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Stats for Gods


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Starsunder wrote:

That's one way, sure. But certainly not the only way, and introduces its own problems: why haven't any number of powerful beings throughout history gotten their paws on this McGuffin and carved their way to godhood?

One of the differences between good stories and bad is that such questions are answered.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sometimes by 'they totally have, which is why the world is so bloody and filled with strife'.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

It's not a thing we /need/, but I am tired of the argument that introducing this will instantly break the game.

I chose PFRPG forum and not campaign setting deliberately. This is an issue that ought to be decided on a setting-by-setting basis, so whatever rules for gods that would conceivably emerge should be used or passed on by Golarion as the creative staff sees fit.

I quoted this because I think a lot of people overlooked this part of the original post.

Reading over this thread, it seems to me that most of the people who are against gods having stats are concerned with how it impacts their game and/or their sense of verisimilitude about how gods should or should not be depicted in the context of the game.

Personally, I think that that viewpoint is limited, if not selfish. No one is saying that having stats for gods will necessarily mean that you must run them that way in your game. If you want gods to be beyond stats, then you can easily just lay that down as a feature of your campaign world. Simply saying "I don't like it" isn't enough of a reason to deny it to everyone else who wants it.

The last sentence of the above paragraph is perhaps the most important one in this debate. Given that it's easier to subtract an existing element from the game (e.g. no elves, no firearms, no stats for gods) than it is to add one that hasn't been written, the lack of material deprives those who want it far more than having it would deprive those who don't want it.

Given that, for those who are against printing stats for gods, is there any reason why such material shouldn't be written that doesn't boil down to not wanting them in your home game?

Andoran

Playing Devil's Advocate, the problem is that once something is permitted in a setting, there are some who then take permitted sometimes to mean entitled always.

There is a fine line in any fantasy setting between "wonder" and "bull". I like having lots of possibilities for strange and unusual events, I fear when those things are manipulated into the commonplace.

The best example I can think of would be if they made a Starstone Module or book. As someone pointed out, RD would have a post in a few hours about how to get the star stone by 5th level, and then others would be posting that the obvious fix to the monk was to just do the starstone quest, and yeah...that stuff gets old.

There are people who say it only happened three times, it is all but impossible and there are people who would say it happened three times! It would be cruel not to let my players try!

I fall in the middle. I don't want the exceptional to become the norm. At the same time I've run campaigns for years and years with players who are invested from level one all the way up, and I would love to reward that time and effort with a "next level" in my home setting.

Where I worry is the people looking for shortcuts. I would love my players to be able to see if they can become gods. But I also want them to have to really, really, earn it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Playing Devil's Advocate, the problem is that once something is permitted in a setting, there are some who then take permitted sometimes to mean entitled always.

I can understand this, having been on the receiving end of this attitude myself. The issue for me is, this is an attitude problem - not a problem with the material itself.

Players are NOT entitled to use any hardcover book from Paizo just because "it's official." The GM is the ultimate arbiter of what's allowed in the game - and even if something is allowed to begin with, and it's not working out, there's certainly room for having a discussion where the GM says "guys, I don't think using this book is working out."


Great thread, great ideas.

I want to echo Alzrius, there seems to be a lot of "I don't want that so don't do it." Someone else said it further up. I don't like guns, I don't allow them. If I don't like statted deities I won't allow them. Now, to look at the logistics and the reality of the situation, as someone else said up thread, I doubt Paizo is going to stat out the Golarion pantheon (they might, but at present juncture that looks unlikely). Which means that if you are going to have stats for deities, it would require, again as someone else mentioned, a "this is how you would go about statting out deities book." Instead of a bestiary book, it would be a book almost like the ARG, wherein there are a set of rules that each table can use to stat out deific characters, for whatever purposes they choose. That doesn't mean any table has to use it. I know tables that don't allow anything out of the ARG. As Alzrius said, taking out is a lot easier than trying to add in.

Ciretose is correct of course that some people take existence of material to mean they are entitled to it, but this is where the social interaction of the players and GM becomes paramount. Put your foot down, and say "I'm not having it." If the players don't like it they can find another game, or start one of their own. It happens all the time.

That said, I have a particular story about the creation of deity-like characters that I've always wanted to play around with. It's cousin to the Doctor Manhattan story in the comic book and subsequent movie The Watchmen. He is given vast power, by accident but that's beside my point, and because of his ability to do so many amazing things (be incorporeal, manipulate energy and physical matter, engage in multiple physical activities at once, engage in multiple mental challenges at once, uncreate and recreate himself) that he eventually loses touch with his own humanity, and with humanity in general. I find this a vastly intriguing story arc. It begs some great questions like: why would someone, once they've reached deific levels of power, care at all about such a small and insignificant planet? Would they seek to intervene at all? If so, how would they manifest that intervention?

Turning PCs into deities or demigods could create some awesome story brilliance. Do I need a set of rules to do it? Not necessarily, but it might be nice to have some just in case.


I think demigods should be fair game to be killed and should be in the range of CR 22 - CR 28. You wouldn't want to have to fight them but they are capable of being killed.

Actuall deicide of truly immortal gods should be possible but not really easy. It's evidently possible for mortals to be raised to deity status and for deities to kill deities so it stands to reason that mortals in theory could slay a god. Although killing an actual god probably requires the heroes to be on the verge of demigod status themselves. I think CR 30 is generally where I see most of these guys starting.

Things like Rovagug should be basically impossible to kill though.

Andoran

Alzrius wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Playing Devil's Advocate, the problem is that once something is permitted in a setting, there are some who then take permitted sometimes to mean entitled always.

I can understand this, having been on the receiving end of this attitude myself. The issue for me is, this is an attitude problem - not a problem with the material itself.

Players are NOT entitled to use any hardcover book from Paizo just because "it's official." The GM is the ultimate arbiter of what's allowed in the game - and even if something is allowed to begin with, and it's not working out, there's certainly room for having a discussion where the GM says "guys, I don't think using this book is working out."

There is also the sub-issue of allowing something, but not allowing it to be manipulated. You can allow players access custom crafted items, but that doesn't make the guidelines anything more that guidelines to discuss what the GM could allow.

This is where the mythic rules and any God book could either have too many exploits or become watered down or overcomplicated to the point they kill a cool concept to avoid manipulation. (Hi words of power and eidelon!)

Which is why loophole seeking annoys me so much. It causes the Devs to have to develop with the expectation of abuse, and becomes part of why things are more micromanaged than they need to be.

The "Why we can't have nice things" arguement.

I would love a fully stated out god book. It would be a lot of fun to read. But the manipulations and machinations that can come out of it are why I restrict my home games and don't want to game at my FLGS.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

There is also the sub-issue of allowing something, but not allowing it to be manipulated. You can allow players access custom crafted items, but that doesn't make the guidelines anything more that guidelines to discuss what the GM could allow.

This is where the mythic rules and any God book could either have too many exploits or become watered down or overcomplicated to the point they kill a cool concept to avoid manipulation. (Hi words of power and eidelon!)

Which is why loophole seeking annoys me so much. It causes the Devs to have to develop with the expectation of abuse, and becomes part of why things are more micromanaged than they need to be.

The "Why we can't have nice things" arguement.

I would love a fully stated out god book. It would be a lot of fun to read. But the manipulations and machinations that can come out of it are why I restrict my home games and don't want to game at my FLGS.

Yeah, I agree with you there. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about that (though I agree that it makes the developers undertake what I call "defensive design" when they write their books).

The problem is that there are shades of grey between smart builds, optimizing, and power-gaming; moreover, there's no consensus on what constitutes any of those things. This makes watching out for that a matter of intuition and mutual understanding at best, and flat-out impossible at worst.

Of course, that's a truism for any RPG, particularly those that are heavy on the mechanics and have a large body of work. So at the very least we can say this problem isn't deity-stats-specific.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
vuron wrote:
I think demigods should be fair game to be killed and should be in the range of CR 22 - CR 28. You wouldn't want to have to fight them but they are capable of being killed.

I wouldn't sell them out that cheaply.

Given the fact that Nascent Demon Lords are statted as 21-25, and are considered sognificantly inferior to Demon Lords and other beings who have Demigod-like powers, I'd start at CR26, probably higher.

Yes, this is out of striking distance for pretty much any mortal being without hefty Mythic tiers (let's disregard Ravingdork's builds for a moment). Which is exactly where I like them.

Want to mess with a demigod? Better have some info on his weakness, or be really really badass (as in, Mythic).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
The best example I can think of would be if they made a Starstone Module or book. As someone pointed out, RD would have a post in a few hours about how to get the star stone by 5th level, and then others would be posting that the obvious fix to the monk was to just do the starstone quest, and yeah...that stuff gets old.

lol. Am I an internet meme now? That's the third time I've heard my name mentioned in that fashion in just as many days.

Andoran

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Ravingdork wrote:
ciretose wrote:
The best example I can think of would be if they made a Starstone Module or book. As someone pointed out, RD would have a post in a few hours about how to get the star stone by 5th level, and then others would be posting that the obvious fix to the monk was to just do the starstone quest, and yeah...that stuff gets old.
lol. Am I an internet meme now? That's the third time I've heard my name mentioned in that fashion in just as many days.

You are the loveable munchkin of the board. The chairman of the Lollypop Guild, if you will :)


Midnight_Angel wrote:
vuron wrote:
I think demigods should be fair game to be killed and should be in the range of CR 22 - CR 28. You wouldn't want to have to fight them but they are capable of being killed.

I wouldn't sell them out that cheaply.

Given the fact that Nascent Demon Lords are statted as 21-25, and are considered sognificantly inferior to Demon Lords and other beings who have Demigod-like powers, I'd start at CR26, probably higher.

Yes, this is out of striking distance for pretty much any mortal being without hefty Mythic tiers (let's disregard Ravingdork's builds for a moment). Which is exactly where I like them.

Want to mess with a demigod? Better have some info on his weakness, or be really really badass (as in, Mythic).

I figure demigods typically are Level 20 mortals infused with powers as such they typically would hover in the Solar range for weaker demigods up to being able to challenge major named outsiders at the top end.

But that largely coming from my Greyhawk background where demigods really weren't always that tough and could quite often be vanquished by the PCs. Iuz for example could be fought and he definitely was towards the top end whereas weak demigods and quasi-deities were often no better than top end mortals like Rary and Mordekainen.

I'd definitely like to be able to replicate the feats of Zagyg and collect all sorts of nasty outsiders and demigods on my way towards becoming a nascent god myself.


Midnight_Angel wrote:
vuron wrote:
I think demigods should be fair game to be killed and should be in the range of CR 22 - CR 28. You wouldn't want to have to fight them but they are capable of being killed.

I wouldn't sell them out that cheaply.

Given the fact that Nascent Demon Lords are statted as 21-25, and are considered sognificantly inferior to Demon Lords and other beings who have Demigod-like powers, I'd start at CR26, probably higher.

Yes, this is out of striking distance for pretty much any mortal being without hefty Mythic tiers (let's disregard Ravingdork's builds for a moment). Which is exactly where I like them.

Want to mess with a demigod? Better have some info on his weakness, or be really really badass (as in, Mythic).

The CR system doesn't work very well now imo. Most of the CR 30+ creatures would be perfectly manageable by a group of 4 level 20s.

The issue is that enemy HP is just so low. For instance, lets look at the CR 30 Mantis God.

https://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/bestiary/monster-listings/outsi ders/achaekek-the-mantis-god

Ignoring the "Can't be hurt without specific weapons", he has 800 HP and 46 AC. A level 20 paladin or fighter will do about 150-200 damage a round to him on a full round attack.

A party of 4 fighters/paladins could reliably take him out in 2 rounds. If you make your fort save(paladin and fighter likely will), this guy is soloable. He has bad damage. Gods aren't that strong. This guy demonstrates they can be killed by a level 20 party.

In order to make the fight a real challenge, you have to surround him with allies and give him a nice environmental advantage.


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I'm going to bring up something I read a while ago. What was the Great Cthulhu's stats in Call of Cthulhu? Oh yeah. "Eats 1d4 investigators per round." I think that's all the stats one would need under most circumstances for a god.

Look at Rovagug, he's deific level and a whole bunch of gods couldn't even kill him, just lock him up. That kind of power isn't really quantifiable.

The fact is, as I see it anyways, that Gods should only be handled as the GM feels they should be. If a god needs to be killed for the story then so be it. However Gods shouldn't have numbers placed on them cause then it becomes less a story and more a level grind until it can be killed.

Now, theoretically one could handle gods if they followed a completely different rule set to normal(and even Mythic characters) but that would make the point of having stats moot wouldn't it.


ChaoticAngel97 wrote:

I'm going to bring up something I read a while ago. What was the Great Cthulhu's stats in Call of Cthulhu? Oh yeah. "Eats 1d4 investigators per round." I think that's all the stats one would need under most circumstances for a god.

Look at Rovagug, he's deific level and a whole bunch of gods couldn't even kill him, just lock him up. That kind of power isn't really quantifiable.

The fact is, as I see it anyways, that Gods should only be handled as the GM feels they should be. If a god needs to be killed for the story then so be it. However Gods shouldn't have numbers placed on them cause then it becomes less a story and more a level grind until it can be killed.

Now, theoretically one could handle gods if they followed a completely different rule set to normal(and even Mythic characters) but that would make the point of having stats moot wouldn't it.

Perfectly valid opinion. I do want to bring up, again, though, that just because a book might have gods/deific level characters statted out, doesn't mean that any table has to use those stats. It does, however, mean that a table that wanted to, now gets to, and they all have a baseline or touchstone from which to work.

I perfectly understand that for many tables the only stats a god needs are "STR ∞ Dex ∞ Con ∞" etc. and "Special Abilities: Can do anything they want to do."

But if you close your mind to the idea that there's any value to a deific-mechanics or rules book, your missing a lot of the foundation that the entire fantasy genre is built on. It was mentioned up thread that many organized civilizations had "gods" that had human flaws, and were certainly capable of being defeated (maybe not killed, but that's a different topic). Remember that a deific rules book could provide a way to make "lesser" gods, demi-gods, avatars, etc. Not to mention it could give mechanical applications for some of the interventions gods use to instruct or guide their faithful.


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Agreed 100%: a "Deities and Demigods"-esque source would be a welcome addition to Pathfinder. Not only creating stats for the Pathfinder deities, but also going more in-depth on their lore, backgrounds, and relationships with each other. I can't tell you HOW many times I've referred to Deities and Demigods over the years for my 3.5 campaign... I just recently made an adventure based on the rivalry between Obad-Hai and Ehlonna (which is only exclusively talked about in that book), where a druid and some lycanthropes seized a temple of Ehlonna in the forest, killed its elven worshipers, and modified it into a tribute to Obad-Hai, using it as their new sanctuary. I would never even have gotten the inspiration for this if it weren't for Deities and Demigods.

My point is, there really should be something like this for Pathfinder. Yes, stress the fact that they aren't presented as a way for players to kill them, and even give GMs the option to make the deities invulnerable to PCs. That's all fine and great. But as Evil Lincoln has pointed out, don't insult us by dismissing the idea altogether "because it might break the game." Only if you assume that every GM is the worst GM ever...

I feel similarly about demigods. If GMs don't want players to hurt demigods, then present this optionally too. But still give them a stat block and talk about who they are, what it means to be a demigod, and what their relationship is to the deities and other demigods. This is potentially GOLDEN STUFF that is being dismissed as "not possible". That's BS! FYI 3rd edition broke 3rd edition, not Deities and Demigods. That was one of 3rd edition's best sellers... surprise surprise.

Andoran

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I would love to see a Paizo version of the 3.5 Deites and Demigods book. Expanding on the the Galorion pantheon and including other pantheon also. If a DM does not like the Galorion pantheon he can pick and choose from others.

As for the reason not to publish such a book. its always come down to " I dont like this it and dont want to see it published". Totally ignoring that not everyone thiks that way. Everytime Paizo announces anything that adds more options its almost always the same excuse. Races guide "you cant publish that no one will play human" Mythic rules "you cant publish that because next thing you know players are going to be using gods as mounts". Psionics "you cant publish that because psioncs are broken and dont belong in ymy world". My world somehow being everyone else gaming world. Followed by some in the fanbase bein unable to stop buying the above books and then blaming paizo for them "having" to buy the books and by extension ruining their games. Gamers in the hobby need to know its more than jus their gaming table sometimes. If their is ebnough of a demand Paizo can will and should release a book on whatever topic generates enough interest. Not interested in buying those than dont. no one is forced to buy anything for their PF games


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:

"If you stat it, they will kill it" -The Spoony One.

If you want something to "stand above", something to be a God, you cannot stat it. You must not stat it. A God doesn't have finite stats; a God has infinite stats. If it has finite stats, it isn't a God. It may be incredibly powerful; more powerful than any other entity... but it's still just that, a powerful entity.

First: Man, Spoony's awesome. He's great!

Second: I also handily disagree with him sometimes. I still find him highly entertaining, however, and do agree with him sometimes. :)

For your specific quote, that's true: "if you build they will come" is actually a rather strong truth for RPGs. There is nothing, short of an "I win button" that can be published where some people won't attempt (and some likely succeed) at killing it (and even then: I mean, look at Cthulu's stats - it's basically "I win button" stats, and still people fight it and win, however temporarily). Punpun and/or Omnificer might negate that theory, though... it's debatable (though many have tried).

For your specific point, I'd agree if we're talking real life. If we're talking game-world, however, we're talking about a world in which people make 40ft diameter fiery bursts (but not explosions, as it specifies that it lacks pressure) from a few words, gestures, and bat guano (or, with the appropriate feats, just by wanting to). We're clearly not talking real life or any semblance thereof. Therefore, in the context of the game only (and fantasy in general), I disagree. But I'll get more about that point later.

Brain in a Jar wrote:
The only thing that makes it "horrible" to some people is there own biased opinion on deities being all powerful and all knowing, more than likely a hang over from really life.

Well, hello, thing that is the exact opposite of what is true for me.

Me:
  • Real-life Strict Monotheist? Check
  • Real-life Strict belief in an Absolute Perfect All-Powerful Divinity? Check
  • Strong desire to see godly stats in games? Check.

I dunno, man, between myself, James Jacobs, Laz, and others, I'm pretty sure that particular view of yours is wrong. I like some of the rest of what you said, however.

LazarX wrote:
Starsunder wrote:

That's one way, sure. But certainly not the only way, and introduces its own problems: why haven't any number of powerful beings throughout history gotten their paws on this McGuffin and carved their way to godhood?

One of the differences between good stories and bad is that such questions are answered.

Quick correction: one of the differences between stories you like and stories you dislike is that such questions are answered. The objective quality of such stories has no bearing on such a premise.

Alzrius wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

It's not a thing we /need/, but I am tired of the argument that introducing this will instantly break the game.

I chose PFRPG forum and not campaign setting deliberately. This is an issue that ought to be decided on a setting-by-setting basis, so whatever rules for gods that would conceivably emerge should be used or passed on by Golarion as the creative staff sees fit.

I quoted this because I think a lot of people overlooked this part of the original post.

Reading over this thread, it seems to me that most of the people who are against gods having stats are concerned with how it impacts their game and/or their sense of verisimilitude about how gods should or should not be depicted in the context of the game.

Personally, I think that that viewpoint is limited, if not selfish. No one is saying that having stats for gods will necessarily mean that you must run them that way in your game. If you want gods to be beyond stats, then you can easily just lay that down as a feature of your campaign world. Simply saying "I don't like it" isn't enough of a reason to deny it to everyone else who wants it.

The last sentence of the above paragraph is perhaps the most important one in this debate. Given that it's easier to subtract an existing element from the game (e.g. no elves, no firearms, no stats for gods) than it is to add one that hasn't been written, the lack of material deprives those who want it far more than having it would deprive those who don't want it.

Given that, for those who are against printing stats for gods, is there any reason why such material shouldn't be written that doesn't boil down to not wanting them in your home game?

This is pretty much my take on it, and pretty similar what I was planning on writing before Alzrius beat me to it.

The argument, "I don't like it, therefore it shouldn't exist" is a painful one to hear, especially when Golarion is pretty much defined by "Here's a bunch of awesome things: choose what you like and ignore the rest." We even hear it from the creators (such as James), which is frustrating at times.

Personally? I'm all for variant rule systems. I love the psionics rules - some of the best rule sets created for d20-based systems (at least 3.5 and Dreamscarred Press stuff: 3.0 was pretty awful, and Complete Psionic was kind of regularly "missing the point of psionics"). I love the introduction of guns, and fully believe that such a thing is a tremendously cool addition to the game.

Similarly, I'm all for divine (or divine-like) stats.

That said, I can see clear reason to have strong hesitation to publish said stats. Divine stats really can't come into play unless you have good rules clearly explaining what happens "after" level 20. You'll want to have all your base rules down first, too. After all, having a suite of gods built up using the rules, only to come out later with an entirely different set of everything requires either remaking the gods (a pain) or adding gods into the new supplement (a pain and perfect fodder for "This new rule is t3h br0kenz, 'cause gods." from those that ignored the divine supplement earlier.

Further, as cireose pointed out, any rule system of a divine nature will be abused by some players (though said players are likely to abuse the rules anyway).

Finally, I can even see why people - disregarding all the reasons I've already given - still wouldn't want them: it doesn't match their personal definition of what a "god" should be (which may or may not have anything to do with what they believe in "real life", as noted about myself above). I mean, what makes a god a god - what makes them "divine"?

Here's a few possible definitions (starting with the two most recently published systems):

4E basically said, "they're a super-monster, same as any other at level 31 or above, save: they can't be hurt by lower-than 20th lvl creatures, and they can only be truly destroyed under specific difficult-to-attain circumstances". (This has left them feeling fairly generic to my sensibilities, as they don't actually have any deity-specific power other than these two traits.)

3E basically said, "they're usually 20 HD outsiders with 20-40 additional levels (with exceptions for some ascended mortals) with super-powers (called 'salient divine abilities') based off of a rule set called 'divine ranks' with tiers of individual power". (This didn't work out so well, as they hadn't solidified the epic rules, yet, and deities pretty much are able to be defeated by epic characters and epic spells without too much of a fuss*.)
* And some very specific non-epic character combos.

Me? One idea I have is to take "portfolios" or "divine spheres" more seriously. Rather than domains being the basis for power (although that is included), I'd suggest making their power directly tied to their portfolio elements. Thus Shelyn, for example, flourishes (and has more power) the more "love", "beauty", "art", and "music" (according to her sensibilities) exists, flourishes, and is important to people: their power rises and falls upon worship and relevance (similar, in some ways, to Neil Gaiman's American Gods, as well as FR's general stance on divinities). The problem, then, becomes how, precisely to stat such a thing.

In a (slightly) more Shinto-esque view, a god would be pretty much any "spirit" kind of creature - basically any outsider, fey, or similar that exists - of all kinds of powers, abilities, limitations, and the like. Generally they are connected to a place. They can be defeated or bound with the right spells, rituals, or proper power (usually spells and rituals), and can be outwitted. New gods are created by rituals and rites, by divine ancestry (although almost always this is a "downgrade", i.e. "lesser" than their forebears), or by specific and strange circumstances (like, say, one god washing his face in a sacred pool, the drops of which create new gods). (PF has generally defined these as "Kami" and lesser than true gods, although one supposes that there's nothing in particular preventing a kami from ascending, like Sarenrae - otherwise simply a powerful angel - did.)

In a (slightly) more Greco-Roman-esque view, a god wouldn't care one whit about mortal worship except that such things are simply due: a god is worshiped because it is the nature of gods to be worshiped by mortals. Please a god, and it will likely do small favors for you (though you probably won't see its divine presence directly). Displease a god, and it will likely destroy you. Generally they are associated with a specific natural phenomenon. They can be defeated with enough power, and outwitted. New gods are almost exclusively created by divine ancestry (and usually, though not always, this is a "downgrade" from their forebears).

In a (slightly) more Zorastrian-esque view, there are two "divine" forces - the (for lack of a better term) "good one" and "evil one", and they're pretty much evenly matched. Their stats don't really matter, because mortals can't do squat to them, personally, but mortal actions over-all can (in certain variations of the religion) shift the balance between them (which, if this were real-life, it's not lookin' so hot for the "good one", I must say). No new gods need apply (except, I think, as diminutive godlings, which don't directly shift the balance).

In a (slightly) more Judeo-Christian-esque view (my own, in real life), a God is an all-powerful, absolutely inviolable, infinite creature who is completely undefinable by mortals (though we can get vague near-approximations), and thus really unable to have stats other than, "I win." There are no possibilities of new gods in this scenario (though hosts of "divinely-touched beings" might exist, ranging from sanctified dead to celestial hosts).

All seven of the above presented ideas are just the tips of the iceberg, however, as is evidenced by earlier editions, and other religions not mentioned. There are myriads of other takes that one could have on a "god"... it's all in how it's defined.

Paizo, like D&D before it, defined demigods as creatures that have specific, stats that, under the appropriate theoretical circumstances, could be defeated (though those circumstances might be strange, to say the least, depending on the stats). Basically, they're creatures with stats. Paizo has pretty heavily stated that they won't be publishing "true" god-stats. Okay. I'll roll with that.

But personally, I'd really like them to give us something to work with. I mean, I've got plenty of ideas of my own, but it's still much nicer to see an official product. I mean, any epic rules I'd come up with would be hopelessly convoluted, endlessly "swingy" in power, and completely unplaytested, unlike official produ-... well, unlike most official products, anyway.

Sort-of-edit, but not really, as you posted while I was working on my post: Sinatar has a good point; the value Deities & Demigods has had for me, personally, is huge as a basis for inspiration. Further, I love perusing the book... just looking through it is a fun thing to do (similar to how I used to love doing the ELH, before mine was destroyed). So that also adds value to any potential book published.


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@Tacticslion: I can see you really loving the Deity Rules in some of your homebrewed settings...

Allso, Look at Greecian, Roman, Celtic, & Nordic Myths. They are filled with mere mortals at least whooping a god if not slaying them.


A lot of the reason that people are so opposed to this was how silly it was back in first edition AD&D when they actually had this in some campaign settings. It was just goofy; you'd have this ancient all powerful god of magic, and they'd give his stats in the campaign book, and he's basically just a level 20 wizard. Really?


Yosarian wrote:
... he's basically just a level 20 wizard.

That would be stupid...

Now if he was say a Level 20 Wizard with a 40+ INT and other high stats... I can see that working.

Andoran

Yosarian wrote:
A lot of the reason that people are so opposed to this was how silly it was back in first edition AD&D when they actually had this in some campaign settings. It was just goofy; you'd have this ancient all powerful god of magic, and they'd give his stats in the campaign book, and he's basically just a level 20 wizard. Really?

I get your point. Yet for those who do not want gods stated out you don't have to use or buy the book. I do trust Paizo to do a better job than Tsr when it comes to writing up gods


memorax wrote:
I do trust Paizo to do a better job than Tsr when it comes to writing up gods

And a HECK of a lot better than that old Deities and Demigods supplement for 3.5!


Did Paizo track down and find the Gamer Success version of the Hand of Midas?


Tels wrote:
Did Paizo track down and find the Gamer Success version of the Hand of Midas?

Not quite sure what you mean by that?

Though if it is what I think I think it is more of they seem to have learned (for the most part) from the mistakes of their predecessors.


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Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Tels wrote:
Did Paizo track down and find the Gamer Success version of the Hand of Midas?

Not quite sure what you mean by that?

Though if it is what I think I think it is more of they seem to have learned (for the most part) from the mistakes of their predecessors.

I meant simply they touch things, and it's full of Win!


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Tels wrote:
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Tels wrote:
Did Paizo track down and find the Gamer Success version of the Hand of Midas?

Not quite sure what you mean by that?

Though if it is what I think I think it is more of they seem to have learned (for the most part) from the mistakes of their predecessors.

I meant simply they touch things, and it's full of Win!

Nice... And now I want a Hand of Midas Relic...


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
... he's basically just a level 20 wizard.

That would be stupid...

Now if he was say a Level 20 Wizard with a 40+ INT and other high stats... I can see that working.

Not even. I think he had a 19 intelligence. Of course, that was more impressive then then it is now, but still.

This was in one of the sourcebooks for first edition Forgotten Relms, if I remember correctly.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

@Tacticslion: You are the win beneath my wings.

(No, that's not a typo.)


I could see Lesser and Greater Deity being templates, actually.

Just assign them to high level, high mythic tier characters. They needn't even be 20th/10th, for a little variety.

What would that template approach necessarily include?


You need stats for Gods because once your party gets 17th level plus, there's nothing left to do.

Love the idea of Deity Templates. That would be a fantastic supplement, that I'd happily buy. My group's campaign uses prior Earth Deities from current and extinct cultures quite a bit, so having the ability to apply some basic domains and generate godly stats would be a very handy thing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Yosarian wrote:
A lot of the reason that people are so opposed to this was how silly it was back in first edition AD&D when they actually had this in some campaign settings. It was just goofy; you'd have this ancient all powerful god of magic, and they'd give his stats in the campaign book, and he's basically just a level 20 wizard. Really?

Of all the books I used as an AD&D gamemaster, the Deities and Demigods book made for occasional fun personal reading, but it was mostly dead weight as far as usefulness for actually running a campaign.

If the equivalent of the Faiths books had been out at that time, my DDG would have seen no use at all.

I'm not mandating on what Paizo should do. They're professionals and for the most part have been pretty much on the ball in avoiding cranking out books that no one would buy. I'm just stating however that I would find it hard to justify buying the print edition of a Paizo retread of the DDG.

I might buy the PDF because I'm far more willing to spend 10 bucks on a marginal book than fifty.


I would prefer the Templates and something that allows one to easily build Deities similar to the Settlement statblocks.

Say Alignment, Portfolio, and Domains plus basic Tenants of the faith.

Something to give us a good guideline to design our own Deities.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe I'm mistaken but I'm fairly certain Paizo staff have stated they have no intrest in doing a book that allows you to stat out gods (specificly full on deities like Rovagug and the like.)


I am just saying something to make designing a Pantheon a bit easier...


Evil Lincoln wrote:

I could see Lesser and Greater Deity being templates, actually.

Just assign them to high level, high mythic tier characters. They needn't even be 20th/10th, for a little variety.

What would that template approach necessarily include?

I actually thought of templates as a major component of how that would happen. Maybe the templates put together a certain amount of god-like power, things like incorporeal, at will magic, DR, SR, etc. Various templates provide varying degrees of power just by conferring those abilities... Some templates could simply be bonuses to attributes.


By all means, I don't like telling people they can't have rules they want. Everyone likes different things, and some stuff I like other people hate (See: Guns/Asian Setting material/Science fiction elements)

But the developers have stated:

Mythic will be their approach to getting characters powerful enough to battle demigods

That they don't like the epic rules and won't support them.

That full dieties are CR 40+ in power.

So basically, you have a situation where, sure they could stat up gods (which require uber stat blocks that would take up a lot of room and probably a lot of effort to write), but there will be no way using non 3pp/3.5 rules to get powerful enough to fight them.

So I guess...what would be the point of Paizo releasing a book of statted up dieties?


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Again, I would be happy with a Gamemastery Guide 2 that had a Deity builder that worked like the Settlement builder.

Or Heck Add it into the NPC Codex.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Spinoff from here.

This is an annoyingly divisive issue.

I have two perspectives. From a GM perspective, I accept the argument that "if the players battle a god, they lose, unless the story/macguffin demands otherwise."

From a product perspective, I think there is much to know about the gods that can be communicated through stats, that they can remain unkillable by PCs, but I might like to know how the perform relative to eachother.

It's not a thing we /need/, but I am tired of the argument that introducing this will instantly break the game.

I chose PFRPG forum and not campaign setting deliberately. This is an issue that ought to be decided on a setting-by-setting basis, so whatever rules for gods that would conceivably emerge should be used or passed on by Golarion as the creative staff sees fit.

People clearly have deeply held beliefs on this issues, so please keep it civilized.

Want stats of something with godlike power? You don't need much more than this.

Andoran

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Evil Lincoln wrote:

I could see Lesser and Greater Deity being templates, actually.

Just assign them to high level, high mythic tier characters. They needn't even be 20th/10th, for a little variety.

What would that template approach necessarily include?

I think this is where you would start defining the effects of having pantheons.

The obvious is the ability to give worshipers access to divine magic (and presumably as a god then being able to cast any and all divine spells at will)

That alone is pretty damn godlike power.


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ciretose wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

I could see Lesser and Greater Deity being templates, actually.

Just assign them to high level, high mythic tier characters. They needn't even be 20th/10th, for a little variety.

What would that template approach necessarily include?

I think this is where you would start defining the effects of having pantheons.

The obvious is the ability to give worshipers access to divine magic (and presumably as a god then being able to cast any and all divine spells at will)

That alone is pretty damn godlike power.

Yet demon lords and other sources have traditionally stood in for deities before with clerics that are functional (for example, in the 3.x MM it notes gnoll clerics as typically worshiping fiends, and their clerics having spells and domains).

I don't think a god would be able to cast any and all divine spells at will though. Not unless they were Neutral. I mean, if a deity cannot grant you a spell (such as a chaotic deity and protection from chaos).

These are simple musings however. It really depends on the campaign I'd say. Some campaigns suggest omnipotence, but others have deities that are more like super powerful beings (I liken this to greek mythology when gods can die and/or be defeated by other powerful creatures). I personally don't see a need to inflate their statistics though. Maybe around CR 25 (and I mean real CR 25, not Tarrasque CR 25).

Andoran

*sniffs the bait*

Nope.


I really hope they don't. Make house-rules for it if you want for your campaign, but I'd prefer they remain unquantifiable. As someone mentioned previously, if you stat it...someone is going to make a build to kill it. Let's leave the gods being godlike.


The EverQuest RPG had stats for at least one god that I know of, and it made him such a beast that beating him would take somewhere around 72 high-octane people to accomplish.

I think the addition is fun, as I am sure it was fun for the writers to come up with, and think it adds something to the game.

Cazic-Thule
Hit Points: 3,672
Speed: 70'
AC: 72
Attacks: 2 slams +125 melee, +5 Gargantuan longsword +126/+122, +5 Gargantuan morningstar +126/+121 melee, 2 stamps +122 melee
Damage: Slam 4D6+30 and daze, Longsword 4D6+15, Morningstar 4D6+15, Stamp 6D8+20 and daze

It's neat do see that hte god is great at appraise (+58), but not so good at wilderness lore (only a shabby +21).

Andoran

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Aleron wrote:
I really hope they don't. Make house-rules for it if you want for your campaign, but I'd prefer they remain unquantifiable. As someone mentioned previously, if you stat it...someone is going to make a build to kill it. Let's leave the gods being godlike.

Again this is not a reason to not stat the gods. More of the usual "I don't like it therefore Paizo should not publish it" type of reasoning. I get and respect that you want the gods to be untouchable. Some like myself want the option of a god that can be killed. Paizo should stat them up and the players get to choose imo.


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Aleron wrote:
I really hope they don't. Make house-rules for it if you want for your campaign, but I'd prefer they remain unquantifiable. As someone mentioned previously, if you stat it...someone is going to make a build to kill it. Let's leave the gods being godlike.

Yet even in Golarion deities have been killed. :\

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

In every case it was deity killed by a deity or by <UNKNOWN>.

The only mortal-induced deaths were of a single demigod, IIRC.


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Gorbacz wrote:

In every case it was deity killed by a deity or by <UNKNOWN>.

The only mortal-induced deaths were of a single demigod, IIRC.

Perhaps the Pathfinder wiki is in error (it lists sources) that describe Arazni as a warrior-goddess, and she was slain by the lich Tar Baphon. It goes on to note:

"It was the death of the goddess Arazni by the hands of a mere mortal (albeit a powerful one) that caused the gods to come together and create Achaekek, the mantis god. He was meant to protect all godkind from any similar future threats.[4]"

[4]↑ Sean K Reynolds. (2008). Gods and Magic, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-139-8


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:

By all means, I don't like telling people they can't have rules they want. Everyone likes different things, and some stuff I like other people hate (See: Guns/Asian Setting material/Science fiction elements)

But the developers have stated:

Mythic will be their approach to getting characters powerful enough to battle demigods

That they don't like the epic rules and won't support them.

That full dieties are CR 40+ in power.

So basically, you have a situation where, sure they could stat up gods (which require uber stat blocks that would take up a lot of room and probably a lot of effort to write), but there will be no way using non 3pp/3.5 rules to get powerful enough to fight them.

So I guess...what would be the point of Paizo releasing a book of statted up dieties?

This is a good point, and I wanted to address it.

First, it's an overstatement to say that all of Paizo "doesn't like" epic-level rules and won't support them. The only statement made to that effect that I'm aware of (though I'm sure someone will chime in to correct me here) is James Jacobs.

In that regard, it should be noted that Jason Bulmahn has recently clarified that Paizo has *not* firmly ruled out the possibility of writing a book about epic-level play:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

James' early comments about Mythic were well before the idea was fully fleshed out and he spoke in error about the term. Mythic rules do not preclude us from doing epic in the future, but they do allow us to play with the game in a new and interesting way, allowing you to stretch out the power and play a bit further if you desire.

If you had your heart set on levels 21-50, this book is not the one you are looking for. If you are instead interested in seeing what a character with exception powers and abilities can do, regardless of level, Mythic Adventures it the book for you.

The other issue here is the idea that deities are necessarily CR 40+ creatures. I personally think that's a fairly reasonable level to stat them at, but again, Paizo hasn't necessarily backed itself into a corner on this issue - they could conceivably stat them at a lower level if they wanted to (though I'll admit that seems unlikely).

So what does that mean? Well, the underlying point that MMCJawa made was that stats for deities are superfluous, as they'd be too high-level for PCs to ever be able to effectively fight anyway.

However, as noted above, the two supporting statements for this assertion (no epic-level rules, and deities have very high CRs) are suppositions more than firm obstacles.

I personally suspect, and hope, that a book that includes stats for deities would be part of a book that deals with PCs achieving the necessary degree of power to fight them. This may be epic levels, advanced mythic (tiers beyond 10, perhaps?), divine ascension, or some combination thereof.

I think it's also important to note that the idea of "deities with stats are so strong that they're useless anyway, since even PCs that are level 20/mythic tier 10 couldn't touch them" leans very close to "if you want to fight gods, you're doing it wrong." How people use deities with stats in their game is far bigger than one issue of power disparity (e.g. that's a relatively small problem, and creative GMs and players will easily find a way to deal with it).

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