Bless Weapon: Rule for why it doesn't have the [Good] descriptor?


Rules Questions


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As per the title of the thread. I'm a bit stymied by this. Bless Water is a [Good] spell, why isn't Bless Weapon?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For basically the same reason that Bless isn't a [Good] spell, either - so that evil clerics can use it, too.

Bless Water is designed to imbue a water with holiness (ie, good) and sounds better than "Make Water Holy" as a name. Bless and Bless Weapon are equally useful to both good and evil clerics, and so can't have an alignment descriptor.


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From a fluff perspective, a blessing isn't automatically a good thing; it's simply asking for the favor of a god.

If that god happens to be, say, Asmodeus, then it definitely wouldn't be a [good] blessing (even though it's still smiting evil - it would just be intended to smite evil that isn't under Asmodeus's control).


I have to agree with the OP. This reads as a potential oversight... that is, 'The weapon also becomes good-aligned.'

That's some fairly potent stuff. I can see the debate raging back and forward. The Asmo example is one method. However, on the other hand, similar arguments could be made for other spells. And on the other, again, this is also imbuing the weapon with the essence of good.

From a flavor perspective, it can definitely be twitchy.

Paizo does occasionally make oversights, even in core classes and core spells. This may be one of them, though without an official response, we'll not know. Until then, it's not listed as Good.


Well if this an oversight, I'd say the fact that the Antipaladin doesn't have an equivalent to Bless Weapon is one as well.

Point being, just because something seems off, as long as it doesn't 'break' anything. It isn't some huge oversight... the Glory domain isn't necessarily 'good' alignment. Making the spell [good] could prevent some from casting the spell (as noted above).

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It's easy enough to figure out how bless weapon might work for other alignments. I like to think of it as align weapon, greater.


Evil gods can bless their followers and their followers' weapons too.

Evil gods do not, however, have any interest in creating Holy Water. And as far as I know, there's no such thing as Unholy Water.


Behold, unholy water.

It's pretty much just holy water except for good outsiders and not undead. It's slightly weaker because it doesn't hurt undead, if you care about that sort of thing.

If you really do care, you can easily houserule that it heals undead.


But Bless Weapon makes the weapon Good-Aligned. Why would evil deities want to make weapons that basically harm their own followers?


There's more than one evil deity and they don't all get along. Neither do their followers.


Ventnor wrote:
But Bless Weapon makes the weapon Good-Aligned. Why would evil deities want to make weapons that basically harm their own followers?

Hrm...good point, I hadn't remembered that. Was just thinking of the +1.

....err.....

....

....guess the devs didn't think about it too closely. :p


Taking into account that bless weapon is paladin-only weapon that infuses weapon with power of good and making it a choice weapon against evil the most probable response is: oversight long ago during development of D&D 3.0 with no one noticing it during the transition to 3.5 and later PF.


It's actually not Paladin-only; the Glory domain grants it as well, meaning it's available to Clerics.

And as Ipslore and others pointed out, an evil alignment doesn't automatically mean cooperation. An evil lord who wants a particular piece of land to build his keep on will happily slaughter an entire tribe of goblins even though they probably share an alignment, and the weapon would benefit him in that instance.


Drejk wrote:
Taking into account that bless weapon is paladin-only weapon

And Glory Domain.

Glory deities include Gorum (CN) and Rubicante (LE).


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Because the alignment rules are entirely arbitrary.


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Zhayne wrote:
Because the alignment rules are entirely arbitrary.

Certain parts of the alignment system sort of make sense.

Which spells have alignment descriptors is not one of them.
Death Knell kills someone who is helpless and dieing. Okay, out of context of the game, that definitely screams "evil" at me, it's murder.
...but then Slay Living does the exact same thing, to someone who isn't about to die. AND Slay Living doesn't give you a strength boost to use fighting evil. Surely that would make Slay Living [Evil], right? Nope!
Then we have the issue that almost everything in D&D is used for killing, and 95% of it is not considered "Evil". Is Death Knell more evil than a greateaxe? A fireball? All three are nothing but murder tools, so what's the distinction?

Now, you could postulate that Death Knell is somehow a more gruesome or painful death, and that that extra torture is what makes it Evil. You'd have to make up flavor that isn't in the spell description, and it is a retcon at best, but you could do it...
...except that even more painful, torturous murder devices are not Evil. Acid Splash doesn't just kill someone, it gives them a slow, gruesome, painful death. Much longer and more painful than the instantaneous effect of Death Knell. Surely Acid Splash is [Evil] also, right? Nope. What about something like Boneshatter? That, based on the ACTUAL description of the spell text (not the retconed "implied" fluff of death knell to justify retroactively the [Evil] descriptor), is an extreme form of torture. As bad or worse than most real-life forms of torture. If any spell in the entire game should be considered Evil, I'd expect it to be boneshatter. But...it isn't.
And then we have spells like Animate Dead, which don't hurt/kill/torture anyone, and those are [Evil] spells.

Partly, this is the fault of earlier versions of the game, and PF did fix a few silly things. Deathwatch was an [Evil] spell. Yes, a spell that every hospital should use on every patient was considered Evil. It was even worse in older editions: for awhile, poison (as in, a poisonous substance, not the spell) was considered an evil item. But the spell Poison was...not evil. Because....no reason. At least PF fixed that by making all poison no more evil than cutting someone open with an axe or burning them to death with a fireball. But still, the alignment descriptors of spells are overall essentially random.

Fun trivia: There's nothing in the rules that says that casting a [Good] spell is a good-aligned action, or that casting an [Evil] spell is an evil-aligned action. So actually, the alignment-spell rules are even more silly.


Holy Smite is in the Glory Domain list...
Doesn't the whole Cleric rule of "you can't cast spells of opposite alignment to your deity" kind of make a domain spell not available to clerics of Rubicante?

Grand Lodge

I still love the poster child for confusing spells: Infernal Healing, since it has the [Evil] descriptor.

So, explain how healing is evil?


Quote:
Fun trivia: There's nothing in the rules that says that casting a [Good] spell is a good-aligned action, or that casting an [Evil] spell is an evil-aligned action. So actually, the alignment-spell rules are even more silly.

Well, it can be extrapolated by the fact that good deities prevent good casters from using Evil spells, for example.

IIRC, casting an evil spell is an evil act in PFS (and probably in Golarion, even outside of PFS), and back in 3.5, I remember books about it too.

But you seems to be right. Core there is nothing on this.
Still, It sounds wrong to me that a Good character use an Evil mean to accomplish anything without any downside.

Quote:

I still love the poster child for confusing spells: Infernal Healing, since it has the [Evil] descriptor.

So, explain how healing is evil?

Well, it's not like you let evil power take over your flesh to heal you. :)

Remember it's a spell given to his follower by Asmodeus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kinevon wrote:

I still love the poster child for confusing spells: Infernal Healing, since it has the [Evil] descriptor.

So, explain how healing is evil?

Because the spell was created by Asmodeus to be so? (It uses devil's blood as a material component.) Presumably to help speed wizards down the road of dammnation by getting them comfortable with dealing with evil tainted magic. Infernal Healing isn't a setting neutral spell, it's from Inner Sea Magic which is tied to Golarion's cosmology.

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