Can paladins worship an evil deity?


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Kryzbyn wrote:
1)There is no mechanical language that ties a paladin to a deity. Look at the cleric for refrences of mechanical language that does (although, they also, do not have to pick a deity).

I posted several points in the features of a paladin explicitly stating those abilities come from their deity.

PRD wrote:
paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve

I know many consider this to be fluff and not rules but it does add to the body of evidence.

PRD wrote:
Divine Bond (Sp): Upon reaching 5th level, a paladin forms a divine bond with her god.

The rule explicitly states that the paladin is bonding with his or her deity. This isn't fluff or description. It just flat out says the paladin bonds with a deity and receives certain benefits from it.

PRD wrote:
Holy Champion (Su): At 20th level, a paladin becomes a conduit for the power of her god.

Again it explicitly states this ability is directly tied the paladin's deity. Not fluff or descriptive text. It says the paladin becomes a conduit for her god and this provides certain benefits.

Compare this to something like Aasimar Wings that says you sprout feathered wings that grant you a fly speed. No wings no fly speed.

A paladin forms a bond with his or her god and gets some weapon enhancement or a mount. At 20th level the paladin becomes a conduit for his or her god and gains some DR. You can't divorce the effects from their cause.

I'm not convinced a paladin doesn't have to have a deity.


Then don't be convinced.

Shadow Lodge

Kryzbyn wrote:
Then don't be convinced.

That really hurts man


Kryzbyn wrote:
Then don't be convinced.

I asked for a source saying a paladin didn't need a deity and posted several sources that say he does. In response instead of a source for the claim I just get the assertion there isn't a mechanical requirement for a paladin to have a deity. So I repost from the PRD where there is a requirement for the paladin to have a deity.

So yes..thank you for your permission to not be convinced by your unsupported claims.


You made no assertion that could be supported mechanically.

So, you're welcome.

I listed what was not there, that is in other classes to support they must be tied to a deity.

Based on the lack of mechanical requirements to have a diety in order to be a paladin, common sense says, a deity is not required to be a paladin.

FAQ it, I guess. It'll be in the same FAQ with the breathing rules.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Then don't be convinced.

I asked for a source saying a paladin didn't need a deity and posted several sources that say he does. In response instead of a source for the claim I just get the assertion there isn't a mechanical requirement for a paladin to have a deity. So I repost from the PRD where there is a requirement for the paladin to have a deity.

So yes..thank you for your permission to not be convinced by your unsupported claims.

Your assertion that no one responded with a source of the claim is blatantly untrue.


Kryzbyn wrote:

You made no assertion that could be supported mechanically.

So, you're welcome.

I listed what was not there, that is in other classes to support they must be tied to a deity.

Based on the lack of mechanical requirements to have a diety in order to be a paladin, common sense says, a deity is not required to be a paladin.

FAQ it, I guess. It'll be in the same FAQ with the breathing rules.

I posted two rules that specifically say the paladin's abilities are tied to a deity. Simply closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nah nah nah" isn't going to make those plain rules statements go away. There is no need for FAQ because the rules explicitly say it.

When the claim was made I expected that maybe something from Inner Sea Gods or Faiths of Purity might have changed something. When I asked for a source I didn't realize the claim a paladin doesn't need a deity was simply manufactured out of whole cloth.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

OldSkoolRPG wrote:


I posted two rules that specifically say the paladin's abilities are tied to a deity. Simply closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nah nah nah" isn't going to make those plain rules statements go away. There is no need for FAQ because the rules explicitly say it.

When the claim was made I expected that maybe something from Inner Sea Gods or Faiths of Purity might have changed something. When I asked for a source I didn't realize the claim a paladin doesn't need a deity was simply manufactured out of whole cloth.

You are starting to get a little offensive with these statements. At least address why you think a CRB or AP reference is invalid before going around claiming no one addressed your point or is fabricating ideas.


Ha, ok.

You posted fluff.

The entries in the cleric and inquistor sections are crunch.

Such crunch does not exist in the paladin class write up.

So, as I said, don't be convinced. That's fine.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:

Sidenote:

For anyone familiar with the Council of Thieves AP, book #5 "Mother of Flies" has a section specifically talking about paladins of Asmodeus. So there's that.

** spoiler omitted **...

No matter how many times someone is going to bring it up in this thread doesn't change the fact that the passage has been cited as AN ERROR.

It is not admissible as evidence.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

You made no assertion that could be supported mechanically.

So, you're welcome.

I listed what was not there, that is in other classes to support they must be tied to a deity.

Based on the lack of mechanical requirements to have a diety in order to be a paladin, common sense says, a deity is not required to be a paladin.

FAQ it, I guess. It'll be in the same FAQ with the breathing rules.

I posted two rules that specifically say the paladin's abilities are tied to a deity. Simply closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nah nah nah" isn't going to make those plain rules statements go away. There is no need for FAQ because the rules explicitly say it.

When the claim was made I expected that maybe something from Inner Sea Gods or Faiths of Purity might have changed something. When I asked for a source I didn't realize the claim a paladin doesn't need a deity was simply manufactured out of whole cloth.

Actually, he is correct that in the magic section it clearly states a paladins spells do not come from his deity, they come from the forces of law and good.

I'm sorry, those lines you quote are fluff text. There is no actual mechanical bearing for them. "Become the conduit for your god," is not a mechanical effect. What follows is, but it is not a mechanical effect in and of itself. It's fluff text, put there mostly for the enjoyment of readers who subscribe to such things.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:

Ha, ok.

You posted fluff.

The entries in the cleric and inquistor sections are crunch.

Such crunch does not exist in the paladin class write up.

So, as I said, don't be convinced. That's fine.

It does exist... look up the part about the Paladin's associate.

Essentially the clerical requirement is reversed with the Paladin. It's the diety that has to be within one step of him, unless the diety has specific exceptions in the gods write up... and no, Council of Thieves does not count for reasons otherwise cited.


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. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

Where in there does it say a Paladin must worship a deity?


Ssalarn wrote:
OldSkoolRPG wrote:


I posted two rules that specifically say the paladin's abilities are tied to a deity. Simply closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nah nah nah" isn't going to make those plain rules statements go away. There is no need for FAQ because the rules explicitly say it.

When the claim was made I expected that maybe something from Inner Sea Gods or Faiths of Purity might have changed something. When I asked for a source I didn't realize the claim a paladin doesn't need a deity was simply manufactured out of whole cloth.

You are starting to get a little offensive with these statements. At least address why you think a CRB reference is invalid before going around claiming no one addressed your point or is fabricating ideas.

I apologize for claiming no one had responded but I had missed your first post addressing the issue. I only saw Kryzbyn's posts on the topic and it was those specifically that I was referring too. It was frustrating to ask Krysbyn for a source and get back from him nothing but an assertion and then when I point out that without some rules citation his assertions were unconvincing I get snarky comments like "Well then be unconvinced". I just wanted a rules citation.

I actually appreciate that you did indeed actually provide a rules reference. I agree that this does prove definitively that a paladin's spells aren't granted by a deity but what about the other class features that do say explicitly that they are granted by a deity. Just because the spells aren't doesn't mean other class features aren't.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
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. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.
Where in there does it say a Paladin must worship a deity?

Irrelevant question. Choosing to worship a diety (which is what this thread is all about) is certainly making an association with one. You can not choose to associate with evil save under exceptional circumstances. And a Paladin would have to so full of himself to think that his association would change an evil diety that he's not going to be a Paladin for long.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

OldSkoolRPG wrote:


I actually appreciate that you did indeed actually provide a rules reference. I agree that this does prove definitively that a paladin's spells aren't granted by a deity but what about the other class features that do say explicitly that they are granted by a deity. Just because the spells aren't doesn't mean other class features aren't.

That's actually a fairly interesting argument. So to be clear, your assertion then would be that Paladin spells come from the fundamental universal forces of Law and Good, but his other class abilities still need to be bestowed by a deity?


LazarX wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
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. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.
Where in there does it say a Paladin must worship a deity?
Irrelevant question. Choosing to worship a diety (which is what this thread is all about) is certainly making an association with one. You can not choose to associate with evil save under exceptional circumstances. And a Paladin would have to so full of himself to think that his association would change an evil diety that he's not going to be a Paladin for long.

Mild curiosity. When does it become association?

Do you have to travel with them for long periods of time?

Know all about their teachings?

Praise them, even if you don't agree with or follow all of their teachings?

Do you have to stand in the same room as them?

Technically even speaking with someone can be associated with them!

"HE TALKED TO THE VILLAIN! FAAALLLLLL!" :P

associate

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

LazarX wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Sidenote:

For anyone familiar with the Council of Thieves AP, book #5 "Mother of Flies" has a section specifically talking about paladins of Asmodeus. So there's that.

** spoiler omitted **...

No matter how many times someone is going to bring it up in this thread doesn't change the fact that the passage has been cited as AN ERROR.

It is not admissible as evidence.

It's a 5+ paragraph spread over multiple pages in an AP, which James Jacobs even defended in the AP discussion thread.

It's not an "error", it's something the PF team did that JJ wasn't a fan of, and which he, personally, later disowned.


Ssalarn wrote:
OldSkoolRPG wrote:


I actually appreciate that you did indeed actually provide a rules reference. I agree that this does prove definitively that a paladin's spells aren't granted by a deity but what about the other class features that do say explicitly that they are granted by a deity. Just because the spells aren't doesn't mean other class features aren't.

That's actually a fairly interesting argument. So to be clear, your assertion then would be that Paladin spells come from the fundamental universal forces of Law and Good, but his other class abilities still need to be bestowed by a deity?

No I am not asserting that. I'm saying that seems to be what the RAW is saying but it would be very strange for that to be the case. I don't have an explanation for why on one point it explicitly states Divine Bond and Holy Champion are tied to a deity but then it explicitly states that paladin spells are not. So I am asking how others who don't think a paladin needs a deity reconcile the two explicit rules statements.

Edit: To throw another wrinkle in the Smite Evil feature seems to call out the same ephemeral "powers of good" as the source the same as spells do.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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OldSkoolRPG wrote:
No I am not asserting that. I'm saying that seems to be what the RAW is saying but it would be very strange for that to be the case. I don't have an explanation for why on one point it explicitly states Divine Bond and Holy Champion are tied to a deity but then it explicitly states that paladin spells are not. So I am asking how others who don't think a paladin needs a deity reconcile the two explicit rules statements.

It looks like the magic section pretty explicitly denotes that paladin's draw their spells directly from the powers of Law and Good, while the Divine Bond and Holy Champion abilities are the only two places where a paladin's connection to a god are mentioned. Personally, I'm inclined to think of what we're seeing there as flavor text. In a class I'm writing for Dreamscarred Press I wrote something along the lines of "Sun God's Might(Su): The pharaoh's body now overflows with deific power...". I wasn't attempting to create a new power source called "deific power", I was setting the tone for the rest of the ability. That introductory bit has no mechanical meaning whatsoever.

That being said, I suppose if one were to assume that those two references in Divine Bond and Holy Champion are in fact mechanical, the answer would be that a paladin without a deity can't use those two abilities.


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Ssalarn wrote:

It looks like the magic section pretty explicitly denotes that paladin's draw their spells directly from the powers of Law and Good, while the Divine Bond and Holy Champion abilities are the only two places where a paladin's connection to a god are mentioned. Personally, I'm inclined to think of what we're seeing there as flavor text. In a class I'm writing for Dreamscarred Press I wrote something along the lines of "Sun God's Might(Su): The pharaoh's body now overflows with deific power...". I wasn't attempting to create a new power source called "deific power", I was setting the tone for the rest of the ability. That introductory bit has no mechanical meaning whatsoever.

That being said, I suppose if one were to assume that those two references in Divine Bond and Holy Champion are in fact mechanical, the answer would be that a paladin without a deity can't use those two abilities.

Given that smite evil also lists the source as just "the powers of good" and that the only other mention of a paladin's deity is also flavor text that you are probably correct. The mention of a deity in the two features is intended as flavor text even if it doesn't initially come off that way.


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LazarX wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
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. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.
Where in there does it say a Paladin must worship a deity?
Irrelevant question. Choosing to worship a diety (which is what this thread is all about) is certainly making an association with one. You can not choose to associate with evil save under exceptional circumstances. And a Paladin would have to so full of himself to think that his association would change an evil diety that he's not going to be a Paladin for long.

Oh, ok.

I was only talking about whether a deity was required by paladins to get their powers.
I think the question of whether they can worship an evil one is silly and covered by common sense.


Since someone's been asking about the retcon of Asmodean paladins, I direct you to p. 24 of Inner See Gods.

The Inner Sea Gods section on Asmodeus makes clear that while Asmodeus does have self-proclaimed paladins, they're also fakes - often pure martial types that are using magic items to pass themselves off as paladins.

Inner Sea Gods wrote:
Most go out of their way to perform heroic deeds for communities in need - or to manufacture then thwart tribulations for those not in imminent need. Thus Asmodeus's servants hope to undermine the common knowledge of their god's evil, opening the minds and hearts of everyday people to the belief that Asmodeus has been judged too harshly, and that perhaps peace is worth harsh laws and rigid order.

In short, in Inner Sea Gods, the "paladins" are an on-going PR stunt, and any such "paladin" is most likely a fighter or cavalier with UMD.

By RAW, a paladin COULD worship an evil deity, but I'd strongly recommend such a paladin dump both Intelligence and Wisdom, and be incredibly self-deluded as to the nature of the entity she nominally serves.

Though even a paladin that's dumb as a stump would probably pick up really quickly that something is wrong, since the standard dogma of their god is going to usually violate their code in some way.

Also, here's a fun fact - even neutral clerics of an evil god will detect as evil, since what matters for a cleric's aura is not the cleric's alignment, but the god's.


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Faiths of Purity and Faiths of Balance(one for Abadar) have Codes of Conduct for paladins worshiping specific Deities(not all Gods have Paladin Orders in Golarion).

Also, a quote from JJ from 2011 where he says that paladins don't need gods.


CrystalSpellblade wrote:

Faiths of Purity and Faiths of Balance(one for Abadar) have Codes of Conduct for paladins worshiping specific Deities(not all Gods have Paladin Orders in Golarion).

Also, a quote from JJ from 2011 where he says that paladins don't need gods.

Nice find. I also see that two posts down (I don't know how you do that fancy schmancy thing where you link right to a post) he also says that if a paladin does worship a god it must be within one step of LG.

Edit: In other words Paladins are so awesome they don't have to be within one step of their deity their deity has to be within one step of them!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

CrystalSpellblade wrote:

Faiths of Purity and Faiths of Balance(one for Abadar) have Codes of Conduct for paladins worshiping specific Deities(not all Gods have Paladin Orders in Golarion).

Also, a quote from JJ from 2011 where he says that paladins don't need gods.

That jives a little more closely with how I'd envision a paladin who venerates Asmodeus working anyways. A paladin is a paladin because he's invested with power by the cosmic forces of Law and Good. The fact that maybe Asmodeus was the primary deity wherever he grew up and that's who he prays to is incidental to his paladinhood and abilities. Maybe he worhips Asmodeus as the Lord of Law and really doesn't know anything more about Asmodeus' principles and dogma than any other peasant who grew up having lip-service to Asmodeus force-fed to them at Sunday school.


That's not worship. That's lip service.


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

Paladin threads are funny.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kryzbyn wrote:
That's not worship. That's lip service.

Paladin's don't need to worship a deity, they're invested by the forces of Law and Good. That means the Paladin has to embody those ideals in word and thought. Given that the "real" Asmodeus is LE, the paladin needs to believe either that Asmodeus' tenants are ultimately good and he's largely misunderstood, have a basic misunderstanding or highly abridged understanding of what Asmodeus' tenants actually are, or be part of some splinter cell that seeks to redeem Asmodeus' evil by doing good works in his name and showing has his emphasis on law and order ultimately serves the greater benefit of existence.

The point is, a paladin who worships Asmodeus is probably not gaining his powers from Asmodeus, he's gaining them from his innate purity and he happens to also worship Asmodeus, which can be reconciled in a number of ways, the most obvious of which would be that he doesn't actually understand Asmodeus the same way that you and I, who can whip open Inner Sea Gods and read his write up, understand him.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
claudekennilol wrote:
Is there anything preventing a paladin from worshiping an evil deity?

you guys do realize its been a week and a half since this question was posed and you're still going on about it, so paladins don't have to worship deities, however if they do then it has to be a deity within one step, hence you can not have a paladin that worships an evil deity.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

captain yesterday wrote:
however if they do then it has to be a deity within one step

That's a JJ houserule, unsupported by any actual rules. JJ is like the GM for the Pathfinder nation, and like any GM, he has houserules that don't always jive with the actual rules. He actually makes that disclaimer a few times himself.

JJ saying paladins don't need gods is backed up by the rules. His statement about alignment steps is not. Clerics and Inquisitors are specifically called out as having alignment restrictions related to their deity; these restrictions do not apply to other classes, except perhaps in the context of JJ's houserules for Golarion.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
That's not worship. That's lip service.

Paladin's don't need to worship a deity, they're invested by the forces of Law and Good. That means the Paladin has to embody those ideals in word and thought. Given that the "real" Asmodeus is LE, the paladin needs to believe either that Asmodeus' tenants are ultimately good and he's largely misunderstood, have a basic misunderstanding or highly abridged understanding of what Asmodeus' tenants actually are, or be part of some splinter cell that seeks to redeem Asmodeus' evil by doing good works in his name and showing has his emphasis on law and order ultimately serves the greater benefit of existence.

The point is, a paladin who worships Asmodeus is probably not gaining his powers from Asmodeus, he's gaining them from his innate purity and he happens to also worship Asmodeus, which can be reconciled in a number of ways, the most obvious of which would be that he doesn't actually understand Asmodeus the same way that you and I, who can whip open Inner Sea Gods and read his write up, understand him.

You can also have a Paladin who views Asmodeus's job to be the tempter and jailer of those who are evil or who might do evil. Asmodeus isn't there to be a nice guy, but in the end he still wants the world to continue. Even with the bad parts of Asmodeus, an order of Paladins who worship him could still base their structure around the Lawful parts and basically play the good-cops who work towards a world that will not fall to the temptations of Asmodeus or be sent to him when they die. Asmodeus helps identify and draw the evil out so the Paladins can target them.

Sure, these are non-Golarion interpretations of the god and Paladins, but they seem consistent with how religions have been handled in the real world by worshippers (see Hinduism, Christianity, etc.) where aspects of a god or agents of a god are what would be considered evil in Pathfinder.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Nope it was retconned, ask James Jacobs yourself if you must:) there are no paladins of Asmodeus in pathfinder, its a fact

No, James Jacobs doesn't like paladins of Asmodeus in Golarion, because they don't jive with his personal aesthetics. The rules that allowed them to exist in the first place have never been changed.

At best, you can say that there are no longer paladins of Asmodeus in Golarion, assuming you can actually show an official retcon. The rules of Pathfinder still very much allow them and there's a fairly comprehensive blurb in Council of Thieves that discusses all the ways that a paladin might serve an Evil deity.

Actually since inner sea gods which contains an updated version of said article (and as most up to date is the canon) the paladins of asmodeus have been completly dropped. In fact more than just dropped completly rewritten to clearly state otherwise.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kevin Mack wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Nope it was retconned, ask James Jacobs yourself if you must:) there are no paladins of Asmodeus in pathfinder, its a fact

No, James Jacobs doesn't like paladins of Asmodeus in Golarion, because they don't jive with his personal aesthetics. The rules that allowed them to exist in the first place have never been changed.

At best, you can say that there are no longer paladins of Asmodeus in Golarion, assuming you can actually show an official retcon. The rules of Pathfinder still very much allow them and there's a fairly comprehensive blurb in Council of Thieves that discusses all the ways that a paladin might serve an Evil deity.

Actually since inner sea gods which contains an updated version of said article (and as most up to date is the canon) the paladins of asmodeus have been completly dropped. In fact more than just dropped completly rewritten to clearly state otherwise.

You're still talking about Golarion, which I already noted. Pathfinder =/= Golarion any more than D&D = Forgotten Realms. Campaign fluff is not a factor in what the rules say, though it can be a guide to how to interpret the rules.

Part of the quote from Council of Thieves specifically discusses why Paladins serving an evil deity works within the rules, and those rules have not changed since it was written. Inner Sea Gods talks about the fluff of deities on Golarion which is not relevant to the rules.


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now you're just arguing to argue, C'mon! You cant say golarion doesnt apply then cite a previous highly inaccurate golarion piece:)


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This thread is getting really silly.

There are two powers a paladin gets from a deity: Divine Bond and Holy Champion. All else can be read as coming directly from Law or Goodness.

It may be that RAW a paladin need not be tied to a deity. It may even be RAW that a paladin can be tied to, or worship any deity, including evil ones. But if you read the class description, which emphasizes that paladins are champions of law and goodness, and their whole purpose is to oppose evil, the idea that an evil god might have lawful good paladins makes no sense.

As for Golarion, there are at least as many Golarions as there are GMs, and probably more. Maybe in some Golarions the idea works, though I would not like to be stuck in such a place.

Liberty's Edge

Ssalarn wrote:

It's a 5+ paragraph spread over multiple pages in an AP, which James Jacobs even defended in the AP discussion thread.

It's not an "error", it's something the PF team did that JJ wasn't a fan of, and which he, personally, later disowned.

Way I read it, JJ actually carefully avoids here saying that there is such a thing as a Paladin of Asmodeus (as in a paladin whose powers are granted by Asmodeus).

It is definitely not an absolute proof that there are paladins of evil gods.

BTW, why would a Paladin worshipping an evil deity even care about associating with Evil characters ? And yet it is an important part of the Code.

For that matter, why would an evil deity have its paladin fall because of committing an evil act ?


Concept 1: A not-too-bright paladin has been raised to believe that an evil god is actually not evil. His powers may come from another god who he does not worship. "In the name of Zon-Kuthon, protector of the innocent, I shall cleanse this place of undeath!"

Concept 2: An otherwise morally pure paladin has been caught in a terrible compromise. "Child, I see that you have a destiny ahead of you as a champion of good. I will save the life of your family, if you but swear this faithfully: to wear my sign upon your shield as you fight the demons, and before every meal say, 'Thank you, Lord Asmodeus' so that all might know my greatness."

If a GM wants to allow one of these concepts they're free to do so. They're not exactly in tune with regular Golarion lore, but it's your game, and they're no stupider than a lot of other things that go on in RPGs.


The black raven wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

It's a 5+ paragraph spread over multiple pages in an AP, which James Jacobs even defended in the AP discussion thread.

It's not an "error", it's something the PF team did that JJ wasn't a fan of, and which he, personally, later disowned.

Way I read it, JJ actually carefully avoids here saying that there is such a thing as a Paladin of Asmodeus (as in a paladin whose powers are granted by Asmodeus).

It is definitely not an absolute proof that there are paladins of evil gods.

BTW, why would a Paladin worshipping an evil deity even care about associating with Evil characters ? And yet it is an important part of the Code.

For that matter, why would an evil deity have its paladin fall because of committing an evil act ?

Paladin's fall because of their code of conduct, which does not spring from their deity. They draw their powers, as noted in the divine magic section quoted earlier, from the forces of law and good themselves.

Don't align with those? No power for you!

Otherwise a paladin without a deity would have no deity to make him fall.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:
It's a [url=http://paizo.They draw their powers, as noted in the divine magic section quoted earlier, from the forces of law and good themselves.

What are these "forces of law and good"? Wouldn't that just be the LG gods and outsider hierarchy of heaven collectively? Unless there is some sort of cosmic LG battery that has never been mentioned. How could a set of guidelines about morally correct behavior (lawful good) for sentient creatures be a non-thinking amorphous force?


Jeven wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
It's a [url=http://paizo.They draw their powers, as noted in the divine magic section quoted earlier, from the forces of law and good themselves.
What are these "forces of law and good"? Wouldn't that just be the LG gods and outsider hierarchy of heaven collectively? Unless there is some sort of cosmic LG battery that has never been mentioned. How could a set of guidelines about morally correct behavior (lawful good) for sentient creatures be a non-thinking amorphous force?

Morality is in and of itself an actual force in games. Good, evil, law, and chaos are actual universal forces.

The gods' alignments are determined by a morality beyond them. They do not create it, it defines them. Other way around, they are just as bound by alignment as anyone else.

Or for a more philosophical question: in a world where evil is in and of itself a definitive thing, and thus morality cannot be based on cultural reference points, what determines morality?

A lot of people would answer god, but that cannot be the case here. There are multiple deities, each with their own separate beliefs and rules, so the defining of what is good and evil would be different based on each one.

As morality cannot be a cultural reference point (because you exude an evil aura that can be viewed by objective parties when you are evil and powerful enough, regardless of whether your culture views your actions as morally wrong or not) and morality cannot be determined by deities, as they themselves obviously do not agree on what is right or wrong, then morality must be something that exists beyond either deities or mortals.

Liberty's Edge

Why are Good characters forbidden from becoming Clerics of Evil Gods ?

The answer is likely the reason why a Paladin cannot reconcile following the Code and actively worshipping an Evil God.


Well if Lawful Good is just a raw power source, and all you need to tap into it is a Paladin-shaped plug, then evil gods should be able to have their own paladins.
They can't use the power themselves because sticking their fingers in the plug will electrocute them, so they use proxies.
To get around the messy morality thing, a god like Asmodeus could just draw up a Paladin-contract which lists all the Asmodean lawful rules the paladin must obey, while giving him an exclusive opt-out for the evil ones.
The evil god can then use his good paladins (plugged into the LG power source) against his many evil enemies.

Liberty's Edge

Entering a contract with Asmodeus is a great example of associating with Evil characters IMO. And I do not see that many "Greater Evils" than Big A.

Rovagug, I guess.


The black raven wrote:

Entering a contract with Asmodeus is a great example of associating with Evil characters IMO. And I do not see that many "Greater Evils" than Big A.

Rovagug, I guess.

This is solved by having the Paladin not think Asmodeus is evil. The paladin can't just open up splat books to find out that Asmodeus is really a bad guy. If he is of regular intelligence he relies entirely on word of mouth from people who also rely on on word of mouth, so not very good information.

As an aside, one of the few things I like about 5e is it got rid of the alignment requirements so arguments like this don't come up.

Liberty's Edge

johnlocke90 wrote:
The black raven wrote:

Entering a contract with Asmodeus is a great example of associating with Evil characters IMO. And I do not see that many "Greater Evils" than Big A.

Rovagug, I guess.

This is solved by having the Paladin not think Asmodeus is evil. The paladin can't just open up splat books to find out that Asmodeus is really a bad guy. If he is of regular intelligence he relies entirely on word of mouth from people who also rely on on word of mouth, so not very good information.

Until the Paladin uses Detect Evil on any Cleric of Asmodeus :-))


Or at any sanctified holy sites.


1) A Paladin must be lawful good.

2) A Paladin must worship a deity whose alignment is within one step of their own.

Evil is 2 steps from good, therefore no.

UNLESS you play an anti-paladin since that changes the class alignment restriction.


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Trekkie90909 wrote:


2) A Paladin must worship a deity whose alignment is within one step of their own.

Once again, THIS IS FALSE.

That rule specifies only clerics and inquisitors. No one else has to follow that rule. It has been shown, quoted, linked to, and specified so many times it is becoming irksome. Stop bringing it up people. That rule does not apply to paladins.

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