Many names in Pathfinder come from Earth languages or refer to things. Where does the name Pharasma come from?

The only similar name I could find is Pharasmanes, the Latinized Georgian name of two ancient Iberian (Kartli) kings, and I don't see how they are relevant.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please take a look at the designer reasons tag info and included links. Does that match your intent with the question and including the tag? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2023 at 19:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unless someone knows the name from elsewhere and it's clearly a match. \$\endgroup\$
    – danarmak
    Apr 6, 2023 at 22:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why was the tag added then removed again? \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Apr 7, 2023 at 5:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I’ve added back the [designer-reasons] tag, this question is obviously that sort of question, as it is asking for where the “designer” of Pathfinder got the idea for the particular name, or the “reason” for the name, so to speak. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2023 at 10:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso If you are going to undo other user’s edits like that, please leave a comment explaining why. To me, it seemed like an obvious mistake, so I just added the tag back. If you had explained why you made that choice, I’d probably be writing a meta question right now instead of this comment. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7, 2023 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


Potentially Created by James Sutter

The creative director for Pathfinder James Jacobs has made several comments about Pharasma's naming over the years, mostly that she was renamed from his homebrew setting in the late 80s.

In my homebrew, Pharasma's name was Turthonir. I like Pharasma a thousand times better, and if/when I ever run something in my homebrew again, she's named Pharasma there too.

It was changed because Pharasma is such a more awesome name than Turhtonir.

He believed it was James Sutter that came up with the name "Pharasma" in another post on the Pathfinder forums.

In terms of inspiration for the deity, James Jacobs also gave a list of her biggest sources:

  • Death, from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.
  • Wee Jas, from Greyhawk.
  • Osiris
  • Charon
  • And a tiny drop of Kali

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