Who can take the Starstone test?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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From what I read everyone can take the test if they want. But is that really true?
Sure some drunken adventurer can take it, but on the other hand so far only humans ascended.
Of course that might be just coincidence or means the starstone only works on humans. Still, what about the other races? Sure elves and dwarves can probably try. What about goblins now that they are PC races or Iruxi? Can a centaur or gnoll take the test if he wants? Can a red dragon approach Absolom and demand to take the test?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.

Because now I can't stop thinking about it, does that unique crossing only apply to people who have passed the entire test, or all successful crossings to date?

And I wonder if there's a list of methods already done, because if I recall the only one that's really known is Iomedae's 11th? Act. We don't know how Norgorber or Cayden Cailean crossed.

The hero gets to the Starstone and gets buzzed out because it turns out he crossed the same way that someone else did, but had no way of knowing seems...harsh.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kasoh wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.

Because now I can't stop thinking about it, does that unique crossing only apply to people who have passed the entire test, or all successful crossings to date?

And I wonder if there's a list of methods already done, because if I recall the only one that's really known is Iomedae's 11th? Act. We don't know how Norgorber or Cayden Cailean crossed.

The hero gets to the Starstone and gets buzzed out because it turns out he crossed the same way that someone else did, but had no way of knowing seems...harsh.

My understanding is that it's the successful ones that count, but I'm not sure if that's a requirement of the cathedral or just a weird Absalom tradition off the top of my head.


James Jacobs wrote:

Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.

Still in practice it prevents certain creatures from taking the test.

I wonder, how official is that "everyone is allowed to take the test"? Can a obviously evil creature which would otherwise be attacked on sight, a chromatic dragon, lich or demon, demand safe passage to the cathedral?

Are very inhuman intelligent creatures like pegasi turned away because the people guarding the cathedral don't even consider the possibility that they want or can take the test?

Liberty's Edge

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Ixal wrote:

Still in practice it prevents certain creatures from taking the test.

I wonder, how official is that "everyone is allowed to take the test"? Can a obviously evil creature which would otherwise be attacked on sight, a chromatic dragon, lich or demon, demand safe passage to the cathedral?

I get the impression that no, they can't. Taking the Test of the Starstone is not a right under Absalom law. If they won't let you into the city, you need to either sneak or come in as a conqueror. Now, a lich or demon may well have the ability to disguise themselves and walk in, but that's not what you asked.

Ixal wrote:
Are very inhuman intelligent creatures like pegasi or griffins turned away because the people guarding the cathedral don't even consider the possibility that they want or can take the test?

By the fiction, there are no people 'guarding the cathedral'. There's just a moat and a city around it. If you can get into Absalom without the people trying to stop you, they won't suddenly try to stop you at the cathedral.

So...they guard the city from all the things you'd expect them to guard the city from, but don't care who, of those allowed in the city, goes for the cathedral.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ixal wrote:
Still in practice it prevents certain creatures from taking the test. I wonder, how official is that "everyone is allowed to take the test"? Can a obviously evil creature which would otherwise be attacked on sight, a chromatic dragon, lich or demon, demand safe passage to the cathedral?

The Test of the Starstone is not an enshrined right of any creature. Its just a thing that happens to be there. The people who live in Absalom could have built up a society around it that prefers certain individuals, but that's a function of Absalom and not the Starstone Cathedral.

Recently, a lich did try to approach Absalom with the intent of taking the test of the Starstone. Since he approached with his undead army, Absalom resisted his approach and heroes sacrificed a great deal to end the threat he was currently posing.

If he had used invisibility and teleport, he might have managed it without all the fuss, but sneaking isn't a thing that Mythic Lichs decide to do.


A pity.
I would have found it an interesting conundrum if there were such a right and some very powerful evil creature would demand access to the cathedral because of it.

On one hand people would fear that it is a trick to penetrate the out defenses of the city (similar how Mecca was raided in the 10th century). On the other hand it presents a chance to get rid of said creature as it will almost certainly die in the trial. But there is always the danger of it succeeding and becoming a god....

Or this request might be a ploy all along to divide the leadership of the city on what to do.

Silver Crusade

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*points at Norgorber*


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Norgorber probably just walked right up to it. It's just the megalomaniacal kind of evil who is unwilling to keep a low profile on the way to the way to the Starstone Cathedral that Absalomians don't want to let into their city.

Like if Abrogail Thrune traveled to Absalom with a diplomatic entourage to negotiate with the Grand Council about something, she could probably slip off and attempt the test. If she showed up with a conquering army, they wouldn't let her past the walls of the city.

Silver Crusade

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Which has more to do with the city being inbetween the army and what they want, and nothing to do with the Starstone Cathedral itself :3

Silver Crusade

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Heck if a Red Dragon landed and just sauntered up without bothering anyone there probably wouldn't be an issue even.

Screams maybe, cause Dragon, but that'd be about it.

Dark Archive

Rysky wrote:
Which has more to do with the city being inbetween the army and what they want, and nothing to do with the Starstone Cathedral itself :3

That is an interesting sort of 'defense mechanism,' by building a massive city around the magic rock what turns people into gods, the founders kind of made it so that generally only the sorts of people that can at least pass and function (even if only temporarily) in such a city could get to the stone and become a god.

So the red dragon Daralathxl (sp?) or various other powerful monstrous individuals are less likely to be able to become new and terrifying gods... (if only because they'd be less likely to be able to run the gauntlet that is Absalom, in their way)

Silver Crusade

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Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.


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Set wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Which has more to do with the city being inbetween the army and what they want, and nothing to do with the Starstone Cathedral itself :3

That is an interesting sort of 'defense mechanism,' by building a massive city around the magic rock what turns people into gods, the founders kind of made it so that generally only the sorts of people that can at least pass and function (even if only temporarily) in such a city could get to the stone and become a god.

So the red dragon Daralathxl (sp?) or various other powerful monstrous individuals are less likely to be able to become new and terrifying gods... (if only because they'd be less likely to be able to run the gauntlet that is Absalom, in their way)

Given that Aroden was the god of humanity (over and against the other ancestries), that sounds like the kind of defense of his Starstone that he'd approve of. :)

Silver Crusade

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Joana wrote:
Set wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Which has more to do with the city being inbetween the army and what they want, and nothing to do with the Starstone Cathedral itself :3

That is an interesting sort of 'defense mechanism,' by building a massive city around the magic rock what turns people into gods, the founders kind of made it so that generally only the sorts of people that can at least pass and function (even if only temporarily) in such a city could get to the stone and become a god.

So the red dragon Daralathxl (sp?) or various other powerful monstrous individuals are less likely to be able to become new and terrifying gods... (if only because they'd be less likely to be able to run the gauntlet that is Absalom, in their way)

Given that Aroden was the god of humanity (over and against the other ancestries), that sounds like the kind of defense of his Starstone that he'd approve of. :)

Aroden: *steeples fingers* "How can I f%@@ over something with scales today?"


Rysky wrote:

Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.

The ego is for sure part of it, but for some of your "big bad" candidates they probably figure that what they've got going on is good enough that they don't want to risk essentially "annihilation" for the chance to get even more.

Like if you're a Lich or a Red Dragon, you're most likely gonna be on top of your local heap for the next thousand years or so. No reason to take a risky shortcut.

Silver Crusade

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Yep yep.


James Jacobs wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.

Because now I can't stop thinking about it, does that unique crossing only apply to people who have passed the entire test, or all successful crossings to date?

And I wonder if there's a list of methods already done, because if I recall the only one that's really known is Iomedae's 11th? Act. We don't know how Norgorber or Cayden Cailean crossed.

The hero gets to the Starstone and gets buzzed out because it turns out he crossed the same way that someone else did, but had no way of knowing seems...harsh.

My understanding is that it's the successful ones that count, but I'm not sure if that's a requirement of the cathedral or just a weird Absalom tradition off the top of my head.

If it's a tradition, that raises the question of who keeps track of it. It also raises the question on how Cayden's date of ascension can be lost.

For that matter, how did Iomedae do it? Cayden genuinely doesn't remember and Norgorber isn't telling, but her method ought to be one of the big acts for her church.

Liberty's Edge

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Iomedae's entrance has been mentioned several places canonically (and is her 11th and final Act):

She threw down her cloak and walked across it like it was a bridge.

That doesn't sound super impressive until you remember that magic doesn't work to do the crossing and it was an ordinary cloak...


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deuxhero wrote:
For that matter, how did Iomedae do it? Cayden genuinely doesn't remember and Norgorber isn't telling, but her method ought to be one of the big acts for her church.

What Deadmanwalking said.^

Acts of Iomedae


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I wonder who was the successful attempt that just jumped off a tall building with a hang glider and floated across the gap, probably Cayden.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I wonder who was the successful attempt that just jumped off a tall building with a hang glider and floated across the gap, probably Cayden.

I can see that being either Cayden or Norgorber, actually. It's possible as both a simple, clever, plan that Norgorber might've dreamed up, and simultaneously the sort of thing that sounds like a great idea when you're drunk...


Rysky wrote:

Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.

I assume that a city like Absolom has enough defenses to turn away a single dragon, no matter how powerful, before it even comes close to the city wall.

Silver Crusade

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Ixal wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.

I assume that a city like Absolom has enough defenses to turn away a single dragon before even coming close.

Yeah being a major metropolitan center for the entire world they probably have access to mayonnaise.


Kasoh wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Anyone can take it. Very few will succeed. You don't demand the test. You just go to the Starstone Cathedral, cross the gap in a way that hasn't been done before by previous successes, and endure.

For some folks, reaching the Cathedral to make that first step might be dangerous or impossible, of course, but that's not the test's fault.

Because now I can't stop thinking about it, does that unique crossing only apply to people who have passed the entire test, or all successful crossings to date?

And I wonder if there's a list of methods already done, because if I recall the only one that's really known is Iomedae's 11th? Act. We don't know how Norgorber or Cayden Cailean crossed.

The hero gets to the Starstone and gets buzzed out because it turns out he crossed the same way that someone else did, but had no way of knowing seems...harsh.

Given the reward if you pass, I think some arbitrary, maybe even petty and vindictive harshness is to be expected.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I wonder who was the successful attempt that just jumped off a tall building with a hang glider and floated across the gap, probably Cayden.
I can see that being either Cayden or Norgorber, actually. It's possible as both a simple, clever, plan that Norgorber might've dreamed up, and simultaneously the sort of thing that sounds like a great idea when you're drunk...

I like to think that Cayden just got so blackout drunk that he woke up on the other side.


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Perpdepog wrote:
Given the reward if you pass, I think some arbitrary, maybe even petty and vindictive harshness is to be expected.

The Starstone wasn't designed to make gods though. It would have no need for any kind of virtue tests of character or cleverness.

Assuming that it does starts to imply a great deal. If the Starstone is vindictive or petty, there's an animus to it--a will that must be appeased instead of a magic rock that imbues great power.

Aroden can explain a lot, he rose the Stone from the ocean and was its first user. It was most likely his magic that built the cathedral, and likely his rules that govern the test. If there's a will of the Starstone It could have absorbed a portion of his lawful neutral jerkness.

The aboleths who summoned it could explain some of it, its purpose was evil and twisted and if there's an animating force to it no doubt that was imparted upon the stone.

Is it the lingering spite of Acavna, the god who was slain by crossing the path of the falling stone?

I suppose it makes sense that we know so little about the test, given how few people survive attempts at it, but I think that assuming any kind of intelligence on the stone raises it from plot device to actor and that creates more problems than it solves.

Maybe it does though. Maybe its a sentient God Making Rock and the aboleths dropped it on Golarion as part of a massive plan to destroy the entire cosmos by making gods.

Personally, I think its psycho-reactive like the Dark-Side Cave on Dagobah. You face what you bring in.

Silver Crusade

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Rysky wrote:

Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.

Would his ego even allow him to try the Test? I could just picture him going "I'm a dragon, I already approach divinity anyway! Why would I need some silly human's Test to prove my awesomeness?!"

And then he flame-broils and eats you.

Dark Archive

I had posited some time back that there are few entities in Golarion lore that seem like they'd actually consider becoming a god a downgrade, since it would seriously cut down on their ability to function in the world.

Baba Yaga would be a major example. She's already got power at the highest tier, and while becoming a god would only increase that, it would also restrict her from directly meddling in Golarion (or the other mortal worlds she likely meddles?).

Until recently, I would have put Tar-Baphon in that category. He'd already *killed a god,* and has very concrete plans for this world, plans which would be frustrated / delayed by his being exiled from Golarion and forced to only interact with it indirectly, through a church and priesthood. But crazy is as crazy does, and I suppose he wouldn't be a megalomaniacal supervillain if he wasn't sabotaging his own long-term goals somehow. :)


Kasoh wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Given the reward if you pass, I think some arbitrary, maybe even petty and vindictive harshness is to be expected.

The Starstone wasn't designed to make gods though. It would have no need for any kind of virtue tests of character or cleverness.

Assuming that it does starts to imply a great deal. If the Starstone is vindictive or petty, there's an animus to it--a will that must be appeased instead of a magic rock that imbues great power.

Aroden can explain a lot, he rose the Stone from the ocean and was its first user. It was most likely his magic that built the cathedral, and likely his rules that govern the test. If there's a will of the Starstone It could have absorbed a portion of his lawful neutral jerkness.

The aboleths who summoned it could explain some of it, its purpose was evil and twisted and if there's an animating force to it no doubt that was imparted upon the stone.

Is it the lingering spite of Acavna, the god who was slain by crossing the path of the falling stone?

I suppose it makes sense that we know so little about the test, given how few people survive attempts at it, but I think that assuming any kind of intelligence on the stone raises it from plot device to actor and that creates more problems than it solves.

Maybe it does though. Maybe its a sentient God Making Rock and the aboleths dropped it on Golarion as part of a massive plan to destroy the entire cosmos by making gods.

Personally, I think its psycho-reactive like the Dark-Side Cave on Dagobah. You face what you bring in.

It also depends on how much of the test comes from the starstone and how much from the cathedral. With Aroden being a god of humans and only humans ascending so far some might believe that the test is rigged.

That would explain why some attack Absolom instead of sneaking in. They want to tear down the cathedral to bypass the test.

Silver Crusade

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Dara can, ya'know, just fly to the Cathedral.

Granted his ego would not allow him to do that.

Would his ego even allow him to try the Test? I could just picture him going "I'm a dragon, I already approach divinity anyway! Why would I need some silly human's Test to prove my awesomeness?!"

And then he flame-broils and eats you.

point, he does prefer people to refer to him as Emperor or God already, Calling him "King" is actually insulting to him.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ixal wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Given the reward if you pass, I think some arbitrary, maybe even petty and vindictive harshness is to be expected.

The Starstone wasn't designed to make gods though. It would have no need for any kind of virtue tests of character or cleverness.

Assuming that it does starts to imply a great deal. If the Starstone is vindictive or petty, there's an animus to it--a will that must be appeased instead of a magic rock that imbues great power.

Aroden can explain a lot, he rose the Stone from the ocean and was its first user. It was most likely his magic that built the cathedral, and likely his rules that govern the test. If there's a will of the Starstone It could have absorbed a portion of his lawful neutral jerkness.

The aboleths who summoned it could explain some of it, its purpose was evil and twisted and if there's an animating force to it no doubt that was imparted upon the stone.

Is it the lingering spite of Acavna, the god who was slain by crossing the path of the falling stone?

I suppose it makes sense that we know so little about the test, given how few people survive attempts at it, but I think that assuming any kind of intelligence on the stone raises it from plot device to actor and that creates more problems than it solves.

Maybe it does though. Maybe its a sentient God Making Rock and the aboleths dropped it on Golarion as part of a massive plan to destroy the entire cosmos by making gods.

Personally, I think its psycho-reactive like the Dark-Side Cave on Dagobah. You face what you bring in.

It also depends on how much of the test comes from the starstone and how much from the cathedral. With Aroden being a god of humans and only humans ascending so far some might believe that the test is rigged.

That would explain why some attack Absolom instead of sneaking in. They want to tear down the cathedral to bypass the test.

It's some of both, there's hazards and guardians in the cathedral itself, but the real test comes once you actually reach the Starstone.

There's not really anything to make it anti-human, any obstacles put in place would work on humans just as well as others.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Now wondering if Amaznen's spirit stays near the Starstone and makes sure only those he deems worthy or fated reach it.

Aroden worshipped both him and Acavna. Iomedae and Cayden Cailean both have similarities to Acavna. Norgorber would fit his secret knowledge trope.

And a LN Azlant god just might prefer human deities.


Rysky wrote:
Ixal wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Given the reward if you pass, I think some arbitrary, maybe even petty and vindictive harshness is to be expected.

The Starstone wasn't designed to make gods though. It would have no need for any kind of virtue tests of character or cleverness.

Assuming that it does starts to imply a great deal. If the Starstone is vindictive or petty, there's an animus to it--a will that must be appeased instead of a magic rock that imbues great power.

Aroden can explain a lot, he rose the Stone from the ocean and was its first user. It was most likely his magic that built the cathedral, and likely his rules that govern the test. If there's a will of the Starstone It could have absorbed a portion of his lawful neutral jerkness.

The aboleths who summoned it could explain some of it, its purpose was evil and twisted and if there's an animating force to it no doubt that was imparted upon the stone.

Is it the lingering spite of Acavna, the god who was slain by crossing the path of the falling stone?

I suppose it makes sense that we know so little about the test, given how few people survive attempts at it, but I think that assuming any kind of intelligence on the stone raises it from plot device to actor and that creates more problems than it solves.

Maybe it does though. Maybe its a sentient God Making Rock and the aboleths dropped it on Golarion as part of a massive plan to destroy the entire cosmos by making gods.

Personally, I think its psycho-reactive like the Dark-Side Cave on Dagobah. You face what you bring in.

It also depends on how much of the test comes from the starstone and how much from the cathedral. With Aroden being a god of humans and only humans ascending so far some might believe that the test is rigged.

That would explain why some attack Absolom instead of sneaking in. They want to tear down the cathedral to bypass the test.
It's some of both, there's hazards and guardians in the cathedral itself, but the...

We with metagame knowledge know that. But in game I think there will be several theories around why only humans ascended. The rigged theory would explain why some attack Absolom. They want to skip the cathedral and tear it down instead of having to run this gauntlet.

Of course they also could simply want the starstone for other reasons than ascending. Making gods is not the only thing it can do as Starfinder shows.

Another theory could be that the starstone is actually a trap. It makes gods, but has to recharge itself with souls which is the reason most peoples are never seen again.

Silver Crusade

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It’s not meta game knowledge, there’s been people who have left the cathedral. The starstone itself is the unknown.

And we weren’t talking about in-game theories I thought.

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