Guide to Rovagug: The Rough Beast

“He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

-Samuel Johnson

The Beast at the Center of the World…The End of all Things….The Devourer…

Locked away in an ancient prison at the center of Golarion, the dreaded Rovagug lashes at his bindings.

He seeks the destruction of all things, and for some reason, there are mortals who are all too eager to serve him.

Rovagug Deific Lore

Rovagug is the Sword of Damocles that hangs over all creation. He awaits for the day when his prison will be broken and he can devour not just Golarion but all worlds, leaving nothing behind but an empty void.

He is a God of Wanton Destruction and Death. He rages unceasingly and hates the gods for keeping him from his purpose.

Some mortals, fatalistic or mad, choose to follow him and do his will. They connect with the Rough Beast on some level, and they are poisoned by his evil in the process.

Rovagug is known by many names: The Rough Beast, the Destroyer, Enemy of the Gods, the Unmaker, and the World Breaker.

Rovagug’s symbol is that of a fanged spider, and his favored colors are brown and red.

The Rough Beast favors the greataxe as his weapon of choice, and his favored animals are vermin like scorpions, spiders, worms, or animals that have gone rabid.

Personal History

Rovagug is extremely old. In fact, it is believed that the only being older than him is the Goddess of the Dead, Pharasma.

According to Legend, when Pharasma took her first steps into the new world, she did so out of fear of an evil force gnawing at the world.

Those first steps birthed the gods into existence. One of those gods was the being who would become known as Rovagug.

Rovagug stepped beyond Pharasma to explore this fear and was consumed by it.

It is unknown whether or not they became one or if the entity gnawing at reality simply possessed Rovagug. Since that time though, he has sought nothing but the destruction of all that is.

When Asmodeus killed his brother, Ihys, Rovagug was able to slip into the Material Plane and consumed entire worlds. He gorged himself on the agony of mortals, becoming more and more powerful as he did so.

A powerful coalition of gods under the leadership of Sarenrae banded together to combat Rovagug to save all of creation. This conflict was expansive, with gods fighting on either side of it.

Some sided with Rovagug, hoping to be spared from his appetite while others engaged with the Rough Beast in pitched battle.

Many gods did not survive this conflict, and the names of those who died have been lost to time.

Calistria distracted Rovagug while the gods Torag and Gorum crafted a prison to hold Rovagug that is now known as the Dead Vault.

Pharasma placed potent wards on the Dead Vault to make sure no one could unleash the Rough Beast and that Rovagug would never escape.

Sarenrae smote the earth, opening up a great rift on the surface of Golarion and sending the Dead Vault deep into the world’s core.

The god Dou-Bral then impaled Rovagug onto the Star Towers inside of the vault, making sure he could not hear those who prayed to him.

Finally, Asmodeus, the King of Hell, locked the prison with the powers of a lock and key forged by the god Abadar. This lock and key could only be opened by the King of Hell himself.

Sarenrae then sealed the Dead Vault beneath the surface, never to be opened again.

Over the centuries since then, the prison has weakened as Rovagug has lashed out against it. Dou-Bral was corrupted by the Great Beyond, becoming Zou-Kuthon, the God of Pain.

When this happened, the Star Towers began to weaken, allowing Rovagug to hear the prayers of his faithful and grant them spells.

Rovagug’s cult then tricked those of Sarenrae’s church to build a city above the rift where she imprisoned the Dead Vault. They founded the city of Gormuz there, and the whispers of Rovagug corrupted the metropolis into an evil city.

In her rage, Sarenrae struck down the city with her mighty scimitar. In doing so though, she cracked the Dead Vault, allowing for creatures known as the Spawn of Rovagug to escape and wreak havoc in the beast’s name.

It is said that Rovagug will escape his prison at the end of times. He will be unleashed by a desperate Asmodeus, who will then be consumed along with all other life. 


Rovagug’s true form is that of an alien insect-like creature. He has the body of a great worm with chitinous legs, fanged mouths, teeth, and claws.  

Home Plane

Rovagug resides in the demi-plane known as the Dead Vault, which sits at Golarion’s core. From the outside, he appears immobile and as if frozen in time.

From inside the Dead Vault, he hangs from the sky impaled by the Star Towers and is constantly devoured by creatures known as Wrackworms.

Allies and Enemies

As the enemy of all that exists, Rovagug has very few allies. He is universally despised by every deity, though he seems to have a strange connection to the God of the End Times, Groetus.


While Rovagug has few allies, he does have a number of servants.

  • The Thognorok are Rovagug’s Divine Servitor Race. They are disgusting blobs of flesh, resembling all the worst aspects of spider and ooze.
  • The Spawn of Rovagug are horrific creatures emerging from the rift created when Sarenrae destroyed the city of Gormuz. They are many, with some being massive and destructive monsters that have plagued the material plane for centuries.
  • The Tarrasque (yes that Tarrasque) acts as Rovagug’s Herald. It hunts down cities and settlements, intent on bringing destruction and terror.

The Cult of Rovagug

The Church of Rovagug is not very widespread and has no true organized structure, making it more of a cult than a true Church. 

He is mostly worshiped in places where the earth has been poisoned or corrupted in some way or where evil holds a dominant sway in worldly matters.

In “civilized” lands, his worship is suppressed a great deal, leaving many of the faithful to worship in secret.


The Cult of Rovagug has no tried and true dogma that it follows. Worship of the Great Devourer typically takes the form of destruction and chaos, and all are prayers to the imprisoned god.

Edicts: Destroy all things, free Rovagug from his prison

Anathema: Create something new, let material ties restrain you, torture a victim or otherwise delay its destruction


Those who worship Rovagug typically come from those considered “savages” by other nations. These include Orcs, Gnolls, and lost tribes of humans. 

Most who are called to worship Rovagug are nihilists, who believe in hastening the end by wreaking terrible havoc and destruction for destruction’s sake. Anyone dedicated to annihilation can be a worshiper of Rovagug.

This includes nihilistic Knights or Champions who can become the Enemy’s Antipaladins:

Antipaladin Code

The antipaladins of Rovagug seek their master’s Great Awakening and bend all their efforts toward the eventual decay of the prison that holds their god. Their code is simple, brutal, and direct, and its tenets include the following adages.

  • All things must be destroyed, but the tools of destruction will be destroyed last.
  • The beautiful die first. Their loss wreaks havoc in the hearts of those who love.
  • All is vanity before the tide of destruction.
  • The world is a lie. The only truth is oblivion, born of storm and horror.
  • Torture is needless delay. I give the gift of a quick death.
  • I will die standing.


As an unorganized cult, there is one thing that allows a worshiper and cleric of Rovagug to prove his superiority, and that is strength — not the ability to simply lift heavy objects though but the ability to destroy completely.

The might to destroy people, societies, and things makes one superior in the eyes of the church, and many who serve as clergy to Rovagug double as mercenaries and berserking soldiers. 

Clerics to Rovagug often wear mismatched clothing of garish and hideous colors along with monstrous masks.

Temples and Shrines

As worship of Rovagug is banned in almost all cities and societies, there are very few actual temples to the god. Most places of worship are small shrines hidden from sight. Only those of the cult know what to look for.

Most holy sites exist underground in caves to mimic the Dead Vault and are stained with blood from multiple sacrifices. Some of these sites keep a guardian beast that is only barely tamed by the local clerics.

Holy Text

There is no text for the Cult of Rovagug. The Rough Beast makes his will known by inflicting his direct thoughts on the faithful, and his wants are simply for them to destroy everything and release him from his prison.

What writings do exist are the scrawls of lunatics attempting to put the inhuman thoughts of Rovagug into words.


The cult has no real holidays as their worship is suppressed almost everywhere.

Sometimes the mad clerics of Rovagug may declare a holy day, and those days are typically surrounded by riots and sacrifices to the Rough Beast.

Player Involvement

There are a handful of ways that players and NPCs can customize their characters to reflect worship of the Rough Beast.

Like the other gods in Golarion, Rovagug has unique magic and archetypes that are associated with him.

It should be noted that followers of Rovagug are universally evil, and most of those are irredeemably so.

Players and GMs should sit down and discuss the tone and mood of the game before introducing player characters who follow the Great Destroyer.

Pathfinder 1st Edition

These options below are all welcome within or directly associated with the worship of Rovagug.

Most of these options are evil in nature, and most likely would be of more use to the GM and NPCs and antagonists for the player characters to interact with.


Below is a list of archetypal builds for characters who might worship Rovagug:


Characters associated with the worship of Rovagug might have one of the following feats:

Magic Items

The following magical items are all linked to the worship of Rovagug:


The following creatures are connected to Rovagug and his church. They can make powerful allies or deadly enemies:

Domains and Subdomains

Clerics of Rovagug have access to the following domains and subdomains:



* Requires the Acolyte of Apocrypha trait.


Spellcasters who follow the path of the Great Destroyer can often be found with some of the specific spells in their repertoire:

Unique Spell Rules

Below are some alternative spell rules for worshipers of Rovagug. They involve adding new spells to a character’s spell list when they are preparing spells for the day:


Baleful Polymorph can be prepared as a 4th-level spell


Baleful Polymorph can be prepared as a 4th-level spell


Baleful Polymorph can be prepared as a 4th-level spell


Baleful Polymorph can be prepared as a 4th-level spell


Baleful Polymorph can be prepared as a 4th-level spell

Source: Inner Sea Gods pg. 131


Below is a list of possible traits characters connected with Rovagug could have.

For more information on how traits work, check out our article on Traits

Pathfinder 2nd Edition

Below is a list of options for players in Pathfinder 2nd edition to gain if they become devoted to the worship of Rovagug.

Devotee Benefits

Divine Intercession

Most of the gods cannot work directly on the material plane. There are a number of reasons for this: ancient pacts, divine mandates, or simply opening themselves up for equal attacks and escalation.

While Rovagug cares very little about any of those repercussions, his binding forces him to act as the gods do when interacting with his followers.

This means he has to take a subtle approach, even though subtlety is not his strong point.

From his prison, he can see his followers and offer them some small boons when they please him or inflict horrid curses when he is displeased. 

“Rovagug’s imprisonment means he can almost never intercede on Golarion, but some places lead far enough into the earth that the god’s profane influence can leak through. He is as likely to curse those who draw his attention as he is to reward them, though great enough acts of violence and destruction may earn his favor.

Minor Boon: Your attack becomes more destructive. Once, one of your failed or successful attacks becomes a critical hit, and your weapon or unarmed attack gains the deadly d12 trait for this attack, replacing any deadly trait it already had. Rovagug typically grants this boon when the critical hit could destroy something precious or significant.

Moderate Boon: You can devour all. Your mouth grows into a horrible circular, insectile maw of needle-like teeth. You gain a bite unarmed attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage. Additionally, you can stomach eating anything you can fit down your throat — even rocks or small objects. You gain a +4 status bonus to saves resulting from eating something, such as diseases, poisons, or other effects of the ingested object. This doesn’t allow you to digest magic items that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to destroy, such as cursed items or artifacts.

Major Boon: You can crack the surface of Golarion, accelerating the release of the Rough Beast. You gain the Quaking Stomp barbarian feat.

Minor Curse: Whenever you are imprisoned, you thrash and shake as your mind fills with desperation. Any time you are restrained or otherwise imprisoned (such as being sent to jail), you are also clumsy 2 and stupefied 2.

Moderate Curse: Your destructive rage seeks to remain unbound. Any armor you wear automatically becomes broken. Other items in your possession occasionally become broken over time.

Major Curse: You are useful only as a beacon of destruction. You are permanently confused, rampaging against anything and everything in your sight, and you deal an additional 18 damage with your unarmed and weapon Strikes.

Source: Gods & Magic pg. 41 2.0