|John Lynch 106|
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Terrible things can be done in the name of a nation, not due to evilness by every person in that nation, but simply from a lack of empathy by the people of that nation for the victims of that evil. A popular culture example of this is Man in the High Castle (I found it quite chilling watching ordinary people in Nazi America and the nonchalant way in which they speak of the horrors that is being done. They would never do the horrors themselves, but they don't even blink when it's done on their behalf).
In Golarion this is how I liked to portray Cheliax and worshipers of Asmodeus. Not everyone in Cheliax eats babies. The church is evil. The true hardcore believers/nobility are definitely evil. But most people are simply apathetic. I had a PFS Inquisitor of Asmodeus (LN in alignment) and it was really fun playing him to that lawful neutral alignment to the hilt. He would often take LG paladins to task for the terrible (unlawful) actions they were advocating. People would start nodding along and the paladin would start to get a bit sheepish and then suddenly someone would say "wait. Which one of you worships a devil?" In Golarion 2.0 that PC is no longer legal.
So how can "nice" NPCs who worship Asmodeus be included in the game now that they're obligated to be LE? I was thinking of a Sheriff in Isger who rescued a halfling from being carted off back to Cheliax because the halfling was in fact not an escaped slave but a free person. That would certainly fulfill the "lawful" requirement of a worshiper of Asmodeus. But how would such a character fulfill the evil requirement?
Does the NPC have to kick X number of puppies per month in order to keep to their LE alignment and not slip into LN? The Core Rulebook says
Your character has an evil alignment if they’re willing to victimize others for their own selfish gain, and even more so if they enjoy inflicting harm.
This seems like such a cartoonish take on the evil alignment. A lot of people aren't going to stab everyone they can find in the back. Maybe it's just because I'm Australian and therefore inherently lazy (we don't even know our national anthem and we just pretend to mouth the words), but people just don't have the energy or motive to be constantly trying to get ahead. Similarly, most people aren't going to go out of their way to worship a very specific deity. They'll just worship the one their parents worship, the one their neighbours worship and the one the state tells them they should worship because doing anything else is too much effort.
So how does Cheliax stay a predominantly Asmodeus worshiping country without everyone having to constantly
victimize others for their own selfish gain