Is there any use for a virgin?


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Hi, I'm looking at some reason a bad evil guy would steal a virgin, maybe to use in some evil rite or such. Is there actually any rule or reason a virgin would be useful? So far I've only run across the word in context to a unicorn.


Not for any mechanical reason. It's just tradition.


Virgins were considered "pure" in the old days, more "good" and "Virtuous". Evil outsider tend to favoir sacrifices of good, god-worhsipping people, so if being a virgin is considered pure and virtuous in your world's alignment system, it makes sense.


In an old anime, the Demon BBEG wanted to sire many half-human children (because humans are endowed with many desirable gifts), and of course he would be sure to be their true father...

Sczarni

Sacrifice, of course.


Mechanically? No.

But remember, corruptio optimi pessima. The corruption of the best, is the worst.

Sovereign Court

Is there a unicorn involved?


no unicorn involved, thinking of some rite that a lich or such might need use of a virgin. or a spell that has some spell component with a virgin needed like her pure heart or what not.


The module Blood of Dragonscar involves the collection of virgins to bring dead people back. And tradition says Red Dragons prefer the virginal.

Sovereign Court

The Book of Vile Darkness, a 3.5 sourcebook, has some rites and rituals that required a virgin.


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The concept of virgin = good was part of the sex-negative, women-as-property (because only a FEMALE virgin counts) social paradigm.


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If you can find the time, watch the 1987 film, "Monster Squad"

Sovereign Court

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Terquem wrote:
If you can find the time, watch the 1987 film, "Monster Squad"

If we're going with 80's movies, the 80's "Dragnet" had P.A.G.A.N.s sacrificing a virgin to a giant snake as part of a ritual.

"Joe, don't you mean the virgin Connie Swail?"

*DAAAAA DA DA DA*

Shadow Lodge

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That would actually be an interesting twist for the end of a story. The party is tasked to rescue a virgin kidnapped by a cult for a sacrifice. The party battles all the way through the adventure, defeats the cultists, rushes to the top of the ziggurat to find a bound and gagged teenage guy trapped to the alter naked and scared.

Must remember to do that some day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is getting into the realms of "GM needs to make stuff up", which I find tends to get a bit lost in Pathfinder, due to how tightly the mechanics are presented as fundamental to the game world.

Perhaps a ritual that allows the lich to not detect as evil or undead for a decade requires a virgin. Oh, and that makes positive energy heal him.

Basically, think of something that spells can't do, either in terms of effect or duration, that's either to do with corruption or purity, and run with it.

Chances are your players will stop it, anyway. Just make it hard to replicate.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I hear they make good olive oil.

Sovereign Court

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I think the general reason is, because whatever evil entity you're sacrificing the virgin to likes it. They don't want just any sacrifice, they want a special sacrifice.

If you think female virgin sacrifices is a relic of male chauvinist paradigm times or something, you could easily substitute something else that's precious. Firstborn sons/daughters, pacifist monks, or a beloved prince - whatever is particularly painful for society to offer up to the Dark One.


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Usual Suspect wrote:

That would actually be an interesting twist for the end of a story. The party is tasked to rescue a virgin kidnapped by a cult for a sacrifice. The party battles all the way through the adventure, defeats the cultists, rushes to the top of the ziggurat to find a bound and gagged teenage guy trapped to the alter naked and scared.

Must remember to do that some day.

I have done this. I love subverting tropes.


Virgin's blood is the most powerful for mystic purposes. Just add it to whatever evil spell your bad guy is using and you're all set!


Yeah, honestly sometimes it is fun to have a diety in some way not get its followers. For instance, Gorum realizes that you apparently need two mortals to make a third mostly, and that it is sort of like wrestling. Beyond that he is a bit unclear on the topic.

Also it is perfectly possible the virginity is not the particular reason a diety wants a particular sacrafice. So really the darklord wants someone born under an eclipse, the fact that they have not found that special someone is just coincidence.


Well, remember also that the term "Virgin Blood" means blood that hasn't been used in a ritual before. It's "clean" blood, untainted by other summonings, bindings, callings, and the like.

So if your players lack an occultist, they could very well figure that the ritual calls for the farmer's "unsullied maiden" daughter, only to find out the ritual went down just fine, thanks. Bob's blood's never been used in rituals before, and he was HAPPY to donate it to the cause of bringing our Dread God Baragoth back to the moral world!


I have had a dragon negotiate with the party's female virginal paladin for her 'services' for a year...

When she rejoined the party, the player simply smiled mysteriously and refused to answer any questions about precisely what services were required and whether she was still virginal or not.


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The funny part would be if she basically spent it writing out draconic holy texts for the year. Which actually would make a weird sort of sense, given real world religions requiring lambs or what for ritual purposes.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a couple posts. Guys, please use your best judgement when posting to this thread.


boring7 wrote:

The concept of virgin = good was part of the sex-negative, women-as-property (because only a FEMALE virgin counts) social paradigm.

Another way to think of it: if only female virgins were good enough to offer to kings as brides, why should the gods have lower standards?

Even if those gods are rather 'blue beard-y' and the relationship is even more explicitly predatory (to the point where you question why her sexual history matters...)


From the AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual:

Quote:
Ecology: Red dragons are meat eaters, although they are capable of disgesting almost anything. Their favorite food is a maiden of any human or demo-human race. Sometimes the dragons are able to charm key villagers into regularly sacrificing maidens to them.

And (from the same book under the Unicorn heading):

Quote:
Lone unicorns occasionally allow themselves to be tamed and ridden by a human or elf maiden of pure heart and good alignment. A unicorn that submits once and is treated kindly will act as the maiden's steed for life, even carrying her beyond the realm of his forest if she so desires. Unicorns make exceptionally loyal mounts and will protect their riders even unto death.

The unicorn part has since been amended in PF:

Quote:
On rare occasions, lone unicorns without mates or whose partners have been slain have been known to adopt young women of exceptionally pure virtue as surrogates, allowing the women to ride on their backs and becoming their guardians and protectors for life. This bond generally ends amiably if the woman becomes more committed to someone else—such as a lover or child—giving rise to the myth that unicorns only befriend virgins.

The red dragon part, on the other hand, has never been reprinted; I'd make the argument that the monster ecologies and other info from previous editions would probably still be valid (presuming it wasn't contradicted in a later source or that there isn't good reason for it to be changed).

Shadow Lodge

The talismanic components rules from Ultimate Campaign suggest using virgin's blood for "blood, fiend-summoning, and purity items."

The terms "maiden" and "virgin" are often used interchangeably but remember that strictly speaking a maiden is simply a young and/or unmarried woman. In many cultures this implied virginity but it's not required by definition.

There's no good reason to equate virginity with a pure heart. I have no particular issue with virginity being associated with some form of magical purity (as long as it applies equally to male and female virgins) but it has nothing to do with your heart or morality. Virgins can be evil or just petty-minded and promiscuity doesn't make you immoral. Note the PF text specifies unicorns are attracted to pure virtue but not only virgins. It would interesting to see an evil ritual fail because they picked up a virgin when it called for an individual of pure heart - and it really meant an exceedingly good individual. Or even better, a person of pure-hearted evil would suffice, and the villain sacrifices him or herself in order to bring forth some great evil force.

Ascalaphus wrote:

I think the general reason is, because whatever evil entity you're sacrificing the virgin to likes it. They don't want just any sacrifice, they want a special sacrifice.

If you think female virgin sacrifices is a relic of male chauvinist paradigm times or something, you could easily substitute something else that's precious. Firstborn sons/daughters, pacifist monks, or a beloved prince - whatever is particularly painful for society to offer up to the Dark One.

Qlippoth prefer children and pregnant women. Priests of good deities and paladins are also good choices. You might also try "one whose hands have never shed blood," as an alternative symbolic form of purity.


There are variant rule systems that use Virgin's Blood (Found in Ultimate Campaign). It's a system where "Talismanic Components" are used to cover part of the usual costs of item creation, spell casting or summoning of Outsiders.

Basically if you're aiming to call a demon, a virgin can cover part of the cost of a Gate spell used to call said demon.

Virgin's Blood is in the text in question specifically called out as an example of such talismanic components. It's right down near the bottom.

Linky.


virgins are useful for binding a succubus.

Succubus (SR 18): The primary joy of the succubus is in destroying innocence and love; offering a child, virgin, or a beloved family member of the caster suffices to gain the interest of the succubus.


Badass has the best reason, since it is historically valid. Prior to DNA testing paternity of a child could only be established by trusting someone's word (maternity is easy, the woman who lost a lot of weight when the child was born is likely the mother) and a non-virgin could be carrying a child the putative 'father' did not actually father. A lich who has discovered a spell allowing them to transfer their soul into the body of one of their descendants, who has no descendants, and casting the spell on a non-descendant will result in the soul being sent on for judgement; such a lich would be best served by choosing a virgin to produce a descendant. Choose a virgin female and keep her isolated from all other males so that the spawn are the ones the lich inflicted upon her.


jemstone wrote:
Bob's blood's never been used in rituals before, and he was HAPPY to donate it to the cause of bringing our Dread God Baragoth back to the moral world!

I tend to think Baragoth would feel unwelcome in a moral world.


Jaelithe wrote:
jemstone wrote:
Bob's blood's never been used in rituals before, and he was HAPPY to donate it to the cause of bringing our Dread God Baragoth back to the moral world!
I tend to think Baragoth would feel unwelcome in a moral world.

Why do you think we're... I mean... they're summoning him?

Man, what's wrong with me and all these typos lately?


Is there something wrong with male virginity in fantasy. as all of these rituals in fantasy seem to talking a female virgin sacrifice?


Everyone who says that there's no mechanical benefits is wrong. Look at the binding outsiders page on the PRD. When binding some fiends, a virgin sacrifice could net you a bonus on charisma checks.


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Fifo wrote:
Hi, I'm looking at some reason a bad evil guy would steal a virgin, maybe to use in some evil rite or such. Is there actually any rule or reason a virgin would be useful? So far I've only run across the word in context to a unicorn.

Not everything needs a rule. If you want to say some ritual needs a virgin, then it needs a virgin. If you want to say it needs a three-legged spider and a bucket of sour cream, then it does.

Shadow Lodge

xavier c wrote:
Is there something wrong with male virginity in fantasy. as all of these rituals in fantasy seem to talking a female virgin sacrifice?

Good old-fashioned sexism and double standards. Female virgins are great, male virgins are lame.

Also the (male) hero gets the girl after rescuing her.


Mechanically I could see a Virgin soul being worth more than the soul of a non-virgin. If you think of the Caucodaemon (sp?) or Outsider Binding rules.

Offering a Virgin would be viewed a more valuable to an evil outsider. That is just flavor text. Virgin usually associated with "young" which is also considered a boost.

How old is your virgin? I could see an older virgin being somewhat more valuable because more is sacrificed on their part and the innocence associated with denying carnal pleasures for years could increase soul value.

Otherwise... no... virgin, whore, dude on the corner eating cheese... all the same NPC just a palette swap.


Zhayne wrote:
Fifo wrote:
Not everything needs a rule. If you want to say some ritual needs a virgin, then it needs a virgin. If you want to say it needs a three-legged spider and a bucket of sour cream, then it does.

That is just PRECIOUS. Made me smile :) I see an enterprising Wizard methodically examining arachnids to find the 3 legged spider while his slacker sorcerer friend just tells him to rip 5 legs off of this one... or this one... or this one... or THIS one... and then storms off in a fit of rage! (hmmm... maybe his bloodrager friend)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
xavier c wrote:
Is there something wrong with male virginity in fantasy. as all of these rituals in fantasy seem to talking a female virgin sacrifice?

Among the traditions that fantasy draws from is the unfortunate fact that for most of human history, women are seen as property and the virgin women of a family are frequently bargaining chips in sealing deals between families. When you corrupted the virginity of a woman, it wasn't a crime against her, it was a crime against her father, her family.


Love the title!!!

Nah really, most of the "uses" for virgins in fantasy settings are based off mythology where deities wanted purity. Andromeda was to be a pure sacrafice to the Kraken or else... The Oracle of Delphi (spelling) was a Virin to be closer to the gods.


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Keep in mind that the term Virgin and Maiden have become a bit conflated, etymologically speaking. I forget the exact words that were used but, basically, there were two words, one meaning a girl who hasn't had sex yet and the other meaning a girl of good social standing (ie. not an out-cast) or, alternatively, a "self-sufficient woman". In the original text of the Bible, for instance, it was the "girl of good social standing" which was used to describe Mary; there was a completely different word at the time for "virgin" as we call it today. But, over time, the two words started to merge and we get a situation similar to the conflation of the Latin "Malus" which generally means fruits (and some nuts), but was also used predominantly for Apple, thus we have a conflation of the "fruit" (Malus) of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil being referred to as an Apple because, whatever fruit it originally was, it was simply referred to as a generic "fruit". I've heard of a particularly psychoactive fruit which some believe was the original "fruit" and causes something similar to an acid trip when consumed (it's dark green and has protrusions similar to a rambutan). Or, for a simpler example, how 'arse' meaning the buttocks merged with 'ass' meaning a donkey to yield the American English term 'ass' which more typically means the former but carries the spelling of the latter as well as its definition as a secondary consideration. So the common interpretation that Jesus was born of a "virgin" is a misunderstanding of the language used as a result of linguistic fusion. Rather, that line was emphasizing how he was born of a human woman (as opposed to miraculously appearing, fully formed, into the world as had been used in some myths prior).

So most stories concerning themselves with a "virgin" sacrifice were, far more likely, talking about a "girl in good standing" rather than strictly one who hasn't yet experienced coitus.


Remember ritual magic. You can make a ritual spell that may require a virgin. Ritual magic outside the spell system is common enough in PF anyway, there are some in PFS and AP's that do things spells can't do. Nothing wrong with making your own.


Not in my experience.


Azoriel wrote:

The unicorn part has since been amended in PF:

Quote:
On rare occasions, lone unicorns without mates or whose partners have been slain have been known to adopt young women of exceptionally pure virtue as surrogates, allowing the women to ride on their backs and becoming their guardians and protectors for life. This bond generally ends amiably if the woman becomes more committed to someone else—such as a lover or child—giving rise to the myth that unicorns only befriend virgins.

Must get around to putting a particularly devout worshiper of Arshea who rides a unicorn at my players one day. Subvert? Let's crack, shatter, and ridicule cliche!

In any case - as many have said, it's mostly a trope arising from unfortunate antiquated gender politics. There's nothing in PF (iirc) that demands such particularities.

Quote:
How old is your virgin? I could see an older virgin being somewhat more valuable because more is sacrificed on their part and the innocence associated with denying carnal pleasures for years could increase soul value.

Twist on this point - assuming a society where the life expectancy isn't awfully small - I would suppose there's a rarity value in it. Which might provide a justification for rituals obsessing with royals (even if that was also more sociological reasons) in a setting canon.

Which just creates a mental image that the evil planes are essentially one huge club playing a souls-based TCG.

Shadow Lodge

xavier c wrote:
Is there something wrong with male virginity in fantasy. as all of these rituals in fantasy seem to talking a female virgin sacrifice?

How do you confirm male virginity? If your sacrifice requires an adult virgin, you'd better make sure the sacrifice is a virgin. Its a sad point, but its an honest one. Searching through us geeky awkward guys takes time, and a lot of Zone of Truth spells.

Though to be honest not every woman that is physically intact is chaste , pure, and virginal. It's just more likely and you don't need to cast any spells to shrink the selection pool.


Usual Suspect wrote:


Though to be honest not every woman that is physically intact is chaste , pure, and virginal.

Now I'm remembering someone making a joke of this based around temples of Calistria and Cure Light Wounds.

Kazaan wrote:

Keep in mind that the term Virgin and Maiden have become a bit conflated, etymologically speaking. I forget the exact words that were used but, basically, there were two words, one meaning a girl who hasn't had sex yet and the other meaning a girl of good social standing (ie. not an out-cast) or,...

And then some other stuff...

This thread, and this post in particular, show how Linguistics can be made into a powerful puzzle-solving skill for player characters.

DC 10 translates it as virgin, DC 15 lets the player know that the wording indicates that the ritual more particularly calls for a woman of high social standing, etc. etc.


Usual Suspect wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Is there something wrong with male virginity in fantasy. as all of these rituals in fantasy seem to talking a female virgin sacrifice?

How do you confirm male virginity? If your sacrifice requires an adult virgin, you'd better make sure the sacrifice is a virgin. Its a sad point, but its an honest one. Searching through us geeky awkward guys takes time, and a lot of Zone of Truth spells.

Though to be honest not every woman that is physically intact is chaste , pure, and virginal. It's just more likely and you don't need to cast any spells to shrink the selection pool.

We are talking about magic rituals. I think the demon would know if the male was a virgin or not


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xavier c wrote:
I think the demon would know if the male was a virgin or not

?

Special Abilities
*1/day - detect virginity

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