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Kaiju


In the furthest reaches of the globe, where civilization itself is a legend and mapmakers can only make guesses about lands and denizens, immense creatures that are worshiped as gods walk the world. Capable of devastating entire cities in a single day of ruin and unleashing powerful supernatural attacks, these fabled, so-called “gods” are anything but. These massive monsters are known as kaiju, and the tales told of their genesis are as varied as the strange forms and capabilities of the monsters themselves.

A kaiju is a monster of tremendous size—far larger than almost any other creature. Each kaiju is unique, but they all share a few traits in common (see the kaiju subtype). Kaiju can be of different types, but most are magical beasts. Although kaiju are semi-intelligent and can generally understand a single language, they cannot speak. Some legends tell of certain gifted or unique people being able to call kaiju from vast distances to aid them in times of distress. This type of bond with a kaiju isn’t well understood, but rarely comes to those who already possess great power. Rather, it is the helpless, the compassionate, and the meek who can bring forth kaiju.

Kaiju generally dwell in distant, remote wildernesses, often in unusually close proximity to one another. There they battle, but never quite seem to finish their constant conflicts before one of the beasts staggers away to recover from the clash, defeated only for the moment. Visitors to one of the remote lands where kaiju frequently clash can often explore without too much fear, as long as they take care not to be too visible or destructive as they explore. Unless a kaiju is being attacked or is particularly aggressive (such as when it’s defending a territory), it’s likely to ignore Medium or smaller creatures that wander in its vicinity, just as a human might ignore an ant crawling nearby.

A kaiju’s supernatural metabolism allows it to draw energy and nutrition from sources other than food—each kaiju “feeds” in a different way on a different form of energy, but when denied its energy source it does not starve. Instead, the immense monster simply falls into torpor, hibernating until a new source of energy awakens it once again. In some cases, a kaiju can lie dormant for ages—so long that civilizations have time to unknowingly encroach upon lands the monster claimed long ago as its territory. As long as the new civilizations take care to not accidentally waken the monster, they can coexist with the slumbering kaiju in relative peace for many, many years. Yet eventually, some event will inevitably waken the slumbering giant and call it forth into a rampage.

Certain events can drive a kaiju into a destructive frenzy. Powerful storms or natural disasters, rare and dangerous rituals designed to call out to them, the use of incredibly powerful magical weapons, wars, and the approach of other kaiju can all send one of these creatures on a rampage of wrath. When a kaiju begins such a rampage, it leaves its remote wilderness home and travels far afield, often for hundreds or even thousands of miles through unexplored wilds or across entire oceans until it reaches the source of the irritation.

Upon arriving in such a location, the kaiju seeks out the source of whatever enraged it, or if no obvious source is apparent, it simply tramples a path of destruction through whatever city or fortress or locale happens to be in its way. Once a kaiju’s rampage begins, it can last for weeks, with the monster periodically retreating between attacks into wildernesses or oceans near the source of the disturbance to rest or recuperate.

Societies that are frequently plagued by kaiju attacks often build special magical siege engines designed to drive off the monster, or even seek to recruit the aid of other kaiju to battle the intruder. Unfortunately, the collateral damage caused by multiple kaiju is significant, and fighting fire with fire in this way may leave behind nothing but rubble.

All kaiju are Colossal, and have a space and reach of no less than 50 feet each. A bipedal kaiju typically stands between 100 and 200 feet in height; quadrupedal kaiju are half as tall. A kaiju’s size makes a battle against one challenging to run. At the scale needed to track tactical movement for Medium creatures, a kaiju takes up a massive amount of space. When designing an encounter with a kaiju, plan ahead and prepare a larger area so that you can track the kaiju’s movement effectively.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.