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Why Worship an Evil Deity?

I'm rolling a fighter/cleric and I would like to use that human leather armor for the extra saving throws. The problem is I can't imagine why anyone in FR would worship an evil deity.

I understand some people are mainly interested in gaining power but it seems like the after life with an evil deity is brutal.

Why would someone worship a deity like Talos or Shar when it seems like you would eventually get punished for it?

Could someone worship a deity like Talos and refrain from destruction? Maybe just out of the beauty of a storm?

Any suggestions on what deities an evil char name without being truly "EVIL?"



  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,870
    Clerics of Talos have to be destructive to some degree, yes. It's even written in their employment contract to destroy a couple of properties, objects, or pretty much anything each week. But that's more of an chaotic way of life than pure evil, really.

    As for why worshipping evil deities... well, why not? There are also a couple of evil gods out there with a great sense of humour. Take Beshaba for example: she excels in irony to such an degree that it would make even Xan blush. Or Talona, while being disease incarnate, has also a rather childish personality and likes to play a lot. Even good ol' Cyric enjoys a good laugh from time to time.

    Anyway, even evil gods and goddesses have one or two redeeming features to them. You only have to dig deep enough without becoming batshit insane.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,279
    Well, from literature I'd use most tales from H.P. Lovecraft as valid arguments.

    Evil deities are usually worshipped through fear + another strong feeling.

    Madness/Rage : You don't really have to *believe* much, destructive deities are out there, ready to strike .
    Anarchy never seems to last for long, therefore mad priests are usually suicidal in what they do.

    Opportunism/ Power : Divine power guides you as you prey on the weak minded. You sold your soul to an evil deity, but the rewards are greater.

    True faith : Faith in loss/despair (Shar) , faith in decay (Talona) , faith in selfishness (mask) ... some people hold real belief in the forces of evil.

    Knowledge/ Secrets of the universe / Metaphysical : You wish to see the planes, to find ancient and dangerous lore , to discover what lies ahead. Certain priests are willing to sacrifice innocents to achieve it.

  • CatoblepasCatoblepas Member Posts: 96

    NWN 2 was pretty deep in regards to deity selection-One of the best additions the game made, in my opinion. It even had a bunch of the racial deities-It was great. In practice it didn't really have much impact-I think you get a lien or two of extra dialogue in Mask of the Betrayer and Mysteries of Westgate if you follow a certain god or goddess, but that's it.

    I ran through NWN 2+ Mask of the Betrayer as a Favored Soul of Lolth....nobody seemed to notice or care, least of all my PC's adoptive *wood elf* father, Daeghun. (Realms most irresponsible parent award goes to....)

    More Gods and Goddesses are always something I am in favor of in FR games in general, it's a shame how little they are implemented in BG I+II. Getting stuck with working for Helm, Lanthander, or Talos was a *wee* bit disappointing in BG II, considering the wealth of deities in the material.

    As for justifying worshipping an Evil god(ess), I don't see much problem justifying it. A lot of folks worship evil deities either because of the power they give, or out of fear of retribution if they do not. There are a lot of other reasons one might worship an evil god or goddess as well-Shar seems like she'd scoop up a lot of bitter, jealous, or emotionally vulnerable people. In addition, Umberlee, Talos, and Auril are connected to weather and the elements, so folks like Farmers and Sailors naturally might want to appease them, & Malar has a strong affinity with hunters etc.

  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,431
    There's a variety of reasons. It could be a power-grab, or something you were born into.
    Well over 95% of Drow are brought up serving Lolth, and they're taught that they exist to serve her. In most Drow cities, it isn't "aww, well, you don't have to worship the scary spider lady if you don't want to! :3!", it's "prep the altar, got us a non-believer, here! Would you like a detailed description of what will happen to you after we've stuck you with this dagger?" with a side of "you should have just paid her lip-service..." from the bugbear slaves.
    Sauron was once a benevolent fire spirit who wanted order and perfection in all things (and actually sang with the Creator Deity at the beginning of time), but he turned to service of Morgoth because Morgoth was a being of action, where the rest of the Valar were content to fawn over Yavanna's Trees.
    Devil Worship in Dungeons & Dragons is particularly rewarding, you just have to be smart enough to game the Hells, themselves...otherwise your soul becomes fodder. But there's loopholes enough that you could easily screw Asmodeus out of his pretty jewellery if you had a mind for it! And hey, who doesn't want an easy Platinum?

    While (I think) morality is somewhat relative (in that I find it to be an abstraction we came up with), alignment and morality in games like Dungeons & Dragons are a very real thing. There are Planes of Existence that are dictated by it (down to beings who oppose it being weakened on it - take a Lawful Neutral character and put her on a Chaotic Neutral Plane, and she'll be sort of overwhelmed by the lack of structure; same with a Chaotic Good character being overwhelmed by the cosmic malice and manipulation on a Lawful Evil Plane), beings that embody it, and so on.
    So, if you vibrate with Evil, you're going to be drawn to an Evil deity. Even if you're Good, you might find that turning to worship of Bane is a faster way to realise your dreams than wiping bile from the mouths of dying men and women at a temple of Ilmater. Then comes the fall.

  • JaggedJagged Member Posts: 105
    These are some great comments. Thank you everyone. I think I'm just going to go with good or neutral. I can't bring myself to create a character that would worship that sort of deity.

    My idea was for a character that doesn't really care if something evil happens to someone. But he would be willing to risk his life to save others if he has something to gain.

    I'm guessing that sounds more like true neutral.

    Do you have any neutral deity suggestions besides Helm?

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2014
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • CatoblepasCatoblepas Member Posts: 96
    It's a shame about Bane though...I think he's dead at this point of the timeline (don't worry, he gets better!)

    Hoar might be an appropriate deity for an Evil PC, since he has that whole 'Vengence' thing going on. Seems appropriate for the PC-Vengence against Saraevok for the murder of Gorion in BG I, vengeance against Irenicus for myriad reasons in BG II.

    Waukeen (trade, money, smugglers), Beshaba(bad luck), and Shaundakul(travelers, exploration) are rather flexible deities that I can reasonably see being worshipped by a wide variety of worshippers, and would work rather well for adventurers.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • terzaerianterzaerian Member Posts: 231
    edited August 2014
    Sergio said:

    I've read in this forum that...

    Bane is one of the few evil deity that strikes me as having "good" qualities. For example, the absolute trust\love he puts on their chosen, to the point that he cries when losing one of them, or when he can't save them (although I don't know when this happened - I read it in this forum xD)

    I think that was one of my posts. Don't worry, it was but a moment of weakness in the book Shadowdale - he got right back to ordering the death of innocents but moments later. Bane you rascal!
    Sergio said:

    And anyway, if I were an evil charname, I would worship Bane. Especially because he was an ally of your father. And by the way, your question makes sense if charname doesn't want to indulge into his nature. If you wish to become evil, would you rather ask Tyr to help you during your travels? It's all a matter of bargains.

    Bane has been long dead by the time BG starts, actually - all of the Dead Three died during the Time of Troubles. Fzoul Chembryl became this weird god-ish/demigod who picked up Bane's portfolio of tyranny, while Kelemvor got Myrkul's portfolio of death.

    As for why worship an evil deity? I recommend you read the Avatar "Trilogy," the books which are the antecedents of Baldur's Gate. Their quality as literature isn't to par with, say, A Song of Ice and Fire, but they're decent and do a good job of showcasing the relationships between the gods and their followers in the FR - the things that drive evil and non-evil alike to the service of evil deities as well as examples of evil people coming into the service of good deities doing bad things.

    You have to remember that faith in the Forgotten Realms is a two-way street - followers worship gods, and in return, gods give them something back, whether the god is good or evil. Evil gods especially like to swoop in when a person is at their weakest or lowest to offer them a way out, and often the choice really is to accept that help or die, or watch as a loved one dies, for that matter. That's how non-evil aligned people often end up in the service of evil deities. As for evil-aligned people, the same things usually apply, only the evil tend to end up genuinely enjoying it.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,186
    I'm currently roleplaying an elf shadowdancer who is a follower of Cyric. At this point the character has basically murdered most of the inhabitants of Beregost and the Friendly Arm Inn. I view the character as basically the equivalent of Neb but whose targets are almost exclusively commoners (or other unarmed people).

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    In general, power.

    For most characters, worshipping an evil deity is going to mean a horrible afterlife (oddly, Set of the Mulhondi panethon (spelled wrong, sorry) is one that averts that, if I remember correctly- his afterlife is pretty 'okay') where their souls get sold to demons/devils/daemons and they're forced to fight forever in the Blood War until death.

    But what evil character plans on dying?

    In general, evil gods hand out their power to their followers with a lot less concern then good gods do, as they're not afraid their followers will misuse it or upset the balance (well, Mystra hands out a ton of power, but we'll ignore her for now). Becoming the chosen of a deity is a very rare honor, but one an Adventurer could very well look forward to- and often, evil beings choose deities of 'doing whatever I was going to do anyway' (someone going to destroy everything they don't like with lightning bolts is probably going to worship Talos, for interest). Even ignoring that, a deity can still get a character out of scrapes: many clerics of Cyric do hear his voice in his mind (of course, considering it's Cyric, that's not really a good thing), and I think Viconia basically implies that Shar saved her in someway when she was rejected by Lloth.

    As for why you might worship an evil god in general... well, let's say your evil. If you have education, you probably know about the Wall of the Faithless. You don't want to end up there, and if you pretended to worship a 'good' god you'd probably become one of the False, with a fate just as miserable. So you're probably going to choose an evil god to follow, simply so you have a chance after to death, however slim.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 2,056
    Plenty of Neutral deities to choose from. To name a few that might be interesting: we've got the four elemental lords: Akadi, Istishia, Kossuth, and Grumbar; Gond, god of smithing, construction, engineering and such; Oghma, god of knowledge (patron god of Candlekeep, by the way); Hoar, god of vengeance and retribution; Tempus, god of war and battle; Garagos, god of slaughter; The Red Knight, goddess of strategy.

    Those are only the human deities, though, and not even all of them - I just picked a few I thought might fit or be interesting. You can read more about them and the others here: All deities, lists of deities by alignment,

  • JaggedJagged Member Posts: 105
    The part I still don't understand is why the evil deities afterlife is such a horrible place. Why would Shar, Talos, or Bane torture their followers after they die?

    I would think they would offer them paradise if someone spends their life spreading death and destruction in the name of their deity.

  • artificial_sunlightartificial_sunlight Member Posts: 601
    I think only the false (who betrayed their gods) and the faithless are punished after dead.

  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 430
    edited August 2014
    There's an online comic which shows some very believable and not completely unlikeable evil characters, and also features an appearance by some of the drow gods themselves. Beware, some nudity.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 2,056
    Jagged said:

    The part I still don't understand is why the evil deities afterlife is such a horrible place. Why would Shar, Talos, or Bane torture their followers after they die?

    I would think they would offer them paradise if someone spends their life spreading death and destruction in the name of their deity.

    Because they're Evil. Duh.

    Jokes aside, I don't see why you think Bane and Talos wouldn't sell off their followers. Bane has no problem torturing them while they're alive, and his followers are nothing but tools to him. You'd have to please him goddamn well to expect him to even notice you. Talos, on the other hand, is the personification of natural disaster and destruction. I doubt he'd be offended by the destruction of his followers' souls either. Shar o don't really know enough about to comment, other than that she's the kind if god who'd probably want to remain in control over her souls for her own nebulous purposes.

    I think only the false (who betrayed their gods) and the faithless are punished after dead.

    Those are the only ones that are punished per se, but evil gods have a tendency to sell their followers' souls to fiends.

  • JaggedJagged Member Posts: 105
    I think that is what has me so confused. Why in the world would someone wake up and say, I think I'll be a priest of Talos. I'll spread destruction is his name all my life. Then when I die Talos will disregard me or torture me somehow.

    Though I guess there will always be evil people and maybe it just can't be explained.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153
    I'd say that @the_spyder‌ nailed it. Also, take in mind Evil Gods are more often much effective in combat (take Arioch as an example, and how he is summoned by Elric to turn the fight to his side), and could even had promised you something to convince you (no proofs it's actually true) or charm you to follow them.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @Anduin - LOL. Points for making a Ren and Stimpy reference at the end there. KUDOS.

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