Anyone else disappointed there are no more Neutral Clerics of Evil Deities?


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Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:

"I guess what I think is that Urgathoa does not take an active role in her followers appetites in any way, so as long as people are eating lots and sometimes becoming undead, I think people who have clear and hard boundaries on their tastes (and respect the same in others) can manage there, even if they are not exactly common. It could be a sign she's self involved and respects the same in others.

But ZK? If you're just showing up for the kink orgy, you're eventually going to get pushed in the direction of kidnapping, burning ghettos, and torturing random people with needles so you're either going to become evil or you're going to get out of the cult (possibly as an art exhibit)"

Its the inconsistency that annoys me as much as anything. At this stage I'd rather all deities were 'Exact Alignment Match Only' or it went back to 'One Step'. Obviously I prefer the latter, as it gives people more interesting options and 'cleric of <blank>' isn't all you need to hear to understand what the character'll be like, but at least it seems based on solid logic.

Uh, that same logic for followers of Zonzon can be applied to Urgathoa, and vice-versa. You’ll have pushers in every group.

Also not sure how I feel about the statement that if you practice kink you’ll totes slide into horrendous Evil stuff.


Kalindlara wrote:
It bears mentioning that I have issues with a lot of the nonevil deities' redesigns too. No more mad prophets of Pharasma. No grim avenger of Torag. No unfettering of Nethys's clergy (the most obvious example of "doesn't care about alignment, only his area of interest"). This is an example of a place where the system could have given us a new opportunity! Instead, all we get are new restrictions. Pathfinder Second Edition never giveth, only taketh away.

One thing I thought of is that perhaps in cutting off some previously available options, we are carving out creative space for clerics of other deities which are related in some way to one of the core Pantheon.

Like "CN Mad Prophets" fit in pretty well with Groetus (since "the end is nigh!" is literally all the big sky-skull is about until the actual apocalypse happens), an NG grim avenger who follows a Dwarven deity could follow someone else in Torag's family (Trudd, Bolka, Folgrit, Grudinar, and maybe even Angritt are likely more amenable to this than the grumpy-even-for-a-dwarf patriarch of the family), we could have the infernalist LN lawyers simply follow a different Archdevil (Mephistopheles seems appropriate.)

One thing I am sure about is that we're going to print books with a lot of gods in them, so it's fine if the core pantheon doesn't cover everything. I mean, I'm genuinely hoping that "the rest of Torag's family" becomes relevant now in a way it really wasn't before.

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Also Urgathoa is a goddess of excess, and going off of Curse of the Crimson Throne, definitely not a hands off Deity.


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Kalindlara wrote:


But Zon-Kuthon? Yeah, this guy is the reasonable and open-minded one.

That said. If this is building to the redemption of Dou-Bral, I'm 100% sold. I doubt it is, since last I know, there's no intention of making that happen. But I'm on board.

Off topic I know, but yeah, I was so eager looking over the starfinder deities hoping to see Dou-Bral (and maybe Noctalia), but no sill Zon-Kuthon. I was also hoping 'the thing' that corrupted him might be a separate deity now, serving as the thematic link to all that 'space is big and cruel and scary and alien and I want to go home' sauce that they might want a little bit of.


Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:

Ok, I can see that argument, and will address it in a moment. First though, It really should be about the player. It is a game for the players; The deities aren't having a worst time because players are choosing to make a cleric of a different alignment. It's different if it is making players miserable, but with any gaming group if any aspect of any character is making other players uncomfortable it shouldn't be allowed at that table, but I find it hard to believe just knowing that other groups interpret a deity's religion differently within the rules affects someones enjoyment of the game to a significant degree.

I do understand that a rich and rules supported lore does make a game better, and this could be part of that. However;
A) This seems to contradict elements of the lore as I understand it, specifically with regards to (for example) LN Asmodean Cleric Hellknights, and any clerics (and I'd guess war priests, but the rules aren't in for them) in The Cult of the Dawnflower.
B) The argument you made (as I understand it) might work for edge (LG, CG, CE, LE) gods, but makes less sense for any with a Neutral component. You can't really claim to be neutral with regard to two groups if you offer resources/accept aid from one group but refuse the other.
c) It is just as easy to justify why a deity would choose to grant spells to a group one step removed on either axis as it is to explain why it wouldn't. With regards to Asmodeus (as that was the example used), he's the master of fine print, subtle corruption and deals that seem to work for you. Devils are only too...

The rule has improved, but it seems that the setting has suffered some flavorful changes. Asmodeus is now tyrannicaly LE... ;D

I'm a big fan of the divine and I will always support rules that make their flavor even more interactive with their worshippers. There's now an even bigger reason a player would choose a god over the others.

Without alignment restriction, now I can build a N god that accepts LG and CE clerics at the same time, without going against the rules, because a god can grant spells to any alignment he wants. Nothing bars a GM from allowing his player to be a cleric of a god because of their alignment, so you could always have a N cleric of Erastil or a LN cleric of Asmodeus, as this is just a cosmetic change to the setting flavor. There's nothing saying you can't make a cleric of an alignment that's two steps from a deities' alignment or something like this.

Society Players however... :/


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Rysky wrote:

Uh, that same logic for followers of Zonzon can be applied to Urgathoa, and vice-versa. You’ll have pushers in every group.

Also not sure how I feel about the statement that if you practice kink you’ll totes slide into horrendous Evil stuff.

Yeah, I know. I was demonstrating that point by swapping words from a post that was applying the logic the other way. And no, kink=evil is probably my least favourite thing about pathfinders deities. Also that recreational sex seems to be trending to a chaos thing, minus one NG Angel and one LE devil. Maybe that's why so many of the Law deities seem a little up tight.

Dark Archive

Like I said, the way I see it is that while Zon Kuthon is evil, he doesn't really care that his followers are lawful evil as long they are one of them(he wants them to either want to feel pain or want to inflict pain, if they want to do both then good)


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I’m perfectly fine with this change. Never thought that a cleric should be aligned differently than their god.


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The Gold Sovereign wrote:


now I can build a N god that accepts LG and CE clerics at the same time, without going against the rules, because a god can grant spells to any alignment he wants. Nothing bars a GM from allowing his player to be a cleric of a god because of their alignment, so you could always have a N cleric of Erastil or a LN cleric of Asmodeus, as this is just a cosmetic change to the setting flavor. There's nothing saying you can't make a cleric of an alignment that's two steps from a deities' alignment or something like this.

No, nothing stops a GM from house ruling for more freedom, but nothing stopped them from house ruling for restriction before, but there a big difference between a group saying 'We don't allow this option, because our specific group has more fun without it.' and a publisher saying 'We are taking these options away because... no.'

You could have always made your created god grant spells to who ever you wanted before anyway, but I assume we'd all rather follow the rules when they don't prevent fun, hence celebrating the fact the rules don't specifically prevent you from creating that god. I'm not opposed to lifting some restrictions on who can get spells if it makes sense (like for Nethys), but that has not been the case at all; every alignment is still within one step, but some have been taken away.

PFS isn't a reason to remove option from the general rules. It's not a PFS document; They include so many options unavailable to PFS character, for instance, every Evil God but ZK and the reaper of reputation. They can just state in the PFS rules 'you cannot be an evil PC, or a cleric of an evil deity (except, inexplicably, Zon-Kuthon or Norgorber)'. The rules still support Evil PC, they just support neutral PC less now.


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Having a custom alignment spread for each deity is a big step up. +1

Now we can debate the specifics of whether a specific deity supports a certain kind of follower or not. Those are good debates to have: they get deep into the lore and themes of the world. How ecumenical!

Plus, it's very easy for a GM to house rule an exception if a player can come up with a fun and flavourful reason why their specific character might not fit the mould.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Like I said, the way I see it is that while Zon Kuthon is evil, he doesn't really care that his followers are lawful evil as long they are one of them(he wants them to either want to feel pain or want to inflict pain, if they want to do both then good)

Except he turned a nation of barbarians who had horses in to an oppressive totalitarian theocracy demanding absolute obedience, perpetually shrouded in secrecy and shadow, rather than just asking they 'occasionally hurt themselves or each other, either ways cool'. He has a vision of a world of darkness, suffering, bones, tears and blood filled with constant pain. If you say a cleric is only those who can participate in all the rituals and believe the entire doctrine whole heatedly, how can he have neutral followers. Why would attending his gatherings not force you to participate in the humiliation, degradation and suffering of an innocent any more than attending a feast of Urgathoa would force you into cannibalism. I feel the Lawful deity is the one more likely to demand that the full extent of their doctrine be enforced than the Neutral one.


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So I was looking at Gorum's Edicts and Anathema...

Edicts: attain victory in fair combat, push your limits
Anathema: kill prisoners or surrendering foes, prevent conflict
through negotiation, win a battle through underhanded tactics
or indirect magic

So let's see. He wants you to fight fair, and gets upset if you kill those who are at your mercy or use underhanded tactics... Someone remind me, why does he support Evil and not Good? Because those tenants seem borderline Good-leaning to me.


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"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.

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Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Uh, that same logic for followers of Zonzon can be applied to Urgathoa, and vice-versa. You’ll have pushers in every group.

Also not sure how I feel about the statement that if you practice kink you’ll totes slide into horrendous Evil stuff.

Yeah, I know. I was demonstrating that point by swapping words from a post that was applying the logic the other way. And no, kink=evil is probably my least favourite thing about pathfinders deities. Also that recreational sex seems to be trending to a chaos thing, minus one NG Angel and one LE devil. Maybe that's why so many of the Law deities seem a little up tight.

There’s also the Empyreal Lord Lymnieris, who is LG.


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Yossarian wrote:

Having a custom alignment spread for each deity is a big step up. +1

Now we can debate the specifics of whether a specific deity supports a certain kind of follower or not. Those are good debates to have: they get deep into the lore and themes of the world. How ecumenical!

Plus, it's very easy for a GM to house rule an exception if a player can come up with a fun and flavourful reason why their specific character might not fit the mould.

Well, I DO enjoy the debates! (clearly)

As I said before my problem is one of consistency more than anything. Well that and I'm against systems that restrict player agency when coming up with character concepts beyond the purely mechanical.
There just seems so little rhyme or reason to why certain deities preclude certain followers, when others allow it in similar situations. Especially when there are usually cannon examples in official material of concepts that don't fit the mould.
I guess one way of interpenetrating it is narrowing the scope of what the different alignments mean. As in, CN can now be defined as an alignment in which it is not possible to follow Pharasma's religion to her standards. But that raises the question as to why, nothing about the CN alignment seems to demand messing with the dead, or taking a particular stance on abortion. (although, admittedly, I'd rather not debate that topic; very loaded. So if you disagree, I'd rather accept that and move on) You could argue that Her prophecy domain implies predestination, which you could see a CN character objecting too, but then Desna is also a godess of prophecy.


Rysky wrote:
There’s also the Empyreal Lord Lymnieris, who is LG.

That may be who I was thinking of, my mistake. Or maybe there's both and I straight forgot them. I'm generally better at Arch-demons and Infernal Dukes than Empyreal lords, they seem to get a lot less fluff for some reason. Still, 2 lawful does undermine my point a somewhat. Well, there's still noticeably more on the side of Chaos, I'm certain.


I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.

Show mercy to your enemies sounds hard to fit with good too, but paladins can follow that one apparently.


Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.
Show mercy to your enemies sounds hard to fit with good too, but paladins can follow that one apparently.

I always let people equivocate by redefining "enemies" in line with "this is how I feel 'good' should be." Like civilians, for example, are not "your enemy."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."

Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Prevent conflict through negotiation" seems like it's inherently a "might makes right" situation which makes it hard to be good.
Show mercy to your enemies sounds hard to fit with good too, but paladins can follow that one apparently.
I always let people equivocate by redefining "enemies" in line with "this is how I feel 'good' should be." Like civilians, for example, are not "your enemy."

Re-reading, I misquoted anyway. It should read "show mercy to the enemies of your people". I apologise, that does change things somewhat. Although, honestly, being forbidden from being merciful seems hard to reconcile with how I perceive good anyway, and the fact that it seems like Torag tends to draw down racial lines on that only makes it harder. I guess if you could convince a Torag cleric that this specific orc could in no way be considered an enemy of Torag's people then you could get a one off exception, but how you'd do that, and especially before they'd been 'shown no mercy', I'm not sure.

Edit: yeah making too many mistakes, realise I very need sleep. Will continue advocating for The Forbidden Clerics tomorrow.


As a big Pharasma fan I see the problem with her and chaos in this way:

Fate and free will are all fine and matter to her, but above that she has really one thing she cares about most: the flow of souls. That flow literally keeps the outer planes existing (see the new Planar Adventures book). For this reason she's also the most powerful deity imho.

Believing in a fundamental structure is kind of lawful: it's a belief in an absolute flow that must remain. A constancy.

Not very chaotic.


Yossarian wrote:

As a big Pharasma fan I see the problem with her and chaos in this way:

Fate and free will are all fine and matter to her, but above that she has really one thing she cares about most: the flow of souls. That flow literally keeps the outer planes existing (see the new Planar Adventures book). For this reason she's also the most powerful deity imho.

Believing in a fundamental structure is kind of lawful: it's a belief in an absolute flow that must remain. A constancy.

Not very chaotic.

I don't see how belief in the flow of souls precludes CN. CN character's can believe in physics, or in this case metaphysics. A CN wizard can believe that there is a fundamental structure to magic, that dictates that THESE gestures combined with THESE words will produce THIS effect. An CN alchemist can believe that these chemicals combined like so will create the mutagens they enjoy so much. A CN druid is not compelled to reroute rivers simply because they have flowed over the same course for centuries.

As to the moral side of the belief in the flow of souls, you mean the process by which independent action of sentient beings go on to literal shape and gradually change the zeitgeist of the universe, whilst simultaneously preventing the established ideas (those held by currently living people) from lingering and stifling the expressions of the new beings it is perpetually generating, there by making the multiverse a protean, ever growing, ever reforming being? The heart of said being, incidentally, being arguably the wellspring of pure chaos which perpetually recycles and renews the old so that the process might continue?

Now I'm not pretending that's the only possible interpretation of the flow of souls, but nothing there is actually incorrect as I understand it from Planar Adventures. I do think it demonstrates how her beliefs and a commitment to the ideals of Chaos are not incompatible.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess what I think is that ZK does not take an active role in his religion in any way whatsoever, so as long as people are doing the rites and hurting or being hurt enough, I think people who have clear and hard boundaries (and respect the same in others) can manage there, even if they are not exactly common, and you're right that this might be the seed that shows he's capable of redemption- at some level he respects people who value consent.

I find it absolutely mind-boggling (and inconsistent with all existing material) that Zon-Kuthon is the one deity whose rites aren't that bad. Reread Nightglass - Kuthite ritual is impressive in its cruelty and vileness. That, ISG, and Crimson Throne. Consent is, at best, an aberration in Kuthite worship.

But he's the OK one.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
But Urgathoa? If you're just showing up for the bacchanals, you're eventually going to get pushed in the direction of cannibalism, undeath, and infecting random people with disease so you're either going to become evil or you're going to get out of the cult (possibly as dinner?)

Key word: eventually. Let us actually roleplay that. You know, that thing this game is ostensibly built around. Maybe some people will find the line... maybe some won't.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I think might be doable is to allow LN clerics of Asmodeus or N clerics of Urgathoa, but their alignment becomes evil after a certain number of levels, as you get more involved in the inner mysteries and deeper rites. Certainly neutral *lawyers* can worship Asmodeus, but they aren't Clerics, since lawyers can avoid participating in the whole "human sacrifice and torture" thing but Clerics of Big A really can't. Of course, we'll then need rules for "getting out of a class".

That assumes any of that is explicitly required. I don't see anything, anywhere in PF1 or the playtest, that makes that mandatory for all worshipers. Just... don't take Deific Obedience.

I dunno. It seems unnecessary to destroy long-standing and canonically supported character concepts this way.

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
It bears mentioning that I have issues with a lot of the nonevil deities' redesigns too. No more mad prophets of Pharasma. No grim avenger of Torag.
I'll bite. Why can't you still have mad prophets of Pharasma and grim avengers of Torag?

Because if you get a little TOO mad, or a little TOO grim, suddenly you're an ex-cleric.

I honestly thought it was self-evident...


Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
It bears mentioning that I have issues with a lot of the nonevil deities' redesigns too. No more mad prophets of Pharasma. No grim avenger of Torag.
I'll bite. Why can't you still have mad prophets of Pharasma and grim avengers of Torag?

Because if you get a little TOO mad, or a little TOO grim, suddenly you're an ex-cleric.

I honestly thought it was self-evident...

You can be plenty mad w/o being chaotically aligned. As for grim... you mean if a LN cleric of Torag slips to LE? That wasn't ok in PF1, either. The cleric option that went away was NG, which seems way less grim than LN to me.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
It bears mentioning that I have issues with a lot of the nonevil deities' redesigns too. No more mad prophets of Pharasma. No grim avenger of Torag. No unfettering of Nethys's clergy (the most obvious example of "doesn't care about alignment, only his area of interest"). This is an example of a place where the system could have given us a new opportunity! Instead, all we get are new restrictions. Pathfinder Second Edition never giveth, only taketh away.

One thing I thought of is that perhaps in cutting off some previously available options, we are carving out creative space for clerics of other deities which are related in some way to one of the core Pantheon.

Like "CN Mad Prophets" fit in pretty well with Groetus (since "the end is nigh!" is literally all the big sky-skull is about until the actual apocalypse happens), an NG grim avenger who follows a Dwarven deity could follow someone else in Torag's family (Trudd, Bolka, Folgrit, Grudinar, and maybe even Angritt are likely more amenable to this than the grumpy-even-for-a-dwarf patriarch of the family), we could have the infernalist LN lawyers simply follow a different Archdevil (Mephistopheles seems appropriate.)

One thing I am sure about is that we're going to print books with a lot of gods in them, so it's fine if the core pantheon doesn't cover everything. I mean, I'm genuinely hoping that "the rest of Torag's family" becomes relevant now in a way it really wasn't before.

As long as you have to worship the specific deity that matches your exact stereotype, sure. I just miss when there was more nuance among the churches.

Like, regarding the Pharasma thing in particular, prophets of Pharasma driven mad by Earthfall/the Age of Lost Omens were explicitly a thing in the old Golarion. Presumably, we were misled, since now they're every bit as plausible as paladins of Asmodeus. That or "mad" and chaotic neutral have no connection, which I'm pretty sure would be big news to Groetus and several Elder Mythos deities.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."

There is admittedly some validity to this. I suppose the "mad prophet of Pharasma" would be a concept that might be well-suited to a special archetype.

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Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.

I've honestly wondered for a while why (other than deity by alignment number balance) Pharasma was neutral, rather than lawful neutral. The Psychopomp bureaucracy certainly sounds pretty lawful.

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
[As for grim... you mean if a LN cleric of Torag slips to LE? That wasn't ok in PF1, either. The cleric option that went away was NG, which seems way less grim than LN to me.

Gosh, you're right. I thought Torag lost lawful neutral. How did I mix that up?

Objection withdrawn. ^_^

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
You can be plenty mad w/o being chaotically aligned.
Kalindlara wrote:
That or "mad" and chaotic neutral have no connection, which I'm pretty sure would be big news to Groetus and several Elder Mythos deities.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.
I've honestly wondered for a while why (other than deity by alignment number balance) Pharasma was neutral, rather than lawful neutral. The Psychopomp bureaucracy certainly sounds pretty lawful.

Actually the current Pathfinder comics Spiral of Bones story line has been showing the pychopomp bureaucracy as being ordered but with individuals able to make calls outside the rules when they feel is is just to do so. It is a lot less "absolute rules" and more "make sure its done right".


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Kalindlara wrote:
As long as you have to worship the specific deity that matches your exact stereotype, sure. I just miss when there was more nuance among the churches.

I just feel like "I want to play a lawful neutral devil worshiper, so I will pick the archdevil who allows LN clerics" is every bit as valid for choosing a deity for their favored weapon or for their domains (or I guess now the bonus spells or signature skill they grant).

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Feros wrote:
Actually the current Pathfinder comics Spiral of Bones story line has been showing the pychopomp bureaucracy as being ordered but with individuals able to make calls outside the rules when they feel is is just to do so. It is a lot less "absolute rules" and more "make sure its done right".

Awesome! I'll have to check those out... they're currently in my gargantuan "need to read" pile.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
As long as you have to worship the specific deity that matches your exact stereotype, sure. I just miss when there was more nuance among the churches.
I just feel like "I want to play a lawful neutral devil worshiper, so I will pick the archdevil who allows LN clerics" is every bit as valid for choosing a deity for their favored weapon or for their domains (or I guess now the bonus spells or signature skill they grant).

That's certainly not unreasonable, assuming your concept is broad enough.


Kalindlara wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
You can be plenty mad w/o being chaotically aligned.
Kalindlara wrote:
That or "mad" and chaotic neutral have no connection, which I'm pretty sure would be big news to Groetus and several Elder Mythos deities.

That chaos is fond of madness doesn't mean that madness must drive one chaotic (nor that all chaotic characters must be mad for that matter). I don't think mad clerics of Pharasma are ruled out at all.

Oh, also AFAIK you can be a "prophet of Pharasma" w/o being a cleric of Pharasma, the former being poorly defined AFAIK, and of course non-cleric Pharasma worshippers can still be CN all they like.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Gug on the Silver Mountain wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe that philosophically where CN conflicts with Pharasma is that Pharasma is about in-part about Fate and CN is in-part about self-determination, and moreover Pharasma is has arranged an orderly hierarchical system for the dissemination of souls according to "where everybody fits" in order to keep the universe running well, which is hard to reconcile with "maximally chaotic."
Desna also believes in Fate, both temper it with belief in free will. The fact that Desna favours one, while Pharasma balances the two is what makes Pharasma Neutral on the law/chaos axis. If Pharasma is all about orderly hierarchies where everyone fits to the degree of excluding worship, that sounds like a lawful deity to me. I still don't understand how permitting privileges to one group and denying them to another can be considered being neutral towards either group.
I've honestly wondered for a while why (other than deity by alignment number balance) Pharasma was neutral, rather than lawful neutral. The Psychopomp bureaucracy certainly sounds pretty lawful.

I think the argument (other than the one I listed) is that she presumably shows no favouritism, either to the cause of Law, nor to the individual souls of Lawful mortals, because if she does the entire why the multiverse works breaks down, both in a game setting sense, and probably literally from an in world perspective. Of course, you could argue that she does this despite her own personal preferences precisely because it is her duty and is very important (and the fact she gives souls to daemons and Urgathoa despite her hatred for them supports this.) That's my LN Dawrven Cleric's interpretation at least.

I do see the other side though, that the court less 'judges' souls and more sorts them, in the same way it isn't necessarily a lawful act to call a spade a spade, and they just keep the flow moving as best they can. When Pharasma is actually called upon to do judgement, she doesn't just pull out a copy of 'Da Rules', she looks at the soul individually, and is comfortable with making judgement calls on the fly and acknowledges that flexibility is often needed to best accomplish her task. In short, adopting a balanced approach to Law and Chaos in her actions.


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Feros wrote:

Actually the current Pathfinder comics Spiral of Bones story line has been showing the pychopomp bureaucracy as being ordered but with individuals able to make calls outside the rules when they feel is is just to do so. It is a lot less "absolute rules" and more "make sure its done right".

Sweet, hadn't seen that! Guess I've got some more reading to do! Thanks for mentioning it.

Sovereign Court

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
That chaos is fond of madness doesn't mean that madness must drive one chaotic (nor that all chaotic characters must be mad for that matter). I don't think mad clerics of Pharasma are ruled out at all.

I'm anticipating such characters falling and losing their powers for being "too chaotic". Here's hoping my own foretellings don't come to pass...

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Oh, also AFAIK you can be a "prophet of Pharasma" w/o being a cleric of Pharasma, the former being poorly defined AFAIK, and of course non-cleric Pharasma worshippers can still be CN all they like.

Well, once we have oracles again, there we go. I didn't think it was all that unreasonable to interpret "prophet of Pharasma" as "cleric", particularly in books that predate the APG.


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QuidEst wrote:
Lamashtu is a demon lord. If you’re not even willing to sacrifice somebody’s baby to her, why is she going to hand you a bunch of power?

You're a chaotic neutral cleric who prays to Lamashtu and serves as midwife to the noble families in a city. You just care that their babies are born healthy, and don't mind if Lamashtu causes a few of them to be deformed. When gnolls sneak into the city, you'll shelter them and not ask any questions, as long as they promise not to harm the families you serve.

A group of adventurers come to town with some orphans they rescued from a destroyed village. You arrange an orphanage to take them in, and you find one kid you particularly like and tell him lots of scary stories about monsters, encouraging him to one day become a summoner. Maybe he goes on to be a great hero, but he's also created a cool, monstrous eidolon. This pleases Lamashtu.

Maybe one noblewoman uses her influence to screw over one of the families you work for. You pray to Lamashtu to claim that woman's next baby as punishment.

Evil corrupts. You don't win by only preaching to the choir.

Silver Crusade

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Kalindlara wrote:
Feros wrote:
Actually the current Pathfinder comics Spiral of Bones story line has been showing the pychopomp bureaucracy as being ordered but with individuals able to make calls outside the rules when they feel is is just to do so. It is a lot less "absolute rules" and more "make sure its done right".
Awesome! I'll have to check those out... they're currently in my gargantuan "need to read" pile.

Yay! They are indeed really really good.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess what I think is that ZK does not take an active role in his religion in any way whatsoever, so as long as people are doing the rites and hurting or being hurt enough, I think people who have clear and hard boundaries (and respect the same in others) can manage there, even if they are not exactly common, and you're right that this might be the seed that shows he's capable of redemption- at some level he respects people who value consent.

I find it absolutely mind-boggling (and inconsistent with all existing material) that Zon-Kuthon is the one deity whose rites aren't that bad. Reread Nightglass - Kuthite ritual is impressive in its cruelty and vileness. That, ISG, and Crimson Throne. Consent is, at best, an aberration in Kuthite worship.

But he's the OK one.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
But Urgathoa? If you're just showing up for the bacchanals, you're eventually going to get pushed in the direction of cannibalism, undeath, and infecting random people with disease so you're either going to become evil or you're going to get out of the cult (possibly as dinner?)

Key word: eventually. Let us actually roleplay that. You know, that thing this game is ostensibly built around. Maybe some people will find the line... maybe some won't.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I think might be doable is to allow LN clerics of Asmodeus or N clerics of Urgathoa, but their alignment becomes evil after a certain number of levels, as you get more involved in the inner mysteries and deeper rites. Certainly neutral *lawyers* can worship Asmodeus, but they aren't Clerics, since lawyers can avoid participating in the whole "human sacrifice and torture" thing but Clerics of Big A really can't. Of course, we'll then need rules for "getting out of a class".

That assumes any of that is explicitly required. I don't see anything, anywhere in PF1 or the playtest, that makes that mandatory for all worshipers. Just... don't take Deific Obedience.

I dunno....

Hmmm, this outcome may be specifically because of Nightglass/Nightblade and Isiem. And because of Dou Bral and Gein Kafog. There’s been exploration into the characters, the mindset, that area has been shown and teased.

Urgathoa and her followers haven't exactly been given that much depth and variance yet, to my knowledge.


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I like the changes for the most part.

The way I see it is it comes down to Obedience. While the lay person can be a fringe believer and skirt by this, Clerics are going to be expected to perform them on a regular basis. Reviewing the obedience list make it pretty hard to be neutral if you have to torture someone unwilling(Asmodeus) or perform a sacrifice(Lamasthu). The good and neutral gods have much less objectionable actions required of them. There are exceptions to this(Gorum) but generally you can judge a Cleric by his Obedience.


Shinigami02 wrote:

So I was looking at Gorum's Edicts and Anathema...

Edicts: attain victory in fair combat, push your limits
Anathema: kill prisoners or surrendering foes, prevent conflict
through negotiation, win a battle through underhanded tactics
or indirect magic

So let's see. He wants you to fight fair, and gets upset if you kill those who are at your mercy or use underhanded tactics... Someone remind me, why does he support Evil and not Good? Because those tenants seem borderline Good-leaning to me.

If you’re not stabbing peace negotiators when they keep on trying to negotiate, Gorum is going to abandon you pretty quickly.


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Ventnor wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:

So I was looking at Gorum's Edicts and Anathema...

Edicts: attain victory in fair combat, push your limits
Anathema: kill prisoners or surrendering foes, prevent conflict
through negotiation, win a battle through underhanded tactics
or indirect magic

So let's see. He wants you to fight fair, and gets upset if you kill those who are at your mercy or use underhanded tactics... Someone remind me, why does he support Evil and not Good? Because those tenants seem borderline Good-leaning to me.

If you’re not stabbing peace negotiators when they keep on trying to negotiate, Gorum is going to abandon you pretty quickly.

I guess they'll change things to make Gorum more simplistic, but from Inner Sea Gods:

"It is more pleasing to Gorum to see a soldier fight a score of battles in his lifetime than die in the first, and if compromises or truces mean warriors live on to fight again, he supports diplomacy over seeing every soldier fight to a pointless death, but he doesn’t care for negotiations and quickly loses interest when tempers cool and blades are sheathed."

His overall stance always seemed to be fighting others willing to fight, not senseless murder of anything in your way. It actually does make sense, for old Gorum, that he'd favor Good aligned worshipers over Evil because they are more likely to accept surrender, will refuse to fight the defenseless, and frankly siding with them gives a MUCH bigger challenge to face. Far more war when you're battling the unending tides of the Abyss. No where near as many beings willing to fight over nothing when you invade Elysium. Gorum really doesn't want to go chasing down harmless souls fleeing in terror from him.

Though it goes back to understanding why he has so many Evil followers when it says Gorum will swing at a child with a table knife if that child is willing to fight. Though just what he expects of Clerics blurs things. If he'll denounce a Good aligned Cleric for ignoring a challenge from a near helpless opponent, it would seem certain that he'd denounce an Evil Cleric who gets too caught up in the frenzy and kills someone who surrendered or never put up a fight to begin with.

So really, if you go stabbing Peace Negotiators, you're probably pissing Old Gorum off by fighting people who don't want to fight. You're supposed to ignore the Peace Negotiator as a coward unworthy of your time, and go fight the people still willing to fight. And hopefully inspire others to also ignore the negotiations, and spread the glory of battle.

But maybe they're changing things so that Gorum isn't as complicated anymore. I would not enjoy that, but it could be happening. Regarding Anathema though, wouldn't that mean that you, the Cleric, are the one not allowed to negotiate peace? Or is it something you can't let anyone do. If its just you, makes sense for Gorum. He's just saying that if you come across two tribes killing each other over an ancient mix-up of stupid proportions, you aren't supposed to be telling them to stop killing each other. Doesn't matter if its for a stupid reason, they chose to fight, now let them fight.

Sovereign Court

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Grailknight wrote:

I like the changes for the most part.

The way I see it is it comes down to Obedience. While the lay person can be a fringe believer and skirt by this, Clerics are going to be expected to perform them on a regular basis. Reviewing the obedience list make it pretty hard to be neutral if you have to torture someone unwilling(Asmodeus) or perform a sacrifice(Lamasthu). The good and neutral gods have much less objectionable actions required of them. There are exceptions to this(Gorum) but generally you can judge a Cleric by his Obedience.

This is, presumably, why clerics in PF1 received Deific Obedience as a bonus feat, and were expected to perform it daily or lose all cleric class features.


Kalindlara wrote:
This is, presumably, why clerics in PF1 received Deific Obedience as a bonus feat, and were expected to perform it daily or lose all cleric class features.

I think this is kind of a bad faith argument, since the Cleric class was laid out in a 2009 book and "Deific Obedience" didn't exist until 2014, so since they didn't straight up change the text any of the classes in the Core Rulebook, they obviously could not have given Clerics Deific Obedience for free and required them to do it as part of their breakfast ritual.

Honestly, if they had, most of the objection would have probably been about the ones that are hard to do. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to something like this.


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I say an easy solution:

In Pathfinder Society, you can't worship an evil god. That fixes nearly all the problems.


Grapes of Being Tired wrote:
The problem here is that you can also be NE and worship Asmodeus, and NE includes complete nihilists, selfish a$%*$+&s who couldn't give less of a damn about the law if it doesn't help them, and so on. If you're going to restrict Good/Evil, then you also need to restrict Law/Chaos. Asmodeus would be far less offended by someone who's all about the Law to the Letter but doesn't have a need to oppress anyone if the law is on their side, than someone who's just into being a dick for s#~!s and giggles and doesn't care about keeping his promises if he doesn't feel like it.

Personally I would agree that the Law/Chaos axis needs to be more restrictive for Clerics, so I'm on board with the first half of this, but in regards to the bolded part, why do you think that's true?

We're talking about Asmodeus here, most powerful Prince of Hell, one of the most powerful Fiends in existence, and absolutely as fundamentally Evil as he is fundamentally Lawful.
Your description here paints him as "Lawful Neutral, but sometimes a real prick about it," when in actuality he is looking to screw over every single solitary person who ever signs a contract with himself or an underling; but he'll do it in a way that is honest and in your face so that, when you inevitably skip the fine print, it's your fault when the time to pay comes and your eternal soul is dragged down to the Hells.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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This is one of many things we're following in the playtest to see how folks like/dislike a change.

Wall of text below!

Spoiler:
For me, this is a welcome change that maybe could even go a little further; my initial preference was that clerics should be the EXACT same alignment as the deity they worship, because the cleric powers are your reward for being a devout worshiper of that deity. And if you're doing things that aren't in line with that deity's teachings, by definition you're going beyond the deity's teachings; and the best way to contextualize that concept in rules is via alignment restriction.

The design team came up with the more curated approach idea, where we'll specifically select what alignments each deity allows for their clerics, according to their mythology. Once they came up with the system, I picked and chose the alignment spreads for each deity as made most sense in the context of Golarion.

As folks who are familiar with Golarion know, we've got HUNDREDS of more deity options beyond the core 20, and as we get into the new edition, assuming we keep this curated alignment system, we'll be updating those hundreds as well. This will help separate out roles for similar deities—we've got various sun deities, for example, beyond Sarenrae, so if you don't want to play a sun-worshiping cleric who cleaves to a Sarenite approved alignment there's a good chance other options are out there if you look. It WILL take time to get that info out there, of course.

Personally, for me, taking lawful neutral Asmodeus worshipers as an example... I see nothing natural at all about someone who worships the ruler of Hell itself in a way that isn't evil. That seems to me to be nothing more than a sneaky, subtle, manipulative, but still evil approach to worshiping Asmodeus, focused in a way to mask the evil in pleasantries in an attempt to subvert society. If the worshiper was NOT doing this, then I would think that the instant the church found out that he was instead subverting the church to do something so against Asmodeus's goals that they would seek him out and punish him. And Asmodeus being a deity himself, well, he'd figure this all out a lot sooner than that and cut the cleric off from his class features.

NONE of this says you can't be a lawful neutral worshiper of Asmodeus and be another class, though... but you should still work with your GM to make sure that being a worshiper of any deity and not being their alignment is okay, of course.

Further, this rule is also meant to give GMs tools they need to help regulate their own games. Including the Pathfinder Society game, where you aren't allowed to play evil characters, but playing non-evil characters of evil deities is a corner case that makes those regulations awkward and fraught. In addition, evil deities are OFTEN used as story elements, and if you worship an evil deity and play that character in a published adventure, chances are good you accidentally built a PC who won't be able to take part in that adventure since it'd e weird for your character to be fighting your fellow worshipers and destroying their temple's resources. By skewing the evil deities to alignment options that make it more of a conscious decision by GMs and players to allow cleric worshipers, hopefully these accidental plot complications can be forestalled.

Going forward, in any event, we'll certainly be watching and listening to feedback on this topic to make decisions for the final game... as with all the content of the playtest.

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