Posted Wed, Mar 06, 2013 by gunky
The Tarrasque is a perfect engine of raw destructive power. It is enormous, violent and very nearly unkillable, and it exists only to destroy. There is only one Tarrasque (per world) but that is a good thing. It is powerful and destructive enough to bring ruin to the earthly works of the gods themselves, and it can only be defeated by the equivalent of an army (but not killed - that requires powerful magic and possibly divine intervention). From its conception, the Tarrasque has always been an epic boss fight, the last thing an adventuring group would fight on the Prime Material plane before challenging the gods themselves.
The Tarrasque has gone through a number of changes since its 1st Edition introduction. The early edition versions were immune to basically everything and regenerated Hit Points at an absurd rate (and could even regenerate from instant-death spells), but could be slain by reducing it to negative hit points and using a Wish or Miracle spell on the gooey remains. The 4th Edition version is less expansive - it's only a sub-entry of the Abomination category. It is less physically resilient, with no regeneration and immunity only to charm and fear effects, but it technically cannot be killed. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, it sinks back into the world's core and takes a nap.
The Tarrasque is based on a legendary French beast of nearly the same name (minus one R), which was said to have six stumpy legs, a turtle's shell, a scaly tail tipped with a scorpion stinger, and the head of a lion. Unlike the D&D monster which is immune to charm effects, the Tarasque was tamed by Saint Martha, who charmed it with hymns and prayers and then led it to the nearby city. The people there freaked out when they saw it and attacked it, but the creature, charmed by Saint Martha, offered no resistance and died. Saint Martha cussed all the heathens out for being dumbasses and converted them to Christianity, and the name of the town was changed to Tarascon in honor of the slain beast.
The Tarrasque has not appeared in any game to date. There is only one (per realm), after all, and slaying it would run contrary to most canon. At least, it would prior to 4th Edition. In 4th Edition rules, the Tarrasque simply resets when it reaches 0 Hit Points. The 4E Tarrasque is a natural MMO boss fight., and since Neverwinter is the first 4E MMO, it would make sense to build an endgame raid around this. It is very unlikely that the Tarrasque will make an appearance, but the logic of the system supports his existence, and we can always hope for the best.
Neverwinter's second beta event starts this weekend on March 8. What weird, unlikely monster would you like to see in the game? Let us know in our comments!