Can paladins worship an evil deity?


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I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.


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For an example from the real world: There is a horny ancient Greek man who likes to hunt. Artemis is the patron of the hunt, so it seems to be a natural fit. But Artemis expects those who serve her to be chaste, so he realizes that she is not a good fit for him as a patron.

Similarly, a teetotaler probably does not want to have Dionysus as his patron.

Even if they don't have huge tomes of teachings for their followers, they do have expectations of people who take them as patrons, and those expectations are generally well known in the culture in question.


BlackOuroboros wrote:
I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.

And the devs called it out as a mistake and asked us to pretend it never happened.

I wonder why.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BlackOuroboros wrote:
I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.

Yes nearly EVERY TIME a Paladin thread like this comes up someone throws this in. Presumably they are either deliberately ignoring or have missed the literal scores of times the Devs have pointed out that this was an ERROR in the early 3.5 pre-Pathfinder version of Golarion, and was never present in the present Pathfinder incarnation of the setting.

It has however been given some homage in that there are Hellknights of Asmodeus who try to PASS THEMSELVES OFF as Paladins, but most assuredly are not.


BlackOuroboros wrote:
I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.

I don't know if it was in Council of Thieves, but suh a thing was mentioned in an official Paizo Product. After which, it was pointed out and then Paizo basically said, "We screwed up". They went on to say such a thing shouldn't exist, and if a paladin did worship Asmodeus that they would either fall or wouldn't actually be following Asmodeus' tennets in a way we would normally consider as "worship".

And no, I don't consider lip service Christians to be properly "worshipping". Just because you claim to revere a deity doesn't mean your behavior agrees with that or that it constitutes worship.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

How could you earnestly believe that a god of pure evil is worthy of your worship?

Because you're dumb, or more politely, because you're underinformed.

Because you dumped INT and WIS, and you slept through Sunday School each and every single time.

DominusMegadeus wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Of course, this creates some interesting tensions when he leaves Tatooine and heads to Coruscant, only to learn what the "real" Asmodeus is like.

Not really all that interesting if you ask me; when the Paladin knew what Asmodeus was like, he would either knowingly continue to worship his made-up 'Asmodeus the good god' (which is dumb in a world where gods are real) or he would find a new god, both of which involve not worshiping an evil god.

Regardless, if OP is playing a Paladin despite not caring at all about the roleplay aspect of it, then I guess it doesn't matter. They don't have the cleric's alignment restriction on god worshiped, go ahead. It's RAW, as dumb as it is.

Well, something like that could actually happen with a more 'approved' god for paladins. Abadar is a Lawful Neutral Deity, and he has good relations with Asmodeus (because Law). So a cleric of Abadar and a Cleric of Asmodeus could end up being very close bedfellows, and join together so their EVIL MIGHT RULES THIS LAND WITH AN IRON FIST!.....uhm.

Anyway, the point is, you could end up finding a LE city and clergy of Abadar just as easily as you could find a LN city and clergy of Asmodeus. So it would be hard to determine the deity's nature just from that. The only really telling details are these- 1.) knowledge of devils and how Asmodeus is involved with that and 2.) the aura of his clerics (which matches his own).

1.) can be solved just by going back to my statements back at the top of this post- low INT and no ranks in Knowledge (Religion). 2.) actually has a more interesting answer though. As I linked in an earlier post, the Oath against Chaos switches a lot of paladin stuff into Law vs. Chaos stuff. He gets smite chaos and detect chaos. So he might not actually be able to just use a litmus test to tell that Asmodeus is evil by scanning his clerics.


Haladir wrote:

A paladin has to be lawful good to remain a paladin.

Worshiping an evil god is a voluntary evil act.

If a paladin were to try to worship an evil god in a manner that doesn't violate her lawful-goodness, then she's not worshiping the god correctly by the religion's practices. That's a chaotic act.

Ergo, no, a paladin can't worship an evil god.

Here's the thing, though: a paladin's powers are granted to her by the diety that she worships. If an evil god wants to grant paladin powers to one of his followers, what's to stop him?

Likewise, a paladin doesn't simply "lose" her powers somehow if she breaks her code of conduct or performs an evil act. Rather, the deity chooses to take her powers away as punishment. An evil god isn't going to take away one of his paladin's powers because she did evil.

So yes, by RAI, the class called "Paladin" was included to describe a character archetype who is a paragon of good. But IMHO (and by rule 0), a GM could conceivably decide that the powers and abilities of the class may be granted to a worshipper of an evil deity by that deity.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We've already had a throughly pointlessly prolonged Idiot Paladin of Asmodeus thread. You can look that up if you like, and to the devs' response as to why such a character would not be long for the world.

Dark Archive

LazarX wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.

Yes nearly EVERY TIME a Paladin thread like this comes up someone throws this in. Presumably they are either deliberately ignoring or have missed the literal scores of times the Devs have pointed out that this was an ERROR in the early 3.5 pre-Pathfinder version of Golarion, and was never present in the present Pathfinder incarnation of the setting.

It has however been given some homage in that there are Hellknights of Asmodeus who try to PASS THEMSELVES OFF as Paladins, but most assuredly are not.

Huh, I actually did not know that. Makes some sense because I would expect more follow-up if that were really the case.

lemeres wrote:


Well, something like that could actually happen with a more 'approved' god for paladins. Abadar is a Lawful Neutral Deity, and he has good relations with Asmodeus (because Law). So a cleric of Abadar and a Cleric of Asmodeus could end up being very close bedfellows, and join together so their EVIL MIGHT RULES THIS LAND WITH AN IRON FIST!.....uhm.

Anyway, the point is, you could end up finding a LE city and clergy of Abadar just as easily as you could find a LN city and clergy of Asmodeus. So it would be hard to determine the deity's nature just from that.

Actually, if I remember the Kaer Maga book correctly, both the Church of Abadar and the Church of Asmodeus were working together very closely to make sure that contracts remain binding there and the city didn't fall apart. Furthermore, I seem to remember the Church of Asmodeus being cast in a somewhat heroic light in that situation.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BlackOuroboros wrote:


Actually, if I remember the Kaer Maga book correctly, both the Church of Abadar and the Church of Asmodeus were working together very closely to make sure that contracts remain binding there and the city didn't fall apart. Furthermore, I seem to remember the Church of Asmodeus being cast in a somewhat heroic light in that situation.

On Madison Ave it's called "spin". There are Hellknights who try to pass themselves off as Paladins, but that doesn't make them so.


lemeres wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

How could you earnestly believe that a god of pure evil is worthy of your worship?

Because you're dumb, or more politely, because you're underinformed.
Because you dumped INT and WIS, and you slept through Sunday School each and every single time.

.... or were systematically lied to in Sunday School, which of course is another option. Indeed, much of what is taught in real-world Sunday School is a systematic lie from the point of view of other closely related religions.

Liberty's Edge

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Suffice it to say, if the campaign setting being played in is Golarion (and the GM is sticking to canon), then no, a Paladin cannot worship an Evil deity.

If, instead, the GM is using PF to play in a home setting, it is up to the GM to decide whether or not this would be allowed.


JoeJ wrote:
Why would a paladin want to worship an evil deity? I don't see how that could ever be a good idea.

I refer you to my answer in this thread.


As part of the natural world (the reality behind the so-called natural world, in fact), I generally make most deities Neutral. Not in the sense of supporting balance, but in the same way that an animal is Neutral - it's just not in their nature to be concerned about such things. (Unaligned would be a better term.) For example, the sun god's "job" is to light up the world, not to light up just the houses of the good people.

I like the idea that deities don't empower paladins; in fact, nobody knows why paladins have the powers they do (or if the gods know, they're not saying). Sometimes, for no discernible reason, a very good individual will begin manifesting special abilities. Those are paladins. Others, who appear to be just as good, do not become paladins.

In a more generic fantasy world like the Forgotten Realms or Golarion, however, consciously choosing to worship an evil being should count as an evil act.


blahpers wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
Why would a paladin want to worship an evil deity? I don't see how that could ever be a good idea.
I refer you to my answer in this thread.

LOL! That might be fun actually, having a paladin try to convert a god.


LazarX wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:


Actually, if I remember the Kaer Maga book correctly, both the Church of Abadar and the Church of Asmodeus were working together very closely to make sure that contracts remain binding there and the city didn't fall apart. Furthermore, I seem to remember the Church of Asmodeus being cast in a somewhat heroic light in that situation.
On Madison Ave it's called "spin". There are Hellknights who try to pass themselves off as Paladins, but that doesn't make them so.

The rules specify that a Paladin actively avoids working with those who are evil or offend the Paladin's moral code and cannot provide help to those who would use it for immoral ends.

An evil deity is a living being just as any other NPC. A Paladin would certainly be in violation of this rule if he were to serve an evil king so a deity should be no different. The Paladin becomes guilty of associating with an evil creature through prayer, communion, etc...

The evil deity is certain to use any assistance, aid or service the Paladin provides to its church for immoral ends again violating this rule

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Removed a couple posts. Let's leave derogatory commentary on real world religions and accusations of trolling out of the thread please.


Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
You mean beyond the fact that he breaks the 'Associates' clause...

So we have RAW, and in case it's not clear...

DominusMegadeus wrote:
BlackOuroboros wrote:
I seem to remember some throwaway line in one of the Council of Thieves books about Paladins of Asmodeus.

And the devs called it out as a mistake and asked us to pretend it never happened.

I wonder why.

... we have RAI support by the Dev's regarding the issue.

A Paladin worshipping an Evil god is being tricked, and will stop when he finds out or the first time it conflicts with his code (or lose his powers), and/or a house rule.

Dark Archive

Part 5 of Council of Thieves had that paragraph about Paladins of Asmodeus. Unfortunately, JJ tolds us it should have been cut, and that it is not canon.

Now I actually like the idea of a Paladin of Asmodeus. A young man vows to serve Asmodeus in exchange for the power he needs to fight the demons that are threatening his village. Asmodeus gets a champion to fight his enemies and/or a LG soul to add to his collection. And we all know that good souls are the sweetest.

So yeah, I'd say yes. They can.


the David wrote:

Part 5 of Council of Thieves had that paragraph about Paladins of Asmodeus. Unfortunately, JJ tolds us it should have been cut, and that it is not canon.

Now I actually like the idea of a Paladin of Asmodeus. A young man vows to serve Asmodeus in exchange for the power he needs to fight the demons that are threatening his village. Asmodeus gets a champion to fight his enemies and/or a LG soul to add to his collection. And we all know that good souls are the sweetest.

So yeah, I'd say yes. They can.

Vows to serve an evil god, which means knowingly associating with evil beings, which violates the paladin's code, thus starting a fall. Or at the very least the beginning of a fall that he would need to atone for. It might make for an interesting story arc where the Paladin needs to atone for the act.

The OP has said he has no interest in RPing, so it's sort of a moot point. A Paladin's code is essentially an RP tool, so if he's not interested in that then just say yes. The rest is wasted on the OP.

Grand Lodge

Kelarith wrote:
the David wrote:

Part 5 of Council of Thieves had that paragraph about Paladins of Asmodeus. Unfortunately, JJ tolds us it should have been cut, and that it is not canon.

Now I actually like the idea of a Paladin of Asmodeus. A young man vows to serve Asmodeus in exchange for the power he needs to fight the demons that are threatening his village. Asmodeus gets a champion to fight his enemies and/or a LG soul to add to his collection. And we all know that good souls are the sweetest.

So yeah, I'd say yes. They can.

Vows to serve an evil god, which means knowingly associating with evil beings, which violates the paladin's code, thus starting a fall. Or at the very least the beginning of a fall that he would need to atone for. It might make for an interesting story arc where the Paladin needs to atone for the act.

The OP has said he has no interest in RPing, so it's sort of a moot point. A Paladin's code is essentially an RP tool, so if he's not interested in that then just say yes. The rest is wasted on the OP.

To be fair I did also say I'm not making a paladin that worships an evil deity. As obviously it's intended (imo) that it shouldn't happen, but I didn't see anything in RAW that says as much.

Grand Lodge

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

Theoretically, he could get his power from a neutral deity, who grans him positive energy powers yet lets him give his faith and worship to an evil being, but I cant think of any situation in which a (presumably lawful) nuetral deity would find an advantage in doing that. (Some of the chaotic nuetral ones would just do it for laughs I suppose. But they can't grant the Lawful powers of a paladin...


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FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

Theoretically, he could get his power from a neutral deity, who grans him positive energy powers yet lets him give his faith and worship to an evil being, but I cant think of any situation in which a (presumably lawful) nuetral deity would find an advantage in doing that. (Some of the chaotic nuetral ones would just do it for laughs I suppose. But they can't grant the Lawful powers of a paladin...

There are no mechanics in the Core Rulebook that state that a paladin's power must come from a deity. Many paladins don't even worship a deity at all.


FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

In addition to assuming that his power comes from a deity in the first place, you're also making the unsupported assumption that his power comes from the deity he worships. There are some fairly sophisticated theological thinkers -- C.S. Lewis comes to mind -- that would explicitly deny this, and point out that good things come from God, irrespective of what the petitioner asks for.

C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle wrote:


Therefore if any man swear by Tash [the "deity" of evil] and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

Sarenrae would probably get a kick out of enabling a lawful good worshiper of Asmodeus to smite devils in Asmodeus' name.

Grand Lodge

But it must come from a good and lawful source, or at least cannot come from an evil or chaotic one. Because otherwise it could not grant the powers it grants.

Dark Archive

I'm intrigued by the roleplaying possibilities. Suppose a desperate LG character would ask Asmodeus for the power to save his village from a horde of demons. (Or whatever.) What class should he be to represent his devotion to Asmodeus and his willingness to sacrifice his soul so that others may live? What powers would Asmodeus grant him.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more awesome it gets. Asmodeus fooling a young man into thinking that he's actually making a difference, fighting the good fight and redeeming his soul, while he's really damned for all eternity...

Are you sure Asmodeus can't give out powers that are paladin-like just to fool that stupid squire?

Grand Lodge

Orfamay Quest wrote:
FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

In addition to assuming that his power comes from a deity in the first place, you're also making the unsupported assumption that his power comes from the deity he worships.

Actually, that is kind of the opposite of what I said... I said, if he is worshipping an evil god, but getting his power from a good god (or if you prefer a good source) then worshiping an evil god, (which presumably involves acting in that gods interests, is probably going to make him fal.

Grand Lodge

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the David wrote:

I'm intrigued by the roleplaying possibilities. Suppose a desperate LG character would ask Asmodeus for the power to save his village from a horde of demons. (Or whatever.) What class should he be to represent his devotion to Asmodeus and his willingness to sacrifice his soul so that others may live? What powers would Asmodeus grant him.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more awesome it gets. Asmodeus fooling a young man into thinking that he's actually making a difference, fighting the good fight and redeeming his soul, while he's really damned for all eternity...

Are you sure Asmodeus can't give out powers that are paladin-like just to fool that stupid squire?

I'm pretty sure that the evil gods can't give positive energy channel, or the chaotic ones would be be giving it out en mass to their clerics so they can mess with people.


FLite wrote:


Actually, that is kind of the opposite of what I said... I said, if he is worshipping an evil god, but getting his power from a good god (or if you prefer a good source) then worshiping an evil god, (which presumably involves acting in that gods interests, is probably going to make him fal.

Not if he's doing good actions. "If any man swear by Asmodeus and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by Sarenrae that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is she who rewards him."


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the David wrote:

I'm intrigued by the roleplaying possibilities. Suppose a desperate LG character would ask Asmodeus for the power to save his village from a horde of demons. (Or whatever.) What class should he be to represent his devotion to Asmodeus and his willingness to sacrifice his soul so that others may live? What powers would Asmodeus grant him.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more awesome it gets. Asmodeus fooling a young man into thinking that he's actually making a difference, fighting the good fight and redeeming his soul, while he's really damned for all eternity...

Are you sure Asmodeus can't give out powers that are paladin-like just to fool that stupid squire?

That could be an awesome adventure, if the PCs task was to realize where the power was coming from and reject it before they could find the real way to save the village.

Alternatively, it might be a great background for a character to have once been a paladin and fell because they couldn't find the faith to reject Asmodeus's offer. They might still be a good character; perhaps trying to find a way to atone for having made a deal that led to the death of a bunch of innocent people.


PRD wrote:

Paladin

Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve.

The rules specify that Paladins serve virtuous, i.e. good, deities.

PRD wrote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code.

A Paladin serving an evil deity is certainly working with and for that deity who is a being that definitely offends the Paladin's moral code.

PRD wrote:
Additionally, a paladin's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

A Paladin's service to an evil deity will be used by that evil deity for evil or chaotic ends which violates his code of conduct.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashiel wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Worshiping an evil god is a voluntary evil act.

Citation, please?

Evil is hurting, oppressing, or killing. Worship is not any of those things.

No citation should be needed. It should be self-evident that admiring, venerating, following, and indeed worshiping an evil deity is an evil act, just as worshiping a lawful one is a lawful act, worshiping a good one is a good act, and so on.

Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Paladins cannot worship an evil deity (or a chaotic one, for that matter) and stay paladins. That's the whole point of being a paladin—that you're lawful and good.


James Jacobs wrote:


Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Surely that would depend in part upon the things themselves.

Otherwise how, for example, could a cleric stay one step away from their deity in alignment?

If the things you do to worship Sarenrae are inherently good, where do her neutral worshipers come from?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

blahpers wrote:
FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

Theoretically, he could get his power from a neutral deity, who grans him positive energy powers yet lets him give his faith and worship to an evil being, but I cant think of any situation in which a (presumably lawful) nuetral deity would find an advantage in doing that. (Some of the chaotic nuetral ones would just do it for laughs I suppose. But they can't grant the Lawful powers of a paladin...

There are no mechanics in the Core Rulebook that state that a paladin's power must come from a deity. Many paladins don't even worship a deity at all.

This is absolutely true. In Golarion, most paladins worship a deity but they don't have to. Their powers are "fueled" by their faith, and that doesn't have to be faith in a deity. It could be faith in an idea, a philosophy, a cause, or whatever. They need something to believe in. And if that belief isn't lawful good, it'd better be lawful neutral for the paladin to focus harder on the law than the good, or neutral good for the paladin to focus harder on the good instead of the law. The paladin herself remains lawful good, so in a way, its her ALIGNMENT that is the source of her power.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Since no one is actually considering making this character, I'm going to file this thread under 'infinite oregano'.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Surely that would depend in part upon the things themselves.

Otherwise how, for example, could a cleric stay one step away from their deity in alignment?

If the things you do to worship Sarenrae are inherently good, where do her neutral worshipers come from?

You're moving the goalposts. This isn't a discussion of how a cleric can be one step away from an alignment and still worship the deity enough to be granted spells. That's a different topic entirely.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

But regardless of whether you worship a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good deity, you still have to be lawful good. You don't get the "be within one step of your deity's alignment" because you HAVE to be lawful good.


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James Jacobs wrote:

You're moving the goalposts. This isn't a discussion of how a cleric can be one step away from an alignment and still worship the deity enough to be granted spells. That's a different topic entirely.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

But regardless of whether you worship a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good deity, you still have to be lawful good. You don't get the "be within one step of your deity's alignment" because you HAVE to be lawful good.

That sounds pretty awesome. When you're a cleric you have to stay within one alignment step of your deity. When you're a paladin, your deity has to stay within one alignment step of you. ;p


James Jacobs wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Surely that would depend in part upon the things themselves.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Can a paladin worship an evil deity, yes, but since this breaks his code of conduit he will lose all class abilities except proficiencies.

On what grounds? He didn't do anything.


Ross Byers wrote:
Since no one is actually considering making this character, I'm going to file this thread under 'infinite oregano'.

If it helps, I'm being . . . inspired. In a CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.JPG sort of way.

Oregano is also fine.


blahpers wrote:
FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

Theoretically, he could get his power from a neutral deity, who grans him positive energy powers yet lets him give his faith and worship to an evil being, but I cant think of any situation in which a (presumably lawful) nuetral deity would find an advantage in doing that. (Some of the chaotic nuetral ones would just do it for laughs I suppose. But they can't grant the Lawful powers of a paladin...

There are no mechanics in the Core Rulebook that state that a paladin's power must come from a deity. Many paladins don't even worship a deity at all.

This.

I would also seriously doubt that 'talking to myself invoking the name of a metaphysical being several dimensions over' constitutes 'association'.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JoeJ wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

You're moving the goalposts. This isn't a discussion of how a cleric can be one step away from an alignment and still worship the deity enough to be granted spells. That's a different topic entirely.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

But regardless of whether you worship a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good deity, you still have to be lawful good. You don't get the "be within one step of your deity's alignment" because you HAVE to be lawful good.

That sounds pretty awesome. When you're a cleric you have to stay within one alignment step of your deity. When you're a paladin, your deity has to stay within one alignment step of you. ;p

That's certainly one way to look at it I guess!

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

"Cafeteria Asmodism" woulud be lawful neutral or neutral evil. That's basically the "one step from your deity" situation. Note that neither of those are lawful good.


James Jacobs wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see?

Yes, but that's not the same thing as 'worshiping', which is simply verbal.

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Zhayne wrote:

This.

I would also seriously doubt that 'talking to myself invoking the name of a metaphysical being several dimensions over' constitutes 'association'.

Just praying to an evil deity is not going to make a paladin fall. (I'm not sure why a paladin would in the first place, but whatever.) But you've merely described prayer, not 'worship'.

'Worship' implies things like thinking that the thing being worshiped is worthy of respect, and that the teachings thereof are something to be emulated.

Asmodeus is a god of tyranny. Of cruelty. Of treading on the less fortunate merely to remind them they are, in fact, less fortunate. These are not ideals that a paladin should venerate.

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This... is a thread on a forum


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Zhayne wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see?
Yes, but that's not the same thing as 'worshiping', which is simply verbal.

But worshiping is not "just a verbal act." The word Worship has a very specific connotation that implies a spiritual or faithful component. Worship is more than just reading the words. Also just reading the words and not adding in the spiritual or faithful components would be a chaotic (or at least non-lawful) act.


"Knights of Asmodeus wear the typical black and red associated with the Dark Prince, often wielding a spiked mace. They seek out order to gain power. Some call themselves paladins to give their behavior a gloss of righteousness". (My emphasis.)

I think Zhayne and some others are letting their "real world" opinions on worship and religion influence their interpretation of the game. I've been known to do the same thing on questions about lighting and large weapons, but it is a game and all I can see is that worshiping evil makes you evil. In the game.

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