Cleric of Aroden Vs Cleric of No-one


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Mmmm, I too do not like the oracle. I am quite over the whole, you were chosen line. I would have preferred more variant classes, than whole new classes. It is a little bit too complex now with all these differing types of spellcasters and fitting them into the world as the DM.

The oracle is more polytheistic, a person chosen by powers, but this creates a problem for monotheistic clerics. If multiple gods and forces can choose a person and make them into a divine caster, why can't a person choose multiple gods and forces to worship to become a divine caster, specifically a cleric of these divine-granting powers that exist? New classes don't answer all the questions on why the limitations on the old classes are in place. The oracle is not simply a polytheist cleric.

Shadow Lodge

Loyalist, I have noticed often you compair the Cleric to Monotheism and Christianity (or Judeo-Christian/Islamic), and was just curious why you do this? The Class, really has little to do with either, and just wondering why you seem to pinpoint those faiths?

I'm assuming that when you say monotheistic you mean more along the lines of single patron deity rather than "there can be only one!!!"?


That's about it. The problem with streamlining matters of religion and those significantly spiritually involved in devotion, is that it can feel to be stuck in a rut. Being unable to escape the command of the one deity, no alternatives out there for the poor cleric. That is why I am a bit invested in this. I'm glad the conversation is continuing, I've gotten to type all I wanted, for now.


So many responses I don't know where to start. So lets cover a few area's here.

Clerics: As written are servants of s single divine source, Most commonly a god. A group of gods is not a single source. Also stop with "I can't be a Asian or Hindu cleric" as the class is not made for those cultures. You are correct in as so far as the very nature of the class is built around the idea of you being a holy warrior/servant for a single god.The class has always been about a single god and/or concept. Some settings can change this but it is a setting change to the core assumptions.

Golarion assumptions: The setting is built assuming a few things. You need to under stand these assumptions before you can understand why you can not do x, or why this was picked.

First concept clerics: The assumption is a Concept cleric is granted its power by devotion to a thing, not the object of its devotion itself. Strength can not grant you power, however your devotion to the concept of strewth can.

Secondly Non -concept clerics: The idea is a god or other divine being personally invest a small part of their own divine nature in you. You are their servant made to do as they will, to spread their word, Their faith and teaching. A holy warrior for them to use as they see fit. They do not share someone they have personally invest their own power into with another god. Why would they?

Third: There are no longer any real pantheons, over time they have drifted or been meshed into the most common faiths and worshiped as a whole over vast regions. The inner sea looks to be made up of the left overs of at lest 3 or 4 former Pantheons, some from other are's like Vudra. It is a mesh match of cultures in a big simmering pot.

Golarion: Taking into account the first assumption, that devotion itself allows clerics, then you need to look at the history of the world. James has said the same thing I have been saying, that if devotion itself can allow concept clerics history would not be the same.
False gods would have real clerics, there would be a church of man or non-god faiths and the last hundred years would go differently.

I know you disagree but the assumption is devotion is enough. That is however the base assumption the setting decision was built upon.

Ok now you assume devotion is indeed enough. If this was a true fact, if that was all you needed was real devotion can you not see how that would effect things?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

So many responses I don't know where to start. So lets cover a few area's here.

Clerics: As written are servants of s single divine source, Most commonly a god. A group of gods is not a single source. Also stop with "I can't be a Asian or Hindu cleric" as the class is not made for those cultures. You are correct in as so far as the very nature of the class is built around the idea of you being a holy warrior/servant for a single god.The class has always been about a single god and/or concept. Some settings can change this but it is a setting change to the core assumptions.

There are settings like Eberron which have Pantheonic clerics, essentially a Pantheon as a whole i.e. the Silver Host is essentially treated as a single diety with it's own domain and favored weapon set. We may see the Vudran faiths handled in matter just like this. Or the Vudrans have a whole melange of gods and only the really big ones that everyone gives some form of veneration to (the equivalent of Brahma, Kali, Shiva, and Vishnu) given rules treatment. Or a combination of both approaches.

But essentially the cleric class as we know it was clearly inspired by warrior priest model as imaged by the Crusades, where a priest would clearly be expected to fight for his church. (a fair number of Catholic accoutrements are modeled after midieval weaponry)

Shadow Lodge

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
I know you disagree but the assumption is devotion is enough. That is however the base assumption the setting decision was built upon.

Actually I don't. To me, it doesn't matter at all, but should probably be one of those things that no one knows. I just don't see that #1 or #2 exclusive to Concept or Non-Concept Clerics.

Why can't a Concept Cleric of Fire and Trogdor the Burninator be invested with power and spirituality from the Fire Elemental Plane. (not an elemental, the plane itself, the shear elemental force like a Druid almost). It wouldn't be the devotion, but rather the plane itself.

Likewise, why can't a Cleric with a (an actual living & real) patron deity not be powered by their devotion to that deity, (or even that faith) and the deity not have any actual say in it? They follow the deity, but the deity is not granting anything, it is purely from the Cleric's devotion and understanding of faith.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Third: There are no longer any real pantheons, over time they have drifted or been meshed into the most common faiths and worshiped as a whole over vast regions. The inner sea looks to be made up of the left overs of at lest 3 or 4 former Pantheons, some from other are's like Vudra. It is a mesh match of cultures in a big simmering pot.

I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Kobalds, Svangawhatever tribes, and I'm sure others do have pantheons. There is even an option for Dwarves to be able to switch out Domains within their pantheon, which I'm sure I've just probably officially killed off. The reason I bring this up, is that I wasn't sure where you are going with this portion?


LazarX wrote:


There are settings like Eberron which have Pantheonic clerics, essentially a Pantheon as a whole i.e. the Silver Host is essentially treated as a single diety with it's own domain and favored weapon set. We may see the Vudran faiths handled in matter just like this. Or the Vudrans have a whole melange of gods and only the really big ones that everyone gives some form of veneration to (the equivalent of Brahma, Kali, Shiva, and Vishnu) given rules treatment. Or a combination of both approaches.

But essentially the cleric class as we know it was clearly inspired by warrior priest model as imaged by the Crusades, where a priest would clearly be expected to fight for his church. (a fair number of Catholic accoutrements are modeled after midieval weaponry)

I did say settings may change the core assumption. But Eberron also uses assumption 2, that devotion is enough. Gods, objects idea's all are the same. The Elves devotion to the undying both keeps them alive and grants the undying court its clerics, devotion to an object makes the silver flame clerics.

Gods aren't real things in Eberron, they are idea's and concepts that have spread as faiths. The Gm can change this but the assumption is they aren't really there.


Beckett wrote:


I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Kobalds, Svangawhatever tribes, and I'm sure others do have pantheons. There is even an option for Dwarves to be able to switch out Domains within their pantheon, which I'm sure I've just probably officially killed off.

I was mostly talking about faith in the inner sea. But that does kinda make the point among the inner sea as a whole. The big 20 are from the dwarves and elves as much as the other nations around the inner sea. And yeah prob a good chance that the domain switching has been killed off.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

I did say settings may change the core assumption. But Eberron also uses assumption 2, that devotion is enough. Gods, objects idea's all are the same. The Elves devotion to the undying both keeps them alive and grants the undying court its clerics, devotion to an object makes the silver flame clerics.

Gods aren't real things in Eberron, they are idea's and concepts that have spread as faiths. The Gm can change this but the assumption is they aren't really there.

But assumption 2 isn't the same as concept clerics. Eberron also makes some very unique assumptions not found in other published settings that came out of TSR/WOTC as to how clerics connect to the divine. I'd pretty much call Eberron clerics, all of them a category onto themselves where power is dependent on phoning home a to a Power (whether that power is a single diety or a pantheon as colletive whole), but there's not that much attention as to the conduct of the person praying for spells as long as the big picture is at least given lip service. Even Eberron's corrupt clerics have to maintain some semblance of the proper show as it were.

But otherwise the Gods ARE very real things in Eberron, they're just much more of the hands off management type. Possibly due to the very real differences that govern planar mechanics for that setting.

Shadow Lodge

edited post to change a little above.


I am gonna disagree with gods being real. It does not match the printed books. But I will agree that the setting changes the cleric assumption a great deal. Clerics can't fall at all as far as I know, they are a thing unto themselves in Eberron.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Beckett wrote:


I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Kobalds, Svangawhatever tribes, and I'm sure others do have pantheons. There is even an option for Dwarves to be able to switch out Domains within their pantheon, which I'm sure I've just probably officially killed off. The reason I bring this up, is that I wasn't sure where you are going with this portion?

In Golarion? I'm not so sure. The Elves may have HAD one,but the implication from the Elven guide is that they essentially left those gods behind in the world they came from and essentially have adopted local patrons, or given up divine worship in total depending on the individual.

Everyone else, dwarf, human, kobold, whatever seems to just make their picks from the common pot. While certain races seem to favor certain deities there does not seem to be any of the race-exclusive kind, at least among the major dieties.


Beckett wrote:

[

Actually I don't. To me, it doesn't matter at all, but should probably be one of those things that no one knows. I just don't see that #1 or #2 exclusive to Concept or Non-Concept Clerics.

Why can't a Concept Cleric of Fire and Trogdor the Burninator be invested with power and spirituality from the Fire Elemental Plane. (not an elemental, the plane itself, the shear elemental force like a Druid almost). It wouldn't be the devotion, but rather the plane itself.

First up. Props for Trogdor.

Ok, 1 does however change the setting. False gods can have clerics, devotion to Aroden was enough to sustain his clerics, atheists could have their own church and so on.

I know some will disagree, but that is the assumption. That concept clerics are fueled by devotion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Beckett wrote:

[

Actually I don't. To me, it doesn't matter at all, but should probably be one of those things that no one knows. I just don't see that #1 or #2 exclusive to Concept or Non-Concept Clerics.

Why can't a Concept Cleric of Fire and Trogdor the Burninator be invested with power and spirituality from the Fire Elemental Plane. (not an elemental, the plane itself, the shear elemental force like a Druid almost). It wouldn't be the devotion, but rather the plane itself.

First up. Props for Trogdor.

Ok, 1 does however change the setting. False gods can have clerics, devotion to Aroden was enough to sustain his clerics, atheists could have their own church and so on.

I know some will disagree, but that is the assumption. That concept clerics are fueled by devotion.

The problem of course is that such concept clerics wreck a good deal of Golarion history as Jacobs pointed out. If devotion was enough, we'd stil have a strong and effective church of Aroden as his followers were certainly devoted enough.

Now where this concept DOES work very well is the world of Nehwon where the Temple arrangement of the Street of the Gods in Lankhmar is constantly changing as one faith gains power over another. But one does need to keep in mind that magic overall is far more restricted than the D20 average. (of course this refers to the Gods IN Lankhmar as opposed to the Gods OF Lankhmar:)

Shadow Lodge

Sorry what I meant was more:
#1"First concept clerics: The assumption is a Concept cleric is granted its power by devotion to a thing, not the object of its devotion itself. Strength can not grant you power, however your devotion to the concept of strewth can.

#2Secondly Non-concept clerics: The idea is a god or other divine being personally invest a small part of their own divine nature in you. You are their servant made to do as they will, to spread their word, Their faith and teaching. A holy warrior for them to use as they see fit. They do not share someone they have personally invest their own power into with another god. Why would they?"

But why can't it also be:
"Secondly Non-concept clerics: The assumption is a <Deity> cleric is granted its power by devotion to a thing, not the object of its devotion itself. Strength can not grant you power, however your devotion to the concept of stre<ng>th can.

First concept clerics:The idea is divine <source> invest a small part of <a> divine nature in you. You are <empowered> to do as they will, to spread the word, the faith and teaching. A holy warrior <for a cause>.

<Essentually changed the descriptions offered, and transplanted words to make it make sense grammerically, but trying to keep the same basic idea.>


Mostly as it makes no sense to me honestly. Objects without minds can't invest anything in you. Fire lords could grant power, fire itself is mindless, strength can not grant you anything as it is not real, it is a concept.

But even if you could, you still have issues. Aroden is now just an idea, false gods are just as real as a concept as "fire" or Strength. They concept of atheism is such a power as well.

Why is one thing ok and another not? Why can fire grant you power, strength which is not real grant you power but the idea of a god can not because it is also not real?


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But don't druids just draw on nature to empower them? I am not saying clerics should be able to in Golarian but an abstract concept without personality or intelligence is essentially granting druids power. Fire is just one facet.


Druid and a cleric are not the same thing.

Shadow Lodge

Honestly, I think Druids are more in line with must have a patron deity than Clerics. Both in the history of the game and in the real world bases.

But back on topic. There really is no satisfactory answer.

We can't have Concept Clerics because:

Aroden can't have priests/Clerics with real powers
Razmir can't have divine priests with real powers
Cheliax would change somehow

But it's perfectly fine that Razmiran (and the Atheist nation of aetheists) can now officially have Inquisitors, with divine spells and powers doing their thing for their not actually divine patrons. While Oracles and Druids always could anyway, as well as the very unlikely Paladin. Just can't have Clerics doing it.

It's perfectly fine that an Oracle or Druid could go around claiming to be a true priest of the concept (or returned) Aroden, and mind that Druid, Ranger, Paladin, Oracle, Bards, etc priests of Aroden never actually lost anything. But Clerics are a problem here?

<just wanted to step back and resay that. Atheists Inquisitors of Rahadoum sporting Divine powers are perfectly ok, and it has been clarified that Druids, Witches, Bards, Summoners and Oracles without a Patron deity are okish in Rahadoum, it's the deity and religion that is the issue. This has just occured to me and let me say W!!!T!!!F!!!>

The same issues. Antipaladins, Urban Druids, Oracles, Paladins all existed in Cheliax under Aroden and under Azmodeus. None of them where affected. But if Clerics where not all affected, it changes everything?

<admittedly I'm past exhausted, 24 hour duty, so a bit of rambling here>


Beckett wrote:
Honestly, I think Druids are more in line with must have a patron deity than Clerics. Both in the history of the game and in the real world bases.

I don't think they are more in line, Real world druids worshiped more then one god. I do agree they should also need a god as well. But they do not as they are not the servant of a being like a cleric is. I feel some of the confusion is over they fact they like paladins do not have to choose a god.


To expand that a druid does not "pray" for spells any more then a wizard or oracle does. He has an oath and a tradition but nothing grants him power in the way a cleric is granted. He can only lose it by braking his oath that goes aginest his casting tradition.

If you really look at it a druid is closer to a wizard then a cleric.

Shadow Lodge

Are you talking about the wiccan "druid"?

I was talking more about the druid (religion?/curlture?) of the early brittons. We know almost nothing about them as the romans wiped them out for their overly inhuman behaviors, but notably was that they believed ina odd sense of universal balance, similar to mayan cinimatic culture. Want the sun to rise tomorrow. We need a sacrifice. Want your little girl to stop coughing, lets catch 20 people and burn them ina large wicker idol thing. Good crops next year. Lets destroy that village over there.The other thing we "know" as that the druids believed that written words and symbols where magical power. Actualy magical spells, so didn't use them and klept it all abig secret from their lessers. Anyway, off topic.

I also keep editing older posts and see that they are responded to in the original form. :(


Just a minor point to your edit. Any type of Divine caster is not ok in Rahadoum. Oracles are not ok, nore are druids,paladins, inquisitors or witches are not divine but suspect because of pardons. a which is fine as long as no one knows they are a witch.

It is the idea of some outside being or force having control of you that is not excepted in Rahadoum( which is the issue with both druids and witches). A concept that does not work all that well if ya have divine power without a being.

Dark Archive

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seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Mostly as it makes no sense to me honestly. Objects without minds can't invest anything in you.

This is, of course, D&D/PF, where things with no minds can have alignments, understand languages, have feats, and, in some cases, use skills, tell the difference between living and dead people, creatures and objects, make plans, have feelings and emotions, etc.

It's only a step *more* absurd for mindless things to be able to be gods (heck, there's an entire sourcebook about dead gods, which retain a spark of divinity, despite being corpses drifting in the astral plane). As for living gods, Azathoth isn't really portrayed as a brain-trust, and dieties like Gorum and Rovagug are pretty much personified abstractions, hardly depicted as sentient...

The answer, IMO, to this, is that James says 'no, for this setting.'

Attempts to 'explain' it, like the whole 'the Inner Sea won't work without it' fall down. Explanations aren't needed, and only muddle the conversation, since it takes a couple of minutes, tops, to list reasons why a dead church of Aroden or the nations of Rahadoum or Razmiran *work just fine* whether or not concept clerics exist in the setting (which I won't bother repeating, since it's a refutation of a bogus point anyway).

The only 'explanation' that matters is that James doesn't care for the idea, and he's the Creative Director, in charge of what is allowed in Golarion, and, more importantly, what is not.

Golarion is *not* Eberron, and nobody was ordered from on high to design the setting so that *everything* in Core could be played as written.

I've seen it said that Keith Baker *had* to allow everything in the core rules in his setting, by mandate. James Jacobs, AFAIK, was under no such mandate, and whether or not I agree with any one particular setting restriction, I do respect his opinion that a setting is based as much on what it restricts as on what it allows.

The Realms had the same restriction on diety-less Clerics and was even *more* harsh, in that it forbade diety-less Druids, Rangers and Paladins as well (and, presumably, Adepts, although I don't recall that being spelled out in the FRCS).

And, whether it gives anyone agita or not, it's my right to allow or forbid stuff in my own games that may not agree with 'canon.' I can forbid gunslingers, if I don't want them. I can allow pantheist clerics, if I want them, no matter how many people on the internet find that ridiculous or 'wrong,' or how many 'explanations' they have for how it 'doesn't make sense' or how Golarion will fly apart at the seams if I do.

As I've said before, I have more faith in the setting than that. I think it was better designed than that.

There may indeed be changes that could make it 'not work,' but this? This is *easy.*


This is supported in the setting because Clerics/Paladins can't follow the Green Faith. The Green Faith is a philosophy without a god. This would support the idea that Clerics specifically need a god to grant their powers.

seekerofshadowlight wrote:

In the setting ya have to have a god. Not all setting must have one but so far is seems you MUST have one and that one is very dead. If you could run off just ideal then his clerics would still be casting spells, which is not the case.

And ya just opened a can of worms by the way, as folks will point out like you have that by the RPG rules you do not have to have a god, however some settings allow that but not all do. This one pretty much must have a god to be a cleric

It does not talk of clerics being possible without gods in the setting book and in fact shows where there are "clerics" of a false god they are wizards or sorcerers not clerics.

In Golarion you must worship a god. Ask your GM however.

Silver Crusade

Beckett wrote:

Loyalist, I have noticed often you compair the Cleric to Monotheism and Christianity (or Judeo-Christian/Islamic), and was just curious why you do this? The Class, really has little to do with either, and just wondering why you seem to pinpoint those faiths?

I'm assuming that when you say monotheistic you mean more along the lines of single patron deity rather than "there can be only one!!!"?

I think he's reacting to the approach others on this thread have taken in opposing his arguments that Clerics shouldn't have to follow only one deity. While I don't think most of the people here arguing that clerics have to follow one deity intend to come across as insisting on judeo-christian-islamic style monotheism, some folk's posts have read that way even to me, and I am not as heavily invested in the idea that a cleric really ought to be allowed to serve a pantheon or group of Gods rather than just one (although I have been insisting that a cleric should acknowledge the other Gods while serving just one patron).


They do acknowledge the other Gods. They however serve one god, which does not mean they ignore the others or act as if they are not real or gods or worthy of devotion. They are simply not those Gods messengers and servants.

Silver Crusade

Set wrote:

And, whether it gives anyone agita or not, it's my right to allow or forbid stuff in my own games that may not agree with 'canon.' I can forbid gunslingers, if I don't want them. I can allow pantheist clerics, if I want them, no matter how many people on the internet find that ridiculous or 'wrong,' or how many 'explanations' they have for how it 'doesn't make sense' or how Golarion will fly apart at the seams if I do.

As I've said before, I have more faith in the setting than that. I think it was better designed than that.

There may indeed be changes that could make it 'not work,' but this? This is *easy.*

This. She's sturdier than some give her credit for. I've bolted plenty onto it and it hasn't broken down yet.

Silver Crusade

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LazarX wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:


Clerics: As written are servants of s single divine source, Most commonly a god. A group of gods is not a single source. Also stop with "I can't be a Asian or Hindu cleric" as the class is not made for those cultures. You are correct in as so far as the very nature of the class is built around the idea of you being a holy warrior/servant for a single god.The class has always been about a single god and/or concept. Some settings can change this but it is a setting change to the core assumptions.

There are settings like Eberron which have Pantheonic clerics, essentially a Pantheon as a whole i.e. the Silver Host is essentially treated as a single diety with it's own domain and favored weapon set. We may see the Vudran faiths handled in matter just like this. Or the Vudrans have a whole melange of gods and only the really big ones that everyone gives some form of veneration to (the equivalent of Brahma, Kali, Shiva, and Vishnu) given rules treatment. Or a combination of both approaches.

But essentially the cleric class as we know it was clearly inspired by warrior priest model as imaged by the Crusades, where a priest would clearly be expected to fight for his church. (a fair number of Catholic accoutrements are modeled after midieval weaponry)

The point that the Cleric, as originally conceived, was inspired (more or less) by the warrior-priest model from the Crusades is as best as I can tell, true. No argument with that-- that was the general inspiration when Dungeons & Dragons first came into existence.

However, the comment Seeker makes above, well, there's an issue here-- if the statement, "The class has always been about a single god and/or concept" refers specifically to the class *in Pathfinder*, this statement of Seeker's is correct. I wish he'd clarify/confirm that, at some point... because if he means "the Cleric", throughout the entire history of the class from the origins of D&D all the way through to Pathfinder, he is wrong. The cleric as presented in Arneson & Gygax's original version of D&D vaguely defines Clerics as either serving 'Law' or 'Chaos', as rather Moorcockian grand concepts, with no mention of God or Gods. NO MENTION, until the 4th supplement to the original game, which does not define concepts, requirements for worship, or specific relations to the Cleric-- just presents a bunch of gods, heroes, and monsters-- do with 'em what you like.

And then, in the 1st edition of AD&D, the connection to medieval religious orders of knighthood is explicitly made, but is followed shortly thereafter by "the cleric is dedicated to a deity, OR DEITIES" (emphasis mine)-- an explicit endorsement from the 1st D&D book that mentions that deities are required, for worshiping more than one god at a time. 2nd edition continues the same assumptions-- although it leans a little more towards just talking about one deity. 3rd edition, by default, seems to bring it back down to one deity or divine concept/power per cleric... but that's almost 30 years after D&D first came into existence, and was modified without a serious conflict in the Eberron setting.

Seeker's further contention, that one cannot play a Cleric based on Asian/Hindu-style faiths "because the class is not made for those cultures" is an implication that I find nowhere in the history or past editions of the D&D game, nor do I find it in the Pathfinder rules. In fact, in the history of D&D, there are more than a few places over the years where it specifically states that you can play clerics who are influenced by and/or follow other ways than western ones (2nd edition notably points out the sohei of Japan; other editions have pulled in Asian and Hindu gods and pantheons as appropriate deities for clerics). That part, that a cleric is only for western-european style cultures, isn't in Pathfinder either (the bit about needing to follow a single deity, rather than a group of them, limits some options but still does not speak to cultural mandates about who you can and cannot be).

If Seeker is speaking about Clerics IN Golarion, that's one discussion. In Pathfinder-- that's a larger discussion. In the history, origin, and development of the class from its roots as one of the original three D&D classes? Some of these assertions just completely fall apart at that point.

Silver Crusade

seekerofshadowlight wrote:


Secondly Non -concept clerics: The idea is a god or other divine being personally invest a small part of their own divine nature in you. You are their servant made to do as they will, to spread their word, Their faith and teaching. A holy warrior for them to use as they see fit. They do not share someone they have personally invest their own power into with another god. Why would they?

Third: There are no longer any real pantheons, over time they have drifted or been meshed into the most common faiths and worshiped as a whole over vast regions. The inner sea looks to be made up of the left overs of at lest 3 or 4 former Pantheons, some from other are's like Vudra. It is a mesh match of cultures in a big simmering pot.

Golarion: Taking into account the first assumption, that devotion itself allows clerics, then you need to look at the history of the world. James has said the same thing I have been saying, that if devotion itself can allow concept clerics history would not be the same.
False gods would have real clerics,...

Actually responded to the other comments you made on someone else's reply to you, but a few comments more on these points:

Regarding "Secondly Non - concept clerics:...": I would think that the Gods of Good would not be so jealous of their power, in respect to sharing and cooperating with some of the other Gods of Good. I've found myself agreeing that the evil gods especially, and even many of the neutral gods, given these basic concepts of the universe, would insist that their clerics remain devoted to them and them alone.

Regarding your Third point: thank you for the insight. I hadn't thought about why Golarion has the present mishmash of Gods that it does but that makes sense, that it's actually the remnants of several pantheons pushed together over time (and expanded by interlopers and things like the Starstone).

Now, the points regarding the setting of Golarion-- that devotion to a deity is required, I accept. That's the way things work in Golarion, and as explained by James (with some insights from others) it is largely consistent and makes sense within the game universe.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

I did say settings may change the core assumption. But Eberron also uses assumption 2, that devotion is enough. Gods, objects idea's all are the same. The Elves devotion to the undying both keeps them alive and grants the undying court its clerics, devotion to an object makes the silver flame clerics.

Gods aren't real things in Eberron, they are idea's and concepts that have spread as faiths. The Gm can change this but the assumption is they aren't really there.

But assumption 2 isn't the same as concept clerics. Eberron also makes some very unique assumptions not found in other published settings that came out of TSR/WOTC as to how clerics connect to the divine. I'd pretty much call Eberron clerics, all of them a category onto themselves where power is dependent on phoning home a to a Power (whether that power is a single diety or a pantheon as colletive whole), but there's not that much attention as to the conduct of the person praying for spells as long as the big picture is at least given lip service. Even Eberron's corrupt clerics have to maintain some semblance of the proper show as it were.

But otherwise the Gods ARE very real things in Eberron, they're just much more of the hands off management type. Possibly due to the very real differences that govern planar mechanics for that setting.

I think Seeker is closer to correct, regarding Eberron-- the books themselves say the Gods may or may not be real, but since they do not EVER take tangible, material form and intervene directly in the world, no one's really sure. Since one can be devoted to a concept or ideal, and it will still work, true faith and devotion are enough whether the Gods are real or not in the world of Eberron. Likewise, the fact that you get your powers so long as YOU have faith (your conduct, attitude, etc, don't matter, and your god is not going to punish you or take your powers away because you've violated every law in the holy book) it seems like whether the Gods REALLY exist, or you're just drawing power from the universe because you believe you can, isn't really important (most people seem to need to believe in something else really being out there in order to draw upon powers, and you can lose your powers in Eberron because YOU, the character, have a crisis of confidence and lose faith in your abilities and empowerments).

However, the followers of the Silver Flame do not get their powers from devotion to an object-- the books are rather clear that while they have respect and reverence for the literal 'silver flame' that contains the demon in Thrane, that object is merely a physical symbol for the ideal and principle that most followers of the Silver Flame truly devote themselves to. This does not change the principle that devotion is enough in Eberron, though.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
This. She's sturdier than some give her credit for. I've bolted plenty onto it and it hasn't broken down yet.

Indeed.

In fact, I think anyone saying the setting breaks down is merely too rigid to handle the change themselves, rather than the setting being so brittle. ;)


The setting held up just fine before with what was common (deity clerics) and what was uncommon (other) in regards to deity worship.

There was the typical, and there were other things about which were rare, like the clerics of the Godclaw/the Great Old Ones/of nature/poly elven clerics. The religions of Earth are complex and multi-faceted and not all religions pray to one. Why can't Golarion be a bit more open and canonically allow non-mono clerics? The setting can certainly accommodate it, it used to!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

The setting held up just fine before with what was common (deity clerics) and what was uncommon (other) in regards to deity worship.

There was the typical, and there were other things about which were rare, like the clerics of the Godclaw/the Great Old Ones/of nature/poly elven clerics. The religions of Earth are complex and multi-faceted and not all religions pray to one. Why can't Golarion be a bit more open and canonically allow non-mono clerics? The setting can certainly accommodate it, it used to!

I'm really puzzled why you're still going on about this. Can you tell me what's wrong with "Because the Creative Director prefers the restriction"?

Your Golarion can be different, but he's not going to publish any sourcebooks with clerics who dont derive their powers from a single God. What's the problem, exactly? It's just preference and he likes the current way better, so that's how his Golarion is.

I'm really quite perplexed.

(NB: This isnt me asking why you think Clerics shouldnt suffer the restriction. I've heard that. This is me asking you why a difference in preference isnt a sufficient justification for making judgement calls as part of a creative endeavour. There's no right or wrong about what you like best).

EDIT: Also, if it's not clear, this isnt an attack it's genuine puzzlement.

Silver Crusade

seekerofshadowlight wrote:

To expand that a druid does not "pray" for spells any more then a wizard or oracle does. He has an oath and a tradition but nothing grants him power in the way a cleric is granted. He can only lose it by braking his oath that goes aginest his casting tradition.

If you really look at it a druid is closer to a wizard then a cleric.

On Druids, as written in game:

Druids are divine casters. IMO, Druids get their powers because they have a very strong faith in the power of nature itself as a force in the universe, and their faith is strong enough that nature itself responds to them and gives them spells and abilities. However, they do NOT draw their power from within themselves solely based on their devotion, and they do not just pull their power out of nothing.

This is however, as others have said, what separates Druids from Clerics (and other divine casters): Druids have faith in nature itself and are able to connect to the power of nature through that faith, rather than through faith in and devotion to a God or Goddess. As I see it, and I think while the crunchy rules may not spell it out, the story/world-background etc. stuff does... Druids can lose their powers a few different ways-- but all of them basically boil down to the Druid personally losing faith in his/her ability to connect to and draw upon nature, or by the Druid doing something that violates and disrupts his connection to the powers of nature (violations of his Druidic code fall into this second category).

Clerics have devotion to a Patron Deity. Oracles are given power by a Deity or Deities (whether they like it or not). Druids get their power directly from Nature (which in game IS a real force, not simply a concept-- devotion alone still isn't enough; in the Druid's case devotion works because Nature answers that devotion). Presumably the other Divine casters (Inquisitors and Paladins, mainly I suppose) are still getting their powers from a deity or deities-- they just don't have to consciously know which one considers them sufficiently worthy to grant powers to-- though some of them are devoted to a patron deity anyway. Rangers, I would think, are somehow connecting to and drawing upon nature in a similar way to the Druid's methods.

I think Golarion is standing as a setting wherein no 'divine' casters simply pull power out of "nothing".


Steve Geddes wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

The setting held up just fine before with what was common (deity clerics) and what was uncommon (other) in regards to deity worship.

There was the typical, and there were other things about which were rare, like the clerics of the Godclaw/the Great Old Ones/of nature/poly elven clerics. The religions of Earth are complex and multi-faceted and not all religions pray to one. Why can't Golarion be a bit more open and canonically allow non-mono clerics? The setting can certainly accommodate it, it used to!

I'm really puzzled why you're still going on about this. Can you tell me what's wrong with "Because the Creative Director prefers the restriction"?

Your Golarion can be different, but he's not going to publish any sourcebooks with clerics who dont derive their powers from a single God. What's the problem, exactly? It's just preference and he likes the current way better, so that's how his Golarion is.

I'm really quite perplexed.

(NB: This isnt me asking why you think Clerics shouldnt suffer the restriction. I've heard that. This is me asking you why a difference in preference isnt a sufficient justification for making judgement calls as part of a creative endeavour. There's no right or wrong about what you like best).

EDIT: Also, if it's not clear, this isnt an attack it's genuine puzzlement.

Because the creative director got rid of other people's ideas, to create a restriction.

This is wide open for criticism.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let's be frank - having godless Clerics and cherrypicking domains means everybody is running around with Travel and Whatever That Is The Second Best Domain After Travel.

And that's wrought, so wrought oh my!


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I've never seen players do that. Hmmmm. You would still have to take a level of cleric, and are you sure that is the absolute best domain for what players always want? Community seems pretty beneficial, war and such have their place, good, healing. Depends on the concept and what you want (obviously).

So, don't think that is very likely Gorbacz.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

By "everybody" I mean all Clerics. And I am sure which domains are better when you optimize, and which are trap options best left alone.

If you allow cherrypicking, you'll have Clerics whose entire concept will be made to justify picking the most optimal domain combination. And suddenly, your desire to have a more creative environment with more tantalizing roleplaying will take a shot to the head, because people will abandon creativity for optimization.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

The setting held up just fine before with what was common (deity clerics) and what was uncommon (other) in regards to deity worship.

There was the typical, and there were other things about which were rare, like the clerics of the Godclaw/the Great Old Ones/of nature/poly elven clerics. The religions of Earth are complex and multi-faceted and not all religions pray to one. Why can't Golarion be a bit more open and canonically allow non-mono clerics? The setting can certainly accommodate it, it used to!

I'm really puzzled why you're still going on about this. Can you tell me what's wrong with "Because the Creative Director prefers the restriction"?

Your Golarion can be different, but he's not going to publish any sourcebooks with clerics who dont derive their powers from a single God. What's the problem, exactly? It's just preference and he likes the current way better, so that's how his Golarion is.

I'm really quite perplexed.

(NB: This isnt me asking why you think Clerics shouldnt suffer the restriction. I've heard that. This is me asking you why a difference in preference isnt a sufficient justification for making judgement calls as part of a creative endeavour. There's no right or wrong about what you like best).

EDIT: Also, if it's not clear, this isnt an attack it's genuine puzzlement.

Because the creative director got rid of other people's ideas, to create a restriction.

This is wide open for criticism.

I was asking why "different preferences" isn't a good enough answer. I like vanilla over chocolate. Is that "open for criticism"?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Because the creative director got rid of other people's ideas, to create a restriction.

This is wide open for criticism.

He did what Creative Directors DO... He made a choice, and again it's a choice for a setting. The only real impact of this choice means you can't play a concept cleric in PFS. And that there will be no concept clerics in Paizo Blog stories. That's it. You want to home brew it, he's not coming to your house to stop you.

He did the same thing that Ed Greenwood did for Forgotten Realms, or Gary Gygax did for Greyhawk, and whathisname did for Eberron. None of these settings featured concept clerics in discussion or story background. So your character option isn't being honored in canon... Who cares? Home play is home play.

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