(Spoilers) Profane Ascension - Now What?


Wrath of the Righteous

Grand Lodge

So, one of my players took Nocticula's profane ascension.

The Lilitu managed to charm and convince her to beg for a wish, in order to bring a righteous hero low (As her profane wish alters alignment.) So, minor victory for her there, before she was torn to shreds... But, then that PC had no qualms about accepting Nocticula's blessing.

So, how should I run the interaction with Iomedae and that PC in book 5 now? Anyone else have a similar scenario? The PC in question is actually a little behind on loot, and she isn't a huge power gamer, so the buff isn't too imbalancing on her. I'm just unsure how to run the Iomedae stuff with this caveat, lol.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

There is a somewhat long discussion of this issue in the GM reference thread for Midnight Isles, so may want to read over that. I would say that the other party members, who I assume are mostly good if not LG, would likely kick her out of the party. Even if she sticks around for the end of book 4. When they return to the material plane, she would be pushed out immediately by the Crusade and Church of Iomedae. Having the character around is too dangerous to everyone. Iomedae would likely demand that the PC atone or will demand that they dump her as a show of true Righteousness.

Grand Lodge

j b 200 wrote:
There is a somewhat long discussion of this issue in the GM reference thread for Midnight Isles, so may want to read over that. I would say that the other party members, who I assume are mostly good if not LG, would likely kick her out of the party. Even if she sticks around for the end of book 4. When they return to the material plane, she would be pushed out immediately by the Crusade and Church of Iomedae. Having the character around is too dangerous to everyone. Iomedae would likely demand that the PC atone or will demand that they dump her as a show of true Righteousness.

Well, full disclosure: The players all somehow missed the memo about like the entire point of this campaign, and they are all more neutral and morally ambiguous... It's definitely made the campaign interesting, and we've had this running theme of them becoming more and more good and righteous, in response to being screwed over by the demons. What started as just trying to survive the demon assault turned into settling the score, then the power grab of running an army/city, but somewhere along the way it got personal, and in redeeming Arueshalae they all kind of were getting into this whole "Heroes" thing.

And I feel like, atonement-wise, this PC has a pretty clear path: Her "Evil act" was something she was compelled to do, that just had a contingency of changing her alignment, and then the profane ascension just made sense given the situation... So I may have Iomedae just purge it with an atonement, *if* they succeed on trial #2. The Wizard has already hit her with a Mythic Geas to compel her to seek redemption...


First, evil acts explicitly don't count if mind magic forces you to do it. Evil must be a choice so she didn't actual commit evil if she's compelled to do it. That's the reason why Minagho doesn't use her mental magic in the text. Which kind of means that the situation that made her willing to accept the Profane Ascension technically a misunderstanding.

Honestly, having Iomedae be willing to 'purge the corruption' and 'forgive a mistake made under duress' for free, under the condition that she's truly remorseful might be the best thing. Maybe offer her an alternate boon or divine gift from Iomedae if she really needs the power boost to keep up with the party.

Grand Lodge

kamenhero25 wrote:
First, evil acts explicitly don't count if mind magic forces you to do it. Evil must be a choice so she didn't actual commit evil if she's compelled to do it.

Are you sure about that? The text for the Atonement spell seems to indicate otherwise:

"If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you."

The party ended up using an Atonement spell to return her to CG. For the time being, Nocticula is going to allow her to continue using the profane bonuses, because it suits her machinations (and the player in question is planning to take the beyond morality mythic ability next level anyway)


That refers to if something forcibly changes your alignment, like a Helm of Opposite Alignment or something like that. In that case, it restores them to the alignment before the magic effected them.

If a character preforms an action while under mind control, it doesn't automatically change their alignment because natural alignment changes are purely a roleplay result and are supposed to be base on how a player acts. If you're forcing a player to act out of character, then you can't really say that they became evil because you forced them to do it.

Grand Lodge

kamenhero25 wrote:

That refers to if something forcibly changes your alignment, like a Helm of Opposite Alignment or something like that. In that case, it restores them to the alignment before the magic effected them.

If a character preforms an action while under mind control, it doesn't automatically change their alignment because natural alignment changes are purely a roleplay result and are supposed to be base on how a player acts. If you're forcing a player to act out of character, then you can't really say that they became evil because you forced them to do it.

Well, it's actually the next section of the Atonement spell that is specifically about magical alignment changes, though they are similarly pretty easily reversed. It specifically is saying evil acts you are compelled to do, which would include any charms/compulsions... And the Lilitu's profane wish specifically is a supernatural ability that changes alignment when you wish off her.

I'm not seeing anything to back up the idea that they need to be 100% aware of their actions... For example, if a Paladin picked up a cursed berzerking sword, and murdered hundreds of children, I feel like they would lose their class abilities until they atone...


It seems you are right RAW.

Which seems rather... silly. I've had four hour long discussions with my usual gaming group about how Paladins don't lose their alignment if they get compelled specifically because it's unfair to force a player to lose their entire class because they failed a will save.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
kamenhero25 wrote:

It seems you are right RAW.

Which seems rather... silly. I've had four hour long discussions with my usual gaming group about how Paladins don't lose their alignment if they get compelled specifically because it's unfair to force a player to lose their entire class because they failed a will save.

No more unfair than death or petrification or feeblemind or other effects, honestly. What's arguably not fair is when a GM inflicts something like this on a player character when the methods to reverse or recover from the effect (be it raise dead or break enchantment or heal or, in the case of alignment shift, atonement) aren't available.


The difference is being turned to stone is something that you really can't argue disables your character. You're a statue now, that's it.

Having your god say 'you have no more paladin powers because the evil sorcerer forced you to slaughter children against you will and I don't care if you didn't want to do it' is taking the player's choices out of their hands in an aspect of the game that is supposed to be about roleplay, not just dice rolling.

But hey, that's just my opinion since alignment is, in my eyes, about how you play a character, not about what your dice demand your character does by random chance. And the original point of this thread seems to have been resolved anyway.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
kamenhero25 wrote:

The difference is being turned to stone is something that you really can't argue disables your character. You're a statue now, that's it.

Having your god say 'you have no more paladin powers because the evil sorcerer forced you to slaughter children against you will and I don't care if you didn't want to do it' is taking the player's choices out of their hands in an aspect of the game that is supposed to be about roleplay, not just dice rolling.

But hey, that's just my opinion since alignment is, in my eyes, about how you play a character, not about what your dice demand your character does by random chance. And the original point of this thread seems to have been resolved anyway.

Who said it was your god saying that? It could just as easily be your own guilt and shame that turns off your powers, and in some cases, where a paladin doesn't worship a deity, that's the ONLY explanation.

For what it's worth, though, in my games I am generally VERY VERY VERY lenient in this situation; if a class that has alignment restrictions is mind controlled to do something out of sync with that alignment, it's how and what the character does AFTER this event that determines if the alignment change (and thus the loss of class abilities) happens. A paladin who recovers from the berserking sword and then roleplays guilt and shame and takes steps to repair damage and breaks the sword and perhaps seeks out the sword's creator to ensure that no more are made would not fall or lose her paladin powers. But if she shrugged and went on with the adventure like nothing happened or leaned too much on the "I wasn't in control" and did nothing to repair the damage, she would.


The Paladin in the game I am running ignored all of my hints that something was off and maybe he should stay his hand when he killed a shadow demon possessed Anevia who had been disguised as Staunton Vhane. I made him fall for that one. He continued through the whole castle without his powers when he could have run back out and cast Atonement (or had it cast) right away. I made sure when he did it worked without a problem. The party ended up using their loot to pay for her resurrection, but it took considerably longer for Irabeth to forgive said Paladin. It was a great bit of story that all of the players loved (after it was over).

I agree about being generous when it comes to forced alignment changes or falls from grace. It should only happen if the player made a choice to go through with the action knowing that there could be consequences. If the player insists on keeping the Profane gift, there should be consequences as deals with demons never end well. Nocticula, as a demon lord, can claim souls for herself. Perhaps the player's choice to bind herself to a demon could manifest along those lines. However, there should be a way for the player to find this information if she cares enough to look, and then a way to reverse it if she desires to pursue it.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Wrath of the Righteous / (Spoilers) Profane Ascension - Now What? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Wrath of the Righteous