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Creating a holy symbol


Rules Questions


How would someone create a holy symbol if they don't start play with one nor do they have access to buy one. I assume that a craft skill would be needed would it also need to be infused with magic somehow?


For a wooden one I'd assume that any cleric or Paladin could effectively carve one in a day or two or paint a reasonable facsimile in a couple of hours. Anything more ornate than this and I'd guess a craft(material) would be required.

Holy symbols are not innately magic in and of themselves, just used as a focus for concentration and prayer.


I do t think it needs to be infused with magic. A craft skill would make sense. I would let an ingenuititve player make one out of materials that were appropriate and available (like vines, or twigs, or goat bones, or baby pieces) if they were in a situation that required it. I mean, people are pretty good at making crosses out of sticks and twine so I dont see the issue here.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You'd need the craft skill for whatever material you're choosing to make it from. If you wanted to carve one from wood, you'd use Craft(woodcarving). If you wanted to cast one from silver, you'd use Craft(silversmithing) or possibly Craft(jewelry).

Whatever god is associated with the holy symbol is the one who gives it power, and then only in the hands of an associated cleric.


Probably not even rank of craft is required. A DC 10 check should suffice to make a crude holy symbol.

At worst, it should be an orison, with the object being the materail component.

I would recommend the birthmark trait. Then you always have your holy symbol.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Just an thought, I would also discuss with the party members the need for one. I know if our cleric said they did not have one, I would have no issue buying for them if I had the cash. I benifit from them having it as much as they do.


The manner in which they want to create the symbol should factor fairly strongly in what sort of DC you set, as well as determining how sturdy the result is.

Macaroni art will be very easy (DC 5), but would carry the risk of being destroyed when stowed, or used in adverse weather ;)

A scratched shape on a coin that was flattened with a hammer would be fairly easy (DC 10), but be much more resilient.

In-game experience: We actually ran into this in game when we rescued a cleric in some sort of hellish plane. She had no equipment of any kind, and the dwarf barbarian made her a symbol from a coin. As the quest continued, the god gradually transformed the symbol from its humble appearance, and by the campaign finished, it was a really cool sacred relic.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Eric Mason 37 wrote:
In-game experience: We actually ran into this in game when we rescued a cleric in some sort of hellish plane. She had no equipment of any kind, and the dwarf barbarian made her a symbol from a coin. As the quest continued, the god gradually transformed the symbol from its humble appearance, and by the campaign finished, it was a really cool sacred relic.

Sorry for the side track but I just have to say: This is a great back story. I love when the game allows for cool things like this.


Imbuing your holy symbol with magic should translate into a night's prayer or other lengthy, undisturbed ritual, thereby consecrating it.

Ruyan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

RAW: Let's call a holy symbol a high-quality item. That's a DC15 craft check. Cost (of a wooden holy symbol) 1 gp.
So lets see (10sp value / [craft check 15 x DC15]) assuming 8 hours/day = about twenty minutes work.

Nothing else required by the RAW.

Pretty boring if you ask me.

I'm with Ruyan, I always assumed that holy symbols were consecrated by a cleric, blessed by the church, or had some other spiritual significance but that is in the realm of fluff and not the almighty rules-as-written.

One thing to consider with this is the ol' adventurers thrown in prison scenario. Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.


Thanks for the feedback.

This stems from I'm about ready to start Way of the Wicked and somonee wants to run a cleric who worhsips a god other than Asmodeous. It the land of Talnigarde no other religons are known to exist besides Mitra and Asmodeous, so the cleric would need to create the itme himself or find someone to create it for him (which is really difficlt at the start of the campaign). I'm thinking for a cheap one I will make it a DC10 craft check and he can make it a divine focus himself with a night of worship.

Cheliax

Some call me Tim wrote:

RAW: Let's call a holy symbol a high-quality item. That's a DC15 craft check. Cost (of a wooden holy symbol) 1 gp.

So lets see (10sp value / [craft check 15 x DC15]) assuming 8 hours/day = about twenty minutes work.

Nothing else required by the RAW.

Pretty boring if you ask me.

I'm with Ruyan, I always assumed that holy symbols were consecrated by a cleric, blessed by the church, or had some other spiritual significance but that is in the realm of fluff and not the almighty rules-as-written.

One thing to consider with this is the ol' adventurers thrown in prison scenario. Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.

I always just added a simple DC Knowledge Religion check to cover the, "I said the right prayers over this while I made it."


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Some call me Tim wrote:
Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.

Wouldn't that depend on the god or goddess and how they felt about what happened to the Cleric?


danielc wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.
Wouldn't that depend on the god or goddess and how they felt about what happened to the Cleric?

I think this more depends on the GM question of whether the party need to be without spells for a certain length of time, or is the desperate act of creating a small idol with whatever is available to hand in order to overcome the troubles they face worthy of reward?

In other words, as awesome as it is do you, the GM, 'need' the party to sit and chill for a certain length of time without ability to free themselves? The holy symbol user should still be allowed to make and keep one if they so desire, but its practical effect is up to you.

Technically, a holy symbol is something personal to the cleric/paladin/etc and their deity, so it is the faith in it that enables them to use it to focus their spells, the price listed to buy one is for the mass (ish) produced ones available at temple shops and knick-knack stores, so you could easily rule that to produce your own takes nothing but faith and the raw-material, no cost at all, and just a logically sensible amount of time. The shape of it is more for recognition by others than anything else. (Unless, you know, you rule that actually, it matters A LOT ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
danielc wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.
Wouldn't that depend on the god or goddess and how they felt about what happened to the Cleric?

It's more of a how the DM fells about screwing over the cleric kind of thing.

The mage in the same position is very limited on what materials he can gather in such a situation. He is not about to fill a material component pouch in twenty minutes. To me it is having everyone on an even playing field. It also provides an imperative for the cleric to get his divine focus back.

Cheliax

Some call me Tim wrote:
danielc wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.
Wouldn't that depend on the god or goddess and how they felt about what happened to the Cleric?

It's more of a how the DM fells about screwing over the cleric kind of thing.

The mage in the same position is very limited on what materials he can gather in such a situation. He is not about to fill a material component pouch in twenty minutes. To me it is having everyone on an even playing field. It also provides an imperative for the cleric to get his divine focus back.

While the fighter grabs the nearest sword (no matter that it was not "his" to begin with), and the rogue uses improvised tools (-2) to crack the door lock?

Even playing fields would have it easier for the wizard, not harder on the cleric and easy on everyone else.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Some call me Tim wrote:
danielc wrote:
Some call me Tim wrote:
Should a cleric really be able to get his spell casting powers back with twenty minutes of work tying some twigs together.
Wouldn't that depend on the god or goddess and how they felt about what happened to the Cleric?
It's more of a how the DM fells about screwing over the cleric kind of thing.

Ah so it is metagaming rather than roleplaying. Got it.


another possible option from the ultimate equipment:

HOLY SYMBOL, TATTOO PRICE 100 GP
WEIGHT —
In some religions, you are allowed to tattoo or brand your deity’s
holy symbol onto your skin (typically the palm, back of the hand,
or forearm) in a special ceremony. Thereafter, it functions like
an actual holy symbol of your faith, and you may use it as a
divine focus for spellcasting, channeling energy, and so on. The
tattoo must be fully visible to use it in this way (it cannot be
covered with a glove, gauntlet, or any other material). The listed
price includes the cost of a simple brand or non-fading black
tattoo; add appropriate tattoo costs if you want something more
elaborate. Specifically damaging or erasing the tattoo or brand
negates its use as an actual holy symbol.

assuming the cleric knows the ceremony and has some way to create the tattoo on his/her/its arm/tentacle/appendage

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