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Great Old One

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 135
The Great Old Ones are otherworldly entities of almost unimaginable power—beings completely alien to humanity, both physiologically and spiritually. They exist in the forgotten corners of distant worlds or lost dimensions, yet their power is so great they can inf luence certain sensitive mortal minds in their dreams and nightmares, even if such inf luence is as accidental as a star’s gravitational pull on a tiny mote of dust adrift in space. In such ways, cults devoted to the Great Old Ones can rise on worlds throughout the Material Plane, even without prior contact between these worlds. Some of the Great Old Ones grant access to the domain of Void and its associated subdomains (see below).

While not all of the Great Old Ones are evil, all are forces of chaos. Their cults are almost always evil and cause harm and madness, but the Great Old Ones are generally content to ignore lesser life such as humans, elves, and dwarves. Yet when their attention is garnered, the results can be catastrophic on an immense scale— for just as the ant who bites someone’s toe invites swift destruction on a scale its feeble mind can’t envision, so too does humanity invite unimaginable ruin by delving into the affairs of these powerful creatures.

The Great Old Ones themselves often serve and worship even greater powers, such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth. Those creatures are the Outer Gods, and whereas the Great Old Ones can be thought of as akin to demigods, the Outer Gods are themselves true deities.

Other Great Old Ones

Bokrug, Cthulhu, and Hastur are but three of the Great Old Ones—countless others exist on distant worlds or other dimensions, yet are still able to influence the world through their dreams and cults. The central concept of the Great Old Ones was created by H. P. Lovecraft, one of the most influential writers of weird fiction—and horror fiction in general—of the 20th century. Lovecraft actively encouraged his writer friends to add to his mythos of creatures, and today we have Great Old Ones created not only by Lovecraft’s contemporaries like Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Henry Kuttner, and August Derleth, but also by modern writers like Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, and Stephen King. Chaosium’s excellent Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game is a perfect place to start delving into the realm of Great Old Ones evoked in RPG form. By creating new Great Old Ones for your game, you can become part of a tradition of shared mythology nearly a century old!

Creatures in "Great Old One" Category

NameCR
Atlach-Nacha28
Bokrug27
Cthulhu30
Ghatanothoa29
Hastur29
Ithaqua28
Mhar26
Mordiggian30
Rhan-Tegoth28
Tawil At'umr30
Tsathoggua29
Xhamen-Dor26
Yig27

Great Old One, Rhan-Tegoth

This six-legged, spiderlike monstrosity has a bloated abdomen and a hideous face from which three bulbous eyes glare.

Rhan-Tegoth CR 28

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 146
XP 4,915,200
CE Large aberration (aquatic, chaotic, evil, Great Old One)
Init +24; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 120 ft. (640 ft. when in statue form), true seeing; Perception +47
Aura unspeakable presence (300 ft., DC 35)

Defense

AC 46, touch 30, flat-footed 35 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 insight, +16 natural, –1 size)
hp 676 (33d8+528); fast healing 25
Fort +29, Ref +23, Will +31
Defensive Abilities immortality, insanity (DC 35); DR 15/epic and lawful; Immune ability damage, ability drain, aging, cold, death effects, disease, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, petrification, poison; Resist fire 30, sonic 30; SR 39

Offense

Speed 60 ft., swim 60 ft.; air walk
Melee bite +41 (4d6+18/19–20 plus grab), 6 claws +41 (2d8+18/19–20 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks apocalyptic dreams, constrict (2d8+18), feed, grab (Huge), mythic power (10/day, surge +1d12), pounce
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 28th; concentration +37)
Constant—air walk, true seeing
At will—clairaudience/clairvoyance, dimension doorM, dreamM, greater dispel magic, nightmareM, statue (DC 26), sympathetic vibration
3/day—demand (DC 27), quickened feeblemind (DC 24), quickened flesh to stoneM (DC 25), stone to flesh
1/day—earthquakeM, imprisonment (DC 28), symbol of strife (DC 28)
M mythic spell

Statistics

Str 46, Dex 30, Con 43, Int 29, Wis 32, Cha 29
Base Atk +24; CMB +43 (+47 grapple); CMD 74 (82 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (bite, claw), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (feeblemind, flesh to stone), Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +46, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, geography, history, nature, religion) +42, Perception +47, Sense Motive +44, Spellcraft +45, Stealth +42, Swim +62, Use Magic Device +42
Languages Aklo; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ always watching, amphibious, compression, eternal statue, otherworldly insight

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Always Watching (Ex) Rhan-Tegoth remains constantly aware of his surroundings, even when he is hibernating in statue form. When he is in statue form as a result of his statue spell-like ability, Rhan-Tegoth can still use his spell-like abilities and the range of his tremorsense increases to 640 feet. Once per day, he can activate his unspeakable presence while in statue form.
Apocalyptic Dreams (Su) When Rhan-Tegoth uses his nightmare spell-like ability, he can target any creature that has touched him (even if the touch occurred while Rhan-Tegoth was hibernating), has been affected by any of his other spell-like abilities, or has sacrificed a living creature to an image of him, regardless of the distance between himself and the target. In addition to the normal effects of nightmare, the target must succeed at a DC 35 Will save or become convinced that the horrific visions of the end of the world experienced in the nightmare are in fact visions of the very near future. Such a victim becomes overwhelmed with despair and loss, and is so distracted by the conviction that its doom is imminent that it cannot take swift or immediate actions, cannot concentrate to maintain spells with concentration durations, and takes a –10 penalty on concentration checks to cast spells and on Wisdom based skill checks. Whenever the victim attempts a saving throw against fear effects, it must roll twice and take the worse result. This fear effect lasts for 2d4 days, after which (assuming the world doesn’t end after all) the effect ends. The effect also ends automatically if the victim voluntarily sacrifices a living, sentient creature to Rhan-Tegoth (this is a chaotic evil act)—although in most cases, a creature that performs such a sacrifice finds itself targeted with apocalyptic dreams soon thereafter, again and again. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Eternal Statue (Sp) When Rhan-Tegoth uses his statue spell-like ability, the duration of the effect lasts until the creature under the effect decides to return to flesh.
Feed (Su) Once per round when Rhan-Tegoth successfully bites a creature he is grappling, his proboscis feeds on the victim and siphons away bodily fluids at an alarming rate. This attack deals 2d4 points of Constitution drain to the victim unless the victim succeeds at a DC 42 Fortitude save, in which case the feeding instead deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage. For every point of Constitution drain dealt in this way, Rhan-Tegoth regains 10 hit points, and for every point of Constitution damage dealt in this way, he regains 5 hit points. In addition, if Rhan-Tegoth drains more than 4 points of Constitution in this way in a single round, he gains the effects of a haste spell for the following round. A creature that is slain by this Constitution drain or damage is reduced to a shriveled corpse riddled with deep, dry holes, and can be restored to life only via miracle, true resurrection, or wish. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Immortality (Ex) If Rhan-Tegoth is slain, he merely petrifies into a statue. He remains in statue form, in hibernation, until a living, sentient creature is sacrificed adjacent to the hibernating Great Old One, at which point Rhan-Tegoth is immediately restored to life (as if via true resurrection). If no such sacrifice is performed, Rhan-Tegoth can remain in hibernation in this form forever—though certain rare cosmological events can rouse him from his slumber. In this statue form, he has hardness 30 and 300 hp. If the statue of the hibernating Great Old One is destroyed, it crumbles to dust but immediately affects all creatures within 300 feet with Rhan-Tegoth’s unspeakable presence, and Rhan-Tegoth’s consciousness is transplanted into a different statue of the Great Old One (typically one on another world). If no such statues remain in existence at the time of destruction, his consciousness is instead transplanted into a statue in the past or future to await eventual awakening.
Unspeakable Presence (Su) Failing a DC 35 Will save against Rhan-Tegoth’s unspeakable presence fills the victim with an irresistible urge to sacrifice a living, sentient creature to the Great Old One. Treat this as a geas/quest spell (CL 28th) that ends the moment the affected creature kills a living, sentient creature in Rhan-Tegoth’s name (this is a chaotic evil act). This is a mind-affecting curse effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

The strange and silent Great Old One known as the Herald of the End Times has spent most of its existence in hibernation, waking for short periods of time after his worshipers rouse him or as the result of singular cosmic events. These periods of wakefulness never last for long, but ancient texts speak of a time when Rhan-Tegoth shall waken fully from his slumber, heralding the dawn of the end of all worlds.

While records of Rhan-Tegoth’s waking periods and his activities during those times are rare and unreliable, rumors still persist of certain chants and rituals that are capable of temporarily waking the Great Old One from his slumber. What reasons might exist for stirring Rhan-Tegoth from his sleep can only be guessed at, for the Great Old One will usually simply consume any foolish enough to rouse him from slumber.

Rhan-Tegoth appears as an aquatic arthropod in shape, yet closer inspection leaves no doubt in the viewer’s mind of the Great Old One’s truly alien nature. His body measures 10 feet from tip to tip, and his legs span 24 feet. The Great Old One weighs 2,000 pounds, but this weight increases to 10 times this amount when he is in statue form. The fact that countless statues of Rhan-Tegoth exist makes it difficult to determine which of them is in fact the actual slumbering god, so care should be taken in proximity of any depiction of the Herald of the End Times.

Rhan-Tegoth's Cult

Rhan-Tegoth is worshiped by primitive tribespeople who do not understand the strange terrors caused by the unusual statue they have stumbled across, but he is just as often venerated by fanatics who know full well the creature’s significance. Cultists take delight in placing the hibernating Great Old One in public venues for display— this act eventually ends in disaster for the region and Rhan-Tegoth transitioning to other realms, leaving behind desolation and madness as a reminder of his visitation.

Rhan-Tegoth’s clerics have access to the domains of Chaos, Evil, Repose, and Void, and to the subdomains of Ancestors, Dark Tapestry, Entropy, and Stars. His favored weapon is the sickle.