This post suggests a default build for derro Idols based on the RAW from Occult Realms combined with some assumptions and thematic elements discussed in the previous post. As there is an assumed default starting Ego for a single worshipper cult of 6 and each major sacrifice raises the Idol’s Ego score by 3, I’ve elected to chart the default Idol build using six “ranks” with each higher one having an Ego 3 points higher than the lower rank.
A “starting” 1st rank Idol therefore has an Ego of 6, a 3rd rank Idol has an Ego of 12 and a (likely) final 6th rank Idol has an Ego score of only 21. These “ranked” default Idols are presented as a resource here and can be customised for your use as required.
Note: higher ego score Idols with derro cults can of course exist – any Idol with more than the 10 worshippers base used in this series of posts can have a higher Ego, but the bonus is only limited and mostly mechanically irrelevant until >200 worshippers is reached and derro savants may have good reason to keep their cults limited. Even a larger cult of 101-200 derro has only another +3 Ego, which effectively just shifts it one rank higher at lower levels and a 6th rank Idol with a boosted Ego of 24 is only slightly different to an Ego of 21 mechanically for the purpose of this essay.
The majority of derro are chaotic evil, although possibly with some kind of Blue and Orange Morality due to their insanity, so CE Idols make the most sense as a default.
However, less chaotic or more neutrally aligned Idols could make for some interesting personality conflicts between their dedicated savant and provide some interesting plot and story motivations beyond the usual derro behaviour.
So I’ve been thinking about the idea of atheist derro for a while – they are after all particularly insane, so the concept of them denying the existence of divinity in the context of clear evidence to the contrary in the default Golarion setting for PFRPG or the various 3.0/3.5 or 5E DnD worlds isn’t inconceivable, just a bit of a stretch.
I mean there’s always the Athar of Planescape and their worship of the Great Beyond – but I can’t seem them welcoming derro to their ranks easily…
The again their Insane Immunity might make them potential candidates in some ways?
But derro don’t exactly make for great clerics in any case, regardless of the potential existence atheist clerics, so I had another thought while reading through the Occult Realms rules for Idols and I think there’s something in them worth exploring that fits with the overall derro themes explored on this site…
The article “By Any Other Name: Races of the Underdark, by Owen K.C. Stephens first appeared in DRAGON #281 (March 2001).
It’s first section contains some example prefixes for derro names, but the player is encouraged to mix and match with name fragments from other articles in the series (dwarves, elves) or alternatively combine with the duergar and svirfneblin name fragments on the other tables within the article.
I’ve listed the derro name prefixes here for reference:
Thus the two main derro deities with names of Diirinka may mean “treacherous wizard” or “lucky savant” whereas Diinkarazan may be loosely translated as “lost cursed brother” and secari is an “ornamental dagger” as described in early derro descriptions.
Other supplements have used other naming conventions with variable consistency, which I aim to compile as a list at some stage as a resource.
Addit April 2018: the Kobold Press supplement “Unlikely Heroes for 5th Edition” has some suggested derro names as discussed in this later blog post.
I was originally going to title this post Derro Clerics, Seriously?, but given the focus of the discussion is really going to be about derro as Divine spellcasters that most use Wis as their primary ability, it’s probably worth expanding on to include all these:
Plus quite a long list from the other major core PFRPG sources readily available on the PFSRD:
Note an Oracle (APG) uses Cha however… more on that later.
Overall it’s an idea almost as crazy as this guy here: