Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder

Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos

CR 25; XP 1,638,400
CE Outer God of conspiracies, dangerous secrets, and forbidden magic
Primary Source H. P. Lovecraft, “Nyarlathotep,” The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, “Dreams in the Witch House”


Domains Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, and Magic, plus one more (fifth domain varies by form; for the Howler this domain is War)
Subdomains Arcane, Divine, Memory, Thought, plus two more (these additional subdomains vary by form; for the Howler these are Blood and Tactics)
Favored Weapon varies by form (dagger for the Howler)
Symbol varies by form (bloody dripping rune for the Howler)
Temple varies by form (abandoned churches, caverns, and secluded forest glens for the Howler)
Worshipers doomsayers, mad spellcasters, misanthropes, unethical scientists
Servitors flying polyps, hunting horrors, servitors of the Outer Gods

Influence (DC 30)

Area 1-mile radius
Proxy avatar of Nyarlathotep
Effects enhance Elder Influence


Combat Nyarlathotep’s influence can be defeated by destroying his current avatar.

Influence Effects

Enhance Elder Influence Nyarlathotep’s influence has no true effects on its own; unlike many of the Great Old Ones or Outer Gods, Nyarlathotep enjoys direct interaction with humanity and uses one of his thousand forms as an avatar when he is called upon. Nonetheless, all of his forms share one thing in common: they enhance the effects of other elder influences within a 1-mile radius. All elder influences that overlap, either partially or wholly, with Nyarlathotep’s area of influence have their save DCs increased by 4.

The Howler (CR 25)

XP 1,638,400
CE Huge aberration
Init +12; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +40


AC 43, touch 20, flat-footed 35 (+4 deflection, +8 Dex, +23 natural, –2 size)
hp 555 (30d8+420)
Fort +28, Ref +22, Will +28
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 15/epic and lawful; Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, aging, death effects, disease, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, negative energy effects, paralysis, petrification, poison, sonic; Resist acid 30, cold 30, electricity 30; SR 36


Speed 60 ft., air walk
Melee bite +35 (3d10+15/19–20 plus 3d6 negative energy), 2 claws +35 (3d8+15/19–20 plus 3d6 negative energy), tentacle +33 (6d6+7/19–20 plus grab and 3d6 negative energy)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (30 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks constrict (6d6+15 plus 3d6 negative energy), howl, million favored ones, vampirism

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 25th; concentration +35)
Constant—air walk, cloak of chaos (DC 28), freedom of movement, true seeing
At will—black tentacles, greater dispel magic, dimension door, nightmare (DC 25), phantasmal killer (DC 24)
3/day—demand (DC 28), quickened feeblemind (DC 25), insanity (DC 27), summon monster IX (1d6 flying polyps or 1d4 hunting horrors 100%), wish (self only, only to duplicate spells)
1/day—gate, symbol of insanity (DC 28)


Str 40, Dex 27, Con 38, Int 29, Wis 24, Cha 31
Base Atk +22; CMB +39 (+41 bull rush, +43 grapple, +41 sunder); CMD 61 (63 vs. bull rush, sunder, and trip)
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (claws), Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (feeblemind), Staggering Critical, Vital Strike
Skills Intimidate +43, Knowledge (arcana) +42, Knowledge (engineering) +39, Knowledge (geography) +39, Knowledge (history) +39, Knowledge (local) +39, Knowledge (planes) +39, Knowledge (religion) +39, Perception +40, Sense Motive +37, Spellcraft +42, Survival +40, Use Magic Device +40
Languages Aklo, Common; telepathy 300 ft.
SQ no breath

Special Abilities

Howl (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action in any round he does not attack with his tentacle, Nyarlathotep can raise his tentacle to the sky and emit a supernatural howl. This blasts the minds and souls of all within a 90-foot radius: each creature in this area must make a successful DC 39 Fortitude save or gain 1 negative level. This is a death and a sonic effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Million Favored Ones (Su) Starting on the 2nd round of any combat, the Howler’s chest cavity unleashes a cloud of shrieking damned souls. These are the million favored ones, and once they are released they surround the Howler in a 60-foot-radius spread for the remainder of this encounter. All creatures in this area must make a DC 35 Reflex save at the start of each of their turns for the rest of the encounter or take 4d6 points of negative energy damage and become sickened from the supernatural chill. The sickness lasts for 1 hour. A successful save negates the damage but not the sickened effect. Once a creature successfully saves against the sickness effect, it cannot be affected by the Million Favored Ones’ sickness for 24 hours but must still make saving throws on its turn or take damage. The sickness is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Vampirism (Su) Whenever the Howler hits a creature with any of its natural attacks or inflicts constrict damage, it inflicts an additional 3d6 points of negative energy damage. Each time it inflicts this negative energy damage, it heals an equal number of hit points.

Nyarlathotep is the soul of the otherwise nearly-mindless Outer Gods. He knows their desires, and when they stir, disquieted, he takes action. Cults and individuals alike seek to appease him, because his goals can at least be understood by mortals. Technically, those who “worship” Nyarlathotep actually worship the Outer Gods he serves, but he directs and focuses their efforts in what is, to him, the proper direction.

The Thousand Forms

Nyarlathotep claims to have a thousand forms. He appears in many different shapes, of various genders or none, each form fixed and distinguishable from the others. In his different forms, Nyarlathotep often displays what appears to be different personalities, but the underlying goal is always the same: to spread madness and prepare the world for the eventual advent of those he serves.

A few of his forms are listed below, but of course a GM is encouraged to invent others.

The Shadow Pharaoh: This is a sphinx-like entity of great size and power, whose face is either a gateway displaying other galaxies and stars (and through which victims can actually pass), or a hideous skull-like semblance.

The Black Man: This is an unnaturally cinder-black human form—not simply dark of skin, but entirely black. In this form, Nyarlathotep presides over the witches’ sabbath and oversees covens of worshipers.

Humanoid: Nyarlathotep also takes on at least one unremarkable humanoid form, in which he generally resembles a member of a nearby humanoid population. This is used to conceal his identity and communicate his concepts more readily to mortals of a similar form.

The Bloated Woman: This cruel creature has tentacles, five fanged mouths, and a swollen form. In this form, Nyarlathotep carries a magical fan which, when held before her eyes, causes her form to resemble that of an attractive humanoid of great beauty by local standards. When the fan is dropped, her monstrosity becomes apparent, however.

The Dark Demon: This pig-like humanoid's terror lies more in its aftereffects. When the Dark Demon is summoned, he possesses the body of the summoner, twisting the hapless fool into a semblance that resembles a tusked swine. Typically, the Demon remains for only a few minutes. When it departs, the victim does not return to his former appearance—he is trapped in the Dark Demon’s form forever.

The Haunter of the Dark: A revealer of secrets, The Haunter cannot withstand any amount of light except that projected by its own three-lobed burning eye. In this form, Nyarlathotep is a winged horror, its wiry body is ringed with tentacles. It possesses the ability to strike its victims dead as though by lightning.

The Jester: The Jester is a manipulator, and Nyarlathotep often sends this form to change events in a more subtle way. While friendlier than most of his other forms, often taking the form of a harmless-looking young woman, the Jester is no less dangerous and heralds movement in a greater plan that could come to fruition in thousands of years… or in a matter of days. Unlike Nyarlathotep's Humanoid form, the Jester is most often used for people who aren't candidates to become followers… or to terrify societies that support the ideals of masculinity and strength. For more information on the Jester, see the Crawling Chaos Cult.
Wiki Note: The Jester is a homebrew form and not part of Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder. It's meant as an example of how new forms can be created to allow the influence of the Mythos even early in a campaign, since PCs are unlikely to suspect their true identity.

The Million Favored Ones

One of the destinies of favored worshipers is to become mindless wraiths in Nyarlathotep’s service. In any combat involving the Howler, he can shoot forth the million favored ones from his chest cavity. They take the form of a great wind full of shrieking, damned souls. Their howls and icy touch act to decrease a party’s combat or magical effectiveness. While in theory, individual favored ones can be destroyed by magic or enchanted weapons, there are literally a million of them, so this is not an effective tactic.

The Howler in Combat

This is one of the best-known forms of Nyarlathotep and is notable for battle prowess, so it is likely to be encountered if Nyarlathotep is expecting combat. Instead of a head, the Howler has a long tentacle stretching toward the heavens, shaded blood-red as it tapers. He also has claws, three or more legs, and a gaping, almost sexual maw in the middle of his chest from which light emits. Inside this opening can be seen the swirling faces and souls of those the Howler has devoured. He drips a magical sap from his chest-cavity which his worshipers seek to harvest.

Minions of the Crawling Chaos

The Howler has creatures at his beck and call, including hunting horrors, flying polyps, and almost any kind of otherworldly entity, even those normally associated with other entities (such as byakhee). Nyarlathotep can summon forth these entities to assist him in his battles.

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