In the Book of Exalted Deeds, there is a spell called Sanctify the Wicked. The effect of this spell essentially comes down to forcing an evil creature to undergo a year-long process which culminates in applying a template to it, and making the creature good alligned.

This template says both of the following things:

"Sanctified creature" is an acquired template that can be added to any evil creature except for outsiders with the evil subtype (referred to hereafter as "base creature").

and, directly afterwards,

The sanctified creature retains ins creature type. Outsiders gain the good subtype and lose any of the following subtypes: baatezu (devil), tanar'ri (demon), and yugoloth.

The spell that needs to be cast to apply this template makes no mention of outsiders at all.

Can evil outsiders be sanctified? How do this spell and this template interact with evil outsiders? Or are there perhaps any evil outsiders I'm overlooking that do not actually have the (evil) subtype?

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    \$\begingroup\$ hmmm... and not just outsiders, there would have to be examples of baatezu, tanar'ri, and yugoloth that did not have the (evil) subtype. Are there possibly other ways to lose the evil subtype, without losing those subtypes? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 21:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Huh. Given the spell description—it "tears the foul, corrupted soul from the body of an evil creature"—I'm not even sure it can be used on outsiders at all as an outsider's "soul and body form one unit." (I hope answers address this issue, too.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 3, 2019 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think Ben Barden's comment might have given me an idea: First find a way to remove the Evil Subtype. The "purify summoning" feat might work for that: It grants all your summons the "good" subtype, and if they aren't already they will become good aligned. The main issue is that it's not stated whether this change is permanent or only lasts as long as the creature is summoned. Nor does is state that the evil subtype is removed. Lastly: It turns the creature good, and Sanctify the Wicked can only be cast on evil creatures. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arthaban
    Commented May 4, 2019 at 10:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Summoned creature isn't creature itself. It is an avatar, or personification, or projection, etc. The change exist only as long as the summoned creature is summoned. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 4, 2019 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


I'd say evidence points to no. The wording in the spell on what happens during the one year is

Trapped in the gem, the evil soul undergoes a gradual transformation. The soul reflects on past evils and slowly finds within itself a spark of goodness. Over time, this spark grows into a burning fire. After one year, the trapped creature’s soul adopts the alignment of the spell’s caster (lawful good, chaotic good, or neutral good).

That means that in order for the alignment change to occur, the soul must both be able to reflect on its past evils and have a spark of goodness within it already. The spell does not create a spark just lead the soul to discover an already existing spark of goodness. The spell does not take 1 year of time to occur from casting but instead the conversion process takes 1 year of time from when the spark of goodness and the reflection starts growing. Therefore if there is no spark or no reflection, the year never starts.

As for the evidence that evil outsiders don't have a spark of goodness, first you've already provided that Sanctified Creature doesn't allow for Evil subtyped outsiders. Although the entry mentions losing the specific subtypes, it doesn't specify that the previous line is negated, more that an extra effect occurs for edge cases or creatures the author of the template did not think about.

Most creatures described in the Monster Manual as “always evil” are either completely irredeemable or so intimately tied to evil that they are almost entirely hopeless. Certainly demons and devils are best slain, or at least banished, and only a naïve fool would try to convert them.

Above is an excerpt from chapter 1 in the Book of Exalted Deeds that talks about the feasibility of redeeming monsters. The "almost" part sounds like "dm gives quest" or "divine intervention" or "helmet of opposite alignment" to me.

Chapter 2 goes into the mechanics of how you normally redeem an evil character without magic. It may not cover sanctify, but it's fairly relevant when just focusing on the question of whether or not evil outsiders have a spark of good in them.

Outsiders with the Evil subtype are immune to redemption in this manner.


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