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Cleric pretending to worship another god


Rules Questions

Andoran

Is it possible for a Cleric to cast spells or channel energy while showing the symbol of a god not his own ?


I would rule "no", except for some spells that don't require it.


not unless there is something special that allows you to, there is no archetype that allows it, and the only example i know of doing that was in forgotten realms, where the drow god Ghaunadaur would allow his priests to pretend to be clerics of Lolth in order to not be hunted down and killed.


It would depend on the god(s) in question I suppose, but I imagine most of them would be pretty displeased - or at least one of the involved gods would be. I mean, I could see a chaotic good trickster style god approving of a plan to disguise oneself as a cleric of [insert evil deity here] to infiltrate an evil temple, but said evil deity would probably regard as a significant offense.

Andoran

I get it about the gods themselves and how they react to this. And you can always use the symbol of an invented god (Banjo ?) to avoid incurring the wrath of a real one.

I was more wondering about the RAW. For example, maybe you can do it if you have the symbol of your real god somewhere around, available for "presenting", or you have to present it, but you can use Sleight of Hand or Bluff so that onlookers are fooled into believing the "fake" symbol is the real one and paying no attention to the true symbol.

Otherwise, this means that anytime PCs are confronted by a NPC Cleric who uses his powers, they should be able to tell his Class, his God and the latter's Alignment, Domains and portfolio (with a Kn: Religion roll).

Also it would make the Infiltrator archetype for the Inquisitor rather useless.


The black raven wrote:


Also it would make the Infiltrator archetype for the Inquisitor rather useless.

There's always exceptions to the rules and I consider the Inquisitor: Infiltrator being one of them.

...BUT, this is as always, open to DM interruptation.

...Plus as stated above, it would probably tick off the gods in question. Thing is, the Inquisitor class has always been known to 'bend' the 'practicing' faith of his god.


There's a bit of precedent inthe Dawnflower dissident, who gets eschew material and gets to ignore the holy symbol requirements, then can conceal actual spellcasting.

I suppose a cleric archetype could be built around this: call it the "secret schizmatic", kind of a blend of the Infiltrator, Dawnflowewr dissident and heretic archetypes.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

From everything I have read a cleric must present "forcefully" present the holy symbol of his patron god.

As a GM I would rule no.

Other divine classes I would probably allow, as that seems unique to the cleric. Could be wrong, but as GM I would still allow it.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The character (player) should commune with (speak to) his/her god (his/her GM) to ask the god (the GM) if, due to special circumstances, the god (the GM) would grant the character (the player) the use of his/her special powers and spells while disguised as a worshiper of another deity.

In short, there is no RAW answer because this falls into the realm of GM interpretation and how he/she feels the pantheon should react to such things.


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There's also the Hidden Priest archetype, which lets the cleric disguise her spellcasting as alchemy or arcane magic. Something I find particularly worth considering is that that archetype still requires you to present your holy symbol, but allows it to be hard to spot instead of obvious, like a small mark hidden in a picture on a coin. I'd use the same model here: you need to present your real holy symbol in some form, but you can pretend you're presenting a different holy symbol instead.


Krome wrote:
From everything I have read a cleric must present "forcefully" present the holy symbol of his patron god.

Would you mind quoting chapter and verse on that? Because all I found is that a (divine) focus merely needs to be "manipulated" in order to cast a spell.

As for channelling: "A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability". That seems clear-cut enough, unless anyone wants to nitpick about "be able to" vs. "actually doing so".


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corlindale wrote:
It would depend on the god(s) in question I suppose, but I imagine most of them would be pretty displeased - or at least one of the involved gods would be. I mean, I could see a chaotic good trickster style god approving of a plan to disguise oneself as a cleric of [insert evil deity here] to infiltrate an evil temple, but said evil deity would probably regard as a significant offense.

This. My first thought was that Sivanah (Goddess of Illusion) might almost require such a thing, and most gods of Trickery or Deception probably wouldn't care if it were furthering a plot or plan the deity approved of.


Could always take the trait Birthmark, which counts as a holy symbol, can't imagine having your birthmark on your butt, or under your armor you having to strip every time you cast a spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We had a cleric of a trickster god in 3.0 that was allowed to fake it, but it was a metamagic feat, +1 I think...


You could wear a sanctified ring (channeling focus) which counts as a holy symbol and hold something else in your hand I guess.
If this other thing happens to be another holy symbol that would be coincidence.
At least RAW it should work.
But I could see GMs have an issue here.


Stikye wrote:
Could always take the trait Birthmark, which counts as a holy symbol, can't imagine having your birthmark on your butt, or under your armor you having to strip every time you cast a spell.

And even if you don't take the Bookmark trait, there's always that one wondrous item in Ultimate Equipment that was basically a coat that acts as your holy symbol, and you could make the emblem on it appear and disappear at will.

You could probably easily wear that and use it as your real Holy Symbol whole holding onto another one.

Plus, if I recall correctly, there's one or two divine spells that require destroying a Holy Symbol of a specific cost and I don't remember the text of the spell saying that it had to be the holy symbol of YOUR deity.

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