Is there any true-neutral Great Old One, or at least a passive-evil entity, for my chaotic-stupid character? I am playing a Warlock in the Forgotten Realms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Asking about deities fitting a certain theme and/or alignment is probably okay, but asking for ideas about pact terms is opinion based/idea generation, which is off topic here. I would recommend removing that part of your question. You may be able to ask that but at a traditional discussion forum \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2022 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


The case for just making it up

I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t use an “official” patron, and I’m not saying that no list of such exists—I don’t know of one, but it may be out there. What I am saying is making up your own is also a great option here.

In general, there aren’t really predefined exhaustive, canonical lists of patrons, particularly Great Old Ones, the way there are for deities. Some individual creatures or characters may mention their capacity to serve as a warlock patron of one type or another, but a warlock isn’t necessarily expected to use one of them. For example, sure, a fiend warlock could have Asmodeus as a patron, but more likely they’ve got “crossroads devil #3653” instead.

Moreover, the narrative tone of Great Old Ones is usually very much “blue-and-orange morality,” that is, moral and ethical outlook that is so alien that it can’t be made to conform to our notions of good and evil (“black-and-white morality”). D&D (and others) often portrays this as Chaotic and/or Evil, but True Neutral might be a more accurate descriptor.

Finally, the Great Old Ones are by definition, deeply shrouded in mystery. Little is known about them—and there is much more that we don’t know, that even their warlocks don’t know. So there can always be more that we don’t know of—so you can always just make one up. And since they’re so mysterious, you don’t even have to make up all that many details for them—“unknown True Neutral Great Old One” would be totally valid.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, most "blue/orange morality" entities just boil down to being extremely devoted Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral, like a warrior who puts honor before good and evil, or a fey creature that's ruled entirely by an intricate web of favors, debts, and obligations. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2022 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym Yes, but I think a lot of that is just the inability of human authors to write non-human perspectives, so they just write exaggerated human perspectives instead. Often with problematic results (e.g. the frequency with which “alien” is coded as “autistic”). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 5, 2022 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ TN is indeed a more accurate descriptor. The D&D alignment system is wonky, with ‘evil’ not being the opposite of good, but the absence of it. WotC (and most other publishers) consistently categorize most blue-orange morality characters as evil (if they’re opposed to the characters, CN if they aren’t), as well as many amoral (but not immoral) sapient characters (with most of the rest being CN), only really using TN for things that are objectively amoral and the few odd characters who actively ’seek balance’. But to be evil you have to be within the same system of morals to begin with. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2022 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AustinHemmelgarn I disagree—only insofar as you claim D&D authors are consistently anything with respect to alignment. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 6, 2022 at 1:39

Generally, the named entities in D&D's lore are the ones that actually care enough to interact in some way with the material world. But a warlock's powers don't necessarily derive from a personal relationship with their patron, particularly for the Great Old One.

The Player's Handbook says

The Great Old One
... The Great Old One might be unaware of your existence or entirely indifferent to you, but the secrets you have learned allow you to draw your magic from it.

Your patron is entirely likely to not even be conscious of what you're doing. It may be dead/asleep/in stasis/dreaming (concepts like "alive" and "dead" don't quite apply to entities like that), so that you're less a cultist and more like a biologist with a list of stimulus-responses that you know how to trigger. Less "Oh great Xpkarl, grant me power!" and more "If I poke it right here, it makes a fireball!" Heck, you might be in contact with a being that doesn't even have thoughts or a mind as such; it might just be the Far Planes equivalent of a flatworm, a vast source of power but entirely mindless.

If you want to take your character in the direction of a Great Old One "patron" who isn't aware of you, and may not even be awake in any way we would recognize, that being is unlikely to have much or any existing lore, and its alignment is completely irrelevant to you. You'll just have to work with your DM to come up with a name and some vague description of what this entity is. Or maybe not; warlock patrons are intended to be mysterious and inscrutable, Great Old Ones more so than most, so having a detailed description of what exactly this being is may not be particularly necessary, or even desirable.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a masterful answer, though it might be even better if it changed "lies dreaming" to "waits dreaming". Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2022 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimothyAWiseman Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn - well, that goes without saying. 😁 \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2022 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimothyAWiseman Yeah I guess I kinda mashed up "dead Cthulhu waits dreaming" with "that is not dead which can eternal lie". \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2022 at 18:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is almost certainly best for the warlock if their Great Old One "patron" is unaware of their very existence. A GOO who notices a mortal drawing power from it is just as likely to eat the mortal as to use the mortal's body and mind as a convenient beachhead. Best to remain under the radar while siphoning power, rather than end up like Charles Dexter Ward. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tom
    Oct 5, 2022 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Sorry, kid. It's not personal, but we have to keep the number of Warlocks down. Xpkarl doesn't know we exist yet, and the rest of us want to keep it that way..." \$\endgroup\$
    – notovny
    Oct 6, 2022 at 21:09

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