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If an Erinyes (Devil) Wizard 12 (Banisher) / Archmage 4 (Mythic) with the 3rd Tier Universal Path Ability of "Beyond Morality" uses the spell "Magic Weapon, Greater (Mythic)" (which they have from Mythic Spell Lore Feat) along with two uses of Mythic Power, on a +1 Longspear to enhance it to be a +3 Holy Longspear, can they then wield it without penalty?

Specifically the Holy weapon enhancement says this:

It bestows one permanent negative level on any evil creature attempting to wield it. The negative level remains as long as the weapon is in hand and disappears when the weapon is no longer wielded. This negative level cannot be overcome in any way (including by restoration spells) while the weapon is wielded.

Is the above negated by "Beyond Morality"?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would an answer to Does the magic weapon special ability holy bestow a negative level on a creature with an evil alignment, evil subtype, or both? give you the same result? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Not really as it doesn't cover the effect to the alignment which is caused by the Beyond Morality Mythic Universal Path Ability. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 23:33

4 Answers 4

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It is safe to assume that they can.

Rules approach

First, let's look at the relevant rules.

Full description of the Holy modifier (emphasis on the relevant part):

A holy weapon is imbued with holy power. This power makes the weapon good-aligned and thus bypasses the corresponding damage reduction. It deals an extra 2d6 points of damage against all creatures of evil alignment. It bestows one permanent negative level on any evil creature attempting to wield it. The negative level remains as long as the weapon is in hand and disappears when the weapon is no longer wielded. This negative level cannot be overcome in any way (including by restoration spells) while the weapon is wielded.

Full description of Beyond Morality (emphasis on the relevant part):

You have no alignment. You can become a member of any class, even one with an alignment requirement, and can never lose your membership because of a change in alignment. If you violate the code of ethics of any of your classes, you might still lose access to certain features of such classes, subject to GM discretion. Attempts to detect your alignment don’t return any results. If a class restricts you from casting spells with an alignment descriptor, you can cast such spells without restrictions or repercussions. If you’re the target of a spell or effect that is based on alignment, you’re treated as the most favorable alignment when determining the spell’s effect on you. Any effects that alter alignment have no effect on you. If you lose this effect, you revert to your previous alignment.

Full description of the Evil subtype descriptor (emphasis on the relevant part):

This subtype is usually applied to Outsiders native to the evil-aligned Outer Planes. Evil Outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are evil-aligned.

As per Beyond Morality, this Devil isn't Evil anymore but keeps the "evil" subtype descriptor. This descriptor states that this creature ought to be considered as evil for the purpose of effects affecting them.

But then, Beyond Morality also states that, when targeted by an effect based on alignment, that creature is treated as the most favorable alignment. One could nitpick about what "target" exactly means here, but at least to me it seems fair to assume it would cover this case. In this situation, the most favorable alignment regarding the effect the Holy weapon has on its bearer is "any non-evil" and thus that is what would apply here.

Narrative approach

Beyond morality is supposed, thematically, to be a way to transcend your alignment. As a mythic feature, it makes sense that it overrides other rules and is not stopped just by a technicality.

It doesn't make much sense to be both 'beyond morality' toward the whole universe but still specifically affected by one property of a weapon.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I felt Mythic should trump a simple Subtype but couldn't really reconcile it myself as there always seems to be some thorn under every rose in PathFinder. Thanks for the guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 2:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair I could see one DM ruling that Beyond Morality can't be taken by outsiders with an alignment descriptor, or that doing so removes this descriptor, but such approaches would be homebrew. Anyway usually only NPCs are outsiders with an alignment descriptor. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 2:58
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You are not evil with Beyond Morality

Beyond Morality says:

You have no alignment. (...) If you lose this effect, you revert to your previous alignment.

So, you are not evil while you are Beyond Morality. As the Holy enhancement bestows a negative level only if you are evil, you do not suffer a negative level, and there is nothing that would need to be restored.

An Erynies Devil also has the Evil subtype, which states the creature is considered to be evil. How that is handled depends on how you handle this part of Beyond Mortality

If you’re the target of a spell or effect that is based on alignment, you’re treated as the most favorable alignment when determining the spell’s effect on you.

If the negative level effect from Holy targets you is not explicit. If you consider it does, then you should be treated as the most favorable alignment (i.e. not evil), and again there would be no negative level to suffer, and therefor nothing to restore.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The creature in the question is an erinyes that possesses the subtype evil: "Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype [i.e. evil] as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is." The magic weapon special ability holy doesn't make a distinction between evil alignment and evil subtype. Can this answer square this? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Credit given to you in Dragonfang's answer. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 1:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I added some language for that. I think it is not as 100% clear cut any more, but still would have the same outcome -- unless you think the negative level effect does not target the wielder, which is maybe a technical argument you can make based on wording, but seems to me not in the spirit of Beyond Mortality. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 6:01
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As a devil, you still have the "Evil" subtype, so you are affected

(Thanks @HeyICanChan for pointing this out)

Even though you have no alignment, as an Erinyes Devil, you still have the "evil" subtype, which states:

Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is.


The only portion of "Beyond Morality (Ex)" which might contradict this is:

If you’re the target of a spell or effect that is based on alignment, you’re treated as the most favorable alignment when determining the spell’s effect on you.

But this portion of the "evil" subtype descriptor:

The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment.

Implies that the effects according to the subtype are in addition to the effects of your "favorable" alignment.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There's the wrinkle I felt sure would come up! :) (I didn't know what it would be, but felt something was going to come out in the wash.) So despite the Beyond Morality effecting the individual's alignment, the subtypes remain as an overriding subtype/racial alignment. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ As per the @anne-aunyme post, it makes more logical sense that a Mythic ability should trump a simple Subtype. It feels more balanced that way as Mythic is meant to transcend usual limits. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 2:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @niekell Yeah, while I think my answer is correct from a strictly RAW POV, there's a pretty good argument that RAI is that mythic should trump that \$\endgroup\$
    – Dragonfang
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 3:57
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The "Beyond Morality" ability allows the user to ignore the alignment restrictions of spells and abilities, but it does not negate any penalties or negative effects that are tied to a creature's alignment.

Therefore, the Erinyes (Devil) Wizard 12 (Banisher) / Archmage 4 (Mythic) with the "Beyond Morality" ability would still suffer the negative level penalty when wielding the +3 Holy Longspear, as the negative level is tied to the creature's alignment (evil) rather than the spell or ability itself.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour when you get the chance. Note also that we require users who use ChatGPT or similar AI to generate answer content to disclose that in their post, even if they do some editing/polishing/formatting of the AI output before posting it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you consider the "You have no alignment." statement to be prosaic fluff and not a rules statement? \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 23:36

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