Monstrous Physique — Cthulhu (2E)

Greetings! This week has unofficially been Gods & Magic week at the Know Direction Network and I get to contribute too by producing 2E stats for everyone’s favorite Great Old One. Ryan reached out to me to help complement his Paint 2 Play article in which he painted his Cthulhu miniature. (Bigature?) He wanted to stat up Cthulhu for his article, but settled instead on creating a deity entry for the Great Old One. Anyone interested in including him as a deity in their games should check out that article! So, the statting up of the big guy fell on me. I looked to his first foray in Pathfinder in Bestiary 4. Ryan tried to make a level 25 version of Cthulhu, but his stat block in Bestiary 4 has him at CR 30. Of course, to make the conversion as accurate as possible, I had to stat up a level 30 Cthulhu. The monster design rules don’t go that high, but I was able to calculate approximate values for stats based on the patterns in their progression. (A lot of scores go up by 1, then 2, then 1, then 2, and so on. It’s fun to try find the patterns!) So with some fiddling about with numbers, approximating others, and breaking the rules here and there, I finally got Cthulhu converted over. (Cthulhu is a level 30 demigod. He’s allowed to break the rules.) Let’s take a look!

Cthulhu                            Creature 30
Unique, CE, Gargantuan, Aberration, Great Old One
Perception +51; darkvision, true seeing
Languages Aklo, telepathy 300 feet
Skills Acrobatics +49, Arcana +55, Nature +55, Occultism +58, Religion +55
Str +17, Dex +9, Con +13, Int +11, Wis +12, Cha +12
Immortality If Cthulhu is killed, his body immediately fades away into a noxious cloud of otherworldly vapor that fills an area out to the reach of his tentacle Strike. This cloud has the effects of 10th-level cloudkill (basic Fortitude DC 56). Cthulhu returns to life after 2d6 rounds, manifesting from the cloud and restored to life with the critical success effects of a 10th-level resurrect ritual. After returning to life, Cthulhu is slowed 1 for 2d6 rounds (nothing can remove this slowed effect). If slain again while he is slowed from this effect, Cthulhu reverts to vapor form again and his essence fades away after 2d6 rounds, returning to his tomb in R’lyeh until he is released again.

AC 60; Fort +46, Ref +46, Will +51
HP 750; Immunities cold, death effects, mental, paralysis, petrification; Resistances acid 30, electricity 30, fire 30, sonic 30
Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 300 feet, DC 56; A creature that critically fails its save immediately dies of fright instead of becoming frightened 4; this is a death effect. A creature immune to fear that fails its save against Cthulhu’s unspeakable presence is slowed for 1d6 rounds instead of killed.

Speed 60 feet, fly 100 feet, swim 60 feet
Melee [one-action] tentacle +53 (reach 40 feet), Damage 5d12+32 bludgeoning plus Grab
Melee [one-action] claw +51 (agile, reach 30 feet), Damage 5d10+28 piercing plus Grab
Occult Innate Spells DC 56; 10th dispel magic (at will), dream message (at will), implosion, nightmare (at will), scintillating pattern (x3), sending (at will), summon entity (at will), teleport (at will), weird (x3), wish; Constant (6th) true seeing; (4th) freedom of movement
Cleaving Claws Cthulhu’s claw Strikes target all creatures in a 10-foot square. When making a claw Strike, Cthulhu makes a single attack roll and compares it against the AC of any creatures in the area.
Greater Constrict [one-action] 4d12+26 bludgeoning, DC 56

Known to some as the Dreamer in the Deep, Great Cthulhu is the mightiest of the Great Old Ones. Cthulhu is represented often in artwork—particularly in sculpture, painting, and poetry, for his influence is particularly strong among such sensitive and creative minds. In these eldritch works of art, he is depicted or described as having a vaguely humanoid frame, but with immense draconic wings and an octopus-shaped head. His actual form is somewhat fluid—the Great Old One can shift and reshape his exact countenance as he wills, allowing him to occupy a smaller space than one might expect for a creature that stands over 100 feet tall.
It is fortunate indeed that Cthulhu is currently imprisoned on a distant planet within the sunken city of R’lyeh. There, the Great Old One slumbers away the eons in a state neither quite dead nor living, held in stasis by ancient magic and the potency of the Elder Sign, yet at times the city rises from the sea and the doors to his tomb open, granting Cthulhu limited mobility before he must return to his tomb.

That’s it for this week! If you end up up introducing Cthulhu into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Lost Omens line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova his cat, and walks with his wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos. Consider checking his material on his Patreon at