It's Legal, But Is This A Good Idea?


Pathfinder Society


I've been playing the same CN Appeaser Cleric of Lamashtu in my home games for years. Since I haven't been able to play with my regular group lately and miss playing the character, I'm thinking about building him in PFS. However, since Lamashtu isn't exactly a socially acceptable Goddess and even Her nicer worshipers get up to things that could generously be described as 'icky', I'm wondering if this is a good idea even if it's PFS legal. The last thing I want to do is inadvertently upset someone or make things unnecessarily hard on the GM running the game.

Has anyone else played a follower of Lamashtu in PFS? How did it go? Am I overthinking this or should I consider something else as a new PFS character?

5/5 5/55/55/5

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As long as you're familiar with PFS and know how to dial it back a bit when you might be creeping out your local groups you should be fine. its amazing how many moral lapses the party is willing to overlook for a blessing of fervor

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It really depends on how you are playing Lamashtu worshiper. Exactly how does the character act and represent the goddess's tenets?

Grand Lodge 1/5

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Nana here is a PFS cleric of Lamashtu, now level 10. She's lots of fun to play and usually gets a positive reaction from other players.

Nana is a separatist though, and does not identify Lamashtu as her goddess. Nana follows "The Holy Mama", a goddess of motherhood and childbirth. Nana is not very bright, and has no knowledge skills except Nature (to know what kind of cute critter she's looking at, as well as what to Summon). Being a cleric of Lamashtu, and a half-orc from Belkzen to boot, Nana sees beauty very differently from civilised folks - the more grotesque and misshapen a creature is, the more beautiful it is to Nana. She thinks that she speaks "Angel Words", taught to her by the Holy Mama, when this is in fact Abyssal (via Unintentional Linguist trait). On occasions when Nana has encountered demons she has thought them angels (and got pretty cross when the "angels" became violent).

I play Nana as an innocent who wants nothing more than for all creatures to know a mother's love. She doesn't have any kind of ordinary grasp of good and evil, or cosmic powers.

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Nana Grilka wrote:

Nana here is a PFS cleric of Lamashtu, now level 10. She's lots of fun to play and usually gets a positive reaction from other players.

Nana is a separatist though, and does not identify Lamashtu as her goddess. Nana follows "The Holy Mama", a goddess of motherhood and childbirth. Nana is not very bright, and has no knowledge skills except Nature (to know what kind of cute critter she's looking at, as well as what to Summon). Being a cleric of Lamashtu, and a half-orc from Belkzen to boot, Nana sees beauty very differently from civilised folks - the more grotesque and misshapen a creature is, the more beautiful it is to Nana. She thinks that she speaks "Angel Words", taught to her by the Holy Mama, when this is in fact Abyssal (via Unintentional Linguist trait). On occasions when Nana has encountered demons she has thought them angels (and got pretty cross when the "angels" became violent).

I play Nana as an innocent who wants nothing more than for all creatures to know a mother's love. She doesn't have any kind of ordinary grasp of good and evil, or cosmic powers.

This reminds me of someone I saw worshipping the "Holy Lady of the Battle Feast." It was important to have a massive celebration before going out on a mission, eating many fine foods and drinking a great deal of wine. This would sustain the party through the deprivations ahead, making them capable of amazing feats of strength. This was a cleric of Urgathoa, with the domains of Strength and War.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

How does the character carry forward her deity's teachings and ways? Very antithesis of Lamashtu to help the Pathfinder Society.

It also sounds more like an oracle with the Life mystery would better fit the character. Not only would it better fit the character's cluelessness with her god, but also it would enable the character to give "motherly" healing and the character could have the tongues curse, compelled to speak the "Angelic Word" during the fervor of battle.

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Cyrad wrote:

How does the character carry forward her deity's teachings and ways? Very antithesis of Lamashtu to help the Pathfinder Society.

you mean a roving pack of murderhobos living red in tooth and claw, survival of the fittest removing people from the gene pool on the teetering edge of being removed themselves?

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

How does the character carry forward her deity's teachings and ways? Very antithesis of Lamashtu to help the Pathfinder Society.

you mean a roving pack of murderhobos living red in tooth and claw, survival of the fittest removing people from the gene pool on the teetering edge of being removed themselves?

Only on one occasion have I ever played in a party of murderhobos.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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We had a genius player who maxed out Bluff and played their Cleric of Lamashtu as a Cleric of Gorum.

"Why are you growing a hoof over there?"

"Every edge in battle is favorable to Gorum!"

Always took the opportunity to corrupt another faith and play it off as something in our interest.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Nana works because she's an ingenue. She comes from a terrible place, the wife of an orc shaman. Why Lamashtu chose her, who can say? Nana is perhaps touched by the madness of the Mother of Monsters.

Not every cleric has to expound every tenet of her god's faith and dogma. Each god has multiple domains and spheres of influence. And gods accept separatist clerics and continue to grant them powers. (I'll admit it's a peculiar archetype but it does allow for unique character concepts).

In Lamashtu's case, motherhood and birthing of monsters is one aspect of the deity. Nana is pretty good at that. 4 offspring whilst in Belkzen, 4 more since becoming a pathfinder.

In hindsight, i might have made some different mechanical choices. Madness domain fits Nana better than Trickery, for example. But I don't feel a strong need to retrain.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Nefreet wrote:

We had a genius player who maxed out Bluff and played their Cleric of Lamashtu as a Cleric of Gorum.

"Why are you growing a hoof over there?"

"Every edge in battle is favorable to Gorum!"

Always took the opportunity to corrupt another faith and play it off as something in our interest.

Monstrous Extremities is a fun spell. Nana uses it on herself and her large ape companion.

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The pamhplet I hand to party members

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Another way to do it is a monster advocate.

"I'm here to protect the Mothers creations from you lot. I'll pull my weight, but when we come accross one of her children you let me handle it. "

Similar to how some druids justify adventuring with the society

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The pamhplet I hand to party members

Very, very nice. It makes the other players decisions very easy. THAT is cooperation :-)


I feel like I should supply some information about the prospective character at this point. I probably should have done that in the first place. Without writing a small novel, I'll try to sum him up.

Domin is an actor who became severely disfigured in an accident and turned to Lamashtu in desperation as his life fell apart. She taught him "true beauty and the error of his ways". Now he is essentially a dark and twisted humanitarian. He has a genuine desire to help others, but Lamashtu mutated it into something nauseating, making it take a form more pleasing to Her. His obsession with the deformed, disfigured, monsters birthed by Lamashtu, and mixed ancestry races can be uncomfortable to behold, and he never turns down anyone or anything that expresses an interest in mating with him.

Anything he does that may be too gross or creepy I make sure happens off screen, and I make it a point to donate part of his loot to charity, give coins to beggars, and help any poor or struggling women or children we encounter. Think this would get me a pass for being a creepy Lamashtan?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Some players might make the life of these kind of charaters difficult. I myself won't have a huge tolerance about that. Not that I can't make efforts to get along with (I teamed with warpriests of Urgathoa without too much fuss), but having encountered Lamashtu followers as opposite NPCs on a frequent enough basis, I start with a negative bias.

Teamwork will still be there, but not above what is required. Warning other players beforehand might help smooth things over.

Grand Lodge 3/5

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I have a "lawful" neutral inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon. She's part of the Sovereign Court to ensure that those who evoke Zon-Kuthon's name in any part of a ritual is done properly, and not just for sadism's sake.

In her first mission as a Pathfinder, she was assigned to investigate an emerging cult during a Sarenrite holiday. She kept telling everyone "I'm not here to piss you off with my practices, nor am I looking for converts or to convert." regardless of topic of conversation.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Philippe Lam wrote:

Some players might make the life of these kind of charaters difficult. I myself won't have a huge tolerance about that. Not that I can't make efforts to get along with (I teamed with warpriests of Urgathoa without too much fuss), but having encountered Lamashtu followers as opposite NPCs on a frequent enough basis, I start with a negative bias.

Teamwork will still be there, but not above what is required. Warning other players beforehand might help smooth things over.

Nana has drawn some shocked initial responses from Lawful Good paladins and inquisitors, but her response tends to disarm any in-character hostility (or at least replace it with confusion).

Paladin: "But, but, I can sense strong evil from you! That's a symbol of Lamashtu, a demon goddess! I can't work with you."

Nana: "Lama-who dear? Oh, you is not very bright is you? This is the face of the Holy Mama! Look, isn't she pretty? She's got three eyes, and big fluffy ears, and lots of bee-ootiful feathers too. I is not evil, you silly. I helps the babies come. Does you want to make a baby?"

Shadow Lodge 4/5

My CN worshipper of Rovagug worked well in PFS parties because I crafted a specific POV and personality for him that allowed for him to work for PFS yet be true to Rovagug. Also, he constantly courted converts during combat due to the PCs' obvious talents for destruction and bloodshed 3-4 times a scenario.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Nana Grilka wrote:
Nana has drawn some shocked initial responses from Lawful Good paladins and inquisitors, but her response tends to disarm any in-character hostility (or at least replace it with confusion).

If the player plays properly the character and isn't intently disruptive, the paladin has to do some effort. But there will be table variation on how the GM is treating the paladin teaming with a follower of a CE deity. It ranges from forgivable because of the bigger picture, to having to pay a 2PP atonement and finally the 8PP-sized one.

The GM should apply restraint in that case, but if not, it would be hard to blame because the " Taking a worshipper of a CE patron knowing there will be a paladin in the party (the opposite way applies too) is being a jerk".

Grand Lodge 1/5

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I would very strongly object to any GM trying to impose an Atonement on a paladin just for being sat at the same table at Nana, and I don't believe the PFS Campaign rules would justify such a position on the GM's part.

The Campaign allows paladins. It also allows Neutral worshippers of Evil deities. It's on the players to make sure that they obey the code of conduct ("don't be a jerk"). You don't know who you're going to be playing with from one table to the next though (in general) so it's unreasonable to suggest that choosing to play a Neutral worshipper of an Evil deity, or to play a paladin, is itself breaching the code of conduct.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

There's always the possibility to take the problem up the chain of command (in that case, probably the area VL, then VC). But what I'm saying is clearly written in the paladin's blocktext on this Paizo link : http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedPlayersGuide/coreClasses/paladin .html

Quote:
Associates: While she may adventure with good or neutral allies, a paladin avoids working with evil characters or with anyone who consistently offends her moral code. Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts who are lawful good.

The "don't be a jerk" also applies to the GM, but even with that kind of character being Chaotic Neutral, the situation I'm alluding to wouldn't be completely unfounded and the GM would have a defendable case. Predicting the classes around the table is not always possible, but it can be said if players don't want to adapt one way or another, it's being a jerk.

Also the problem of the deity's code, because the paladin's code is only a part of the picture. The expected tolerance varies, it would be passable but not disruptive if I play a Sarenite, but I would currently get close to PvP if I played one of Abadar, and the only way to avoid that would be to switch of characters (I don't mind making that effort).

Grand Lodge 3/5 5/5

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Meiosa here is a devout worshipper of Lamashtu in her own special way. She was born with a deformity that got her driven away from her home, and the cult of Lamashtu took her in when no one else would. Encouragement from her fellows (and frequent doses of Waters of Lamashtu) convinced her to find ways to improve herself by implanting monster parts into her body.

Despite her rough introduction to the Society (If you've ever played Broken Chains, she came from a place like that) she's since become a loyal ally, applying her breadth of knowledge and monstrous physique in service of the Grand Lodge. All the better to field test her 'upgrades' as well as finding new parts to feed her addiction gather.

You can get away with a lot of crazy concepts as long as you consider "How can this work at a cooperative table" from the very get-go.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5

Philippe Lam wrote:
The "don't be a jerk" also applies to the GM, but even with that kind of character being Chaotic Neutral, the situation I'm alluding to wouldn't be completely unfounded and the GM would have a defendable case. Predicting the classes around the table is not always possible, but it can be said if players don't want to adapt one way or another, it's being a jerk.

Course there is also something to be said for generating a character that does not fit in the lore of the society in the first place. Too often I see people complaining "the paladin is being a jerk because he won't let the necromancer indiscriminately raise every body they come across as an undead creature" or "the necromancer is being a jerk because he is forcing my paladin to violate his codes by raising all these undead." If there was a hard and fast rule one way or the other that would cover this, it would already be in the Guide. The simple fact is there isn't. It is left up to the GM to look at the specifics of the players at their table and determine who they think is pushing the 'jerk' button, or perhaps all involved are.

Generally speaking, playing a controversial or character, like a CN who worships a CE deity is going to occasionally be problematic at the table. Sometimes, you may have to pull back on "just what my character would do." Likewise, there will be times when the other players will have to accept you for what you are without losing their s~!+. As long as you are open to compromise and cooperation, it should easily work itself out. OTOH, if you simply stand rigidly to your vision of your character and refuse to adapt to the table variation, then it might be you who is the 'jerk'

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A good thing as a player to have is to get out of the "What would my character" do mindset (one thing) and instead make a "what MIGHT my character reasonably do here?" (an entire list) Somewhere on that list there is most likely an answer that both fits your character and does not Fubar the situation.

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