I mean, you have to be a demigod just to deal lethal damage to it. It's pretty much explicitly written "you need to write in a plot device to fight this thing".


DrDeth wrote:

Several Spawn of Rovagug have been slain.

Achaekek look made to order to be a foe for high level PCs.

A spawn of a deity can be a long way from actually being a deity though. They may have a leg up on getting there due to there "genes", but it's far from automatic in mythology. Heracles certainly wasn't a god, nor was Orpheus, Arjuna (or his half-brothers), Romulus, or Gilgamesh. Hel was a goddess, but her brothers Fenrir and Jörmungandr were not.

Achaekek always struck me as more of a "divine flunky" than an actual power itself.


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Knocks over orphanage.

Bring. It. On.


3.5 included rules for stats on gods that you can find online.

Even the weakest gods (above demigod level) have things like, "Kill all creatures within 100 mile radius as a standard action, no save."

Since PF is built on 3.5 and the SRD, until they print something that says otherwise, those should be the default assumed rules should you need them (and yes, they were deliberately written as a big F U to the people that requested them.)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
slachance6 wrote:
TL;DR High-level mythic PCs are basically gods, and actual gods don't have much evidence that confirms them to be too much more powerful than statted beings, so what makes the actual gods much more powerful?

Isn't your question impossible to answer by your own premise?

There are no stats for True Gods - therefore within the rules of the game you can't measure the difference between True Gods and Demigods (which is the level of divinity PCs can reach and which are covered by the rules).

Your list of things a 20/10 character can do is quite impressive. Without rules for True Deities, we don't know what the gap is, merely that there is one. Being demigods is all very well, but as I understand it the gap between that and the really powerful gods is vast. (In my headcanon, Pharasma could just step in and prevent an entire party of 20/10 PCs from being able to use their abilities, strip them of all their levels or do anything else).

The "True Gods" are narrative elements, not mechanical ones. They are tools for the DM to use in setting the story up, not obstacles to be interacted with during the resolution of a story.

I personally don't see any value in placing limits on what Pharasma's actual abilities are (although I think all deities have limits) - she can just do whatever is required of the story in need of telling and she can't (or won't) do those things which the story requires to not be done. I do see a cost - the inability to tell future stories one might come up with.


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Gulthor wrote:

3.5 included rules for stats on gods that you can find online.

Even the weakest gods (above demigod level) have things like, "Kill all creatures within 100 mile radius as a standard action, no save."

Since PF is built on 3.5 and the SRD, until they print something that says otherwise, those should be the default assumed rules should you need them (and yes, they were deliberately written as a big F U to the people that requested them.)

Not quite. Even with Mass Life or Death, which can kill any number or mortals, you are limited to an area of 1 mile/divine rank. That requires a rank 16 greater deity, so at most 16 miles across. Even then, the deity must rest for a minimum of 1 minute per person killed (1 minute per every hit die or level of those killed).

The weakest god (divine rank 6), not demigod, is limited to Life and Death, which only kills a single target and also requires a similar period of rest.

But that is beside the point - that is 3.0 D&D material (Though I believe it did receive a 3.5 update booklet). Not Pathfinder material. It should not be the default assumed.


Mythic characters are (at most) fledgling demigods. They still can't make a new race from whole cloth, create a new world, or turn the sun off. They still have hitpoints, AC, abilities limited by uses per day, and comparatively gaping holes in their defenses like "can be killed by something as weak as a crit with an artifact".


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
slachance6 wrote:

Paizo has seemed to refuse to provide stats for the gods of Golarion, claiming that they're "above mortal power" and cannot be defeated by other beings. However, they definitely don't seem to be all-powerful abstract entities, since mortals can ascend to godhood and even the original gods have made several appearances in the mortal world even in the recent past.

Besides, should high-level mythic PCs even be considered "mortals"? Hell, immortality is even a base mythic ability! Let's look at a 20th level wizard or sorcerer with 10th tier archmage with a few specific mythic path abilities. They can alter reality on a whim, create their own plane of existence and populate it with sentient life, grant divine power to their worshipers, take the form of any humanoid and almost any monster, defeat demigods, and destroy armies or cities in an instant. This "mortal" doesn't die of old age, and can't even be slain except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Sounds godlike to me.

Also, gods *have* been defeated by lesser beings before. The one that first comes to mind is Lamashtu killing Curchanus. In this case, Lamashtu was a demon lord before ascending to true divinity, and had a horde of lesser demons helping her out. The most powerful of the demon lords have all been statted out, and can certainly be defeated by a well-optimized 20/10 with some strategic planning. An army of demons or similar creatures is certainly attainable by max-level PCs. So if Lamashtu could kill a god, then why can't a PC?

Also, Tar-Baphon fought Aroden on the Isle of Terror for days *before he was a lich* and therefore before the height of his power. And according to Archives of Nethys Aroden was already a god at that point. Yes, Aroden did come out on top, but Tar-Baphon put up a damn good fight, and Aroden could quite finish him off. So let's be generous and say that Tar was a wizard 20/archmage 5 at that point. Now imagine what would happen if there was an entire party of 20/10s in that fight.

Yes, I know that the...

This is why, despite all its faults, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth was needed...


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Achaekek, He Who Walks In Blood wrote:

Knocks over orphanage.

Bring. It. On.

You aren't immune to Greater Possession and have a miserable Will save. Challenge accepted. With some minor preparation SR 42 is a success on a 1 as well.


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Speaking of Achaekek, anyone else kind of bummed that they didn't re-stat him when they published CoTCC 20th Anniversary? Would've been nice to see with Mythic Ratings and all that.

Silver Crusade

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Jeraa wrote:
The weakest god (divine rank 6), not demigod, is limited to Life and Death, which only kills a single target and also requires a similar period of rest.
*cough*
Deities & Demigods wrote:
Deities whose portfolio includes death do not have to rest after using this ability.
Deities & Demigods wrote:
When performing an action within its portfolio, a deity can perform any action as a free action

A rank 6 god of death with the Life & Death SDA can kill five mortals a round as free actions, plus another as a standard, these can either be mortals they can sense or they can unambiguously identify, without rest. So, unless you can keep your machinations completely clandestine, the moment the god notices you they can go "Eh, no, dead."

If such a god were so inclined, they could just chill on their home plane and kill 86,400 mortals a day, so long as another god doesn't step in, without having to take a break.


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Isonaroc wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
The weakest god (divine rank 6), not demigod, is limited to Life and Death, which only kills a single target and also requires a similar period of rest.
*cough*
Deities & Demigods wrote:
Deities whose portfolio includes death do not have to rest after using this ability.
Deities & Demigods wrote:
When performing an action within its portfolio, a deity can perform any action as a free action

A rank 6 god of death with the Life & Death SDA can kill five mortals a round as free actions, plus another as a standard, these can either be mortals they can sense or they can unambiguously identify, without rest. So, unless you can keep your machinations completely clandestine, the moment the god notices you they can go "Eh, no, dead."

If such a god were so inclined, they could just chill on their home plane and kill 86,400 mortals a day, so long as another god doesn't step in, without having to take a break.

True, I did miss that part. He is till wrong about the "kill everyone in a 100 mile radius as a standard action" thing especially as supposedly that is a power just above demigods, when not even the greatest of the greater deities (divine rank 20) can do that, as well as assuming that that material should be the default used until Paizo published their own.

Silver Crusade

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Jeraa wrote:
True, I did miss that part. He is till wrong about the "kill everyone in a 100 mile radius as a standard action" thing especially as supposedly that is a power just above demigods, when not even the greatest of the greater deities (divine rank 20) can do that, as well as assuming that that material should be the default used until Paizo published their own.

Oh, I wasn't arguing with you, they were exagerrating. Still, 16-20 miles is nothing to sniff at. A rank 20 deity could glance harshly at a city the size of Tokyo and wipe out 15-20 million people. As a free action if death is in the portfolio. Or, if they have the avatar ability, they and their 20 avatars could just use regular life and death and crank out 2 million dead a day.

Hell, a rank 20 deity with crafting in their portfolio and the craft artifact SDA could, as a free action, crank out 10 iron colossi and make them each an artifact level weapon, each round, and send them essentially anywhere to ruin some lives.


slachance6 wrote:

Paizo has seemed to refuse to provide stats for the gods of Golarion, claiming that they're "above mortal power" and cannot be defeated by other beings. However, they definitely don't seem to be all-powerful abstract entities, since mortals can ascend to godhood and even the original gods have made several appearances in the mortal world even in the recent past.

Besides, should high-level mythic PCs even be considered "mortals"? Hell, immortality is even a base mythic ability! Let's look at a 20th level wizard or sorcerer with 10th tier archmage with a few specific mythic path abilities. They can alter reality on a whim, create their own plane of existence and populate it with sentient life, grant divine power to their worshipers, take the form of any humanoid and almost any monster, defeat demigods, and destroy armies or cities in an instant. This "mortal" doesn't die of old age, and can't even be slain except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Sounds godlike to me.

Also, gods *have* been defeated by lesser beings before. The one that first comes to mind is Lamashtu killing Curchanus. In this case, Lamashtu was a demon lord before ascending to true divinity, and had a horde of lesser demons helping her out. The most powerful of the demon lords have all been statted out, and can certainly be defeated by a well-optimized 20/10 with some strategic planning. An army of demons or similar creatures is certainly attainable by max-level PCs. So if Lamashtu could kill a god, then why can't a PC?

Also, Tar-Baphon fought Aroden on the Isle of Terror for days *before he was a lich* and therefore before the height of his power. And according to Archives of Nethys Aroden was already a god at that point. Yes, Aroden did come out on top, but Tar-Baphon put up a damn good fight, and Aroden could quite finish him off. So let's be generous and say that Tar was a wizard 20/archmage 5 at that point. Now imagine what would happen if there was an entire party of 20/10s in that fight.

Yes, I know that the...

True Gods can die, have died. These are events described as Story events... not mechanical ones. There was no dice rolled to determine if Aroden or Acavana died, story just mandated that they did.


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Gods are Infinitely more powerful than Mortals. They are infinitely more powerful than 20th level/mythic 10s. But that infinity is smaller than the prior one. But it is still infinite nonetheless.


Tar-Baphon as a lich 20/10 killed a god.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thorin001 wrote:
Tar-Baphon as a lich 20/10 killed a god.

If you mean Arazni she was a Herald, not even a Demigod.


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I've been toying with an idea (not yet well-developed enough to codify) that things have Divine Ranks (which may or may not be related to Mythic Ranks, but if they are, they are a LOT bigger) that essentially grant immunity to attack from things more than 1 Divine Rank below and make the balance of power extremely unfavorable even for things 1 Divine Rank below. So, lesser deities (on the level of Demon Lords) like Lamashtu was before ambushing Curchanus would have an extreme uphill battle to take out greater deities, and would have to arrange for some kind of ambush with intricate and difficult preparations (including luring the victim into hostile territory) and an attack with overwhelming numbers to be able to win; supposedly this is what Lamashtu actually did to Curchanus to kill him and take his divine status. Beings of lesser status than lesser deities have no hope of taking out a greater deity, regardless of how much power they have by mortal standards, because the interaction between divine ranks is non-linear in scaling, although such creatures might be used as cannon fodder to help weaken such a being in an ambush.


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Eh. Godhood has been stolen in game already by Lamashtu. Gods have been fought (and killed) by non deities. Yserdius, or however that's spelled. So I don't think it flies that "it just can't happen". It can. It's just incredibly hard.

So I don't think it's implausible or even unreasonable for players at 20/10 to decide to achieve godhood. Or to kill a god they don't like.

It seems reasonable to me.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

From Marvel's Athena to a would-be usurper of divinity :

"First rule of deicide : do not miss."


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Yeah you can kill a god, but there are not rules for it, it's happened in the pathfinder verse but it requires story to work, GM fiat, not just a stat block because of munchkins. The end.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Eh. Godhood has been stolen in game already by Lamashtu. Gods have been fought (and killed) by non deities. Yserdius, or however that's spelled. So I don't think it flies that "it just can't happen". It can. It's just incredibly hard.

So I don't think it's implausible or even unreasonable for players at 20/10 to decide to achieve godhood. Or to kill a god they don't like.

It seems reasonable to me.

It happened in the setting's background. It can happen IF the GM decides it should (as for everything else really), it's not like a party of 6 lvl20/10 characters can just invade a god's realm and overpower him.

See Iomedae vs similarly powerful characters as an example of what happens if the players try something of that kind.

Bottom line: gods are not some critters you kill to steal their stuff...


Isonaroc wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
True, I did miss that part. He is till wrong about the "kill everyone in a 100 mile radius as a standard action" thing especially as supposedly that is a power just above demigods, when not even the greatest of the greater deities (divine rank 20) can do that, as well as assuming that that material should be the default used until Paizo published their own.

Oh, I wasn't arguing with you, they were exagerrating. Still, 16-20 miles is nothing to sniff at. A rank 20 deity could glance harshly at a city the size of Tokyo and wipe out 15-20 million people. As a free action if death is in the portfolio. Or, if they have the avatar ability, they and their 20 avatars could just use regular life and death and crank out 2 million dead a day.

Hell, a rank 20 deity with crafting in their portfolio and the craft artifact SDA could, as a free action, crank out 10 iron colossi and make them each an artifact level weapon, each round, and send them essentially anywhere to ruin some lives.

Apologies for the exaggeration; I couldn't be bothered to look up the exact rules because the point I was trying to make is that the rules that exist are at a power level far,far beyond even the capabilities of a level 20/mythic 10.

I'm one of those people that is 100% for not printing stats on a deity, and I'm glad Paizo hasn't bothered. It's a waste of ink and development time, because the only way to do it "right", in my opinion, is to make stats that are so utterly ludicrous that they may as well not be written at all.

Tar-Baphon did have a legendary fight with Aroden according to the lore, this is true. But I like to imagine that much of that fight was Tar-Baphon fleeing while Aroden just tried breaking through all his contingencies to pin him down. I don't mind the idea of a mythic character or a party of mythic characters being able to fend off a god for a little while. But it should still be an inevitable, one-sided battle.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:

It happened in the setting's background. It can happen IF the GM decides it should (as for everything else really), it's not like a party of 6 lvl20/10 characters can just invade a god's realm and overpower him.

See Iomedae vs similarly powerful characters as an example of what happens if the players try something of that kind.

Bottom line: gods are not some critters you kill to steal their stuff...

Realistically nothing happens in game unless the GM says it can. That's not really the point.

I am one of those people who, when told "This really cool thing happened in the world setting and now you are playing in that setting", thinks "Wow that was cool! I'd like to get my character to be as cool as that!".

Being told "No, your character will never ever be as cool as this totally awesome (DM)npc. Suck it up.", annoys me.

Being told "Sure, IF you manage to <insert epic, heroic, legendary feats here> AND find some way to <insert even more epic, heroic and legendary feats here>, you can do that incredibly cool thing I told you about.", then I'm totally fine with that. It may be a 1 in a million chance of actually succeeding but so what? Succeed or fail, that character is going to be one i remember and cherish for a long long time.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

So when a DM tells you that your characters aren't meant to kill gods for sport it annoys you?

Also the "totally awesome NPC" was a demigoddess herself and had a plan.

Killing gods may be the focus of an adevnture if a DM is inclined to write down that kind of story. It's just something the PF setting doesn't support (and rightly so imo), enche the reson why gods have no stats.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Aroden, or any other god murdered, killed, or just generally dead were never, ever GMPCs.

In fact they were never given stats or existed beyond "They did this, that, and now they're dead"


Yeah, you're talking post-campaign stuff at best.

It's a fine thing to see that there are mortal heroes that have ascended to godhood and say, "Holy crap, I want my character to do that!"

There are even "mechanics" in place to achieve it (a demigod needs to be CR26 and able to grant access to 4 domains and 4 subdomains - a feat achievable by a level 20/mythic 10 character; alternatively, the Test of the Starstone is a thing that exists.)

However, by becoming a demigod, your reward is to become an NPC. Our version of Golarion even *has* a PC that self-actualized to godhood at the end of Wrath of the Righteous, so it's not even an empty reward; I'll be playing a worshipper of my old character when we finally get around to playing Hell's Rebels.


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Queen Moragan wrote:
slachance6 wrote:

...

Yes, I know that the answer is probably because Paizo doesn't want to encourage munchkin players to go on a god-stomping rampage and screw up Golarion or whatever the GM's world is.
...

I believe that this is the exact reason Paizo has not, and will not, provide an answer to a question like yours.

I don't know how many times I've seen someone go down that munchkin route, and it's really annoying.

Once they publish the stats for a deity, that will open the box. I would prefer that the box remain sealed.

That box is already open. It's always been open.

The "munchkin route" is something that's always been present, in every version of every edition of every game ever. There is always some segment of the player base that's going to go in for power-gaming, and there's nothing that can be done to discourage that. From professional poker players who count cards and crunch statistical odds to people on RPG min-max boards, this is a natural consequence of making a game, and it cannot be avoided.

The very idea of letting these people dictate what you should or should not publish is one that's incredibly wrong-headed, because it presumes that they can somehow be contained or kept in check, when in fact that's not the case. Munchkin players are going to do what they're going to do, no matter what tools you give them. We already have thread after thread after thread after thread after thread about "god wizards" who are kicking back in their private demiplanes while their astral projections possess their clone bodies to go and magic jar the Tarrasque while their solar angel planar companion accompanies them as they use blood money and a few other spells to get infinite castings of wish for free. But we're concerned about what munchkins might do that they haven't done already?

But that's not even the real problem that I have with that entire line of thought. It's that you shouldn't ignore the people who don't do this in favor of those that do. The worst segments of the player base shouldn't be the ones who dictate what you make or don't make. It's essentially saying "we're hostages to the most fringe elements of our audience." That's not a good strategy to have when trying to make a game that's supposed to be - you might remember - fun to play.

If someone is min-maxing, point-whoring, or otherwise munchkining online, then who cares? If they're doing so at your game table, and are told that they're hurting everyone else's fun, then this is a problem of group dynamics, not published rules, because you can always find a way to disrupt everyone's fun with an entirely-legal character.

The box is open. So if we're already unable to avoid this oft-cited downside, then let's at least acknowledge that so that we can get started enjoying the upside.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm pretty sure they don't have stats for deities and such is because then they become a distraction.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Giving them stats also limits what they can do.


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Rogar Valertis wrote:

So when a DM tells you that your characters aren't meant to kill gods for sport it annoys you?

Also the "totally awesome NPC" was a demigoddess herself and had a plan.

Killing gods may be the focus of an adevnture if a DM is inclined to write down that kind of story. It's just something the PF setting doesn't support (and rightly so imo), enche the reson why gods have no stats.

Which part of my post said "Kill gods for sport"?

If I get my char to 20/10 he's at least as strong as a demigod and you can bet your shiny d20 that I'll have a plan.

Maybe it's just me, but in the games I play its usually a cooperative effort. We go through the DMs adventures sure, but he takes into account what we want to do as well and works it into the campaign. So "only if the DM lets you" is a pretty pointless argument against it from any perspective.

@Gulthor Actually that's the point for me at least. It's the huge finale to a long running and , by that point, epic campaign. Hell if the char succeeds and becomes the newest god, future characters might even take him as their patron!
Sure, the character retires as a PC at that point but so what? At 20/10 that's pretty much it anyway.

I've seen it happen in past games all the way back to 2nd ed. Not every campaign of course. But a couple of games where we've reached the end of the campaign and a character has achieved divinity. (two characters in one of the games actually). The next campaign, we ran into cults worshipping our old chars. Temples to them. Even had one guy run a druid that worshiped his old character.

To have our old chars impact the game world in such a way was fantastic.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

They have something for that, it's called Divine Source. And you don't even have to kill a god to get it. Unless that's what the GM says, but you could always try bribing them with baked goods. :-)


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How far in power a mythic PC is from a deity depends on the GM, the game world, and the game style. Thus, even if Paizo published statistics, they would be either so ludicrous that no one could ever have a chance of touching them save in a few corner cases, or low enough to be easily destroyed by an optimized character. Trying to place statistics where an average group could have a chance against them and which wouldn't allow optimized characters to utterly wreck them is, in my opinion, an exercise in futility.

Now, that being said I have had thoughts on the subject myself. For my gaming universes I've settled on a system of deities that I think work, and which I also use for my novels (the first of which I finally published yesterday). I think I'll hide my rambling explanation...

Deity/Pantheon Discussion:

I separate deities into three categories. Primal gods are those who epitomize fundamental aspects of reality, such as nature as a whole, death, time, fate, and similar. I actually have a list with domains, but not sharing it here. I have between 8-13 of them on the list, depending how you count them (one primal deity is five aspects in one, on approximately equal footing overall with the others). These deities tend toward neutrality, as they are so fundamental, and are invulnerable to any assault, even by fellow primal deities. Unless they want to be replaced, anyway.

The second category I've termed the Gods of Man, but I think a better term might be Concept Deities. These are the deities of particular archetypes or concepts. For instance, the Crusader is the typical paladin deity of a given world, however different regions might have different names or churches for the same overall concept of the deity, and might even war with one another. One nation might have Amar the Valorous, while the other has Belline the Pure. Both are fundamentally the same deity, but mortals don't necessarily know this. Unless you manage to destroy the concept itself, the god can't be permanently destroyed, but if a church summons the Avatar of their particular version of a god, it can be slain. Usually with disastrous results to the spellcasting power of said church. No, I haven't detailed it out yet.

Last are Demigods. These are beings like Demon Lords, Ephemeral Lords, or any other deity that ascended by their own power (or by it being bestowed). They're an individual, not a concept, and they can be killed permanently because they're not nearly as fundamental part of the universe. On the other hand, they also have more freedom to interfere in the world as well.

This isn't the only version I have, either. Another sub-plane of the overarching universe that I've been working on has all these deities, but they largely ignore them for their own 'living gods'. On their plane there are mythic mantles, functioning like a specific set of mythic powers, generally ranging from Tier 3-9 in power, that mortals can gain. These always grant Divine Source in a specific portfolio, and if a 'deity' is killed, the killer can take up their mantle of power if they don't possess their own. Since all of these 'gods' are originally mortals, the people of this plane view the hands-off approach of the other deities to not make them gods at all.

Anyway, rant over.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Queen Moragan wrote:
slachance6 wrote:

...

Yes, I know that the answer is probably because Paizo doesn't want to encourage munchkin players to go on a god-stomping rampage and screw up Golarion or whatever the GM's world is.
...

I believe that this is the exact reason Paizo has not, and will not, provide an answer to a question like yours.

I don't know how many times I've seen someone go down that munchkin route, and it's really annoying.

Once they publish the stats for a deity, that will open the box. I would prefer that the box remain sealed.

That box is already open. It's always been open.

The "munchkin route" is something that's always been present, in every version of every edition of every game ever. There is always some segment of the player base that's going to go in for power-gaming, and there's nothing that can be done to discourage that. From professional poker players who count cards and crunch statistical odds to people on RPG min-max boards, this is a natural consequence of making a game, and it cannot be avoided.

The very idea of letting these people dictate what you should or should not publish is one that's incredibly wrong-headed, because it presumes that they can somehow be contained or kept in check, when in fact that's not the case. Munchkin players are going to do what they're going to do, no matter what tools you give them. We already have thread after thread after thread after thread after thread about "god wizards" who are kicking back in their private demiplanes while their astral projections possess their clone bodies to go and magic jar the Tarrasque while their solar angel planar companion accompanies them as they use blood money and a few other spells to get infinite castings of wish for free. But we're concerned about what munchkins might do that they haven't done already?

But that's not even the real problem that I have with that entire line of thought. It's that you shouldn't ignore the...

"Munchkin players" actually need stats in order to kill something (and steal its stuff, of course), and in a RPG game they can actually be contained as long as the DM knows what he's doing (basically if you have one munchkin ruining the fun for everyone else and trying to "win the game" instead of playing it then the DM has everything he needs to deal with said person... it can become ugly on a personal level though but sometimes DMing means knowing what you are willing to accept, what you are not and having a firm hand).

As for characters becoming gods: again, IF that's the game your DM is willing to allow and you want that kind of game then nothing is stopping you. PF doesn't support that kind of thing but in your game you can do whatever you want.


Man Paizo should just release a splat containing all the deity stats.

Said stat blocks consist of the deity's name, a brief fluff description, and a single rule: "You lose."


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Rysky wrote:
Giving them stats also limits what they can do.

It also creates situations where when a deity dies for metaplot/narrative reasons, people will look at their stat block and say "no, there's no way they could have actually died there." So it stops being "Aroden died and it's mysterious exactly what happened" and becomes "[deity] died, and because you know their stats, here's a series of events that combined to make it plausible."

Sometimes leaving things ambiguous so that the detail obsessed leave them alone is the right call.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rogar Valertis wrote:
"Munchkin players" actually need stats in order to kill something (and steal its stuff, of course), and in an RPG they can actually be contained as long as the DM knows what he's doing (basically if you have one munchkin ruining the fan for everyone else and trying to "win the game" instead of playing it then the DM has everything he needs to deal with said person... it can become ugly on apersonal level though but sometimes DMing means knowing what you are willing to accept what you are not and having a firm hand).

"Killing things and stealing their stuff" isn't the problem. The problem is "being a disruption," and that's not something that stats - whether having them or not having them - can solve.

There's an old Knights of the Dinner Table about this, where the GM is running a session where the PCs come face-to-face with Thor himself. Immediately, two of the players start talking about how they're going to "map the floor with his face."

The GM tells them, "Guys, you know that you can't actually hit Thor, right? And even if you could, you wouldn't inflict any actual damage."

The players' response is to say "*snort* Says you. Bring it on!" And the very next panel has the GM describing exactly how dead their characters are. The players' response? "We were robbed! Totally lame!"

That scenario works just fine whether you have stats or not, because ultimately "munchkin players" aren't a stats problem. They're a player problem, which can't be solved by limiting what the system does (not to mention that "limiting the system" is a train that has long since left the station where Pathfinder is concerned). As such, the idea of "we can't make stats for this, or they'll be abused" is not a sincere disincentive, since if it was it would be true for everything.


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captain yesterday wrote:
They have something for that, it's called Divine Source. And you don't even have to kill a god to get it. Unless that's what the GM says, but you could always try bribing them with baked goods. :-)

Doesn't make you a god though, even if you are closer to being one than Razmir.

And yes, you don't have to kill a god to become one. But that's the direction the discussion seemed to have pointed so I went with it.

Personally I'd like to get a character to become the next God of Humanity and take Arodens old place.


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Rysky wrote:
Giving them stats also limits what they can do.

Right, Aroden would need a stat block for "raise a stone arch over a given span of water" and Acavna/Amaznen would need a "when working with each other can divert an eldritch killing rock headed toward a planet, but only at the cost of their life and as a side effect imbue it with the ability to raise mortals to godhood" ability. And maybe they can do some other things, better devote a few thousand pages to it to make sure.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
"Munchkin players" actually need stats in order to kill something (and steal its stuff, of course), and in an RPG they can actually be contained as long as the DM knows what he's doing (basically if you have one munchkin ruining the fan for everyone else and trying to "win the game" instead of playing it then the DM has everything he needs to deal with said person... it can become ugly on apersonal level though but sometimes DMing means knowing what you are willing to accept what you are not and having a firm hand).

"Killing things and stealing their stuff" isn't the problem. The problem is "being a disruption," and that's not something that stats - whether having them or not having them - can solve.

There's an old Knights of the Dinner Table about this, where the GM is running a session where the PCs come face-to-face with Thor himself. Immediately, two of the players start talking about how they're going to "map the floor with his face."

The GM tells them, "Guys, you know that you can't actually hit Thor, right? And even if you could, you wouldn't inflict any actual damage."

The players' response is to say "*snort* Says you. Bring it on!" And the very next panel has the GM describing exactly how dead their characters are. The players' response? "We were robbed! Totally lame!"

That scenario works just fine whether you have stats or not, because ultimately "munchkin players" aren't a stats problem. They're a player problem. As such, the idea of "we can't make stats for this, or they'll be abused" is not a sincere disincentive, since if it was it would be true for everything.

Yet that's exactly the reason why Antediluvians in Vampire: the Masquerade, or Oracles in Mage:the Ascension were never statted... go figure.

You are correct in saying "Munchins" are a player problem but it becomes so much more of a problem if said people can use rules and some contrived scenarios in order to justify their wants ("yes I've had a legion of efreet simulacra work to give me the power of a million burning wishes and now I'm going to kill YOU (and steal your stuff)!!!").

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