Divine Intervention

Thursday, June 21, 2018

When talking about the planes, you can't skip talking about the planes' most powerful entities. So we're going to chat about the gods for a little bit.

In Pathfinder Roleplaying Planar Adventures, all 20 of the core deities are presented in the book, each with a deity stat block. These stat blocks aren't actual stats for the gods, and they have some of the information you're familiar with from places like Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods. However, the presentation here includes some new things as well. The stat blocks cover things like domains, favored weapons, and sacred animals and colors, but it also helpfully collects information like allies, enemies, holy days, worshipers, minions, and the gods' heralds. The stat blocks also list each of the deities' divine realms and points you to which page in the book features more details on that realm. What's new and exciting about these is that it also includes something new—divine gifts.


Illustration by Ian Perks

Divine gifts are boons that gods bestow on devout followers who achieve a legendary task or perform a particularly pious act. These divine gifts are unique to each god or goddess and allow the GM to spice up the rewards in their game. They work as excellent rewards when treasure just doesn't cut it. Divine gifts should only be used rarely or else they run the risk of feeling underwhelming or watering down the experience. If used against players (or used to favor a specific character) using divine intervention has the potential to upset and alienate your players. Divine gifts should be used to forward the story and reward significant events in the narrative of the campaign. As such, they should only be handed out once per player per campaign—but, hey... as the GM you're the god of the world you present, so you can what you want.


Illustration by Vlada Hladkova

Here are a few examples of some divine gifts.

Pharasma's Divine Gift

The recipient is not affected by the next effect, damage, or other event that would otherwise kill him.

Sarenrae's Divine Gift

As the sun rises over the recipient's home world, he can perform a 10-minute prayer (this may be part of his daily ritual to prepare spells) to invoke the Dawnflower. For the next 24 hours, all healing effects the character generates heal the maximum amount of damage possible. In addition, during this time he can cast breath of life and heal as spell-like abilities 3 times each (CL 20th).

Torag's Divine Gift

The recipient can perform a 10-minute prayer (this can be part of her daily ritual to prepare spells) to gain divine insight into defense and strategic situations for the next 24 hours. During this time, the character gains a pool of 20 defense points. She can allocate these points among any number of recipients as untyped bonuses to AC or on saving throws, to a maximum of 5 points per target (a single target can receive this bonus only to AC or to saving throws, not both). She can reallocate these points as a standard action any point during these 24 hours, but each time she does so, the total pool of defense points available for the next allocation is reduced by 5.

That's it for now with all this deity discussion, but a little later I'll be back to talk about some of the other sections of Planar Adventures.

Adam Daigle
Managing Developer

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Tags: Ian Perks Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Planar Adventures Vlada Hladkova
Liberty's Edge

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Did I mention I worship all 20 deities and I'm looking forward to all gifts at one time. :) Go ahead...just make me a god.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any chances that one day will we see the divine gifts from Milani? Of the gods and goddesses outside the core deities she is my favourite one

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alarian Sunlance wrote:
Any chances that one day will we see the divine gifts from Milani? Of the gods and goddesses outside the core deities she is my favourite one

There's only room for the core 20, alas, and I doubt we'll have any opportunities to print more for the other gods and demigods before the edition change (although I hope we have a mechanic like this for divine gifts a lot sooner the next time around!)...

...but we do include advice on how to make new gifts of your own design, be they additional ones for the core 20, ones for other gods in the setting, or for divinities of your own creation.


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James Jacobs wrote:
…I doubt we'll have any opportunities to print more for the other gods and demigods before the edition change…

I am still really holding out hope that Paizo discovers there’s enough of a fan base for PF1e to publish an occasional “Pathfinder Legacy” supplement for us 1st-edition diehards…


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That meladaemon has had enough of Kyra's holier-than-thou attitude.


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RicoDetroit wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
…I doubt we'll have any opportunities to print more for the other gods and demigods before the edition change…
I am still really holding out hope that Paizo discovers there’s enough of a fan base for PF1e to publish an occasional “Pathfinder Legacy” supplement for us 1st-edition diehards…

Just tell us what my girl Desna's is please :D

Something like "float like a butterfly, sting like a...?"


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Really like Pharasma's divine gift and new art. Reminds me of her temple from Inner Sea Temples with the hourglass.


I can't wait to see Lamashtu's gift!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Very cool stuff.

Maybe the PCs in my campaign (who passed the Test of the Starstone) will want to invent their own divine boons.

Silver Crusade

The gifts don't seem very balanced to me.

Pharasma's is a one time boon. Fairly cool for low level play but pretty meh at mid to high levels where death is really only a speed bump anyways.

Sarenraes, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving. 3 breath of lifes and heals per day, maximized healing. Even at high levels this is very powerful.

Torags boosts to everybodies saves (lets face it, saves are MUCH more important than AC at all levels, especially high levels) seems about on par with Sarenrae's boon but it probably depends more on the group and campaign.

The fact that Pharasma's is
a) once only
b) happens automatically the FIRST time the character dies
makes it way, way, way less powerful than the other two


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pauljathome wrote:


Sarenraes, on the other hand, is the gift that keeps on giving. 3 breath of lifes and heals per day, maximized healing. Even at high levels this is very powerful.

I'm pretty sure there's nothing in Sarenrae's description that says you get anything "per day." It's a one time invocation that lasts 24 hours. In that time you can use those spells 3 times each and gain the benefit of those maxed heals. The text above it says "they should only be handed out once per player per campaign."

Now you can still make the argument that's it's better than Phrasma's, but it's not an "I can do this everyday forever" thing otherwise no one would ever play a cleric of a different deity.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm just surprised that Pharasma isn't ALWAYS sitting down on the throne


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RicoDetroit wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
…I doubt we'll have any opportunities to print more for the other gods and demigods before the edition change…
I am still really holding out hope that Paizo discovers there’s enough of a fan base for PF1e to publish an occasional “Pathfinder Legacy” supplement for us 1st-edition diehards…

I mean, I ain't throwing my PDFs anywhere.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Oh, Pharasma, you look so... relaxed!

...

Also, her divine gift may not be as mechanically awesome as Sarenrae's, but it's WAY more cinematic-

Think the Saint of Killers getting nuked, standing completely unphased at the heart of the blast zone, spitting and saying "not enough gun."


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Really LIKE the new art of Pharasma!!

<3

Carry on!

--C.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lamashtu's gift?

Perhaps it is being impregnated with a Spawn of Shub-Niggurath, which is born by bursting forth from its host in a gory explosion of flesh and bone.

Such an honor! Who wouldn't want to bear such a breathtaking colossus?

<g>

But, regarding edition changes, I see little reason not to adapt such content to PF2.0. All it will take is some minor shifts in math effects. Everything else ought to be fairly transparent.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Most boons are of the "use once, then it's gone forever" variety. Whether it's something that you use to avoid death once (as in Pharasma's case) or a boon you can activate whenever you want to gain a 1-day updgrade that, once it's over, it's over.

There's no limit to how OFTEN you can gain a boon, other than that you can only gain them when a GM says so.

(There are some boons that grant permanent adjustments or modifiers, but none of the three previewed above are like that—they grant one time effects.)


Pharasma looks glorious.

I thereby went and checked Vlada Hladkova's ArtStation page and damn! This lady can make art with the best of 'em.

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