A player is considering the feat Vow of Chastity for his warforged. Should his magical robot be allowed to take the feat?

The exalted feat Vow of Chastity in its special entry says

To fulfill your vow, you must abstain from any sexual contact with any other creature. If you intentionally break your vow, you immediately and irrevocably lose the benefit of this feat.... If you break your vow as a result of magical compulsion, you lose the benefit of this feat until you perform a suitable penance and receive an atonement spell. (Book of Exalted Deeds 47)

Is there any canonical information that says or suggests warforged are even capable of engaging in sexual contact? Or are they just toasters? That is, if you catch your S. O. in a compromising position with a toaster, is that really an issue with the sexy toaster?

Unlike a true construct, a living construct is not immune to mind-affecting effects like charms and phantasms, so the warforged can realize the feat's benefits. I'm just wondering if there's any possibility of the warforged also suffering the feat's drawbacks.

I don't particularly want to dwell on the (ahem) nuts and bolts of sex with or between warforged, and I really don't want descriptions. I'm actually more concerned with the emotional part of the equation. I look forward to answers that instead address (hopefully canonically), for example, romantic love among the warforged that would make the feat Vow of Chastity difficult for the warforged to keep.

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ I am sorely tempted to downvote this question for no reason other than it reminded me of the travesties that are the Vow feats in Book of Exalted Deeds. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 5, 2016 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Warforged can have gender identities, and many warforged go out of their way to experience “life” in general. For most, this is limited to things like trying fine food and drink, even though it serves no biological purpose for them, but many do more. For example, consider the tracker mask warforged component from Races of Eberron, which grants a warforged the Scent special ability:

many warforged covet this item because it gives them the ability to smell all scents, not merely those of a creature being tracked.

Some go much farther than even this, extensively retrofitting their bodies to allow all kinds of biological experiences. See the Races of Eberron section on reforged, with associated prestige class, which in its third and final level has the warforged undergoing a “dramatic physical transformation.”

And, well, “any sexual contact” is quite broad, and even an unmodified warforged is capable of doing things that fall in that category. They may not derive physical pleasure from doing so, but that’s not necessarily relevant, since sexual activity is not exclusively pursued for one’s own personal physical pleasure. Such activities would still break the vow.

Finally, the vow itself makes no mention of it needing to be break-able to be meaningful.

  • A hermit could take it, for example; he or she wouldn’t have anyone with whom to break it, but I don’t think too many would argue that the vow is meaningless for such a person. For that matter, someone traveling exclusively with companions who are sexually incompatible can still take the vow.

  • Lack of sex drive doesn’t bar one from taking the feat, either; plenty of real-world people self-identify as asexual, and avoid sexual activity out of preference—and plenty of those have taken such vows.

  • The vow also doesn’t indicate any ban on eunuchs and the like taking it, and historically I’m quite certain eunuchs have taken roles that required vows of chastity, and those vows haven’t been waived from their requirements just because fulfillment was automatic for them.

Ultimately, the vow means a different thing for a warforged than it does for most people, but they are far from the only people who fall in a category where the vow means a different thing. For some warforged, it would be a difficult vow to keep, or even be one they’d refuse to make. That seems good enough for me.

Even in cases where the warforged eschews all trappings of “fleshy” life, as with warforged juggernauts or the followers of the Lord of Blades, the vow can still be meaningful: just another meaning altogether. There, it would represent the warforged’s dedication to the ideals of its artificial state; after all, sexual activity is derived from the most “fleshy” of goals, procreation.


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