Paladins and gods


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Yeah, I'm looking at Inner Sea Gods right now and I don't see anything allowing Paladins to be anything but LG.

It doesn't actually allow them to be anything but LG or CE. I just houserule that you must be the alignment of your deity. I know the paladin was originally the, "Good and honorable knight" class. But I see it as the Holy Knight that must exemplify their deity to a T. Then again, I never actually played DnD. I started with PF and that's just how I always saw them. I also don't let you play a cleric or a paladin without having a deity that your draw power from though. Eh, to each their own.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm going to say that it's highly unlikely that Milani sponsors an order of Paladins, nor does she have any worshipping her.

That said, Milani is on very good terms with Iomedae, and most likely her faithful, and Iomedae's Paladins probably work closely together, especially in Cheliax where their shared beliefs in Good, and redeeming Cheliax from it's evil rulers cross over the law/chaos divide.

If I'm not mistaken, all of Milani's activities are in Cheliax.


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

You are mistaken, she's spreading far and wide, wherever people are being oppressed, a specific example is they are quite active in the Irrisen underground, I'd bet they're quite active in Galt as well


LazarX wrote:

I'm going to say that it's highly unlikely that Milani sponsors an order of Paladins, nor does she have any worshipping her.

There seriously is already a Paladin of Milani NPC. Achille Parsall get's a small mention in the Guide to the Riverlands. He's listed as, "Lord Achille Parsall, knight (LG male human aristocrat 2/fighter 2/paladin of Milani 4). Since that tidbit was written nearly 5 years ago by a freelancer, it has been under-siege as a simply a misunderstanding.


@ LazarX - Milani's extremely active in Irrisen and Galt. And probably other places. She attained actual goddesshood when she managed to hold Aroden's domain in Axis against all comers, and so her reach should be spreading.

Now, her actual goal is a world where she isn't needed, so she's an odd duck as far as deities go.

Reign of Winter book 2:
One of the PCs' goals in The Shackled Hut is to meet up with an Irrisen resistance cell led by a cleric of Milani, and assist her with starting a general uprising in Whitethrone, so that they can use the uprising as a distraction for taking the Dancing Hut.

Milana's a benevolent anarchist, so I could see it being rather difficult to follow her and still maintain a proper devotion to law. Being a champion of law when your goddess actively opposes it is sort of tricky. =P (I.e., the paladin of Milani cited in Guide to the Riverlands is technically a heretic (I mean, hell, he's a LORD and a Milanist; those things aren't terribly compatible), and normal followers of Milani probably find him baffling.)

Paladins actually draw their power from the concept of Lawful Good, so having a deity is optional (though it certainly has some benefits). Antipaladins similarly draw from Chaotic Evil itself rather than whatever god they get in the mix (but again, have benefits for pledging themselves to an overlord.)

For an RL example (though obviously without the power to smite evil), you could consider a Christian who follows the core teachings of Jesus as laid out in the Bible but doesn't go to church (and isn't part of any associated social circles) because he or she doesn't identify with any existing denominations. That's sort of what your deity-less paladin looks like.

Note that the deity is optional for druids too - they can draw power from nature itself, rather than the gods.

Oracles are even weirder - the oracle's faith is completely irrelevant to the oracle's ability to draw divine power. The oracle doesn't even need to comprehend where the heck her power is coming from. She could bitterly hate and actively blaspheme the entity that cursed her and she'd still keep getting her spells!

(Hell, the iconic oracle is a Rahadoumi. A rather unhappy Rahadoumi, though she adjusted.)

@ AndIMustMask - chaotic characters not being allowed to be played intelligently is a group issue, not a system issue. I'd recommend the Joker as an example of both clearly chaotic evil AND a master schemer. =P


Entryhazard wrote:
Cavall wrote:
While we are talking about it, Abadar paladins may be LN.
where does this come from?

Faiths of Balance if I remember right. I know it changes the Paladin code of conduct at the very least, and he is a LN god.

Behold! Stuff!

Paladins of Abadar 

Of all the neutral gods, only Abadar supports and promotes a holy order of paladins.  As the god of civilization and order, Abadar recognizes the value of holy warriors in advancing society’s aims. 

His paladins follow the standard paladin code of protecting the innocent, acting with honor and honesty, and respecting lawful authority. In addition, an Abadaran paladin upholds the following creed. 

• I am a protector of the roadways and keep travelers from harm. No matter their destinations or goals, if they are peaceable and legitimate travelers who harm no others on the road, I will ensure that they pass safely. 

• Bandits are a plague. Under my will they come to justice. If they will not come willingly before the law, where they can protest for justice in the courts, they will come under the power of my sword. 

• Corruption in the courts is the greatest corruption of civilization. Without confidence in justice, citizens cannot believe in their countries, and civilization begins to disappear. I will root out corruption wherever I find it, and if a system is fundamentally flawed, I will work to aid citizens by reforming or replacing it. 

• I am an aid to the markets. I ensure equitable trade between merchants and citizens. Theft and deceit on either side are intolerable. 

• I make opportunities, and teach others to recognize them. When I aid others, I open the way for them, but will not carry them—they must take responsibility

I think they can be LN but... in anyways its a different way to play a pally.


Cavall wrote:

*Abadar's Code of Honor*

I think they can be LN but... in anyways its a different way to play a pally.

I'm not seeing what you're talking about. There's nothing there that allows a Paladin to be LN. Nothing in that code couldn't be accomplished by a LG person who upholds the values of a lawful civilization. Even a LE character could live by that code with no issues at all.


Yeah, the Abadarian paladin code is for LG paladins. Much as Calistria's anti-paladin code is for CE anti-paladins, despite Calistria herself being CN.


Cavall wrote:


Faiths of Balance if I remember right. I know it changes the Paladin code of conduct at the very least, and he is a LN god.

Behold! Stuff!

.

As the others have said, that is simply his code. Paladins of Abadar are still required to be LG. Just as paladins of Sune ( A CG God) had to be LG in the realms.


Zhangar wrote:
Yeah, the Abadarian paladin code is for LG paladins. Much as Calistria's anti-paladin code is for CE anti-paladins, despite Calistria herself being CN.

Being CE, they don't bother with following the code if they don't want to. :)


Except that anti-paladins also lose their powers if they don't follow the code. ("If you won't do ___, then I don't want you as an antipaladin.")

Their default code gives them a lot of leeway (it can be boiled down to: don't commit good acts unless they further your plans, and always commit evil acts except when doing so would hamper your plans.)

I don't have time to look at Calistria's code (about to leave in a couple minutes), but I think it involves never leaving a slight unanswered whenever possible, among other things.

IIRC, Calistria doesn't expect her antipaladins to pick fights, but she expects them to end fights.

Dark Archive

LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Calistria IS Chaotic Neutral.
I've always wondered how are elves considered a "good" race if she's the main diety.

Are they, 'though? (Considered a 'good race?')

I vaguely remember back in 1st/2nd edition that Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings had write-ups in the Monster Manuals, indicating their racial alignments, but I don't think the Bestiaries have any of the core PC races in them, so there really isn't a 'racial alignment' for Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes or Halflings, that I've noticed.

(In previous editions Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes were all LG, IIRC, and Golarion Gnomes and Halflings, in particular, seem less inclined towards Lawful Good. More Chaotic something for Gnomes and Neutral something for Halflings, based on the lore.)

I suppose if I wanted to veer back towards previous editions, Elves could be more strongly associated with Desna, than Calistria. But I'm okay with a less good and more fickle and fey Elven standard. If Humans can be a core race without being a 'good race,' then I suppose it's fair for Elves, too.

Scarab Sages

Set wrote:
LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Calistria IS Chaotic Neutral.
I've always wondered how are elves considered a "good" race if she's the main diety.

Are they, 'though? (Considered a 'good race?')

I vaguely remember back in 1st/2nd edition that Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings had write-ups in the Monster Manuals, indicating their racial alignments, but I don't think the Bestiaries have any of the core PC races in them, so there really isn't a 'racial alignment' for Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes or Halflings, that I've noticed.

(In previous editions Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes were all LG, IIRC, and Golarion Gnomes and Halflings, in particular, seem less inclined towards Lawful Good. More Chaotic something for Gnomes and Neutral something for Halflings, based on the lore.)

I suppose if I wanted to veer back towards previous editions, Elves could be more strongly associated with Desna, than Calistria. But I'm okay with a less good and more fickle and fey Elven standard. If Humans can be a core race without being a 'good race,' then I suppose it's fair for Elves, too.

At least CRB says that "most elves are chaotic good". I don't know if you're talking about racial alignment restrictions (which aren't really a thing for PC races in PF), but yes, most elves are good. Wouldn't that make elves a good race?


Zhangar wrote:

Except that anti-paladins also lose their powers if they don't follow the code. ("If you won't do ___, then I don't want you as an antipaladin.")

Their default code gives them a lot of leeway (it can be boiled down to: don't commit good acts unless they further your plans, and always commit evil acts except when doing so would hamper your plans.)

I don't have time to look at Calistria's code (about to leave in a couple minutes), but I think it involves never leaving a slight unanswered whenever possible, among other things.

IIRC, Calistria doesn't expect her antipaladins to pick fights, but she expects them to end fights.

While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.


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*Looks in on the conversation*

On Deities: Personally, I agree that Paladins would -usually- have a specific deity they worship. Whatever their specific code and tenets are, there's probably a deity who matches that and basically exemplifies the ideals the Paladin approves of - in which case direct, personal worship would be a fairly normal thing to do. If nothing else, it would probably offer improved access to - and support from - that deity's church, which would actively help with what the Paladin's trying to do. However, it's also true that this does not seem to be an absolute requirement, and I would accept a Paladin without a deity as long as they upheld their code.

On Deity Alignments: I figure that most good deities would accept Paladins - especially if you interpret the "Lawful" part as "Strictly obedient to a personal code" (which isn't necessarily lawful itself) - but NG and LG are more likely to have Paladins, since Chaos is usually a bit more relaxed... but even Chaotic characters can find their personal code to be important. If a player asked to play a Paladin of a CG deity, I probably wouldn't refuse it unless that deity was specifically called out as rejecting Paladins, though I would ask for a revised code of conduct that better matched the deity in question.

/Just my 2cp


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:
LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Calistria IS Chaotic Neutral.
I've always wondered how are elves considered a "good" race if she's the main diety.

Are they, 'though? (Considered a 'good race?')

I vaguely remember back in 1st/2nd edition that Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings had write-ups in the Monster Manuals, indicating their racial alignments, but I don't think the Bestiaries have any of the core PC races in them, so there really isn't a 'racial alignment' for Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes or Halflings, that I've noticed.

(In previous editions Dwarves, Halflings and Gnomes were all LG, IIRC, and Golarion Gnomes and Halflings, in particular, seem less inclined towards Lawful Good. More Chaotic something for Gnomes and Neutral something for Halflings, based on the lore.)

I suppose if I wanted to veer back towards previous editions, Elves could be more strongly associated with Desna, than Calistria. But I'm okay with a less good and more fickle and fey Elven standard. If Humans can be a core race without being a 'good race,' then I suppose it's fair for Elves, too.

They're considered a good race; if you read the Core Rulebook, they have a line on alignment and religion for each race. In general: most dwarves are lawful good, most elves are chaotic good, most half-elves are chaotic good, most half-orcs are chaotic neutral, most halflings are true neutral, and most humans are true neutral. Gnomes are the only ones not called out as having a specific alignment, though it says, "their hearts are generally in the right place".


bookrat wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Except that anti-paladins also lose their powers if they don't follow the code. ("If you won't do ___, then I don't want you as an antipaladin.")

Their default code gives them a lot of leeway (it can be boiled down to: don't commit good acts unless they further your plans, and always commit evil acts except when doing so would hamper your plans.)

I don't have time to look at Calistria's code (about to leave in a couple minutes), but I think it involves never leaving a slight unanswered whenever possible, among other things.

IIRC, Calistria doesn't expect her antipaladins to pick fights, but she expects them to end fights.

While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

I tend to run NPC antipaladins as being possessed, albeit imperfectly. The "code" is the will of the demon(s) possessing the antipaladin. If the mortal character resists enough to break the "code" (defy the demon), they lose the powers. Some demons are subtle, and will agree to let the character do overtly nonevil things if the demon perceives that great evil will come from it.


bookrat wrote:


While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

I never could understand that take really. I guess its all in how one views alignment. I never could understand someone taking the cartoony take on "Bwahaha I am cHaOtIc! watch me do random things likes I am totally insane!"

I had an issue with a game I played recently because it seems I was not acting chaotic enough, ya know not batsh*t insane. Chaotic people can and do totally have a code, it may be selfish, it may be self centered and such but just because they are chaotic, does not mean they are random and insane and incapable of understanding codes and commitments.

Each god has its own rules, its own way of doing thing, that is not limited to lawful.A CE temple will kick out clergy not living up to its gods code and guidelines( ok depending on the god "kicked out" may be dead)


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bookrat wrote:
While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

Antipaladin's are not Chaotic Stupid. Most of them are still rational and thinking beings. The Antipaladin codes presented in ISG are more Modus Operandi for their flavor of chaos/evil than true restrictions on their actions. Outside of Rovagug, I doubt any of the "Prime Evils" would empower some mad dog who couldn't toe the line and advance their deity's cause.

*Edit:Blah, Ninja'd*


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
bookrat wrote:


While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

I never could understand that take really. I guess its all in how one views alignment. I never could understand someone taking the cartoony take on "Bwahaha I am cHaOtIc! watch me do random things likes I am totally insane!"

I had an issue with a game I played recently because it seems I was not acting chaotic enough, ya know not batsh*t insane. Chaotic people can and do totally have a code, it may be selfish, it may be self centered and such but just because they are chaotic, does not mean they are random and insane and incapable of understanding codes and commitments.

Each god has its own rules, its own way of doing thing, that is not limited to lawful.A CE temple will kick out clergy not living up to its gods code and guidelines( ok depending on the god "kicked out" may be dead)

If a monk can be lawful by following a personal code, and a paladin can be lawful by following a personal code, then how is an anti paladin chaotic if they are also *required* to follow a personal code?

From the planescape era, CE was always described as selfish, the toughest rule, and an inability to follow someone else's orders "just because they are your superior." You would follow someone else's order because they matched our own goals, or out of fear of them harming or killing you, or something akin to this.

Discipline is in the realm of the lawful alignment, not the chaotic alignment. A chaotic character doesn't have to be a caricature of randomness, they just have to be more self serving that not. Being required to follow a code just because it's a code doesn't seem self serving. Following a code because it leads to personal power would be self serving.

I would rewrite the anti-paladin's "code" to be a code that they follow so long as it serves their goals,, and they ignore the code when it does not serve their goals. Alternatively, give them a code that really isn't a set of rules and restrictions that they must abide by, similar to the Sith's Code from Star Wars:

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
When my chains are broken, I am free."

Now that would be a fitting CE anti-paladin code.


Suma3da wrote:
bookrat wrote:
While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

Antipaladin's are not Chaotic Stupid. Most of them are still rational and thinking beings. The Antipaladin codes presented in ISG are more Modus Operandi for their flavor of chaos/evil than true restrictions on their actions. Outside of Rovagug, I doubt any of the "Prime Evils" would empower some mad dog who couldn't toe the line and advance their deity's cause.

*Edit:Blah, Ninja'd*

i don't understand the leap in logic from being dedicated to chaos and not having a code to "chaotic stupid."

I've been reading a lot of Staw Wars books recently, and the Sith strike me as every bit of anti-paladin as I can imagine. They are certainly not chaotic stupid, they are not caricatures of randomness and silliness; but they are very much self serving, desiring of power, and the emphasis that those who are weak do not deserve mercy of pitty. If you're not strong enough to keep something, you don't deserve to have it. If you won't follow my orders, I'll make you do it or I'll kill you. If you won't give me what I want, I'll torture you until you do. Sure, we can work together, as long as it serves my purposes, which I won't tell you what they are because I don't want you to try to undermine my plans.

Heck, Darth Bane destroyed the entire Sith order because they weren't using subterfuge and cunning enough in his opinion. They start acting too much like an organization with expected rule and rulership a with a leader that others bowed down to and served because he was the leader. They didn't question him, they just followed him blindly - which is what a Lawful alignment may require (follow the rules because they are the rules).

Nothing about this is a caricature of randomness or being chaotic stupid. None of it is silly. It's strength, power, cunning, deception - all traits that any good aligned character should fear (and an anti paladin loves to spread fear).

And none of it requires a code that one must abide with the threat of "falling."

To me, this is what CE is about.


bookrat wrote:


If a monk can be lawful by following a personal code, and a paladin can be lawful by following a personal code, then how is an anti paladin chaotic if they are also *required* to follow a personal code?

From the planescape era, CE was always described as selfish, the toughest rule, and an inability to follow someone else's orders "just because they are your superior." You would follow someone else's order because they matched our own goals, or out of fear of them harming or killing you, or something akin to this.

Discipline is in the realm of the lawful alignment, not the chaotic alignment. A chaotic character doesn't have to be a caricature of randomness, they just have to be more self serving that not. Being required to follow a code just because it's a code doesn't seem self serving. Following a code because it leads to personal power would be self serving.

I would rewrite the anti-paladin's "code" to be a code that they...

It is not the code that makes them Lawful. Its how they think, how they react and their own world views. Most LG people can not live up to some of the stricter paladin codes.

Discipline is not owned by the lawful alignment. Most people have some discipline. And you can be self serving and have a code, infact that code itself is likely to be selfish, but not always the case. However, a Lawful code is likely to be far stricter than a chaotic code.

If a god, who grants you power demands you do as he says, that is very self serving, but also a code. Calistria was brought up and she most definitely would have a code and she is a god of chaos.

Everyone has thins they will or will not do. If you are CE and say always pay back in a insult, that is a code. Its small, self serving and vindictive , but a code non the less.

Also so, Look up the one sith order.


bookrat wrote:
Suma3da wrote:
bookrat wrote:
While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

Antipaladin's are not Chaotic Stupid. Most of them are still rational and thinking beings. The Antipaladin codes presented in ISG are more Modus Operandi for their flavor of chaos/evil than true restrictions on their actions. Outside of Rovagug, I doubt any of the "Prime Evils" would empower some mad dog who couldn't toe the line and advance their deity's cause.

*Edit:Blah, Ninja'd*

i don't understand the leap in logic from being dedicated to chaos and not having a code to "chaotic stupid."

I've been reading a lot of Staw Wars books recently, and the Sith strike me as every bit of anti-paladin as I can imagine.

There's a huge difference between Sith and Antipaladins though. The origin and source of the their powers. In the Star Wars Universe, The Force is generally not viewed as an aspected entity that consciously chooses who can draw on it's power. A Sith is free to choose how they act because The Force can't revoke their power.

Unlike The Force, a Pathfinder Deity has sentience and has general objectives that it wants achieved. Religious Antipaladins serve as the enforcer of their deity's cause on the mortal plane. Antipaladins of a god have to play by their god's rules or they get the boot.


Suma3da wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Suma3da wrote:
bookrat wrote:
While all true, I'm philosophically against the idea of someone who is devoted to chaos being required to follow a code. If they have a code that they must abide in order to retain their powers, they should be LE, not CE.

Antipaladin's are not Chaotic Stupid. Most of them are still rational and thinking beings. The Antipaladin codes presented in ISG are more Modus Operandi for their flavor of chaos/evil than true restrictions on their actions. Outside of Rovagug, I doubt any of the "Prime Evils" would empower some mad dog who couldn't toe the line and advance their deity's cause.

*Edit:Blah, Ninja'd*

i don't understand the leap in logic from being dedicated to chaos and not having a code to "chaotic stupid."

I've been reading a lot of Staw Wars books recently, and the Sith strike me as every bit of anti-paladin as I can imagine.

There's a huge difference between Sith and Antipaladins though. The origin and source of the their powers. In the Star Wars Universe, The Force is generally not viewed as an aspected entity that consciously chooses who can draw on it's power. A Sith is free to choose how they act because The Force can't revoke their power.

Unlike The Force, a Pathfinder Deity has sentience and has general objectives to be achieved. Religious Antipaladins serve as the enforcer of their cause on the mortal plane. Antipaladins of a god have to play by their god's rules or they get the boot.

That's really the only argument I could see against my previous posts - that the deity is the one granting the power and the anti-paladin is only following the rules in order to gain that power (at least right up until the point where he takes that power from the deity >:) ).


@ Bookrat - out of curiousity, do you allow chaotic clerics of chaotic gods to completely disregard their diety's objectives and dogma and still retain their abilities?

That's or more less how you're arguing an anti-paladin should work.

Which is why you're getting the "chaotic stupid" comments.

An anti-paladin's adherence to a code serves to further the purposes of whatever force is sponsoring the anti-paladin's abilities.

An antipaladin that lacks the discipline to even follow a code (i.e., chaotic stupid) is better reflected by a chaotic evil barbarian/fighter/cavalier/slayer - some full BAB class isn't calling a Lower power for enhancement.

Part of what makes an antipaladins scary is that they aren't just self-serving psychopaths; they're self-serving psychopaths with actual horrible goals.


I do not associate a lack of a code with stupidity.

I associate stupidity with a low IQ, or in terms of pathfinder, low mental stats. Whether one follows a code or not is not reflective of whether they are stupid.

This argument effectively is stating that all other classes that do not follow a code are alignment stupid classes.

Heck, the entire reason the whole lawful stupid meme ever came up was because the paladin was a strict adherer of the code! And now, if they don't follow a code they become stupid? This makes zero sense.


What is a code? It's a line that you do not cross. Your limits. The moment where you say "I refuse to do this". So, a chaotic character can't have that? He can't have anything he refuses to do? That's all a code usually is.


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Okay, a further point.

I feel like the difference between a lawful and a chaotic character is not "would they follow a code or not" but rather, a lawful character would likely follow a code they don't fully agree with (like The Law). A chaotic character would probably only follow codes that they fully agree with, which still falls under "doing what they want".


LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Calistria IS Chaotic Neutral.
I've always wondered how are elves considered a "good" race if she's the main diety.

Calistria is the Godess of lust and revenge who is worshiped by the elves among others, but is not the main deity, at best she is the goddess of the core pantheon most closely associated with elves. The elven pantheon has 3 exclusive members (Findelara CG, Ketphys CG, and Yuelral NG) and 3 members that are also part of the core pantheon (Calistria CN, Desna CG, and Nethys TN). Of these 6 the closest to a "pure" Elven deity is Findelara, however which deity is the "main deity" probably varies from community to community with the 'main deity' mostly being one of the three gods exclusive to the elven pantheon.


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True. I think it ca be paraphrased as "Calistria's the most popular elven deity with non-elves; she's not the most popular elven deity with elves."

@ Bookrat - it's being incapable of following a code or otherwise serving a higher cause that indicates "stupidity."

"Lawful stupid" and "Chaotic Stupid" have far more to do with characters behaving like caricatures rather than actual low intelligence.

Another way to put - an anti-paladin serves an entity because, for whatever twisted reason, the anti-paladin thinks that entity is awesome and wants to further that entity's agenda, anti-paladin style.

Which is why, for example, an anti-paladin of Gorum goes around actively trying to start wars.

Heh. This analogy isn't perfect but - if the Joker was a demon lord (and I think he's an awesome model for a demon lord), Harley Quinn (or a sufficiently nasty version of her - her malevolence tends to change from author to author?) would be his anti-paladin.

Nothing prevents a chaotic evil person from thinking another person/thing is awesome and willingly serving that person/thing.

Chaotic evil people can love things too! The what and how may just happen to be horrifying.


cnetarian wrote:
LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Calistria IS Chaotic Neutral.
I've always wondered how are elves considered a "good" race if she's the main diety.
Calistria is the Godess of lust and revenge who is worshiped by the elves among others, but is not the main deity, at best she is the goddess of the core pantheon most closely associated with elves. The elven pantheon has 3 exclusive members (Findelara CG, Ketphys CG, and Yuelral NG) and 3 members that are also part of the core pantheon (Calistria CN, Desna CG, and Nethys TN). Of these 6 the closest to a "pure" Elven deity is Findelara, however which deity is the "main deity" probably varies from community to community with the 'main deity' mostly being one of the three gods exclusive to the elven pantheon.

Pretty sure Nethys was a human wizard-pharaoh who wizarded so hard that he broke his mind (and reality) and became a god.


Nethys is called out in Inner Sea Gods as less popular among elves than the others, but as a god of magic itself he still gets a lot of respect from the elves. (The various elven magic goddesses tend to be much more specialized, like nature magic or teleportation magic.)

Calistria's the most popular elven deity on Golarion, but that's directly because she has an enormous non-elf following. (I.e., she's the "elven" goddess most popular with humans. Desna - Her Divine Bugness - is not actually an "elf" goddess, though she's a primary goddess among the elves.) I'd guess Calistria's number of followers on Castrovel is more proportionally "normal."


I think people are just to used to having Corellon Larethian there to be the stereotypical elf god.


Zhangar wrote:
{. . .} Desna - Her Divine Bugness - is not actually an "elf" goddess, though she's a primary goddess among the elves.) I{. . .}

Digression from the original topic, but what's the deal with this? (Apart from the fixation on butterflies, that is.) Is Desna an Old One/Dark Tapestry entity that went good?

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
{. . .} Desna - Her Divine Bugness - is not actually an "elf" goddess, though she's a primary goddess among the elves.) I{. . .}

Digression from the original topic, but what's the deal with this? (Apart from the fixation on butterflies, that is.) Is Desna an Old One/Dark Tapestry entity that went good?

Not exactly, there's no evidence she's ever been anything but Good...but it's been explicitly stated that she predates humanity as such and her original form isn't remotely human (the term 'giant space butterfly' has come up).

So...thematically, yeah, she's one of those 'prehuman alien entities' like the Great Old Ones, only friendly. There's no evidence she's actually related to them in any way other than thematically, though. Well, aside from her faith actively combating them, anyway.

This is mostly from the 'Ask James Jacobs' thread, but there are certainly quite a few hints in published material as well.


There's a line in Chronicles of the Righteous about Desna's Shadow, Black Butterfly.
"While she despises all the forces of evil, she holds particular enmity for the entities of the Dark Tapestry, and it is said she possesses great knowledge about the Dark Tapestry to which she refuses to give voice."

I'm putting on Tinfoil hat from Occult Adventures early and calling Desna and Black Butterfly are playing the long game. This is all a conspiracy to lull the mortals into a false sense of security till they can implant everybody with brain slugs.


Blackpowder Witch wrote:
I'm putting on Tinfoil hat from Occult Adventures early and calling Desna and Black Butterfly are playing the long game. This is all a conspiracy to lull the mortals into a false sense of security till they can implant everybody with brain caterpillars.

Fixed that for you.

Liberty's Edge

Blackpowder Witch wrote:

There's a line in Chronicles of the Righteous about Desna's Shadow, Black Butterfly.

"While she despises all the forces of evil, she holds particular enmity for the entities of the Dark Tapestry, and it is said she possesses great knowledge about the Dark Tapestry to which she refuses to give voice."

Yeah, she pretty explicitly focuses on them as adversaries. For whatever reason.

Blackpowder Witch wrote:
I'm putting on Tinfoil hat from Occult Adventures early can calling Desna and Black Butterfly are playing the long game. This is all a conspiracy to lull the mortals into a false sense of security till they can implant everybody with brain slugs.

Nah. Desna legitimately cares about her worshipers (maybe too much, what with almost starting the largest war ever over harm to one of them). You can pretty easily make a tinfoil hat case that she was once part of the Dark Tapestry or a Great Old One, or even that she's currently a particularly friendly Great Old One...but a sinister agenda? Nah, not consistent with previous behavior at all. Not even the best deep cover agent would be willing to pull off her flaws as well as her virtues.

Grand Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Blackpowder Witch wrote:

There's a line in Chronicles of the Righteous about Desna's Shadow, Black Butterfly.

"While she despises all the forces of evil, she holds particular enmity for the entities of the Dark Tapestry, and it is said she possesses great knowledge about the Dark Tapestry to which she refuses to give voice."

Yeah, she pretty explicitly focuses on them as adversaries. For whatever reason.

Blackpowder Witch wrote:
I'm putting on Tinfoil hat from Occult Adventures early can calling Desna and Black Butterfly are playing the long game. This is all a conspiracy to lull the mortals into a false sense of security till they can implant everybody with brain slugs.
Nah. Desna legitimately cares about her worshipers (maybe too much, what with almost starting the largest war ever over harm to one of them). You can pretty easily make a tinfoil hat case that she was once part of the Dark Tapestry or a Great Old One, or even that she's currently a particularly friendly Great Old One...but a sinister agenda? Nah, not consistent with previous behavior at all. Not even the best deep cover agent would be willing to pull off her flaws as well as her virtues.

Actually the best deep cover agent would.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Wow! Wander off and the thread explodes!

Calistra: page 30 of Inner Sea Gods, Anti-Paladin Code

My life is my path. None shall sway me from it.
I devote myself to the pursuit of my passions.
I take what I desire, by trick or by force. If others resent my actions, they may attempt to take vengeance against me.
All slights against me will be repaid tenfold.
I am the instrument of my own justice, if I am wronged.
I will take vengeance with my own hands.

Shadow Lodge

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Desna was inspired by Mothra.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Actually the best deep cover agent would.

Desna almost started a potentially universe-destroying war over a Demon Lord possessing her high priestess and stealing their soul. She stormed into the abyss, annihilated the Demon Lord in question, and walked back out with her worshiper's soul.

Assuming she's a deep cover agent, if her goal was to start such a war, she'd have done other, similar, things, and if her goal was anything else, she wouldn't have done so. So she pretty much has to really care.

It's like a deep cover agent almost martyring themselves (with, like, a 90% chance of martyrdom) to save the guy they're spying on's life, and it means you're effectively not a deep cover agent any more. you may have been once, but deep cover agents who risk everything to do what their cover identity would do have gone pretty much completely native.

Now if you want to speculate that something like that is Desna's origin...that's a bit more plausible, but whether that's true or not, she pretty clearly actually cares now.

Dark Archive

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Desna.

Not every entity singing to itself in the void quailed and shuddered at the coming of the light when the stars first peeked through into the material plane.

While others wailed and fumed and rejected this new outrage, one at least gazed with wide wonder at the burning spectacle, curiosity overcoming the discomfort of this new sensation.

The oily darkness sloughed from her wings as she soared to embrace the twinkling fragile light of the stars, remained behind, clotted and coiling over countless immortal lifetimes, filled with resentment and unutterable longing, until it snared a newcomer to the outer dark, a naïve fledgling god named Dou-Bral, wrapping him in evil and fear and pain long since abandoned and forgotten by it's original source.


Weirdo wrote:
Desna was inspired by Mothra.

I knew there was a reason I like her so much.......

Liberty's Edge

Damn... and here I was thinking of a character concept for an Undead Scourge Paladin of Pharasma. Is that a no go?

Liberty's Edge

Yure wrote:
Damn... and here I was thinking of a character concept for an Undead Scourge Paladin of Pharasma. Is that a no go?

Officially? Yeah, that's impossible.

Maybe go Inquisitor, that's got some of the same vibe, some anti-undead stuff, and works fine with Pharasma.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:

Desna.

Not every entity singing to itself in the void quailed and shuddered at the coming of the light when the stars first peeked through into the material plane...

So she wants to be where the people are, wants to see them dancing, walking around on--what do you call them--feet?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blackpowder Witch wrote:
I think people are just to used to having Corellon Larethian there to be the stereotypical elf god.

There's a lot of people with a long gaming heritage, even d20 that are not tied to Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk for that matter. Especially if your brand of "elf" is spelled Arianne, Melnibone, Vulcan, or Ellorii.


Yure wrote:
Damn... and here I was thinking of a character concept for an Undead Scourge Paladin of Pharasma. Is that a no go?

Ask your GM, I mean many folks could see that concept working with the Lady of Graves.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah I'll talk with them. I didn't see any inquisitor archetypes vs undead. Where is that at?

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