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I'm currently working on a large pantheon of deities for a religion in my current world. I've decided I would like to have the deity of joy and mirth be evil, but I'm having a hard time determining a logical path to that state of being.

How can an evil deity reasonably be explained as the deity of joy and mirth?

(For this question, assume the typical good-evil/chaos-law axes of Dungeons and Dragons.)

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    $\begingroup$ If joy and mirth are considered evil things (like in this life is meant to be miserable, so the afterlife can be all fun and games or something similar) you should be set ? $\endgroup$ – Burki Nov 11 '15 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Also see The Joker from Batman. $\endgroup$ – djechlin Nov 12 '15 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ How about a god of joy that make people totally procrastinate boring but important things (work, PhD comics, housework)? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Grimm Nov 12 '15 at 1:50
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    $\begingroup$ Just a short answer, you should be able to expand it: the deity brings joy through sins -- lust, gluttony, etc. $\endgroup$ – busukxuan Nov 12 '15 at 5:36
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    $\begingroup$ It makes me think of how epicureanism is often misunderstodd with hedonism. Hedonism is a philosophical explanation to your "evil" god in my own opinion. $\endgroup$ – Kii Nov 12 '15 at 16:40

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The main thing to consider here is the concepts you're trying to tie together. In most cultures 'evil' and 'joy' are somewhat antithetical. The only people who take joy in being evil or find joy to be evil are the outliers in society.

In order to make this god more mainstream, you might have to consider that they aren't what they used to be. For example: in early Norse mythology Loki was a trickster. A bit mischievous and a bit annoying, but fundamentally harmless. In later mythologies, however, Loki went from 'haha' tricky to full on psychotic. His purpose in the stories (and hence his character) changed, and he became an evil trickster god.

Another option is to have the god be a 'two faced' kind of god. Bastet or Poseidon are good examples of this kind of a god, personifying both a destructive and a bountiful side.

So: To make an evil god of joy, you might want a god that used to be joyful until (X mythological event) turned him to thoughts of darkness and despair. Now he embodies both, bringing joy and mirth in the summer (along with a high risk of fire and drought) and causing all the evils of winter (with occasional joyful moments to be found in the solace of each other's company).

That way you have a god that can embody both concepts, and developed from an earlier god by way of natural story progression. This god is still fundamentally evil in his character, but constantly brings to mind the memory of the other non-evil traits he embodies.

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  • $\begingroup$ Aren't oligarchs at some point evil ? Does the concept of being a billionaire in itself leads automatically to something unfair and thus something not good ? $\endgroup$ – Kii Dec 14 '15 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Kii: I'm genuinely unsure what your comment is about. If its a question about my answer: it doesn't seem to make sense. If it's a comment on the question: It should be attached to the question. If it's an idea for an answer in it's own right you should develop it and answer with it. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Dec 15 '15 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ So basically a bi-polar god? $\endgroup$ – Marky Aug 19 '16 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ @marky: Poseidon wasn't particularly bipolar. He was just a bit of an asshole. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Sep 7 '16 at 18:37
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Rather than having this god(dess) as evil, you could have them as apathetic. They can seek joy and thrill, but without regard for the consequences of their actions.

People could worship this god more mainstream, as a 'god of happiness', as they have misinterpreted this god's actions over the years. This god seeks joy through means of both good (playing in the snow, love, games) but also evil (dangerous competitions, greed, power, lust), with no cares for which is which.

For this god, there are no distinctions between what is right and wrong, just what makes for a good time.

Therefore, there would be certain cults that worship this god as was intended, by simply doing selfish acts to enrich the life of the worshiper, but not doing them because they are selfish, just because they are fun.

On the axis, it could be described as neutral good/evil (perhaps tilted slightly towards evil simply because of the uncaring nature), but also chaotic, as there is no regard for the welfare of others. This could easily tip into overtly evil, while some still regard it as good.

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds similar to Dionysus. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Read Nov 11 '15 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ Also sounds like Loki, god of mischief. $\endgroup$ – Sandy Chapman Nov 11 '15 at 22:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Samuel "The Joker is not evil, just an agent of chaos"? Umm... have you actually put much thought into that? Sometimes chaos and evil very obviously go hand-in-hand. Doctor Who is just as chaotic as the Joker. Curious what definition of evil would not apply to the Joker. $\endgroup$ – Nacht Nov 12 '15 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you mean apathetic? Amoral might be a better term? Or there are several words that mean or imply taking joy without caring for the suffering of others. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Nov 12 '15 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ Apathetic also has connotations of joylessness and suchlike though which don't really fit a god of joy. Look at this synonym list: uninterested, indifferent, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, uninvolved, disinterested, unfeeling, unemotional, emotionless, dispassionate, lukewarm, cool, uncaring, half-hearted, lackadaisical, non-committal; More $\endgroup$ – Tim B Nov 12 '15 at 11:24
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He could be the god of enforced joy and mirth.

Think of your worst boss, the corporate, managerial drone who thinks of you as nothing more than a spreadsheet entry that happens to take in dollars and outputs product. But he once read a paper that happy workers increase productivity by 7%. And he wants that 7%, because it will increase his own next bonus by 2%. That's how this god views you.

So he will make you happy.

You will smile and be joyful. You will sing with your neighbors, even the ones you secretly hate because they always take a little more than they give, and they smell kind of funny too. You will forgive your father for beating you, your girlfriend for cheating, your friend for taking credit for your work - because happy people don't hold grudges.

And so this god, the one who tells you to smile and find peace, is in the end the truest god of evil. Because he takes something that should be good and makes a mockery of it.

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Your evil god is Bob Saget, showing the world there is joy and laughter in other people's suffering.

Chasing joy regardless of the cost or consequences could be considered evil. This is more towards hedonism than joy though.

Another option would be joy in the form of thrillseeking, the euphoria from adrenaline overload as well as the mirth and laughter in sharing the tales of those exploits.. This God (of skydivers berserkers and PCs) would drive his followers to ever greater death-defying feats like duels, battles and dangerous adventures, maybe blessing them with increased endurance and luck, until it ultimately kills them.

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  • $\begingroup$ I miss the days when he was host of AFHV. $\endgroup$ – Noctis Skytower Nov 12 '15 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to World Building Stack Exchange, where Bob Saget is a God. And he's evil. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Nov 12 '15 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ I have suggested an edit to feature a link to the WP article of "Bob Saget", so the answer is comprehensible to readers outside of your specific (spatial and temporal) pop culture. If you know about a better short description of who that person is than the WP article, feel free to substitute the link target. $\endgroup$ – O. R. Mapper Nov 15 '15 at 18:04
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A note here: I'd be careful with calling it joy; this will offend certain religious people, because the Christian view of joy is not happiness or mirth, but contentedness and/or endurance. I don't mind, some people will. Be aware, but also know that you can't please everyone.

For simple evil, make her/him a god of hedonism, debauchery, rape, and prostitution (I mean, it's mirth for some of the parties involved). Make the god and his/her cultists obsessed with sex, alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, and other things that bring euphoria. There can be sadomasochism here: extreme happiness, even orgasm, from causing and/or receiving pain –– without consent. This sort of god would be much like the Joker or an evil clown. "Why so serious?" It will be a chaotic sort of evil, and incapable of feeling pain, remorse, regret, guilt, etc. Compassion may be impossible, because empathy involves "feeling" someone else's pain.

Unlike most evil gods, though, this one will be seductive, clouding their true nature with psychedelic colors. Their temples will be filled with exotic, half-naked women dancing and playing music. You might not realize, at first, that the sacred fire is burning poppy seeds until you've already started to feel a bit euphoric. By the time you meet the high priest/ess, who is very much looking forward to torturing you, you may or may not care as you're beaten to a bloody pulp or cannibalized by drunken worshippers. Not that it necessarily needs to be that overt.

For even more Evuls,* you could also have them delight in stealing joy, like a Dementor from Harry Potter. The god and their worshippers are perpetually happy, but those unfortunate enough to encounter them without being initiated will find their joy stolen away… perhaps forever, while the god revels in all of your stolen happy memories, whilst dragging you deeper into a state of despair.

A more subtle sort of evil could work as well, teaching mirth in all circumstances… why, with debauchery, of course! There might still be temples filled with bright colors and half-naked women, but they might not torture people or harm anyone… they just offer addiction instead of guidance to those who come seeking help. Kurzgesagt's recent video on addiction might give you some ideas. Have the god and their worshippers be false friends who give the lonely something to connect to, who give the lost a new path to wander, who give the grieving a new commitment… forever.

If you want to add a particularly dark undertone (especially to a subtle evil, this may be over the top if you go with option one), perhaps the worshippers of this god find themselves in a Special Afterlife, where they're hooked up to some sort of mechanism that drains away their mirth to fuel whatever magic the god uses to keep worshippers in a constant state of bliss.

*It's evil to link to TVTropes, so... I dunno, alternatively make them the God of TVTropes. They will steal your life away.

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  • $\begingroup$ Gotta love how religion hijacks certain words $\endgroup$ – Insane Apr 24 '16 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Insane Christianity predates the word "joy." But yeah, it is annoying. $\endgroup$ – Midwinter Sun Apr 24 '16 at 15:29
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There is no such thing as an evil deity. There is no such thing as a good deity either. Any real deity is a fundamental and necessary part of the reality and as such they simply are. "I am what I am" and all that.

When people talk of deities being good or evil what is actually meant is that the people talking perceive their relationship with the deity as a negative and antagonistic.

The classic case is that the deity's "domain" is something considered negative. Deities of such things as disease, tyranny, or undeath are invariably considered evil by people who classify what the deity represents as evil. This is just a shortcoming of human understanding, but it is the norm.

So the first option is that the people consider joy and mirth to be negative things to be avoided. Such people would at the very least have serious doubts about the deity in question. You can find a real world example in some forms of Abrahamic religions where joy and mirth can be considered worldly distractions from the path to God.

The basic concept in this case is not that mirth is bad, but that your time is limited and you should be spending it on something more valuable. Many religious groups consider any excess frivolity to be negative and more than few have confused warnings about worldly distractions with assuming doing such things is sinful and evil. Intentionally promoting mirth with intent of distracting people actually would qualify as evil.

You can use this option by making the people somber and serious, obsessed theologically with something that is not aided by frivolity. Easy way would be to just copy the concept of final judgement and make criteria something suitably serious that joy and mirth can legitimately be considered distractions. You can do the same with less-than-final judgement as well by using some kind of wheel of reincarnation scheme. These people would consider a deity that tries to distract them from "purifying" themselves with joy and mirth to be evil.

Second option that is common is that the deity is not their deity. Most demons or evil deities are actually gods of some people considered hostile or at least suspicious. So you God of Joy could be a god worshipped in a hostile empire. Or a god worshipped by people who used to live on the land your people now possess before being conquered. Or simply a once popular god whose cult lost the competition in the marketplace of religions. In all these cases the stories and myths taught to people about the God would paint him a negative light and he would thus be an evil god. People in a neighbouring country or of some ethnic or religious minority would probably disagree.

Also note the direct link between how a god is perceived by people and how the god interacts by the setting or story. Gods generally do not, due to various hand waving reasons, interact directly with people. They interact by the intermediary of humans using methods suited to those humans. And those humans will have their perceptions of the gods they serve and their agendas. And that is what is visible of the god to other people.

So if the god of joy is mostly worshipped by evil people then for all practical purposes he is an evil god. And of course the "evil people" comes with all the point of view warnings it usually has. The difference between ruthless terrorist and dedicated liberation fighter is usually in the eye of the beholder without any real world difference needed. So a god can become evil simply by guilt by association.

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I think the most logical choice would be a trickster/practical joker kind of god.

The difference is the jokes go WAAAAY over the line and cause permanent injury etc. Essentially you are creating Loki... but there is some nuance of course.

This should not be a global deity, nor would it likely be widely worshiped by most of the races who would see his shenanigans for what they are which is...well evil.

Some races/tribes could find this god's way of doing things to be funny and bring laughter/joy. These barbarians could be known for torturing their opponents and saying disturbing things like "Look at him squirm, his guts are falling out" which would of course be followed by psychotic laughter.

So yes. It could be done but to be realistic it shouldn't be a respected universal deity. This god would be a niche player on the deific scene and along with his/her followers would be pretty universally reviled for their views on suffering and pain.

If you don't keep it a small fringe religion you run the risk of making it difficult for users/readers to accept because lets face it, MOST people do not find joy in the suffering of others.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't that be a joyful god of evil? ;D $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Nov 11 '15 at 16:24
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If a culture aspires to a middle road rather than extremes, all extremes could be seen as evil. An evil joyful god could be one which takes advantage of the lack of judgement that is associated with unbalanced joy and uses it to corrupt by doing the god's work unnoticed under the oblivion of joy.

Such a character would be a very dangerous character to have around, as typically joy is considered to be a good thing. However, if you structured your pantheon carefully, you could make sure there's a way out. Perhaps well tempered balanced joy is okay, but the unbalanced ecstatic joy is forbidden and found under this god's domain. Your "balanced ideal" would have to be terribly strong, though, or the entire culture may destabilize. Indeed, you might even write a story where the destabilization of this balanced ideal is a good thing, opening doors that were closed before.

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You could take some pointers from the Warhammer universe's Slaanesh. As the god(/ess?) of extreme excess, sensation, lust, etc. you could easily pull some of these ideas together to bring an "evil" (or certainly blue and orange morality based) god or goddess.

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  • $\begingroup$ This sounds more like pleasure than joy. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Nov 11 '15 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ The thing focused on in the fluff of the game is that its all about "Sensation" - this could be tweaked to fit :) $\endgroup$ – Miller86 Nov 12 '15 at 9:10
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How about a god that embodies joy, but in a limitless, chaotic, destructive way. He's the god of joy because he party hardest than any other mortal or god. He indulges in any excess. He wont stop for nothing, he isn't driven by any ulterior motive, his goal is simple, enjoy himself, regardless the cost, regardless how many other beings end up hurt or die, and completely ignoring any consequence to his deeds.

He IS joy personified, but the rest of the pantheon is afraid of how utterly chaotic and unpredictable he can be. One day he wants to do all the drugs, other day he finds his personal joy at randomly smiting lawful mortals, and the next he's playing soft music to the wild animals in a forest.

His followers fall deeply in a hedonistic lifestyle, forgetting family, work, and even close friends, unless they "embrace joy" too. Ultimately most of them end up in anarchy, hurting others and even themselves.

While this particular god is more of an agent of chaos, than evil, his complete lack of empathy and interest for anything that wont directly bring him joy, and the fact that he WILL hurt and kill mortals and gods (should it be possible) just for personal fun is what puts hin deep into the chaotic evil alignment

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Have your world's predominant moral system place a great deal of emphasis on balance. The god of joy's doctrine may seem seductive and beautiful at first, but only if you completely ignore balance and appropriateness.

Here are a few ways you could play with this (and probably others as well):

  • If you were at a funeral and one person was all serene and happy, wouldn't you feel a bit creeped out and think there's something wrong with that guy?
  • If joy-cultists can become too overwhelmingly happy to notice things like pain, they could end up seriously injuring themselves. (Or possibly seriously injuring others, and not realizing it's bad for them, because it doesn't hurt them when they do it!)
  • We all know that physical pain is good (as a basic concept at least) because it helps keep us from injuring ourselves physically. Here's something that doesn't get talked about as much: emotional pain works exactly the same way. Just imagine the sorts of things a person who's incapable of feeling remorse, guilt, disgust or grief could do.
  • From a different angle, it's a well-understood principle of life that growth comes from the struggle against opposition. ("No pain no gain", "necessity is the mother of invention", "give a man a fish...", etc.) If joy-cultists went around all the time doing everything they could to help people around them to be happy by trying to fix their problems, you could easily end up with a lot of people who aren't good at dealing with their own problems. Just imagine an entire civilization with a high percentage of stereotypical "trust-fund babies"!

So yeah, there are plenty of hooks you could use to create a civilization where a god that places what outsiders see as an excessive level of emphasis on happiness could be viewed as evil and problematic.

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My idea for an "evil god of joy and mirth" is quite simple: Make it so your deity holds all joy/mirth in existence (as if it where a finite substance) and only shares it if you bribe him/her with pleas, prayers, offerings, sacrifices... whatever. You could also make it so it gives out joy just so it can take it from you at a later date and make you miserable.

Just my 5 cents.

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just because this god is the God of joy does not mean this God has to like it. Much like a cartoon i once saw, two twins had the ability to see the future. one saw all good events, the other, all bad events. their personalities were the exact opposite of what they saw. the one that saw all good could therefor never be surprised by good, and was semi depressed. the one that saw only bad events could never predict the good events, and therefor could enjoy them.

Another Example would be in the Dragon ball Z movie revival of F, A evil terror to the entire galaxy was killed, and was immobilized in heaven. His recollection of the experience

"Oh, you can't imagine the depths of my suffering there. I spent most of my days strung up like a pupating moth, trapped over a field of delicate little flowers where bands of angels and fairies and enchanted stuffed animals lived! They played songs and danced asinine jigs was when they would get their next warm, fuzzy hug!" -Frieza

He Hated it, but for the "angels and fairies and enchanted stuffed animals" it was heaven.

Play on this concept. the god of joy does not specifically have to be the embodiment of joy. What if they have come to hate joy and happiness because they constantly experience others versions of it and grew sick of it. the God may want peace and quiet, but cant do so, so long as any good or joy exists in the world.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you're really onto something here: God of Joy is just their job, and they actually kind of hate it. I'm imagining a disgruntled mall-Santa, except he or she actually has the power to bring joy to millions of children -- but would prefer to dispense the minimum amount of joy that won't get them fired. Maybe the source of a lot of the suffering and despair in your world is just that God of Joy has been slacking off for eons. $\endgroup$ – Luke R Nov 12 '15 at 19:31
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You could have a God who thrives on the souls of his worshippers, but he gains worshippers by luring them in through joyous things, then causes them to be joyful until they die of complacency, at which point he harvests their souls.

He is evil, stealing souls to power himself, but his victims die happy. If he's smart, he only steals some of the souls. That way people tend to think he's actually good and sample his services, then he feeds off the ones who will be missed the least.

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It seems you want a hedonistic god, seeking joy and taking no regard or responsibility for how his actions affect others.

Roman Bacchus / Greek Dionysus wasn't too far from that. Assuming he was not a real god and the faithful simply believed what they wanted to believe, probably the only thing that kept this fictional personality from being less regarding of others was the affection the people had for wine, and their god of wine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus

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Just for laughs... The god of Schadenfreude has a nice ring to it.

Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the deserved misfortunes of others. It is specifically used when someone who deserves to be unfortunate, is; and you take pleasure in it. This word is taken from German and literally means "harm-joy".

This approach adds a little ambiguity as to whether this god is good or evil, which may leave you more wiggle room for twists in the plot.

To bad people he/she/it is evil and spiteful.
To everyone else he/she/it is a good god of justice.

Effectively this god steps in to make bad things happen to bad people for the delight of onlookers.

You can tip the scales in the evil direction if needed, by making this god a little overzealous or proactive. Just have this god step in and dole out harsh, yet humorous punishments for the slightest of infractions.

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There are some great suggestions and I am late to this post so I am sure I am late, and Admittedly I am incorporating some of the Ideas built in this room as well as on my own/Inspiration taken from MTG and Warhammer, So here is my take on a CE God of Joy,Mirth and Death.

A Religious Nomadic culture ruled by Priestly Entertainers. The Jesters who call themselves priest of their God insert bring joy and mirth to all their willing victims.

There Temples have all a soul could desire, The finest wines and foods. More earthly pleasures of Man and Woman, who offer themselves to those who come, They give all they can and ask never for anything in return. Sex, Drugs, Rock and roll. Everything is acceptable and everything has a Price. As the Travelers, and citizens indulge, There stand the Masked Priest watching looking and judging.

The Temple filled with scents of lilac and burning seeds in the brazier seem to have a affect which compel and seduce you to all the pleasures.

But they do not just preform and show each offering a test each word a gracious gift. Give freely, Smile and rejoice, celebrate death and love all. On the surface this seems positive. One who is uneducated might even think that there is comfort in not morning the dead for their suffering is over. Always they are watching from behind their mask...waiting for someone to have just a little too much fun. That's when the Slaughter games begin.

A Ritual performed on each new moon, those deemed unworthy are offered to their god for judgement. Those who God name here wants at his table are given the swiftest path to their Smiling god of death.

Tenats:

You will smile and be joyful. You will sing with your neighbors, even the ones you secretly hate because they always take a little more than they give.

You will forgive because happy people don't hold grudges.

And so I say this to you, smile and find peace.

Life is full of pain and suffering and the only way to escape is through death and you better come to me with smile on your face or you shall no endless pain.

But if You greet me with a Smile, Than you are my friend and we can play and sing all day. In death I see your true face, so wear a mask and hide your smile because I am the only one who will see it.

They kidnap those from their temple who took to much or over indulged, and wait for their judgement, they offer freely of their talents as they travel never staying anywhere long as to not draw too much attention or overstay a welcome.

They do their gods work and offer joy and happiness even if for a brief moment.

It should be noted I have built this culture as Nomadic but also they all wear masks protecting their 'true faces as to offer a true gift, as children they build these mask, as adults they are only removed at death to see if they had a good death aka a smile on their faces, To new comers who wish to join after a 'baptism' They are given a mask. I in my campaign where I uses these people I just was enthralled with Masks for these Jester

Military Forces:

Bards - Jesters Masks often Resembling Scarecrows or Goblins, Shaven heads with wigs of Straw. Light-Med armor, Sickle & Whips, War casters & Dual Wielders

Fire Breathers - Jesters Masks often Resembling Scarecrows or Goblins, Shaven heads with wigs of Straw. Light-Med armor, With Torches granting them Breath weapon feature and Short swords or another Finesse weapon Or you could just do Sorcerer Dragon bloodline alt for firebreathers

Rouges: Knife Throwers Dressed in flamboyant cloaks with mask often resembling skulls or trolls.

Jugglers: Armed with academical flasks.

Clerics - Clown - Silver mask built as Skull, One handed Blade Medium armor Limited Plate - Medium Armor Master,Sentinel

Paladins - Harlequin - Black robes with flowing cloaks, Golden chain mail and Plate Winged swords with their holy symbol in the Hilt,Generally Two handed Solid black mask without seemingly eyes but a bright golden and silver smile

Sorcerers - Trickster light armor Flamboyant robes which appear worn and tattered, often with horned skull mask with silver/gold spikes. Wild Mages

Also I have used Succubi,Incubi Some lesser demons as alternate bad guys here. I do have a Arch Paladin who is Tagged with Lord of Riots tag.

That's my take on a God of Joy and Death, I do want to thank this post for inspiring and helping me build and work it into my campaign im sure it not perfect but everyone seems to love our crazy death carnival

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  • $\begingroup$ Glad to here you drew inspiration from my question! $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 24 '16 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ This site in general has helped me flesh out my world thus far, only have really 1 real empire on the whole continent, but because of these workshops it has defiantly helped me create something which allows our players to better immerse them into the world and occasional catch them off gaurd by customs or ritual of given people. Cookie cutter towns exist but are so boring when the whole world that way $\endgroup$ – Joshua Sullivan Apr 24 '16 at 12:57
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Think of your god of joy and mirth as a sort of vampire. He is most joyful and mirthful when he has succeeded in sucking out joy and mirth from a helpless mass of human beings.

He squelches them and drains them emotionally, leaving them in a state of chronic depression -- apathetic and unable to laugh even at life's lighter moments. He does this by injecting negative thoughts and feelings into their mind, that say, "All is futile and worthless. I am a hopeless failure and a burden on this earth. Nobody cares for me, and nobody needs me."

However, this god plays favorites with those who worship him and bring him offerings and human sacrifices. Those who are favored are also joyous and mirthful, but their happiness depends on other people's joylessness.

This god thus has allies among humans and in the spirit-world -- sneaky sprites who do his dirty work, screw up people's romances and enterprises, and whisper negative messages to them while they sleep.

This god is androgynous, and his worldview is specifically misanthropic and misogynistic. He doesn't hate humanity in a general way, but he specifically holds men and women in utter contempt for their manliness and womanliness.

Whom does this god fear? He fears young children and animals because of their capacity to be simply joyous and mirthful without any reason, or even in the face of adversity. He fears anybody who loves unconditionally, because they can spread joy even in the most hopeless conditions. He fears the power of simplicity and humility to enable joyousness even under tyrants and exploiters.

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I'd suggest reading/watching the Name of the Rose in which a character argues that laughter is evil:

Jorge de Burgos: Laughter is a devilish wind which deforms, uh, the lineaments of the face and makes men look like monkeys.

William of Baskerville: Monkeys do not laugh. Laughter is particular to men.

Jorge de Burgos: As is sin. Christ never laughed

and

William of Baskerville: But what is so alarming about laughter?

Jorge de Burgos: Laughter kills fear, and without fear there can be no faith because without fear of the Devil, there is no more need of God.

In other words, laughter/joy/mirth can be viewed as something childish at best and disrespectful at worse; having fun is a waste of resources

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You might be able to get what you're looking for if you consider how your "society" defines good/evil first...

Kant was of the opinion that doing anything we want/feel-like doing cannot add to our morality, because there's no resistance or base nature to overcome.

If we consider something along those lines, we might be able to consider "good" deities to be the ones that are associated with "developing character" whereas "evil" deities are the ones that make [our] lives easier.

You might then have the curious societal effect that people mostly pray to evil gods. ;)

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It can be a destructive, irresponsible kind of joy. It is evil in the sense that it brings joy to individuals, but harms a large group, or the individual in the long run.

People need things like agriculture, math, architecture to live well. He would be the God of Procrastination.

People need things like marriages and relationship to feel secure. He would be the God of Frivolous Sex. Children wouldn't know who their real parents are. They would have sex frivolously with their relatives, animals, and strangers, and end up in a kind of hollow pleasure.

Good food gives joy. He would be the God of Obesity. And God of Mind Altering Substances.

There is also joy at the cost of others. His followers would go into the city forums to open debate on whose deity is greater or whether same-sex marriages should be legal. God of Trolls.

He is the God of Addiction. Hell is not pain and torture. Hell is eternal pleasure, without accomplishment. Hell is not filled with screams, but with regret. Hell is a dank basement, smelling of urine, alcohol, weed, and sexual fluids, filled with obese men and women. They were not inherently evil, but abandoned their responsibilities for selfish pleasure.

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I would recommend something of a blind joy. A God who infects people with mirth and happiness over brings they shouldn't feel joyful about, inevitably warping their actions.

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  • $\begingroup$ One example would be if, say, a great typhoon wiped out half a city, and then the God of Joy came along and made everyone celebrate it. The populace might inevitably starve in their brainwashed ignorance that "No, we don't have to rebuild what was lost. Let's instead celebrate how cool that Typhoon was!" $\endgroup$ – Mark Puchala II Dec 12 '15 at 19:48

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