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Cleric of Aroden Vs Cleric of No-one


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Osirion

You can have priest that worship more then one godoracles,Rangers,paladins or even inquisitors. The cleric is never meant for that, It is simply not what the class is made for.


Times with less restrictions on questionable assumptions.

By the west, I am more referring to the Christian monotheistic west, and the ideas of the colonial period that monotheism was superior over polytheism. True religion is that which follows the one god idea. It is in all monotheisms (of course they talk themselves up).

And this little idea surfaces again, in the rules of a game of all things. Saying you can't have polytheistic clerics, polytheistic cleric holy figures, travelling polytheistic healers who act as protectors of the polytheistic community. Just no, choose another class, it doesn't matter what your cultural background is, there is only one path now, bow to one (like you are Jewish or Christian). The game allows for unusual gods, non Christian gods, you can worship a Satan figure, but you cant worship a cabal of powerful demons and get clerical benefits, can't worship the unity of the Great Old Ones anymore, can't worship the rigid philosophy of the Godclaw and be a cleric, can't be a cleric of nature and its domains with some homage paid to Gozreh as a minor figure. But most centrally, the game has a version of India, China, Japan, but you can't be a cleric of the polytheist/pantheist religions that were in these cultures.

Look at how much is being taken out?


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Each of the thousand gods have clerics or oracles or ya know priest (which can be any class) or druids or inquisitors.

Cleric as it stands in pathfinder is not a Hindu concept anyhow. A cleric is a servant of a single god.

That's not really how Hinduism works, to say that each god has their own clerics isn't a good analog of how it actually works.

So we need new classes for the other continents of Golarion? Or are they all oracles? So there are a lot of temples full of crippled blind people speaking in tongues?

If Vudra recreates a culture or polytheism, it should allow that culture clerics. Check this out:

Vudrani: You mean your one single god gives you magical powers? I worship 100 gods and none give me powers, even though I've devoted my entire life to them since I was a child.

Cleric: yeah, it's pretty sweet. I started worshiping Abadar a month ago, and BOOM I can channel positive energy now.

Vudrani: Forget worshiping [Mumra, Skeletor, Shiva...] I'm gonna worship Abadar.

And who can blame him?

Osirion

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Sign, unlike our world Golarion has always had active gods. It wasn't until recently that the gods became more distant. Those gods have always been active. You need to understand inspired by does not mean the same thing. The world is different. Vauda is not India, Tian is not Asia.

You can do all the stuff you are talking about. A cleric can not as they are the servant of a single god. Given power by a single god, totally loyal to that god. The Inner sea is NOT monotheistic, that is a odd concept. They are polytheistic, cleric however are not.

The term you are looking for is Priest, which is not a cleric.

Osirion

Davick wrote:


That's not really how Hinduism works, to say that each god has their own clerics isn't a good analog of how it actually works.

So we need new classes for the other continents of Golarion? Or are they all oracles? So there are a lot of temples full of crippled blind people speaking in tongues?

If Vudra recreates a culture or polytheism, it should allow that culture clerics.

The inner sea is no different. They are not monotheistic,, people worship many gods. A cleric however is a servant of one god. You can be a priest of many gods and be any class, a cleric is not a priest he is a warrior of a god, a thing empowered by a god to do its will.

Oracle fits the role you speak of, as does a monk or a druid or any number of classes. That however is not what a cleric does. Gods all have priest, not all priests are clerics.


The monotheistic cleric requirement doesn't work with the polytheistic world. If the world is polytheistic it makes sense for polytheism and domain clerics to be possible--especially where alignments connect between multiple worshipped deities in the case of a polytheist.

I will give you an example of an adventurer cleric that would not have cleric powers by canon. A somewhat Gandhi-like travelling cleric, who honours all gods that are neutral good, across all cultures. This character is wise and open, understanding with a high diplomacy. The domains are healing and community, the gods which are praised are Bolka, Chaldira, Kurgess, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Trudd, Yuelral and any NG god from Vudra or other cultures that are known about by this cleric. What is important is people, harmony, goodness, safety and public health. This could really make sense in Vudra, or wandering through the Inner Sea. He isn't an oracle, he is a pure NG cleric out to help people, spiritually advise them, fight or convert the evil and the selfish.

Osirion

Sigh the cleric matches none of the stuff you are talking about. The class has never been about worshiping more then a single god or concept. It is not made for that, they are champions of a single god, someone utterly loyal to a single god. The very concept of a cleric as the class is written is not something that goes with the things you are talking about.

Gandhui would have been a monk. I do not recall him casting spells or being the servant of a god. He wasn't a cleric.


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Why is he a cleric? What in your write up requires one class over the other 3.5? And honouring a god isn't the same as worshiping enough to be granted power from them.

I can venerate Zeus Posidoin and Hades as the masters of their spheres of influence and yet still recieve my spells from apollo it only makes sense if you assume that belief in one dieties powers precludes belief in the others. Which makes little sense since as far as i can find no religion in golarion requiers you to believe that it is the one true religion.

Osirion

Talonhawke wrote:


I can venerate Zeus Posidoin and Hades as the masters of their spheres of influence and yet still recieve my spells from apollo it only makes sense if you assume that belief in one dieties powers precludes belief in the others. Which makes little sense since as far as i can find no religion in golarion requiers you to believe that it is the one true religion.

Yep. Clerics know other gods are real and they may say a small prayer to them in the area's they control, they are just not that clerics god. They are not the god he is devoted to, the one whose teaching call to his soul.


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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Sigh the cleric matches none of the stuff you are talking about. The class has never been about worshiping more then a single god or concept. It is not made for that, they are champions of a single god, someone utterly loyal to a single god. The very concept of a cleric as the class is written is not something that goes with the things you are talking about.

Gandhui would have been a monk. I do not recall him casting spells or being the servant of a god. He wasn't a cleric.

Regardless of 3.5's description, you're using circular logic. Ghandi was presented as an example of a polyhteist cleric (Though not the ACTUAL Ghandi, so that he didn't cast spells means nothing nor would he be a monk), and you say he can't be because he's polytheist, and he can't be polytheist because he's a cleric.

Oracle does not fit, for the reasons I pointed out, they are chosen they don't choose to serve.

The only reason a cleric can't be polytheist is because a cleric can't be polytheist, an argument that is weak to begin with and breaks down when you try to account for different religions. Why wouldn't a Hindu like deity grant powers to a cleric who worships other deities when they're all aspects of the same divine entity anyway? Especially if all the deities are of similar alignment and portfolio.

Osirion

No its not. A cleric serves a single god. That is what the class does, that is what it has always done, what it is built to do.You are trying to force it into a concept it does not fit. You have your mind made it must be a cleric, even if that is a poor fit.

A Ghandi-like Pc does not fit that class at all. You are still confusing priest with cleric.


You mean, the cleric isn't a cleric even if he addresses "the spiritual needs of their people" and is "devoted to the tenets of the religions and philosophies that inspire them". It is a neutral good cleric with no one god, no interest in the petty squabbles of gods, and a focus on two domains to help people and their communities.

In the travels, the cleric would pray for spells, and is just as devoted as any other cleric, but to the ideals of neutral good and the domains of healing and community. What is missing? Oh, it doesn't accord with James Jacob's views on clerics, whom doesn't like polytheist clerics in his game, or domain devotion instead of batting for one deity.

Oh... so that is more important than background, fitting with the setting and being clearly of one class. The cleric isn't a druid, he doesn't worship nature or have an animal companion, isn't a sorcerer as he has and grants the gift of healing, isn't a monk, not interested in a solitary pursuit of martial and mental perfection and ki, not an oracle because he made the choice of what to worship and focus upon, what was best for others, is not cursed (in fact the healing focus would make him very much whole), is not an alchemist as he doesn't throw bombs at people.

It is a healing cleric.

Osirion

No a cleric is not a cleric if he does not serve a god. He sounds like a priest to me.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

No its not. A cleric serves a single god. That is what the class does, that is what it has always done, what it is built to do.You are trying to force it into a concept it does not fit. You have your mind made it must be a cleric, even if that is a poor fit.

A Ghandi-like Pc does not fit that class at all. You are still confusing priest with cleric.

See now you can only see a cleric as a monotheist. You have entirely internalised Jacobs view. It is as if you cannot even realise there are religious devotees outside of monotheism. Holy men, African Shamans, Buddhist nuns, Shinto priests both male and female there for the community.

Why shouldn't there be polytheistic clerics in a polytheistic setting? Because Jacobs said no? It is not enough, there are holes with forcing monotheism on Golarion, which is more complex than that.

Escape the appeal to authority, go beyond it.

Osirion

3.5 Loyalist wrote:


See now you can only see a cleric as a monotheist. You have entirely internalised Jacobs view. It is as if you cannot even realise there are religious devotees outside of monotheism. Holy men, African Shamans, Buddhist nuns, Shinto priests both male and female there for the community.

Why shouldn't there be polytheistic clerics in a polytheistic setting? Because Jacobs said no? It is not enough, there are holes with forcing monotheism on Golarion, which is more complex than that.

No. That is not Monotheist as you mean it. He knows other gods are real, can even invoke them if need be,. But here is the really important part. He does not serve them. They are not his chosen god, not the god who invested a part of their power in that cleric.

Clerics are not made to worship more then one god. It goes aginset the very core concept of the class. That they are servants of a god.

You can not except that. Are you upset fighters aren't allowed to cast spells as well? Its the very same thing. You are wanting something to do something it is not meant to do.

Osirion

To put this a way you may understand. In Golarion a cleric is something a being has vested power in an oracle is something more then one has invested power in.

Devotion does not power a cleric in Golarion,it needs a being to do. So a god, demon lord, arch devil or something with divine power to burn.Which is why concept clerics do not work, you need something to invest that power in you. Some being that controls and lends you that power.


Seeker,
You keep saying this is the rule, I keep asking why and explaining how it doesn't work with all the cultures of the setting, and adding to my why, with what non-singular-deity material has come from the actual setting.

I am glad you are no longer questioning my cleric is a cleric, and you have turned back to your setting point, repeated over-and-over that this is what Jacobs has said it is, with his recent editing, but...

You keep relying on the setting, I keep referring you to the rule books. To core, which allows domain clerics, non singular deity clerics with Dm's permission, to beta which flat out allowed it, to 3.5, which is where the pathfinder cleric description came from, and which was copied across to beta, and slightly changed for core. Jacobs denied this, but check it for yourself.

So when you say:
"Clerics are not made to worship more then one god. It goes aginset the very core concept of the class. That they are servants of a god", you are not actually correct, because the concept of the cleric has long allowed a cleric to not have a god, and to be attuned to a philosophy and domains independent of the petty deities and their squabbles. In the setting, this was also allowed with the examples discussed over the last few pages.

Silver Crusade

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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

No its not. A cleric serves a single god. That is what the class does, that is what it has always done, what it is built to do.You are trying to force it into a concept it does not fit. You have your mind made it must be a cleric, even if that is a poor fit.

Can anyone actually explain WHY? Right now, I'm just reading endless variations of "because that's the way the crunchy rules are written" and/or "because we said so, since that's how we want it to be", which isn't a good story-based reason. Furthermore-- depends-- are you talking about Clerics in pathfinder (without any reference to D&D)? Hmmm... the core books allow for other variations, and the campaign setting once upon a time did allow clerics who worshipped multiple gods. I do see, very clearly, James's stated reasons why a Cleric must follow an actual, living/existing God/Goddess... but I have yet to see any rationale other than because that's what *YOU* say the class is for why Clerics must follow one god and one god only, although I've asked whether there was a definite rationale several times now, and received no real response.

I do see the rationale behind it being ONE deity that actually takes responsibility for granting spells/domains (both from mechanics and even "that's the way the world works"), but I do NOT see why, for instance, Sarenrae would be offended if one of her clerics also gave considerable respect (and a bit of worship) to Shelyn and Milani, for instance-- to the extent of being actively polytheistic in practice, but still a cleric of Sarenrae? Now, if the basic statement is that each Cleric has one god/godess that is granting his/her powers, and that's the reason clerics must choose one god and ultimately be dedicated to him/her above all the rest-- I get that part, but it does not preclude a cleric, in a community that believes in several gods, from quite reasonably not only believing in the existence of, but actually worshiping, the other gods in the same pantheon as his/her patron (although the patron deity still comes first for the cleric, the others second). Is that reasonable, or is the position that a cleric must be totally single-minded and ignore all other deities, even the ones who share a moral/ethical standpoint and similar/compatible views on life and society with his/her patron? (If what people mean by "Clerics serve one God" in the quoted post is that they must have one patron that they place first, not that they can't give offerings to other Gods in matters that fall under those other God's spheres, that is a more reasonable position, but that doesn't seem be what is meant by that on this thread.)

Now, regarding the cleric being a strict monotheist because that's what the class has always done-- Not even in Pathfinder has that ALWAYS been true (even in official Golarion-- deities were always required, but you could follow more than one before changes were made-- the rationales given, again, do explain why you must have a deity-- they do not really explain why you MUST ONLY HAVE ONE as a cleric). If you include the long history of the cleric as a Dungeons & Dragons class... there were no specified requirements for Deities that a cleric should worship (or not) in original D&D (the three little books that started it all) until the 4th little-book supplement (Gods, Demigods, and Heroes) came out-- and that didn't make it mandatory for play. AD&D (versions 1 AND 2) left definitions for the deities entirely up to supplements and were pretty vague about requirements for deities in the core books. From the 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook: "The cleric is dedicated to a deity, or deities, and at the same time a skilled combatant at arms." Okay, a deity is required here-- but it specifically says you can dedicate yourself to multiple deities instead of just one. 2nd edition generally requires deities for clerics but is again extremely vague on specific requirements-- the requirement for singularity in deity followed is not present. 3rd edition has been discussed extensively here. Deities were presented with 3rd edition, but there's a lot of wiggle room presented in the official rules regarding deities vs. concepts and generic divine forces, and regarding whether clerics must follow one god and one god only, or can follow whole pantheons (as others have noticed, Eberron explicitly allows for both clerics who follow pantheons and clerics who follow principles and philosophies).

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
No its not. A cleric serves a single god. That is what the class does, that is what it has always done, what it is built to do.You are trying to force it into a concept it does not fit. You have your mind made it must be a cleric, even if that is a poor fit.

Rather, you are trying to force the class into a limited scope, with artificial constraints of your own device.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

No its not. A cleric serves a single god. That is what the class does, that is what it has always done, what it is built to do.You are trying to force it into a concept it does not fit. You have your mind made it must be a cleric, even if that is a poor fit.

Can anyone actually explain WHY? Right now, I'm just reading endless variations of "because that's the way the crunchy rules are written" and/or "because we said so, since that's how we want it to be", which isn't a good story-based reason. Furthermore-- depends-- are you talking about Clerics in pathfinder (without any reference to D&D)? Hmmm... the core books allow for other variations, and the campaign setting once upon a time did allow clerics who worshipped multiple gods. I do see, very clearly, James's stated reasons why a Cleric must follow an actual, living/existing God/Goddess... but I have yet to see any rationale other than because that's what *YOU* say the class is for why Clerics must follow one god and one god only, although I've asked whether there was a definite rationale several times now, and received no real response.

I do see the rationale behind it being ONE deity that actually takes responsibility for granting spells/domains (both from mechanics and even "that's the way the world works"), but I do NOT see why, for instance, Sarenrae would be offended if one of her clerics also gave considerable respect (and a bit of worship) to Shelyn and Milani, for instance-- to the extent of being actively polytheistic in practice, but still a cleric of Sarenrae? Now, if the basic statement is that each Cleric has one god/godess that is granting his/her powers, and that's the reason clerics must choose one god and ultimately be dedicated to him/her above all the rest-- I get that part, but it does not preclude a cleric, in a community that believes in several gods, from quite reasonably not only believing in the existence of, but actually worshiping, the other gods in the same pantheon as his/her patron...

In my case it's the root of the word. A cleric is a member of the clergy (as opposed to the laity) and the word came about to refer to monotheistic and specifically Christian churches. It's weird to talk about a Cleric of a pantheon (to my ear). That's just not what a cleric is.

It obviously makes no difference what you call things with regard to the rules, but that's the reason clerics worshipping only one deity makes sense to me - I have a mental image conjured by 'cleric' and it's of a Christian monotheist, not of an Egyptian pantheist.

I also think these sort of debates stem from reification. "Class" isnt a real thing anyhow - it's a gaming tool we use to describe a particular character. It doesnt matter if you can't write 'cleric' on your character sheet - what matters is if you can build the character you want. I dont really see what Golarion character can't be built using the restrictions which apply within the canon. (I don't find "Vudra!" to be a meaningful argument, since we don't know what Vudran religion is actually like yet. Presumably James is going to solve that problem when he gets to it. I'm sure there are many possible solutions).

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hmm. Having never heard the term used in that manner, it has no hold on me.

I hear 'Grammaton cleric' whenever it's said.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Hmm. Having never heard the term used in that manner, it has no hold on me.

It's not entirely clear whether a "pantheistic cleric" now makes sense (outside of gaming, I mean) - I presume it does, since it seems a pretty simple concept to generalise. If you take cleric to be a synonym for priest then it may seem like a somewhat arbitrary restriction to declare them all adherents to monotheistic religions.

.
Ultimately, I struggle to see the controversy anyhow. It's a bit like alignment, hit points, levels or skills... We all have our own way of reconciling these silly concepts which dont actually translate to the real world they purport to represent. I dont see the problem with allowing a world designer to be prescriptive about how it works within their world. No matter what they come up with it's not going to fit your conception perfectly - why does it matter?

Consider the situation under discussion - how does 3.5 loyalist lose if he just makes the change within his own version of Golarion? Granted there won't be any pantheistic and/or godless clerics in anything Paizo publishes but so what? They can just be added in to his adventures as he thinks they'll suit.

I'm perplexed at the length of this thread, to be frank.

Silver Crusade

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Steve Geddes wrote (in reply to an earlier post):
"In my case it's the root of the word. A cleric is a member of the clergy (as opposed to the laity) and the word came about to refer to monotheistic and specifically Christian churches. It's weird to talk about a Cleric of a pantheon (to my ear). That's just not what a cleric is.

It obviously makes no difference what you call things with regard to the rules, but that's the reason clerics worshipping only one deity makes sense to me - I have a mental image conjured by 'cleric' and it's of a Christian monotheist, not of an Egyptian pantheist."

Yes, that is the root of the word. However, the word came into being when the Christian church was the ONLY widely accepted church in Europe, and therefore Christian clergy were the only type of clergy around. The words 'cleric' and 'clergy' have since been applied to the organized leadership of Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist faith groups in main-stream journalism (none of which are Christian, 1 of which is overtly polytheistic, and 1 of which may be atheist, agnostic, polytheist, pantheist, or still possibly monotheist, depending on which sect of Buddhism the ordained practitioner in question belongs to). The word has been used in the 20th/21st centuries to apply to the 'clergy', meaning the ordained, organized leaders of the faith, of many other religions (including some rather well-organized sects of Wiccans).

So-- I understand why you still have that reaction when you hear the word "clergy", but I don't think it applies as a good reason why clerics should be restricted in game to monotheistic practice. BTW-- what other word should Gygax and Arneson have used, when they created the original 'Cleric' class in the 3 little books that were original D&D? I tend to think that in America of that time, there weren't many other words you could have come up with for the nominally divinely-empowered healer/warrior that wouldn't have been 'loaded' concepts for someone.

Steve Geddes also wrote:
"I also think these sort of debates stem from reification. "Class" isnt a real thing anyhow - it's a gaming tool we use to describe a particular character. It doesnt matter if you can't write 'cleric' on your character sheet - what matters is if you can build the character you want. I dont really see what Golarion character can't be built using the restrictions which apply within the canon."

Hmmm. So you'd agree that I could build a cleric, per the rules, having one patron deity, but could still play him as believing in and even worshiping several deities, although still placing his patron first and foremost?

Seems that should be doable even under the current expressly stated requirements. I'm still working through historical practice in Pagan societies btw-- and there is precedent in Greek and Roman practice for Priests/Priestesses being dedicated to serving one deity in particular, while, like everyone else in their society, "clergy" and laity alike, believing in and giving respect unto all of the gods, not just the patron they particularly served. That's my hangup, btw-- the idea that, in a society/culture that has multiple gods, who have different portfolios and areas of responsibility, when everyone in that society "knows" that all of these gods are real-- that Priests (Clerics, in game terms) who are sworn to the particular service of one god are not also going to continue to pray to, respect, and acknowledge at least some of the other gods, too. (Historical Greek example: I don't care if you're a Priest of Apollo-- if you're about to take a sea voyage, you're going to offer prayers and gifts to Poseidon before boarding that ship... and it doesn't matter who your patron is, you're still going to acknowledge and offer praise and respect to Zeus as the King of the Gods-- and your patron is not, in Greek belief at least, going to have any problem with you making proper gestures of worship to other Gods for matters relating to their powers and divine responsibilities.)


Steve Geddes wrote:

In my case it's the root of the word. A cleric is a member of the clergy (as opposed to the laity) and the word came about to refer to monotheistic and specifically Christian churches. It's weird to talk about a Cleric of a pantheon (to my ear). That's just not what a cleric is.

It obviously makes no difference what you call things with regard to the rules, but that's the reason clerics worshipping only one deity makes sense to me - I have a mental image conjured by 'cleric' and it's of a Christian monotheist, not of an Egyptian pantheist.

I also think these sort of debates stem from reification. "Class" isnt a real thing anyhow - it's a gaming tool we use to describe a particular character. It doesnt matter if you can't write 'cleric' on your character sheet - what matters is if you can build the character you want. I dont really see what Golarion character can't be built using the restrictions which apply within the canon. (I don't find "Vudra!" to be a meaningful argument, since we don't know what Vudran religion is actually like yet. Presumably James is going to solve that problem when he gets to it. I'm sure there are many possible solutions).

You seem to turn your own argument upside down as you go. Class isn't a real thing. A ranger isn't necessarily a ranger, a rogue isn't necessarily a rogue, a bard not always a bard, barbarians certainly not always barbarous. So why must a cleric always be a monotheistic christian clergyman. If a cleric is the best class to mechanically make my vision of a character, why force a fluff restriction other classes don't have? For what reason, to what end? Don't write cleric on your character sheet, write Polytheist Wandering Monk, but USE the cleric rules. Why isn't that ok? I could play a fighter and call him a cleric if I wanted. I've played a magus arcane archer who in game was a ranger, and you'd scarce know the difference if you didn't see his character sheet. So why take away my ability to play a Polytheist that can heal, channel, has domains, and ISN'T a weird cripple?

I don't want to hear "A cleric has to serve a single deity" until these questions are answered. (Especially since that statement-no matter how many times repeated-contradicts the core rulebook)

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:

It's not entirely clear whether a "pantheistic cleric" now makes sense (outside of gaming, I mean) - I presume it does, since it seems a pretty simple concept to generalise. If you take cleric to be a synonym for priest then it may seem like a somewhat arbitrary restriction to declare them all adherents to monotheistic religions.

.

Minor poke here, something I commented on earlier-- Polytheism is NOT the same thing as Pantheism. Seeing people confusing the two throughout most of this thread is a little bit annoying (to me anyway), when a quick check of the dictionary or encyclopedia should be sufficient to point out the error.

I'm still on this point (having joined the whole discussion in the last page or two anyway), because I like Golarion (so far), but I'd like to understand the reasons underlying some of the choices, and because, while I've accepted the game mechanics portions and practical "source of power" points to having one patron deity, I'm wondering now if one can bring a Cleric who has one patron, per the rules, but does still honor, respect, and pray to several other deities as well into an official Golarion campaign; and not have to worry about that character getting defrocked by his/her patron for continuing to offer worship to like-minded deities that control other portfolios that remain important to that character's life (with the understanding of course that in play, the patron deity still come first, the other deities he/she honors are secondary to the deity he/she particularly serves and receives power from).

The question now still is (for the official word), is that an acceptable position for a character to take and express in play, in an official game (including PFS games)?

(Obviously, I can still play in and/or run games in home campaigns however the rest of the player group and I see fit. Regarding the desire to understand the reasons/philosophies/rationales underlying choices made for the official setting-- hey, inquiring minds want to know... seriously, I like understanding the ideas behind the story as well as the surface material in the story itself)


The only offical time it comes up and matters is campaign setting. Doesn't matter if its Golarion or Krynn those settings required clerics to choose a patron not simply an idea or a pantheon. Even when using those settings the only time you have to adhere to the rule as a player is if the GM says so (which in these or possibly in his home setting is how it is.) or when playing in organized play such as PFS.

If your running a game in Golarion and want polythesistic clerics go for it but just keep in mind if you sit down at someone elses table under the setting it has a chance of not flying.


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Finn K wrote:

Steve Geddes wrote (in reply to an earlier post):

"In my case it's the root of the word. A cleric is a member of the clergy (as opposed to the laity) and the word came about to refer to monotheistic and specifically Christian churches. It's weird to talk about a Cleric of a pantheon (to my ear). That's just not what a cleric is.

It obviously makes no difference what you call things with regard to the rules, but that's the reason clerics worshipping only one deity makes sense to me - I have a mental image conjured by 'cleric' and it's of a Christian monotheist, not of an Egyptian pantheist."

Yes, that is the root of the word. However, the word came into being when the Christian church was the ONLY widely accepted church in Europe, and therefore Christian clergy were the only type of clergy around. The words 'cleric' and 'clergy' have since been applied to the organized leadership of Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist faith groups in main-stream journalism (none of which are Christian, 1 of which is overtly polytheistic, and 1 of which may be atheist, agnostic, polytheist, pantheist, or still possibly monotheist, depending on which sect of Buddhism the ordained practitioner in question belongs to). The word has been used in the 20th/21st centuries to apply to the 'clergy', meaning the ordained, organized leaders of the faith, of many other religions (including some rather well-organized sects of Wiccans).

So-- I understand why you still have that reaction when you hear the word "clergy", but I don't think it applies as a good reason why clerics should be restricted in game to monotheistic practice. BTW-- what other word should Gygax and Arneson have used, when they created the original 'Cleric' class in the 3 little books that were original D&D? I tend to think that in America of that time, there weren't many other words you could have come up with for the nominally divinely-empowered healer/warrior that wouldn't have been 'loaded' concepts for someone.

I obviously didnt make myself clear. I was explaining why it sounds weird to me. That may or may not apply to others.

I certainly wasn't providing a "reason" to adopt my particular take since, as I mentioned to 3.5 loyalist above, I dont consider this a right/wrong issue. It's an aesthetic question of preference - remember we're talking about requirements of clerics in Golarion not in all worlds. James's decision resonates with my preconceptions of the class (I dont claim my reasons to have been any part of his considerations).

Quote:

Steve Geddes also wrote:

"I also think these sort of debates stem from reification. "Class" isnt a real thing anyhow - it's a gaming tool we use to describe a particular character. It doesnt matter if you can't write 'cleric' on your character sheet - what matters is if you can build the character you want. I dont really see what Golarion character can't be built using the restrictions which apply within the canon."

Hmmm. So you'd agree that I could build a cleric, per the rules, having one patron deity, but could still play him as believing in and even worshiping several deities, although still placing his patron first and foremost?

I'd let you do that, sure. (And I can't see any reason why James wouldnt - it seems that what he thinks is important is that Clerics get their spells from one deity. I havent seen him declare that Clerics are forbidden from venerating other deities besides their patron).

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Seems that should be doable even under the current expressly stated requirements. I'm still working through historical practice in Pagan societies btw-- and there is precedent in Greek and Roman practice for Priests/Priestesses being dedicated to serving one deity in particular, while, like everyone else in their society, "clergy" and laity alike, believing in and giving respect unto all of the gods, not just the patron they particularly served. That's my hangup, btw-- the idea that, in a society/culture that has multiple gods, who have different portfolios and areas of responsibility, when everyone in that society "knows" that all of these gods are real-- that Priests (Clerics, in game terms) who are sworn to the particular service of one god are not also going to continue to pray to, respect, and acknowledge at least some of the other gods, too. (Historical Greek example: I don't care if you're a Priest of Apollo-- if you're about to take a sea voyage, you're going to offer prayers and gifts to Poseidon before boarding that ship... and it doesn't matter who your patron is, you're still going to acknowledge and offer praise and respect to Zeus as the King of the Gods-- and your patron is not, in Greek belief at least, going to have any problem with you making proper gestures of worship to other Gods for matters relating to their powers and divine responsibilities.)

As I understand things, in Golarion there's nothing wrong with a Cleric of Desna praying to Erastil for a good hunt. They're just not going to be granted spells or class abilities by both Gods.

I dont think the lore of the setting is prohibiting much more than that, to be honest.


Finn K wrote:

[I'm still on this point (having joined the whole discussion in the last page or two anyway), because I like Golarion (so far), but I'd like to understand the reasons underlying some of the choices, and because, while I've accepted the game mechanics portions and practical "source of power" points to having one patron deity, I'm wondering now if one can bring a Cleric who has one patron, per the rules, but does still honor, respect, and pray to several other deities as well into an official Golarion campaign; and not have to worry about that character getting defrocked by his/her patron for continuing to offer worship to like-minded deities that control other portfolios that remain important to that character's life (with the understanding of course that in play, the patron deity still come first, the other deities he/she honors are secondary to the deity he/she particularly serves and receives power from).

The question now still is (for the official word), is that an acceptable position for a character to take and express in play, in an official game (including PFS games)?

(Obviously, I can still play in and/or run games in home campaigns however the rest of the player group and I see fit. Regarding the desire to understand the reasons/philosophies/rationales underlying choices made for the official setting-- hey, inquiring minds want to...

This would be fine Steve in fact anyone who would argue that a Cleric of Abadar would be defrocked for offering a prayer to another deity whose influences they will soon tread on would be hard pressed to back that up with any rules or dev citations.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Davick wrote:
You seem to turn your own argument upside down as you go.

No, I'm just not as clear as I should be I suspect.

Quote:
Class isn't a real thing. A ranger isn't necessarily a ranger, a rogue isn't necessarily a rogue, a bard not always a bard, barbarians certainly not always barbarous. So why must a cleric always be a monotheistic christian clergyman. If a cleric is the best class to mechanically make my vision of a character, why force a fluff restriction other classes don't have? For what reason, to what end? Don't write cleric on your character sheet, write Polytheist Wandering Monk, but USE the cleric rules. Why isn't that ok? I could play a fighter and call him a cleric if I wanted. I've played a magus arcane archer who in game was a ranger, and you'd scarce know the difference if you didn't see his character sheet. So why take away my ability to play a Polytheist that can heal, channel, has domains, and ISN'T a weird cripple?

Well if you're asking me the answer is that I wouldnt. James gave his answer above though - amongst other things, he likes to keep the differing classes from treading on each others' toes. Part of a cleric's schtick is that they get their spells from one God (I doubt he'd stop you being a "Polytheist Wandering Monk" flavor of cleric - it would just be one God who gave you your spells and class abilitites).

Quote:
I don't want to hear "A cleric has to serve a single deity" until these questions are answered. (Especially since that statement-no matter how many times repeated-contradicts the core rulebook)

Clerics dont need to have a God according to the rules.

Clerics in published sourcebooks covering Golarion always will.


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Finn K wrote:
Minor poke here, something I commented on earlier-- Polytheism is NOT the same thing as Pantheism. Seeing people confusing the two throughout most of this thread is a little bit annoying (to me anyway), when a quick check of the dictionary or encyclopedia should be sufficient to point out the error.

I share your annoyance. It was a case of proofread failure (I've been arguing pantheism on another site and just slipped up). I meant polytheistic, sorry.

Silver Crusade

Steve and Talonhawke-- thank you both for finally addressing my remaining question/concern regarding play in the official Golarion setting. I wanted to make sure my read on a cleric being able to still venerate other deities besides his/her patron did read as "okay" to others, and I appreciate the confirmation that it seems workable in the way I've formulated it in those last posts. That works for me (in story as well as 'crunch'). :)

Steve: Regarding the discussion on the word 'cleric' and its etymology-- sorry if I came across as critical of your original point, because you are right that Cleric was derived from 'Clergy' at a time when that did just mean Christian clergy. I did and do understand why that gives you the gut-reaction/impression it does... my comments on the changing use of the word and how that relates to its application in the game were not meant as an attack. On proofread failure? Happens to us all sometimes (I know I've been guilty of it a few times myself in various places). :)


Steve Geddes wrote:
Davick wrote:
You seem to turn your own argument upside down as you go.
No, I'm just not as clear as I should be I suspect.

No you're not.

Quote:
Well if you're asking me the answer is that I wouldnt. James gave his answer above though - amongst other things, he likes to keep the differing classes from treading on each others' toes. Part of a cleric's schtick is that they get their spells from one God (I doubt he'd stop you being a "Polytheist Wandering Monk" flavor of cleric - it would just be one God who gave you your spells and class abilitites).

So you can do it, and you can do all the things that upset James about it (ie. worship Razmir and Pharasma and go on as a cleric of Razmir)? I don't think so.

Quote:

Clerics dont need to have a God according to the rules.

Clerics in published sourcebooks covering Golarion always will.

WHich has not been what people have been saying. It's been said, repeatedly, that the idea of a single deity is vital to the idea of a cleric.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Davick wrote:
Quote:
Well if you're asking me the answer is that I wouldnt. James gave his answer above though - amongst other things, he likes to keep the differing classes from treading on each others' toes. Part of a cleric's schtick is that they get their spells from one God (I doubt he'd stop you being a "Polytheist Wandering Monk" flavor of cleric - it would just be one God who gave you your spells and class abilitites).
So you can do it, and you can do all the things that upset James about it (ie. worship Razmir and Pharasma and go on as a cleric of Razmir)? I don't think so.

I don't know what this means, but Razmir can't grant spells if that's somehow implied in what you say here. Personally, I'd allow a cleric who thought he was worshipping Razmir - but he'd be getting his spells from some (actual) deity. I'd allow someone to venerate lots of Gods - only one of them would be granting him divine abilities though.

Quote:
Quote:

Clerics dont need to have a God according to the rules.

Clerics in published sourcebooks covering Golarion always will.
WHich has not been what people have been saying. It's been said, repeatedly, that the idea of a single deity is vital to the idea of a cleric.

It is vital to my idea of a cleric. That doesnt change the fact that, as you observe, godless clerics are allowed in the CRB. The fact they're allowed by the rules does not imply they should be allowed in any specific campaign setting. (And, as it happens, they won't appear in any officially sanctioned Golarion sourcebook/adventure).


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Finn K wrote:
Steve and Talonhawke-- thank you both for finally addressing my remaining question/concern regarding play in the official Golarion setting. I wanted to make sure my read on a cleric being able to still venerate other deities besides his/her patron did read as "okay" to others, and I appreciate the confirmation that it seems workable in the way I've formulated it in those last posts. That works for me (in story as well as 'crunch'). :)

Just one word of warning - I wouldnt take anything I say as authoritative unless it's about maths, some branches of philosophy or Australian Superannuation Law.

Everything else, I'm just guessing really. :p

(EDIT: oh, and juggling - I know a fair bit about that too).

Silver Crusade

Davick wrote:

(point 1):

So you can do it, and you can do all the things that upset James about it (ie. worship Razmir and Pharasma and go on as a cleric of Razmir)? I don't think so.

Re: point 1-- at least in my view, my own formulation of being able to still venerate other deities besides your patron would not allow that combination... Razmir would lynch you for venerating someone else, and I'm pretty sure that Pharasma would not be happy with you venerating a false god. A cleric, who has a patron deity, can and should (IMO) still venerate other deities in a setting with many gods/goddesses, but that is NOT carte blanche to go venerate deities that your patron is really unhappy with and associate with priests and temples of those objectionable deities... I tend to think your patron will withdraw your spell-casting and domain abilities for such offensive behavior. (this principle applies to other objectionable combinations... I'm still not sure how the 5 gods/goddesses alledgedly supporting the GodClaw can tolerate having their clerics in such close association with each other, when their portfolios and beliefs differ so widely)

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:
Finn K wrote:
Steve and Talonhawke-- thank you both for finally addressing my remaining question/concern regarding play in the official Golarion setting. I wanted to make sure my read on a cleric being able to still venerate other deities besides his/her patron did read as "okay" to others, and I appreciate the confirmation that it seems workable in the way I've formulated it in those last posts. That works for me (in story as well as 'crunch'). :)

Just one word of warning - I wouldnt take anything I say as authoritative unless it's about maths, some branches of philosophy or Australian Superannuation Law.

Everything else, I'm just guessing really. :p

(EDIT: oh, and juggling - I know a fair bit about that too).

At least it gives confirmation that other people do see that interpretation. I'll wait a bit and see if someone with official standing will comment on this point (allowed or not?), and if they don't, I'll polish it, make sure the formulation is respectful and not in violation of 'crunchy rules' and throw it onto the "Ask James Jacobs" thread for an official response.


Finn,

I would have to try and hunt down the posts, which are a year or two old by now, but I am pretty sure I have seen official people post that it is fine and no big deal to show respect or to offer prayers to gods other than your chosen one. You offer a small prayer or gift at a roadside altar to the god of luck when you are gambling, or the same before going into battle to the god of war, or to the god of the sea before getting on a ship, but you attend services or whatever only at your patron god's temples.

Shadow Lodge

I also wanted to point out that in Golarion, worship of other deities actually powers those deities and widens their influence, not to mention that for a priest oe Cleric, ("Clerics are more than mere priests"), to knowingly empower another deity over their own is very much at odds with the class. Even if the other deity is aligned to their single patron, or has similar influence, you are working against your patron, and thus yourself.

Secondly, a little off topic, but sort of on, actuions that are aligned to a deity's sphere of power are also concidered acts of faith and worship, even if done unknowingly. This actually works really well for concepts like the original Godclaw, but terrible for the individual patrons Godclaw.

I idea of having a patron, but being able to worship other deities also doesn't help with most of the issues only-deity Clerics presents, unless you alter the class in such away that the Cleric's devotion is irrelivant, so that a Cleric could actively hate their patron, activel work against them, curse their name, and yet steal their clerical powers from that patron. It doesn't allow for a Cleric that has a patron, but knows nothing about them, as was mentioned above, (and a concept I really like, personally).

Silver Crusade

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Finn,

I would have to try and hunt down the posts, which are a year or two old by now, but I am pretty sure I have seen official people post that it is fine and no big deal to show respect or to offer prayers to gods other than your chosen one. You offer a small prayer or gift at a roadside altar to the god of luck when you are gambling, or the same before going into battle to the god of war, or to the god of the sea before getting on a ship, but you attend services or whatever only at your patron god's temples.

Thank you for the reply-- I appreciate having more input on these questions. I do have a further comment/question in light of your post, though:

I'm not so sure that last point (about only attending services at your patron's temples) should be a rigid requirement-- I would think that you would only lead and conduct services at your Patron's temples, but (especially if you're in a town that doesn't even have a temple to your patron), one could reasonably attend services at another God's temple as a respectful guest, so long as the God in question is closely aligned with your Patron (that happened in most historical Pagan practice, even where Priests particularly dedicated themselves to one patron, but like all sensible people in their culture's understanding of the universe, believed in all of them). Nothing in my questions or views on the idea that a cleric should still be able to venerate other gods as well is meant to construe that the cleric would ever set those other gods before his/her patron, and would probably never practice his/her veneration of a few other gods in appropriate circumstances to even an equal extent as he/she practices devotion to his/her patron deity; and that any other gods the character does show some veneration to cannot be gods/goddesses that aren't quite friendly with and holding compatible views to the cleric's patron deity.

Example for my point: if your Patron is Sarenrae, I don't think she'd object if you were a guest at services for Milani, particularly if you were closely involved with Milani's followers in an effort to overthrow a tyrant (a cause Sarenrae also would definitely support). Also, in practice, offering a gift to the god of the sea at a major seaport before starting off on a voyage, would probably involve a visit to the sea god's temple, not a roadside altar.

Is that sort of behavior okay, or is there a reason why Sarenrae (for instance) would punish her cleric for having attended a service for Milani? (BTW-- this is presuming that this cleric is still first and foremost a worshiper/follower of Sarenrae and is not neglecting any of his duties and honors that are due to his patron goddess.)

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:
It is vital to my idea of a cleric. That doesnt change the fact that, as you observe, godless clerics are allowed in the CRB. The fact they're allowed by the rules does not imply they should be allowed in any specific campaign setting. (And, as it happens, they won't appear in any officially sanctioned Golarion sourcebook/adventure).

Except that they have, and where not "officially" changed out until much later. Originally, Paizo stated that the reason that all of their divine characters in the Golarion setting had patron deities was for the DM's ease. They could look at the stats, see that a Paladin worship Pharasma, and have a general idea what said NPC was all about. Paizo also stated for the longest time (from the Alpha playtest till after the final core books that I know of personally), that no "concept Clerics" where ever explicitly stated as such because they wanted each individual group to make that choice, and they did not want to put one in that essentually officially said yes, they exist. That was the official/unofficial stance, yes they exist, but we are not ever going to force them on groups mechanically.

Shadow Lodge

Just out of curiosity, what are the advantages, or even percieved advantags, in your (general) opinions, to requiring all Clerics to have a patron deity?
Disadvantages?

Please explain, if it isn't a fairly obvious answer.

I mean in the sense of Golarion. Not the core class itself.
How does that interact with other similar classes? Druid, <anti>Paladin, Oracle, etc. . .?

I understand fully why such requirements are in place for organized play, because organized play does have a lot of similar restrictions for everyone, and is designed to be fair for multiple groups in multiple areas, with players mixing between them freely.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
It is vital to my idea of a cleric. That doesnt change the fact that, as you observe, godless clerics are allowed in the CRB. The fact they're allowed by the rules does not imply they should be allowed in any specific campaign setting. (And, as it happens, they won't appear in any officially sanctioned Golarion sourcebook/adventure).
Except that they have, and where not "officially" changed out until much later. Originally, Paizo stated that the reason that all of their divine characters in the Golarion setting had patron deities was for the DM's ease. They could look at the stats, see that a Paladin worship Pharasma, and have a general idea what said NPC was all about. Paizo also stated for the longest time (from the Alpha playtest till after the final core books that I know of personally), that no "concept Clerics" where ever explicitly stated as such because they wanted each individual group to make that choice, and they did not want to put one in that essentually officially said yes, they exist. That was the official/unofficial stance, yes they exist, but we are not ever going to force them on groups mechanically.

I'll take your word on that, but it doesn't really change my point. Something allowed by the Core Rules doesn't imply that it will be allowed in any specific setting.

Asmodeus used to have paladins and dragons used to fly to a remote mountain graveyard when they died. Revisionism is unfortunate, but it's going to happen from time to time - designers should be allowed to correct what they see as mistakes, no?


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Beckett wrote:

Just out of curiosity, what are the advantages, or even percieved advantags, in your (general) opinions, to requiring all Clerics to have a patron deity?

Disadvantages?.

I think James gave a good reason - its a distinguishing feature of the class that other divine classes don't share, making them different in a sense. He also seems to think its an important part of the whole mystery/scenario around aroden's death.

I don't think it's about advantages/disadvantages though - I really think its an aesthetic choice. I happen to like clerics as monotheistic, but I don't pretend it's better, just my preference.

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:
I'll take your word on that, but it doesn't really change my point. Something allowed by the Core Rules doesn't imply that it will be allowed in any specific setting.

It's more that a lot of material actively showed or inactively suggested that this was true. If there is no change from the core book, why would the setting material state that? Does the setting book say that all Fighters are proficient in all Simple and Martial Weapons? However, the setting material did include ways for Clerics to not have a Patron being, that now do not work with this official ruling. Threads like this come up all the time, because most people assume that Concept Clerics are allowed in Golarion, just like in the non-Golarion PF materials. Because, the only place that it is said so is online, not in any book. But there are books for the setting that say it is fine.

Also, this is complicated by the fact that the original setting was based on the 3.5 and 3.0 material. The fluff worked a little better back then for a lot of the in-setting issues, but with classes like the Witch, the prevailence of Bards, the Oracle, and other similar classes, most of the assumed niche areas in the setting are completely illogical, not becuase of the Cleric.

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:
Beckett wrote:

Just out of curiosity, what are the advantages, or even percieved advantags, in your (general) opinions, to requiring all Clerics to have a patron deity?

Disadvantages?.

I think James gave a good reason - its a distinguishing feature of the class that other divine classes don't share, making them different in a sense. He also seems to think its an important part of the whole mystery/scenario around aroden's death.

I don't think it's about advantages/disadvantages though - I really think its an aesthetic choice. I happen to like clerics as monotheistic, but I don't pretend it's better, just my preference.

That's kind of what I mean. I'm trying to understand in a different way, why people believe what they do on this topic.

Aesthetic choice is an advantage/disadvantage, and the fact that you just like it better is your reasoning. That's mostly what I'm looking for from others. Maybe someone will just open up something for me?

Silver Crusade

Beckett wrote:

I also wanted to point out that in Golarion, worship of other deities actually powers those deities and widens their influence, not to mention that for a priest oe Cleric, ("Clerics are more than mere priests"), to knowingly empower another deity over their own is very much at odds with the class. Even if the other deity is aligned to their single patron, or has similar influence, you are working against your patron, and thus yourself.

Secondly, a little off topic, but sort of on, actuions that are aligned to a deity's sphere of power are also concidered acts of faith and worship, even if done unknowingly. This actually works really well for concepts like the original Godclaw, but terrible for the individual patrons Godclaw.

I idea of having a patron, but being able to worship other deities also doesn't help with most of the issues only-deity Clerics presents, unless you alter the class in such away that the Cleric's devotion is irrelivant, so that a Cleric could actively hate their patron, activel work against them, curse their name, and yet steal their clerical powers from that patron. It doesn't allow for a Cleric that has a patron, but knows nothing about them, as was mentioned above, (and a concept I really like, personally).

Interesting points. I would not think, though, that the gods/goddesses of Good at least were so jealous of their personal power that they would be offended by their worshipers respecting and showing honor for some of the other Good gods & goddesses... this is an area where I don't think it's really working against your patron. However, if the Gods are significantly powered by their cleric's devotion, that's a good reason why a cleric serving a neutral or an evil good must be monotheistic in practice and will not be allowed to show genuine honor, support, and veneration for other gods (although maybe there's a few neutral deities who won't be quite that jealous).

My premise at this point has morphed a little from my very first posts on this topic, and for game-mechanics purposes, I'm presuming Clerics work as written, and must have chosen a single-deity. My thoughts here involve clerics build exactly according to standard specifications. At this point, this isn't about altering the cleric's build or powers, it's about role-playing the cleric as someone who, sensibly in a society with many gods, still venerates some other gods because they're aligned with the causes his own deity favors and/or they are the deities in charge of aspects of the universe that are still very important to his life (because the game already has it that no one deity's portfolio covers everything). Some key presumptions in Pathfinder/official Golarion that particularly affect this, that I am assuming apply to such a cleric are: The cleric has a single patron deity, that is the source of all the powers granted to the cleric; the cleric understands this and furthermore understands that his devotion to his patron deity, and the actions and activities he undertakes in his patron's service, are what make him worthy to receive these granted powers from his patron; the cleric is in fact devoted to his patron deity and is an active and faithful servant (otherwise he'd be an ex-cleric and would have no spell-casting ability); this is a conscious, knowing, chosen act and devotion to a particular way of life on the part of the cleric character; and regardless of other interests and activities, when it comes to faith and relationship to the divine, the cleric's patron always comes first in his devotions. However, the further assumptions are that (at least with a cleric whose patron is one of the paragon deities of good) this cleric would still venerate the deities who are his patron's allies and/or whose powers/divine responsibilities directly affect his life and are not objectionable to his patron, though he does not venerate them to the same extent to which he venerates and serves his patron deity, because in most polytheistic societies this is what reasonable people (even dedicated priests of a particular God) did; and that, provided his devotion to his patron always comes first and he's doing everything else he should for his patron and not neglecting his duties and responsibilities as her cleric, that his patron will not mind his veneration of other deities on the side (within the already mentioned constraints that they cannot be opposed in any way to his patron's goals, views, and attitudes) and he will continue to be a cleric in good standing in her service (this veneration on the side of other deities does not affect his status with his patron, in other words).

I think that should be okay to do in the official world in play, but I admit, I hadn't quite connected the chain between a cleric's powers and his deity quite the way you just did. Although I think that casual veneration of some other gods really ought to be okay (and apparently is as mentioned in Enehvar's post), I'm rethinking the idea that a cleric should be able to be a guest at services in an allied deity's temple (something I brought up in replying to Enehvar's post).


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Sure - its unfortunate that the setting isn't totally consistent throughout. Given the timescale of production, the number of authors, the speed of release...probably the confusion in authority over the setting versus the rules, alos.

Personally, I think retconning happens infrequently enough. In a perfect world, it would never happen - this example doesn't bug me, but I understand it could be irritating.

Shadow Lodge

Finn K wrote:
I think that should be okay to do in the official world in play, but I admit, I hadn't quite connected the chain between a cleric's powers and his deity quite the way you just did.

I think that the issue is that sometimes at Paizo, the Right hand doesn't talk to the Left hand as much as it should, so official things get put out without understanding the full implications it has. It happens, and that isn't an insult. It was, I believe, in one of the Paizo Blogs describing the deities, (about the way deities feed off of worship and acts of faith, know it or not mortals, ha ha).

Steve Geddes wrote:

Personally, I think retconning happens infrequently enough. In a perfect world, it would never happen - this example doesn't bug me, but I understand it could be irritating.

I don't have an issue with retconning. It happens. Mistakes are made. No one is perfect, and I'm not blaming anyone. I just feel that this one both hurts the setting and creates more and worse problems in the setting than it solves.

Silver Crusade

Beckett wrote:
It doesn't allow for a Cleric that has a patron, but knows nothing about them, as was mentioned above, (and a concept I really like, personally).

However, this is the ideal (IMO) background for an Oracle. You can do it in story terms-- you just don't use the Cleric's mechanics, and the background ideas and setups given for Oracles are perfect for a character who starts off not knowing where his/her powers come from.

'Course that just answered another question for myself-- in story terms, you can do a truly polytheistic priest in official Golarion play, and that character can (in game-world terms) consider him/her-self a cleric-- but mechanically he or she is actually an oracle...

(note: this does not take away my desire to establish and confirm the boundaries on a cleric, who is primarily monotheistic in practice by the rules, for showing some veneration to other deities in addition to the primary devotion he/she owes his/her patron.)

Shadow Lodge

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Finn K wrote:

However, this is the ideal (IMO) background for an Oracle. You can do it in story terms-- you just don't use the Cleric's mechanics, and the background ideas and setups given for Oracles are perfect for a character who starts off not knowing where his/her powers come from.

'Course that just answered another question for myself-- in story terms, you can do a truly polytheistic priest in official Golarion play, and that character can (in game-world terms) consider him/her-self a cleric-- but mechanically he or she is actually an oracle...

(note: this does not take away my desire to establish and confirm the boundaries on a cleric, who is primarily monotheistic in practice by the rules, for showing some veneration to other deities in addition to the primary devotion he/she owes his/her patron.)

That's perfectly fine. My only issue with this is I personally do not like the Oracle Class, from a mechanical stand point. I would find it more appealing to do the opposite, and play a machanical Cleric, stealing the Oracle "flavor" right back from them.

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