Iomedae and the Hubris Subdomain


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Grand Lodge

So I was looking through Iomedae's domains and such today, and I noticed something pretty curious. One of her subdomains was Hubris, a subdomain of the Glory domain. I took a look at it, and I just have to wonder. What exactly about this subdomain fits with Iomedae at all? The main subdomain made me do a double-take, cause it just seems so unfitting for her.

"At 6th level, you can petition your divine patron for far greater power than you deserve. Activating this ability is a swift action that you must use as you cast a spell that has a reduced (but not negated) effect on a successful save. The saving throw DC of the spell increases by 2, and you gain a +2 bonus on caster level checks to overcome spell resistance with the spell. Any creature that succeeds at the saving throw instead avoids the effect entirely. If half or more of the targets are unaffected, you become shaken for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level. If all of the targets are unaffected, you instead lose the ability to cast divine spells, channel energy, and use domain powers for 1d4+1 rounds; you can end this loss as a full-round action by loudly apologizing to your patron deity as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. You can use this ability once per day at 6th level, and one additional time per day for every 4 levels beyond 6th."

Asking for far greater power than you deserve? I fail to see how this is Lawful Good in the slightest. Hopefully there's an explanation out there somewhere, because I'm utterly confused.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

She's god of Paladins. How many Paladins aren't full of themselves?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Iomedae's Lawful...Good, yeah. Definitely. Couldn't be anything else. No way she'd let people to suck up to her and reward them if they did a good enough job, or smite those who failed to suck up well enough, right? And narcissistic trivia questions, right out. Not Iomedae.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Iomedae is also known as The Inheritor. She inherited the domains and titles of Aroden - the god of humanity.

If there's one thing all the gods and all the races of Golarion can agree on, it's the Hubris of Man.


deuxhero wrote:
She's god of Paladins. How many Paladins aren't full of themselves?

Heh, one of my most memorable characters was a Paladin who's divine powers came from belief in himself.

He was known as Umbasa the Party God.


Interestingly, Iomedae's church does spend a fair bit of time discussing the danger of hubris.

I'd recommend this excellent blog post by James Jacobs discussing the eleven acts of Iomedae. She's credited as teaching her followers to consider the spirit of her acts, avoid her faults, and learn from her actions, not her words.

Letting her followers exceed their reach and fail? Sounds like a teaching moment of someone who believes actions speak louder than words.


I never noticed this before, but I agree, it seems out of place. I like MrCharisma's theory that she got it from Aroden (remember, Aroden was LN NOT LG, plus I remember reading something (although I cannot for the life of me remember if it was a post here, something in one of the books, or something else) That suggested Aroden was a lot more selfish and less noble than people remember him as.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wasn't she a mortal who ascended?

Pretty hubristic for a mortal to ascend to godhood really.


Ryan Freire wrote:

Wasn't she a mortal who ascended?

Pretty hubristic for a mortal to ascend to godhood really.

She's a mortal who followed a god who was also an ascended mortal - Aroden. When Iomedae ascended she became Aroden's Herald, and finally took his place when he "died".

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It's worth noting that, per the original source, this is an apocryphal aspect of Iomedae. The source has the following to say about it:

Divine Anthology:
Example Apocrypha (Iomedae): As the Second Mendevian Crusade drew to a close, the crusaders found they had exhausted many of their strongest warriors, forcing them to recruit mercenaries of less noble intentions. At the same time, demons began infiltrating Mendev’s ranks, spreading lies, and seeding betrayal. The Third Crusade collapsed nearly as soon as it began, crippled by witch-hunts and bloodthirsty inquisitions. The Church of Iomedae has since reprimanded the overzealous interrogators who led those pogroms, yet a small cult of apostates refuses to accept forgiveness for the faith’s lapse. Calling themselves the Children of the Third Crusade, these curious acolytes self-flagellate to seek humility, yet they then lord their righteousness over their peers in shows of disquieting vanity. The crusaders suffer these fanatics’ presence, acknowledging them as a living lesson of the crusade’s past failures.

In addition, per said source, you must possess a specific trait to select this subdomain.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Have to say this is why I appreciate 2e's clear presentation and direction regarding access to options and such <_< In 1e's if pcs pick obscure options from nethys(or even more confusing, from d20pfrd with names changed for setting specific stuff), you have to check context for the options from player's companion flavor wise.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Have to say this is why I appreciate 2e's clear presentation and direction regarding access to options and such <_< In 1e's if pcs pick obscure options from nethys(or even more confusing, from d20pfrd with names changed for setting specific stuff), you have to check context for the options from player's companion flavor wise.

I see that not as a flaw of 1e, but as a flaw of using AoN or d20pfrd as a primary source instead of as a reference for checking things rapidly when you already know the background flavor.

A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

Show me one book other than that AP that its rules are in or even references its use.

Dark Archive

Diego Rossi wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Have to say this is why I appreciate 2e's clear presentation and direction regarding access to options and such <_< In 1e's if pcs pick obscure options from nethys(or even more confusing, from d20pfrd with names changed for setting specific stuff), you have to check context for the options from player's companion flavor wise.
I see that not as a flaw of 1e, but as a flaw of using AoN or d20pfrd as a primary source instead of as a reference for checking things rapidly when you already know the background flavor.

Issue with that is thought that not everyone has extra money to spend on their hobby and when you run games online, its kinda hard to share physical books :p Plus nethys and d20pfrd tends to be more convenient anyway.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

The rule that says "I'm the GM and I said no AP-specific stuff." : /

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

Show me one book other than that AP that its rules are in or even references its use.

There's a rule that says you can only pick an option if it's referenced somewhere else? Cool, can you point me to it? :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

The rule that says "I'm the GM and I said no AP-specific stuff." : /

Seriously, so much fantastic content thrown away just because of one spell? Awwwww, restrictive Mister Caverns are so unfun.

On a slightly more serious note - I can get behind "you can't take it because it's too OP". I can't get behind "because lore reasons", since a lot of great Paizo content is baked with lore - remember Lore Warden? Ever tried stopping anybody from taking Lore Warden because it's in a book about Pathfinder Society? Of course you didn't.

And any lore restrictions lose any meaning if you're running the game in any setting other than Golarion.


Gorbacz wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

Show me one book other than that AP that its rules are in or even references its use.
There's a rule that says you can only pick an option if it's referenced somewhere else? Cool, can you point me to it? :)

Its an option players don't even have ACCESS to until they go through that AP. Its a LOST SPELL. Why does your character have this long lost ancient thassilonian spell that is completely unknown until they go through rise of the runelords? Theres more to a game than lines of code.

edit: hell its not even in a book players are supposed to be reading. You could buy every book players are supposed to have access to and never encounter that spell til you see it brought up on archives of nethys or srd.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


A classic example is Blood money. People have used it as if it was available in every magic store of every village, while it is a spell developed by Thassalonian wizards, usable by a specific archetype with a specific school specialization, and rediscovered in a single location in an AP.

That's all cool and nice, but show me one rule that says I can't pick it with my Chelaxian Kitsune Wizard.

Show me one book other than that AP that its rules are in or even references its use.
There's a rule that says you can only pick an option if it's referenced somewhere else? Cool, can you point me to it? :)
Its an option players don't even have ACCESS to until they go through that AP. Its a LOST SPELL. Why does your character have this long lost ancient thassilonian spell that is completely unknown until they go through rise of the runelords? Theres more to a game than lines of code.

Because ... wait, let me think ... he was visited in his dreams by ancient time-displaced Thassilionian mage who imparted this spell upon him as means of making the fight against an incoming ominous great evil easier. There, done, lore handled and I even rubbed two brain cells together to do it. Still more plausible than 99% of D&D lore with T-rexes sharing habitats with dragons and whatanot.

If your argument was "it's too powerful", you'd have me interested in a discussion. But that also would mean admitting one of PF1's greatest flaws.

And the "it's in a book that's not for players" argument is meaningless in the age of everybody building their characters by following guides and browsing AoN/d20pfsrd. You may not like that it's like this and I even can understand that, but the reality is as it is.


Well I can see it.

Iomedae doesn't set the alignments, they are set by the "universe". Good is good because the universe said so and so on.

This means the very universe she lives in tells her that her actions are good and righteous, same for the paladins. It isn't hard to understand why hubris is a thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
On a slightly more serious note - I can get behind "you can't take it because it's too OP". I can't get behind "because lore reasons"

I completely disagree with this. The GM sets the parameters of the game, and the "lore" is a part of that. For the same reason everyone can't buy a CHAINSAW with a GRAVITY CLIP in every town in your medieval fantasy game, they also can't learn lost blood-magic just by picking up a scroll from the local hedge-wizard.

I love the idea of lost spells/rituals that can be found/earned during a campaign. I love that Paizo included Occult Rituals (although I would love to see some that are accessible at slightly earlier levels).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The trick is, how do you share the knowledge that certain content is meant to be earned rather than simply obtained? As a GM, I own a good number of Paizo products but I haven't even had the time to read all of the books I own let alone ctrl+f my way through a hundred PDFs looking for a specific option.

The reason I use pathfinder is because it is open content and I can point my players to an online resource that is easy to search/explore. This way I don't need to loan people books, try to find ways to get them copys of PDFs, and can allow them to explore resources at their own pace.

So how am I meant to know that any given spell/equipment/ability is meant to be locked behind an achievement if there is nothing in the description to explain the achievement? I've only seen this done well online (the most easily searchable database of content) in the form of the Kineticist talents that must be earned, but there is no mention of Blood Money being a restricted spell within its description. Basically, there ought to be warning signs on such content; and, for the most part there simply isn't any easily accessible text that says "No you can't take X until Y". I'm sure not looking up the context of every option all six of my players take, I've got enough trouble running the game without auditing every single decision they make every time we level up. Hell, leveling already takes an hour and a half as is.

Because of this, I am forced to fall back on Rule #0: Fun Matters. If a player takes an option that reduces the fun of the game for the rest of the party, we have a discussion and a new option is selected. That is the best I can do with limited time and resources available to me as a GM.


Gorbacz wrote:
And the "it's in a book that's not for players" argument is meaningless in the age of everybody building their characters by following guides and browsing AoN/d20pfsrd. You may not like that it's like this and I even can understand that, but the reality is as it is.

Eppur si muove.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
Basically, there ought to be warning signs on such content; and, for the most part there simply isn't any easily accessible text that says "No you can't take X until Y".

I agree, it would be great if there were. I think the reason we don't get this is because the d20pfsrd is 3rd party and wouldn't be allowed to publish the lore-related parts, and archivesofnethys is basically run by one guy (does a great job, but it's a huge amount of work to include something as niche as this). I'm not saying you must adhere to these rules above all else (how could I possibly enforce that), but that the lore is included for a reason. Sometimes that reason is to limit something that is otherwise above the power-curve.

With that said, if you don't know something's restricted then you can't do this, if you do know it is, but want it in your game then great.

ShroudedInLight wrote:
Because of this, I am forced to fall back on Rule #0: Fun Matters. If a player takes an option that reduces the fun of the game for the rest of the party, we have a discussion and a new option is selected. That is the best I can do with limited time and resources available to me as a GM.

Sounds perfect.

Going back to the OP's question: I guess we found out why Iomedae has the Hubris domain.

If you don't want to include that part of the lore then we came up with a few more explanations along the way.


Honestly in any campaign i run, im going to end up saying "no its a lost ancient spell found in ONE adventure path we're not playing right now" and if they persist the answer becomes "f$++ you, thats why"

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MrCharisma wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:
Basically, there ought to be warning signs on such content; and, for the most part there simply isn't any easily accessible text that says "No you can't take X until Y".

I agree, it would be great if there were. I think the reason we don't get this is because the d20pfsrd is 3rd party and wouldn't be allowed to publish the lore-related parts, and archivesofnethys is basically run by one guy (does a great job, but it's a huge amount of work to include something as niche as this). I'm not saying you must adhere to these rules above all else (how could I possibly enforce that), but that the lore is included for a reason. Sometimes that reason is to limit something that is otherwise above the power-curve.

With that said, if you don't know something's restricted then you can't do this, if you do know it is, but want it in your game then great.

Actually there is something in AoN, if the players care to look:

"Source Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition pg. 418, Pathfinder #5: Sins of the Saviors pg. 59"

The problem is that some players don't care to look and some even purposely look away.

To reply to Gorbacz, if you want to play on Golarion, a bit of respect for the lore is needed. Otherwise, you are playing in "power play vaguely flavored as Golarion". Fully acceptable as it is your home game, but some people find that unfun.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
The trick is, how do you share the knowledge that certain content is meant to be earned rather than simply obtained?

Well, first step is to stop using d20pfsrd.com for anything but a quick lookup. Never, ever use it for actually selecting things for a character.

Second step, don't use anything from an AP. If that was general stuff for players, it'd be in a book containing general stuff for players.

Third step, take caution about anything with obvious flavor connection, if you don't have access to the books. For example, if you have a feat called "Horn of the Criosphinx", and it's from a book about a specific region, maybe you should not try to argue that the special entry "A monk can use this feat as long as he is wielding a two-handed weapon or both his hands are empty." also works for natural attacks, if you don't have the book and thus don't know about the flavor (which makes it clear that it's about unarmed strikes). Even without the "note" (that I think got added after I had a discussion about that feat).

Forth step, especially for anything that falls under the third step, talk to the GM. To pick up the Blood Money example, if you want to take the spell on your blood caster-flavored Sorcerer to fuel Blood Sentinel, you probably won't see any complains about the spell being long lost or something. If you try some infinite-money-scheme, hell f@*&ing no.


Diego Rossi wrote:


Actually there is something in AoN, if the players care to look:
"Source Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition pg. 418, Pathfinder #5: Sins of the Saviors pg. 59"

The problem is that some players don't care to look and some even purposely look away.

How does just listing the source demonstrate whether or not an option is locked behind an achievement? I wouldn't deny one of my players the use of the Phoenix Bloodrager Bloodline just because it came from the Pathfinder #144, Midwives of Death adventure path. Certainly I can see the argument that options located within adventure paths would be more rare than those located within the core books but a party of moderately leveled PCs is already exceptionally rare. There is a difference between "This option is rare" and "This option has prerequisites". A lot of prestige classes do a nice job of labeling their prerequisite, such as accomplishing a goal for a Psychopomp, being sworn in by another Hellknight, and etc.

Blood Money has nothing on its page to indicate that it is a long lost spell and a reward for accomplishing a task. The only reason I know Blood Money is infact a long lost spell is because I've read about it on these forums. So without looking up every last detail on all my players and constantly auditing them, or completely banning APs and all the fun options they provide...I am left with Rule #0. As long as everyone is having fun, who cares? If things become a problem for the table, it is our job as GMs to fix it. If something contradicts the lore of your game table, ask the player to respect your table and try the idea out elsewhere. Its really that simple.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
wouldn't deny one of my players the use of the Phoenix Bloodrager Bloodline just because it came from the Pathfinder #144, Midwives of Death adventure path.

And here's where we diverge--I would, by default. More often than not, there are thematic reasons such things are available in their context, and more often than not those reasons to extend to arbitrary PCs in arbitrary settings. That's not to say I couldn't be convinced to file the serial numbers off, but I'm going to give such things heightened scrutiny as they don't pass the same balance design bar as Core or even splatbook options. They only have to work in the context of that Adventure Path, not the general case. (Note: I do not know whether the Design Team intentionally used such a relaxed threshold for publishing AP-specific character options, but that's how a lot of the content ended up in practice.)


Title of the section of the adventure path the spell is in

Magic of Thassilon
Lost Arcana of the Runelords

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

It's worth noting that, per the original source, this is an apocryphal aspect of Iomedae. The source has the following to say about it:

** spoiler omitted **

In addition, per said source, you must possess a specific trait to select this subdomain.

To chime in as this subdomain’s author (and author of the example apocryphal practices), Kalindlara has the right of it: these are subdomains that often represent a departure from a deity’s core teachings while still remaining within the realm of what the deity could condone.

Iomedae’s faithful experienced some serious growing pains courtesy of the Worldwound, and the Third Mendevian Crusade was especially devastating when it came to what constituted “good” in the face of unforgiving inquisitions. The hubris domain addresses what can happen when even a good-aligned cleric says “I am good, I will prevail no matter the costs, and my deity *will* provide me the power I need to prevail, no matter the costs. As their mortal agent, I *am* right.” That zeal might align with the deity’s needs most days, but there are some occasions when the deity is going to look down from the Outer Planes and say, “buddy, you need to stop throwing my name around and expecting me to grant you spells when you do that. I’m not going to require an atonement spell, but I am putting you in time out for a sec.”

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Iomedae and the Hubris Subdomain All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.