What monsters would make good false gods


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I was wonderings what monsters could be used as the god of a cult. It wouldn't have to give divine magic, just be able to do something for the people worshipping it or causing enough fear that they do.

The ones I already got:
Nemesis devil
Egregore
Immortal Ichor
Cherufe
Living Lake
Megaprimatus: good if you want a King Kong style with a tribe worshipping the giant ape.

Has anyone got more?


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Human beings, see Rasmir.

Dark Archive

Rakshasa, definitely.


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

Traditionally, dragons have acted as objects of worship for various humanoid (and human) tribes.

Genies of various sorts (especially those capable of granting wishes in exchange for worship) are also an obvious choice.

Powerful fey could also fit the bill.

For an oriental-themed setting or area, oni (even if not oni daimyo) could demand worship from mortals.

A more subtle choice may be an aboleth (or veiled master). Aboleth in general are dismissive of deities, but they probably wouldn't care about using misguided worship if it suits their goals.


hjgz89 wrote:
I was wonderings what monsters could be used as the god of a cult. It wouldn't have to give divine magic, just be able to do something for the people worshipping it or causing enough fear that they do.

A drakainia would work well for a disturbing and somewhat unhinged cult.


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Don't forget the Elohim from Bestiary 4, its concept is 100% genesis/worlds creation inspired


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kami have not been mentioned, but if they are not treated properly their wrath can be downright deific.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
hjgz89 wrote:
I was wonderings what monsters could be used as the god of a cult. It wouldn't have to give divine magic, just be able to do something for the people worshipping it or causing enough fear that they do.
A drakainia would work well for a disturbing and somewhat unhinged cult.

Hah, beat me to it. Still, I wonder if our dear Drakainia would be all that false. With an end-of-campaign CR, 10 mythic ranks, and the power to create life, is she really that far from the divine?

I feel like there's the seed for a campaign in here somewhere.


Rosc wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
hjgz89 wrote:
I was wonderings what monsters could be used as the god of a cult. It wouldn't have to give divine magic, just be able to do something for the people worshipping it or causing enough fear that they do.
A drakainia would work well for a disturbing and somewhat unhinged cult.

Hah, beat me to it. Still, I wonder if our dear Drakainia would be all that false. With an end-of-campaign CR, 10 mythic ranks, and the power to create life, is she really that far from the divine?

I feel like there's the seed for a campaign in here somewhere.

All that's really missing is the ability to grant spells and domains, but that's pretty key to the definition of a deity in Pathfinder


It's really kind of a random thing. It just takes some belief and sometimes misguided belief. There are also deified beings for a time that serve and then are sacrificed after their period as a deity.

I think CRs apply as a local average CR+6 creature is going to seem super powerful.


A highly powerful Kineticist could serve as a kind of minor elemental deity, with the power to move vast amounts of earth, change the course of rivers, and sprout trees with a wave of their hand. They might not even set out to be worshiped, but have it be a side-effect of their presence, like the Cult of the Firehawk from Borderlands 2.


Renata Maclean wrote:
Rosc wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
A drakainia would work well for a disturbing and somewhat unhinged cult.

Hah, beat me to it. Still, I wonder if our dear Drakainia would be all that false. With an end-of-campaign CR, 10 mythic ranks, and the power to create life, is she really that far from the divine?

I feel like there's the seed for a campaign in here somewhere.

All that's really missing is the ability to grant spells and domains, but that's pretty key to the definition of a deity in Pathfinder

Well I guess my homebrew might have a new goddess, then. Domains could be Healing, Evil, and maybe Liberation based on her constantly-on spell-likes. There could be some kind of Mutation domain or Fertility domain, but I'd have to write that one up myself.

But we're talking about false gods here. And I wouldn't want to deny my PCs a face-to-face with this mother of monsters.

Silver Crusade

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Naga. Just don't tell the nagaji.


Charnel God?

Scarab Sages

Dragonchess Player wrote:

Traditionally, dragons have acted as objects of worship for various humanoid (and human) tribes.

While it may not bear the Paizo stamp, there's already precedent for their seriously blurring the lines on whether or not they can grant magic: The flawed but endearing 3.5 Dragon Shaman.


There’s an Adventure Path where

Serpent’s Skull:
a bunch of boggards worship a froghemoth. I remember it vividly because my inquisitor punched their god to death. Good times, good times.

Also, I can imagine a tribe of goblins worshipping a small fire elemental they’ve somehow bound... or someone bound for them to manipulate them... and now I've got a new campaign!


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Monster that grants domains 1
Monster that grants domains 2


Aboleth


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Conqueror Worm!

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Serpent's Skull had several boss monsters that were regarded as Gods by the tribes there. The frohemoth that quibblemuch mentioned, a raksasha, a demon, even an advanced lillend. If you have a chance give the adventure path books 4 and 5 a read though it talks about the situations the led to the rise of each "deity".


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

Whisperer (more feared than worshiped, but hey, it makes a good "God of why no one goes into that forest")

An evil Cloud Giant with some spellcasting levels (since they're so Pretty).

Any and all kaiju, Spawn of Rovagug, Behemoths, etc.

Honestly, pretty much anything sufficiently more powerful than its cultists.


It's kind of classic for the higher end dragons to be worshiped by some more primitive groups.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I'm really surprised no one mentioned Idols yet. They fit this situation perfectly.

Also, literally anything with enough mythic ranks can have domains and supply followers with divine spellcasting.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Goblins worshiping a Barghest.

Nagas are immortal, right? Lamia might work too, especially with disguise self and geas: don't tell anyone I ain't a goddess!

Krakens, of course. Caecelia cultists?

Some kind of intelligent plant creature doing a fertility cult for degenerate, inbred hillbillies. (Half-)Ogres? Scarecrow minions? Children of the Corn set to 11. Which, due to their in-breeding, they could count to. Because they would have 11 toes (4 on one foot, 7 on the other), but no shoe tech.


The Fastachee would make a great monster for a Children of the Corn cult.


Euryale.


Andrew Phillips wrote:
Serpent's Skull had several boss monsters that were regarded as Gods by the tribes there. The frohemoth that quibblemuch mentioned, a raksasha, a demon, even an advanced lillend. If you have a chance give the adventure path books 4 and 5 a read though it talks about the situations the led to the rise of each "deity".

Oh yeah... I forgot about the raksasha... I had to do some things I'm not particularly proud of in order to murderhobo inquisit him.


Are you looking for something that by RAW can grant access to spells, SLAs, or Domain type abilities and thereby emulate deities in a mechanical sense, or are you looking for flavor that, in turn, could inspire worshippers to such zeal that their faith alone rewards them with supernatural power? Y'see, the Core sets the precedent with Clerics and Druids that you can worship some aspect of the universe for Divine spellcasting. Oracles expand on that; Witches are ALMOST like worship-for-Arcane spellcasters since they pick a Patron.

In short: if you accept that the measure of successful worship is Divine casting, and with fanatical enough faith in some aspect of the universe you can achieve such power... then the answer to the OP is - nearly any monster.

Skeletal Champion Fighter 1: Hearken to me simpletons! I am proof of life after death for I have CONQUERED DEATH! Cower before me and take heed of my commandments...

Neothelid Overlord: *broadcast through telepathy* gather slaves, for your daily obedience to me, your one true master. My righteous mind seeps into the chaos that surrounds you and binds you all. I am everywhere, all seeing and all knowing for I am your GOD!

In my own games I've developed "The Old Ways," ancient pagan cults that venerated hags, nature, and aspects of the untamed wilderness. The hags joined in covens and trained witches, claiming to be agents of greater powers in the universe that their witch apprentices contacted as Patrons.

They also placated certain powerful fey the way some might navigate the worship of evil or malefic deities. They'd make offerings to these "spirits" of the wild, willingly participate in their preternatural "revels" and beg for boons like good harvests, easy births or protection from the elements.

Over time these primitive faiths evolved into the worship of cannon deities such as Desna, Erastil, Gozreh, Pharasma, Sarenrae and Shelyn, among others. Still however, even after a thousand years there are some cultures in the lands of Karnoss (my homebrew) that gather in caves or mossy woods to whisper to the darker powers of the land. These pagans and their mortal patrons are generally hunted by Inquisitors to stem the tide of heresy.

After all; if it gets out that instead of meeting for the ritualized Blessing of the Spring at the Staglord's Lodge in the village, all an Erastilin needs to do to guarantee their planting is offer a kiss to the Maiden of the West Wood and pledge your faith to her...


Zargon


Shel kek nem ron!


A hag coven might make themselves out to be a trio of weaker deities, perhaps like the Norn, or the Three Fates: Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (death).


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Zargon

Vrepit Sa!

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Doppelgangers . . . hey, it worked for the Founders in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!


AD&D N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God. A naga is worshiped.


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Vilsteth demon

I used one in a campaign about a year ago. The fun part was it didn't care about killing anyone in the party. It would routinely allow them to leave. Because everyone kept failing the Unspeakable Truth save, they couldn't describe the problem to anyone else.

The demon was using Meld Into Stone to sit inside the statue of a god and ordering worshipers to bring it great quantities of food. It didn't want the food, but the region was a desert, and there was a war going on, so food was scarce. It's worshipers were stealing food from starving families to bring it to rot at the temple.

At one point several members of the party came under its sway, and it had them begin to organize the cult to build it a giant ziggurat.

It also amuses me how often I've had demons and devils teleport away on my players and they still don't figure out they should have things like Dimensional Anchor at the ready. My teleporting outsiders usually survive several battles before the players catch on, and several months later the same characters will go through the same learning process.


Kristal Moonhand wrote:
A highly powerful Kineticist could serve as a kind of minor elemental deity, with the power to move vast amounts of earth, change the course of rivers, and sprout trees with a wave of their hand. They might not even set out to be worshiped, but have it be a side-effect of their presence, like the Cult of the Firehawk from Borderlands 2.

The right kineticist could kill hundreds of people in a battle- personally. Not through any silly natural disaster effects. Just raw attacks.

Earth can get tons of DR to ignore the arrows and swords of common men, and it gets some really good AoE attacks that have a duration. Ride the blast lets it move a little less than twice as fast as a horse at max speed. And it can slip underground in order to be all mysterious/avoid attacks.

So it can at least pretend to be an elemental demi-god.


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LoudKid wrote:

I'm really surprised no one mentioned Idols yet. They fit this situation perfectly.

{. . .}

Interesting -- these work similarly (being worshipper-dependent) to the way deities used to work in earlier edition D&D campaign settings (not sure about all of them, but at least some of them). Golarion deities explicitly are not worshipper-dependent, so the idol entities put that back into the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.


no matter what, Azathoth makes an excellent entity worthy of your insignificant worship, or that vowel interpolation of him...


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A particularly ancient stone golem. The cult marks themselves with a religious symbol that is an ancient safe signal for bypassing the golem and thinks the golem comes alive to smash unbelievers.


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The Lamia hydra with 50 heads. She grants cleric spells to Atheist clerics, especially if they have faith that all "gods" are really just powerful monsters. Every one of her heads has a different name. She is gargantuan. If a worshipper fails her in any way she can turn them into a level equivalent Lamia.


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Uh... I don't know...

Dark Archive

All the good ones are already mentioned!

Kobolds love to worship dragons. This one depends on if you like the idea of the dragon descended kobolds.

Elder Deep One has been mentioned. It's awesome.

What about an Elder Fire Elemental trapped inside a giant frozen comet somewhere out in space? Possibly mythic if you want to add cleric followers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anunnaki (Bestiary 5) would almost seem like a natural if it stayed around long enough. It would make for an interesting scenario to have a holy war between followers of one of these and an elohim, considering these two creatures racial enmity.

You might use nephilim (B3) with class levels to represent a group of Kirby-esque New God level characters.

Other candidates:
AIs (see Iron Gods)
Asura, Asurendra
Cherufe (B5)
Couatl
Daemon, Temerdaemon (As gods of fate, misfortune, curses, and the like)
Demon, Glabrezu
Demon, Lilitu
Demon, Nalfeshnee
Devil, Apostate
Devil, Heresy
Divine Guardian (template)
Dread Lord (template, Horror Adventures)
Elder Sphinx (Pathfinder AP 93)
Great Old Ones
Gorynych
Julunggali
Kraken
Lotus tree (B5)
Neothelid
Norn (B3)
Star-spawn of Cthulhu (B4)
Titan (any)
Unfettered Eidolon (possibly as a group)


Dreaming Psion wrote:
Kirby-esque New God level characters.

Are your players comfortable with horrifying imagery?

Wait, wrong Kirby.


I would hardly call king DDD a godlike character.:p


the David wrote:

All the good ones are already mentioned!

Kobolds love to worship dragons. This one depends on if you like the idea of the dragon descended kobolds.
{. . .}

A really over-the-top Kobold who somehow managed to survive might be able to pull this off . . . without needing a Dragon.


Goth Guru wrote:
I would hardly call king DDD a godlike character.:p
the other final bosses:
  • The embodiment of nightmares (Nightmare)
  • spawn of an emotionless cosmic horror (Dark Matter)
  • megalomaniac in control of a wish machine (Marx)
  • aforementioned emotionless cosmic horror (Zero)
  • Undead version of above (02)
  • parallel reality version of either Nightmare or Zero or both (Dark mind)
  • reality-warping mage escaped from a painting (Drawcia)
  • lesser sibling of Dark Matter (Dark nebula)
  • Undead Marx fused with Nova's power
  • God wizard 2 (Yin-Yarn)
  • Literally named death god (Necrodeus)
  • mage corrupted by source of power (Magolor, speculation about relations to Zero from the final form's eye)
  • Fey queen fused with an entity draining the life of the entire planet (Sectonia)
  • not sure, formless mass capable of possession (Dark Crafter)
  • Faulty knockoff of wish machine deciding orgaincs are useless (Star Dream)
  • Alternate DDD possessed by Dark Mind (King D-mind)


The takeaway from that is that Kirby is too powerful for Pathfinder, as he regularly kills gods.

So you probably want something less powerful for an actual god or false god.


Coidzor wrote:

The takeaway from that is that Kirby is too powerful for Pathfinder, as he regularly kills gods.

So you probably want something less powerful for an actual god or false god.

naw, he is just a high level mythic character


Mykull wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Zargon

Vrepit Sa!

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huh?


UnArcaneElection wrote:
the David wrote:

All the good ones are already mentioned!

Kobolds love to worship dragons. This one depends on if you like the idea of the dragon descended kobolds.
{. . .}

A really over-the-top Kobold who somehow managed to survive might be able to pull this off . . . without needing a Dragon.

Is that a Pun-pun reference?

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