Potentially interesting deity pivots


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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So, Beliefs are gong to be more of a thing... and Alignment (as it was) is going away entirely. So this gives us some potentially very interesting possibilities for pivots in deities who had Beliefs that don't necessarily enshrine their old place on the 3x3 grid. This is a place to bring those out and take note of them and consider some of the potential implications... both for gods who might have been considered "good" and for those who might have been considered "evil" but whose Beliefs are... less that way.

In the hopes of not dragging this immediately into alignment argument hell, I'm going to just skip the ones I see as borderline entirely and look for the ones that are particularly blatant and/or odd takes. Further, I am taking as given for this purpose that the undead are inherently evil. There are a number of other gods that would make this list otherwise, and I'm trying to not step in that complexity. There's also at least a few cases where it seems pretty clear that the authors were seeing art as being inherently morally good. I'm not going to get into that one, either.

Baalzebub:
- Edicts: Convey yourself with regal dignity, claim what you desire and deserve, seek vengeance from those who wrong you
- Anathema: Provoke Baalzebul’s envy, show humility
These? Really not so bad. A refusal to show humility is a bit obnoxious, perhaps, but the real sting here comes in exactly how you interpret "those who wrong you" and "what you desire and deserve". With reasonable and sane interpretations of those two clauses, there's nothing preventing a devout follower of Baalzebub from also being a moderately arrogant but otherwise decent individual.

Dispater:
- Edicts: Uphold absolute law, pursue perfection in your surroundings, speak with refinement
- Anathema: Act above your station, neglect your defenses, betray a lover
This one takes it even a notch further. "Uphold absolute law" is *potentially* concerning, but not inherently evil, and the only other Belief that has moral implications one way or the other is an anathema against betraying a lover. That's really not bad.

Baphomet:
- Edicts Confuse paths and roads, outwit your foes instead of overpowering them, pace labyrinths
- Anathema Kill something that cannot significantly harm you, bargain with Asmodeus
This has been commented on before, but basically the only thing in here that's in any way troublesome is the edict about messing with the transportation infrastructure. On the flip side, there's a pretty heavy theme about *not* abusing your strength, which is nice, and an anathema against bargains with Asmodeus... which is both to his credit and jsut good sense. Fits in quite well with the bit where we know we're getting playable Minotaurs in Howl of the Wild.

Ragadahn:
- Edicts Draw spirals, seek primordial secrets, use poison, always carry water
- Anathema Suffer a linnorm’s death curse, destroy a fossil
None of these things are in any way even potentially problematic other than use of poison... and we've seen a bit too much acceptance of poison use elsewhere for me to really consider that one a problem.

Winlas:
- Edicts Serve leaders of ceremonies, craft ceremonial arms and armor, lead a congregation
- Anathema Deride sacred ceremonies, carelessly or lazily perform rituals, destroy ceremonial objects
First one on our list that started out on the Good side. In general, though? None of this is morally good or evil.

Arazni: Arazni is Arazni. This one should be pretty clear.

Lissala:
- Edicts Work hard and demand others do so as well, cooperate or avoid conflict with ophidian creatures
- Anathema Disobey a superior, shirk your duties, destroy a book
Honestly, all of this stuff looks pretty good to me? Assuming your neck of the woods isn't overrun with evil snakes, there's nothing to really object to here.

General Susumu:
- Edicts Seek glory in battle, loudly proclaim your victories, protect your possessions and strongholds
- Anathema Cower from fights, refuse a challenge from an equal, mistreat your weapons, abuse your mount
He's a bit of a braggart, but otherwise seems quite reasonable.

Arundhat
- Edicts Practice herbalism, tend to sacred flowers, offer appropriate flowers to other divinities
- Anathema Dispose of waste near flowers, harvest flowers without offering the proper prayers, dispose of withered flowers improperly
The only other initially-Good deity I felt confident adding to the list. Aside from floral theming, there's nothing here that aligns to moral rather than immoral behavior.


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General Susumu has always been a favorite of mine; I’ve wanted to play a Skeleton Tyrant devoted to him for ages. There’s just something special about a murderous jerk who loves their horse.

Baphomet is coming out of a post-Alignment world looking more like a surprisingly-reasonable trickster than a demon lord, which helps explain how his Minotaur cultists manage to get along with others pretty well on Kortos.

Quote:

Edicts: Confuse paths and roads, outwit your foes instead of overpowering them, pace labyrinths

Anathema: Kill something that cannot significantly harm you, bargain with Asmodeus

EDIT: Oh, wow, Mythos deities get fun with this.


keftiu wrote:
EDIT: Oh, wow, Mythos deities get fun with this.

The originally evil ones are still kind of problematic.

- Hastur: Spreading the Yellow Sign is pretty much directly a thing that brings minions of Hastur to invade/eat wherever it is that you are. That's not great.

- Nhimbaloth is cool... other than the whole "undead" thing. If you're cool with undead, then there's no problem.

- Nyarlathotep messes with his allies and tries to bring about apocalypses. It's not a good look.

- Xhamen-Dor is literally an infectious plague that's trying to eat everything, and calls upon its followers to help.

Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth were already CN, and don't really count for this.


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I can see Bapbomet being suspiciously reasonable for a demon lord being a "thats how he gets you" slippery slope. At first it is all harmleas sign flipping and clever hedge mazes until it just gets old and you graduate to death traps and the M25.

Liberty's Edge

All of the OP deities, except for Baalzebub, can already have Neutral (on the Good-Evil axis) Clerics. So, not really unexpected.

A slight rewording of Baalzebub's Belief to be more Evil would suffice to stay true to the current PF2 Follower Alignments.

Liberty's Edge

Sanityfaerie wrote:
keftiu wrote:
EDIT: Oh, wow, Mythos deities get fun with this.

The originally evil ones are still kind of problematic.

- Hastur: Spreading the Yellow Sign is pretty much directly a thing that brings minions of Hastur to invade/eat wherever it is that you are. That's not great.

- Nhimbaloth is cool... other than the whole "undead" thing. If you're cool with undead, then there's no problem.

- Nyarlathotep messes with his allies and tries to bring about apocalypses. It's not a good look.

- Xhamen-Dor is literally an infectious plague that's trying to eat everything, and calls upon its followers to help.

Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth were already CN, and don't really count for this.

Nhimbaloth eats undead, and those who poach souls from the Cycle, and said souls too. She is literally the unending hunger and everything else is prey.

Her Belief might also need some rewording to better fit her Evil nature.


The Raven Black wrote:

All of the OP deities, except for Baalzebub, can already have Neutral (on the Good-Evil axis) Clerics. So, not really unexpected.

A slight rewording of Baalzebub's Belief to be more Evil would suffice to stay true to the current PF2 Follower Alignments.

Yeah... except that first, they maybe don't *need* to do that, and second, this actually opens up a space for some sects, followers, and clerics of those faiths that under the old alignment system would have registered as good.

Like, I could totally imagine a good cleric of Ragadahn. Sure, he's a freaky little weirdo who draws spirals all over the place, but he also provides water to the thirsty, and spends a fair amount of his free time teaching disadvantaged kids how to read.

Liberty's Edge

Sanityfaerie wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

All of the OP deities, except for Baalzebub, can already have Neutral (on the Good-Evil axis) Clerics. So, not really unexpected.

A slight rewording of Baalzebub's Belief to be more Evil would suffice to stay true to the current PF2 Follower Alignments.

Yeah... except that first, they maybe don't *need* to do that, and second, this actually opens up a space for some sects, followers, and clerics of those faiths that under the old alignment system would have registered as good.

Like, I could totally imagine a good cleric of Ragadahn. Sure, he's a freaky little weirdo who draws spirals all over the place, but he also provides water to the thirsty, and spends a fair amount of his free time teaching disadvantaged kids how to read.

TBH I do not foresee a sudden influx of previously unknown Good adherents of Evil deities even after the removal of alignment. Neither do I believe we will get the Cult of the Dawnflower back, even if they completely assume their evil ways.

Liberty's Edge

Sanityfaerie wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

All of the OP deities, except for Baalzebub, can already have Neutral (on the Good-Evil axis) Clerics. So, not really unexpected.

A slight rewording of Baalzebub's Belief to be more Evil would suffice to stay true to the current PF2 Follower Alignments.

Yeah... except that first, they maybe don't *need* to do that, and second, this actually opens up a space for some sects, followers, and clerics of those faiths that under the old alignment system would have registered as good.

Like, I could totally imagine a good cleric of Ragadahn. Sure, he's a freaky little weirdo who draws spirals all over the place, but he also provides water to the thirsty, and spends a fair amount of his free time teaching disadvantaged kids how to read.

He uses poison too ;-)


The Raven Black wrote:
TBH I do not foresee a sudden influx of previously unknown Good adherents of Evil deities even after the removal of alignment. Neither do I believe we will get the Cult of the Dawnflower back, even if they completely assume their evil ways.

Everyone keeps complaining bitterly about the Cult of the Dawnflower, but... well, at last from what I've been reading on the wiki, it seems like they were at worst misguided and perhaps Neutral. I never saw them doing anything that I'd attribute to evil. It more sounded like it was a story about first going overboard on the fanaticism and then having some particularly unfortunate unintended consequences?

If I'm missing something, then please do correct me. I realize that my sources are disjointed and incomplete. I'm mostly just confused.

Also, one of the key things about being able to have a Good adherent of a previously Evil deity is that you can play a Good adherent of a previously Evil deity.

Vigilant Seal

Diozamul will be interesting.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This list makes me a lot more excited for the changes. Ragadahn and others get a lot more interesting in a space where you can acknowledge their more positive traits while still being wary of their evil ones. Dangerous, clearly bad, but with something tempting about them.

I'd probably add Findeladlara too, because most of the worst elements about her place in the cosmos immediately evaporate as soon as you divorce her from alignment.


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Trixleby wrote:
Diozamul will be interesting.

'

Yeah. Diomazul is interesting... but I think that the "If anyone provokes a fight with you, you must eradicate them utterly" thing is a bit much for a real crossover.

Might make for a funny murder mystery. Like, people in town just start disappearing. Why? Do we have slavers or a death cult or something?

No. It's a powerful follower of Diomazul, and those !@#$!%s just will not stop picking fights with him. He's starting to get seriously annoyed at how many of them he's having to deal with.


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Do note that it seems like there is some particular interaction between the concept of 'holy/unholy' sanctification and deities. For example, some deities offer the option to be sanctified to one or the other, while others don't. More pressingly--if I heard and recall correctly--there are some deities which require you to sanctify yourself either to holy or unholy.

Considering the previous comments on 'deities who care about holiness before will still care' it strikes me that Sarenrae should be an example of a deity who requires her follows sanctified to holiness in order to gain her blessing. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine demon lord type deities to be exclusively sanctified to unholy, though obviously I have no idea how much this concept will replace "only good"/"only evil" for deity followers as exists currently.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:


Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth were already CN, and don't really count for this.

Azathoth has always been totally playable for PCs, yeah.

Silver Crusade

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Sanityfaerie wrote:

Ragadahn:

- Edicts Draw spirals, seek primordial secrets, use poison, always carry water
- Anathema Suffer a linnorm’s death curse, destroy a fossil
None of these things are in any way even potentially problematic other than use of poison... and we've seen a bit too much acceptance of poison use elsewhere for me to really consider that one a problem.

*happy Linnorm noises*


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I feel like "a good person who respects Dispater" was already on the table, since Erecura has Paladins.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "a good person who respects Dispater" was already on the table, since Erecura has Paladins.

Respecting and worshipping / getting power from are definitely not the same though.


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The Raven Black wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "a good person who respects Dispater" was already on the table, since Erecura has Paladins.
Respecting and worshipping / getting power from are definitely not the same though.

Remember when people complained about how Paladins of Asmodeus was bad because Paladins were normally Lawful Good?

Well congrats everyone, now Paladins of Asmodeus are cannon again. Also probably the cult of the Dawnflower. Aswell as Erastil having people who believe in the keeping the more questionable traditions. And also followers of Milani being just as bad if not worse than the evil they are supposed to be fighting.

Don't you just love gray morality? /s


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#citationneeded

Liberty's Edge

Temperans wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "a good person who respects Dispater" was already on the table, since Erecura has Paladins.
Respecting and worshipping / getting power from are definitely not the same though.

Remember when people complained about how Paladins of Asmodeus was bad because Paladins were normally Lawful Good?

Well congrats everyone, now Paladins of Asmodeus are cannon again. Also probably the cult of the Dawnflower. Aswell as Erastil having people who believe in the keeping the more questionable traditions. And also followers of Milani being just as bad if not worse than the evil they are supposed to be fighting.

Don't you just love gray morality? /s

TBH I do not feel this will be the case, even though obviously some people are really looking forward to having good adherents of evil deities.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Temperans wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "a good person who respects Dispater" was already on the table, since Erecura has Paladins.
Respecting and worshipping / getting power from are definitely not the same though.

Remember when people complained about how Paladins of Asmodeus was bad because Paladins were normally Lawful Good?

Well congrats everyone, now Paladins of Asmodeus are cannon again. Also probably the cult of the Dawnflower. Aswell as Erastil having people who believe in the keeping the more questionable traditions. And also followers of Milani being just as bad if not worse than the evil they are supposed to be fighting.

Don't you just love gray morality? /s

TBH I do not feel this will be the case, even though obviously some people are really looking forward to having good adherents of evil deities.

Oh it will definetly be a thing. Just look at all the talk about wanting good drow, good tieflings, good demons/devils, etc.

The flood gates are now open.

Silver Crusade

I honestly have no idea how you’re equating “we want Good versions of this/not always evil” to “we want justified and enforced misogyny and jihadists”.


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Ironically, it's a very binary, un-nuanced way of looking at the call for less binary, more nuanced stories.


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Hmm its almost as if in the first post I typed /s which usually means sarcasm.

Also, I am not equating "less make things less binary and more nuanced" with "lets have justified bad stuff". That stuff is just a consequense of things being less binary and nuanced. If the bad guy can have nuance and kind of be a good guy. Then the good guy can have nuance and be kind of a bad guy.

There is not binary, but a spectrum.


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/s Doesn't really tell us anything about what you mean, especially when it's just vaguely attached to the entire post. I still have no idea what you meant.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

Hmm its almost as if in the first post I typed /s which usually means sarcasm.

Also, I am not equating "less make things less binary and more nuanced" with "lets have justified bad stuff". That stuff is just a consequense of things being less binary and nuanced. If the bad guy can have nuance and kind of be a good guy. Then the good guy can have nuance and be kind of a bad guy.

There is not binary, but a spectrum.

To some extent, yeah, but it doesn't necessitate the examples either.

Erastil not being pro-misogyny and current opinions on the Cult of the Dawnflower aren't necessitated on there being a rigid alignment, those can still be the standards even under the new system.

I do think it opens up some formerly good gods though. Like you can explore whether Erastil's preferences do have consequences (though probably not in the same way) and like I said earlier, Findeladlara makes a lot more sense as just an elven god who values traditional elven techniques and elves as a whole than she did as a chaotic good god of tradition and racism.

But again, at the same time "more nuance" doesn't mean they have to go back on other established belief systems or features either.


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I'm pretty sure that many deities will require people who get powers from them to be either holy or unholy.

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