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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    This isn't 5e specific, though it comes from playing 5e. AFAICT, Sune has always been CG.

    When my new group was brainstorming PCs for our IceWind Dale game, I'd considered making a Light Cleric and, not wanting to be absorbed in the sea of Lathander clerics, settled on Sune as a sort of out there choice for both an adventuring cleric and a dwarf cleric. But from what I can gather after some research, Sune cares about pretty things, pretty people, and outward displays of love more than any genuine feelings beyond physical attraction. She doesn't seem concerned with much else and rejects the less aesthetically pleasant outright. So why is she Chaotic Good, of all alignments? This seems like a particularly Neutral attitude, on the Good-Evil axis.

    I could be missing information that hasn't circulated online, but given she's based on late 20th century perception of Aphrodite, it's hard to imagine there's much more to say. So why is Sune CG instead of CN or some other form of Neutral?

    Edit: The answer is you should read primary sources.
    Last edited by Luccan; 2021-03-01 at 06:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    I mean first off, Amaunator could be an interesting god for a light cleric, but I don't see why Sune wouldn't be CG? I mean one thing that makes sense is she could not just be about outward beauty but inner beauty too, and genuine acts of charity and kindness, and also love is generally seen as a good thing?
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    I'm not proficient with FR, so my knowledge only comes from the FR wiki.

    Her objectives is to make make the world a place more pleasant for everyone by pleasing their senses.
    She follows an hedonist behaviour, but not in an egoistic way, in the altruistic "I want everyone to live in a beautiful world".

    She opposes the different gods that create destruction around the world, and that's pretty much her only political stance.

    Sure, this focus on beauty does cause rejection of ugly peoples, but D&D alignment doesn't care that much about indirect consequences (though it varies from source to source). The wiki says she is considered a "backwater power with delusions of grandeur" by her deific peers, so I'm pretty confident she intends the best for everyone (even if she might be delusional about the means she uses), and wishes everyone to be beautiful.

    Legends associated to her still have "true love overcoming everything" as a main trope. She is the goddess of happy endings and "they lived happily ever after". Even if she wasn't CG, she would definitely be seen as almost-good-aligned by the population.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2021-02-28 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    I mean first off, Amaunator could be an interesting god for a light cleric, but I don't see why Sune wouldn't be CG? I mean one thing that makes sense is she could not just be about outward beauty but inner beauty too, and genuine acts of charity and kindness, and also love is generally seen as a good thing?
    The descriptions of her general attitude from places like the FR wiki seem to indicate she's mostly about romance. Which isn't bad, but it's also not inherently good. It isn't general love for your fellow intelligent creature. Especially since it doesn't seem she cares about charity or kindness. Baseline FR Sune doesn't seem to be all that concerned about anyone who isn't physically beautiful. Which, if she isn't really into helping people and rejects those who aren't pretty enough (another thing that's apparently part of her lore), makes me question why she's Good instead of Neutral. She's not cruel but she doesn't seem to care much about her followers helping people in a general sense.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Sune believes in pleasure for all. Fostering beauty in the word. Creating art and investing in long distance trade. Beauty is more than just skin deep, it reflects the core of a being, fair or foul. And romance, true love winning over all, and following one's heart to one's true destination.

    In particularly, the beauty is not just skin deep but comes from being a good person as opposed to a bad person, would be a core belief that would mark her as necessarily a good deity, I'd think.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Baseline FR Sune doesn't seem to be all that concerned about anyone who isn't physically beautiful. Which, if she isn't really into helping people and rejects those who aren't pretty enough (another thing that's apparently part of her lore), makes me question why she's Good instead of Neutral. She's not cruel but she doesn't seem to care much about her followers helping people in a general sense.
    This is where I disagree with your impressions. At least for my characters, Sune has been the goddess of finding the beauty and pleasure in everything. It isn't just in the looks, it's in the laugh, and the mind, and the earnest desire to be better.

    Now, they might often take an external means, a "clothes make the man" approach. Help someone look good and it will give them the confidence to be their best self, a reasonably common trope.

    But it doesn't have to be. A recurring NPC I use is an old retired paladin of Sune. She's a roughly 300 year old gnomish woman with about 3 dozen kids and hundreds of grandkids, very few of which are pureblooded gnomes, because while she was adventuring, she basically was the horny bard, but as a paladin who saw it as her religious duty to find the beauty in every creature she met. And she was very good at it, and got a reputation for just being a good therapist, basically. She didn't focus on changing others, she focused on finding what was already beautiful in them and helping them see it as well.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    I would expect some divergence between the preferences of the goddess herself ("find the beauty in all things") and the preferences of her mortal followers ("I like beauty so I'm only going to hire the most beautiful priestesses").

    This divergence seems ripe for adventure hooks.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    It's not so much that my conclusion about her tenants bothered me, but rather that I couldn't figure out why the character I was getting an impression of was CG. It sounds like the information about her online is incomplete and perhaps more influenced by other perceptions that what's in the game. Can someone point me to any books that discuss Sune in at least a little more detail?
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    The descriptions of her general attitude from places like the FR wiki seem to indicate she's mostly about romance. Which isn't bad, but it's also not inherently good. It isn't general love for your fellow intelligent creature. Especially since it doesn't seem she cares about charity or kindness. Baseline FR Sune doesn't seem to be all that concerned about anyone who isn't physically beautiful. Which, if she isn't really into helping people and rejects those who aren't pretty enough (another thing that's apparently part of her lore), makes me question why she's Good instead of Neutral. She's not cruel but she doesn't seem to care much about her followers helping people in a general sense.
    I mean idk, also she's the goddess of bards.. if that helps.
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    That sight is dynamite.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Can someone point me to any books that discuss Sune in at least a little more detail?
    Sword Coast Adventurers Guide 5e
    Faiths and Pantheons 3e
    Faiths and Avatars 2e
    Maybe Powers and Pantheons 2e (it's a follow up to Faiths and Avatars)

    Forgotten Realms Campaign sets almost all touch on her too. (And that's all SCAG really does.)

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    I’m already playing a Light Cleric of Sune in Rime of the Frostmaiden (though I may have to drop out soon due to scheduling conflicts) who is CG, and my general RP ethos for this character is rather similar to what Tanarii posted, in that Sune emphasizes both inner and outer beauty, with inner beauty being the general “be a kind person” trope salad.

    It’s also worth noting that Sune isn not a literal sex goddess, or even the closest to one in the FR pantheon. That honor goes to Sharess, CN goddess of pleasure, though she too is more about general hedonism IIRC.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    A worshiper of Sune is for a good example Robin Hood or The Doctor from Doctor Who. Someone who does what they think of as good and does not care about rules or laws.


    Th followers of Sune are believers in romance, true love winning over all, and following one’s heart to one’s true destination. Fated matches, impossible loves, and ugly ducklings becoming swans are all part of the teaching of Sune

    Novice Sunites receive the following charge: “Love none more than yourself save Sune, and lose yourself in love of the Lady Firehair. Perform a loving act every day, and seek to awaken love in someone new each day.Respond to love at least once in a day

    Sunites are aesthetes and hedonists, who actively seek out pleasure and beauty in all things. The pursuit of aesthetic enjoyment is their life

    The Doctor is a good example here....wander, or just do what you want at will....but be goodish.


    The Chaotic part to Sune is the "do whatever you want" and "don't follow rules or laws much"

    The Good part is Sune is basically good...do no harm, don't hurt or kill for fun and such.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Sune cares about pretty things, pretty people, and outward displays of love more than any genuine feelings beyond physical attraction. She doesn't seem concerned with much else and rejects the less aesthetically pleasant outright.
    I don't think that's quite right. Looking at the 3e FRCS and Faiths and Pantheons her description says one should, rather than rejecting the physically homely, assisting them to become as beautiful as they can and actively strive to build friendship or admiration even with those you are unable to love.

    Overall though, you're absolutely right that she doesn't come across as a good deity.
    Reading the 'dogma' section you've got
    "Beauty is more than skin deep. It issues from the core of one's being and reveals one's true face to the world, fair or foul". I find it hard to read that as anything other than a justification of the halo effect - the testimony of the beautiful maiden is worth more than the ugly old man because her physical attractiveness is indicative of moral righteousness.
    and
    "Love none more than yourself, except Sune" - That is RAW counter to the PHB definition of Good ("Good implies altruism...make personal sacrifices to help others..."

    That being said, it's not hard to make her a clear CG deity.
    Scrub out that line about "love none more than yourself" and replace it with something like "love the world and its inhabitants as yourself". Ultimately good is about helping others but a lot of her dogma seems to focus purely on encouraging her followers to maximise their own personal enjoyment of life - that's what makes her come across as CN.
    Emphasise the aspects of her faith which talk about making the world a better place. About building a magnificent temples or carving a beautiful sculptures and so on not for profit or self-aggrandizement but as your little contribution toward making the world a more beautiful place - bring beauty into the world for the sake of the pleasure it brings those around you (although that is not to say you shouldn't enjoy it yourself - one can be Good without being a joyless puritan).
    Do what you can to foster the pleasure and joy of others. Help them find passion in their life. Seek to provide unselfish love to those around you, especially the lonely or the suffering. Protect what is beautiful and bring more beauty into the world.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    You can "make personal sacrifices to help others" without loving anybody more than yourself - instead, you love everybody you're sacrificing for as much as yourself, but no more.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    It's not so much that my conclusion about her tenants bothered me, but rather that I couldn't figure out why the character I was getting an impression of was CG. It sounds like the information about her online is incomplete and perhaps more influenced by other perceptions that what's in the game. Can someone point me to any books that discuss Sune in at least a little more detail?
    I would look at the 1e FR boxed set, as she apparently started out as CG there. For that, it's probably helpful to note that FR was designed/introduced in the post-initial 1e/early 2e time where CG seemed to be considered the optimal 'good guy' alignment*. Unearthed Arcana through The Complete Book of Elves reinforced the notions of elves as CG as well, and I've always found the justification for that somewhat forced. My gut instinct is that Greenwood saw the goddess of beauty as 'one of the good guys' and slotted her at CG because that was the Good in vogue at the time. That, or maybe she is supposed to represent people's (gamers starting in the 80's) post-hippy free-spirit aunt.
    *Lolth and Shar notwithstanding, there seems to be a strong trend to code female deities, particularly those that present as young adult women, as good figures.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    I think that for us to understand why Sune is Chaotic is to look to her inspiration, Aphrodite.

    Aphrodite (specifically Aphrodite Pandemos) represents the more chaotic force of nature that is love. Love as many Western philosophies believe, isn't something that can be predictable or contained, it is a curse, a sudden infliction, and it is chaotic. It leads to chaotic events (see all the sit-coms, rom-coms, and love tragedies).

    Love in itself can be more predictable and gentler aspects such as kindness, nurturing, the love of family and a life-long partner. But Aphrodite Pandemos, and to a degree Sune, are goddesses of the types of love that the Greek would call Eros, Ludus, and Mania as well (in addition to other aspects of love). This is love that is passionate and all-consuming, it is the game and the chase, and it is the obsession and desire.

    Add then in a dogma that "love conquers all", it also bends to D&D's philosophies of opposing society and laws. Sune believes that if two people love eachother, then laws and social norms shouldn't stand in their way of happiness! So if they must break laws and break against social norms to be together, then they does it with her blessing, because "love conquers all".

    Setting love (and beauty) above all else will lead to clashing with rules, laws, norms, and expectations.

    This is why Sune is Chaotic, but she is Good.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    A first thing to note is that being a goddess of art seems to be enough by itself to be good (See Milil). Art seems to be cosmologically good in the forgotten realm by nature of being art.

    Something else probably important is relative alignment to the other gods. Let's look at the other CN and CG gods from FR in 5e:

    CN:
    Leira, goddess of illusion (also the goddess of deception)
    Mask, god of thieves (he was neutral evil in previous editions)

    CG:
    Selűne, goddess of the moon (a lunatic who alternate between being enthusiastic, motherly, and merciless against its enemies)
    Tymora, goddess of good fortune (who favours those who take risks and pursue their dreams, whatever they might be)

    Honestly, even the worst interpretation of Sune is nearer from Selune and Tymora than Leira and Mask.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2021-03-01 at 10:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    From the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide: "The followers of Sune have a reputation as hedonists, and so they are, to a degree. More than that, her priests foster beauty in the world. They do so by creating art, by acting as patrons for promising talents, and by investing in merchants who bring luxuries to far-off places that have never seen satin or tasted a luscious wine.
    But beauty is more than skin deep, say the Sunites; it issues from the core of one’s being and shows one’s true face to the world, whether fair or foul. The followers of Sune are believers in romance, true love winning over all, and following one’s heart to one’s true destination. Fated matches, impossible loves, and ugly ducklings becoming swans are all in the purview of Sune."

    So it's not just beauty, but love and romance that the Suneites worship. They like bringing new luxury goods to far places that have never experienced them. They also create art and act as patrons for artists. Together that sounds like more of a general good alignment than neutral to me.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    And in 4e (where CG and NG are merged into "Good") instead of "perform a loving act every day" it's "demonstrate love through an unselfish act every day" (FRCG, page 77).
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Let's not bring 4th ed into this.

    I think a far more interesting facet of Sune is the fact she supports Paladins in her church. So, quite definitely Good.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by aglondier View Post
    Let's not bring 4th ed into this.

    I think a far more interesting facet of Sune is the fact she supports Paladins in her church. So, quite definitely Good.

    I sometimes think it's more because she adores the Paladin aesthetic of a knight in shining armor vanquishing evil and saving fair maidens.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by aglondier View Post
    Let's not bring 4th ed into this.

    I think a far more interesting facet of Sune is the fact she supports Paladins in her church. So, quite definitely Good.
    To be fair, in 5e, that's not longer a feat. Evil gods can have paladin too, and I'm not talking about the oathbreaker or some other antipaladin variant in a DMG, I'm talking about "normal" 5e Paladin. For example, Paladin of conquest works very well for a LE tyrant oppressing the world and reducing to slavery anyone they defeat.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2021-03-03 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    And even in 3e, plenty of LN gods had their own paladin orders. Sune was an oddball in being a Chaotic deity that has LG paladin orders.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    It's not so much that my conclusion about her tenants bothered me, but rather that I couldn't figure out why the character I was getting an impression of was CG. It sounds like the information about her online is incomplete and perhaps more influenced by other perceptions that what's in the game. Can someone point me to any books that discuss Sune in at least a little more detail?
    It's because she isn't inspired by Aphrodite, she straight up is Aphrodite. In the original 1E sourcebook for the Realms, the Forgotten Realms Encyclopedia, Sune is mentioned as living on Olympus (what in later editions would be known as Arborea), where she is known as Athena. Given she's a love goddess, that's obviously a typo and Greenwood likely meant to say Aphrodite ("Sune" is even "Venus" spelled backwards with the V dropped), and Aphrodite was listed as CG in the original Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore (and both 3E and 5E kept that alignment for her).

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    My gut instinct is that Greenwood saw the goddess of beauty as 'one of the good guys' and slotted her at CG because that was the Good in vogue at the time. That, or maybe she is supposed to represent people's (gamers starting in the 80's) post-hippy free-spirit aunt.
    [/SIZE][/I]
    Or both.

    My impression is when Mr Greenwood is not having to stay PGish for publication and runs his own FR it is way more like Oglaf than Drizzit

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilphe View Post
    Or both.

    My impression is when Mr Greenwood is not having to stay PGish for publication and runs his own FR it is way more like Oglaf than Drizzit
    I've heard that as well. However, I really didn't mean what I said as some kind of carnal reference. I meant more of the 'Disney Princess' theory --roughly 'pretty people are only bad guys if you are doing a deliberate betrayal-of-expectations story.'

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    *Lolth and Shar notwithstanding, there seems to be a strong trend to code female deities, particularly those that present as young adult women, as good figures.
    Sure? As of 3,5 F&P without the racial deities

    NG Chauntea, Mielikki, Mystra, Eldath, Shiallia

    CG Selune, Sune, Tymora, Lliira, Lurue, Sharess

    LN Red Knight, Siamorphe

    TN Waukeen

    LE Loviatar, Tiamat

    NE Shar, Auril

    CE Umberlee, Beshaba, Talona

    So Good beats Evil 11:7, but only 9/7 if you exclude demipowers. Team Evil are all deities in their ownright without needing to bring along sidekicks

    Chaos beats Law 9:4 so if there is a gender stereotype in action it is "fickle and chaotic" rather than Good

    Especially as there is no LG Goddess and the two LNs are only demi-powers
    Last edited by wilphe; 2021-03-03 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilphe View Post
    Or both.

    My impression is when Mr Greenwood is not having to stay PGish for publication and runs his own FR it is way more like Oglaf than Drizzit
    Yeah, Sune's writing does have that post-60's free love cult vibe to me. hopefully he didn't read Stranger in a Strange Land.
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    Default Re: Why is Sune Chaotic Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah, Sune's writing does have that post-60's free love cult vibe to me. hopefully he didn't read Stranger in a Strange Land.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
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    Because creepy, unsettling and skeevy.
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