The Tarrasque is a pure fucking engine of destruction (which not-so-coincidentally resembles Godzilla). Dreaded by adventurers for its high HP value and its obscenely high regeneration ability, only surpassed by Zargon the Returner in the Elder Evils book, it is known to rampage across nations eating everything. It cannot fully be killed through normal means; therefore, anyone lucky enough to reduce a Tarrasque to negative 30 HP will then have to use a wish or a miracle spell to completely destroy it, with only a 50% chance of success. If unsuccessful it will wake up again x years later and fuck more shit up. Also, no matter how big your army is (assuming your adventuring party had enough cash to recruit mercenaries), the Tarrasque's fast metabolism will allow him to produce such powerful flatulence that all your troops will die by suffocation in just one turn.
He only wakes up for 1-4 days every 2-12 months, but every now and then he stays up for several weeks before napping for several years for some reason that's never explained. Yeah, he's a heavy sleeper. Must be all the binge drinking.
Named after a famous dragon myth from the south of France, which originally featured Saint Martha taming the beast with her prayers and piety, only for the people to kill it anyway once it came quietly, because man is the real monster, etc. You are welcome to try that on this version of the beast. We'll wait. With popcorn well in hand. Incidentally, this is almost certainly the origin of the shell on its back and the fierce, leonine look of its head.
As 3.Xe went on, more and more monsters were introduced to constantly one up the Tarrasque who already had to compete with Great Wyrm Dragons. In the monster manual II, we at first got the Leviathan and the Phoenix, neither of which had an comparable hit point count (though the phoenix has some fuckawesome spell like abilities, and goes boom with the force of a disintegration spell when killed, after which it promptly COMES THE FUCK BACK TO LIFE!) and Linnorms, who are massively over CRd. Nothing really similar to the Tarrasque was introduced in the other three monster manuals save for Dalmosh, who the Tarrasque would eat for breakfast, and then there was this giant prismatic...hamster...thing. But then a (lot of) challenger(s) approached when the Epic Level Handbook, and the very first monsters that were undoubtedly bigger and stronger than the Tarrasque appeared in the form of Abominations, Colossi, Prismatic and Force Dragons, Devastation Vermin, and other such shit (like the bullshit permanent HP loss inducing wights.) Then came the books of Vile Darkness and Exalted Deeds which gave us the outsider lords, then came Deities & Demigods, and the fiend folio which gave us thunder worms, after which wizards didn't make much more uber-high CR shit. The Tarrasque got a break when the Fiendish Codex 1 nerfed the fuck out of the demon lords, though the Fiendish Codex 2 kept the Lords of the Nine where they were. Then came the Elder Evils book (a fuckawesome splatbook) and now the Tarrasque was literally swimming in competitors.
But salvation came when Dragon Magazine and the WotC website offered advanced and templated Tarrasque statistics, allowing the Tarrasque to reclaim his rightful spot as the strongest creature in all of D&D. That's right, you Atropals and your other abomination pals can fuck off, the big T is number 1!!!111ONEONEONE According to some, however, the Tarrasque is actually a pretty swell guy.
Spelljammer, as usual, had its own unique spin on the Tarrasque. Turns out, in their native environment, Tarrasques are peaceful lithovores that wouldn't harm a fly. It's just that the nitrogen-rich atmosphere of most habitable planets simultaneously super-charges their regeneration and collects in several glands in the brain, resulting in their typical murderous insanity.
Traditionally, the Tarrasque's biggest weakness was its lack of any ability to counter flying opponents. Surprisingly, both 4e and Pathfinder took steps to fix this, though they did it in different ways. 4e gave the bugger an "Earthbinder Aura" that covers a fuckhuge area -- 40 squares, bigger than any other effect in the game and wider than any other attack can reach -- in a magical effect that cripples Flight speed to 1 square a round and forces a max altitude of 20 feet... which, as the book sardonically notes, is well within the Tarrasque's reach. Pathfinder instead just gave ol' Tarry the ability to make about 6 ranged attacks a turn and the power to make fuckhuge leaps. Both games explicitly made the Tarrasque unkillable, so even Wish doesn't kill it now; when its health drops to 0 it just burrows deep underground to hibernate. Though 4e does note that Earthbinder Aura might mean that Big T is somehow tied to the earth, and as such it might (maybe) be possible to kill it if one were to find a way to "coax it off this world," whatever that means. (Shoot the Tarrasque into space. You know you want to.)
5th edition further boosts its threat level by giving it the ability to auto-pass three failed saves a day, magic resistance, the ability to reflect ranged spells back at the idiot who casted them, and the ability to make five attacks in a single turn. And that's before it gets its Legendary Actions! However, it once again lacks any long-range attacks,
and while it does regenerate a sizable chunk of health a turn scratch that, it doesn't even have fucking regeneration anymore, you no longer need a Wish spell to kill it, leading to a derogatory saying among fans of the old nigh-indestructible Tarrasque that "the new Tarrasque is basically just a big dinosaur". Granted, nothing stops you defying RAW and upscaling an older variant, but...
- 1 How to Kill A Tarrasque
- 1.1 (3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 20 Easy Levels
- 1.2 (3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 18 Easy Levels
- 1.3 (3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 17 Easy Levels (or 1, if you are wealthy)
- 1.4 (3.5) How to Defeat The Tarrasque in 3 Easy Levels
- 1.5 (3.5) How to defeat The Tarrasque in 1 Easy Level
- 1.6 (3.5) How to Become The Tarrasque
- 1.7 (4E) How to Defeat The Tarrasque in 6 Easy Levels
- 1.8 (PF) How to Defeat The Tarrasque
- 1.9 (PF) How to Become the Tarrasque at 20th Level
- 1.10 (5E) How to Kill the Tarrasque in 1 Easy Level
- 2 tl;dr
- 3 See Also
- 4 Gallery
How to Kill A Tarrasque
What are its weaknesses? Well... it's corporeal.
The following are mental exercises, not meant for actual gameplay. In a real game, a halfway-decent Dungeon Master would come up with a creative solution, and hopefully a player wouldn't really optimize a character solely for the sake of killing a unique creature that might never appear in the campaign.
So stop bitching about how "this would never happen in a real game."
(3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 20 Easy Levels
First, the feats for each level (and source book if it's not the PH):
- Human extra feat: Power Attack
- Fighter 1: Combat Reflexes, Weapon Focus: Greatsword
- Fighter 2: Improved Bull Rush
- Fighter 3: Mage Slayer
- Fighter 4: Weapon Specialization: Greatsword
- Fighter 6: Leap Attack (Complete Adventurer), Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior)
- Fighter 8: Blind-Fight
- Fighter 9: Pierce Magical Concealment (Complete Arcane)
- Fighter 10: Melee Weapon Mastery: Slashing (Player's Handbook II)
- Fighter 12: Greater Weapon Focus: Greatsword, Pierce Magical Protection (Complete Arcane)
- Fighter 14: Greater Weapon Specialization: Greatsword
- Fighter 15: Martial Study: Tiger Claw: Claw at the Moon (Tome of Battle)
- Fighter 16: Martial Study: Tiger Claw: Sudden Leap (Tome of Battle)
- Fighter 18: Martial Study: Tiger Claw: Pouncing Charge (Tome of Battle), Weapon Supremacy: Greatsword (Player's Handbook II)
- Fighter 20: Improved Initiative
- +5 Speed, Valorous (Unapproachable East), Adamantine Greatsword: 166,050 gp, provides an extra attack at your highest attack bonus when making a full attack, and deals double damage on all charge attacks.
- +1 Soulfire (Book of Exalted Deeds), Heavy Fortification, Mithril Armor: 100,000 gp + the cost of the mithril armor, provides immunity to critical hits, death effects, and negative energy effects
- Manual of Gainful Exercise +5: 137,500 gp, provides a +5 inherent bonus to Strength
- Belt of Giant Strength +6: 36,000 gp, provides a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength
- Ring of Freedom of Movement: 40,000 gp, provides immunity to grappling and movement impedances
- Ring of Mental Protection (Player's Handbook II): 110,000 gp, provides immunity to mind-affecting effects
- Mask of True Seeing (Unapproachable East): 75,000 gp, provides continuous True Sight
- 18 base from point-buy
- +5 from level ups
- +5 inherent bonus from Manual of Gainful Exercise
- +6 enhancement bonus from Belt of Giant Strength
Total Strength: 34, with a Strength modifier of +12
Attack bonus with +5 greatsword when charging:
- 20 Base
- +12 Strength bonus
- +1 Weapon Focus
- +1 Greater Weapon Focus
- +2 Melee Weapon Mastery
- +5 enhancement bonus from magic weapon
- +2 charging
Total attack bonus when charging: +43
Damage with +5 greatsword:
- 2d6 base damage
- +18 Strength bonus and a half
- +2 Weapon Specialization
- +2 Greater Weapon Specialization
- +2 Melee Weapon Mastery
- +5 enhancement bonus from magic weapon
Total damage: 2d6+29
So, you're a Human Fighter 20, standing 60 feet away from the death machine that is the Tarrasque. This is the moment of ultimate truth. If you lose initiative, you're supremely and irrevocably fucked like a bunny on fire in a bucket of gasoline with poo for a brain, since although you can survive a charge of the Tarrasque, you probably won't be able to survive the AoOs from repositioning you. If you win initiative though, with the help of some initiative-boosting items I forgot to list down then it's game time.
You spend a full-round action using your Pouncing Charge maneuver, which lets you charge and make a full attack at the end of it, while getting the +2 bonus to attack rolls on all your attacks. As part of your charge, you make a Jump check (easy enough with your ranks and Strength bonus) to activate Leap Attack, as you Power Attack for your full Base Attack Bonus, transforming the attack penalty into an AC penalty using Shock Trooper. So, you're making a full attack at +60 damage on each hit, at the cost of -20 AC and then another -2 AC from charging. Now, at this point, the damage on each of your attacks would normally be 2d6+89 (average 96) from your Leap Attacking shenanigans. However, your Valorous weapon makes you deal double damage on any and all charge attacks, shooting it up to a ludicrous 4d6+178 (average 192). This isn't including critical hits, but they're a pain to calculate in 3.5 anyway.
So then, as you charge past the Tarrasque's threatened squares, it takes an AoO against you, using its bite. It damages you some, but it won't be able to score a crit thanks to your Heavy Fortification armour, and your Ring of Freedom of movement prevents a grapple and a swallow. You then make five attacks, at +43/+43/+37/+32/+27. The Tarrasque has "only" 35 AC. The first three only miss on a natural one, giving them a 95% hit chance. For the fourth one, you activate your +5 bonus from Weapon Supremacy, shooting it up to +37, and thus giving that one a 95% hit chance as well. The fifth and final attack is where you take 10, also using Weapon Supremacy, to make it automatically hit. So then, four attacks at a 95% hit chance, and one attack automatically hitting. 0.95 * 4 + 1 = 4.8.
4.8 * average 192 damage on each hit = average 921.6 damage in total. The Tarrasque has damage reduction 15/epic, however, subtracting a total of (15*4.8) = 72 damage from (nearly) five hits, but that's still an amazing 849.6 damage inflicted on the Tarrasque's hit point total of 858 anyway. At this point, the Tarrasque should be down to -180 or -181 hit points, meaning it will be back in action in 5 rounds, and that's why I hope you've got a means to cast Wish right then and there.
(3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 18 Easy Levels
- Cleric/Master of Shrouds with the Time domain.
- Greater Rod of Maximize spell or the Maximize Spell feat and DMM or Illumian race with the Naenhoon sigil word.
- Start your turn within close range and cast Maximized Time Stop giving you 5 turns to prep.
- For five turns use the Master of Shrouds ability to summon shadows, 4 each time for a total of 20. (For this to work we only need 15 shadows assuming they all hit, but best to be on the safe side.)
- Master of Shrouds gives +2 damage to all summons, Shadows deal 1d6 str damage on touch turning it into 1d6+2 str damage.
- All shadows ready action to touch Big T inappropriately when time stop ends.
- Assuming one rolls a 1 and misses the shadows deal a minimum of 19*3(min str damage) = 57 str damage, no save, no SR.
- Big T has a str score of 45 (only 15 actually have to hit) and the shadow ability specifies that when a living creature has its str reduced to 0 it dies.
(3.5) How to Kill A Tarrasque in 17 Easy Levels (or 1, if you are wealthy)
Start off as a Cleric or Wizard. Add whatever full spellcaster PrC's you want/qualify for. Reach 17th level.
- Holy Symbol (Cleric) or Spellbook (Wizard). If you're a Wizard, you'll need to have learned the Gate spell.
- Some method of flying for around 10 rounds or so (yes, you can use a spell if you have a suitable one). Or just be able to run quickly.
Stand (or fly) far enough away from the Tarrasque so that it can't attack you. Cast Gate, to Call an Angel (Solar). You should be able to get one with at least 34 HD. Have the Solar attack the Tarrasque with Slaying arrows. Be ready to hit the Tarrasque with ongoing damage once it goes down, but stay out of melee range of it. Use the Solar's Wish (Spell Like ability) to kill it. If that fails, have the Solar cast Miracle (one of its standard spells).
Note: Anyone with 8,400 gp (including a wealthy 1st level Commoner) can also accomplish this by using a Good aligned Candle of Invocation.
(3.5) How to Defeat The Tarrasque in 3 Easy Levels
- No particular feats required.
- No particular items required.
- Be a wizard of level 3.
- Put on your robe and wizard hat.
- Cast Command Undead on an allip (it's a CR 3 monster, if you can't find any just learn to cast Summon Undead.)
- Cast Silent Image in front of the Tarrasque or Invisibility on yourself.
- Have the allip attack it. Every hit will take off 3 wisdom on average with no saving throw, and the Tarrasque has an abysmal touch AC, with no way to hit incorporeal targets.
- Once at 0 wisdom, it'll be unconscious until its ability score is restored. Cast Unseen Servant and order it to shovel dirt into the nasal passages and sinuses of the disabled Tarrasque so it can't breathe.
- Per the MM, regeneration does not restore HP lost from suffocation, so it will be stuck at negative hit points, at least until some fool unpacks the dirt from its sinuses.
- Congratulations! For defeating the Tarrasque, you're now a level 4 wizard, with 1 XP away from level 5. Make some wealth by opening a Bar and Grill on its back.
- For added hilarity, take the Precocious Apprentice feat and with some mildly lucky rolls do this at level 1.
(3.5) How to defeat The Tarrasque in 1 Easy Level
(3.5) How to Become The Tarrasque
In 3.5 D&D, start as a Psion, focused on Telepathy. Take True Mind Switch.
- Fly near Tarrasque so it can't attack you.
- Cast True Mind Switch until you run out of XP, or the Tarrasque fails its save.
- If you run out of XP, leave, earn more, then come back later.
- If it fails the save, congratulations. You now possess the body of the Tarrasque, with all its invincibility, as well as the abilities of a 17th-level telepath. The rest of the multiverse is officially fucked.
This trick doesn't work in AD&D because the AD&D Tarrasque is explicitly immune to all psionics, but AD&D psionics are shit anyways. This trick probably won't work in Pathfinder either, as the PF Tarrasque is immune to "mind-affecting effects."
(4E) How to Defeat The Tarrasque in 6 Easy Levels
- Be a 6th Level Wizard with a starting Intelligence of 20.
- Grab the Implement Focus feat.
- Buy a riding horse for 75g.
- Put on your robe and wizard hat.
- Obtain a +2 Staff of Missile Mastery.
- Cast Magic Missile on the Tarrasque while 20 squares away. With your staff and a reasonably high starting Intelligence, your Magic Missile will do more damage than the Tarrasque can resist, and hits automatically.
- Ride away from the Tarrasque until you're far enough that it can't close the distance with you in one of its turn. If you have the Wizard's Fury daily power, you can cast Magic Missile as a minor action, allowing you to use both your standard and move actions in order to maintain a distance of 20 squares.
- Repeat the last two steps a thousand more times. This will take roughly two hours.
- Congratulations! For defeating the Tarrasque, you are now level 18.
- For added hilarity, have some friends roll Warlords or other basic attack factories with their own horses, and switch off leading the Tarrasque while receiving extra basic attacks which can be used to fire more Magic Missiles.
- Beware the Tarrasque's burrow and action points - without action points it can't try to get a lucky shot on you or your horses. While burrowing, it cannot be seen but it can still be attacked, and your attacks are automatic hits - your magic missile simply veers into the tunnel it created and pops it in the ass. The rules never state that burrowing removes line of sight, only that the creature cannot be seen, which is different (for example, you can still attack an invisible enemy or an enemy you cannot see due to blindness.)
(PF) How to Defeat The Tarrasque
By tricking it into thinking you turned it into something harmless and mortal, like a squirrel. See, its regeneration is technically just another ability in its stat block. It even follows all the normal rules for special abilities, like specifically being extraordinary, so it still works in antimagic fields. So since Baleful Polymorph removes all extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities, that would include its regeneration, which would render it mortal. There's just one little catch. Baleful Polymorph only does that on the second save, and since the Tarrasque is immune to polymorph effects, it never even reaches that point.
Enter Baleful Shadow Transmutation. This spell does functionally the same thing as Baleful Polymorph, but puts the save in the opposite order. It doesn't matter if you're immune to polymorph effects, because the spell just starts off by tricking you into thinking you were polymorphed, causing you to lose all those abilities... like the Tarrasque's regeneration. Sure, you still need to overcome SR 36 and +12 Will, but that's comparatively easy.
- Level 20 Cyclopean Seer Oracle gets to pick the result of one die roll per day, so spell resistance isn't a problem.
- Samsarans can add spells from other classes' lists to theirs, so you still have access to BST
- Heighten Spell lets it be a level 9 spell, to increase the DC
- By level 20, it's easy enough to have a solid 34 in your casting stat. (18 base +5 levels +6 headband +5 tome = 34)
- Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus collectively increase the DC by +2
Now you just need the Tarrasque to fail a DC 33 Will save, and with a +12 bonus, that isn't looking too likely. It would need a natural 20 to pass. Conversely, you have at least a +20 to Will (+3 headband, +12 base, +5 resistance), so that DC 27 save against its frightful presence isn't looking too difficult.
Congratulations. You now have 24 hours to kill the Tarrasque, before it realizes you didn't actually turn it mortal.
(PF) How to Become the Tarrasque at 20th Level
As of the release of Occult Adventures (OA), you can now play a Mesmerist. This wonderful class gives you the option of choosing the ability "Psychic Inception", an ability which allows - if you are looking at the target of your spell (no duh), to have a flat 50% chance of affecting ANYONE, no matter the immunities (yes, even swarms can fall prey to suggestion). Even something with quote: "immunity to mind-affecting effects". You then cast Major Mind Swap (also from OA), while having Extended Greater Invisibility cast on yourself, and pray for the best as you expend all of your 9th level spells. Then you can become the Tarrasque. It may not end the problem completely, but now you can only be ejected from the Tarrasque's body with a wish or miracle.
- Gain two levels in Mesmerist
- Gain eighteen levels in Psychic
- Possess the Tarrasque
- Buy as many SR items as possible, as to prevent wish/miracles from affecting you
- Be kicked from the table
This does not have the problem that Pathfinder doesn't actually have epic levels in the official rules because mesmerists gain their first trick at 2nd level, not third.
(5E) How to Kill the Tarrasque in 1 Easy Level
- Be an Aarakocra cleric, sorcerer, or wizard. Cleric is the optimal choice here, as Sacred Flame is better than Acid Splash and aarakocra get a Wis boost.
- Choose a as one of your cantrips either Acid Splash or Sacred Flame (as both require a Dexterity saving throw, and the tarrasque has a +0 Dex save and advantage, it'll fail about 36.1% of the time).
- Fly 85 feet above the tarrasque
- Repeatedly cast your chosen cantrip at it, flying down 25 feet to be in range and then flying 25 feet back up (both cantrips have a range of 60 feet).
- Spend 1 hour blasting away.
Win. Die, because it's trivial for the Tarrasque to cover 85ft, even vertically, and kill the caster. The thing is already 50 feet tall, it has a 20ft reach on it's tail, and +10 to all Str skills, that's more than enough to hit a target 85ft away by jumping at it.
WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY? YOU CAN FLY? YOU THINK YOU'RE SAFE NOW? THE TARRASQUE HAS ONE THING TO SAY!