Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths & Philosophies (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths & Philosophies (PFRPG)

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There’s more to faith than simply choosing a god. In the Pathfinder campaign setting, dozens of different religions, traditions, and philosophies war for people’s hearts and minds—sometimes with reasoned arguments, and sometimes with bloodied swords. Whether as a servant of a powerful deity, a devotee of a world-shaping philosophy, or a zealous atheist, it’s time to claim the power of your convictions with this guide to devotion—religious or otherwise.

Beliefs are nothing without champions. With Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths & Philosophies, characters of every class can make their convictions work for them. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Detailed overviews of Golarion’s more esoteric spiritual traditions, from druidism and atheism to juju and pantheism, all with new rules to customize your character’s mechanics, from the arcane healer bard archetype to the juju oracle mystery.
  • New honor point systems for groups like the righteous Knights of Ozem, the mercantile Prophets of Kalistrade, and the terrifying Red Mantis assassins.
  • A new system of meditation feats to help characters of any class unleash their greatest potential in battle.
  • New traits tied to your character’s spiritual and philosophical views.
  • Information on codes of honor, false and deceased gods, monasticism, religious schisms, and philosophies for all manner of irreligious characters!
  • New inquisitions to help purge nonbelievers, druid domains to help you draw power from your totem spirit, feats to help atheists defy the gods, spells and magic items usable by characters of any class and philosophy, and more!

Written by Savannah Broadway, Paris Crenshaw, Neall Raemonn Price, David Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, and James L. Sutter.
Cover Art by Ben Wootten.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world. Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-543-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Fills a neglected niche

****( )

Read my full review at Of Dice and Pen.

I’m really glad that a book like this exists as I often wish Pathfinder Player Companion and Pathfinder Campaign Setting volumes would include just a little bit more of what daily life is like in the world. I do wish Faiths & Philosophies could go into quite a bit more detail, in fact. It offers a tantalizing glimpse at the belief structures of the world, but since a lot of space has to be devoted to new traits, feats, archetypes, and more, it can really do nothing more than brush the surface of these things. Nonetheless, it does provide just enough information to inspire players designing characters and gamemasters designing campaigns. For that, if nothing else, it’s well worth it. And some of those new mechanical options are quite interesting.


Deity: NONE

****( )

All right, the old character creation question: which god does the PC worship? Usually, the answer is BOOZE AND SEX, sorry, Cayden Cailean. But sometimes, the answer is ...

... one of the many choices presented in this book. Atheism, theism, pantheism, totemism, philosophy, false gods, schismatic sects ... the list is long, and everything gets a little loving.

The diversity is this book strength, but also a weakness - it's very likely that you'll use just a small part of it. While other Companion books are broadly useful to anybody invested in one particular topic, this one is somewhat all over the place due to its' nature.

All in all, a great thing to have on your bookshelf if you're aware of it's highly situational usefulness.


I'm not sure I get it

**( )( )( )

As much as it does seem to hit the mark, it likewise seems to not just as often. Perhaps Philosophies of the Unfaithful might have been a more appropriate name, as that's what it mostly seems to hit up on.

I see that Paizo also couldn't resisted focusing on the Bard as one of the big four classes covered, but this time I really just don't get it. Why would they focus on Bards, or Monks for that matter, in a book specifically about religions (and anti-religions) and philosophical/spiritual orders?

Typical of many of the Player's Guides, it tends me leave me feeling "that's it?", wishing that certain areas where expanded more, particularly beyond the already published material or flavor, but just not going far enough into the subject. Less Player's Guide material and more almost a brief summary of multiple topics. F&P goes along the same route, retreading Razmiran and Rahadoum without going too much further into other "atheists". I kind of felt the Feats in the particular section are pretty heavy handed. Not entirely sure it's a good idea to undermine some classes main features so strongly. SR 11+ Level for 2 Feats, even if only against Divine and most Outsiders is kind of ridiculous, A feat that can make a Cleric or Paladin doubt themselves and maybe force them to actively Save from even spells they cast on themselves, likewise not cool. Back to Evil getting the good toys.

We have a PFS legal Juju thing, but it's pretty watered down, kind of a Oracle flavored to be a druid/shaman, or a Voodoo analogue.

I'm curious about the point or intent of the centerfold portion. It seems to me an attempt to mock some real world sorts of things, except well in game, it's pretty much entirely correct. Bubblers and Liespinners (Razmiran, most non-divine healing and "cures", and similar things are generally very evil, or at best neutral). There's exceptions, but they generally ARE uncommon exceptions. Atheists and Deniers pretty much are ignorant and blind, but also notably intentionally "bad guys" in the setting (Rahadoum and Razmiran obviously, but the Whispering Way and the River Kingdoms as well).

Spells and Items, in my opinion where kind of "meh". I wished for some more info on Pantheonism, especially the much needed mechanics for it for non-Oracles divine characters, as well as a look at some new, not rehashed Faiths and Philosophies, and religious schisms.


Good but not wonderful

****( )

Faiths and Pantheons does a good job of accomplishing what it set out to do. It is a good mix of fluff and crunch. Most of the material is new and it makes a great deal of sense to reprint the bits that I've seen before.

The book is primarily aimed at enriching the backgrounds of those characters for whom religion or philosophy is a major focus (including those characters who dislike or despise the Gods). The book will be useful if you have a particular concept in mind and want to know where you might come from. It is useful if you want to know how the rest of the world tends to view your character. It is useful in giving mechanical suggestions on how to build a character.

Mechanically, the book has lots of new material and some reprinted material (lots of traits I`ve seen before). The material is usually very flavorful and is the usual mix of mechanically weak and mechanically sound options. None are overpowered which I personally think to be a VERY good thing.

Mechanically, my favourite by far is the Juju Oracle Mystery. While similar to the older one it has been altered somewhat in a good way. This one is even legal in PFS. I`m definitely going to be creating one of these for my next character

But there are a lot of other options that I`d at least consider using, especially with a new character. And some of the background fluff will be applied to existing characters to make them a little richer and a little better tied to the world.

I`d like to give this 3.5 stars. The Juju Oracle causes me to raise that to 4 stars.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Announced! Product image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This looks terrific. Any chance of adding a (probably incomplete) list of any specific philosophies covered to the product description?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm, the zealous atheist part is interesting. Perhaps there'll be a way to have divine spellcasters that aren't empowered by a god (or god-like entity)?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Granted their spells by Dawkins?


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope they don't retcon clerics needing a god for their spells out of the setting.


The NPC wrote:
I hope they don't retcon clerics needing a god for their spells out of the setting.

I wouldn't worry about that. I'm pretty sure James is ardent on clerics needing gods in Golarion. The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

TOTALLy looking forward to this one!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

My only hope is that they do as well as James Sutter did in Death's Heretic. ^_^

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Mechalibur wrote:
The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.

I'm hoping there is stuff about the Church of Razmir.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Diplomat wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.
I'm hoping there is stuff about the Church of Razmir.

+1


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Interesting, not just for deity worshipers but also for philosophisers and non-religous types.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't know, I can really see this going the same way as Blood of Night. Razmiran and Rahadoumian atheism need their own book, in my opinion, and honestly many of the faith books don't really have much material for Divine characters, so I'm not very hopeful for this book, (except that I'm wrong). I foresee a lot of rehashed fluff and little crunch to support it. Really need a Complete Divine style book with little setting specifics and more open material for "faithful" characters.

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I think a Faiths of the Inner Sea book in the Campaign Setting line would be highly desirable for GMs, containing all the background and history of the different faiths. I'd like to hear more about hierarchy and the different orders of Paladin that exist within the Church of Iomedae, for example.
It's nice to see another Player's Companion book devoted to religion coming out, but I hope there isn't much overlap with Faiths of Purity/Balance.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I look forward to even more outrageous Kalistrade outfits in this one. (ISWG really raised the bar in that area!)

Dark Archive

Awesome can't wait.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I didn't mean to suggest that they toss out the idea that clerics need gods to empower their spells. I was more looking for some sort of loophole or work-around to the idea; an exception that would prove the rule.

One of my favorite aspects of the 3.X Forgotten Realms was that all divine spellcasters needed a specific deity to grant them spells. If you were willing to spend a feat, however, you could bend this rule in various ways - various non-divine planar powers (e.g. arch-devils, demon lords, etc.), or drawing on the power of a dead god, or even being a heretic (alignment more than one step away from your god's) who was still receiving divine spells, etc.

These were instances of "bending" the rule about needing a god, with an associated cost (one feat), that I thought were very cool for the role-playing opportunities they provided. I'm hoping we'll get something like that here (since PF has no cost associated with worshipping non-divine planar powers; it seems to assume that they're sort of quasi-gods).

Shadow Lodge

I agree, and I actually love the idea of Clerics of philosophies and ideals personally, but we know that Paizo will not do it in Golarion, and has actually gone back a few tims and removed those elements from existing books.

Contributor

This one sounds very interesting. Can't wait.


I'm still uncertain on whether or not I like the new format. But as far as the subjects go, the lineup of Player Companions for 2013 is absolutely terrific; this one included. Excited to add several of these to my library.

The Exchange

The Diplomat wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.
I'm hoping there is stuff about the Church of Razmir.

How does that have to do with atheism? out of all the religeons in Golarion, the cult of Razmir is closest to a real world religeon (not quite the same since Razmirian clerics can STILL do actual magic... but still the closest). They had so many real gods, so they made a new one and devoted themselves to him? how is that atheism?


Looks good.

Shadow Lodge

Lord Snow wrote:
The Diplomat wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.
I'm hoping there is stuff about the Church of Razmir.
How does that have to do with atheism? out of all the religeons in Golarion, the cult of Razmir is closest to a real world religeon (not quite the same since Razmirian clerics can STILL do actual magic... but still the closest). They had so many real gods, so they made a new one and devoted themselves to him? how is that atheism?

Razmir has no Clerics (in the official setting) and can not grant divine spells. There are Bards, Sorcerers, and a few others that pretend to be Clerics. In that country, Razmir is a mortal man that tricked other into believing he is a god, actively kills followers of other religions, and basically claims that all the deities besides himself are false. It's less atheist and more of an extreme religious communism. Later when the Oracle was presented, it kind of negated a great deal of the point though.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
The Diplomat wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
The focus on atheism (which doesn't have the real-world meaning in Golarion, obviously) probably has to do with Rahadoum.
I'm hoping there is stuff about the Church of Razmir.
How does that have to do with atheism? out of all the religeons in Golarion, the cult of Razmir is closest to a real world religeon (not quite the same since Razmirian clerics can STILL do actual magic... but still the closest). They had so many real gods, so they made a new one and devoted themselves to him? how is that atheism?
Razmir has no Clerics (in the official setting) and can not grant divine spells. There are Bards, Sorcerers, and a few others that pretend to be Clerics. In that country, Razmir is a mortal man that tricked other into believing he is a god, actively kills followers of other religions, and basically claims that all the deities besides himself are false. It's less atheist and more of an extreme religious communism. Later when the Oracle was presented, it kind of negated a great deal of the point though.

if you look at all the info so far on the church of razimir, its more of a cult/con-job then anything else. the priests of the faith are con-artists of divine magic and the followers are cultists to his faith. it is as said a false religion, they believe in a (false) divine power not atheism due to the fact that atheism is the belief that there is no divine power.


in this im am hopeing to be able to have a fire monkey bear companyn
o so fun


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How is this going to differ from the "Faiths of" series? Essentially, it seems to me that we already have much of this information in other sources, especially the fluff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
I didn't mean to suggest that they toss out the idea that clerics need gods to empower their spells. I was more looking for some sort of loophole or work-around to the idea; an exception that would prove the rule.

This is not what is meant by the phrase "exception that proves the rule." A correct example would be "sarenrae is the only god who is an angel" - by deduction we can tell all the other gods are not angels. Or, more realistically, a sign reading "closed Thursdays" can be taken to prove that it is open all other days of the week. The overuse and abuse of this expression to mean that something is only a rule if it has exceptions is aggravating and a logical fallacy.

I, too, am a little confused about what new content will be in here. More organizations? More info on the philosophies found in the ISG? The hellknight faith in the Godclaw? What sets this apart?

Scarab Sages

I'm hoping this player companion stays player friendly and doesn't go into cultist philosophies such as the whispering way. It'd be annoying for my players to stumble upon secrets of the antagonist of a whole adventure path.


This sounds like a good book for druids, inquistors and oracles too!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As for atheism, I would imagine in a setting that has demonstrable gods it has more to do with the refusal to worship them rather than the real world "there are none" brand of it. That sums it up in my own game anyway. On the other hand people have an absolutely amazing ability to ignore or rationalize evidence and believe what they choose to believe...


GreatKhanArtist wrote:
How is this going to differ from the "Faiths of" series? Essentially, it seems to me that we already have much of this information in other sources, especially the fluff.

Read the description, it is very different. It isn't so much about the gods and their followers, it is about clerics, philosophers and other religious or non-religious types. It is about devotion.


R_Chance wrote:
As for atheism, I would imagine in a setting that has demonstrable gods it has more to do with the refusal to worship them rather than the real world "there are none" brand of it. That sums it up in my own game anyway. On the other hand people have an absolutely amazing ability to ignore or rationalize evidence and believe what they choose to believe...

Right. While some atheists may indeed refuse to believe gods exist, most atheists, as I understand it, simply refuse to accept that gods are entities to worship merely because they are gods. They are powerful creatures indeed but so are devils, demons, angels, genies, and a multitude of creatures connected to the world somehow. These atheists have seen the evidence and come to the conclusion that gods do exist. They've witnessed gods-given miracles. They just don't worship gods or treat gods as an important part of their lives.

That's how I see it anyway.

Shadow Lodge

Mead Gregorisson wrote:
GreatKhanArtist wrote:
How is this going to differ from the "Faiths of" series? Essentially, it seems to me that we already have much of this information in other sources, especially the fluff.
Read the description, it is very different. It isn't so much about the gods and their followers, it is about clerics, philosophers and other religious or non-religious types. It is about devotion.

Doubtful. "Whether as a servant of a powerful deity, a devotee of a world-shaping philosophy, or a zealous atheist, claim the power of your convictions with this guide to devotion—religious or otherwise."

The last two do not have Clerics, and it also mentions "characters of every class can finally make their beliefs work for them." It sounds like it will be jus like the Faith's of series, just not divided by alignment. I could be wrong though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:
I hope they don't retcon clerics needing a god for their spells out of the setting.

If they do... I'll go on a rampage here at Paizo.


James Jacobs wrote:


The NPC wrote:


I hope they don't retcon clerics needing a god for their spells out of the setting.

If they do... I'll go on a rampage here at Paizo.

T-Rex on a rampage... didn't they make a movie about that... something "Park" :D


James Jacobs wrote:
The NPC wrote:
I hope they don't retcon clerics needing a god for their spells out of the setting.
If they do... I'll go on a rampage here at Paizo.

Thanks :)


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Mead Gregorisson wrote:
GreatKhanArtist wrote:
How is this going to differ from the "Faiths of" series? Essentially, it seems to me that we already have much of this information in other sources, especially the fluff.
Read the description, it is very different. It isn't so much about the gods and their followers, it is about clerics, philosophers and other religious or non-religious types. It is about devotion.

Doubtful. "Whether as a servant of a powerful deity, a devotee of a world-shaping philosophy, or a zealous atheist, claim the power of your convictions with this guide to devotion—religious or otherwise."

The last two do not have Clerics, and it also mentions "characters of every class can finally make their beliefs work for them." It sounds like it will be jus like the Faith's of series, just not divided by alignment. I could be wrong though.

Right, but the Faith series was about the gods and some organizations. Just because it has religious or philosophical options, that doesn't mean it is the same... no more than the Core rulebooks are the same because they have new divine options.

It may have a new smite-like bomb for Alchemists.. or something like that. Which might be neat if it doesn't already exist.

But that is my take.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope that while this will focus on players with a belief system in general, I hope it has a few goodies for those following the following beliefs.....

Razimir
The prophecy"s of kalistrade
Atheism
Diabolism
And maybe a few things on worshipping a dead deity such as Aroden.

Also some stuff on being a pantheist or similar paths for characters like oracles.

Shadow Lodge

I'm honestly hoping that it has a strong Cleric focus (as well as lesser options for other "priests"), but not tied to specific religions or deities, myself. In my opinion, I think Paladins, Oracles, and Druids already have way too many options, and it really needs to be evened out a bit. Atheism (in whatever game form) I'm really not that interested in. Razmir and the Prophecy's I kind of hope stay very vague, as I think they work best as an NPC flavor option, myself.

Diabolism and Pantheism I would really like to see tackled from the Cleric side, not the Oracle (who can already easily do it, just needs a little player imagination). :)

+1 to retconning Clerics away from deities. Its ok for a generic, easy-in, common explanation, but all it really does is take awesome flavor (and moral) options away from players, who shouldn't be common. Let the players make up their own faiths or twists.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
+1 to retconning Clerics away from deities. Its ok for a generic, easy-in, common explanation, but all it really does is take awesome flavor (and moral) options away from players, who shouldn't be common. Let the players make up their own faiths or twists.

Not going to happen, Paizo can't afford a t-rex rampage at the office.

In any case, this is a Golarion book and the setting has a specific pantheon. Banjo the Clown is not an option.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Oracles are the place to go for a full divine caster who doesn't worship the gods.

Not only does moving clerics away from worshiping deities destroy the whole point of their flavor, but it intrudes on the core flavor of another class.

No more an option than removing spellbooks from wizards or sneak attack from rogues or unarmed strikes from monks.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

To me the whole "philosophy" idea seemed to fit perfectly with Oracles. The way I see it an oracle doesn't need to worship anyone. For an oracle praying is just a formality. For example, I once played as a Bones oracle in an evil campaign. He didn't really worship anyone. Also if you compared him to a necromancer they would be similar except the necromancer would be concentrating on the scientific aspects of death while a bones oracle would concentrate on the spiritual and philosophical aspects.

A couple of ideas would be expanding The Green Faith. I have heard some arguing that The Green Faith doesn't count as a religion for the purposes of getting spells. Another idea would be something like "The Light" philosophy from World of Warcraft that concentrates on good without glorifying any particular deity.

Shadow Lodge

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James Jacobs wrote:

Oracles are the place to go for a full divine caster who doesn't worship the gods.

Not only does moving clerics away from worshiping deities destroy the whole point of their flavor, but it intrudes on the core flavor of another class.

No more an option than removing spellbooks from wizards or sneak attack from rogues or unarmed strikes from monks.

You say this like it is an A or B thing, but not both. I get that it isn't going to happen in Golarion, but still, there are people that do not like that. A better analogy, though would be to remove mage schools from wizards, thief's guilds from rogues, or a eastern-monastic lifestile from monks. One is a machanics-based class feature, while the other is a single type of flavor, that may or may not apply to the whole. Oracles already destroyed a part of the flavor of other classes, so it's not destroying as much as taking it back. :) Also note that i wasn't talking about Clerics without any deities as much as those that take power from a broader source.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This product line is about golarion, though. There are no clerics who take power from a broader source than just one deity.

Pantheistic/deistic clerics pretty clearly belong in the rule book line, if they're to go anywhere.


Is there hope for information on the juju wendo in this?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
You say this like it is an A or B thing, but not both. I get that it isn't going to happen in Golarion, but still, there are people that do not like that. A better analogy, though would be to remove mage schools from wizards, thief's guilds from rogues, or a eastern-monastic lifestile from monks. One is a machanics-based class feature, while the other is a single type of flavor, that may or may not apply to the whole. Oracles already destroyed a part of the flavor of other classes, so it's not destroying as much as taking it back. :) Also note that i wasn't talking about Clerics without any deities as much as those that take power from a broader source.

Keep in mind that the book being discussed is a Golarion book, of course.

I understand that some folks don't want clerics to have to worship deities. For those folks, we built the oracle.

I also understand that some folks don't like that solution. They are free to houserule the rules however they want, but just because some folks don't like the solution we offered isn't a good enough reason to retcon one of the most important classes in the game. Especially since it's not something I think is a good idea for clerics in the first place.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Keep in mind that the book being discussed is a Golarion book, of course.

I understand that some folks don't want clerics to have to worship deities. For those folks, we built the oracle.

I also understand that some folks don't like that solution. They are free to houserule the rules however they want, but just because some folks don't like the solution we offered isn't a good enough reason to retcon one of the most important classes in the game. Especially since it's not something I think is a good idea for clerics in the first place.

Stick to your guns Mr. Creative Director!


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Oracles are the place to go for a full divine caster who doesn't worship the gods.

Not only does moving clerics away from worshiping deities destroy the whole point of their flavor, but it intrudes on the core flavor of another class.

No more an option than removing spellbooks from wizards or sneak attack from rogues or unarmed strikes from monks.

You say this like it is an A or B thing, but not both. I get that it isn't going to happen in Golarion, but still, there are people that do not like that. A better analogy, though would be to remove mage schools from wizards, thief's guilds from rogues, or a eastern-monastic lifestile from monks. One is a machanics-based class feature, while the other is a single type of flavor, that may or may not apply to the whole. Oracles already destroyed a part of the flavor of other classes, so it's not destroying as much as taking it back. :) Also note that i wasn't talking about Clerics without any deities as much as those that take power from a broader source.

Well, considering the people who don't like that aspect of Pathfinder are just going to houserule it out anyway, there's no real point in catering to them by making huge adjustments to the current policy.

Also, that's not a better analogy at all. James hit it on the head, mostly. Wizards don't need to go to an academy to cast spells, they get their spells from their spellbook. In Golarion, Clerics get their spells directly from their deity. So in this case, spellbooks and deities are analogous. Admittedly, the analogy does break down a bit more once you look at the Rogue and Monk statements. But the Wizard bit was spot on.

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