Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder 1E | Pathfinder 2E | Starfinder

All | Unique
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Families | Templates | Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules

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

Tawil At'umr30

Great Old One, Ithaqua

This looming humanoid shape has long, gangly limbs, glowing red eyes, and a gaping mouth full of fangs.

Ithaqua CR 28

Source Pathfinder #109: In Search of Sanity pg. 82
XP 4,915,200
CE Gargantuan monstrous humanoid (air, chaotic, cold, evil, Great Old One)
Init +24; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, snow vision, true seeing; Perception +45
Aura unspeakable presence (300 ft., DC 36)


AC 46, touch 27, flat-footed 35 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 insight, +19 natural, –4 size)
hp 688 (32d10+512); fast healing 25
Fort +26, Ref +30, Will +28
Defensive Abilities immortality, insanity (DC 36); DR 15/epic and lawful; Immune ability damage, ability drain, aging, cold, death effects, disease, energy drain, mindaffecting effects, paralysis, petrification, storms; Resist electricity 30, sonic 30; SR 39
Weaknesses arctic bound, vulnerable to fire


Speed 60 ft., air walk
Melee 2 slams +46 (4d6+18/19–20 plus grab)
Ranged 4 wind blasts +38 (8d6/19–20 plus hurl)
Space 20 ft., Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks arctic dreams, create wendigo, howl, mythic power (10/day, surge +1d12)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 28th; concentration +38)
Constant—air walk, true seeing
At will—control weatherM (as druid), control winds, dimension doorM, dreamM, gust of windM (DC 22), ice stormM, nightmareM (DC 25), whispering wind, wind walk (DC 36; see page 83)
3/day—demand (DC 28), quickened feeblemind (DC 25), quickened gust of windM (DC 22), summon (level 9, 2d4 wendigos 100%)
1/day—interplanetary teleport (arctic regions only), storm of vengeanceM (DC 29), whirlwindM (DC 28)


Str 46, Dex 31, Con 42, Int 29, Wis 31, Cha 30
Base Atk +32; CMB +54 (+58 bull rush); CMD 95 (97 vs. bull rush)
Feats Awesome Blow, Blinding Critical, Critical Focus, Dodge, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Critical (wind blast), Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (feeblemind, gust of wind), Spring Attack
Skills Acrobatics +42, Knowledge (arcana, geography, history, nature, planes, religion) +41, Perception +45, Sense Motive +42, Spellcraft +41, Stealth +33, Survival +45, Use Magic Device +42
Languages Aklo, Aquan, Giant; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ otherworldly insight, wind walk


Environment any cold
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Arctic Bound (Ex) When Ithaqua is south of a planet’s arctic circle or on a planet without a magnetic north, he is staggered.

Arctic Dreams (Su) Any creature that has ever looked into Ithaqua’s eyes or has committed cannibalism can be targeted by the Great Old One’s arctic dreams regardless of distance, even across planar boundaries. If such a victim fails its save against Ithaqua’s nightmare spell-like ability, the damage it takes from the ability is cold damage. Upon awakening, the victim is affected by a geas/quest to travel north beyond the arctic circle and, once there, await Ithaqua’s arrival in a remote location. Whether or not the Great Old One comes to call is left to the GM to decide, but if Ithaqua does not visit within 1 month, the effects of the arctic dreams end.

Create Wendigo (Su) By using wind walk with a creature or by affecting it with his unspeakable presence, Ithaqua afflicts the creature with an enhanced version of wendigo psychosis.

Wendigo Psychosis: Curse—unspeakable presence or wind walk; save Will DC 36; onset immediate; frequency 1/hour; effect 1d6 Wis drain (minimum Wis 1). When a victim’s Wisdom reaches 1, it seeks an individual of its race to kill and devour. After completing this act, the victim takes off at a run, and in 1d4 rounds sprints up into the sky at such a speed that its feet burn away into jagged stumps. The victim transforms into a wendigo (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 281) over the next 1d4 minutes. Once the transformation is complete, the victim is effectively dead, replaced by a wendigo. Miracle, true resurrection, or wish can restore such a victim to life, yet doing so does not harm the new wendigo. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Great Old One Traits Rules for Great Old One traits like immortality, insanity, his mythic abilities, and otherworldly insight, and the base rules for unspeakable presence can be found on page 306 of Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 4.

Howl (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, Ithaqua can emit a forlorn howl that can be heard up to 10 miles away. Any who hear the howl must make succeed at a DC 36 Will save to avoid becoming shaken for 24 hours. Creatures within 360 feet of Ithaqua become panicked for 1d4+4 rounds, and those within 60 feet cower in fear for 1d4 rounds. Although this is a mind-affecting fear effect, immunity to fear does not offer full protection; a creature normally immune to fear must still succeed at a Will saving throw if within 60 feet to avoid becoming shaken for 1 hour (immunity to fear functions normally against Ithaqua’s howl at greater distances). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Immortality (Ex) If Ithaqua is slain, his body explodes in a burst of frozen wind that deals 20d6 points of cold damage to all creatures within a 60-foot spread (Reflex DC 42 half; the save DC is Constitution-based). Ithaqua reforms with full hit points 1 year later in another world’s arctic region, but cannot return to the world on which he was slain via interplanetary teleport for another 10 years (or until outside agents allow for his travel to this world).

Immune to Storms (Ex) Ithaqua is immune to the effects of any storm or storm-like condition unless he chooses otherwise. This includes being affected by high winds and by spells like ice storm and storm of vengeance.

Snow Vision (Ex) Ithaqua can see perfectly well in snowy conditions, and does not take penalties on Perception checks when in snowy or blizzard conditions.

Unspeakable Presence (Su) Failing a DC 36 Will saving throw against Ithaqua’s unspeakable presence has two effects. First, it exposes the victim to Ithaqua’s create wendigo ability (see page 82). In addition, the creature gains vulnerability to cold and loses any resistance or immunity to cold it had; this condition persists for 24 hours. A creature that lacks any immunity or resistance to cold also becomes chilled by the Great Old One’s presence, taking a –4 penalty on ranged attacks, initiative checks, Reflex saving throws, and Dexteritybased skill checks, as well as a –4 penalty to Armor Class. These penalties last for 24 hours.

Wind Walk (Sp) If Ithaqua pins a grappled foe, he can attempt to use wind walk with the grappled foe by using his spell-like ability—he automatically succeeds at all concentration checks made to use wind walk in this case. If the victim fails to resist the spell, Ithaqua hurtles into the sky with it. Each round, a victim can attempt a new DC 36 Will saving throw to turn solid again, but at this point it falls if it cannot fly. A creature affected by Ithaqua’s wind walk in this way might begin transformation into a wendigo (see Create Wendigo on page 82), and eventually Ithaqua strands the victim in some rural area, often miles or even worlds away from where it began. The save DC is Charisma-based.


Also known as the Wind-Walker, Ithaqua has visited countless worlds during his travels throughout the universe. Whether he is able to visit only worlds with arctic circles and magnetic poles, or whether those worlds have such conditions because the Great Old One visited them in their earliest days is unclear.

Ithaqua appears as a 50-foot-tall primitive humanoid with glowing red eyes and unnaturally long arms, yet his feet are always cloaked in blasts of thick snow-laden and freezing winds.

Ithaqua’s Cult

Ithaqua is worshiped in arctic regions, primarily by cannibal tribes, giants, and wendigos. Those who fear starvation or the loss of morality might offer sacrifices to him out of fear—such sacrifices are traditionally performed by leaving a body draped in the highest possible boughs of a pine tree. Worship of the Wind- Walker below the arctic circle is rare, but not unheard of.

Additional details on Ithaqua, his cult, his domains and his favored weapon appear on page 68 of this book.