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Would it break anything to merge sacred and profane bonuses?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

Shadow Lodge

I am considering a house rule that any effect that gives a bonus of either type would instead give a "divine" bonus. This would prevent a character from stacking sacred and profane bonuses to a specific stat. It also de-emphasizes the difference between good and evil gods, which is desirable in the campaign I'm building where society and the main pantheon is split more along law vs chaos lines.

Question is, any major consequences to this that I'm missing?


None that I can tell. But personally, I think a profane bonus would cancel out a sacred bonus and vise versa.

Osirion

If anything, it would make more sense than the current paradigm, where, since Sacred and Profane bonuses are different bonus types, *they can stack,* which makes not a damn bit of sense.

For instance, if an item created by a cleric of Iomedae gave a sacred bonus, and a spell cast by a cleric of Cayden on the same person also gave a sacred bonus to the same trait or attribute, *they wouldn't stack,* because both are sacred bonuses. But if a cleric of Rovagug cast that exact same spell, it *would* stack with the sacred bonus, since it's now a 'profane' bonus. That's just crazy. Making all divine granted bonuses 'sacred' or 'divine' bonuses (whether the god granting it is evil, good, chaotic, lawful or none of the above) would make much more sense.

Plus, less 'bonus types', IMO, is *always* a good thing. There are way too many stacking types of bonus already, I feel.

One less word (profane, in this case) being used totally bass-ackwards (to mean 'holy to evil gods' instead of anti-religious) would also make this pedant happy.


Set wrote:

If anything, it would make more sense than the current paradigm, where, since Sacred and Profane bonuses are different bonus types, *they can stack,* which makes not a damn bit of sense.

For instance, if an item created by a cleric of Iomedae gave a sacred bonus, and a spell cast by a cleric of Cayden on the same person also gave a sacred bonus to the same trait or attribute, *they wouldn't stack,* because both are sacred bonuses. But if a cleric of Rovagug cast that exact same spell, it *would* stack with the sacred bonus, since it's now a 'profane' bonus. That's just crazy. Making all divine granted bonuses 'sacred' or 'divine' bonuses (whether the god granting it is evil, good, chaotic, lawful or none of the above) would make much more sense.

I agree, but I don't think it's that much of an issue, from a situational stand point. You'd probably have to be in a really wonky group or situation to have two divine spellcasters willing to cast a spell on you to give you both a Sacred and Profane bonus at the same time.

I do however think combining them into a single bonus type, say "Divine" as given already, would be just fine as well, since it cuts down on the different types of bonuses people have to keep track of for their stats.

Contributor

Harrison wrote:
Set wrote:

If anything, it would make more sense than the current paradigm, where, since Sacred and Profane bonuses are different bonus types, *they can stack,* which makes not a damn bit of sense.

For instance, if an item created by a cleric of Iomedae gave a sacred bonus, and a spell cast by a cleric of Cayden on the same person also gave a sacred bonus to the same trait or attribute, *they wouldn't stack,* because both are sacred bonuses. But if a cleric of Rovagug cast that exact same spell, it *would* stack with the sacred bonus, since it's now a 'profane' bonus. That's just crazy. Making all divine granted bonuses 'sacred' or 'divine' bonuses (whether the god granting it is evil, good, chaotic, lawful or none of the above) would make much more sense.

I agree, but I don't think it's that much of an issue, from a situational stand point. You'd probably have to be in a really wonky group or situation to have two divine spellcasters willing to cast a spell on you to give you both a Sacred and Profane bonus at the same time.

I do however think combining them into a single bonus type, say "Divine" as given already, would be just fine as well, since it cuts down on the different types of bonuses people have to keep track of for their stats.

You don't even need the two casters. You just need something like two sets of these and a neutral character:

Ultimate Equipment wrote:

Spiritualist Rings

Aura strong necromancy; CL 12th
Slot ring; Price 70,000 gp; Weight —
Description

These four garish and gaudy rings must be worn on one hand, though they take up only a single ring slot. They grant the wearer the ability to commune with and affect the dead in the following ways. The wearer can use speak with dead, as the spell, three times per day. It takes 10 minutes to use this ability.

The wearer can use spectral hand, as the spell, three times per day. The wearer’s weapons gain the ghost touch weapon special ability while the wearer is wielding the weapons. The wearer gains a +4 sacred or profane bonus on saving throws against positive and negative energy effects. The bonus depends on the wearer’s alignment—good-aligned wearers gain a sacred bonus, whereas evil-aligned wearers gain a profane bonus. Neutral-aligned wearers pick either a sacred or profane bonus when the ring is first put on, which cannot be changed later.
Construction Requirements

Forge Ring, speak with dead, spectral hand, plane shift; Cost 45,000 gp.

Put one set on your right hand and pick "Sacred." But the other set on the your left hand and say "Profane." A total of +8 bonus on positive and negative energy effects is certainly worth it.

Combining them would certainly stop things like this.

Osirion

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

You don't even need the two casters. You just need something like two sets of these and a neutral character:

Ultimate Equipment wrote:
Spiritualist Rings

Yeah, that's the stuff. And if you worship a neutral god, who has both good and evil clerics (like Calistria or Abadar) you can even eliminate the initial absurdity of the concept!

.
And yet, despite there being seperate bonus types for good gods and evil gods, gods of Law like Abadar and Irori, and gods of Chaos like Calistria and Gorum, get totally hosed, because there's no 'Ordered' bonus or 'Anarchic' bonus type. And how about those purely Neutral gods? If Gozreh gives you a bonus, it shouldn't be Sacred or Profane (or Ordered or Anarchic), it should just be 'Divine.'

And that's assuming that a bonus granted from a cleric's magic really even needs to be different than a bonus granted from a wizard's magic. They could *all* just be magical 'Enhancement' bonuses, and eliminate yet more stacking plustas.

Shadow Lodge

That's exactly it, the bonuses from neutral gods gets weird, there's no ordered/anarchic bonus, and there's the occasional odd spot where you can stack bonuses. As another example, a neutral inquisitor can get a profane bonus from their Judgment ability but a sacred bonus from their own Weapon of Awe spell.

Looks like this will fix more than it breaks, so I'm going to go ahead.


The only downside I see to this is that it eliminates a mechanical grounding for agents of good and evil gods to unite their powers for a common cause. Which I have to assume is the only reason the split exists.

Honestly, it always bugged me how the bonuses a devout faithful servant of an evil god get labeled "profane" to begin with.

Osirion

Googleshng wrote:
Honestly, it always bugged me how the bonuses a devout faithful servant of an evil god get labeled "profane" to begin with.

Ditto. Also the use of 'desecrate' to mean 'consecrate to an evil god' instead of 'sacrilegiously defile out of contempt to the gods.'

Where words like profane, blasphemy, unholy or desecrate *could* be of use in a fantasy setting with good and evil gods, and arcane and divine magics, would be in regards to a group of anti-theists (such as the people of Rahadoum), who very much do desecrate holy things, whether they be holy / sacred / consecrated to nice Sarenrae or holy / sacred / consecrated to naughty Norgorber or holy / sacred / consecrated to morally ambivalent Nethys.

A series of arcane spells designed explicitly to mess with divine spellcasters, divinely empowered items, divine spells in progress, etc., such as to tear apart hallowed areas, or cut off divine spellcasters from the source of their power (or just generate enough arcane 'static' to force divine spellcasters to make concentration checks to cast their divine spells), would be well suited to have a 'profane' or 'unholy' descriptor, since they very much oppose the 'holy' magics of divine spellcasters, whether they worship Pelor or Cthulhu.

Indeed, given the nature of Rahadoum, in Golarion, I would expect there are already a few arcane spells in that land designed to mess with clerics spellcasting ability...


We already play it that sacred and profane bonuses don't stack and are more or less the same.
I even thought that was RAW or at least RAI.

Contributor

Set wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
Honestly, it always bugged me how the bonuses a devout faithful servant of an evil god get labeled "profane" to begin with.

Ditto. Also the use of 'desecrate' to mean 'consecrate to an evil god' instead of 'sacrilegiously defile out of contempt to the gods.'

Where words like profane, blasphemy, unholy or desecrate *could* be of use in a fantasy setting with good and evil gods, and arcane and divine magics, would be in regards to a group of anti-theists (such as the people of Rahadoum), who very much do desecrate holy things, whether they be holy / sacred / consecrated to nice Sarenrae or holy / sacred / consecrated to naughty Norgorber or holy / sacred / consecrated to morally ambivalent Nethys.

A series of arcane spells designed explicitly to mess with divine spellcasters, divinely empowered items, divine spells in progress, etc., such as to tear apart hallowed areas, or cut off divine spellcasters from the source of their power (or just generate enough arcane 'static' to force divine spellcasters to make concentration checks to cast their divine spells), would be well suited to have a 'profane' or 'unholy' descriptor, since they very much oppose the 'holy' magics of divine spellcasters, whether they worship Pelor or Cthulhu.

Indeed, given the nature of Rahadoum, in Golarion, I would expect there are already a few arcane spells in that land designed to mess with clerics spellcasting ability...

Agreed. It's a trouble of both semantics and metaphysics. The neutral clerics of Pharasma hate the undead, but instead of making "morally neutral water" to throw at them, they have to make "holy water." It gets even more interesting if you get a neutral or even good undead--as is possible with some ghosts--being splashed with holy water by the neutral evil cleric of the neutral goddess. And if he's multiclassed as a mage and has an imp or quasit familiar? Really annoying that his anti-undead water will also do damage to his familiar because of this "holy" business.

It would be logically neater if more of a book-keeping headache to say that the "votive water" of Pharasma, for example, burns undead on contact but is perfectly safe to use around angels, devils, demons, and other soul-based creatures that have been properly judged.

And the folk of Rahadoum would likely want not just "atheist water" to wash away consecration but also some form of "detect consecration" spell. After all, they do need to get things from the outside world, but clerics have this pesky habit of blessing everything around them. It's troublesome enough if a gold coin is stamped with IN ABADAR WE TRUST, but if it's also consecrated holy symbol? Even atheists need to pay their bar tabs. And then there's that god whose holy symbol is a tankard. Can't an atheist buy a beer in peace?

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