In Search of Sanity: Evil god for a gnome bard

Strange Aeons

Halfway through ISOS, and we're starting to get clues about backstory. One of the PCs is a gnome bard. Backstory (unknown to PC or player) is that in his previous life, he was Lowls court jester. I think he was a giggling little sadist, possibly insane, and either NE or CE.

So: what god might he have worshipped? I ask because I think I want him to find a tattoo or something. Default would be Groetus, who is creepy and a good fit thematically, but CN rather than CE. Great Old Ones are possible but might be too obvious (the players don't even realize this is a Lovecraft-themed campaign yet). Zon-Kuthon is a sadist but not in a fun way, and he's LE and not a great fit for the campaign thematically. I'm contemplating some weird minor deity like Ghlaunder or something... anyway, suggestions welcome.

Doug M.

Honestly, I know you said no elder gods but Hastur fits really well here. Nihilism, decadence, and disorder. Plus this way instead of being a quirky fact it's relevant to the plot. And the implications are really delicious. Like the gnome realizes they're tattooed with the yellow sign, the Pallid King recognizes them as one of their own, they unconsciously know the notes to the King in Yellow etc...

But if you're set on avoiding them, I don't think Groteus is a good fit. He's insane and nihilistic but not sadistic or silly. A demon lord might fit, but they're usually pretty narrow in their domains. Maybe one of the eldest, like the Lantern King?

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe Calistria? She's CN herself, but can have CE worshippers, and her mixture of pleasure and vengeance portfolios works for the gnome's backstory. Not quite the shocking, "I used to worship who?!" reveal you're probably going for, though.

Hastur's also a solid suggestion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Going through the list of evil gods for your character, Hastur or the Lantern King are ideal.

Hastur is a good fit for (a) the AP for (b) a debauched court jester.

The Lantern King is a good fit for an evil gnome.

If you want to stay away from the Lovecraft stuff (and there's no reason a character can't worship at 2 altars!) the Lantern King would be my choice. It's exotic and weird.

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If it were me (which it isn't), I'd stay away from Hastur or any of the other Elder Mythos deities. YMMV, but my players are getting a lot out of the experience of ignorance. Once their memories return, it might be less fun if they suddenly find they knew all about Hastur all along.

But that's just me, don't want to get in a thing about it. Consider the following esoteric deities:

Andirifkhu might work for a sadist, and having illusion in her portfolio fits the gnomish predilection.

Areshkagal includes riddles in her porfolio as well as portals--including, one presumes, portals to the Dimension of Dreams and other terrible eldritch realms...

The sakhil tormentor Dachzerul is described as a "supposedly exuberant and pleasant sahkil tormentor capable of becoming murderous and obsessive in an instant." Deadly pranks are included in his portfolio. And his title is The Darkness Behind the Toy, which is wicked creepy. And the deific obedience being to seek revenge probably dovetails well with how such a character will respond once they find out they were drowned, rendered amnesiac, and stuffed in an asylum by a certain Count...

quibblemuch wrote:
If it were me (which it isn't), I'd stay away from Hastur or any of the other Elder Mythos deities.

Agreed. Some of the other Elder Mythos deities might be doable in a pinch, but not Hastur. Trying to worship Hastur in Strange Aeons would be just as difficult as trying to worship Asmodeus in Hell's Rebels. It's not going to work. You might be able to get away with it if you're a former worshiper who abandons that faith at the start of the campaign, but if you're still an active worshiper it's totally unworkable.

Grand Lodge Contributor

There are a lot of weird demon lords, nascent demon lords, daemon harbingers, etc. that I'm sure you could find something that chimes with other aspects of the character.

I ended up making him an ex-worshipper of Groetus and Azathoth. (Yes, both -- they're neither of them what you'd call picky.) He found tattoos of their holy symbols on his arms...

Doug M.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber


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