A Cleric is alignment-restricted:

Alignment: A cleric's alignment must be within one step of her deity's, along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis (see Additional Rules).

Asmodeus is a lawful evil (LE) deity, but the Pact Servant faith trait allows a divine caster to treat Asmodeus as if he were lawful neutral (LN) for alignment purposes:

You may treat Asmodeus as if he were a lawful neutral deity for the purposes of determining your own alignment as a cleric, inquisitor, or other divine spellcaster.

Thus it's possible to make a lawful good (LG) Cleric of Asmodeus with the Pact Servant trait. Such a Cleric would also channel positive energy and cast spontaneous cure wounds spells.

However, Clerics are also restricted in casting spells with opposing alignment descriptors:

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.

This means that good Clerics cannot cast [evil] spells. This also means that Clerics of evil deities cannot cast [good] spells.

That implies that a LG Cleric of Asmodeus can cast neither [good] nor [evil] spells. This would even include typically Asmodean spells like Summon Accuser, Infernal Healing, or Hellfire Ray.

The Summon Monster spells have an alignment descriptor matching the alignment subtypes of the summoned monsters:

When you use a summoning spell to summon a creature with an alignment or elemental subtype, it is a spell of that type. Creatures on Table 10–1 marked with an “” are summoned with the celestial template, if you are good, and the fiendish template, if you are evil. If you are neutral, you may choose which template to apply to the creature. Creatures marked with an “” always have an alignment that matches yours, regardless of their usual alignment. Summoning these creatures makes the summoning spell's type match your alignment.

A Bearded Devil has the lawful & evil subtypes, so summoning it would be a spell with the [evil] descriptor, making the LG Cleric of Asmodeus unable to summon it. However, this contradicts the unique summon rules of Asmodeus, which state that his Clerics can summon Bearded Devils.

I think specific ("able to summon bearded devils") beats general ("can't cast spells of opposing descriptor"), but I might be wrong, so:

Is a LG Cleric of Asmodeus able to summon a Bearded Devil?

[Am I fundamentally wrong to think LG Asmodeus-Clerics can cast neither good nor evil spells?]

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know the answer, but the thing that allows this whole question to even exist seems ridiculous on its face. LG clerics of devils?!? What next, benevolent Slaadi lawyers? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2023 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not as familiar with Pathfinder, but is there a reason you couldn't summon the Bearded Devil with a Lawful spell instead of Evil? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2023 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowRanger - If you think about it, in real life, someone might argue that, say, the Abrahamic God is evil because of all the apparently divinely sanctioned slavery and conquest in the Bible, yet it's undeniable that there are many good Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Or, conversely, they might argue that this is a misimpression, and that God is actually a good entity—but there are also bad Christians, Jews, and Muslims who are no less devout. Why shouldn't characters in D&D be subject to the same foibles? \$\endgroup\$
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 24, 2023 at 1:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Although this perspective is a little harder to sustain when your god lives in the undeniably and metaphysically evil corner of the cosmos, all of his extraplanar subordinates do terrible things on his orders, and the other gods all agree and will happily tell their followers that yes, Asmodeus is the worst. It would make more sense in a cosmology in which Asmodeus was more distant and had extraplanar followers of various alignments, none of which really could be sure of his desires. Then a cleric might think "most of his followers are devils, but it's the archons who really represent him." \$\endgroup\$
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 24, 2023 at 1:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Obie2.0 I don't know how much Asmodeus will give someone for their soul, but if it's enough, I could imagine a LG cleric of Asmodeus urging listeners to sign away their souls for the ability to help others, then them, y'know, actually helping others, effectively bootstrapping the living, one damned soul at a time. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2023 at 4:06

1 Answer 1



Pact Servant says:

You may treat Asmodeus as if he were a lawful neutral deity for the purposes of determining your own alignment as a cleric, inquisitor, or other divine spellcaster. You may not select the evil domain unless your own alignment also contains an evil aspect.

Pact Servant only lifts the alignment requirements for the purpose of determining your own alignment in regards to treating Asmeodeus as LN. Not for other purposes. Evil alignment-restricted powers are still off-limits if you are good, as shown by you not being able to select the evil domain. This also does not extend to other devils, so LE Bearded Devils cannot be treated as LN devils.

Asmodeus may grant you the unique summon rule that you can summon Bearded Devils when you use summon monster V, but all that means is that Barbed Devils are added to the list of options for Summon Monster 5. This is from Mother of Flies, p. 67 and says:

Customized Summon List

Asmodeus's priest can use summon monster spells to summon the following creatures in addition to the normal creatures listed in the spells.

Thats it. Weirdly, summon monster V already includes Bearded Devils, so effectively this does nothing for Bearded Devil.

It does not mean that you can forgo all requirements for casting that spell. You cannot cast it if you cannot use somatic components, for example, even though it also is a general rule that you need to be able to make gestures for spells with a somatic component. And you cannot cast it if it is evil, and you are not allowed to cast spells with the evil descriptor. As you have impeccably laid out in your question, it is, so you cannot cast it if your alignment is good.

Maybe a way to think about this is — this is what you get when dealing with Asmodeus and as a lawful good person serve that evil deity: a bad deal.


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