Too restrictive cleric alignments?


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Dark Archive

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Honestly the more I see these discusion the more I'm convinced alighment is something that would be better just being done away with.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
It's heresy that the god allows and endorses. It's heresy that shows 'but he's EVIL' isn't all there is to the lore.

I'm pretty sure it's called out that those "followers" royally piss him off. He doesn't endorse it but he allows since that means he still gets their souls in the end.

If you've read the book that trait came in it shows the intent was absolutely not to allow "LG followers of Asmodues". That misses the point and intent of that sect and trait by a longshot.


Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's heresy that the god allows and endorses. It's heresy that shows 'but he's EVIL' isn't all there is to the lore.

I'm pretty sure it's called out that those "followers" royally piss him off. He doesn't endorse it but he allows since that means he still gets their souls in the end.

If you've read the book that trait came in it shows the intent was absolutely not to allow "LG followers of Asmodues". That misses the point and intent of that sect and trait by a longshot.

Not that intent has ever stopped people on these boards before. Sometimes you need a +5 Adamantine Greatclub to hammer home that a Asmodean Paladin doesn't make a lick of sense no matter how many super edgy roleplay opportunities it opens.


graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
I mean. I dunno what else you could do.

Maybe not say that the lore isn't changing and have that lore EXPLICITLY allow LN/LG clerics of that god. Not implied but 100%, explicitly allowed.

Taking this forward into the playtest, whatever justification there was for those LN/LG clerics is still viable as the lore hasn't changed. If there IS a lore change and every hint of grey area is removed from the god, then is need an equally explicit call out in the rules.

It isn't viable, and was always silly. Paizo made a mistake of letting non-Evils worship the lord of Hell.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Sometimes you need a +5 Adamantine Greatclub to hammer home that a Asmodean Paladin doesn't make a lick of sense no matter how many super edgy roleplay opportunities it opens.

Pretty sure James Jacobs once confirmed that Asmodeus can't have Paladins. Like explicitly he revealed that being an LG worshiper of Asmodeus (while silly) did not allow a Paladin of Asmodeus.


Yeah and that's the sort of blunt drubbing that some people seem to require since either common sense isn't that common or people just love bringing a little Asmodeus to the real world and going "Well technically the rules allow-" and unironically wanting to play it rather than just leaving it as a joke along the lines of saying your dead character keeps fighting since Dead condition doesn't stop you from moving.


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I don't accept common sense as an argument in rules debates. Too vaguely-defined and too inapplicable to worlds that are not our own.


Then again cleric worship blends rules with setting flavor and at that point a certain degree of common sense kicks in saying "You know, a paladin of THE LORD OF HELL really doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the world as we know it, I reckon this is just a silly oversight by the devs," at which point the person's options for wanting to play that are either

1) A lack of common sense
2) Ignorance of the setting in general
3) A desire to be mildly disruptive/an edgelord.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
In PF2, said mechanical representation simply hasn't made it into the playtest.

IMO the chart shows what alignments the god allows and not the church. It's a limit of sect and not god like Norgorber who manages to act 'out of character' for an evil god just fine.

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
I'd be very disappointed if they never give us heresy rules

IMO, it's a box gating things that don't need gated anymore. Instead of special rule for heresy, just list common alignments, uncommon and rare alignments. No need to reinvent the wheel with a new rule.

Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's heresy that the god allows and endorses. It's heresy that shows 'but he's EVIL' isn't all there is to the lore.
I'm pretty sure it's called out that those "followers" royally piss him off. He doesn't endorse it but he allows since that means he still gets their souls in the end.

Being unhappy with those followers in NO way has any impact on his endorsing them. He provides support to them by giving them spells and powers.

Endorse: "declare one's public approval or support of". Giving spells to the clerics in that church sure SOUNDS like public support.

Rysky wrote:
If you've read the book that trait came in it shows the intent was absolutely not to allow "LG followers of Asmodues". That misses the point and intent of that sect and trait by a longshot.

I read the book AND looked at the trait... I just disagree with your conclusions.

HWalsh wrote:
It isn't viable, and was always silly. Paizo made a mistake of letting non-Evils worship the lord of Hell.

*shrug* I wasn't the one that said the lore wasn't changing or created the lore in the first place. It's being silly or not has no impact on it's viability or inclusion in the lore.

It's just a fact that you can make a LG, positive energy channeling cleric powered by Asmodeus: both by the rules and the lore.

PS: and just to note, for me this has never been about LG. Pointing out LG was just to show how far the god is willing to bend on alignment. I'm more upset that LN and N are off the table.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
I read the book AND looked at the trait... I just disagree with your conclusions.
*shrugs*
graystone wrote:
It's just a fact that you can make a LG, positive energy channeling cleric powered by Asmodeus: both by the rules and the lore.

Except you can't, you can make a LG positive energy channeling cleric powered by the Wily Linguist.


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A personalized list of allowed alignments for each deity is fine with me, as long as some gods also allow "more-than-one-step-away" priests. ^_^


I figure if anything we can understand heretical sects via -- there are more ways to access divine power than with the approval of a deity (e.g. divine sorcerers, oracles) and if you have a group who has figured out some way to access divine power, there is nothing stopping them from claiming that they have it from some sort of divine sanction.

Which is to say that Sarenrae is genuinely upset by the Cult of the Dawnflower tapping into her power somehow and claiming her approval, but being the goddess of mercy "kill them to make them stop" is not an option.


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Rysky wrote:
Except you can't, you can make a LG positive energy channeling cleric powered by the Wily Linguist.

That's a meaningless distinction as Asmodeus IS powering them and isn't bothered by them enough to stop them or withdraw power.

Secondly, the text makes it clear that it's a regional name. "Asmodeus, known locally as the Wily Linguist".

Third, the mechanics are "You may treat Asmodeus as if he were a lawful neutral deity for the purposes of determining your own alignment as a cleric, inquisitor, or other divine spellcaster." Note "Wily Linguist" isn't mentioned ANYWHERE in the actual rule. So factually as far as the rules are concerned, you're wrong.


graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Except you can't, you can make a LG positive energy channeling cleric powered by the Wily Linguist.

That's a meaningless distinction as Asmodeus IS powering them and isn't bothered by them enough to stop them or withdraw power.

Secondly, the text makes it clear that it's a regional name. "Asmodeus, known locally as the Wily Linguist".

Third, the mechanics are "You may treat Asmodeus as if he were a lawful neutral deity for the purposes of determining your own alignment as a cleric, inquisitor, or other divine spellcaster." Note "Wily Linguist" isn't mentioned ANYWHERE in the actual rule. So factually as far as the rules are concerned, you're wrong.

Then PF2 came out and basically Asmodeus said, "Yeah. Sick of you guys. Cutting off your powers."

Boom. Done.


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HWalsh wrote:

Then PF2 came out and basically Asmodeus said, "Yeah. Sick of you guys. Cutting off your powers."

Boom. Done.

That's fine but it's incompatible with 'hey guys, we aren't planning on changing any of the lore'. You can't say 'we aren't changing anything' and then turn around and change things.

Each time they alter the basic lore, it further invalidates all those books I have that I bought and have been told would still be relevant as 'nothing major' is happening between editions.

Secondly, it seems quite odd for some evil gods to become super restrictive [Lamashtu and Asmodeus] while equally evil gods have some of the biggest spreads of alignments because... no reason. For instance, "Zon-Kuthon possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the Great Beyond. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time" and he doesn't mind if you're Lawful Neutral but it's a bridge too far for Asmodeus? IMO, there isn't any consistency in who gets restricted and who doesn't.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Secondly, it seems quite odd for some evil gods to become super restrictive [Lamashtu and Asmodeus] while equally evil gods have some of the biggest spreads of alignments because... no reason. For instance, "Zon-Kuthon possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the Great Beyond. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time" and he doesn't mind if you're Lawful Neutral but it's a bridge too far for Asmodeus? IMO, there isn't any consistency in who gets restricted and who doesn't.

Yeah, this is completely incomprehensible to me. LN Kuthites seem far more at odds with existing material (yes, even Shattered Star) than LN Asmodeans.


So the thing about Zon-Kuthon is that he literally does not care about what any of his worshipers are like, just that they go through the motions of doing the right rituals, right?

So Z-K having LN clerics is basically the same as saying "it is possible to do enough of the rituals to get spells without turning evil."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So the thing about Zon-Kuthon is that he literally does not care about what any of his worshipers are like, just that they go through the motions of doing the right rituals, right?

So Z-K having LN clerics is basically the same as saying "it is possible to do enough of the rituals to get spells without turning evil."

If that's the case, then why does he care about alignment at all? Is a Neutral person incapable of "go[ing] through the motions of doing the right rituals" that a NE and a LN person can?

So if he doesn't care, then why any restriction?
So if he cares, then why non-evil when other evil gods seem to care.
Why does he only seem to care a little and in a seemingly inconsistent way?


graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Then PF2 came out and basically Asmodeus said, "Yeah. Sick of you guys. Cutting off your powers."

Boom. Done.

That's fine but it's incompatible with 'hey guys, we aren't planning on changing any of the lore'. You can't say 'we aren't changing anything' and then turn around and change things.

Each time they alter the basic lore, it further invalidates all those books I have that I bought and have been told would still be relevant as 'nothing major' is happening between editions.

Secondly, it seems quite odd for some evil gods to become super restrictive [Lamashtu and Asmodeus] while equally evil gods have some of the biggest spreads of alignments because... no reason. For instance, "Zon-Kuthon possesses one of the most twisted and evil minds in the Great Beyond. His position as god of pain is well earned, and he has been the root of countless tortures, murders, and worse throughout time" and he doesn't mind if you're Lawful Neutral but it's a bridge too far for Asmodeus? IMO, there isn't any consistency in who gets restricted and who doesn't.

No. See they aren't changing lore. None if the previous lore changes. It just got updated.


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HWalsh wrote:
No. See they aren't changing lore. None if the previous lore changes. It just got updated.

Churches of a god vanished as there are no clerics to run them. The lore sure did change. The lore says that people in that area find good in unexpected places: that has changed.

It's like what you used to say about non-LG paladins. If they updated paladins to be any good, wouldn't you say that their lore changed? What's the difference?


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So did Irrisen suddenly become strangely empty because there are no rules for witches yet?

Dark Archive

PossibleCabbage wrote:
So did Irrisen stop existing because there are no rules for witches yet?

I wouldn't say that. But it definitely erased my Cult of LN Diabolists in Absalom which I builded up with several characters, and I will miss them. They are half secretive, and half accepted by the good churches, because their main focus lies in gaining more personal power by improving the society, for example by building sanctuaries for homeless children (with a subtle indoctrination). They are more belittled than accepted by the church of Asmodeus.


graystone wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
No. See they aren't changing lore. None if the previous lore changes. It just got updated.

Churches of a god vanished as there are no clerics to run them. The lore sure did change. The lore says that people in that area find good in unexpected places: that has changed.

It's like what you used to say about non-LG paladins. If they updated paladins to be any good, wouldn't you say that their lore changed? What's the difference?

For the first part:

1. Those people learned the truth and abandoned their God after doing so.

Or

2. Asmodeus cut them off. They were afterward forced to find a new patron.

Or

3. They found the truth and fell to evil.

Or

4. They were corrupted because they were drawing power from the LORD OF HELL.

It doesn't change lore, just updates it.

If they change Paladins to be any good they weaken the remaining lore. It doesn't change the past, just makes a game I no longer wish to play because I find such a move disrespectful toward the wishes and intentions of Gary Gygax.

The previous lore doesn't change, the current lore does. It also changes the fundamental universal laws. The cleric change doesn't, as gods could always cut people they didn't like off. Paladins are different as gods cannot create Paladins, which is an established fact.


Agyra Eisenherz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So did Irrisen stop existing because there are no rules for witches yet?
I wouldn't say that. But it definitely erased my Cult of LN Diabolists in Absalom which I builded up with several characters, and I will miss them. They are half secretive, and half accepted by the good churches, because their main focus lies in gaining more personal power by improving the society, for example by building sanctuaries for homeless children (with a subtle indoctrination). They are more belittled than accepted by the church of Asmodeus.

Can we salvage this by printing rules for other archdevils and having some of them accept LN clerics? Mammon, Mephistopheles, Geryon, and Dispater are probable options even if Beelzebub, Moloch, Belial, and Barbatos aren't. Seems like we could work it by having half of the 8 archdevils accept LE and LN clerics, and the 4 archdevils accepting LE and NE clerics.


graystone wrote:
Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
In PF2, said mechanical representation simply hasn't made it into the playtest.

IMO the chart shows what alignments the god allows and not the church. It's a limit of sect and not god like Norgorber who manages to act 'out of character' for an evil god just fine.

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
I'd be very disappointed if they never give us heresy rules
IMO, it's a box gating things that don't need gated anymore. Instead of special rule for heresy, just list common alignments, uncommon and rare alignments. No need to reinvent the wheel with a new rule.

On the other hand, I think that these heresies were always intended to be... well, second-class worshipers in the eyes of their deity. It's just that PF1 never had the mechanical nuances to represent that, so people extrapolated lore from mechanics and went "Hey, Asmo is cool with LG, guys!"

With heresy rules, the mechanics can properly reflect that no, Asmo is not cool with LG or N people, but he may be willing to hand out some crumbs of power to them, with promises for more power if they turn proper LE.


James Jacobs wrote:
Zorae wrote:

I also don't see why Asmodeus no longer allows LN characters.

Nothing in his Edicts/Anathema are inherently evil... Aside from not allowing you to free slaves; which is kinda iffy but also an anathema to LN Abadar if you're in a country where slaves are legal.

To me this just suggests we screwed up on presenting Asmodeus's Edicts and Anathema. Glancing over them now, yeah, we should make them pretty obviously more evil. Asmodeus is intended to be one of the game's primary villains, and as the ruler of Hell itself he should NOT be someone that you worship without being evil.

His descriptions tend to put him as being a bit more concerned with Law/Order than Evil.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Except you can't, you can make a LG positive energy channeling cleric powered by the Wily Linguist.
That's a meaningless distinction
It is not.
graystone wrote:
Secondly, the text makes it clear that it's a regional name. "Asmodeus, known locally as the Wily Linguist".
The region where you have to be from to even take that trait.
graystone wrote:
Third, the mechanics are
Yes, the mechanics use the standard rule name ratehr than the setting name.
graystone wrote:
So factually as far as the rules are concerned, you're wrong.

Not really.


It's a year later. No one will read this. But I liked the old way.

Asmodeus granted power to a LN cleric because the man needed to blend in with the church in Cheliax, and he thought he could use the Lord of Hell's power for his own personal gain without necessarily harming innocents. Asmodeus has power to spare, so he doesn't mind it. If the cleric ever starts acting in opposition of his interests - like if he becomes good - Asmodeus will forsake him, but until then he assumes the mortal will be tempted by dark powers. He stands to gain another soul for his legions.

Lamashtu granted power to a CN cleric because the woman raised monsters to control his own swath of land and protect his family. The woman might never go kill Desna worshipers, but when a pack of gnolls is fleeing paladins, she offers them a hiding place. When a local woman's baby gets sick, the cleric heals it, but causes it to grow up scarred and misshapen, all the better to teach the world to accept the hideous. When the local lord is oppressing the peasants, the cleric allies with him for one of his schemes, just long enough to learn his secrets, then betrays him by revealing his dark deeds, causing people to lose faith in honor and order.

Sarenrae granted power to a true neutral cleric because they were grief stricken and angry from the loss of their family to undead, and driven to destroy the monsters. Once they were a good person, and they hoped to be again, but they were willing to neglect those in need if it got in the way of the hunt. If ever the cleric harmed an innocent Sarenrae would forsake them, but until then, she hoped they might find their way to redemption.

All these are stories I think have a place in Pathfinder, and the cleric rules changes make the world less nuanced and interesting. I prefer a world where the gods want you on their side, and will give you power as long as you

a) pursue one of their goals, and
b) don't do anything that opposes their goals.

It should be that simple.


Those aren't necessarily clerics.

There's definitely an open hole in the rules regarding "cleric-ish" divine casters and other people getting powers from deities with lesser restrictions on their alignment, but a cleric isn't half-baked "kinda okay" with their deity.
They are the mortal representatives of their deity.

What you describe should be possible, and true enough isn't right now, but it doesn't have fall on the cleric to fill that hole.

Maybe inquisitors or somesuch will get those roles, their 1ed write-up does mention that they're more flexible than regular clerics.


Pan, definitely not a Kitsune wrote:

Those aren't necessarily clerics.

There's definitely an open hole in the rules regarding "cleric-ish" divine casters and other people getting powers from deities with lesser restrictions on their alignment, but a cleric isn't half-baked "kinda okay" with their deity.
They are the mortal representatives of their deity.

What you describe should be possible, and true enough isn't right now, but it doesn't have fall on the cleric to fill that hole.

Maybe inquisitors or somesuch will get those roles, their 1ed write-up does mention that they're more flexible than regular clerics.

Inquisitors aren't full casters, and usually have the same Alignment restrictions as the Cleric.


Almarane wrote:
it's explicitly stated that he is the god you can trust the most.

According to who, himself? He's literally the original god of trickery and deception.


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I'm pretty sure the thing about Asmodeus not lying is from all the folklore about "deals with the devil" in which the devil provides absolutely everything that was promised, just not the way the other party expected it. The very point is "even if they are not lying, you cannot trust them."


Souls At War wrote:
Inquisitors aren't full casters, and usually have the same Alignment restrictions as the Cleric.

Regarding alignment - that was in PF1. Given that they were unhappy with the loose alignment restrictions on clerics, maybe the devs just didn't want to loosen the alignment restrictions even more? With that out of the way, inquisitors might get the role of the "less restricted followers", which used to be the default for everyone.

And regarding not being full casters - well, you can't half-heartedly worship a god and expect to be treated like a proper exemplar of their faith. Clerics are supposed to be the later, not do the former.

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