How to Roleplay Followers of Asmodeus and LE Alignment


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Terrible things can be done in the name of a nation, not due to evilness by every person in that nation, but simply from a lack of empathy by the people of that nation for the victims of that evil. A popular culture example of this is Man in the High Castle (I found it quite chilling watching ordinary people in Nazi America and the nonchalant way in which they speak of the horrors that is being done. They would never do the horrors themselves, but they don't even blink when it's done on their behalf).

In Golarion this is how I liked to portray Cheliax and worshipers of Asmodeus. Not everyone in Cheliax eats babies. The church is evil. The true hardcore believers/nobility are definitely evil. But most people are simply apathetic. I had a PFS Inquisitor of Asmodeus (LN in alignment) and it was really fun playing him to that lawful neutral alignment to the hilt. He would often take LG paladins to task for the terrible (unlawful) actions they were advocating. People would start nodding along and the paladin would start to get a bit sheepish and then suddenly someone would say "wait. Which one of you worships a devil?" In Golarion 2.0 that PC is no longer legal.

So how can "nice" NPCs who worship Asmodeus be included in the game now that they're obligated to be LE? I was thinking of a Sheriff in Isger who rescued a halfling from being carted off back to Cheliax because the halfling was in fact not an escaped slave but a free person. That would certainly fulfill the "lawful" requirement of a worshiper of Asmodeus. But how would such a character fulfill the evil requirement?

Does the NPC have to kick X number of puppies per month in order to keep to their LE alignment and not slip into LN? The Core Rulebook says

Quote:
Your character has an evil alignment if they’re willing to victimize others for their own selfish gain, and even more so if they enjoy inflicting harm.

This seems like such a cartoonish take on the evil alignment. A lot of people aren't going to stab everyone they can find in the back. Maybe it's just because I'm Australian and therefore inherently lazy (we don't even know our national anthem and we just pretend to mouth the words), but people just don't have the energy or motive to be constantly trying to get ahead. Similarly, most people aren't going to go out of their way to worship a very specific deity. They'll just worship the one their parents worship, the one their neighbours worship and the one the state tells them they should worship because doing anything else is too much effort.

So how does Cheliax stay a predominantly Asmodeus worshiping country without everyone having to constantly

Quote:
victimize others for their own selfish gain

?


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Worshipper of Asmodeus and gains powers from Asmodeus are not the same thing.

An average Chelish person who is rigid on the law, but not very dedicated to self-empowerment at the sake of others is a great and interesting character. They aren't an actual worshipper of Asmodeus though. Asmodeus is all about twisting and using the law and rules to gain personal power, preferably by pushing aside and down those weaker and less clever than you within the law. It's all about taking the most personally beneficial interpretation of the letter of the law to the extreme.

"willing to victimize others for their own selfish gain" is extremely common in real-life. The second part is arguably cartoonish, but the first part isn't.

But basically I don't think you want to play an actual LE character, so play a LN Chelish Ranger with nominal faith in Asmodeus.

Or play a LE character, but remember that just as playing good takes thinking about being selfless, being evil requires thinking about being selfish. You don't have the be cartoonish, in fact LE characters will usually think very long term, it's about coming out on top at the end. But it is always about YOU. No-one else.


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vagrant-poet wrote:
An average Chelish person who is rigid on the law, but not very dedicated to self-empowerment at the sake of others is a great and interesting character. They aren't an actual worshipper of Asmodeus though.

Wait, really? If you arent the perfect embodiment of a diety's teachings you dont count as a worshiper? This certainly doesnt jive with my real life experience on this subject.

People go to church services regularly, consider themselves to have a particular god as their patron deity. But they're not allowed to be Asmodeus worshippers without undertaking their requisite number of evil acts? How does that work? The priest throws them out of the church until they become better worshippers? Because that doesnt seem to be a winning method of gaining worshippers. Especially in a country where it's the state religion.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's a subtle difference between worship, WORSHIP and "worship". A zealous fanatic who whips herself into frenzy and goes around carrying "THE LORD OF HELL HATES XXX" signs, a lapsed goes-into-the-temple-once-in-a-while person who kind of cherry picks what they take away from the religion and skip the parts they don't fancy and a guy who goes to the church every week and paints his door red but it's all just because otherwise he won't be able to marry the girl he likes because the country doesn't allow civil marriage will all identify as "worshipers of Asmodeus" when asked in public, but they're actual adherence and relation to the faith is wildly across the spectrum. As will their alignment.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:


victimize others for their own selfish gain
?

I guessed from this that you weren't interested in anything but grievance. Seems like that is the case, but I'm willing to give continued benefit of doubt.

John Lynch 106 wrote:


vagrant-poet wrote:
An average Chelish person who is rigid on the law, but not very dedicated to self-empowerment at the sake of others is a great and interesting character. They aren't an actual worshipper of Asmodeus though.

Wait, really? If you arent the perfect embodiment of a diety's teachings you dont count as a worshiper? This certainly doesnt jive with my real life experience on this subject.

People go to church services regularly, consider themselves to have a particular god as their patron deity. But they're not allowed to be Asmodeus worshippers without undertaking their requisite number of evil acts? How does that work? The priest throws them out of the church until they become better worshippers? Because that doesnt seem to be a winning method of gaining worshippers. Especially in a country where it's the state religion.

I think it's pretty clear from my first post, but just to be clear.

Apparent Religious affiliation (following the publicly required rituals), Genuine Religious affiliation (actual belief without neccesarily following every aspect of doctrine), and Full On Doctrine Emrbacing Power Receiving Worship are different things.

Your first post is about designing a character with divine spellcasting, which is the benefit of type 3 worship.

John Lynch 106 wrote:


People go to church services regularly, consider themselves to have a particular god as their patron deity.

Absolutely, they could be any of the three types. Either going along with the state religion for safety or social status, or just looking for something to belong to. But they wouldn't all get divine magic. Only people who actively work to further the deities ideals would.

Being a member of a state religion in a church is absolutely a thing that happens, but they don't get magic powers for signing up.

You want to get powers from Asmodeus, though, you have to obey his edicts and anathema.

Edicts: negotiate contracts to your best advantage, rule tyrannically and torture weaker beings, show subservience to your betters
Anathema: break a contract, free a slave, insult Asmodeus by
showing mercy to your enemies

You could probably keep torture to exploitation and psychologically controlling behaviour, and not be cartoonighly villainous. But still evil.

You explicitly described sadness for not being able to be a LN follower of Asmodeus, but that's not true. I'm pretty sure from your posts that you know it's not true, at this stage tbh.

You can be a LN follower of the exact rules of the church or nation, no problem. Or just by default because you grew up with it as your religion.

But you can't get magical powers directly from Asmodeus without being the kind of selfish being that would be LE.

Most people in Cheliax would write Asmodeus in the religion box of an imaginary modern style census, they'd probably go to weekly services in Churches of Asmodeus. And most of them would be N, LN, and a variety of other alignments of people who just want to get along with live under Thrune. If they believe in Asmodeus or really seek to follow the edicts they are probably at least LN or NE, but the real adherants are LE.


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@vagrant-poet: my op talks about two types of people. Someone who gets divine powers by focusing on different aspects of asmodeus’s teachings (which was perfectly legal in Golarion 1.0, no longer is), but also the lay worshipper who gets no spells.

Is a lay worshipper permitted to have an LN alignment? The table clearly says “follower alignments” or is follower referring to clergy? Typically I’d expect follower to mean worshipper, but that expectation may be wrong.


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Ask your GM. I think it's pretty clear the "Follower Alignments" relates to anyone gaining specific mechanical benefits, but YMMV.

Also mostly depends how they feel about and interact with the faith. A person who thinks that the laws are sensible if harsh, but doesn't want to pursue them for personal gain or to cause pain is pretty much exactly what a Hellknight is, and they can be LN. So I'd argue there's in-game precedent, even in Pathfinder 2e, for a person to write Asmodeus in Deity/Religion and not be LE.

I think there probably aren't many people like that in the world, but that's also a great premise for a player character, who are often exceptions and exceptional. I'd say most folks either believe in and embrace the cruelty and self-serving benefits, or don't really believe but say they do to get along with the business of life.

TBH this is also a discussion about what counts as LE or LN, etc. And that's also going to vary from table to table, person to person.


I figure lay followers can be any alignment, since all they know is what they have been told. It wouldn't be hard to make Asmodeus look "good" (if not Good) or at least a necessary evil (and Hell as Meritocracy isn't necessarily a punishment (although it is)]. No Internet on Golorian to tell people Asmodeus is evil (or that he is secretly Desna). It seems like you could play someone like that as LE with a big chip on their shoulder and contempt for those not trying to move up in the world (at least as you see it), since PC's are generally trying to level up, and thus are "worthy of respect."

Someone drawing divine power from the Big A is opening themselves up to him. If you have high wisdom, there is no excuse for not knowing Asmodeus's nature (no one expects that much mentally from high charisma classes, so if you want to play a divine caster who doesn't know what is going on, divine sorcerer or paladin should be fine).


vagrant-poet wrote:

Ask your GM. I think it's pretty clear the "Follower Alignments" relates to anyone gaining specific mechanical benefits, but YMMV.

Also mostly depends how they feel about and interact with the faith. A person who thinks that the laws are sensible if harsh, but doesn't want to pursue them for personal gain or to cause pain is pretty much exactly what a Hellknight is, and they can be LN. So I'd argue there's in-game precedent, even in Pathfinder 2e, for a person to write Asmodeus in Deity/Religion and not be LE.

I think there probably aren't many people like that in the world, but that's also a great premise for a player character, who are often exceptions and exceptional. I'd say most folks either believe in and embrace the cruelty and self-serving benefits, or don't really believe but say they do to get along with the business of life.

TBH this is also a discussion about what counts as LE or LN, etc. And that's also going to vary from table to table, person to person.

I am the GM. I’m trying to understand what the standard expectations are before I start houseruling. This is a pretty substantial thing in the setting so I want to understand it better.

But thanks for trying :)


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Lawful Evil is the easiest type of evil to integrate into a group. The have goals typically and do intelligent things. Yes, they're probably waiting to screw you over in an opportune moment but there's no guarantee that moment will arrive. Or perhaps they view you as a convenient means to an end but bear you in particular no specific malice.

Evil can be about long terms goals and what you're willing to do to get there without having to do with anything to your party or in front of them.

Perhaps your character has decided to go and adventure to accumulate wealth and skill so they can use that to go rid of the sibling that stands to inherit all of the family fortune without being caught, or being capable of covering it up when you are.

I don't think being evil will require you to do obviously Evil things in front of the party, its about motivations. Though, you character probably should do evil things if it benefits him and doesn't risk him getting caught and separated from his crew. Even evil people are allowed to have friends and supports networks they care about.


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Your right. For motivated people being evil is really easy to do. But much of society isn’t motivated. They follow the path of least resistance, lead fairly inconsequential lives and worship whatever deity their society says they should. Being evil for a lot of those people is simply too much effort.

My big question is: Is Asmodeus a legitimate deity for them? The “follower alignments” entry seems to say no. With some suggesting that restriction is only meant for clerics. That seems really ambiguous to me (follower = worshipper in my mind), so I’m wondering what people think and if there is any clarification anywhere that I’m missing.


What would it mean for him to be not "legitimate" for the N masses? That they're somehow not allowed to call him their deity? That the temples will spot them somehow and throw them out? I don't get how this distinction could be meaningful.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
What would it mean for him to be not "legitimate" for the N masses? That they're somehow not allowed to call him their deity? That the temples will spot them somehow and throw them out? I don't get how this distinction could be meaningful.

those were the points I was making earlier. I don’t understand how this is meant to work in universe.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

'Follower alignments' only refers to Clerics, Champions, and other characters who are directly receiving power from the God. It's the replacement for the one-step-removed rule in 1E. A layperson can worship whomever they like, but Pathfinder's current thinking is that someone who channels the God's power needs to be pretty thoroughly in sync with them.

That said, in my Golarion, Asmodeus will absolutely still empower LN worshipers, because the way I see it, that's an essential strategy for his Big Lie.


CRB page 437, Religion, Deities wrote:
Anyone can worship a deity, but those who do so devoutly should take care to pursue the faith’s edicts (behaviors the faith encourages) and avoid its anathemas (actions considered blasphemous). Each deity below has their alignment listed in parentheses after their name, followed by a short description and their edicts, anathemas, and the alignments permitted for followers. Following that are benefits available to the most ardent devotees of the deities. You get these benefits only if you’re a cleric of the deity or some other rule specifically gives you a devotee benefit.

For the masses ("followers" but not "devotees"), the permitted alignments are just like the edicts and anathemas---things you're supposed to be, do, or avoid, but not things you experience a real penalty for not being, doing, or avoiding, at least if nobody sees you.


Thanks for the correction! Very strangely labeled column. But good to know the official answer :)


I imagine that in Old Cheliax, a lot of people go to the temple of Asmodeus for appearances sake regardless of their alignment, but you don't the divine powers of a cleric or paladin without real belief and dedication to those ideals (usually a cleric is the priest giving the sermon at the temple, not the person dozing off in the pews because they are expected to be there).

Grand Lodge

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I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't think Asmodeus cares what your alignment is, and that includes divine spell casters too. Becoming a cleric of his means entering into a contract. As long as you fufill your end of the bargain, nothing else matters.

So, yes, I'm OK with paladins of Asmodeus. Sure, said paladin would be LAWFUL good and have Smite Chaos. So long as the mortal does as he is told, that mortal is an effective servant/slave. Perhaps one who can do things other servants cannot. But failure do as agreed means the punitive clauses in the contract will literally mean a living hell for the mortal.

Asmodeus worship isn't a religion based on love. It is all duty, obligations, and betrayal. Lots of Spock's Beard style promotion by getting superiors to screw up. Legalistic arguments about where the lines actually are would be common. "Lawyer Up" would be a class skill/skill feat for just about everyone.

I accept that this isn't the direction that the setting has taken. But it feels like some richness, subtlety, and moral ambiguity has been lost.

FWIW non evil worshippers will have trouble staying alive in the Church of Asmodeus, much less getting to positions of power. But if that is what a PC wants to try, sure

Liberty's Edge

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DougSeay wrote:
I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't think Asmodeus cares what your alignment is, and that includes divine spell casters too. Becoming a cleric of his means entering into a contract. As long as you fufill your end of the bargain, nothing else matters.

I believe this is absolutely true. However, the actions that this contract requires of you will necessarily and directly make you LE.

Keeping to such a contract with absolute fidelity makes you Lawful, after all, while the nature of what Asmodeus requires you to do in such a contract makes you Evil.

Another way to look at it is that Asmodeus is an absolutely perfect corrupter. Sure, his worshipers might start out something other than LE. I'd certainly allow a LN character to 'find their faith' in Asmodeus and become his Cleric...but even if the act of doing so doesn't make them LE on the spot (and it might), what they'd need to do in his service to maintain their powers seems like it may well inevitably lead to LE within weeks.

Liberty's Edge

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IIRC an interesting take by one of the Paizonians (Ssalarn I think) was that Asmodeus would love having non-LE divine classes as worshippers but you just cannot channel his divine powers if you do not fulfill the requirements, including required alignment. If you're not LE, you cannot be "in synch" with Asmodeus' divine energies.


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Well what his requirements are depends on the edition your drawing your lore from. James Jacob's has made his thoughts on the issue abundantly clear. GMs are free to deviate as far or as little as they want (I think NE and LN would definitely be possible with a slow slide likely occurring into LE. This is 100% in line with the idea of Asmodeus corrupting people. But James Jacob's clearly disagrees).

Grand Lodge

So non clerical operatives of Asmodeus would be Oracles to get around the alignment/world view restriction? Perhaps a few Witches where Asmodeus is the Patron? Of course there will be many other classes too, but I'm focusing on those who get class abilities directly from Asmodeus.

My reasoning isn't limited to Asmodeus. Someone who dedicates thier life to getting revenge could be a worshipper of Calistra. And she might agree to help. The alignment restriction there seems unwarranted as well.

I have a lot of respect for James Jacob, but this isn't how I'd do it. Maybe this explains why he gets the big bucks.

Dark Archive

The way I see it though, clerics aren't just worshippers of a god, clerics are SERVANTS of a god.(just ask what priests think of their relation to their gods) So the "LN cleric gets corrupted to LE" thing wouldn't work in case of Asmodeus because they are already their willing servant :P


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CorvusMask wrote:
The way I see it though, clerics aren't just worshippers of a god, clerics are SERVANTS of a god.(just ask what priests think of their relation to their gods) So the "LN cleric gets corrupted to LE" thing wouldn't work in case of Asmodeus because they are already their willing servant :P

That's my interpretation as well. If you want to to corrupt an LN person, the cleric of Asmodeus in that situation is the one DOING the corruption.

Clerics are a specific exception to gods acting directly on mortal events. Like they all agreed that appearing on Golarion and doing their will just draws other gods, and the fallout renders their actions moot.

Rovagug didn't agree, and that's why he's shackled in the center of the planet.

So clerics are the given power to be the will and direct agents of their god on Golarion.

DougSeay wrote:
dedicates thier life to getting revenge could be a worshipper of Calistra

I mean, Calistria is about allowing yourself to embrace your emotions, even those normally considered bad by societies, like passion, even spite, and of course vengeance. But specifically has an anathema for "become too consumed by love or a need for revenge". In other words, chaotic leaning revenge. Not a long term plan to enact revenge at all costs. I bet there's an Archdevil for that. Or Zon-Kuthon if you really want to cause the target of your ire pain. IF you want divine power. Nothing stopping a vengeful Lawful ranger giving prayers to Calistria.

I understand that was just an example, but I'm suggesting that every such example can probably be explained by taking into consideration what being a cleric represents. Not one word of a domain, not a follower of a God, a person singularly united in purpose and belief with a genuinely existing, extremely powerful but distant, entity.


If clerics were really the source of their power, then it would make sense for gods to grab any of them they could into their service. But that isn't how it works in Golorian, not to mention that "being the source of your divine power" is the divine sorcerer's gimmick.

I could even see if it clerics were charisma casters, since maybe they could draw large groups to worship the god, but even though PF 2 clerics can benefit from charisma, they are still primarily wisdom casters.

Which brings us to wisdom. You are really great at noticing things, except the nature of the god you are worshipping?


CorvusMask wrote:
The way I see it though, clerics aren't just worshippers of a god, clerics are SERVANTS of a god.(just ask what priests think of their relation to their gods) So the "LN cleric gets corrupted to LE" thing wouldn't work in case of Asmodeus because they are already their willing servant :P

While you can certainly hold that view, it was not supported by the rules until the new edition. Which version is better is a matter of taste.

I personally dont hold q one dimensional view of the clergy and imagine there is a wide variety of roles they can assume which have various traditions associated with them.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I personally dont hold q one dimensional view of the clergy and imagine there is a wide variety of roles they can assume which have various traditions associated with them.

I believe this is absolutely true of clergy in general. But if anyone in the whole universe is gonna have a single specific inviolable role for his clergy that they don't get power if they deviate from in the least way, it's definitely Asmodeus.

I mean, we're literally talking about the God who thinks mortals having free will was a mistake and that they should be punished for daring to have such a thing. Having his priests more restricted than those of many other Gods is not exactly a stretch...

Liberty's Edge

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I find it sad and restrictive that ALL the changes in available alignments for Clerics of the Core deities reduced possibilities.

Liberty's Edge

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The Raven Black wrote:
I find it sad and restrictive that ALL the changes in available alignments for Clerics of the Core deities reduced possibilities.

This I'm in more sympathy with. I think Nethys should probably be cool with Clerics of any Alignment, for example.

Dark Archive

John Lynch 106 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
The way I see it though, clerics aren't just worshippers of a god, clerics are SERVANTS of a god.(just ask what priests think of their relation to their gods) So the "LN cleric gets corrupted to LE" thing wouldn't work in case of Asmodeus because they are already their willing servant :P

While you can certainly hold that view, it was not supported by the rules until the new edition. Which version is better is a matter of taste.

I personally dont hold q one dimensional view of the clergy and imagine there is a wide variety of roles they can assume which have various traditions associated with them.

It was supported by flavor and lore of 1e though, which is why I'm happy that getting rid of 3.5-isms and 1e setting neutralness means rules also support it now.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I find it sad and restrictive that ALL the changes in available alignments for Clerics of the Core deities reduced possibilities.
This I'm in more sympathy with. I think Nethys should probably be cool with Clerics of any Alignment, for example.

I mean, depends, is there really reason why Gozreh would allow only five alignments in particular besides neutral aligned ones being more in along with Gozreh's personality?

...That said, Nethys is actually the best god for idea of all 9 alignments allowed clerics because of the whole "doesn't matter how you use magic as long you use it" dealio. Then again, I guess it comes back to the whole "fitting personality of god" deal since I guess LG or CG clerics might have stronger opinions on how you should use magic that Nethys wouldn't agree with? Idk honestly if there is good explanation for nethys and five alignments.


I see the argument about Big A wanting non-LE ckerics etc. But being the lawful person why would ignore his own principles and grant power to those that effectly aren't in synch with him. I could see Chaotic gods granting power willy nilly but not lawful.

I also question just what lawful means in Cheliax the queen murdered 100 people just like that in AP. No justification besides we need that for Tanthum. Doesn't come of as very lawful. Granted maybe there is a law in Cheliax that allows the death of good-aligned people.

Liberty's Edge

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Abrogail Thrune is not a Cleric. She can break the law all she wants as long as she doesn't break her deal with Asmodeus (in which case he would claim her soul). I very much doubt the deal in question stops her from murdering people.

Now, she is LE, so I doubt she does that sort of thing often, but doing a single non-Lawful act doesn't make you stop being Lawful, generally speaking.

Dark Archive

Also Lawful vs Chaos is more about worldview of whether they prefer freedom or orderly stuff :p Also as ruler of the country, she might feel like she IS the law.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Abrogail Thrune is not a Cleric. She can break the law all she wants as long as she doesn't break her deal with Asmodeus (in which case he would claim her soul). I very much doubt the deal in question stops her from murdering people.

Now, she is LE, so I doubt she does that sort of thing often, but doing a single non-Lawful act doesn't make you stop being Lawful, generally speaking.

No sheäs not a cleric but if a lawful person does unlawful things one could assume shes no longer going to be lawful is she

s continueing. I didnt mention it being Asmodeus complaining rather she not following the laws of Cheliax. And yes she's the ruler but laws applies to ruler as well. Otherwise we might as well all be Chaotic. A Queen doing whatever she wants regardless of what shes made lawful is more like Chaotic Neutral than Lawful evil.

Silver Crusade

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Then what laws are lawful and which are chaotic then?

What she did was Evil, the Lawful/Chaotic part didn't really enter into it.

Liberty's Edge

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Murdering 100 innocent persons on a whim is a Chaotic Evil act.
Murdering them because it is efficient is a Neutral Evil act.
Murdering them because these are your orders is a Lawful Evil act.

And as DMW stated a single non-Lawful act does not make you stop being Lawful.

Sadly I do not know the specifics of that event, so I cannot guess which of the above applies.

Hmmm. Sounds like a shortcut for my definition of the Law-Chaos axis would be :

"I want to" = Chaotic
"I have to" = Lawful
"I need to" = Neutral

Dark Archive

Its murdering 100 good aligned innocent people to power up a magic nuke to blow up army of paladins surrounding a city.

Liberty's Edge

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CorvusMask wrote:
Its murdering 100 good aligned innocent people to power up a magic nuke to blow up army of paladins surrounding a city.

OK. I would put it as Neutral Evil then. Self-preservation at its Evil best.

Sovereign Court

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It's also worth noting that the laws of Cheliax are such that you can make just about anything you need to be legal, legal... as long as you know the right loopholes. And, presumably, few know them better than Abrogail.


The Raven Black wrote:

Murdering 100 innocent persons on a whim is a Chaotic Evil act.

Murdering them because it is efficient is a Neutral Evil act.
Murdering them because these are your orders is a Lawful Evil act.

And as DMW stated a single non-Lawful act does not make you stop being Lawful.

Sadly I do not know the specifics of that event, so I cannot guess which of the above applies.

Hmmm. Sounds like a shortcut for my definition of the Law-Chaos axis would be :

"I want to" = Chaotic
"I have to" = Lawful
"I need to" = Neutral

I never claimed a single act makes you unlawful, I said continueng such acts would. She has 100 good-aligned people murdered to create a artifact. I am wondering what laws they broke to get killed. Given that Cheliax is a nation of laws. I assume murder isnt lawful. And just murdering a 100 people without any trial or any such comes of as weird. Surely there is something they can find among the numerous laws. While rulers can decide who lives and dies lawful rulers usually have reasons not just "I felt like it ". Though that happens ofc.

Silver Crusade

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Executions are Lawful in Cheliax.

That entire village is set up for just this purpose, it's not a random. It's actually rather intricate.


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Thrune murdered 100 people to create an artifact, which implies that they did not murder 100 people just because. If Abrogail Thrune is as intelligent as the lore suggests, the laws of Cheliax are arranged in such a way that the creation of this artifact can be prioritized above the lives of 100 citizens of the state, and those lives can be confiscated via execution to create the artifact competely lawfully.

The difference, in my mind, between CE and LE rulers is that CE rulers will kill people and then pass the justification that says they are fine doing so, while LE people have already arranged the law code so make every instance of murder they need to commit perfectly lawful ahead of time.


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Keep in mind that being lawful doesn't always mean that you respect or obey the law. Batman and Superman are both lawful good characters, and one of those two works explicitly outside the law (Batman isn't lawful because he respects the law, he is lawful because he has a strong moral code that is very inflexible, heck, his archenemy, the joker, who is his antithesis, is probably the ur-example of chaotic evil, which is the opposite to lawful good.)

Also, laws applying to the rulers is actually not the default historically (that is why the Magna Carta was such a huge deal). In a lot of cases when you have a divine right to rule/mandate from heaven, what you do is legal because it is, as far as the people are concerned, the will of heaven (or in this case, hell). The laws are for lesser mortals who aren't the infallible ruler chosen by god.

Abrogail probably has every legal right to murder 100 people to create a weapon in service of her nation, or even to just murder 100 people who are enemies of the state.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Batman is not LG IMO, because he does not tend to do as he is told. Also Joker being CE does not make Batman LG. Not anymore that Superman and Captain America being LG makes Lex Luthor or the Red Skull CE.

And a society being LE does not automatically mean that the ruler is LE also. But Abrogail is and thus will tend to strengthen the system of laws, which means following the letter of the law as much as possible. Doing things "just because" weakens the law, even when you are the legitimate and absolute ruler.
Predictability is very important to the Lawful mindset.


The Raven Black wrote:

Batman is not LG IMO, because he does not tend to do as he is told. Also Joker being CE does not make Batman LG. Not anymore that Superman and Captain America being LG makes Lex Luthor or the Red Skull CE.

And a society being LE does not automatically mean that the ruler is LE also. But Abrogail is and thus will tend to strengthen the system of laws, which means following the letter of the law as much as possible. Doing things "just because" weakens the law, even when you are the legitimate and absolute ruler.
Predictability is very important to the Lawful mindset.

Batman doesn't do what he is told because he is the one who does the telling - he has a strong, inflexible moral code in which he is the judge, jury and executioner and he never really doubts whether he is right to do so. He doesn't do anything on a whim and almost never violates his personal code - he is even more constrained by his code than most people are constrained by the regular law.

(A strong argument can actually made for Batman being a modern fascist but let's not go there)


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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tender Tendrils wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

Batman is not LG IMO, because he does not tend to do as he is told. Also Joker being CE does not make Batman LG. Not anymore that Superman and Captain America being LG makes Lex Luthor or the Red Skull CE.

And a society being LE does not automatically mean that the ruler is LE also. But Abrogail is and thus will tend to strengthen the system of laws, which means following the letter of the law as much as possible. Doing things "just because" weakens the law, even when you are the legitimate and absolute ruler.
Predictability is very important to the Lawful mindset.

Batman doesn't do what he is told because he is the one who does the telling - he has a strong, inflexible moral code in which he is the judge, jury and executioner and he never really doubts whether he is right to do so. He doesn't do anything on a whim and almost never violates his personal code - he is even more constrained by his code than most people are constrained by the regular law.

(A strong argument can actually made for Batman being a modern fascist but let's not go there)

CG in my games. Obviously YMMV and as Paradozen kindly linked everyone is right :-)


How to roleplay Lawful Evil: Insurance company boss seems like an excellent introduction.

Liberty's Edge

To quote 'Cheliax, The Infernal Empire' (p.3):

Quote:
In its current form, the Chelish government is best described as a bureaucratic autocracy. Her Infernal Majestrix, Queen Abrogail II of the Twice-Damned House of Thrune, rules with unchecked authority—her word is as binding as any devil’s contract. That she often changes her mind, using her power to erase any trace of her former decrees, further secures her sovereignty, as even her most trusted servants and advisors are only a whim away from potential treason.

So, per the laws of Cheliax, it seems Abrogail can sentence people to death for...well, basically whatever she likes (well, technically treason, but she gets to define what's treason this week). And does so whenever she feels like it.

Whether that means she shouldn't be LE is another matter entirely, but this specific incident is in no way out of character or inconsistent with other descriptions of her behavior and powers.


Paradozen wrote:

Thrune murdered 100 people to create an artifact, which implies that they did not murder 100 people just because. If Abrogail Thrune is as intelligent as the lore suggests, the laws of Cheliax are arranged in such a way that the creation of this artifact can be prioritized above the lives of 100 citizens of the state, and those lives can be confiscated via execution to create the artifact competely lawfully.

The difference, in my mind, between CE and LE rulers is that CE rulers will kill people and then pass the justification that says they are fine doing so, while LE people have already arranged the law code so make every instance of murder they need to commit perfectly lawful ahead of time.

This and especially the last paragraph is something I can agree on. It still begs the question what was legal justification. Is Trhune a nation where there is a law that (as you implied) allows the ruler to break other rules in the name of national security ?

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