In literature, many deities are seen to curse those that anger them.

In Pathfinder (Golarion) lore, are there instances of good-aligned god(s) enacting nasty curses (perhaps so nasty that it could be construed as evil) if angered enough?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited your question fairly heavily, but I believe I kept the spirit of the question in there. If you don't agree, feel free to rollback or re-edit the question. I noticed an unnecessary amount of setup regarding the abilities of Deities that didn't really pertain to "is this in the lore" so I wanted to make it more concise (and clarify that you are in fact talking about Golarion because that "is" Pathfinder) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso so all pathfinder lore is Golarion? Because I meant pathfinder in general not just one type/setting \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ As KRyan's answer points out... pretty much yes. They didn't make it "official" in 1e (when Paizo adopted a bunch of rules from the 3.5 SRD and was avoiding Copyright infringement like the plague) but the content they wrote for it is in Paizo's setting Golarion. You could use Pathfinder rules for other settings "officially" but then that's because there wasn't an "official" setting. You're not asking about mechanics (which is all P1e really is if you get down to it). I don't know of any other setting that Paizo made for Pathfinder \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso okay thanks for the clarification. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


In Golarion, which is kinda-sorta the default setting of Pathfinder 1e (and explicitly the default setting of 2e), the answer is “Yes.” Unfortunately this one we have from canon. I warn you, it’s terrible. Also, I warn you that the following contains spoilers from Wrath of the Righteous, but since that adventure is awful, I don’t know how much you should care.

Towards the end of the adventure, the adventurers are swept into the divine realm of the lawful good goddess Iomedae, who supposedly embodies honor and justice. She poses three questions to them. These are all trick questions, where she judges not their answers but how they answer, and if they answer in any manner other than the exact ones she was looking for, an unseen choir of angels blasts the party for massive sonic damage, no save. If they fail to be sufficiently respectful towards her despite this treatment, they are subject to permanent deafness, no save, and permanent muteness at DC 40 Fortitude save. None of these conditions can be cured by anything save divine intervention. If the PCs protest this treatment or try to defend their position, this escalates as far as permanently blinding them, changing their alignment to chaotic (or chaotic evil if they attempt to physically or magically defend themselves), loss of any divine spellcasting for anyone who worships her, and throwing them to some random corner of the material plane. In other words, that character may very well be just out of the game, period, and a new character must be rerolled. At 15th-level after likely real-life years of play to reach this point.

In other words, James Jacobs is not a great writer or world-builder, and this particular example of his writing and world-building is a travesty. You shouldn’t play Wrath of the Righteous, and you should take this precedent with a large grain of salt.

Seriously, to put the problem here in starker terms, Iomedae literally kidnaps the PCs, shines a bright light in their face, and starts interrogating them—and if she doesn’t like their answers or other behavior, she subjects them to pain and mutilation. We have a word for that: torture.

That said, good-aligned gods cursing people doesn’t have to be this poorly-justified; better writing can achieve scenarios where a curse may well seem good and justified. After all, the good gods are not all gods of mercy and forgiveness, and a curse may very well be a way of dispensing justice and/or protecting others from the predations of the one who has been cursed. Mark of justice is a “necromancer [curse]” spell that appears on the judgment subdomain of the law domain—a domain likely held by most lawful good deities, and most of them probably live up to that title better than Iomedae. If they can dispense the spell to their followers, one would expect that they can certainly use it themselves.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That. Is. Brutal. Definitely avoiding that that adventure like the plague. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now I need to read the AP to see how that's actually written. That sounds more like a capricious GM to me, but I don't know how specific the section in question is. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso I was reading from Wrath of the Righteous. The questions, desired style of answering, punishments for answering incorrectly, for “mocking” Iomedae, or for attacking her are spelled out. There’s some wiggle room on what constitutes “mocking” but the text makes clear that Iomedae expects humble awe and respect, and nothing else. The text also sort of implies that this is all very obvious and it seems to suggest that to act otherwise is “asking for it.” James Jacobs’ defense of this section has not been that this kind of description is inaccurate, that I have seen. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking into it a little, he does feel like he went too far on the punishment \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ His next post is "don't treat this as canon" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 19:32

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