Adventuring with worshipers of evil gods / goddesses


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

Dark Archive ***

Dear fellow PFS'ers!

I'm seeking some advice on how to handle RP interactions in say, a group filled with good characters with that one 'neutral' guy/gal in the back that's openly displaying his/her unholy symbol of an evil god.

A) Is the Pathfinder Society neutral on the question of devil / daemon / demon worship?

B) Do they actively recruit worshipers of these entities or merely tolerate them?

C) Most adventures involve a boss fight against agents of such evil gods / goddesses, so wouldn't the Society, not being entirely stupid, pay attention to mission reports and build a black list, so to speak?

D) I'm aware of PFS ban of PvP, but does that mean that I must roleplay good characters as being tolerant of such agents of evil? can he/she not speak out during a scenario, and if so, can you provide advice to make the RP experience enjoyable and constructive, and not lead to players of such worshipers of evil deities not feeling excluded or cast out or singled out?

Thank you!

Dark Archive *** Venture-Agent, Finland—Turku aka Tomppa

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It's best to tolerate the evil-worshipping pathfinders - after all, cooperation is in the dogma of the society (explore, report, cooperate).

On the other hand, remember that PFS doesn't Tolerate EVIL characters, so people who worship evil gods should still act pretty neutral, even if they cackle maniacly. Killing helpless opponents or slaughtering enemies who've already surrendered isn't going to be tolerated for long. However, it's not your job as a player to act as the judge on whether they are too evil or not - leave that to the GM. If their play is disruptive and GM doesn't act on it, escalate. Likewise, remember that society is about cooperation - refusing to aid them in the mission you've been given isn't good for the society.

Personally, instead of speaking directly against such agents, I'd RP being interested in their reasoning as to WHY Urgathoa or whatever is worthy of worship. Curiosity and mutual tolerance is probably more enjoyable RP experience than accusations and open hostility.
Don't try to force the party to choose between you or the evil-worshipper, obviously - that's not going to end well.

You could always just ask the player about it at the beginning of the game? "How much animosity/hostility do you want between our characters? You worship Rovagug and I'm a follower of the dawnflower so we should probably be at each others throats, but we can play it cool if you want?"

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Many of the faction leaders themselves have questionable morals, so...

Especially Zarta Drahlneen, who used to work for Cheliax

Just remember that every Pathfinder needs to put the mission above personal squabble.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

You just have to suspend whatever beliefs you may have regarding the good vs evil axis and adhere to the tenet of cooperation which, for the purposes of PFS, trumps alignment issues. It can create some allies that you may feel should not be working together such as necromancers and Saranrae or Pharasma worshipers or perhaps a demonologist and a paladin. As a player, you have the choice of either accepting it and altering your character's attitude for the session or select a different, more compatible character.

As much as you would like to dismiss an evil-lite PC as someone the Society would never recruit in the first place, you also have to consider the idea that your character would not have been recruited if they demonstrated an inability to put the needs of the Society ahead of their own. Its part of the oath you took to Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

Overlap Pete wrote:


A) Is the Pathfinder Society neutral on the question of devil / daemon / demon worship?

eyup. they have one of the inner seas most progressive hiring practices with regards to freedom to worship.

B) Do they actively recruit worshipers of these entities or merely tolerate them?

They don't actively recruit but it seems if your previous job experience was cultist of an evil god not many other organizations will hire you.

C) Most adventures involve a boss fight against agents of such evil gods / goddesses, so wouldn't the Society, not being entirely stupid, pay attention to mission reports and build a black list, so to speak?

OR we can take out the Ravagog worshiper and have the CN new testament ravagog pathfinder take over the temple so we can study it.

D) I'm aware of PFS ban of PvP, but does that mean that I must roleplay good characters as being tolerant of such agents of evil? can he/she not speak out during a scenario, and if so, can you provide advice to make the RP experience enjoyable and constructive, and not lead to players of such worshipers of evil deities not feeling excluded or cast out or singled out?

You can take it to the point that it reduces the fun of other people, especially the ravagog worshiper. As long as you're getting along OOC you're good.

Dark Archive *** Venture-Lieutenant, Online, Online—VTT

I think it's a three part answer.

Firstly, it's partially on the player to make a character that despite worshiping an evil god has a reason to belong to, work with and fight alongside the Pathfinder Society. They decided to make such a character so it behooves them to ensure that character can fit into the PFS campaign in some way.

Secondly, it's on the GM to some degree to ensure that players who do have worshipers of evil gods aren't simply playing "CN honest guv, not CE!" characters who are behaving in a manner inconsistent with the rules on alignment in PFS and who are also keeping to the community rules and not making the game not fun for other players at the table.

Thirdly, your actual question! The Society is a neutral organisation so if someone who may worship a generally frowned upon god applies and seems able to cooperate with their fellow pathfinders (see point 1) they get the benefit of the doubt. From what we've seen it's generally that such people are tolerated, that said, there are benefits to having people who worship such gods in an archaeological organisation, they can have a certain insight into the places the Society goes that regular folk might not.

As to how you roleplay, most importantly make sure that you're not making the other player feel picked upon, simply talking to them out of character about it will usually make sure this doesn't become an issue, something like, "My character had a really bad experience with X gods followers, as you're one he's going to give you a hard time if you're okay with that roleplay?" just to be certain you're not the one who is making other players uncomfortable. It's actually often an opportunity for great roleplay, you may even find that if the other character does something that helps or saves you then your character has an opportunity for growth and change in the game, best of luck with it all!

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

Overlap Pete wrote:

Dear fellow PFS'ers!

I'm seeking some advice on how to handle RP interactions in say, a group filled with good characters with that one 'neutral' guy/gal in the back that's openly displaying his/her unholy symbol of an evil god.

A) Is the Pathfinder Society neutral on the question of devil / daemon / demon worship?

B) Do they actively recruit worshipers of these entities or merely tolerate them?

C) Most adventures involve a boss fight against agents of such evil gods / goddesses, so wouldn't the Society, not being entirely stupid, pay attention to mission reports and build a black list, so to speak?

D) I'm aware of PFS ban of PvP, but does that mean that I must roleplay good characters as being tolerant of such agents of evil? can he/she not speak out during a scenario, and if so, can you provide advice to make the RP experience enjoyable and constructive, and not lead to players of such worshipers of evil deities not feeling excluded or cast out or singled out?

Thank you!

A: These days the Society is neutral with some good leaning tendencies, in the first couple of seasons you-you could have been forgiven to assume that they are evil.

I think the in world organization does not really care until your personal habits pose a problem for the missions, and obviously, if you follow some evil spell granting entities, you are always going to walk a pretty narrow line between no longer being neutral, or not following the core ideas if your deity.

That said, and while I have my own views on the issue as GM, Society missions usually expect you to cooperate/help good/neutral entities and we tend to kill evil outsiders.
Personally, I think some actions/opinions should get a character kicked out of their faction of that faction... but that's neither here nor there.

B: In some cases, the evil worshipper of a demon lord may be an acceptable partner for the society, but actually seeking out characters with such tendencies do not seem to be apparent and might be counterproductive for the whole "cooperate" part of the mission statement, since some evil alignments make that very hard. So even though a character might still be listed as CN, following that CE demon lord gives the Society certain indications about future performance.
And remember, in theory, the Society should be able to send an agent on any mission.

C: In-game, that would be quite reasonable, but I have seen PFS characters who follow an evil elemental deity after the Society decided to really annoy literally all of them. There are other circumstances, for example, Baphomet which is currently still legal - though I am kinda hoping for a change in PFS2.

D:That really depends on the people involved and the time allotted to that slot, some might enjoy the banter, others will not. Other than, "read the room" there is not much I can suggest.
Personally I avoid playing with evil-light characters, it really is not fun for me.


I play a lot of paladins, which gives me an interesting perspective here when dealing with necromancers and demon worshippers. First, I can and will make comments in character (ie "Really? You had to summon THAT?) but I won't take it too far or bring up smiting their minion. I will just tell them that their controlled undead minion needs to be laid to rest and have a proper burial after the mission. In return for me not being too in their face about LG, I expect that they not go too far on the creepy scale. The mission with the paladin of Sarenrae and the inquisitor of Pharasma is not the mission to go around animating every single thing you defeat.

Silver Crusade *

I have a couple of characters who are worshippers of evil deities. As noted upthread, they have reasons to belong to and cooperate with the Society.

I've no interest in playing "evil-lite", nor in being disruptive. The evil deities just give me interesting concepts to play with. So, from my persepective:

A) the Society doesn't care who or what you worship as long as it doesn't cause harm to Society members or Society goals. The mere fact that you worship a nominally evil entity does not mean that you seek to do evil, and the Society cares more about your actions than your private thoughts and beliefs.

B) The Society recruits adventurers in two ways; rigorous training, or field commission. Whichever way a recruit comes to the Society's attention they have to demonstrate adherence to the three tenets, which seems to me to be the over-riding concern. The Society is extremely pragmatic, not turning away a potential agent on the basis of religion.

C) Pathfinder agents are loyal to the Society first. If the Decemvirate sends a Lamashtan into a mission where they may face Lamashtan enemies, maybe the Decemvirate think their agent can find a way to succeed at the mission that would not be available otherwise. If the Pathfinder agent tries to parley, the GM can decide whether that constitutes a creative solution within the context of the scenario (I've seen this happen with Hellknight PCs).

D) we generally set the limits of our RP at the table, different people will be more or less comfortable. Discuss ooc at the table.

Just my 2cp.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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This is just going to turn into another argument over which side is in the “right” when it comes to good vs evil. The player of the evil-associated PC will complain that the paladin or other LG character doesn’t have the right to foist their version of morality or ethics on them and the same can be said vice versa. For sake of argument, the paladin is the easy target. If a necromnacer animates dead, we say the paladin is being disruptive or uncooperative if they object to the animation. OTOH, the paladin can say the necromancer is being equally disruptive if they animate dead knowing that it is an effort from only to the paladin, but also to most goodly characters. At the end of the day, neither is “right.” The only way to avoid the conflict is to avoid the conflict. Meaning said characters should rarely if ever play together.

To some extent this is a problem of our own making in OP. By allowing a blurring of good vs evil and ignoring some of the basic rules the designers wrote into the mechanics, such as all evil spells are evil acts without exception, we have created a campaign where good and evil are “forcedL to cooperate despite what the rest of their attributes say. We have to suspend fundamental aspects of divinely-based characters for the sake of cooperation and many players simply cannot wrap their head around that. For those, the only answer is either change characters or don’t play OP, neither of which are usually well received solutions.

YMMV

Dark Archive *

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have seen followers of Evil deities done really, really well.

In both rp and in table interactions.

I've seen followers of Good deities done really, really poorly.

In both rp and in table interactions.

Given a choice of druthers, I'd much more be keen to play with the follower of the Evil deity who is Cooperating and not being a total tool than the follower of the Good deity that is being the entire toolshed.

That being said, in addition to Explore, Report, Cooperate there is also as noted above -- Courtesy, Dignity, and Respect.

If players can treat their fellow players with the latter three, and the characters live up to the first three, it will be an awesome play experience.

tl;dr: Don't be a tool. Be a Pathfinder Agent.

Sovereign Court

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I don't see how it matters which was which. You could just say "I've seen characters of any faith done well, or done poorly". All good characters shouldn't be held accountable for the bad actors any more than evil characters should.

I'm probably just biased after my good-aligned characters were forced to stand by while the chaotic "neutral" characters mutilated prisoners, though, so I can't say I'd do any better on this subject.

Explore, Report, Cooperate, Let The Totally-Not-Evil People Do Whatever They Want is the rule more often than not, in my experience. :(

Dark Archive *

So, as long as every player follows the rules and does not try to abuse this for doing evil stuff, and everyone has fun on the table, there is no reason why your character should not follow a deity of any alignment.
It is the duty of both the characters of good deities and evil deities, and for the characters of lawful deities and chaotic deities, to cooperate and tolerate (not accept, but tolerate) each other, at least for the time of one scenario. If you both have fun on interesting conflict roleplay, then so be it, otherwise it probably might be better to play it cool.
Personally I have seen more non-religious evil-lite characters than religious ones, I do not think this is really a matter of being religious or not.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Alignment only really matters to divinely-inspired characters and a very isolated few with alignment restrictions and it is those characters that have the strongest convictions both for their own tenets, dogma, and morals and against those that are opposed to them. Normally, if you follow the standard Pathfinder rules is it extremely rare if even tomsee them working together. It’s onlymwithin the scope ofmPFS where we chose to ignore some of the basic mechanics that we have to force these opposing forces together with an expectation that they ignore large portions of their character for the tenet of cooperation. For many of these characters it’s a simple case of hypocrisy and many of them really have no business being part of the Society in the first place. We have to accept a lot of suspension of disbelief in order to account for the meta of organized play. Sometimes the only reasonable decision is pick a different character or walk away from the table to preserve the character or your character.

*****

eyes narrow...

Dark Archive ***

It would be interesting to see neutral worshipers of evil gods really 'stretch their evil legs' in scenarios written for evil characters. If we'd have PFS Evil Campaign you could explore these mild buffalo wings operate with the triple hot buffalo wings (i.e. alongside evil PCs). You would get to see moderate Asmodeans alongside the hardcore ones; this would lead to interesting roleplaying scenes.

As is right now, the mild evil buffalo wings are forced to mingle with the honey garlic wings (LG) or BBQ wings (CG) and sometimes even the plain ones (NG). :P

The missions all have happy endings, so to speak. Perhaps the PFS campaign should focus on neutral/good part of the evil/neutral/good axis... and the 'PFS Evil Campaign' I mentioned should be called 'Aspis Consortium Chronicles' or something... so that the evil PCs be actually working for a rival organization. That would make so much sense. Cobra vs. GI Joe, instead of having Cobra dudes constantly try to infiltrate the Joe's HQ! :P

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Event organizers might march on Paizo for a mass lynching if yet another alternate campaign (evil) was launched. We already have PFS1, PFS1 core, SFS, ACG, 2E Playtest making it a challenge to say the least when trying to schedule events.

Grand Lodge

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I had my Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon once attend a Sarenrite holiday as part of a mission. during a social event, she botched her K. Religion roll, and just played it off as "don't question my ethics, and i won't blaspheme your goddess. I am not here to repent, nor am i hear to enlighten others."
She was the only one that didn't want to outright attack the big bad at the end.
She joined the society to make sure those in high places, who venerate Zon-Kuthon, do it for the proper reasons and not for their own masochistic tendencies.
Why else would she have joined the Sovereign Court faction? ;)

Venerating an Evil god doesn't make the character evil; but the player should know how to reign in their religious zeal.


Selvaxri wrote:

I had my Inquisitor of Zon-Kuthon once attend a Sarenrite holiday as part of a mission. during a social event, she botched her K. Religion roll, and just played it off as "don't question my ethics, and i won't blaspheme your goddess. I am not here to repent, nor am i hear to enlighten others."

She was the only one that didn't want to outright attack the big bad at the end.
She joined the society to make sure those in high places, who venerate Zon-Kuthon, do it for the proper reasons and not for their own masochistic tendencies.
Why else would she have joined the Sovereign Court faction? ;)

Venerating an Evil god doesn't make the character evil; but the player should know how to reign in their religious zeal.

Exactly : I won't lecture morality at your Kuthite as long as your Kuthite doesn't torture people in front of my Sarenite paladin. (Now my paladin of Arshea ... let's just talk about torture and consent first)

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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I understand why Paizo chose to do things the way they did in PFS but I'll stick to my belief that they should have banned PC worship of ALL evil Gods EXCEPT for the LE ones worshiped in Cheliax.

In world, it really makes no sense that they'd allow clerics of Rovagug, Lamashtu, etc. The PR aspects, if nothing else, would make the characters not worth the hassle.

Not to mention that in most parts of Glorantha openly worshiping Rovagug, Lamashtu, etc really should be a death sentence. Why would anywhere Not Totally Evil tolerate such things?

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Except for the fact that the campaign is not set in Glorantha, but Golarion, and if the moderate followers of a deity are attacked that only promotes their insular world-view that clearly it is 'us against them'.

Allowing moderate followers of a given deity shows that 'socially responsible' approaches to worship can be encouraged, while the more negative ones discouraged.

The path to Neutrality or even Goodness doesn't start with closed minds or hearts.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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I’ve seen plenty of GMs “penalize” open worshipers of evil deities in social encounters during PFS. Dunno if we should consider that bad behavior or violation of campaign rules, but in most cases it seemed like a reasonable response in game.

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Paul Jackson wrote:
In world, it really makes no sense that they'd allow clerics of Rovagug, Lamashtu, etc. The PR aspects, if nothing else, would make the characters not worth the hassle.

Who says characters that worship these deities have to advertise they do?

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

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Cyrad wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
In world, it really makes no sense that they'd allow clerics of Rovagug, Lamashtu, etc. The PR aspects, if nothing else, would make the characters not worth the hassle.
Who says characters that worship these deities have to advertise they do?

Looks at the giant orc with one crab claw , a host of scars and tentacle in his forhead

"So...it says here your divine power comes from the peacock spririt?"

"Got anything that says otherwise?

*sighs* "I'll get form 34 b..."

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

hmmm... as long as it's within the rules and doesn't cause a problem in play it's okay.

There are various in game and metagame reasons people go there(Evil deities) with their characters. It is up to them to explain or justify the reasons or involve it in the game or leave it in the background.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

I see more PvP rule impact than Evil Deities as collateral damage from spells, spell effects, or channelling. Sometimes it is just a mistake or incompetency, more often it is a side effect of desperation and trying to damage an enemy. Alchemists and splash damage...

Different GMs and Players handle it differently in the details.

Scarab Sages ****

Huh. This thread has got me wondering now if I have any characters that worship an evil god. Off the top of my head, I don’t think I do. I’m up to 24, so I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I don’t. I wanted my Tatterdemalion/Evangelist to worship Hastur, but it wasn’t legal, so he worships Groetus. Maybe I should think about making one evil deity worshipping character at some point.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Stephen Ross wrote:
as long as it's within the rules...

That’s kinda the point. By the core rules written by the designers, many of the actions taken by characters who worship an evil deity, mostly noticeably casting spells with the evil descriptor would in fact be an evil act. It’s onky in our “house rules” for organized play that allows the exceptions which expand into larger problematic issues with regards to mixed parties and cooperation. We chose to deviate from the core rules (RAW) and have to deal with the consequences of that just like any GM does who has house rules in their home campaigns. The alignment system is already a polarizing subject with a wide variety of opinions and philosophies. By taking the position we did, we expanded those “arguments” and left ourselves with very little chance of an in-game resolution. We’ve had to “force” everyone to get along using the tenet of cooperation as a hammer. In most cases it gets the job done, but for many players it leaves them unsatisfied. It’s a situation akin to when you were a kid and asked your parents “why” and got the response “because I said so.”

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

I think some of these issues can be self-correcting. If you create a character and then have to justify to others why it would adventure with them or bother to be a member of the Society at all, there is a good chance it probably isn’t the best idea for the campaign, alignment notwithstanding. Generally speaking, a player should not have to “sell” their character in order for people to accept it at the table. This aspect is not just pointed at PCs who worship evil-aligned deities, but also ones with extreme builds that most leaders in an organization such as the Society would likely view as a potential risk to their overall actions. A hyper-zealot paladin/cleric/inquisitor would be just as problematic as a cleric of Lamashtu, Urgathoa or Rovagug.

There are plenty of legal characters who likely would not be invited into the Society but more likely be used in a limited capacity as an outside contractor. The more extreme the faction, the more prominent it becomes. Organizations like the Exchange or Silver Crusade that maintain a lot of clandestine operations would likely have to be much more selective in their recruiting process since they have more to lose than a “vanilla” faction like Grand Lodge.
YMMV

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

you have to separate what is good for organized play as an event for real people from what can be rationalized within the game world of Golorian and the Society (as it exists in the game).

Let me say that issues in the original post are NOT a problem or even close to it. People understand the various issues and are very reasonable. There's more abstraction in chat and that's what it's for <grin>.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

on "How do you roleplay it?", well as your character naturally <wink>. You shouldn't be hitting the rails (of the organized play rules) or be antisocial as hey, we all got together for a game and that's a social activity.
if things are getting really serious it is time to switch tasks and take a break for a few minutes. Your GM will understand. Talk to a friend, wander the store, do a primal scream in the parking lot, eat some carbs, or watch a cat video.

Dark Archive ***

Cyrad wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
In world, it really makes no sense that they'd allow clerics of Rovagug, Lamashtu, etc. The PR aspects, if nothing else, would make the characters not worth the hassle.
Who says characters that worship these deities have to advertise they do?

Who? they, usually! :D and with great fanfare! :)

Dark Archive ***

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
We’ve had to “force” everyone to get along using the tenet of cooperation as a hammer. In most cases it gets the job done, but for many players it leaves them unsatisfied. It’s a situation akin to when you were a kid and asked your parents “why” and got the response “because I said so.”

This. And it's also causing some kind of weird 'religion shame' for those playing clerics/paladins of good deities... it makes little sense to have good clerics defend evil ones under the pretense of 'Pathfinder Society cooperation'. Some things should be bigger than the Pathfinder Society. OOC, I get it, as the two players must find a way to get along, but they shouldn't feel compelled or encouraged to roleplay that they're BFFs.

It's also odd to have a campaign rule against evil PCs but not one against the worshiping of evil deities. That to me is the oddest thing.

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, if we want to dive down the rabbit hole, we could posit that following a 'good' deity is on some level 'evil' to those who are on the other side of the fence, or vice versa.

But instead of doing that, instead let us consider the poor Devourer.

It's one big thing in existence was eating things.

And then it got told it had to go on a *diet*.

Friend, I don't know if you've ever been on a diet, but let me tell you, 'hangry' is a thing.

If but for a simple twist of Fate, we could have a drunken frat-boy deity of the most evil sort, or a most tyrannical Inheritor.

Stepping a bit aside, respecting one's fellow players and in the process figuring out a way to make such things *work* without *destroying immersion* or *building a legal case* is an amazing challenge and those who make it *work* are to be lauded for the accomplishment.

Sovereign Court

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Well, if we want to dive down the rabbit hole, we could posit that following a 'good' deity is on some level 'evil' to those who are on the other side of the fence, or vice versa.

But instead of doing that, instead let us consider the poor Devourer.

It's one big thing in existence was eating things.

And then it got told it had to go on a *diet*.

Friend, I don't know if you've ever been on a diet, but let me tell you, 'hangry' is a thing.

If but for a simple twist of Fate, we could have a drunken frat-boy deity of the most evil sort, or a most tyrannical Inheritor.

Stepping a bit aside, respecting one's fellow players and in the process figuring out a way to make such things *work* without *destroying immersion* or *building a legal case* is an amazing challenge and those who make it *work* are to be lauded for the accomplishment.

I don't quite follow many of these points, I'm afraid.

"Well, if you like brutally enslaving* people, torturing** people, or committing violent sexual acts on unwilling victims***, then aren't people who want to stop you from doing those things exactly as bad as you are?" is... certainly a position one could argue. I suppose. That is some pretty vigorous -
and literal, in some cases - devil's advocacy.

*Asmodeus
**Zon-Kuthon
***Socothbenoth

Maybe the Devourer didn't choose to be a cosmic force of destruction. So... I guess everyone who willingly chooses to follow the Cult of the Devourer gets a complete moral pass by extension?

"But what if Iomedae or Cayden Cailean were evil?" I dunno. What if barbarians were 1/2 BAB arcane spellcasters? Since they aren't, I'm honestly not quite grasping how it's relevant.

I'm honestly not trying to make trouble here. This post is just confusing to me personally (and, in some cases, kinda squicky).

Sovereign Court

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Stepping a bit aside, respecting one's fellow players and in the process figuring out a way to make such things *work* without *destroying immersion* or *building a legal case* is an amazing challenge and those who make it *work* are to be lauded for the accomplishment.

All that said, lest I be too negative, this is a very solid statement. My only comment is that this has to be a two-way street for things to work well - whether it's a zero-compromise-whatsoever do-gooder or an evildoer out to thumb their nose at the helpless nonevil party members, if either side is refusing to play nice, things won't go well.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm thankful that some of the crazy may get dialed down.

As Kalindra stated, it can get disturbing if pushed. Much like the one archetype that allows spiritual cannibalism, it requires a very responsible player to pull it off.

Separatist clerics are a thing, and I could see one of one of the more disturbing deities having someone walking a more heroic path to bring sanity to the faith.

Dark Archive ***

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Separatist clerics are a thing, and I could see one of one of the more disturbing deities having someone walking a more heroic path to bring sanity to the faith.

Sure, playing a heretic can be fun. You're playing a character that is future lunch meat for a fiend in the lower planes. And since you know it, and other hardcore evil priests of his/her faith know it, then yes, this can lead to fun, self-inflicted mild-sausage Mr. Magoo type of roleplay.

But not all PCs worshiping an evil deity will go for the mild buffalo wings option. There will be some neutral aligned PCs that believe in the true code of their evil deity.

I've recently had the pleasure to adventure alongside one such pro-slavery Chelish PC, and let me tell you that my CG PC didn't just hand-waive this guy's presence for the good of the mission. My PC had a debate with him, asked him why this and why that, but in the end, since there's no author's hand directing the entire story and controlling all the characters at once, redemption or conversion for one of the parties is impossible, and each player revert to their views & 'grin and bear it' until the end of the scenario. Fortunately, in this case I found a way for my PC to coexist and keep the hatred for that character's views (i.e. he used a disguise so that his true identity is not formally associated with that pro-slavery Hellknight, and well, continuing the adventure with him is to mitigate any questionable actions this character would do...) This example worked in that case, but I don't expect it will always do so.

I'd much rather we keep to the neutral and good gods and disallow the evil ones, in the long run. Perhaps a grandfathering of the existing evil-deity worshipers would be in order, but I really think we already got tons to explore with the neutral or good ones without having to resort to evil-deity worship (which smells of a certain need for attention, if I'm being honest here).

Dark Archive ***

Now, if we have a separate evil-only PFS campaign, we can have a completely separate discussion. I've ran Hell's Vengeance and when an all-evil party work together for an all-evil goal, there's no mild sausages happening there. It's glorious, clear-cut fun without that onerous, boring gray zone that so many people seem to want to perpetuate in a game that's supposed to be played for fun.

Venture-Agent aka MadScientistWorking

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Kalindlara wrote:


I'm honestly not trying to make trouble here. This post is just confusing to me personally (and, in some cases, kinda squicky).

Its not really that confusing as it is stated in the fluff that there is a relatively large number of people who have every right to find the good gods evil and are angry at them. And that's not even getting into the weird good???? stuff that is PFS legal that is described as zealous slavery or mind control.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Which is how we get to "I'd rather not play in an organized play group with players who are arguing in favor of slavery, torture, and rape", I guess.

*** ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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On that note, I think that a key part of playing edgy or borderline evil characters is to be extremely communicative out of character. Don’t push things that are making the players at the table uncomfortable. If you want to do something kind of squicky, ask out of character first.

I’ve GMed for an evil campaign myself, and those conversations are critical to making it work.

Venture-Agent aka MadScientistWorking

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Kalindlara wrote:
Which is how we get to "I'd rather not play in an organized play group with players who are arguing in favor of slavery, torture, and rape", I guess.

Yeah I agree with you. I just changed thought process mid statement because your argument reminded of legal material (Alignment Elixir) that is called out as torture yet is strangely legal??? and good????. Why????

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Kate Baker wrote:
I’ve GMed for an evil campaign myself, and those conversations are critical to making it work.

I've had to try and keep this in mind when playing my ifrit supremacists and my glutton warpriest, to make sure that I tread the line respectfully. (Which can mean dropping the unpleasant elements completely when needed.)

The Exchange ****

looks in, starts to speak, stops and thinks about it... no, I don't think so. There is very little to be gained in this conversation and much negativity to be generated. So I'll just walk away now, leaving all comments unsaid...

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

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Kalindlara wrote:
Which is how we get to "I'd rather not play in an organized play group with players who are arguing in favor of slavery, torture, and rape", I guess.

Personally, that is kinda my stance, I don't think playing with those characters is entertaining, so I avoid those tables.

Sovereign Court

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Which is how we get to "I'd rather not play in an organized play group with players who are arguing in favor of slavery, torture, and rape", I guess.
Personally, that is kinda my stance, I don't think playing with those characters is entertaining, so I avoid those tables.

I wasn't talking about the characters, at that point. If I'm at a table where the players themselves, out of game, are talking about how those things are morally justified - even if it's only to justify their characters' actions - I'm probably not going to be there for long.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I think the new CRPG has been pretty fun for showing this in action.

You can end up with a Groetus Cleric and a Uragthoa Inquisitor on your Neutral Good Fighters party and it will all basically work out. There will be some tension - we have had Order of the Pyre hellknights adventure side by side with Witches locally and its made for a fun RP dynamic.

Just remember not to let it turn actually hostile and it makes for a unique roleplaying experience that I highly enjoy.

EDIT: To be more clear, I don't see where less typical archetypes such as "uncompromising person who rejects witches to the point of irrationality" is all that different from the old "murderhobo" or "takes everything that isn't bolted down profitmonger" archetypes in terms of semi-objectionable behavior.

That said, your neutral with evil tendencies characters do need to remain just that. Evil with neutral tendencies is the Aspis after all :P.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Sometimes this just comes down to the convictions of the player and allow them a moment to consider whether or not they are making a decision based on conviction. I recently had an experience where I was playing a NG cleric of a good deity with a CN sorcerer. The latter was going to sneak into a room with a sleeping “monster” with the intention of killing them. I objected and said that if that happened, I would leave the party and return to the Pathfinder Lodge. The idea was that even though the “monster” was from a typically evil race, it didn’t mean that particular one was evil. Until we knew one way of the other, I would not sanction premeditated murder. The other player did not seem to agree with my thoughts but acquiesced.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

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Kalindlara wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Which is how we get to "I'd rather not play in an organized play group with players who are arguing in favor of slavery, torture, and rape", I guess.
Personally, that is kinda my stance, I don't think playing with those characters is entertaining, so I avoid those tables.
I wasn't talking about the characters, at that point. If I'm at a table where the players themselves, out of game, are talking about how those things are morally justified - even if it's only to justify their characters' actions - I'm probably not going to be there for long.

Gotcha, that sounds even worse than what I was imagining and I already get quite unhappy when other player characters have slaves.

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