Inconsistency of Xin's Seven Virtues of Rules


Return of the Runelords

Dark Archive

So I've been reading through a bunch of older adventure paths in preparation for running Return of the Runelords and I've stumbled upon a rather large inconsistency with the writing of Thassilon-based adventures. Namely, Xin's original seven virtues vary from book to book.

Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition wrote:
The star itself is known as the “Sihedron Rune,” and signifies not only the seven virtues of rule (generally agreed among scholars to have been wealth, fertility, honest pride, abundance, eager striving, righteous anger, and rest), but also the seven schools of magic recognized by Thassilon (divination magic, Brodert points out, was not held in high regard by the ancients). Brodert notes with a smirk that much of what is understood about Thassilon indicates its leaders were far from virtuous, and he believes the classic mortal sins (greed, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, wrath, and sloth) rose from corruptions of the Thassilonian virtues of rule.

This is supported by the description of Krune's weapon later on.

The Waking Rune wrote:
Krune’s dragon-tooth spear has insightful patience granted to it by its imperial creator. Meant to embody all that is right and virtuous about inaction, the weapon is primarily concerned with providing for the comforts of its rightful wielder.

However, Shattered Star and other books seem to have a very different set of Virtues

The Dead Heart of Xin wrote:
The runelords took Xin’s seven virtues of rule—charity, generosity, humility, kindness, love, temperance, and zeal—and corrupted them into the rewards of rule, now known as the seven great sins of the soul—envy, greed, pride, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth.
Paths of the Righteous wrote:

At 1st level, a runeguard can master a secret method of using one of the seven runes of Rune magic in a beneficial way to aid himself or others. He must choose one of the seven virtues when he gains this ability, but can choose another at 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th levels; by 9th level, he has mastered all seven of the secrets of virtuous runes. A runeguard can use any of the virtuous runes that he has mastered in any combination per day, but no more times per day than his runeguard level overall. Using a virtuous rune is a standard action (unless otherwise indicated in the text) and provokes an attack of opportunity.

Charity...
Kindness...
Generosity...
Humility...
Love...
Temperance...
Zeal...

What happened with this inconsistency? Why have the seven virtues gone from moderated versions of the seven sins to complete inversions of them? Moreover, which set should we use for Return of the Runelords?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Use the virtues given in the hardcover "Rise of the Runelords," which are the same ones mentioned in the Dead Heart of Xin. This was a change I made after the switch to the Pathfinder rules from 3.5; I was never quite satisfied with some of the virtues being two words long instead of one word concepts, and wasn't super happy with the exact word chocies for the first versions anyway.

In the end, of course, feel free to use the version you like more, but the canonical "official" ones are charity, generosity, humility, kindness, love, temperance, and zeal.

(Note that these virtues don't really play a role at all in Return of the Runelords, which is why that topic never came up.)

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:

Use the virtues given in the hardcover "Rise of the Runelords," which are the same ones mentioned in the Dead Heart of Xin. This was a change I made after the switch to the Pathfinder rules from 3.5; I was never quite satisfied with some of the virtues being two words long instead of one word concepts, and wasn't super happy with the exact word chocies for the first versions anyway.

In the end, of course, feel free to use the version you like more, but the canonical "official" ones are charity, generosity, humility, kindness, love, temperance, and zeal.

(Note that these virtues don't really play a role at all in Return of the Runelords, which is why that topic never came up.)

Thanks for your response.

You may want to double-check the Hardcover version of Rise, because I pulled that passage about the original seven from page 75 of that book.

I could understand wanting to tweak them, but I'm curious as to why you went from moderations to inversions (why Wrath went from righteous anger to kindness, for example).

As for clarifying them, these are what I called the virtues in my run of Rise (a few have altered meanings but stick with the concept of "moderated sins"):

Ambition (Greed/Transmutation)
Vigilance (Envy/Abjuration)
Courage (Wrath/Evocation)
Patience (Sloth/Conjuration)
Tenacity (Gluttony/Necromancy)
Dignity (Pride/Illusion)
Devotion (Lust/Enchantment)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, while some could have used better wording, I *much* preferred the 'moderations'; the inversions don't fit with their schools of magic anywhere near as well and make the Runelords the more cartoonish for becoming the complete opposite of what they were supposed to be. As well, the moderations spoke to a certain different cultural sense of morality for Azlant and Thassilon, which is a more interesting angle.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
CoeusFreeze wrote:

Thanks for your response.

You may want to double-check the Hardcover version of Rise, because I pulled that passage about the original seven from page 75 of that book.

Appendix Seven: New Rules on page 416 of the hardcover version lists these sins/virtues:

Envy:Charity
Gluttony:Temperance
Greed:Generosity
Lust:Love
Pride:Humility
Sloth:Zeal
Wrath:Kindness

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