Paladins of Pharasma Redeeming the Undead? A Study on Edicts, Anathema, and External Codes.


General Discussion


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Everyone (or nearly everyone? A lot of people at least) who plays in Golarion knows that Pharasma is super anti-Undead. The Pharasman Church considers Undead the most abominable abominations, to be destroyed on sight, stuff like that. And yet... Pharasmins can be NG, qualifying for the new Redeemer Paladin introduced in the 1.6 update. Part of the Redeemer edicts is that you must be compassionate towards everyone, and must always try to redeem or rehabilitate Evil before killing them.

But hey, it's fine right? Cause Anathema falls behind Deity Anathema, and surely Pharasma's Anathema calls to destroy Undead on sight right? Well let's look at Pharasma's entry:

Pharasma, Playtest page 289 wrote:

Alignment N

Edicts strive to understand ancient prophecies, destroy undead, lay bodies to rest
Anathema create undead, desecrate a corpse, rob a tomb
Favored Weapon dagger

*Emphasis mine

Uh oh. Destroying Undead is on there alright... but it's not mentioned in Anathema. It's in Edicts, and the Paladin Code has no interaction with Edicts, just Anathema. So it looks like by RAW (especially for PFS and PFS-esque games where GMs are extremely limited in/unwilling to modify the RAW) Paladins of Pharasma are going to have to do the exact opposite of what you'd expect a Pharasmin to do.

So what's the point of this thread? Well, mostly to point out that oddity, but also to mention this: This undoubtedly isn't (or at least won't be once other Deities are re-added) the only such... quirk of Edicts clashing with extra-deific Codes. I think it might be worth-while to add a mention of Deity Edicts to such Codes so that such clashes hopefully won't result in Deity getting shoved to the wayside because the Class calls for something else (seemingly not the intention, given Deity Anathema are placed at Tenant 1.)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Redeeming does not preclude destroying. If you are a Pharasmin, you know that undeath is corroding the natural cycle, which leads to universal annihilation. You might still redeem an undead and help them find the light of Good and then help them go back to the cycle through destruction

Paizo Employee Designer

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The Raven Black wrote:
Redeeming does not preclude destroying. If you are a Pharasmin, you know that undeath is corroding the natural cycle, which leads to universal annihilation. You might still redeem an undead and help them find the light of Good and then help them go back to the cycle through destruction

This actually happens with an NPC in the Adventure Card Guild Season of Faction's Favor:

Spoiler:
She's involuntarily transformed into a vampire, but once the master's control is broken, the PCs convince her to testify as to the vampire's plot and submit to destruction. She was probably Neutral before becoming a vampire so it wasn't exactly finding the light of Good, but really close.


A similar thing also happens in Carrion Crown.


Mindless undead is a no-brainer (get it?).
Intelligent undead. That's an interesting idea. Repent before submitting themselves for destruction. Doubt many agree, but as long as you try, I suppose.


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The paladin could look at it like being undead is inflicting great pain on the soul, and destroying the undead is ending the pain; in general, ending pain is pretty compassionate.

The belief doesn't even have to be objectively right, just right in Pharasma's sight.


why must undead be hated we just don't wanna get our souls stolen by tyrannical gods and them turned into outsiders against our will

f!*% pharasma and the rest of the gods i wanna be undead


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Neutral_Lich wrote:

why must undead be hated we just don't wanna get our souls stolen by tyrannical gods and them turned into outsiders against our will

f%&~ pharasma and the rest of the gods i wanna be undead

#UndeadUnlivesMatter?


Now that is a whole new spin on cultural appropriation...

;)

As for me, my Pharasman paladins will be more than happy to comply with Pharasma's edicts and redeem the evil undead by destroying it completely. Only good undead is a dead undead. This is a win for all the codes, edicts, and anathemas.

Isn't there something about creating the undead that keeps the soul from getting to its proper afterlife? So destroying the undead frees the soul to continue it's afterjourney, right? That sounds like redemption to me: kill 'em all and let Pharasma sort 'em out.

Liberty's Edge

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I think they'd probably "redeem" undead souls by cashing them in at the nearest temple, 5gp per Undead slain. Ch-Chaing.


The only reason to not trash an undead is if you could "cure" it, like a vampyr. You might not submit the fanged freak to sunlight if there was an in-world means of making them human again. But other than that, PURGE!!!!! PURGE THE DEFILERS! SEND TO OTHER-WORLD!


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Shinigami02 wrote:

Part of the Redeemer edicts is that you must be compassionate towards everyone, and must always try to redeem or rehabilitate Evil before killing them.

But hey, it's fine right? Cause Anathema falls behind Deity Anathema, and surely Pharasma's Anathema calls to destroy Undead on sight right? Well let's look at Pharasma's entry:

Pharasma, Playtest page 289 wrote:

Alignment N

Edicts strive to understand ancient prophecies, destroy undead, lay bodies to rest
Anathema create undead, desecrate a corpse, rob a tomb
Favored Weapon dagger

*Emphasis mine

Uh oh. Destroying Undead is on there alright... but it's not mentioned in Anathema. It's in Edicts, and the Paladin Code has no interaction with Edicts, just Anathema.

I think it might be worth-while to add a mention of Deity Edicts to such Codes so that such clashes hopefully won't result in Deity getting shoved to the wayside because the Class calls for something else (seemingly not the intention, given Deity Anathema are placed at Tenant 1.)

OK. So getting back on topic. If I am understanding you properly, the fix that you are proposing is to have an ordered listing of edicts for a paladin similar to the ordered listing of anathema in the paladin code. So that the deity edicts will always take priority over the class edicts. Yes?

That way the edict of Pharasma to destroy undead takes priority over the Redeemer Paladin edict to redeem or rehabilitate evil before destroying it. As well as any other strange edge cases that may come up later.


Tectorman wrote:
Neutral_Lich wrote:

why must undead be hated we just don't wanna get our souls stolen by tyrannical gods and them turned into outsiders against our will

f%&~ pharasma and the rest of the gods i wanna be undead

#UndeadUnlivesMatter?

great now we only need a dank meme to start the movement


breithauptclan wrote:

OK. So getting back on topic. If I am understanding you properly, the fix that you are proposing is to have an ordered listing of edicts for a paladin similar to the ordered listing of anathema in the paladin code. So that the deity edicts will always take priority over the class edicts. Yes?

That way the edict of Pharasma to destroy undead takes priority over the Redeemer Paladin edict to redeem or rehabilitate evil before destroying it. As well as any other strange edge cases that may come up later.

Something like that yeah.

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