Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

The world of Pathfinder is one of many gods, entities of unfathomable power with influence over every aspect of mortal life. To the average person on Golarion, a prayer to a god for good health, good harvests, or protection from harm is an everyday tradition. A character’s choice of a patron god can have a huge impact on that PC’s background, attitude, and overall flavor. Yet for the player of a PC who is not a member of a divine class, the choice of deity has often proven merely cosmetic. If you aren’t affected one way or another by the whims of the gods, what point is there in following their strictures—in other words, what’s in it for me?

Theological discussions aside, we’ve added a new tool into Lost Omens Gods and Magic to allow the GM to showcase the gods’ influence upon the world, without their actions snatching away the PCs’ autonomy. Called “Divine Intercessions,” these take the form of boons and curses, ranging from minor to moderate to major in scale, that the gods can grant to those who especially please and displease them. While the gods don’t grant these intercessions lightly—otherwise everyone in Golarion would be cursed all the time! —they might be potent enough to draw an adherent’s prayers in hopes of being blessed… or fearful enough a PC might think twice before sacking the local temple!

Shelyn, goddess of art and beauty, playing a harp.

Art by Valeria Lutfullina

In many cases, Divine Intercessions are reserved for adherents of the god in question, who have either pleased their patron deity or committed some manner of anathema. Nothing prevents them from responding to a simple prayer from a layperson either, however; in this way, we offer the gods more nuanced reactions towards their faithful than the often-binary responses that they had in the past. For example, a PC who helps out a struggling artist would probably think little of a grateful farewell of “May Shelyn bless you!”—yet might later find Shelyn repaying that small kindness when it is most needed:

Minor Boon: Once, when you roll a failure on a Diplomacy check, you get a critical success instead. Shelyn typically grants this boon only when the Diplomacy check would serve to increase love or offer a chance of redemption.

Abadar, god of laws and wealth, holding a tome.

Art by Klaher Baklaher

On the other end of the scale, priests or holy warriors of various gods may be forced into sticky situations where the most convenient, or even only, method to solve a problem is to violate one of their god’s anathema. A priest of Abadar might wind up stealing a key in their pursuit of a dangerous lawbreaker—that likely shouldn’t be grounds for expulsion from the church or a loss of divine power, but Abadar might make his displeasure known until his servant atones:

Minor Curse: Any time you steal, illegally harm or kill another creature, or undermine a law-abiding officer or court, a symbol or word describing your crime appears on a visible spot on your skin. This symbol cannot be removed or hidden with makeup (though it can be covered with clothing) and it doesn’t vanish until you make legal restitution for the crime, such as by serving your sentence.

The Divine Intercessions in this book are simply suggestions, as a godly response can be tailor fit to whatever circumstance or prayer provoked it. They provide a strong groundwork for how the gods respond to a service or insult, however; Iomedae and Gorum often bless or curse weapons and armor, for instance. Asmodeus rains down terrible punishments on those who offend him, while Erastil’s boons and curses might not even be noticed by those with no desire for a settled life. For those who truly upset the gods, there are even curses so powerful they could spawn a legend or a campaign in their own right:

Major Curse: Irori makes all living creatures forget your existence. This can be further compounded by raising Irori’s ire, resulting in your name being obliterated from all written records. In both cases, memories and writings rearrange themselves to omit you smoothly, rather than leaving obvious gaps.

Irori, god of knowledge and self-perfection, in a combat pose.

Art by Emile Denis

How might your PCs change if they knew the gods were watching? Would they still prefer kindly gods who prefer to let mortals forge their own path? Or would the temptation of easy boons from evil gods sway them from the light?

Eleanor Ferron
Developer

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Janis Joplin: a bard like no other.


Fumarole wrote:
Janis Joplin: a bard like no other.

I read this as "A bird like no other."

And yes, very true in the original.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yo, Irori has some weird-ass feet. His big toe is like a third the width of his foot. :P


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Step 1: Commit a real;y audacious heist and get away with the loot.
STep 2: Make Irori really mad at you somehow.
Step 3: Retire in anonymity with your riches.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Step 1: Commit a real;y audacious heist and get away with the loot.

STep 2: Make Irori really mad at you somehow.
Step 3: Retire in anonymity with your riches.

While I love this, I suspect the curse would be modified and tailored for the situation: Only allies, friends, and family forget your existence. Those pursuing you for your crime never do.


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spectrevk wrote:

Yo, Irori has some weird-ass feet. His big toe is like a third the width of his foot. :P

Maybe that is what happens when you use too many flurry of toes...I mean blows.....

Or the Fifth Horsemen is growing in his ingrown toenail.

Contributor

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Step 1: Commit a real;y audacious heist and get away with the loot.

STep 2: Make Irori really mad at you somehow.
Step 3: Retire in anonymity with your riches.

In the real world, people who suddenly have unexpected amounts of money usually get unwanted attention REALLY fast. I imagine the response would be something like this:

Step 1: People remember the robbery and know only that the perpetrator was never found.

Step 2: Your PC starts spending lavish amounts of money. Alternatively, they live meagerly and people start to notice that your PC never actually works.

Step 3: People figure out that you have all the stolen money, but no one knows who you are. They assume you're a hand-off man and take you into custody. When you try to fight the charges, no records of you exist and no one remembers you, so no witnesses and no evidence that could exonerate you, so you serve your sentence anyway.

Alternatively, you go into extreme hiding with your loot to the point no one knows that you have it, probably by spending so little of it that you never actually get to enjoy it. Even though you didn't end up in prison, Irori wins anyway because fear of the consequences of your actions have prevented you from enjoying the wealth you likely set out to make for yourself.


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Any plan that has, as a crucial component, "I will annoy the god of kung fu to the point that he smites me with the worst curse that he has" might have a flaw.

I just can't quite put my finger on it.

On other topics: that is - by far - the best portait of Shelyn I have seen to date.


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Tangential question; will rules for Neutral Champions be in Gods and Magic?

Thanks tons - looking very much forward to this book, regardless!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
The Penecontemporaneous One wrote:

Tangential question; will rules for Neutral Champions be in Gods and Magic?

Thanks tons - looking very much forward to this book, regardless!

Nope.


Winkie_Phace wrote:
The Penecontemporaneous One wrote:

Tangential question; will rules for Neutral Champions be in Gods and Magic?

Thanks tons - looking very much forward to this book, regardless!

Nope.

However, by having the edicts/tenets(?) & anathema of several neutrally-aligned deities in the book, it future-proofs for when neutral champions are finally printed, so there's that, at least.


Being an atheist is looking better and better.


Valantrix1 wrote:
Being an atheist is looking better and better.

have fun being fed to groteus.

Silver Crusade

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alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Being an atheist is looking better and better.
have fun being fed to groteus.

Pretty sure that's only really evil Atheists, non-evil ones tend to turn into petitioners that watch the planes in exploration and study.

Silver Crusade

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Any plan that has, as a crucial component, "I will annoy the god of kung fu to the point that he smites me with the worst curse that he has" might have a flaw.

I just can't quite put my finger on it.

On other topics: that is - by far - the best portait of Shelyn I have seen to date.

Agreed, that art is lovely. Taking the glaive from her brother is probably still my favourite.


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Rysky wrote:
alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Being an atheist is looking better and better.
have fun being fed to groteus.
Pretty sure that's only really evil Atheists, non-evil ones tend to turn into petitioners that watch the planes in exploration and study.

Per planar adventures that's propaganda by people with a vested interest to make atheism look bad. No one gets fed to Groetus at all. Your really inveterate atheists who refuse to even take part in the the afterlife just get locked in the Graveyard of Souls and Pharasma leaves them alone forever.


So looking forward to this.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Being an atheist is looking better and better.
have fun being fed to groteus.
Pretty sure that's only really evil Atheists, non-evil ones tend to turn into petitioners that watch the planes in exploration and study.
Per planar adventures that's propaganda by people with a vested interest to make atheism look bad. No one gets fed to Groetus at all. Your really inveterate atheists who refuse to even take part in the the afterlife just get locked in the Graveyard of Souls and Pharasma leaves them alone forever.

Atheists spend eternity in Sartre's hell? I think I'd prefer Groteus.


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Elmdorprime wrote:
Atheists spend eternity in Sartre's hell? I think I'd prefer Groteus.

If you're an atheist in the sense of "you do not believe that the gods are worthy of worship, acknowledgment, respect, etc." then you can have the same afterlife anybody else of your alignment will have earned. If you go beyond that to "I refuse to participate in this system where souls get recycled into the stuff that makes up the outer planes", then you end up in the Graveyard of Souls. Essentially this is Pharasma respecting your wishes- your soul will not leave the boneyard, it will just eventually eventually dissipate as your memories and personality fade away leaving just stale quintessence.

The boneyard, being infinite, has a lot of space for this graveyard so you don't necessarily need to encounter anybody else as you brood on the failings of reality for all eternity.

I'm pretty sure that if you had a change of heart and wanted to leave the Graveyard of Souls and go into the River of Souls instead, Pharasma would let you. But it's just that she probably knows in advance that you're going to (or aren't going to) change your mind like this and so won't bother sending you to the Graveyard of Souls if you're going to change your mind.


Irori's curse is a punishment for people other than the perpetrator. I don't like having my memory wiped or otherwise altered. Before this, I was willing to dismiss Monk of the Empty Hand as an ill-thought-out archetype the result of botched research into martial arts paths, but now he went down a LOT in my book.

Dark Archive

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Irori's curse is a punishment for people other than the perpetrator. I don't like having my memory wiped or otherwise altered. Before this, I was willing to dismiss Monk of the Empty Hand as an ill-thought-out archetype the result of botched research into martial arts paths, but now he went down a LOT in my book.

Umm, you do realize how hellish it would be to live in world were nobody knows you exist? Like, as far as everyone sees it, you would be random unknown person squatting in house you claim to be yours, but there is no paper evidence of it :P

Also Monk of the Empty Hand isn't related to Irori at all unless I'm missing something?


I'd always pictured Abadar as just a floating key, I really like this art of him. Anyone else think he looks pretty tired though?


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Irori only stops living creatures from remembering you. Your golems and intelligent undead will still know you.


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drumlord wrote:
Irori only stops living creatures from remembering you. Your golems and intelligent undead will still know you.

My pet rock and I are inseparable.


Is this ruled so you get a Curse from a Deity even if your not a follower or worshiper of that God? If so, is there a way to remove the Curse if your not a follower of the Deity who gave you the Curse? I'd hate to be a Paladin, invoke the ire of Asmodeus, then get a terrible Curse which could only be removed by the aid of an Asmodeian priest. That would put my Paladin in a tough situation with a very difficult choice.


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Kudos on a great piece of art for Shelyn!

I like the direction these elements have, as well, although the devil will be in the details. Can't wait for the book!


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Feros wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Step 1: Commit a real;y audacious heist and get away with the loot.

STep 2: Make Irori really mad at you somehow.
Step 3: Retire in anonymity with your riches.
While I love this, I suspect the curse would be modified and tailored for the situation: Only allies, friends, and family forget your existence. Those pursuing you for your crime never do.

I am pretty sure trying to game a curse is an excellent way to achieve a divine punch to the face.


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kaid wrote:
I am pretty sure trying to game a curse is an excellent way to achieve a divine punch to the face.

I feel like Irori's gonna have a grudging respect for you as you execute the perfect crime.


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Also, Irori is not obligated to inflict his major curse on you no matter how much you annoy him. Presumably, that curse is for people who want to be remembered.


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Berselius wrote:
Is this ruled so you get a Curse from a Deity even if your not a follower or worshiper of that God? If so, is there a way to remove the Curse if your not a follower of the Deity who gave you the Curse? I'd hate to be a Paladin, invoke the ire of Asmodeus, then get a terrible Curse which could only be removed by the aid of an Asmodeian priest. That would put my Paladin in a tough situation with a very difficult choice.

I suspect divine emissaries would be the exception, as no god will want retaliation directly against their own people. Asmodeus wouldn't want a champion in his service to be zapped for defending Cheliax by killing Iomedae's paladins of the Glorious Reclamation.


Feros wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Is this ruled so you get a Curse from a Deity even if your not a follower or worshiper of that God? If so, is there a way to remove the Curse if your not a follower of the Deity who gave you the Curse? I'd hate to be a Paladin, invoke the ire of Asmodeus, then get a terrible Curse which could only be removed by the aid of an Asmodeian priest. That would put my Paladin in a tough situation with a very difficult choice.
I suspect divine emissaries would be the exception, as no god will want retaliation directly against their own people. Asmodeus wouldn't want a champion in his service to be zapped for defending Cheliax by killing Iomedae's paladins of the Glorious Reclamation.

Uh, okay, just hoping there's a way to get rid of the curse without having to be in debt to or serve servant of a fell power.

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Berselius wrote:
Uh, okay, just hoping there's a way to get rid of the curse without having to be in debt to or serve servant of a fell power.

A paladin's resolve is nothing if not tested. This seems like a wonderful opportunity to struggle with the will of your god and what is best for yourself. A good GM would perhaps have your god remove the Asmodean curse if you prove your devotion to him/her even in the face of such a terrible choice. That's what makes paladins paladins--they make the hard choices so others don't have to!


CorvusMask wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Irori's curse is a punishment for people other than the perpetrator. I don't like having my memory wiped or otherwise altered. Before this, I was willing to dismiss Monk of the Empty Hand as an ill-thought-out archetype the result of botched research into martial arts paths, but now he went down a LOT in my book.

Umm, you do realize how hellish it would be to live in world were nobody knows you exist? Like, as far as everyone sees it, you would be random unknown person squatting in house you claim to be yours, but there is no paper evidence of it :P

Of course that would be awful, but think of the awfulness of having memories messed with, multiplied by the entire population of the world.

CorvusMask wrote:
Also Monk of the Empty Hand isn't related to Irori at all unless I'm missing something?

Typo alert -- I meant Monk of the Healing Hand. The capstone sure does seem related to the above-introduced curse . . . .


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Another possible explanation for the Gap! Rovie ate their way out of their Cage, and Irori ki-blasted them out of everyone's memory.

This neatly explains why everyone remembers 'The Devourer' (as Something is eating everything it can) but no one remembers any of the details surrounding it... including itself

Dark Archive

Monk of the Healing Hand isn't directly Irori related either .-.

But yeah, I don't think idea of forgetting single person is worst possible thing that could happen memory alteration wise to you. Its worse if you are related to them, but random guy you met once? So the multiplied by entire world part sounds exaggeration to me.


^It's the principle of the thing. Somebody is messing with my memory to punish someone else. Not cool no matter how many times I met them.

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A Neutral deity has a curse that's really nasty, not nice, not cool, hurts feelings, aw aw aw. What did you people expect, "no ice cream except for weekends"?


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^It's the principle of the thing. Somebody is messing with my memory to punish someone else. Not cool no matter how many times I met them.

The deities may see it as that you don't really own memory, you're just using it. That's why it's ok for the deity of memory and knowledge to mess wit it.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^It's the principle of the thing. Somebody is messing with my memory to punish someone else. Not cool no matter how many times I met them.

The whole bit about "In both cases, memories and writings rearrange themselves to omit you smoothly, rather than leaving obvious gaps" makes me think what he really did was teleport the cursed individual from one Golorian to an alternate version where the cursed never existed. Thus he didn't really mess with your memory, since the "you" that remembered the cursed person isn't the same "you" that is meeting the stranger who claims to be your best friend.

And if you break the curse (or Irori lifts it), Irori just sends you back to the Golorian you came from.


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Gorbacz wrote:
A Neutral deity has a curse that's really nasty, not nice, not cool, hurts feelings, aw aw aw. What did you people expect, "no ice cream except for weekends"?

Dammit, now I just spent like 10 minutes thinking about which of the established Golarion deities might have that "no ice cream except for weekends" as their curse...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
kaid wrote:
I am pretty sure trying to game a curse is an excellent way to achieve a divine punch to the face.
I feel like Irori's gonna have a grudging respect for you as you execute the perfect crime.

If you tricked him into cursing you out of repercussions it would give him a chance to learn and improve, a welcome lesson to someone who is genuinely interested in self-improvement (which is kinda Irori's schtick).

Dark Archive

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Also on side note, its major curse, so its punishment for something that REALLY makes Irori take attention and pisses him off greatly. So it can't be for anything mild really

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
A Neutral deity has a curse that's really nasty, not nice, not cool, hurts feelings, aw aw aw. What did you people expect, "no ice cream except for weekends"?
Dammit, now I just spent like 10 minutes thinking about which of the established Golarion deities might have that "no ice cream except for weekends" as their curse...

*snort* *snort*

Folca, of course.


Adjoint wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^It's the principle of the thing. Somebody is messing with my memory to punish someone else. Not cool no matter how many times I met them.

The deities may see it as that you don't really own memory, you're just using it. That's why it's ok for the deity of memory and knowledge to mess wit it.

Who decided that I don't own my own memory? I didn't vote for those deities!

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Adjoint wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^It's the principle of the thing. Somebody is messing with my memory to punish someone else. Not cool no matter how many times I met them.

The deities may see it as that you don't really own memory, you're just using it. That's why it's ok for the deity of memory and knowledge to mess wit it.

Who decided that I don't own my own memory? I didn't vote for those deities!

You wouldn't remember.


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^Help! Help! I'm being repressed!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now the more important part is -- When Irori uses the <Data Not Available> Punch, does He forget He did it?


So, seriously ticking off Irori turns you into the Grey Fox?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Now the more important part is -- When Irori uses the <Data Not Available> Punch, does He forget He did it?

This is covered in the text of the curse- "all living creatures forget your name." I'm assuming "living" here is a loose synonym for "mortal". So if you steal from Asmodeus, then annoy Irori sufficiently so he erases your name, Big A is still going to know who you are.

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