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Is there something fundamentally "wrong" with Good aligned outsiders?


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So this is something I've been thinking about a lot since old Book of the Damned volumes... And its not just because there are far more fallen celestial than redeemed fiends. In a lot of paizo material, like some of Heaven Unleashed articles(certain judgmental flying helmet...), some good aligned outsiders are portrayed as arrogant judgmental jerks. After Book of the Damned hardcover and reading Queen of Nights's backstories, especially Ardad Lili's it struck to me as weird how easily they can fall. I mean, Ardad Lili fell because she hated her job and mortals, nothing particularly tragic happened to her nor did any fiend corrupt her, she was just jaded enough to decide she should be worshiped instead and that mortals should be her playthings to ease her boredom.

This struck to me as weird since aligned outsiders are representatives of their alignment. Invetables are robotic in terms of how they adhere to law, proteans are chaotic and random as they can be, fiends enjoy and indulge the evil they represent without regret, so logically Good aligned outsiders should be good and moral more than any mortal could be, but reading about Celestials, it doesn't really seem like they are any less fallible than mortals are, they can fall from grace due to arrogance, self-delusion, tragedy, cynicism just as easily and they have as much prejudice as mortals do.

Now this could be because in Pathfinder Good alignment isn't something you are really born with, its something you earn with your actions. Since Good aligned outsiders are born with the alignment, their Goodness hasn't been tested against evil so when it does so, many of them break. But it makes me wonder if there is something fundamentally flawed in good aligned outsiders in pathfinders cosmology. Like, I think Ihys vs Asmodeus story is a lie, but it does make me wonder if something similar happened and like good aligned deity in charge of heaven got slain and as result all celestials are flawed. But can't really speculate about that more than there seems to be something weird about Good aligned outsiders <_<

I don't think this is really anything intentional(like I think its result of writers thinking that fallen angels, fallen heroes and tragic villains are cool. Which they are, but anyway), but I think its fun to speculate about it. Maybe it would explain why Tabris thought Chronicles of Righteous didn't need to be self updating while "There is infinite amount of evil so Book of the Damned needs to update itself constantly" if there is flaw to good alignment or at least to good outsiders.


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I mean, if you think about where a lot of them come from, you can think of a lot of things wrong with the afterlife that Golarion inherited without really examining why it was the case from Planescape.


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Quote:
Is there something fundamentally "wrong" with Good aligned outsiders?

Full stop? No.

In a broader scope?

Well, out-of-character, much of Pathfinder lore is inspired by real people [citation needed] who are fallible [citation needed] and who also happen to have a penchant for cosmic horror [citation needed]; further, it's been deliberately written to have contradictions in it [citation needed].

Todd is really friggin' awesome, but a) he's only mortal, and b) he's not the only one working on PF cosmology.

Add that to this: most people don't like to imagine people, beings, or creatures more fundamentally good than themselves; this isn't even always necessarily conscious, either. There are numerous examples of this in film an literature, in things ranging from elves (who were almost quasi-celestials in Tolkien to arrogant jerks in D&D) to celestials of all stripes (look, I'm not going to be able to narrow this down). Plus, it's much, much easier to imagine someone "falling from grace" and to make a compelling real-seeming narrative from that, than it is to imagine someone rising from evil into goodness.

Redemption be hard, yo, and hard to write about.

---

In-character... I'm still going to say "no" - and I'm going to disagree on a couple of points:

OP wrote:
This struck to me as weird since aligned outsiders are representatives of their alignment. Invetables are robotic in terms of how they adhere to law, proteans are chaotic and random as they can be, fiends enjoy and indulge the evil they represent without regret, so logically Good aligned outsiders should be good and moral more than any mortal could be,

This is more-or-less true, but...

1) inevitables aren't "robotic" in the sense that they have nothing but their "programming" (at least no more, than, say, humans) - they certainly have emotions and thoughts and feelings and all that jazz;

2) proteans, though chaotic, have an extremely strong and self-consistent orthodoxy that, if you disagree with, means you're done-for (effectively opening the door for the theory of protean heretics);

3) fiends might not regret things morally, but it's worth noting that they can experience regret personally, which could lead to other decisions;

4) celestials are fundamentally moral, but, again, aren't robots about it, like most people think.

These are very fascinating and surprisingly contradictory elements to outsiders who are fundamentally expressions of their inherent alignment.

OP wrote:
but reading about Celestials, it doesn't really seem like they are any less fallible than mortals are, they can fall from grace due to arrogance, self-delusion, tragedy, cynicism just as easily and they have as much prejudice as mortals do.

Here is where you're wrong.

They are far, far less fallible than mortals.

This, however, differs from them being "infallible" - "less fallible" yes, but "infallible" no.

And this applies to all aligned outsiders.

OP wrote:
Now this could be because in Pathfinder Good alignment isn't something you are really born with, its something you earn with your actions. Since Good aligned outsiders are born with the alignment, their Goodness hasn't been tested against evil so when it does so, many of them break.

This is neat, but it's a little off - the "good" in the aligned outsiders has been tested, repeatedly: they arise from slain mortals. If there is a "weakness" in good outsiders, I'd tend to suggest that it more likely comes from the mortals they once were, rather than an inherent flaw.

OP wrote:
But it makes me wonder if there is something fundamentally flawed in good aligned outsiders in pathfinders cosmology.

If so, it's a metric that needs to be applied to all of them.

And it all boils down to individualism v. monolithism.

OP wrote:
Like, I think Ihys vs Asmodeus story is a lie,

It is.

OP wrote:
but it does make me wonder if something similar happened and like good aligned deity in charge of heaven got slain and as result all celestials are flawed.

The question isn't "if" a deity in charge of heaven got slain, but which one?

If you want to pin a potential cause of "all existence's troubles" I'd start with Rovagug and the outer gods; really, though, the fact that, prior to that, all was chaos, until the proteans opened a portal "elsewhere" (turns out it was to the abyss and its qlippoths) and that started a war that allowed law to arise-or-arrive (it's unclear) could be blamed. Because, then, after all that is goodness was firmly established, Rovagug.

But there's little in the way to confirm that speculation, and, really, as it's mostly speculation (albeit speculation based on confirmed events).


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@CorvusMask: Being Good is hard. Its easier to fall than to rise. That said, the huge majority of Celestials haven't fallen, so I think that you're drawing the wrong conclusion from the data.

Also, maybe there are malfunctioning (chaotic) Inevitables and obsessive (lawful) Proteans out there waiting to be revealed.

@Coidzor: Yeah the afterlife in Planescape really stunk, and stunk in ways that contradicted what had been previously revealed about it in earlier products. Then much of that became the Golarion afterlife.

Dark Archive

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Hmm, I don't really like those "here is big dissection post" posts since they make me feel like I should reply to each point, but I don't really feel like each point is equally important to me to debate about(like I'm not sure why you brought up Todd, I assume he writers planar stuff or something? Either I feel bit confused about that). Well anyway, here are some things I'm bothered by what you said enough to feel like I need to reply debate them

I think you kind of misunderstood what I meant with them being as fallible as mortals ._. I didn't mean that they fall as frequently as mortals, I meant that REASON wise they can fall for just as petty reasons(including "annoyance"). Like in comparison you never see fiend turn good for reason like "I felt good when I helped people and now being mean makes me feel bad"

Also, I didn't mean invetables are robotic like with lack of emotions, I mean that they refuse to budge from letter of law at all and yes, proteans are consistent in their chaotic methods, but really, isn't being consistently chaotic just another form of chaotic randomness? I mean, if you are always random then you are consistent in just another way.

I don't think outsider is same person anymore than person they raised from though, unless they share same memory and experiences. Unless you want to imply that whoever, for example, Eiseth raised from, she/he/they were just as self delusional, ambitious and in need of praise. I mean, whoever they were was apparently good enough to become outsider in first place, so if they share the same flaws, they were able to overcome them while Eiseth wasn't able to. In Ardad Lili's case that would be even weirder considering how her fall has all about to do with her sense of superiority. Her fall was her decision as far as I can tell. And if we argue that outsiders share traits from their mortal counterparts, shouldn't that apply to fiends and other ones as well?..

Anyhoo, hope you had fun with reading speculation, I did write it for fun and not seeking confirmation.

Grand Lodge

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To make a short story long:

I remember as an undergrad I took a course on Paradise Lost. Now, as an voraciously ambitious academic who only a few short years later would be teaching undergrads this stuff, I was looking to make my mark in seminar so that I could earn those letters of recommendation to top doctoral programs. Paradise Lost is the great epic of the English language; it's almost universally considered to be the greatest single masterpiece of English literature in the academic world. The literature is 'perfect' according to, say, The New Critics or Deconstructionists. Perfect.

And I remember very distinctly, one of the best moments of my undergrad years, we were starting seminar and just beginning to discuss how Milton had the devils complaining and whining to Satan that Hell sucks -- and Satan answering, Well hey you guys, 'Here at least/ we shall be free/... Here we may reign secure/... Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven' all you bi+ches! Now go get your shine box!

And I stood up in class, I kid you not, so proud of myself for finding this HUGE mistake on Milton's part. I wanted the world to know that I found an error in, heh, 'the greatest work in the English language'?! I said, Stop. That's Satan's answer?! Milton screwed up. All the little devils can be like, "Uh, shenanigans Mr. Satan -- WE don't rule in hell; YOU do. Yeah it's better to reign in hell than serve in heaven but we're stuck as SERVANTS in hell. And it's, hehehe, 'DAMNED' better to serve in heaven than serve in hell!

And I was so proud of myself, standing in front of my peers having just made an irrefutable argument that, in my little undergrad universe anyway, no one had ever though of before. And it's against Milton! And on top of that it's even one of the really famous moments; heck, people who don't do this for a living know that quote for cryin' out loud! And I stood proud, waiting for the professor to try to try to defend Milton from my undergraduate attack, futile as such an attempt would be.

And my professor paused, nodded slowly with a mischievous smirk. And slowly wagged his finger at the class. "Satan is. a. LIAR."

My argument and ego both crumpled to impotence I sat back down and started looking for something else to attack. (And later found, and as a professor published a little essay on it.)

But again, to make a short story long, The Books of the Damned and the stories from various Whore Queens and Fallen Angels are written by the devils themselves, my friend Corvus Mask. And the devils are LIARS! Those marvelous devils who wrote The Books of the Damned and Demonomicons are liars!

And maybe, just maybe, when you hear Ardad Lili's story from, um, Ardad Lili and her devilish servants, you're not hearing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Lie mixed with truth mixed with spin mixed with lie.

Silver Crusade

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Golarion's Book of the Damned was written by Tabris, an angel. And while the information could be dubious and suspect I'm pretty sure he did the best fact checking possible.

Dark Archive

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Uh, Book of the Damned is written by Tabris who himself was celestial. Not that Tabris is trustworthy either, its rather clear from Chronicle of Righteous excerpts that when he went to hell, abyss, abaddon and who knows where else, he returned back really changed and cynical about nature of good. So he is definitely biased towards evil and against good which definitely explains why he thought self updating book of the evil was necessary.

That being said, Book of the Damned' blasphemy is irrelevant when it comes to out of character deity backstories of the hardcover, I wasn't referring to in universe text samples in that post. I mean, have you read the articles I was referring to? You are making rather grandiose post were I'm not sure you know what I was talking about.

Silver Crusade

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I wouldn't say Tabris is biased towards any of the Fiends, he's just broken and jaded in regards to everything.


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Rysky wrote:
Golarion's Book of the Damned was written by Tabris, an angel. And while the information could be dubious and suspect I'm pretty sure he did the best fact checking possible.

Weren't there various hints dropped that Tabris's research for Book of the Damned corrupted his viewpoint for Chronicles of the Righteous?


No, since he wrote Chronicles of the Righteous first.

Silver Crusade

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David knott 242 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Golarion's Book of the Damned was written by Tabris, an angel. And while the information could be dubious and suspect I'm pretty sure he did the best fact checking possible.

Weren't there various hints dropped that Tabris's research for Book of the Damned corrupted his viewpoint for Chronicles of the Righteous?

Maybe?

I haven't read that deeply so I don't know, or if even BotD was written before CotR.


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The books of the damned did come out before Chronicles Of The Righteous.

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Hmm, well we haven't seen Concordance of Rivals excerpts and I'd assume he is probably more LN than evil, but I'd say he is biased in that sense that he thought his work would be never done because evil never ends while he didn't bother doing that for the two other books.

And yeah, in Chronicles of Righteous campaign setting book, its pretty clear his opinion after starting to write Book of the Damned affected Chronicles of the Righteous stuff. Like excerpt for the epilogue of the book states he knows that gates to the heaven will be barred to him. And here is quote of one of other excerpts in the book:

'From the Chronicle of the Righteous
Wherein the hypocrisies of Heaven and all the other celestial planes are revealed and cataloged, sowed like rotten seed up on the besmirched page and left to fester in their own fertile filth.
— Chronicle of the Righteous,
“The Firmament Unveiled"'

Edit: For sake of reference, here is his epilogue quote:

"To know their favor is to know idyllic Nirvana itself, but to witness their choler is a fate best left to the fiends of Hell and the other light less rifts of the Great Beyond that I have now gazed upon. No sane being would seek the disgrace of the empyreal lords, who will doubtlessly bar me from their celestial realms forever, but it is a solemn and necessary price to pay if I am to bring the countless sins I have witnessed to ugly light."

Grand Lodge

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Anyone else hear "Sympathy for the Devil" while reading this???

Grand Lodge

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Outside of that I think designers spend quite a bit more time on bad guys than good guys since, you know, bad guys are both more interesting and also the ones the PCs fight. So it makes sense that considerably less thought goes in to making backstory for angels and such than for the bad guys. They gotta come up with something.

.

Another argument I would make is one of 'looking at the wrong population.'

I live in Florida, right on the water, and all the natives go on and on and on about how EVERYONE up north wants to move down to FL. That everyone wants to get away from the snow and come to the beach. That they don't want to go back to the snow.

From the native perspective it seems that everyone up north hates the snow and wants to leave. But the reality is that when you go up north, roughly 8 billion more people would never dream of leaving the snow, leaving the north for the south. But the southerners never see that.

So I would postulate that, though it seems like so many angels fall to an evil alignment or that it's so easy for the angels to want to leave the snow for the beaches in the south, it's not true. There are roughly 8 billion more angels who would never never never come down south to the god forsaken heat, bad food, conservative bible belt of Hell. They want to stay up north in heaven. But since you mostly hear about the fallen ones, the Ardad Lilis of the world, who chose hell and nice beaches over heaven and snow and four seasons, it's easy for you to conclude that there's a fundamental flaw with angels and good guys.

But there's not.

Grand Lodge

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Tabris was indeed an angel.

Just like Ardad Lili.

And Asmodeus.


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Don't forget Moloch.

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You do realize that saying that goes bit against your point considering that all the original devils used to be celestials before they did Exodus to Hell? <_< So clearly there were quite lot of celestial willing to drink Asmodeus' evil kool aid, more than sizable minority?

Anyway, like I said, I don't really care numbers ratio between evil ex celestials and evil mortals, I'm just weirded out that reason wise, celestials fall to same reasons as mortals do. Like I said, they don't need good reason to fall evil, reasons like "I enjoy evil lifestyle more than good lifestyle" or just plain being cynical is enough to do it apparently which makes me wonder what it exactly means to be born with good alignment if temptation of evil still affects them in all forms.


There could be no other song one should hear while reading this!


The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and The Devil And Miss Jones, to name two.


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W E Ray wrote:

I live in Florida, right on the water, and all the natives go on and on and on about how EVERYONE up north wants to move down to FL. That everyone wants to get away from the snow and come to the beach. That they don't want to go back to the snow

From their perspective it seems that everyone up north hates the snow and wants to leave. But the reality is that when you go up north, roughly 8 billion more people would never dream of leaving the snow, leaving the north for the south.

As a life-long New Englander/New Yorker, I can say that my favorite months of the year are December, January, and February. Given a choice, I'll take 5F and snowing over 95F and humid any time! (Assuming I have proper clothing, of course.)

So, yeah... the fallen celestials described in the Book of the Damned and in literature in general are absolutely the exception. The vast, vast, vast majority of celestials are indeed pure and righteous... and are extremely happy being exactly what they are.

But those stories of good beings being good aren't nearly so fun to tell, and they're not the stories we hear.

And, from a game perspective, monsters are written to be fought; the vast majority of players want to be the good guys. So, there are far more evil creatures written up with game statistics as foes to fight.

Grand Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:
Clearly there were quite lot of celestials willing to drink Asmodeus' evil kool aid, more than sizable minority?

.

I think you're making my point for me.

Down in hell it's like, Man, everyone down here used to be an angel; it must really suck in heaven! But you don't see or hear all the angels still up in heaven. If you go up north everyone's like, Man, I wouldn't ever wanna move down south with all the heat!

I posit that for every fallen angel in hell there are 100,000 angels still in heaven that will never fall.

. . . .

All that said, I'm just playing devil's advocate here -- I actually agree with your Original Post. I just have to act my Avatar.


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CorvusMask wrote:
You do realize that saying that goes bit against your point considering that all the original devils used to be celestials before they did Exodus to Hell? <_< So clearly there were quite lot of celestial willing to drink Asmodeus' evil kool aid, more than sizable minority?

No, it was a sizeble minority. Hell has grown since then.

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyway, like I said, I don't really care numbers ratio between evil ex celestials and evil mortals, I'm just weirded out that reason wise, celestials fall to same reasons as mortals do. Like I said, they don't need good reason to fall evil, reasons like "I enjoy evil lifestyle more than good lifestyle" or just plain being cynical is enough to do it apparently which makes me wonder what it exactly means to be born with good alignment if temptation of evil still affects them in all forms.

To be born with a (good) alignment means to have a moral compass that influences everything you do.

The reason you don't see many "exotic" reasons to fall (although, actually, you do - as an example, Moloch explicitly fell, not because he wanted anything bad, in particular, but because Asmodeus is a deceitful <bad person> who deceived him, then used Moloch's sense of overwhelming duty to cause him to drift from good into corruption).

Also, it's hard for human writers to come up with mindsets that are super-alien. Hence, the banality of evil.

Evil itself is, generally, pretty banal. There are a few exceptions, but evil propigates itself not for big reasons, but lots of little ones.

Grand Lodge

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Herald wrote:
"Sympathy for the Devil"

.

DM Beernorg wrote:
There could be no other song one should hear while reading this!

.

During the undergrad class I was in that studied Paradise Lost we had a running side project where we made a Soundtrack for the course. On Day 1 the professor suggested the Rolling Stones Had to be the first song, right??!?

I argued, eventually, that Rush's "I will Choose Free Will" had to be the first song on the soundtrack so I'm gonna stick with that!

But we came up with dozens of songs, everything from "Only the Good Die Young" to "Hallelujah" to an entire album from Ladysmith Black Mambazo to "Ode to Joy."

Dark Archive

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Admittedly we don't really have any idea how huge outsider populations actually are besides that they have to be massive :D I mean, celestials who migrated to hell did it in enough great droves to conquer hell from asura ranas and make kytons flee.

Anyhoo, speaking of Chronicles of the Righteous' "corruption", I remember while ago wondering why this line existed in artifact's description "and the unadulterated truths of these beings and their acts—truths that are sometimes heartening and at other times unsettling.", after reading book again, it seems to be because of Tabris' additions after finishing book of the damned which seems bit weird since I hadn't heard before that after finishing final book he added things to two previous ones. It also kinda reminds me of how Artifacts & Legends claimed Book of the Damned might have "Sacred Apocrypha" which is about unsavory things celestials and good deities have done, but Book of the Damned hardcover hasn't ever referred to it.

I'm kind of wondering if this "Sacred Apocrypha" is actually just his addition to the Chronicles of the Righteous after BofD, but no use speculating about that since Sacred Apocrypha might just be blasphemy by devils that never actually existed or lore idea that has since been dropped. Still, I guess it would be cool if they ever do Chronicles of the Righteous hardcover and separate those "unsettling facts" into its own artifact so I won't have to wonder what they are since book still has that uber good aura or we don't have to wonder "wait, did Tabris actually write these things somehow before two other books".

Grand Lodge

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captain yesterday wrote:
Don't forget Moloch.

.

Did you mean, 'Molech'?


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Ummm... if you read pages 2 and 3 of the book, it says he wrote it before Book of the Damned....

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SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Ummm... if you read pages 2 and 3 of the book, it says he wrote it before Book of the Damned....

And that is why I find Chronicle of the Righteous' epilogue excerpt I quoted before bizarre since it clearly refers to Book of the Damned having been written. It also why I started wondering if it would make more sense if "Sacred Apocrypha" existed as addendum to the Chronicle, but I guess its always possible to edit finished books.


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EDIT: dang it!

I did it again.

Ah, well, just select what you want to talk about, ignore the rest. XD

Sorry!

CorvusMask wrote:
Hmm, I don't really like those "here is big dissection post" posts since they make me feel like I should reply to each point,

Sorry! You don't need to.

CorvusMask wrote:
but I don't really feel like each point is equally important to me to debate about

It isn't. Feel free to ignore points. I like them for that exact reason - the ability to select the points you want, while dropping the others.

CorvusMask wrote:
(like I'm not sure why you brought up Todd, I assume he writers planar stuff or something? Either I feel bit confused about that).

Todd created the Golarion multiverse. He's the one in charge of having written the Maelstrom and all the extraplanar stuff, originally. Hence.

CorvusMask wrote:
Well anyway, here are some things I'm bothered by what you said enough to feel like I need to reply debate them

That's what debate is for! Away! :D

CorvusMask wrote:
I think you kind of misunderstood what I meant with them being as fallible as mortals ._. I didn't mean that they fall as frequently as mortals, I meant that REASON wise they can fall for just as petty reasons(including "annoyance"). Like in comparison you never see fiend turn good for reason like "I felt good when I helped people and now being mean makes me feel bad"

Actually, you kind of do.

But to focus on that, I'll simply say this: fiends (generally) don't feel bad, because they lack a conscience altogether. That's what having the (evil) subtype really entails - you don't have a natural conscience.

CorvusMask wrote:
Also, I didn't mean invetables are robotic like with lack of emotions, I mean that they refuse to budge from letter of law at all and yes, proteans are consistent in their chaotic methods, but really, isn't being consistently chaotic just another form of chaotic randomness? I mean, if you are always random then you are consistent in just another way.

Re: inevitables: fair; I didn't know what you meant, so I felt it bore clarification, but I recognize there are multiple ways of taking things.

Re: proteans: Ah, but there's the problem - what you're describing isn't randomness, and hence, fails at the connotation for chaotic. As soon as you have orthodoxy (and boy, howdy, to the proteans have orthodoxy) you have an introduction of a form of order: i.e. a universal set of governance that violates/repudiates individualism. And proteans do not accept heresy among their ranks. They will shank you.

CorvusMask wrote:
I don't think outsider is same person anymore than person they raised from though, unless they share same memory and experiences. Unless you want to imply that whoever, for example, Eiseth raised from, she/he/they were just as self delusional, ambitious and in need of praise. I mean, whoever they were was apparently good enough to become outsider in first place, so if they share the same flaws, they were able to overcome them while Eiseth wasn't able to. In Ardad Lili's case that would be even weirder considering how her fall has all about to do with her sense of superiority. Her fall was her decision as far as I can tell. And if we argue that outsiders share traits from their mortal counterparts, shouldn't that apply to fiends and other ones as well?..

Now you're getting into really deep and serious debates about spiritual significance and meaning within the Pathfinder multiverse.

There's another similar thread which has recently gotten extremely... eh, let's say "near-toxic" toward Christian theological thinking and similar religious expressions, that I refuse to touch, as a consequence - as, despite many (honestly but) desperately misunderstanding/misrepresenting stuff there, most anything I would add or any attempts at correction, at present, would likely only be fuel to whatever fire may or may not be readying itself therein - but that has a similar slowly-growing debate about-/problem with- the afterlife as-expressed in PF. It may be worth checking out, as a result.

But the ultimate question is what makes you, "You" is one worth debating.

Welcome to existential crisis

Reprise

Still going

Part four

Part guava

What is real?

Baby don't hurt me

No more

Good luck!

For the record, I do not universally agree with any of them. Some of them have stronger arguments than others. Really good stuff, though, and strongly recommended.

CorvusMask wrote:
Anyhoo, hope you had fun with reading speculation, I did write it for fun and not seeking confirmation.

:D

Grand Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:
I'm just weirded out that reason wise, celestials fall to same reasons as mortals do. Like I said, they don't need good reason to fall evil.

.

Sure, it's a good point.

There's an interesting argument, the rigidity of Outsider Alignment. One may posit that lower CR Outsiders have less ability to change Alignment than higher CR Outsiders, maybe?....

But before getting there one may wonder if a designer can even think of a "non-mortal" reason to Fall. Maybe every temptation I can come up with for an angel is something that a mortal may struggle with as well? Ultimately, I agree with your OP. But also ultimately, I think the designers spend more time on Fiends and thus make fewer mistakes.


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Tabris is not a reliable narrator.

The vast majority of good-aligned outsiders maintain their codes and carry out their duties without incident.

The fallen are generally spectacular exceptions. Asmodeus's rebellion against Heaven probably represents the largest swath of good aligned outsiders falling from grace to ever happen.

(Also keep in mind that any alignment shift at all is technically a fall. An archon becoming chaotic good is just as abnormal as an archon becoming lawful evil.*)

Now, a thing to keep in mind about glitching outsiders - and why we see more fallen good or neutral outsiders than risen evil outsiders - is to remember their environs and peers.

I.e. the typical good or neutral outsider that's falling will usually have the benefit of the doubt from comrades, who may try to get the deviant back on course. Which gives such a deviant a chance to get away to reach a more agreeable plane.

While an evil outsider who starts showing signs of reform will usually just be killed by their peers on the spot.

It's entirely possible that evil outsiders glitch out and start shifting alignments at similar rates to good outsiders falling, but have a far lower rate of actually surviving long enough for it to amount to anything.

* It occurs to me that a number of the lesser but still high profile divine servants in various god articles are often just outsiders of non-standard alignment - who by being of non-standard alignment become kind of a big deal. For example, Gorum's got a chaotic neutral hezrou (Bloody Hands! I wrote him up for a session) as one of his high-profile servants. And Dahak's got a CE contract devil (who Mephistopheles referred to Dahak as a better fit, IIRC). And I think Erastil's got a LG agathion. Examples can go on and on.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also excellent point!

As a point to build on, a "Fall" doesn't even need to mean "all the way to the other side. There are several divine entities of non-standard alignment that haven't progressed all the way to the opposite of what they once were.

A CN or NG azata is still an azata, and is still "fallen" as is a NE or LN devil or a N or LG or LE inevitable; just as much so, in fact, as a CE archon, or a LG demon.

Also, as an aside, there is an canonical, currently-happening "rise"/"fall" of a fiend being heavily implied, both in-universe and out-. I'm mostly just awaiting the AP built around it.

Grand Lodge

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Corvus Mask wrote:
In comparison you never see fiend turn good for reason like "I felt good when I helped people and now being mean makes me feel bad."

.

This is a spectacular idea.

I think Paizo should absolutely now make an angel who used to be a Demon!

In my games, both as Player and DM, this has become a default thing for us. EVERY time a monster surrenders or a wicked witch or wizard is captured, the PCs try to rehabilitate if possible. Of course, it's only successful sometimes.

And there's precedent in gaming history as well. When Robin Laws and Sean Reynolds wrote the Devils book in 3.5 they included a new PC Race called Hellbred which is a human-race (like Aasimar or Tiefling) that is a reincarnated an evil person who, at the moment just before death sincerely repents and changes Alignment. The Evil gods & Devils are pissed because they lost a soul and the Good gods and Angels are suspicious of the sincerity of the person's Alignment change -- so the Hellbred is reincarnated and knows that unless he or she really does something awesome as a Good PC, will burn in Hell.

And there are other examples as well. Maybe Jander Sunstar. Maybe Zaknafein. Maybe Vheod Runechild. Maybe Liriel Baenre. Etc.

But I think Paizo should absolutely come up with a CE mortal who becomes a Demon upon dying and evolves to a Marilith or Balor or even Demon Lord -- and then changes to a Good Alignment and becomes buddies with Sarenrae or fights along side Ragathiel or something.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm just waiting to see ZonKuthon's redemption arc!

Dark Archive

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Redelia wrote:
I'm just waiting to see ZonKuthon's redemption arc!

I'd like a mutual transition of Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon, each dragging each other to neutral, as she willingly embraces 'darker' aspects of art and beauty and love to 'meet him in the middle' and pull him up from evil. He ends up LN, she N, and they reconnect. She's dragged him from the worst of the darkness, but 'got a little bit on her' in the process, and that's something she willingly chose to accept, to get him back. She wouldn't even regard it as a sacrifice, although her church would be rent by schisms of those followers who couldn't follow her this far from the sort of joy and beauty she formerly championed.


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Molech wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Don't forget Moloch.

.

Did you mean, 'Molech'?

No.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Since we're sharing anecdotes, now, one player of mine ran a succubus all the way from genuinely CE to genuinely LG.

She started off by "dying" in-character (literally being stabbed in the back as powerful magic wracked destruction on herself and much around), while being summoned at the same time - hence becoming something of a generic CE blank-slate succubus with no particular history to speak of - who was gate'd in and bound by a dying half-elf wizard with a powerful overriding geas (only stronger) to find, rescue, and protect his half-elf child.

Yes, there is a reason in-character for the wizard to summon a succubus, specifically. Has to with the man he used to be, the way he was dying, and the limited methods he had for getting help for his child who would super-definitely be killed-and-damned, later, if he didn't do something, but is too long to get into now. For now let's just say that, unbeknownst to either of them, both wizard and that particular succubus had history.

Furious at a stupid man for calling her for such a stupid reason (but knowing if she declined or reneged she'd go right back to being assassinated), she agreed to the binding, and in irritation, but eagerness to escape her fate (and also buy time to figure out who murdered her and why) she set out to rescue the stupid little brat (though she contemplated corrupting the child, later, along the way - never hurts to have a demon-cultist, you know - the agreement was exceedingly specific and included safeguards against such).

She went through a lot - and I mean a lot to find the little girl, who was a broken, half-starved wreck when she did. Due to a dubious but necessary alliance with another demon, the succubus took the form of an aasimar-ish half-elf (to soothe the girl, and maybe trick her into thinking she's her mother or something).

Anyway, when the little girl saw her, the bleary-eyed, tormented little half-elf asked, "Are you an Angel?!" to which the succubus (thinking quickly, and parsing out the limits of the geas) answered, "Yes." (and making that her name, as she'd had none that she knew, previously; it was delightfully perverse, in her mind, while sticking to the 'honesty' clause of the geas).

Fast-forward through lots more adventure. Stupid little runt grew on the succubus, who was forced to save her life and help her be happy and comfortable again and again and again, up until the succubus started to enjoy being a helpful "momma" for the little thing.

Then, of course, at the end of the adventure, for reasons that were more or less the succubus' fault (though not intent) the girl died, as did the other demon which had, against all odds, actually become the succubus' friend.

Crush'd.

This actually caused the succubus to cry and enter rage-mode to destroy the creatures responsible for killing the girl, and severed her from the evil part of her alignment, as she genuinely regretted the loss of the girl and (in-character and out-) had entirely forgotten about the geas, until it hit her.

Via quick-thinking and some magic she'd gained previously, the succubus was able to take left-over soul-stuff of the other demon (who'd died in a related incident), and (using it to make up for some of the now-missing shards of the girl's soul-stuff) shove it back into the body to re-animate the young girl to life, more or less, though missing a few parts of her soul, and having refried demon essence used to "patch" the mising pieces as best as said succubus could. Succubus "Angel" was still stuck under the geas, but had shed the "evil" part of her "chaotic evil" alignment - though not the subtype -, and began her thousand-year-plus-long-journey to lawful goodness, after which she met Arazni, had the goddess* remove the (chaotic) and (evil) subtypes, and left her just being lawful good.

Fun times.

* Arazni was still canonically a goddess when we were playing this.


Zhangar wrote:


I.e. the typical good or neutral outsider that's falling will usually have the benefit of the doubt from comrades, who may try to get the deviant back on course. Which gives such a deviant a chance to get away to reach a more agreeable plane.

While an evil outsider who starts showing signs of reform will usually just be killed by their peers on the spot.

That seems counter to any experience I've ever had. It tends to be the "Good" guys going "It's alignment is different from mine, BURN! PURGE!"

I would think Devils would be more interested in trying to find a way to exploit the changes for their own ends, while Demons would have fun trying to "Corrupt" (Save) them.


Well, at an unfortunate table, players horribly constrained by being forced to play characters of Good (Ick) allignment, said players will be looking for any excuse to kill things. It isn't really intolerance, but just any plausible excuse for mayhem. There is often blame to be found on the other side of the table. There are more than enough GMs out there that will always have the Evil NPC turn on the party, at the worst possible time.


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Zhangar wrote:
Asmodeus's rebellion against Heaven probably represents the largest swath of good aligned outsiders falling from grace to ever happen.

To be fair, now, if any group seemed to be threatening to out do him in that regard, they'd start to suffer some very serious accidents.

Set wrote:
I'd like a mutual transition of Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon, each dragging each other to neutral, as she willingly embraces 'darker' aspects of art and beauty and love to 'meet him in the middle' and pull him up from evil. He ends up LN, she N, and they reconnect. She's dragged him from the worst of the darkness, but 'got a little bit on her' in the process, and that's something she willingly chose to accept, to get him back. She wouldn't even regard it as a sacrifice, although her church would be rent by schisms of those followers who couldn't follow her this far from the sort of joy and beauty she formerly championed.

The sheer number of people declaring that this proves their incest fanfic's truthiness would cause Z-K to fall again.

Shadow Lodge

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Another bit about celestials being honest and fiends being dishonest:

It stands to reason that celestials, in a setting that also has Outer Gods in it, would have to be able to comprehend and accept the existence of awful truths. So, while it would be saddening that celestials have become fiends, they would admit to it, potentially hoping that they could change sides again, or that other fiends could become celestials.

Now, in, for example, Hell, Asmodeus could announce that no devil has ever left to become an archon, regardless of that statement's veragathielcity. They just wouldn't admit it due to historical revisionism.

So, between the Paizo staff wanting to weave a fun, open-ended, adventure-rife cosmology and the in-setting narrators being unreliable and contradictory, no, there isn't anything *wrong* with celestials (unless your GM has an adventure where there is).

It's an understandable result of Good and Evil: Good says, "yes, tough decisions and perseverance are involved, but it's ultimately more rewarding for everyone," and Evil says, "They're actually Evil anyway, and besides, Evil's more fun, and inevitable, and when you get down to it, what even IS Evil? Therefore, stop trying to fight us and start trying to join us."

Plus, goodness is naturally held up to high standards.

Dark Archive

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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Plus, goodness is naturally held up to high standards.

And there's the kicker, for me, right there. If a good guy does some evil stuff, even if he's doing it 'for the greater good' or whatever, he can still fall. If an evil guy saves a bunch of children, or whatever, just because he gets a wild urge to do so, he isn't likely to be kicked off Team Evil. Evil's got lower standards, and it's so much harder to 'fall' from 'doing whatever the hell I want to anyway.' (Which makes evil PCs in most APs super easy, since evil people are backstabbing each other all the time anyway, so if the AP is all about Rovagug worshipping gnolls and stuff, then a team of Aspis Consortium competitors, or Hellknights, or Pactmaster-hired mercenaries could fit in as easily as a team of LG Rovagug haters.)

The mechanics are actually on Team Evil's side. The longer a person lives, the more likely they are to lose whatever innocent state of grace they started with, and do morally questionable things, and get dirtied up by the world and life's vicissitudes. It's totally a win for Team Evil if a demon saves a bunch of children, because, as children, they were more likely to go to the Upper Planes than they will be as adults. The fiend has just given the world that many more chances to corrupt and jade them into the sorts of souls that will go to a more southerly plane.

"You just saved those mortal children from burning up! That's a good act!"

"You are thinking like a mortal. I've just given them many more years to figure out that the world isn't fair, and that if they want anything in this life, they are going to have to *take* it. And if they make it to old age, and feel their memories slipping and their bones creaking, and grow so desperate to avoid the inevitable that they are willing to make a deal? I know a guy..."

Grand Lodge

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Set wrote:
Evil's got lower standards, and it's so much harder to 'fall.'

.

Yet another reason why I think it would be a spectacular idea for Paizo to do it. Create an evil mortal who becomes a Demon upon death, advances to Marilith or Balor, right on up to Nascent Demon Lord -- and then slowly 'fall' up to Neutral and then Good.

It'd make for a great story.


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Set wrote:
The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Plus, goodness is naturally held up to high standards.

And there's the kicker, for me, right there. If a good guy does some evil stuff, even if he's doing it 'for the greater good' or whatever, he can still fall. If an evil guy saves a bunch of children, or whatever, just because he gets a wild urge to do so, he isn't likely to be kicked off Team Evil. Evil's got lower standards, and it's so much harder to 'fall' from 'doing whatever the hell I want to anyway.' (Which makes evil PCs in most APs super easy, since evil people are backstabbing each other all the time anyway, so if the AP is all about Rovagug worshipping gnolls and stuff, then a team of Aspis Consortium competitors, or Hellknights, or Pactmaster-hired mercenaries could fit in as easily as a team of LG Rovagug haters.)

The mechanics are actually on Team Evil's side. The longer a person lives, the more likely they are to lose whatever innocent state of grace they started with, and do morally questionable things, and get dirtied up by the world and life's vicissitudes. It's totally a win for Team Evil if a demon saves a bunch of children, because, as children, they were more likely to go to the Upper Planes than they will be as adults. The fiend has just given the world that many more chances to corrupt and jade them into the sorts of souls that will go to a more southerly plane.

"You just saved those mortal children from burning up! That's a good act!"

"You are thinking like a mortal. I've just given them many more years to figure out that the world isn't fair, and that if they want anything in this life, they are going to have to *take* it. And if they make it to old age, and feel their memories slipping and their bones creaking, and grow so desperate to avoid the inevitable that they are willing to make a deal? I know a guy..."

Hey, now. Best not be hornin' in on another's business, yeah? Yeah.

So now I shall be asking - politely - that you refrain from overstepping your bounds, and must further ask that you leave all such brokerages to me.

If not? Well... I know a guy...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:
Set wrote:
Evil's got lower standards, and it's so much harder to 'fall.'

.

Yet another reason why I think it would be a spectacular idea for Paizo to do it. Create an evil mortal who becomes a Demon upon death, advances to Marilith or Balor, right on up to Nascent Demon Lord -- and then slowly 'fall' up to Neutral and then Good.

It'd make for a great story.

I don't think Demons work that way in Golarion cosmology, aside from the Quasit and Nabasu. Devils are the ones that do the whole "promotion" thing.

I could be misremembering though.


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Nah, you're right. A mortal soul goes to the Abyss and becomes a larva, there it gestates for a time, then births demons based on its sins - usually a single demon based on the soul's greatest sin, though, IIRC, a very sinful soul might birth multiple demons, possibly of multiple types.

(So the soul of a sufficiently horrible worshiper of Kostchtchie- some dude who essentially recreated being Genghis Khan - might spawn an incubus, a vrock and a marilith, all at once.)

Balors are a semi-exception of this - it often takes multiple exceptionally cruel souls voltroning together to make a balor. (Looking at the marilith and balor entries again, it looks like a balor happens when several larvae that each could've become mariliths essentially band together.)

Balors having the "I AM LEGION" thing going on is pretty neat, though I now wish their powers reflected that.

Silver Crusade

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Gotcha.

Liberty's Edge

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I've got to agree on the standards thing. It's not technically harder to fall from Evil than Good in that it requires the same number of Good Acts to rise as it does Evil Acts to fall...but Evil Acts tend to be a lot easier to slip into accidentally from an expedience perspective and are just easier to do anyway. Killing someone is just easier than risking your life to save someone.

W E Ray wrote:
Set wrote:
Evil's got lower standards, and it's so much harder to 'fall.'

.

Yet another reason why I think it would be a spectacular idea for Paizo to do it. Create an evil mortal who becomes a Demon upon death, advances to Marilith or Balor, right on up to Nascent Demon Lord -- and then slowly 'fall' up to Neutral and then Good.

It'd make for a great story.

This (except for the 'and then Good' part) seems to be canonically in the process of happening with Nocticula. And she's a full Demon Lord, no 'nascent' about it.

Grand Lodge

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Rysky wrote:
I don't think Demons work that way in Golarion cosmology

.

I'll readily acquiesce to y'all's knowledge of Pathfinder cosmology; Zhangar's post is great!

But I'm still in the old-school mind. Grognard, here. I don't mind altering Fluff elements I've been playing with for decades and decades and decades, but only if it's for a really awesome reason -- not just because Paizo ain't allowed to publish it.

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