Asmodeus the misogynist?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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DeltaPangaea wrote:
Berik wrote:

I get some people not liking it, but D&D has fundamentally always dealt with Good and Evil as objectively true things. This means that anybody using those rule systems to create a game needs to at some point attempt to define what sort of action may be Good and what sort of action may be Evil. Since people are different these definitions will never be universally agreed with and that's okay.

This is confusing enough for companies to get across to people without also adding in substantial flaws into the deity. I mean, if Good is objective, but we can't assume that what a Good deity of family stands for in regards to family life is Good, then where does that leave things? If objective Good isn't meant to be judged from the teachings of a deity where is it meant to be judged?

Obviously everybody is going to draw a different line on where a particular action fits on a Good --> Evil scale. But if you're going to work with an objective alignment system then things do belong on that line somewhere. Nobody is going to come around to your house and slap you if you draw that line at a different place from Paizo. But Paizo need to at some point mention what they consider to be objectively Good for their own work to make sense.

That's the thing though.

The gods aren't 100% infallible. They're STILL people. To assume otherwise implies a terrifying level of personality-death. There's Gods who became gods after being mortals (Like Iomedae and Cayden) who are still portrayed as very human. Iomedae's a petty... person, and Cayden argues with his favoured-prostitute-turned-Herald and apparently made his dog immortal.

The gods are already shown to be sentient beings with their own wants and personality quirks, so they don't get to be 1-dimensional non-characters, existing only to show 'this is good' and 'this is bad'

In an objective alignment system, how is Paizo meant to portray that though? Say a deity has positions A, B & C. A is a clearly Good (capital 'G' meaning objectively good) policy. B is a little bit questionable but broadly Good. C isn't Good at all, and could in fact be Evil if people followed the idea through to an extent the deity wouldn't (but may think about). You'll make the teachings of each god broad enough to be effectively useless I think, and something that somebody of any alignment could rightly argue they're fitting into.

A deity can still be a multi-dimensional character and have consistent positions. There's also plenty of potential to suggest that there's a difference between what a good deity may believe and what he or she believes is right to teach followers. In the real world one of the most admirable traits (to my mind) is when people work around the flaws they have to avoid making life worse for other people.

And lets take a step back here. There will be people in the real world who believe that misogyny is a genuinely Good thing, just as there are people in the real world who do not believe that. Some people will honestly believe that purging misogyny from Erastil has actually made him more flawed. So when somebody asks for a deity to have more flaws what does that actually mean when individuals are trying to align their personal moral views into a world where morality has been objectively defined?


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Mezzanine wrote:

From what I've seen all Erastil has proposed is that BOTH parents settle down.

That perhaps adventurers should be from necessity rather than a full business.

He's not espousing misogyny, he's espousing taking responsibility for your offspring once they happen.

This, precisely. I admit, I was a little taken aback the first time I read those thoughts of his on other gods, and how it seemed at first blush like he was telling all the female gods to go home and have babies. But once I had time to think it over, and looked at what he said of the male gods, the same focus is there too.

He complains that Cayden has a habit of leaving women in a family way and skipping town, and says what he needs is a wife to even him out. He then basically says Iomedae needs a husband to balance her out, while ALSO saying that while he doesn't normally approve of her 'strange ideas', the sheer magnitude of her good works has him convinced. He's not a hardline "women go back to the kitchen, the men are talking" sort. He's a family sort, blessing the binary that produces families.

Were the situation different, as with hermaphrodites or even a complete inversion of which sex gets what parts, he might be a bit bewildered. Yet from what he's said, as long as families are being made, and the old ways of hearth and home, field and family, flora and fauna were being carried out, he'd acclimate. And I think it's a far greater statement on acceptance and inclusion to show that happening, rather than retconning the opportunity because it made you uncomfortable.

And it most certainly doesn't make him evil.


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DeltaPangaea wrote:


That's the thing though.

The gods aren't 100% infallible. They're STILL people. To assume otherwise implies a terrifying level of personality-death. There's Gods who became gods after being mortals (Like Iomedae and Cayden) who are still portrayed as very human. Iomedae's a petty... person, and Cayden argues with his favoured-prostitute-turned-Herald and apparently made his dog immortal.

The gods are already shown to be sentient beings with their own wants and personality quirks, so they don't get to be 1-dimensional non-characters, existing only to show 'this is good' and 'this is bad'

This is why the previously mortal gods are the only ones that are really interesting.

Iomedae, Cayden Cailean, Norgorber, Irori, and Nethys.

I like that Cayden has a bit of a drinking problem, and that Irori has a stick up his ass about how Iomedae, Cayden, and Norgorber "cheated" their way to godhood, and all these little personality quirks they have.

Most of the other gods lack this. They're bland and boring as characters, and everything interesting about most of them comes from what you can do with a character who tries to emulate some (not all( of their qualities.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
If a man punches you, either turn the other cheek or punch him back. If a woman punches you, either turn the other cheek or punch her back.

Actually, that's a double-standard that's based in some logic. The logic is in turn based on a good deal of stupid, but there's some sense. Women are physically weaker than men, on average, so the expectation was (and still is in most parts) that hitting a woman is wrong for the same reason hitting your younger siblings is. "Don't pick on your little brother, he's not as strong than you."

If a punched by a person, in general, your choice is to either turn the other cheek or punch them back. If they're clearly weaker than you, though, or unable to take a punch, you probably should turn the other cheek. This logic is likely to favor women somewhat, for the aforementioned physical differences, but definitely not always.

All this is fully moot for me, though, since if anybody remotely capable of punching me does so, I'm going down like a ton or two of bricks. :)

The way I see it is if you're not prepared to get your ass kicked, don't pick a fight with someone who can kick your ass. Man or woman, weak or strong.


Berik wrote:
DeltaPangaea wrote:
Berik wrote:

I get some people not liking it, but D&D has fundamentally always dealt with Good and Evil as objectively true things. This means that anybody using those rule systems to create a game needs to at some point attempt to define what sort of action may be Good and what sort of action may be Evil. Since people are different these definitions will never be universally agreed with and that's okay.

This is confusing enough for companies to get across to people without also adding in substantial flaws into the deity. I mean, if Good is objective, but we can't assume that what a Good deity of family stands for in regards to family life is Good, then where does that leave things? If objective Good isn't meant to be judged from the teachings of a deity where is it meant to be judged?

Obviously everybody is going to draw a different line on where a particular action fits on a Good --> Evil scale. But if you're going to work with an objective alignment system then things do belong on that line somewhere. Nobody is going to come around to your house and slap you if you draw that line at a different place from Paizo. But Paizo need to at some point mention what they consider to be objectively Good for their own work to make sense.

That's the thing though.

The gods aren't 100% infallible. They're STILL people. To assume otherwise implies a terrifying level of personality-death. There's Gods who became gods after being mortals (Like Iomedae and Cayden) who are still portrayed as very human. Iomedae's a petty... person, and Cayden argues with his favoured-prostitute-turned-Herald and apparently made his dog immortal.

The gods are already shown to be sentient beings with their own wants and personality quirks, so they don't get to be 1-dimensional non-characters, existing only to show 'this is good' and 'this is bad'

In an objective alignment system, how is Paizo meant to portray that though? Say a deity has positions A, B & C. A is a clearly Good (capital...

Well how many people with differing views follow the same real-world religion? Hell, I don't even know how many variants of christianity there are.


Malficus wrote:


Gods don't have those excuses. They're ancient and undying, they have the time and resources to know these things, or to have given their views the proper thought.

Except that they aren't. Aroden was slain less than 100 years ago, Asmodeus claims to have killed his brother-god in the ancient times, and at least 4 humans have risen to the position of Deity in recorded Golarion history. So the idea that they are "ancient and undying" is wrong by objective evidence.

Manon Delanoir wrote:


Were the situation different, as with hermaphrodites or even a complete inversion of which sex gets what parts, he might be a bit bewildered. Yet from what he's said, as long as families are being made, and the old ways of hearth and home, field and family, flora and fauna were being carried out, he'd acclimate. And I think it's a far greater statement on acceptance and inclusion to show that happening, rather than retconning the opportunity because it made you uncomfortable.

Now this is something I can get behind. Show how the gods change over time and how (as people in this thread have said on all sides) opinions and beliefs that were once thought of as good are now seen as negative. Erastil WAS once a staunch supporter of "men go farming, women get babies", but over time has changed and become more moderate and understanding, and has transformed into "people of all types and preferences need to settle down, create a family, and be a part of the community". Growth is good in a setting and in a character! Simply retcon'ing him into having ALWAYS been pro-LGBT does nothing but create a boring, ho-hum deity where there was once an interesting being.


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Quote:
Simply retcon'ing him into having ALWAYS been pro-LGBT does nothing but create a boring, ho-hum deity where there was once an interesting being.

Plus he'll probably staunchly remain opposed to any gay/lesbian couples that want nothing to do with kids at all (as opposed to ones who adopt). It honestly would not make sense for him to change his mind about that last part, because he's a bloody god of exactly doing not-that!

Not because he's evil, but because he's a good god of farming and families, and they're living in outright opposition to what he quite literally exists for. That's not bigotry, that's just not liking something that goes against everything you stand for. He's like a father that respects your choices but can't help but mention he'd really have liked some grandkids every once in a while. You're crushing his frickin dreams here! Are you going to fault him for that? Can you honestly say "you're a horrible, evil thing for wanting grandkids" and still look at yourself in the mirror in the morning?

If he was Evil, he might 'do something about it'. But he isn't. He doesn't try to condemn or rid the world of folks that disagree with his ideals. That fact shows he's tolerant and *good*.


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Granddad Erestil is not angry with your life choices.
Only slightly saddened.


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Jamie Charlan said wrote:
Plus he'll probably staunchly remain opposed to any gay/lesbian couples that want nothing to do with kids at all (as opposed to ones who adopt). It honestly would not make sense for him to change his mind about that last part, because he's a bloody god of exactly doing not-that!

An important thing to remember, as well, is that he'd be staunchly against straight people who don't settle down and have kids or adopt and be a good role-model, as well as gay/lesbian couples. Thank you for pointing this out Jamie; Erastil should not be whitewashed into being all-accepting of all lifestyles because that's not the kind of portfolio he has as a god. He's the Deity of Community, Family, and Protection of the first two for goodness' sake, not the God of Free Love. No matter your sexual preference he wants you to settle down and raise a family!

The fact that women carry the kid for 9 months isn't equal to oppressing them or even "protecting them for their own good", it's common sense to not get stabbed in the belly by a highwayman on the road. Similarly, he's not calling for men to go out and get slaughtered in war, because that leaves a kid fatherless. He'd be even more moderate and relaxed if there was such a thing as "test tube babies" in Golarion, but children still get born the old-fashioned way and people still go out adventuring and getting themselves killed, so of course he's going to be against men and women not being a part of a community with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.4 children; they are actively against what he is the god of.


DeltaPangaea wrote:

You seem to be of the opinion that people can change their beliefs at will. That they can just stop thinking something.

If the gods have any connection at all to living mentality (Which they do, or they'd be c'thonian in their dealings), then they can't necessarily easily change how they think either.

I am not, but understand how I could seem that way.

I do think a person can be introspective, and examine their beliefs, and work to change them. Or that they can be changed by the beliefs of others around them, consciously or unconsciously.

But I also think like, things that live for centuries, millennia, or longer, have such a vastly different time scale than humans, that they DO have the time to grow and work through their mistakes. And they have the presence to see mistakes in action or thought.

The ones that don't, are like, neutral. They have the power, wisdom, and influence to make sure their actions promote goodness, and aren't. They aren't actively promoting self gain or harming others, so they aren't evil, those are Neutral Gods.

To be honest, non-ascended Good Gods, likely didn't need such introspection. They were formed knowing right from wrong, and doing what's right to the best of their knowledge and ability. Any change in belief would come from the same thing as it does for humans, increased power and responsibilities giving them a broader, more informed view of the world, and the planes that surround it.

Evelyn Jones wrote:
Except that they aren't. Aroden was slain less than 100 years ago, Asmodeus claims to have killed his brother-god in the ancient times, and at least 4 humans have risen to the position of Deity in recorded Golarion history. So the idea that they are "ancient and undying" is wrong by objective evidence.

As best I can tell, the youngest god (Cayden Cailean) is nearly 2000 years old. I'm not sure how you define ancient, but when a guy is that old, I'm willing to give him the title. And gods being killed is such a huge deal that every time it happens the world and other gods freak out.

But ok. I might have worded things wrongly. My intention was: All of the gods have had enough time that they could have reasonably assesed any harmful beliefs of theirs, and either over come them, or be working to. None of them have a looming constant threat of death to worry about instead either.

Any god who is good, would have dealt with, and not be promoting bigoted beliefs. Any god who continued to promote bigotry, is, at minimum, Neutral.

Bigotry, on the level of gods, is such a pervasive, and harmful belief, that to call bigoted gods "good" is an aggressive act, directed at the target of that bigotry.


Evelyn Jones wrote:

An important thing to remember, as well, is that he'd be staunchly against straight people who don't settle down and have kids or adopt and be a good role-model, as well as gay/lesbian couples. Thank you for pointing this out Jamie; Erastil should not be whitewashed into being all-accepting of all lifestyles because that's not the kind of portfolio he has as a god. He's the Deity of Community, Family, and Protection of the first two for goodness' sake, not the God of Free Love. No matter your sexual preference he wants you to settle down and raise a family!

if you want a deity of free love there are other goddesses for that, one good, the other neutral, and the final one evil


Iomedae has been a god for roughly 900 years only, I believe. That is a blink of an eye compared to Cayden.


Evelyn Jones wrote:
Jamie Charlan said wrote:
Plus he'll probably staunchly remain opposed to any gay/lesbian couples that want nothing to do with kids at all (as opposed to ones who adopt). It honestly would not make sense for him to change his mind about that last part, because he's a bloody god of exactly doing not-that!

An important thing to remember, as well, is that he'd be staunchly against straight people who don't settle down and have kids or adopt and be a good role-model, as well as gay/lesbian couples. Thank you for pointing this out Jamie; Erastil should not be whitewashed into being all-accepting of all lifestyles because that's not the kind of portfolio he has as a god. He's the Deity of Community, Family, and Protection of the first two for goodness' sake, not the God of Free Love. No matter your sexual preference he wants you to settle down and raise a family!

The fact that women carry the kid for 9 months isn't equal to oppressing them or even "protecting them for their own good", it's common sense to not get stabbed in the belly by a highwayman on the road. Similarly, he's not calling for men to go out and get slaughtered in war, because that leaves a kid fatherless. He'd be even more moderate and relaxed if there was such a thing as "test tube babies" in Golarion, but children still get born the old-fashioned way and people still go out adventuring and getting themselves killed, so of course he's going to be against men and women not being a part of a community with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.4 children; they are actively against what he is the god of.

Really he'd probably be in favor of more like 5-6 kids due to the large number of people that you need to work a farm.


There is an adventure path (I don't recall which), where the players are expected to help the Kyonin Elves. It is almost universally reviled on these forums because the Elves act like jerks, leading to:
a) the players say "do it yourselves" and leave, ending the AP.
b) the GM railroads the pcs to help anyway.

Are the Elves Evil? They clearly are prejudiced against the player characters.
Are the pcs Evil if they resent the Elves?


Malficus wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
Except that they aren't. Aroden was slain less than 100 years ago, Asmodeus claims to have killed his brother-god in the ancient times, and at least 4 humans have risen to the position of Deity in recorded Golarion history. So the idea that they are "ancient and undying" is wrong by objective evidence.

As best I can tell, the youngest god (Cayden Cailean) is nearly 2000 years old. I'm not sure how you define ancient, but when a guy is that old, I'm willing to give him the title. And gods being killed is such a huge deal that every time it happens the world and other gods freak out.

But ok. I might have worded things wrongly. My intention was: All of the gods have had enough time that they could have reasonably assesed any harmful beliefs of theirs, and either over come them, or be working to. None of them have a looming constant threat of death to worry about instead either.

Any god who is good, would have dealt with, and not be promoting bigoted beliefs. Any god who continued to promote bigotry, is, at minimum, Neutral.

Bigotry, on the level of gods, is such a pervasive, and harmful belief, that to call bigoted gods "good" is an aggressive act, directed at the target of that bigotry.

Well, I'd like to point out, as I pointed out earlier, that without a catalyst to get them to see the error of their ways, eons of being left to your own devices wouldn't free you of your problems; it'd compound them. If you think a certain way, thinking that certain way for centuries will make it much, much harder to stop thinking that way. I've known some incredibly stubborn and curmudgeonly seniors who decided they knew best and never wanted to give that fact up. On top of this, it's human nature to, when you have evidence that you're wrong presented to you, to double down on your presumptions because you can't stand being wrong.

So, no, I think your argument is flawed here.


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Evelyn Jones wrote:
Iomedae has been a god for roughly 900 years only, I believe. That is a blink of an eye compared to Cayden.

a rather foggy blink of the eye for Cayden, all things considered


Malficus wrote:
DeltaPangaea wrote:

You seem to be of the opinion that people can change their beliefs at will. That they can just stop thinking something.

If the gods have any connection at all to living mentality (Which they do, or they'd be c'thonian in their dealings), then they can't necessarily easily change how they think either.

I am not, but understand how I could seem that way.

I do think a person can be introspective, and examine their beliefs, and work to change them. Or that they can be changed by the beliefs of others around them, consciously or unconsciously.

But I also think like, things that live for centuries, millennia, or longer, have such a vastly different time scale than humans, that they DO have the time to grow and work through their mistakes. And they have the presence to see mistakes in action or thought.

The ones that don't, are like, neutral. They have the power, wisdom, and influence to make sure their actions promote goodness, and aren't. They aren't actively promoting self gain or harming others, so they aren't evil, those are Neutral Gods.

To be honest, non-ascended Good Gods, likely didn't need such introspection. They were formed knowing right from wrong, and doing what's right to the best of their knowledge and ability. Any change in belief would come from the same thing as it does for humans, increased power and responsibilities giving them a broader, more informed view of the world, and the planes that surround it.

Evelyn Jones wrote:
Except that they aren't. Aroden was slain less than 100 years ago, Asmodeus claims to have killed his brother-god in the ancient times, and at least 4 humans have risen to the position of Deity in recorded Golarion history. So the idea that they are "ancient and undying" is wrong by objective evidence.
As best I can tell, the youngest god (Cayden Cailean) is nearly 2000 years old. I'm not sure how you define ancient, but when a guy is that old, I'm willing to give him the title. And gods being killed is such a...

Here's a question for you then.

"Do they have to have already reached that point?"

Do they have to have finished changing and becoming politically correct? What's wrong with them being on the road to overcoming their prejudices? Hell, we could have an AP where the actions of the party set a god on the path to changing. Imagine if the party was intended to defy Iomedae in the WotR encounter? What if them defying her and her own overblown reaction set her on the road to not being so darn stuck-up?

If everyone's already all hunky-dory, then there's so much less you can do with them.


Blackvial wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
Iomedae has been a god for roughly 900 years only, I believe. That is a blink of an eye compared to Cayden.
a rather foggy blink of the eye for Cayden, all things considered

Admittedly he WAS drunk when he took the Starstone Test.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Asmodeus is a misogynistic jerk.

Erastil, cares about families he doesn't care who stays home to watch the kids, he just wants to make sure that somebody is. Erastil isn't a god for adventurers, and an adventuring heroes who worship Erastil are probably angsting about not having a family, or the family they had to leave behind to adventure for.

Misogyny is not a fun flavorful character quirk. It's at best problematic, and at worst straight up evil. My grandfathers were great men, who did wonderful things, but I can accept that their views on gender were pretty terrible.

Deities shouldn't be promoting bigotry in any form, if they are going to be labelled Good.

I'm proud of the Paizo team for trying to create a setting that isn't just tolerant, but also promotes racial, gender and sexual diversity. The history of our hobby has not been one that promoted such ideas, because just because it's medieval fantasy doesn't mean the people playing need to promote medieval ideals.


Halae wrote:

Well, I'd like to point out, as I pointed out earlier, that without a catalyst to get them to see the error of their ways, eons of being left to your own devices wouldn't free you of your problems; it'd compound them. If you think a certain way, thinking that certain way for centuries will make it much, much harder to stop thinking that way. I've known some incredibly stubborn and curmudgeonly seniors who decided they knew best and never wanted to give that fact up. On top of this, it's human nature to, when you have evidence that you're wrong presented to you, to double down on your presumptions because you can't stand being wrong.

So, no, I think your argument is flawed here.

If a god holds and promotes bigoted and harmful beliefs, but is well meaning and wants to help others, I consider that god to be neutral. If they, with more information or a catalyst to change their opinion down the road, would correct their bigotry, they are neutral until that point. Their effect on the world is not good, and to say they are good is to say that people wanting to be good should emulate them, including that bigotry.

So if say, a god thinks tradition is more important than goodness, and their 'tradition' sacrifices good values to be attained, that is a (probably Lawful) Neutral god. Because they care more about tradition, or some other thing, than the well being of everyone. Even if that other thing is "Small town livin" or "Families" or "the well-being of Dwarvenkind"


Plus there's also that whole other can of worms; fetuses and infants in battle. Because your stuff might be safe as long as you make your saves and avoid crits and shock and stuff, but when you fail or fall... I mean, sure, a woman can go adventuring. Her body her choice, whatever... but, um... it would be as unfair as it is unrealistic to avoid certain extremely related subjects. And while this may sound like a joke, and it partly is, these are all *COMMON SITUATIONS* adventurers must deal with that would suddenly take quite a grizzly turn when CR-0 offspring are involved. You can't just pretend s%!! that happens all the time don't happen and wave it all away.

Like how easily a level 0 fetus is going to pass its Fort DCs against that poison you failed a save on.

Critical hits. Going into Shock or Dying with a kid in you (all things that tend to falcon-punch your "passenger" problem quite well)

Size-Shifter spells. Magical Aging. At exactly what age/moment that newborn starts counting as a separate entity (READ: TARGET) for purposes of AoEs.

Mind-affecting exposures; can an unfriendly magic-user subtly turn your child into the next Mecha-Hitler?

Or how much DR or Shield-AC babies provide when worn.

Tracking bonuses and Stealth penalties from crying or needing a diaper change.

Raising the Undead, through ritual or direct necro-conversions.

What to do when your precious little dead baby will be a wight in just 1d4 rounds.

"Do us all a favor, stay home until you can hand it to a nanny"
Sincerely, Erastil.


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Evelyn Jones wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Evelyn Jones wrote:
Iomedae has been a god for roughly 900 years only, I believe. That is a blink of an eye compared to Cayden.
a rather foggy blink of the eye for Cayden, all things considered
Admittedly he WAS drunk when he took the Starstone Test.

hell when isn't he drunk?


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Erastil, cares about families he doesn't care who stays home to watch the kids, he just wants to make sure that somebody is. Erastil isn't a god for adventurers, and an adventuring heroes who worship Erastil are probably angsting about not having a family, or the family they had to leave behind to adventure for.

My boyfriend actually ran a cleric of Erastil character not too long ago and I feel he did it well and gave a solid reason for such a character being an adventurer.

Part of Erastil's portfolio is protection; the whole thing was making sure people were safe, providing healing, giving marriage counselling to people we came across, and that sort of thing. He was basically the quintessential traveling do-gooder with a focus on making certain that everybody was happy and making babies (or taking care of babies, at least). The campaign died, but it was decided between me and him the cleric eventually settled down and raised a family once his adventuring days were done. Devotees of Erastil can work as PCs, you're just looking at a different sort of character.

Malficus wrote:

If a god holds and promotes bigoted and harmful beliefs, but is well meaning and wants to help others, I consider that god to be neutral. If they, with more information or a catalyst to change their opinion down the road, would correct their bigotry, they are neutral until that point. Their effect on the world is not good, and to say they are good is to say that people wanting to be good should emulate them, including that bigotry.

So if say, a god thinks tradition is more important than goodness, and their 'tradition' sacrifices good values to be attained, that is a (probably Lawful) Neutral god. Because they care more about tradition, or some other thing, than the well being of everyone. Even if that other thing is "Small town livin" or "Families" or "the well-being of Dwarvenkind"

I feel we're just talking in circles now. we've said our piece to each other; we agree broadly speaking but are getting into a debate about the details, and that doesn't really help anybody.


Evelyn Jones wrote:
Jamie Charlan said wrote:
Plus he'll probably staunchly remain opposed to any gay/lesbian couples that want nothing to do with kids at all (as opposed to ones who adopt). It honestly would not make sense for him to change his mind about that last part, because he's a bloody god of exactly doing not-that!

An important thing to remember, as well, is that he'd be staunchly against straight people who don't settle down and have kids or adopt and be a good role-model, as well as gay/lesbian couples. Thank you for pointing this out Jamie; Erastil should not be whitewashed into being all-accepting of all lifestyles because that's not the kind of portfolio he has as a god. He's the Deity of Community, Family, and Protection of the first two for goodness' sake, not the God of Free Love. No matter your sexual preference he wants you to settle down and raise a family!

The fact that women carry the kid for 9 months isn't equal to oppressing them or even "protecting them for their own good", it's common sense to not get stabbed in the belly by a highwayman on the road. Similarly, he's not calling for men to go out and get slaughtered in war, because that leaves a kid fatherless. He'd be even more moderate and relaxed if there was such a thing as "test tube babies" in Golarion, but children still get born the old-fashioned way and people still go out adventuring and getting themselves killed, so of course he's going to be against men and women not being a part of a community with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.4 children; they are actively against what he is the god of.

I could actually see Erastil not being into test tube babies, just like some people today aren't. He is a curmudgeonly god, after all, and very big on "the old ways". Just because those old ways aren't bigoted doesn't mean they aren't still sometimes unreasonable. ;D

I think Erastil would absolutely oppose a pregnant woman adventuring. Call it what you will, that's just antithetical to his stated values of "protect the family" and "protect the home".


Oh come now. Not wanting to see someone slain from the inside because not everyone involved had quite as good a save vs Ghoul Fever is totally bigotry and oppression!

Seriously though. Adventuring's just begging for things to go full horror


Has anyone considered the idea that both Erastil and Asmodeus have somewhat backwards views on women because they are both Lawful? It has nothing to do with Good-Evil and have everything to do with Law-Chaos.

Law denotes tradition, honor, stability, the tried and true method. It also has connotations of being stuck in your ways, uncompromising, disdainful of new ideas and an unwillingness to accept alternative views, customs and lifestyles.

Chaos is innovation, freedom, change, being tolerant and accepting of those things you yourself don't believe in. It also has a nasty side with being unreliable, being dishonest, being unstable or dismissing old ways for untested and the unknown.

Erestil is a deity of tradition, family and the way things used to be, a throw-back to when mankind was more in touch with nature and a bridge between modern day god worship and the veneration of nature. Creatures have their place in life; fish gotta swim, bird gotta fly, man gotta provide, woman gotta nurture. None of these things are bad, they're just the way we are at our core. What makes them Good or Evil is how we put them into practice and how we react to challenges to those ideas.

A woman being the provider for her family may shock Erestil, but he's willing to tolerate it if it's for a good reason. Maybe her husband is dead or injured or unable to provide. Maybe he left her with children and she's the only one who can do so. He would be glad to have her do so, but still would hope that she would find a husband, if not for herself then for her children. Someone has to watch them while she's out hunting for food.

On the other hand, Asmodeus doesn't want women to have any power that he himself doesn't grant to them. They are weaker creatures, even weaker than men. Both are foolish mortals, but at least men embody the things that he holds up as grand values; strength, domination, power. These are not womanly attributes to him and he has no time or patience for feminine qualities.

Nether one of them are Evil because of their views on women, but the Evil or Good they do embody colors their views. Law and Chaos is far more nuanced than most people give it credit for and it seems often, especially in recent products, that Chaos is the fun alignment and Lawful is the jerk alignment.

The idea that someones social views, not their actions, makes them Evil is a distressing idea, that morality is defined by your thoughts rather than the conduct or actions you take.

Shadow Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
My grandfathers were great men, who did wonderful things, but I can accept that their views on gender were pretty terrible.

If you can hold that view about actual men, who's views were actually harmful, why can't you give a fictional character the benefit of the doubt?

Denying that those who do great good are also capable of great evil in a ham-handed attempt to make people feel good about themselves, sucks the life out of characters and turns them into lifeless cardboard cutouts.

I'd rather have a character people can actually disagree with and be angry at, than a bland piece of wonderbread which doesn't evoke a reaction from anyone because it lacks the substance required to do so.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

Oh come now. Not wanting to see someone slain from the inside because not everyone involved had quite as good a save vs Ghoul Fever is totally bigotry and oppression!

Seriously though. Adventuring's just begging for things to go full horror

don't forget vampires, a pregnant women gets attacked by a vamp and now you have a dhampir full of teenage angst for over a hundred years


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Malficus wrote:


If a god holds and promotes bigoted and harmful beliefs, but is well meaning and wants to help others, I consider that god to be neutral.

The problem there is that it's a gross oversimplification to say that Erastil is somehow harmful and misogynist just because he's telling people to be fruitful and multiply. It's the reduction and twisting of a sentient being's viewpoint to one stereotypical note, and then branding him as destructive for holding it. There's a word for such an act. Prejudice. Which, as we've established, is not a good trait.

Promoting procreation by loving couples is, by definition, not destructive. As I've always read it, GOOD is about respect, responsibility, and the promotion of life and vitality. A happy family, be it traditional biological or just a kindly lesbian couple adopting a bunch of orphans, is one of the single greatest symbols of good, and it would be a greater credit to write in how he's grown to accept such unusual things.

Destructive would be if he were telling his followers that women belong ONLY at home, pregnant or not. It would the advocating of women being kept as breeding stock ONLY, regardless of their other potential. Or the advocating of men to rape women for the purpose of progeny, when that would only bring forth more misery. Remember, in amongst those quotes, he praised Shelyn for inspiring love in arranged marriages, and keeping the chemistry going even between aging partners.

The thing is, tolerance is not about lack of difference, but the acceptance of them where they exist. Something that sends a far greater message of inclusion than an across the board "everything is fine, everyone is cool". And certainly better than "I don't like him telling me how to live my life, so now he never did."


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LordOfThreshold said wrote:

Has anyone considered the idea that both Erastil and Asmodeus have somewhat backwards views on women because they are both Lawful? It has nothing to do with Good-Evil and have everything to do with Law-Chaos.

Law denotes tradition, honor, stability, the tried and true method. It also has connotations of being stuck in your ways, uncompromising, disdainful of new ideas and an unwillingness to accept alternative views, customs and lifestyles.

Chaos is innovation, freedom, change, being tolerant and accepting of those things you yourself don't believe in. It also has a nasty side with being unreliable, being dishonest, being unstable or dismissing old ways for untested and the unknown...

Law and Chaos is far more nuanced than most people give it credit for and it seems often, especially in recent products, that Chaos is the fun alignment and Lawful is the jerk alignment.

This might very well be the case, which just brings up the underlying problem that is inherent in the recent Paizo releases: "Chaos is the forward-thinking and fun alignment, Law is the mean-spirited and backwards alignment". This disappoints me on several levels, because it equates Chaos to automatically being positive and that Law, even when combined with Good, is negative. It bothers me that Wrath of the Righteous was plagued with bad characterization, especially of Iomedae, because "well, she's Lawful so of course she's going to trumpet people for disagreeing with her!" It annoys me how the Player's "Guide" to Hell's Rebels explicitly says that Paladins and other Lawful characters, even Lawful Good ones, are not good choices for a playable character (as well as bringing Milani to the forefront yet again when she is supposedly a minor ascended goddess, yet somehow manages to sneak into every recent Adventure Path as the 'best' option). It frustrates me that in Hell's Vengeance your planned-to-be-Evil characters are mostly fighting the Lawful Good 'Glorious Reclamation' and not, as the name would suggest, the eponymous rebels from the last AP (and, indeed, can't seem to ever do a thing against them).

The recent trend of Paizo's writing that "Law = bad and Chaos = best" is probably the real reasoning behind a lot of the problems and flaws that people see in these recent ideas. Erastil was written to be family-minded because he's Lawful and Lawful is apparently no good to the writing team, lumping him together with Iomedae and Asmodeus. I've not heard of a Chaotic deity being suddenly retconned into acting more proper, only of Lawful deities.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Disk Elemental wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
My grandfathers were great men, who did wonderful things, but I can accept that their views on gender were pretty terrible.

If you can hold that view about actual men, who's views were actually harmful, why can't you give a fictional character the benefit of the doubt?

Denying that those who do great good are also capable of great evil in a ham-handed attempt to make people feel good about themselves, sucks the life out of characters and turns them into lifeless cardboard cutouts.

I'd rather have a character people can actually disagree with and be angry at, than a bland piece of wonderbread which doesn't evoke a reaction from anyone because it lacks the substance required to do so.

Because my grandfathers were real people, and I don't have to extend my respect to problematic fictional characters? (Obviously)

If Erastil promotes misogyny then he's promoting an evil ideal, which is not rad for Good God. I don't find Erastil to be bland whitebread, and I don't find Asmodeus to be bland white bread.

I'd rather paizo promote the view that everyone in this game is welcome. Which to me says: Inclusion is good. Exclusion is bad.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Erastil is still stubborn, not friendly to adventuring types, and set in his ways. He's a god of family who left his family in the giant pantheon to promote his ideals among the smaller kind. These are character traits that he has.

I don't find any of the gods dull or generic. Unlike some other campaign settings I could name, the gods of Pathfinder are pretty richly detailed with personalities that I find interesting.

As for Asmodeus, that Cheliax is ruled by a powerful Queen makes for a point of conflict between the LE misogynist, and the House of Thrune who don't actually answer to the Church of Asmodeus. The House of Thrune made a DEAL with the devil, but are not actually part of the church (see the newest AP to see an example of a character with a foot in both worlds).

That you've misunderstood the relationship between Cheliax, House Thrune and Asmodeus doesn't mean the text backs up your opinion.


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Addressing the main argument in this thread:

Misogyny, at least in the sense people are using it here, is the systemic oppression of women.

Oppression is evil. This is pretty much the cornerstone of every moral philosophy out there, with the conspicuous exception of those that are transparently laid out explicitly to keep oppressors in power. Most relevant in this context, evil in Pathfinder is more or less defined as getting ahead in life by walking all over everyone else. Especially when we're looking specifically at Lawful Evil.

Therefore, misogyny is evil.

Misogyny is also lawful, in that the systemic part of systemic oppression implies an actual society-level system (so really, this is more the concept of patriarchy if you want to split hairs, but again, how everyone's been using it).

It absolutely makes sense for the most prominent LE deity to be a misogynist. Just like it makes sense for him to be pro-slavery, favor a rigid caste system, and lie constantly to present everything he thinks and does as perfectly justified.

It would make absolutely no sense at all for any good deity to support any of that. If you want a deity who mostly comes off as good, but makes allowances for outright evil things as an "interesting flaw" what you would then have is a neutral deity. Abadar is a great example. All about peaceful living and thriving cities, but he has this huge blind spot about money changing hands. Doesn't want his clergy turning away evil people or offering a discount to good, which can lead to terrible things. Pharasma's another example. She generally leans lawful good, very much into fair judgement, hates anyone trying to escape her judgement by going undead, but she turns a blind eye to daemons straight-up destroying souls, because they do it on their own turf after she's handled the processing. Or take Calistria. Very non-judgemental, wants everyone to have a good time, absolutely believes people should be punished when they wrong someone, but there's no real sense of proportionate response.

Also worth noting, before it was officially cleared up that Torag's traditionalism was more "I don't trust these newfangled printing presses, how do you get the importance of a story without a teller to emphasize the right words?" and less "women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" I made a paladin for Kingmaker. The GM very strongly urged me to worship Erastil, as he plays a huge role in that AP and I was the only religious character in the party. Erastil-as-intended would have been absolutely perfect for this character, but Erastil-as-presented was so off-putting I ended up going with Iomedae instead. It was very clear at several points that we were missing out thanks to that, and at no time did it make things feel "more interesting" in any fashion.

All that said, unrelated sidetrack time!

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

Erm...about the whole "Good is never, ever, ever, ever, ever bigoted in any way" thing...

So a deity would automatically disapprove of the numerous good-aligned characters that are prejudiced against Goblinoids, Orcs, or Drow? Because I'm pretty sure there's a lot of them and they're still good guys despite hating people from those races.

Absolutely. Assuming, at least, that when you say "prejudiced" we're talking about the sort of character who unquestioningly kills all members of those races on sight, that is absolutely evil. You'd be playing a genocidal racist.

If we're talking about someone who regularly, constantly fights rampaging hordes of goblins, who is particularly horrified by how they just run around stabbing cats to hear what sort of sound they make and hiding in ovens to ambush people and such, having witnessed these things, that's much more understandable, so long as that character doesn't completely lose it when he runs across a fairly stable goblin making an honest living as a blacksmith's apprentice, and takes it on good faith that they are an exception to what they're used to based on how the local society clearly considers them a member in good standing.

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

Dwarves hate goblins and orcs (or Drow, giants, and dragons). That's built into your racial abilities; you hate them so much you're really good at hitting them.

Torag, a lawful good deity, approves of this. In fact, he approves of this so much that his paladin code instructs paladins of Torag that the enemies of their people must be defeated at any cost. Mislead them if you must. Do not accept their surrender. Don't give them a second chance. They are your people's enemies. Kill them, while conducting yourself in a way that honors Torag.

Either Torag's asking some kind of zen contradiction-riddle of his followers or he's pretty on board with Dwarves giving no quarter to goblins whether they're ALL tiny, psychotic pyromaniacs who kill for fun and aren't averse to eating babies every now and then or not.

Are we talking about the paladin code from Faiths of Purity? It makes no mention of any of those races, just "my people's enemies." And it most certainly does not preach genocide. "I will defeat them, and I will scatter their families" implies quite the opposite. Chase off anyone who might come looking for revenge when you kill the ones actively attacking you.

Similarly, dwarves don't get bonuses because they don't like people. They get bonuses because they have such a long history of war with those races, dwarven children are taught where to aim when fighting them.

That sort of teaching would inevitably foster a degree of racism, but that's another issue entirely, and not on Torag.


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Someone said wrote:
Oppression is evil. This is pretty much the cornerstone of every moral philosophy out there, with the conspicuous exception of those that are transparently laid out explicitly to keep oppressors in power. Most relevant in this context, evil in Pathfinder is more or less defined as getting ahead in life by walking all over everyone else. Especially when we're looking specifically at Lawful Evil.

Alright, following you so far.

Someone said wrote:

Therefore, misogyny is evil.

Misogyny is also lawful, in that the systemic part of systemic oppression implies an actual society-level system (so really, this is more the concept of patriarchy if you want to split hairs, but again, how everyone's been using it).

Aaaaand you lost me. Allow me to explain why.

"Misogyny", by definition, is "the hatred of women". That's all it means, by dictionary terms. The prefix "Miso-" meaning disgust or hatred, and the root "-gyno-" which means females. At no point does it mean oppressing women, doing so systematically or on a society-level, or having any connection to "the Patriarchy" (which is a silly term anyway, and one that is about as black-and-white as calling the entirety of Paizo wrong when it is merely some of their writers).

Misogyny is a neutral act because it is hateful towards a subset of humanity and living beings. It is no more or less evil than Misandry (the hatred of men), Misanthropy (the hatred of all humans), or even Misocyny (the hatred of dogs, which all goblins in Golarion seem to pathologically suffer from). Nowhere does misogyny mean when a man thinks a woman isn't fit for being in a leading position, nor does it mean that a society places women lower on the political totem-pole. It can be combined with said events, but it is not, by the very definition of the word, the same thing.

Therefore, with this reasoning, it can be said that a misogynistic deity is no more evil than a deity who hates dragons, or goblins, or arcane spellcasters. Is oppression evil, and thus a deity that oppresses women evil? Yes, but no more than a deity that oppresses Ulfen humans, or elves, or men, or what-have-you. But again, this all is under the assumption that Erastil was ever misogynistic which, as I have proven with the definitions, he never was. He has old-fashioned beliefs on what a couple should do, but he does not Hate Women.

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