Would statting the deities be "a major offense" in Pathfinder?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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With the recent statting (building a stat block) of archdevils, demon lords, horsemen, empyreal lords, would it be okay to have stats for Adabar, Desna, Iomedae, Gorum, Zon-Kuthon and others?

I feel like if it was the case, people wouldn't like it, because it would cause some disparities between how powerful one deity is compared to another. However, we have gotten CR 30 monsters in later books... and I lost count of images/pictures showing deities in the company of mortals... and if the PCs dare challenge one of them into combat, it would probably be good to have a stat block ready... even if it would last 3 rounds... or less :P

There's also the idea that deities can take many forms and that they usually don't get into mortals' business. Still, having a stat block ready wouldn't be a problem. It wouldn't be necessary, but it would be a good resource.

Finally, well, if D&D did it for 3E, I don't see why Paizo couldn't or shouldn't do it. I mean, if they wish not to stat them, that's fine, but I don't see any restriction of any kind.

- 20 Core Deities (Inner Seas Gods), in a 2-page layout (other any high-level monster), for 40 pages.
- 26 Secondary Deities (15 are presented in Inner Seas Faiths), for 52 pages.
- 14 exclusive Tian Xian Deities (Dragon Empires Gazeteer), for 28 pages

That's 120 pages of stats, maybe double it (240) or even triple it (360; a bit more than a Bestiary) for extra material.

So yeah, would it be okay if Paizo decided to stat the Deities?


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

Would it be okay?

Absolutely! It's their intellectual property they can do what they want with it.

Is it something I'm personally interested in?

Not at all.

Would I buy something like you suggest?

It honestly depends what else is in there, just stat blocks aren't going to do it for me.

Ymmv.


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Quote:
Would statting deities be "a major offense" in Pathfinder

Yes.


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More seriously, anything with stats players will find a way to kill.

From a setting perspective Paizo doesn't want players to have the ability to kill the gods. They just don't. So their stats will forever remain unpublished.

If you really want to have some adventures involving deities doing things, I will make the suggestion of simply using the 3.5 book (forget the name) that allowed you to build deities. It had guidelines for how to build them.

Otherwise, no. Never ever ever expect any official rules for deities.

As to why Emyreal Lords and such have stat blocks? They're not true deities. True deities have 5 or 6 domains I believe. They're okay stating up things that aren't true deities, but they don't want to limit true deities by making stat blocks for them.

Bear in mind, that entity that can provide spells to followers is something that mythic characters can accomplish. So they have stats, and can perform a deity-like role.


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I personally would not have minded seeing "Avatars" in Inner sea Gods...BUT EMPHASISING THAT this is basically a solid illusion that they can use, and that their "Death" is pretty irrelevant. Then describe how the various gods feel about their avatars (I could see Caydence not caring, or even rewarding anyone who beat his, while Calysta would of course want revenge)


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Manifest avatars I wouldn't mind. Statted gods I would. One of the Great old ones is sort of an avatar of yog-sothoth.

Mostly because I'd find threads about how to kill gods tiresome, I know for a fact I'd end up fixating on their stat blocks in an unhealthy manner and most importantly it gives them limits. If gods have stat blocks then there are things they can't do, which isn't very helpful story wise.


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No, it would be all right to stat a god.

There are only ever two reasons to stat something. The first is the PCs are going to be directly fighting it. The second is that it is going to be joining the PCs party. IF it is something that the PCs will never directly face in combat, there is no reason to stat it. Doing so, you severely limit what the god is capable of. If you do so, it goes from being a god to just a slightly more powerful outsider.

Fighting a god directly should be impossible. No party of 4 should be able to do what an infinite army of powerful outsiders couldn't do already.

Now, avatars of gods wouldn't be a problem. You can stat those at whatever power level you want. They aren't the god, just a small bit of a gods power. Or possibly some demigods - not yet a god, but stronger than mortals.

Quote:
Finally, well, if D&D did it for 3E, I don't see why Paizo couldn't or shouldn't do it.

That is a horrible reason to do something. There is a reason that Deities & Demigods (The 3.0 D&D book that stated gods) never received any real support in 3.5 D&D. The system has a hard enough time modeling the PCs, let alone something of such cosmic power. The same reason applies to the 3.0 Epic Level Handbook - the system breaks down even before 20th level. After that it just gets worse. There is a reason that Paizo never made their own Epic rules, instead choosing to go with the Mythic stuff.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't know if I would use the term offensive

I think the official Paizo line is more "uninterested" for various reasons outlined above

Of course, nothing is stopping anyone from making there own stats of dieties, and I don't think a homebrewed Iomedae or Asmodeus would result in the developers showing up at your house with a chainsaw.

Shadow Lodge

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I would enjoy it, and in past editions of D&D, I have often liked such books more than most others.

Some folks are against it for various reason, generally because they don't want deities to die. Personally, Im ok with that, and would love to see some high level play focused on, but I am not terribly partial to Golarion or it's deities.


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And as to "three or less rounds of combat", in my opinion any god incapable of slaying an entire adventuring party as a free action at will is not worth it's title.


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I don't think statting the deities is all that appropriate for how Pathfinder uses these deities. Anything with stats can get killed and has limitations as to what they can do. If you were to stat up, say, Rovagug there are going to be PCs that want to break into his cage and kill the thing. Even if they don't, there are going to be players that read the stat line and think "Rovagug isn't really that much of a threat, he can only do [whatever the stat line suggests]."

What your really want deities to be able to do in this sort of setting is "act as plot devices" and stating out the deities is just going to get in the way of this. If nothing else, if you want stat blocks where the gods can actually do the stuff they're described to have done in the fiction, you're going to have to add a bunch of extra rules that really aren't much use for anything else.

It's fine to stat demon lords and other things the PCs might want to kill (since, after all, there's a Paizo AP where you fight at least two of the damned things.)


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I'm reasonably confident that Jason Bulmahn, James Jacobs, and at least several other Paizo employees dislike the idea. At least some of the more influential people dislike it a lot.

Just how much, I don't know because I haven't heavily followed their official musings or met them at conventions or stalked them on social media. I believe there's an official thread somewhere for bothering James Jacobs with a whole slew of questions that has probably touched upon this somewhere at some point and I'm reasonably confident has received a reply from a certain Tyrannosaurus-avatared individual.

I'm also reasonably confident that a lot of the dedicated Pathfinder community have aligned themselves with Paizo on this one, so that it'll be a minority of dissenters amongst those who actively discuss the matter on Pathfinder-centric online forums who'd actually be interested in such discussion.

Given the amount of thread-crapping and poo-pooing of the idea I've seen in places where people could get away with just being terrible to one another, many who are against it are very, very against anyone else even having the thought come into their head.

Speaking of avatars, there seems to be a similar resistance to the idea of statting up avatars of deities and the idea of aspects as a type of sub-avatar representation of a focused portion of a deity's essence, interest, role, etc. seems to be alien and discarded, despite Norgorber being a potential poster-boy for having a bunch of them.


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If you wanna, knock yourself out. I can't see the point, though.


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You can do whatever you want at your home games. The only people that matter for your table or you and your players. What any of us think of it doesn't matter, and if you don't tell us about it we wont even be able to complain about it.

There is no rule saying you can't do it. Paizo just has a differently philosophy than WoTC on the topic, but neither way is objectively wrong.


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If you stat it, they can kill it.
this applies to the tarrasque, too


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I would strongly recommend against statting deities. It's one of the primary divides between DnD and PF. DnD will stat deities. PF doesn't.

You can make a world with no undefined deities and mythic source characters are effective gods, but you then create a world where the PCs can be more powerful than any npc or tool at the GMs disposal aside from being the GM.

GM intervention is unpalatable. It's meta. It's nasty. It is the Hallmark of antagonist GMing. Now am unstatted deity of pure GM fiat intervening is suddenly an in-universe consequence of the PCs actions and makes it very clear to the players that the GM needed to go outside the normal rules for this event. They aren't b$&@$*&$ting that a wizard did it. They aren't twisting the rules around to cover gaps. An intangible god is performing a plot event. It's open and honest and in character. It's an important GM failsafe to bust out when needed.


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Here's how I would stat Pathfinder deities assuming I had to.

Defense:
AC ∞, touch ∞, flat-footed ∞
hp ∞
Fort +∞, Ref +∞, Will +∞
DR ∞/God

Offense:
Speed ∞.; dimension step
Melee +∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/... (+∞d∞ + ∞)
Ranged +∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/... (+∞d∞ + ∞)
Spells Known: All

Statistics:
Str ∞, Dex ∞, Con ∞, Int ∞, Wis ∞, Cha ∞
Base Atk +∞; CMB +∞; CMD ∞
Feats: All
Skills: All+ ∞
Languages All

SQ: Cannot normally intervene directly except in their place of power.

For the Pedantic, let ∞ ϵ *ℕ\ℕ


I am of the not interested in the statted up gods idea, It makes them petty. I was playing when "Gods, Demigods and Heroes" came out, with all of the ensuing munchkin madness, some of which I participated in. But then, I fairly quickly grew out of the environment as a target source style of GMing. If your favorite threads are of the "I can kill the Tarrasque with three..." then statted target gods may well be for you. It's all preference so it's all good.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Here's how I would stat Pathfinder deities assuming I had to.

Defense:
AC ∞, touch ∞, flat-footed ∞
hp ∞
Fort +∞, Ref +∞, Will +∞
DR ∞/God

Offense:
Speed ∞.; dimension step
Melee +∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/... (+∞d∞ + ∞)
Ranged +∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/+∞/... (+∞d∞ + ∞)
Spells Known: All

Statistics:
Str ∞, Dex ∞, Con ∞, Int ∞, Wis ∞, Cha ∞
Base Atk +∞; CMB +∞; CMD ∞
Feats: All
Skills: All+ ∞
Languages All

SQ: Cannot normally intervene directly except in their place of power.

For the Pedantic, let ∞ ϵ *ℕ\ℕ

World of Darkness did it better.

You can condense the stat block to a simple "You Lose" and save a ton of page space!


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As long as you understand that if it has Stats your players will look for a way to kill it, it's fine.

Avatars are a great way to get around the issue. Lets you make up a reprisentative of the god at any CR you want and say this is a Lesser/Greater/Ultimate Avatar of Zon-Kuthon.

Maybe even toss on a few Mythic ranks for good measure.

Even if they kill the Avatar, the god is fine. Maybe a scary image floats in the air over the corpse and vows to make them suffer, drops a curse on them that forces them on a new adventure to remove it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wouldn't mind them doing it for the part of the player base that has a use for it. But as far as I'm concerned, it would never find entry into one of my games, which is exactly how I handled it in any older edition I used to run games in, as I'm not interested in any "to slay a deity" scenario.


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Paizo has been very clear that they're not going to stat up gods. Gods are gods and outside what mortals can comprehend. Similar to how the test of the Starstone is not explicitly spelled out. Immortality and absolute power is easy (hello Wizard!), even granting spells is available (Divine Source), but divinity is something completely different.

Now, that being said, I have seen someone's idea for Gorum that I really loved and wouldn't mind seeing statted out. Gorum is just the strongest warrior in the world. Once they hit their peak they get to fight the old Gorum (before they became a god) and whoever wins becomes the new Gorum. But that's just some kind of high level martial. Might be interesting to see what Paizo thinks a good high level martial looks like though.


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Greylurker wrote:

As long as you understand that if it has Stats your players will look for a way to kill it, it's fine.

Avatars are a great way to get around the issue. Lets you make up a reprisentative of the god at any CR you want and say this is a Lesser/Greater/Ultimate Avatar of Zon-Kuthon.

Maybe even toss on a few Mythic ranks for good measure.

Even if they kill the Avatar, the god is fine. Maybe a scary image floats in the air over the corpse and vows to make them suffer, drops a curse on them that forces them on a new adventure to remove it.

The part I would be REALY interested in is a section on how each god viewed their Avatar...I could see some not caring, just a tool...others looking at it as being rude or disrespectful...and at least one getting a chuckle about it...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

If you stat it, they can kill it.

this applies to the tarrasque, too

I played in an online chaotic fiction campaign based on 3.5E rules where someone tried exactly that when the tarrasque showed up. The DM had to point out that we weren't using the book stats and what we were up against was more like an indestructable Godzilla on steroids.

We actually succeeded in the immediate mission, which was to distract it and get it away from the city it was walking over without even noticing because it was between the tarrasque and the extradimensional horror it was tracking.


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I'm not personally interested in seeing god's stated up.
As soon as you do that, they become finite, and kill able, which defeats the story purpose of a god.


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Daw wrote:
I am of the not interested in the statted up gods idea, It makes them petty. I was playing when "Gods, Demigods and Heroes" came out, with all of the ensuing munchkin madness, some of which I participated in. But then, I fairly quickly grew out of the environment as a target source style of GMing. If your favorite threads are of the "I can kill the Tarrasque with three..." then statted target gods may well be for you. It's all preference so it's all good.

Please.

The gods' characterization in the Golarion setting and the Adventure Paths has already made many of them come off as plenty petty.

Pettiness is character and how one acts, not in having stats.


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Is this so someone can use a push spell to knock Thor off a wall and take his hammer?


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If You Stat It They Will Kill It
This is a bit of a misleading-sounding rule, because what it means is that they will TRY to kill it. Even if it's literally impossible to take down, players will still try, derailing everything for an unattainable and pointless goal.

Dark Archive

I wouldn't mind them having Avatar statblock for gods were if you kill them, well they can just instantly manifest new one. I mean, if Lamashtu or whoever would be BBEG of the campaign, it'd be nice to have ability to fight them outside of final fight hazard while you are trying to do whatever to prevent their big plans.

But otherwise statting gods is bit of bad idea since once you stat them, you essentially tell what they can and can't do which is bit problem since what gods do is basically GM fiats all the time. Besides,l ike, in real life mythologies with pantheon of gods, gods aren't usually ever omnipotent, but in none of them heroes can just beat up gods, outsmart them yes before they get angry and curse them, but I think most serious fights are like "You fought a god, what did you expect?" I don't see a point in statblock that says "its a god, you can't kill it without gm letting you and you can't stop it from doing what it wants to you" (that being said, I do like idea of mythic AP were BBEG is evil god you are trying to stop, but I'm sure someone creative could figure out way to do that campaign without having god be the final boss)

That being said, the whole "If it has stats, they will try to kill it" thing bothers me since my group isn't like that :P So I feel kind of left out in this debate xD

Dark Archive

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Sorry about being snappy there, I'm morning grumpy plus I read your post as hostile. I'm still reading it as hostile actually, which is why I'm confused whether I misunderstood something or if you are genuinely accusing that I'd run a final boss encounter that isn't able to be beaten.

Anyhoo, just as reference to what I refer, I can think of two ways of doing god fights in pathfinder where god can't die: Either Tawil at’Umr style statblock boss that isn't able to die in manner players are guaranteed to be safe for a while(at least Cthulhu goes back to sleep after being defeated twice) or Paizo's office campaign that had Gary Gygax's necropolis adaption finale detailed in blog post which involved Rovagug's tentacles as stage hazard that if touched, instantly killed you permanently unless players sacrificed Ancient Osirion pantheon members to perma death status. All I said is that I prefer previous approach because its kind of hard to gauge how "fair" it is to have hazards work since hazards don't really have guide line to them.

(either way, its kind of moot in my point of view since I wouldn't actually use major deities as bbegs, I just meant hypothetically when involving gods in encounters I prefer previous approach <_< I kind of see them as more forces of natures than super villains to be taken care of :P Sure you can annoy them repeatedly by killing their servants, but you are never large enough fish to deal them with yourself on the multiversal scale and its not really satisfying campaign finale "Congratulations! You have for now foiled evil god's plans! Now let's play campaign about their next plan!". Can't really get how the heck D&D published campaigns were ever popular considering how they seem to reuse villains "Oh you killed Demogorgon? Well too bad, he comes back from death few years later")


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Bloodrealm wrote:
If You Stat It They Will Kill It

I keep seeing that line...

It's okay for PCs to kill the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, all of which are God-like in nature, but it wouldn't be okay to kill an actual God? Same goes for the Archdevils and Demon Lords.

I see a few things to counter-argue:
1) Avatars would work... but they would still be high-level CR. Aspects, on the other hand, used to be mid-level CR.

2) Killing a deity wouldn't be as "simple" as stabbing a mortal at the heart... I'm pretty possible that they can't even be killed by mortal means, reviving themselves after a few moments, similar to how the Tarrasque needs a very specific condition to be killed.

3) I said earlier that it wouldn't be mandatory, but it would be a good resource.


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I'd be down for avatars. I've discussed this one and we figured the only way to truly kill the deities themselves would be to wipe out Their religion. of course that was under the old dnd way when deities powers came from followers. Now probably would need a mcguffin. or the help of another god.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'd be down for avatars. I've discussed this one and we figured the only way to truly kill the deities themselves would be to wipe out Their religion. of course that was under the old dnd way when deities powers came from followers. Now probably would need a mcguffin. or the help of another god.

Exactly, and some deities have been killed by other deities as well... although the concept of "dead gods" is rather unclear... because I highly doubt that the entire pre-Orison pantheon (made of actual Egyptian deities) would have been wiped out overnight to make way for the regular Golarion deities.


JiCi wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'd be down for avatars. I've discussed this one and we figured the only way to truly kill the deities themselves would be to wipe out Their religion. of course that was under the old dnd way when deities powers came from followers. Now probably would need a mcguffin. or the help of another god.
Exactly, and some deities have been killed by other deities as well... although the concept of "dead gods" is rather unclear... because I highly doubt that the entire pre-Orison pantheon (made of actual Egyptian deities) would have been wiped out overnight to make way for the regular Golarion deities.

then why rovagug still alive ?


hellatze wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'd be down for avatars. I've discussed this one and we figured the only way to truly kill the deities themselves would be to wipe out Their religion. of course that was under the old dnd way when deities powers came from followers. Now probably would need a mcguffin. or the help of another god.
Exactly, and some deities have been killed by other deities as well... although the concept of "dead gods" is rather unclear... because I highly doubt that the entire pre-Orison pantheon (made of actual Egyptian deities) would have been wiped out overnight to make way for the regular Golarion deities.
then why rovagug still alive ?

Because he's stronger than any other god that has an interest to kill him.


Smart potato.


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Smart... um....caveman? Yeah! Smart caveman.


I also would of accepted smart Santa clause impersonator, smart hippy, or smart dude with a beard.


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None deities have killed gods in the past, Aboleths did it with a meteor and Lamashtu was a demon lord like Pazuzu or Nocticula when she killed Curchanus.

These were plot devices however and any GM can facilitate that in their game, but pretty sure paizo doesn't want it to be the standard assumption that PCs can kill gods.

Also I disagree with this idea that killing an avatar should be inconsequential to a god, gods go to great efforts to gather powerful servants on the material plane if they had infinite renewable demi god level avatars that wouldn't make sense.

+they have the whole no direct meddling clause so I figure it should be difficult and time consuming to manifest an avatar and losing one should be a major annoyance.


Yeah I think losing an avatar would be as annoying as a wizard losing a familiar.


I'm not interested if statting a deity in its full power, those are plot devices, period. can do about anything so long as they are not opposed by other deities... and I DO MEAN ANYTHING...

I might be interested in knowing what lesser manifestations and avatars can do, though.


Potato disciple wrote:
hellatze wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'd be down for avatars. I've discussed this one and we figured the only way to truly kill the deities themselves would be to wipe out Their religion. of course that was under the old dnd way when deities powers came from followers. Now probably would need a mcguffin. or the help of another god.
Exactly, and some deities have been killed by other deities as well... although the concept of "dead gods" is rather unclear... because I highly doubt that the entire pre-Orison pantheon (made of actual Egyptian deities) would have been wiped out overnight to make way for the regular Golarion deities.
then why rovagug still alive ?
Because he's stronger than any other god that has an interest to kill him.

rovagug is that strong ?

man, i wonder why he imprisoned beneath the earth.


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It wasn't my first choice.


Rovagug, The Rough Beast wrote:
It wasn't my first choice.

i believe rovagug speak AKLO.

and that was volnagur picture.

*fail

Grand Lodge

I'll pop in just to say that if you want to kill gods, there are better roleplaying systems for it out there. I played a Mythender game at Paizocon where we slew Rovagug, as one example.

d20 rules break down the further you get away from a bunch of guys marching forth out of a bar to go look for monsters to kill & treasure.

I'm converting one game I'm GMing over to Mythender now that the capabilities of the PCs in their native rules system are no longer persuasive.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
hellatze wrote:
Rovagug, The Rough Beast wrote:
It wasn't my first choice.

i believe rovagug speak AKLO.

and that was volnagur picture.

*fail

Uh yeah, good luck finding an online translator for that, and good luck finding an actual avatar image of Rovagug, lord knows i tried. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:
hellatze wrote:
Rovagug, The Rough Beast wrote:
It wasn't my first choice.

i believe rovagug speak AKLO.

and that was volnagur picture.

*fail

Uh yeah, good luck finding an online translator for that, and good luck finding an actual avatar image of Rovagug, lord knows i tried. :-)

So rovagug are not the giant spider thingy ?

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