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 influence certain sensitive mortal minds in their dreams and nightmares, even if such influence 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 (Dark Tapestry and Stars).
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. Cults of the Great Old Ones are described further in the appendices, including their dream and nightmare mystic spells.
Great Old One Traits
Great Old Ones are powerful, alien entities whose existences are closer to that of the gods than mortal beings. They originate from other dimensions, planets, and even different points in time. All Great Old Ones are chaotic and most are also evil. They can be any creature type, but most are aberrations.
Creatures of this subtype gain darkvision 60 ft. (or greater). Most also gain secondary senses like blindsight, low-light vision, or the permanent effect of true seeing. They treat Perception as an additional master skill. Their natural attacks are considered chaotic and magical for the purpose of overcoming DR. Likewise, their natural attacks also bypass DR from special materials such as adamantine, cold iron, and silver. Great Old Ones also gain the following special abilities, Great Old One immortality, Great Old One immunities, starry wisdom, and unspeakable presence.
Great Old One Immortality (Ex)
A Great Old One that is slain does not remain dead but is forced into a state of dormancy which can last for years, centuries, or even longer. The specifics vary with each Great Old One and are described in creature’s individual entry. Methods to permanently slay a Great Old One might exist but remain unknown and free for the GM to define. Great Old Ones do not need to eat, drink, or breathe, nor are they subject to aging, naturally or magically.
Great Old One Immunities (Ex)
Immunity to ability damage, ability drain, cold, death effects, disease, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, negative levels, paralysis, and petrifaction.
Starry Wisdom (Ex)
Any creature that attempts to interact directly with a Great Old One’s thoughts (such as via detect thoughts or telepathy) must succeed at a Will save at the listed DC or contract the starry wisdom mental illness. A Great Old One using its telepathy to communicate does not automatically trigger this ability, it must spend a standard action focusing its mind on a single target to deliberately cause this effect.
Unspeakable Presence (Su)
A Great Old One’s aura inflicts intense mental anguish and torment upon all creatures within 300 feet who can see and hear the Great Old One. The exact effects of the aura vary between individual creatures and are described in their entry. A successful Will save at the listed DC reduces or negates the effect.
This towering impossibility, neither quite octopus nor dragon nor giant but something far worse, must surely herald the end of times.
Type disease (telepathic contact, see text); Save Will DC (see individual entry)
Track mental (special); Frequency 1/round for 5 rounds
Effect progression track is Weakened—Impaired—Befuddled—Disassociated— Comatose; comatose is the end state; non-contagious.
Alien Bestiary (Starfinder) © 2018, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors: Anthony Adam, Kate Baker, John Bennet, Eytan Bernstein, Robert Brookes, Russ Brown, Duan Byrd, Jeff Dahl, Robyn Fields, Joel Flank, Matt Goodall, Robert J. Grady, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Nick Hite, Daniel Hunt, Mike Kimmel Marshall, Isabelle Lee, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Alistair J. Rigg, Alex Riggs, Wendall Roy, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Todd Stewart, Russ Taylor, Rachel Ventura, Mike Welham, George Loki Williams, Scott Young.