Asmodeus the misogynist?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Jessica Price wrote:


Once you introduce the idea of deities who are not only demonstrably real, but have real personalities--and not simply whatever their adherents or critics might wish to project onto them--but are also subject to the ability to say, without a shadow of a doubt, THIS deity is both lawful and good, or THIS deity is both chaotic and neutral, your space for "interesting personality flaws" gets a lot more limited.

So you hold to the idea that good people aren't allowed to have serious personality flaws?

That would likely explain why even Cayden Cailean doesn't have any meaningful flaws.

(People keep bringing up his supposed alcoholism, but given one of the tenets of his faith is basically "Drink responsibly", and tells his priests not to drink to excess or adventurers who follow him not to "seek bravery at the bottom of a keg", this is the most weaksauce alcoholism ever.)

That seems insulting to quite a lot of real people.


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Aside from the more personal opinions regarding JJ, I agree with bundil and coyote6; Having Erastil as someone who can be related as the "old guy who doesn't quite get these young folk" is sensible, and I feel that there's a lot of merit here.

Cultures the world over in real life that never had any sort of interaction with one another generated the same gender roles as one another; women stayed at home, tended things and took care of the kids, while the men went out and brought home the (sometimes literal) bacon. I'm a trans girl myself, so I understand the necessity for appearances, particularly with some of the more, uh, toxic members of the LGBT community latching onto anything they might perceive as a hint of betrayal, but Some people, good people, my mother included, just don't get it.

I think Erastil makes a good position for that. I imagine him like a dad who loves his kids but isn't quite sure what to do with them. At some point he'd sit down and go "alright, look. I won't tell you how to live your life, that's on you, but I don't really know how to respond to this. Are you willing to help me on that?"

The point is that it creates an interesting dynamic and leaves a wider spectrum of interesting clerical personalities for those that follow Erastil, as well as perceptive changes for him for a GM who runs with his characterization. Additionally, it's based on inherent roles that biology supports; it's not far-fetched to think that Erastil, being an old dude who is working off a time before more modern concepts of equality came about, is trying to be progressive and having a hard time of it.

Silver Crusade

Halae wrote:
A bunch of awesome stuff

Aaaaand that's how I'm going to portray Erastil from now on. Thank you.


Rynjin wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:


Once you introduce the idea of deities who are not only demonstrably real, but have real personalities--and not simply whatever their adherents or critics might wish to project onto them--but are also subject to the ability to say, without a shadow of a doubt, THIS deity is both lawful and good, or THIS deity is both chaotic and neutral, your space for "interesting personality flaws" gets a lot more limited.

So you hold to the idea that good people aren't allowed to have serious personality flaws?

That would likely explain why even Cayden Cailean doesn't have any meaningful flaws.

(People keep bringing up his supposed alcoholism, but given one of the tenets of his faith is basically "Drink responsibly", and tells his priests not to drink to excess or adventurers who follow him not to "seek bravery at the bottom of a keg", this is the most weaksauce alcoholism ever.)

That seems insulting to quite a lot of real people.

I tend to see Cayden's tenets as a "do as I say, not as I do." You try to be a decent guy, but on a drunken bet, you end up as a deity setting the worst example of the good deities. "Drink enough to impair short-term memory, and you too could end up with divine power!"

I don't think it's so much "good people can't have serious flaws", it's more "the pinnacles of good are much less flawed".


A big core conceit of Golarion cultures is that most of them didn't form with gender-based prejudice. Now, if you really like to analyze cultural roots, this has some real problems—those prejudices have actual origins related to body strength and who makes babies that should still be present in Golarion—and I would encourage anybody who does to ignore or reduce this aspect. There's nothing wrong with just saying Golarion's cultures have already moved past Earth's "modern" bigotry for the most part.

But there's no point in saying, "Traditional gods should want women to stay home", because for whatever reason, those traditions never formed over here.

Sovereign Court

lucky7 wrote:
Halae wrote:
A bunch of awesome stuff
Aaaaand that's how I'm going to portray Erastil from now on. Thank you.

Erastil is basically Hank Hill.

And as for the walls of text up above. He raises good points, but he's going to be downboated, banned or have his posts deleted because of caps, bold text and he was kind of being a dick about the way he posted stuff.

Also, if there's anything JJ has learned over the past couple of weeks, the pathfinder community hates retcons and errata.


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Since people seem to like my ideas on Erastil, here's my thoughts on Asmodeus: We see in Book of the Damned volume 1 he's basically one of the first beings, having been born from whatever the Seal was. If anything, this puts him in the same position as Erastil as old and stuck in his ways.

Now, consider this idea for a moment. They share a position, both thinking that women should be the folk that tend to the young while the men are breaking faces to make sure the women can do so. the difference is in the details though; in my interpretation of Erastil, he's been thinking that way for a long long time, and as anybody who knows really old people can tell you the older they get the harder it is for them to change the way they think, due to years (in this case centuries) of reinforced thinking. The difference is in their agendas and the way they view the world.

Erastil is concerned with families. You cannot have a family without some level of comraderie, of love. Love is understanding, accepting, even if it doesn't always understand the core of the other person's philosophy. It's about support and coming together as a group to deal with problems.

Asmodeus, on the other hand, is specifically concerned with hierarchies, and you need look no further than the hells to understand how he organizes things. The reason he's misogynistic isn't because he's doing it for no reason, but because he's placing males above females in the pecking order due to an inherent limitation women have in the course of procreation; they have to actually carry, grow, and tend the infant before it's capable of being on its own. Additionally, men are much more likely and biologically suited to developing the relevant muscle mass for hard work, giving them power, and to Asmodeus that means they're higher up in the hierarchy. It's not a matter of him hating women for it's own sake, it's because he's stuck in his worldview from a time before modern equality became a reasonable thing. It's also why he respects powerful women just the same; the matriarch of House Thrune being a good example, as well as Sarenrae. Yes they're women, but the way he sees it, they are powerful anyways so meh, whatever.

They're two sides of the same coin, but while one is selfish, focused on power bases and the like, the other is focused on support and community.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

And this idea of Halae's I like a lot. It is all in the intent. The motivation behind the actions.

Murder and an honest-to-goodness mercy-kill are both acts of ending something's life. One is based on compassion for the target, while the other is not.


Halae wrote:


Asmodeus, on the other hand, is specifically concerned with hierarchies, and you need look no further than the hells to understand how he organizes things. The reason he's misogynistic isn't because he's doing it for no reason, but because he's placing males above females in the pecking order due to an inherent limitation women have in the course of procreation; they have to actually carry, grow, and tend the infant before it's capable of being on its own. Additionally, men are much more likely and biologically suited to developing the relevant muscle mass for hard work, giving them power, and to Asmodeus that means they're higher up in the hierarchy. It's not a matter of him hating women for it's own sake, it's because he's stuck in his worldview from a time before modern equality became a reasonable thing. It's also why he respects powerful women just...

This is actually not bad.

The only flaw is that humans are basically the only species in real life who have to tend to their infants for longer than a week or two. Most animals in the natural world are capable of walking within days of birth, if not hours.

This, of course, is irrelevant if humanoids in Golarion were around before animals, but I somehow doubt that's the case.
But basically, how could Asmodeus have developed that opinion if the creatures who are subject to it were not the first ones to present the problems that spawned the opinion in the first place?


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Halae, Coyote, and Rynjin bring up extremely important points: Deities across history and other fantasy games have nearly-always had good and bad aspects to them. Some examples from real life would be:
-Zeus, Father of the Gods and the highest authority of Justice, was a serial philanderer.
-Athena, goddess of righteousness, honor, protection, and strategy, was still a short-fused and petty woman that turned Arachne into a spider (or, depending on the version, egged her on to hang herself but felt guilty just before the deed was done) because she was a better weaver than her (or again, depending on the retelling, because the mortal Arachne showed how foolish and flawed the gods really were)
-Susanoo, the impetuous storm-deity of Shinto religion, was a jerk to everyone and broke several taboos... and yet, he was also willing to save a family's daughter simply because he knew it was wrong to see her die, and held up any deals that he made (such as when his son-in-law tied his hair to the beams of his own house and took his daughter for marriage, he did not chase after him and even gave them his blessing).
-Hades, the Lord of the Dead and guardian of the underworld, was one of the most sensible and straightforward gods of Greek Mythology, and was also the Treasurer of the Earth and all of her underground bounties, such as gold and diamonds.

Examples from fictional sources are just as easy to find:
-Hextor (D&D) is the LE god of Tyranny and sworn nemesis of his LG brother (hmm, sounds a lot like Asmodeus doesn't it?), but is also the god of fitness and personal growth.
-Crom (Conan the Barbarian) and Khorne (Warhammer Fantasy/40,000) both do not care where the blood flows from, only that it flows; while Crom is seen as a more positive deity than Khorne, the Fantasy version of Khorne is also the god of martial training and stoicism (the 40k version is, admittedly, a self-parody as befitting the "Grim Darkness" of that setting).

Now, looking at these, we can see that gods that would fall under a form of Law or Chaos, Good or Evil... all of them have both flaws and virtues that would make them believable and worthy of worship beyond fear.
Asmodeus being a misogynist doesn't really add anything to his character; he's already an Lawful Evil deity of Tyranny, and while that may imply some level of "Stay in the Kitchen", many of his godly allies and enemies are the way they are because of their actions and not their genders; The Whore Queens are reviled because they tried to overthrow him as ruler of Hell, Lamashtu is hated because she's an insane demon that regularly commits acts of heinous disgust on animals and people to create monsters, and Sarenrae was not only the only other deity to help out in locking Rovagug up but has also been one of the few deities (Good OR Evil) to regularly work alongside The Prince of Hell.
Now, let's look at Erastil. Him being misogynistic DOES add something to his characterization. He's a protector of communities and provider of families, but is still stuck in 'the old ways', which might very well turn-away potential worshipers because of it. It created depth in him, it gave GMs various ways to show that not all Good deities are thoroughly flawless, and not all Evil deities were kitten-eating psychopaths. The concept of "retcon it because I don't agree with this view" defeats the purpose of seeing things from other perspectives, and takes away some of the depth that Erastil greatly needs; without his old-fashioned views, he is less like "Your cool and friendly grandpa who served in 'Nam and is embarrassing you by wondering when you'll settle down with a girl and not a boy" and more like "just another god of the hunt and of families".

As an aside, this is my first post here on the Paizo forums after spending a long time lurking. Hello, everyone!


Bundil wrote:
Halae wrote:


Asmodeus, on the other hand, is specifically concerned with hierarchies, and you need look no further than the hells to understand how he organizes things. The reason he's misogynistic isn't because he's doing it for no reason, but because he's placing males above females in the pecking order due to an inherent limitation women have in the course of procreation; they have to actually carry, grow, and tend the infant before it's capable of being on its own. Additionally, men are much more likely and biologically suited to developing the relevant muscle mass for hard work, giving them power, and to Asmodeus that means they're higher up in the hierarchy. It's not a matter of him hating women for it's own sake, it's because he's stuck in his worldview from a time before modern equality became a reasonable thing. It's also why he respects powerful women just...

This is actually not bad.

The only flaw is that humans are basically the only species in real life who have to tend to their infants for longer than a week or two. Most animals in the natural world are capable of walking within days of birth, if not hours.

This, of course, is irrelevant if humanoids in Golarion were around before animals, but I somehow doubt that's the case.
But basically, how could Asmodeus have developed that opinion if the creatures who are subject to it were not the first ones to present the problems that spawned the opinion in the first place?

Well, that's opening up a whole other can of worms. they say the gods made people, right? Or the Seal did? Hell, I don't know. But this is a fantasy world, it's not hard to go "Yep. Humanoids have always been here in some form or another"

The Exchange

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Hello Evelyn! Welcome from someone who lurks much more than posts.

Absolute alignment is something i took out of my homegames anyway, because it prevents issues like having an angel who is loyal to heaven, but still a complete asshat.

You have an affiliation to a spiritual realm (heaven, hell, the abyss, etc.) but not an alignment.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Nevermind, I guess. If you like what we do, cool. If not, there are other games for you to play I suppose.


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Hello Nathan! Thank you for the welcome.

As for removing absolute alignment, that is definitely one possible solution... but, in my opinion, it's not the only one or the 'most correct' one. As a player, I personally enjoy it when a character acts completely within alignment but in an unexpected personality.

A Chaotic Good freedom-fighter (such as someone that you might play as in Hell's Rebels) can be a vicious "man the guillotines and let the gods sort them out" type since he is still targeting the corrupt and stifling government that is currently in-place. Such a character is doing what is best for everyone and what will ultimately prove to be a Good act, but he is doing so Chaotically and in a way that might cause people looking in a lot of discomfort ("Does he really need to lift the head of EVERY Hellknight to show us the 'face of evil'?").

Now let's look at a Chaotic Evil character. He is polite and friendly, and he won't balk at the letter OR the spirit of an agreement he's made... but he still kicks piglets because they're in the way and paints signs on the road literally pointing to "Burning Orphanage" and "My Secret Lair". I imagine that the iconic Antipaladin is this sort of CE character; absolutely maniacal and evil, but in a way that you can't help but think is charming and hilarious. He's Dick Dastardly, tying people to the railroads with enough time to have them rescued. He could just shoot them and get it over with, but that defeats the spirit of being Chaotic and Evil to him.

In the same way, this can be extended to all alignments. Just because someone's a racist jerk doesn't mean he's not Lawful Good, or even Chaotic Good. Just because someone is friendly, willing to listen, and able to make reasonable counterpoints in a discussion does not negate that he could be Neutral Evil or Chaotic Neutral. The justification and overall result in his or her actions are what makes alignment, not how they act on a day-to-day basis.

Lantern Lodge

From a lurker and occasionnal poster, Welcome Evelyn Jones. May you enjoy discution on these board.

I like your take on Chaotic evil. Too many people play these as raving madmen.
ANd your take is closer to antisocial behavior, which is the best way to describe a chaotic evil character in an out of game terminology in my humble opinion.


Character flaws of a good god are one thing, but the situation with Erastil is quite another. A good god generally feeling that men are better at some things and women are better at other things is probably workable as a good god. But if a good god who is the god of family teaches his worshippers that family should involve a wife staying at home looking after two kids while dad works then that's more problematic.

There's a difference between flawed opinion of an uninvolved deity and a flawed opinion of a deity that actually directly influences that deities portfolio. The latter implies that priests should be pushing that idea as part of the religious dogma. You go to actually saying that the 'good' position for family in the view of the cosmos is the one with a working husband and a stay at home wife.


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A lot of bad attitudes are compatible with goodness. There are Lawful Good people who are judgmental and stubborn to the point of unfairness, Chaotic Good people with mean senses of humor, and Neutral Good people who avoid dealings with dwarves because they don't trust the bearded devils.

I get that we currently have very strong feelings about bigotry, but at its core, it's just a flaw. It can (and will) hinder goodness, but it's just as "compatible" with it as any other character weakness.


I think it's also worth noting that Erastil could just be slightly against homosexual relationships from a sheer 'doing it wrong' point of view.

Two gay lads can't 'settle down and have kids'. They can adopt for sure, and I think Erastil'd be pretty happy with that, but despite what PC Backstories might tell you, not every village has an orphanage they could adopt from. And if gender-changing magic isn't common enough for everyone to be the gender they want to be, then it can't be common enough for every gay couple to swap their gender to have a kid, if they even considered that an option.

And if you're not having kids, then for one, if you're a farmer, then you're at a big disadvantage. You'd have to work harder and be more frugal, which leads to less time available for interacting with your community. You can't help your community out as much when needs must... And when you die of old age, you didn't leave living people as part of that community.

There's plenty of practical, logical reasons for Erastil to be a little unhappy with homosexual relationships without stuffing him into a wife-beater.

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