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Iomedae, and duty to family


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I hope I'm posting in the right place.

Ok, so my brother's character is a lawful good Inquisitor of Iomedae working for the church as a member of an evil slaying brotherhood. My character is his younger half brother, sharing the same mother. However, our mother was a witch and had me through a devil, for which she was executed by the townsfolk for. He and I escaped together. Some years later, he developed a sense of duty against evil, and joined a militant order of Iomedae. He loves my character dearly and knows that I am a good person, having been raised by him, but he kept me sheltered until we got to a town that wasn't completly opposed to me exisiting. As a conflict for the story, we want his order to accidently find out about me and our mother, and excommunicate him because duh. They tell him to slay me because humans are imperfect animals of fear and not the saintly people that the deity companion guides would have you think all of Iomedae's followers are. He would become an ex-inquisitor and become neutral good because he chooses me over his duty.

Here's the question:

When the church kicks him out, would Iomedae uphold their decision due to her sense of law? Does her church have the Catholic power to have its laws on Earth upheld by heaven? Or would she not abandon him because duty to family is still law and duty despite his brother being half devil (even though he himself is neutral good)?

Thank you for all the help!


Are you actually evil?

If not, then "Evil may have created you, Evil may surround you, but you are not ruled by it, therefore you are not Evil".


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Remember an Inquisitor operates outside the normal church structure. They answer only to their deity and their own sense of justice. Also unlike the real world the church has the ability to truly determine if you are evil. Almost any divine caster including clerics, paladins and inquisitors have can detect evil. Any worshiper of Iomedae that does not accept the proof given by her divine power probably will not maintain that power for long.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Iomedae is a genuinely Good goddess, so who your character chooses to be trumps what he was born as.

Iomedae is also noted as hating atrocities commited in the name of "justice", especially when it is done in her name.

She also has pointedly not granted powers to the Burners up in Mendev, who operate much like your stereotypical "burn the witch" crowd.

Iomedae is a lawful goddess, but when the structures of mortals go astray, she doesn't want her worshippers to simply follow the party line and go with the crowd. She wants them to correct the problem.

True Inquisitors of Iomedae, the real ones, not simply those who might be called inquisitors in the setting, are tasked with carrying out the will of their goddess. One of those tasks, particularly relevant to Inquisitors, is to keep their churches on track.

Granted there may be plenty of discomfort and conflict throughout the church about your character's nature, but a priest ordering the death of tieflings simply because they're tieflings doesn't have Iomedae's backing.

Iomedae doesn't answer to the demands of her church, especially if they've gone off the rails. The high priest of an order might excommunicate an Iomedaean cleric, inquisitor, paladin, etc. but only Iomedae can make the choice to forsake them.


She probably would retire her support to them, not to you and your brother- and he can remain her inquisitor even if the order cast him away, and even if he became NG.

Silver Crusade

"Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough. Although inquisitors are dedicated to a deity, they are above many of the normal rules and conventions of the church. They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals."

Inquisitors are like the Judge Dredds of their religions. What you described is not a situation in which the church would be investigating your brother's character and excommunicating him, but instead a situation where your brother's character would be investigating and potentially judging high ranking members of the church for not following Iomedae's creed.

Inquisitors are NOT the people you want to piss off if you are a church official.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

To put it all another way, the moment some Iomedaean church official decides to go all Torquemada and point at a legit Iomedaean inquisitor while screaming "HERETIC!", the inquisitor is fully empowered by his goddess to point right back and proclaim "NO U!" ;)

Bonus points if the official demands that the inquisitor or his brother be burned at the stake, an execution method that goes against Iomedaean doctrine for good reason. They're more of a "quick and clean" sort. "Sword to the heart, not the gut" and all that. Then they burn the bodies if needed.


I guess he can even stay LG after the fact. He refused to conform to their orders, not to the law of the goddess.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow, thank you for all of the responses guys!

So if there is no rule of law like the Catholics, where does Iomedae get her laws? Isn't a lawful character held to traditions and laws set forth by those before them?

I think the main thing that is confusing me right now is that these gods exist in this world and the churches are controlled, for the most part, directly by the deity. In contrast of course to gods not existing in this world and the churches coming up with whatever they want for the time that it works for them ;)

I do appreciate the help...I'm still new to the Pathfinder world :)

Silver Crusade

Tirisfal wrote:

Wow, thank you for all of the responses guys!

So if there is no rule of law like the Catholics, where does Iomedae get her laws? Isn't a lawful character held to traditions and laws set forth by those before them?

I think the main thing that is confusing me right now is that these gods exist in this world and the churches are controlled, for the most part, directly by the deity. In contrast of course to gods not existing in this world and the churches coming up with whatever they want for the time that it works for them ;)

I do appreciate the help...I'm still new to the Pathfinder world :)

Alignments are a tricky, nebulous thing and everyone has their own opinions. Ultimately, your GM's opinions are the ones that matter because she/he makes the final decision.

Iomedae is the goddess of valor, justice and honor and her church will generally seek to advance those values through good works and order.

The situation you described does not strike me as one that is particularly honorable or one that exemplifies justice. If the churches are controlled directly by the god, it doesn't strike me as an order that would have come down from Iomedae herself.

Since you are an inquisitor of Iomedae, you are going to be highly suspicious of anyone who doesn't act with valor and honor in the pursuit of justice. If the leaders of the church of Iomedae have strayed from the path of justice and honor, then it's the Inquisitor's job to judge them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Elamdri wrote:

The situation you described does not strike me as one that is particularly honorable or one that exemplifies justice. If the churches are controlled directly by the god, it doesn't strike me as an order that would have come down from Iomedae herself.

Since you are an inquisitor of Iomedae, you are going to be highly suspicious of anyone who doesn't act with valor and honor in the pursuit of justice. If the leaders of the church of Iomedae have strayed from the path of justice and honor, then it's the Inquisitor's job to judge them.

None of this has happened in game yet - this is all backstory that we're developing before the game starts.

So it sounds like Iomedae isn't the deity that my brother wants in order to make this backstory work...what other L/G deity would be better suited for this sort of fanatical zealotry? Or should we invent our own god...?


A lawful deity is the source of their own law. What you are describing is not a lawful good, but lawful neutral at best, maybe even lawful evil. No deity in a setting where they directly manifest is going to give any mortal power over them.

In the Catholic church the Pope is considered to be Gods representative on earth. From a theological stand point it is God speaking through the Pope not the other way around. In a world were a god can and does directly manifest this would change.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tirisfal wrote:
Does her church have the Catholic power to have its laws on Earth upheld by heaven

a) There is no such power in the catholic church.

b) The dogma of the papal infallibility when speaking ex-chatedra is very recent: A.D. 1870. And it is valid only when speaking of doctrine, not about other things.

From Faith of purity, Iomeade taboo:

"You must stand for justice, and the only exception is if you are playing a longer game that will have far greater benefits when it comes to fruition."

Slaying the non evil person because of his ancestors isn't justice, so I doubt Iomeade will have problems with your brother actions (his church of factions in it can, read a bout the burners).


Your back story is cool but you are selling it short. Instead of a onetime conflict this could be milked out to be an ongoing back story.

Keep in mind that even in a order that you describe most members will probably not be spell casters. You will probably have a lot of fighter, rangers and other classes as the main body. The leaders will probably be Divine casters like paladins, clerics and inquisitors. Think of the Templar's of the crusades. True they did have a lot of knights(Cavaliers), but the majority of its members were ordinary warriors(Fighters).

So here you have an order dedicated to fighting evil, where most of the members do not have the ability to detect evil. There is also probably a lot of experienced members who have become somewhat jaded after fighting evil for years. In this order there is going to be multiple factions with different views. So far this is pretty much the same as you have written.

After you are discovered there is going to be an investigation. Your brother as a lawful good alignment will cooperate with the investigation. Have the people running the initial investigation not be very high level and not being casters. Since he is your brother his testimonies is suspect and not admissible. The initial judgment is against you and you are condemned to death. Your brother goes and gets someone higher up in the order with real authority and spell casting. He of course overturns the verdict rescuing you.

This does not sit well with the original judge because it makes him look like a fool. Both you and your brother now have a mortal enemy within the order. Give him good political connections and you have a major pain in the ass for the entire campaign. He is very careful not to do anything outside the rules but he does everything he can to make anything either of you do look bad. He watches you both like a hawk and the slightest mistake will be pounced on. Think of Morgan from the Harry Dresden novel.


I would look instead of it being about the "church" be it about society and your rightful place. Cheliax abhors tieflings. They are considered abominations and noble families try to keep them out of sight because it implies that there are failings of Cheliaxians in their dealings with Devils.

Here is information on Cheliax: http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Cheliax

I would instead have you both be part of a noble house and you were kicked out because of you being a tiefling. You then sought refuge with whatever god you are interested in and now looking at a way of gaining your rightful heritage, change the situation in Cheliax, whatever.

Iomedae could work as she is assumed Aroden's mantle and Cheliax was once a bastion of his. Cayden Cailean is another god that could work, Cheliax has a lot of slavery and he is interested in freeing those that are slaves.

Just some food for thought. Could get the same feel, but look at it from another way.

Or just make this chapter of Iomedae from Cheliax and they are racists bastards. They still do good work.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
b) The dogma of the papal infallibility when speaking ex-chatedra is very recent: A.D. 1870. And it is valid only when speaking of doctrine, not about other things.

There are a lot of new things that the Christians have adopted that have nothing to do with their unread "handbook", but I won't get into religion with you here ;)

Papal infallibility would be the easy out. With papal infallibility, Iomedae would shrug and say "sorry, rules is rules".

Either way, this sect of the church could excommunicate him for his mother's transgressions (of which my character is evidence of), and he would lose his powers and his connections to the church. I chose Iomedae because she HATES evil, devils, the spawn of demons and devils, etc, and figured her followers would probably be open to some good old fashioned zealotry. Even if she doesn't support it, there are times that it happens in her name without her knowledge - the companion guide 'Gods and Magic' says:

News of witchburnings and pillaging by soldiers and mercenaries
in Iomedae’s name has troubled church elders, and they are
considering authorizing a small branch of the church to
investigate these stories and rein in activities that exceed
the goddess’s teachings; unfortunately, such a job would
be unpopular, and the elders would have a difficult time
finding enough priests willing to conduct an inquiry of
their own brethren.
-pg21

Here's a different angle though - if they excommunicate him, make him an ex-church member, etc, Iomedae might not even hear about it right away. From what I can tell, gods in this world are not omnipresent, right? So she could overturn his excommunication later if he got her phone number.

Maybe his order doesn't order his brother's death. Maybe they say, forget about this unwashed mongrel or we kick you out, take your stuff, and tell you to get lost.


An inquisitors connection is to his deity not the church so for him to lose powers Iomedea would have to abandon him. Again what you are describing is Lawful Evil not Lawful Good. Corruption in the church is what a Lawful Good inquisitor is supposed to take care of.

In a world where the deities routinely and directly intervene you are not going to have many if any churches only playing lip service to the deities teachings. Iomedea was a Paladin before she became a deity.

If you are looking for an evil deity try Asmodeous he does not like Demons so that could work.

Silver Crusade

Tirisfal wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
b) The dogma of the papal infallibility when speaking ex-chatedra is very recent: A.D. 1870. And it is valid only when speaking of doctrine, not about other things.

There are a lot of new things that the Christians have adopted that have nothing to do with their unread "handbook", but I won't get into religion with you here ;)

Papal infallibility would be the easy out. With papal infallibility, Iomedae would shrug and say "sorry, rules is rules".

Either way, this sect of the church could excommunicate him for his mother's transgressions (of which my character is evidence of), and he would lose his powers and his connections to the church. I chose Iomedae because she HATES evil, devils, the spawn of demons and devils, etc, and figured her followers would probably be open to some good old fashioned zealotry. Even if she doesn't support it, there are times that it happens in her name without her knowledge - the companion guide 'Gods and Magic' says:

News of witchburnings and pillaging by soldiers and mercenaries
in Iomedae’s name has troubled church elders, and they are
considering authorizing a small branch of the church to
investigate these stories and rein in activities that exceed
the goddess’s teachings; unfortunately, such a job would
be unpopular, and the elders would have a difficult time
finding enough priests willing to conduct an inquiry of
their own brethren.
-pg21

Here's a different angle though - if they excommunicate him, make him an ex-church member, etc, Iomedae might not even hear about it right away. From what I can tell, gods in this world are not omnipresent, right? So she could overturn his excommunication later if he got her phone number.

Maybe his order doesn't order his brother's death. Maybe they say, forget about this unwashed mongrel or we kick you out, take your stuff, and tell you to get lost.

You know, a lot of what you describe sounds very Razmiran to me. Razmiran is a man who claims to be a living God and has a whole nation dedicated to his worship.

He is also a lot more open I think to this papal interpretation that you like.

To be honest, the situation you are describing is just not something that a lawful good religion is going to expose officially. Granted, there could easily be some fracture in the church that creates an offshoot that the deity may not know about for a while.

That being said, a church of a faith is not going to have the power to excommunicate an inquisitor of the faith. The inquisitor is the one who does the excommunications (usually at the end of a sword).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Judging by the replies here, I think that my brother and I may have confused the concept of the Inquisitor class. I'm going to go reread it and see what I can gleam from that - we may want to make him a half fighter half cleric.

I really appreciate all of the help and ideas, guys! Its so nice to join a message board for once and find so many people willing to help a noob.


I think part of the problem you seem to be having is with the alignment. In the real world someone can claim to be good but actually be evil. This is a lot harder to pull off in a game with magic. When you have ways to verify a person's alignment and the truth of what they are saying It makes it harder for large scale corruption to occur in a good church. Also when deities can be contacted directly for advice the church it makes it harder for mere mortals to high jack its mission.

Here are some roles in a lawful good church to consider.

• Holy warrior dedicated to destroying evil = Paladin
• Someone who spreads the word of the deity to the unenlightened = Cleric
• Someone who instructs others in the way of the deity = Cleric
• Someone who cares for the faithful = Cleric
• An agent of the deity who investigates matters concerning the church = Inquisitor
• Someone who follows the teachings of the deity = any or no class.

Now there is some overlap in the roles but those are the main roles.


Someone who speaks the deity's word, willfully or not, even if her alignment is very different = Oracle


Tirisfal wrote:

Judging by the replies here, I think that my brother and I may have confused the concept of the Inquisitor class. I'm going to go reread it and see what I can gleam from that - we may want to make him a half fighter half cleric.

I really appreciate all of the help and ideas, guys! Its so nice to join a message board for once and find so many people willing to help a noob.

In a game world where the gods can easily see into the hearts of their believers, your situation with your brother can not happen. You are applying a real world religion view into the game world and that is where the problem lies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The big distinction is between the deity and the church.

The Church has the power to strip a character of what the Church gives him. That is not divine spells or class features. Regardless of class (though an argument could be made, for some specific paladin codes, that not obeying the orders of superiors within the Church is a code violation).

The Church can kick him out. They can make him a fugitive from other members of the Church and anyone who cares to listen to the Church. They can take away rank. They can't take away his connection to his goddess, or any of the capabilities it provides.

So the Church can excommunicate him, sure. They can take away his holy symbol (which he can replace pretty much anywhere, or carve his own from wood, perhaps). They can take away his religious vestments (so he wears regular clothes). They can take away the sword he trained with (but nothing stops him from buying a new one). And so on.

Detect evil actually applies in this case, as a Tiefling (which I'm assuming your character is, rather than a half-fiend) is an Outsider, which means even at 1st level you would have a faint aura of whatever alignment(s) you have. Which means it would be very simple for the Church to determine your character is not evil. But we can still assume they would not have bothered; all that needs is a knee-jerk reaction of "look at him, he's clearly evil", and nobody who cares enough to check.

So your brother's character can definitely be kicked out of the Church, and essentially be put at odds with the organization. However, it's going to be pretty simple for the Church to determine that someone on their side erred; your brother's retention of his abilities, and detecting your alignment will do that.

It's quite possible, though, that this action is enough to prompt him to sever ties with the Church himself (or at least not seek reconciliation with the organization). I suppose it could cause him to lose faith, if he wants to be an ex-Inquisitor. But it seems more likely that a heroic character would retain faith in Iomedae, but not the Church organization. And remain an inquisitor, just working entirely outside the hierarchy (which might seek to bring him back in the fold at some point).


The Pathfinder Deities are pretty hardcore about avoiding the trope wherein the church of a Good aligned God/dess is committing horrible atrocities with the implicit consent of said deity. Followers of a God who violate their God's tenants tend to get a very obvious sign of divine disapproval.


Unless the corrupt clergy has someone or something that protects them from the eyes of Iomeadae she would make her disapproval known. Perhaps the father took some interest in his offspring, did your mother make a deal with him that she would give you up at some point or he might see you as someone he could use to turn more of the clergy to his side fooling them into dealing with the "spawn of evil"

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