Gods in game worlds can be thought of a lot like feudal overlords on steroids. They provide tangible benefits, regular miracles, etc and ask for tangible devotions. It's a 'god' relationship rather than a 'God' one. How do you convert people? By offering them a better deal or a more attractive philosophy. Or you can inspire them with your mighty deeds and great renown. If you're a rock star, epic hero, etc, people are going to incline towards your overlord as well.
|David knott 242|
Of course, if the person you are trying to convert is already getting tangible benefits from his current belief system (as would be the case with a cleric or paladin of a different god, for example), the Diplomacy roll should become far more difficult if not absolutely impossible.
I think what's curious is that conversion in Pathdinder doesn't require a change in belief, only in practice, since belief in the various gods' existence is not mutually exclusive. So it's much more about either the practical benefits of membership, or about lifestyle, or convincing someone that your way of life is better. How often do NPCs work to change their own alignment/life?
|David knott 242|
Yes, I would say that persuading somebody to change deity would be comparably in difficulty to persuading him to change liege lords. The costs and benefits would be comparable for divine spellcasters.
Japan is one country where, historically, there have been many competing but not mutually exclusive religions. Shinto and Buddhism, of course, but maybe there's some fringe ones I haven't heard of. There were many sects of Buddhism there.
You could be Shinto, Buddhist, or both. Depending on which historical source you read, it might be based on what religion(s) your lord followed.
When Buddhism came to Japan, there were eventually open warfare between the two religions. Things settled down (Buddhism was allowed to remain) and squabbles revolved around influence. If someone was only Shinto, and donated X gp per year to the shrine, but then they also became Buddhist, they don't magically get more money. Now they're giving 1/2 X gp to the shrine and 1/2 X gp to the Buddhist temple.
Wiping out other followers would only backfire. After all, many of them would be your followers too.
Conflict could very well boil down to "whisper campaigns" against the other religion.
In real life, religion is often tied up with culture. All the locals of Region A might worship Pantheon B, and the priests of Pantheon B have been providing services for their entire lives. It would take a lot for a cleric of another pantheon to show up and essentially take over. Healing the sick won't do as much as you might think, not if the clerics of Pantheon B can do the same thing.
|Sara Marie Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager|
|Richard D Bennett|
Since Golarion religions presume the existence of the other gods, what you're really trying to do in conversion is bring the flock into line with your god's philosophy. You want them to support the idea inherent in your faith. If you're an Abadarian, you want the masses to get on board with the idea of being rich. If you're a Desnan, you want to encourage following dreams or travelling far and wide. If you're a Kuthonite...well, I got nothing.
While it doesn't do much for kicking in doors, killing monsters, and taking stuff, I'm a big fan of religious discussion in-game. This is, in no small part, thanks to in-game philosophy's ability to let us look at morality from a "safe distance" and, hopefully, avoid treading on the feelings of our fellow players.
|I'm Hiding In Your Closet|
Another rather eye-opening fact about religion in Japan: Japan, needless to say, has always had what we would call "religion:" Animism, mysticism, the same royal family line on the throne for 2,500 years who claimed descent from the sun goddess until they were forced to recant the claim after World War II (though that evidently didn't stop some Japanese people from continuing to believe it), all that good stuff - but what they DIDN'T have for most of that time was a word for "religion." They didn't need it until Christian missionaries started showing up and forced the question in a way that Buddhism, for example, didn't.
Also, the whole "you really ought to abandon your gods in favor of mine" bit is entirely abnormal - in a freely polytheistic world, particularly one where there can be no questioning the existence of these entities, people would behave the way people normally behaved before Christianity: They'd favor one or two "patron" deities whose portfolios and personalities resonated with the individual, but that wouldn't stop them from honoring other deities where appropriate. For example, when travelling abroad, people might be more inclined to honor the local gods, especially since, in historical antiquity, there was a general assumption of "You worship WHO? The one who brings lightning or knowledge or sex or whatever? Oh, I know that one, you must just call It by a different name." Astarte/Aphrodite, Hermes/Thoth, and possibly even Thor/Zeus are some good examples of how this works, historically.
Depending on your take, given the polytheism in Golarion or whatever setting, it's not so much that they follow the tenants of your cleric's deity exclusively, it's more that they acknowledge your cleric's deity at all.
Sure, a cleric, druid, paladin, oracle, ranger, whatever that is a servant/champion of a diety (rather than of a cause) and derives their divine perks from one deity, might be expected to be more exclusive in their religious approach.
But a lay follower in a pantheistic world with potential consequences for devotion and/or lack of it, where one deity does not cover all the bases as it were? It's probably acceptable to "just" make sure people at least make a habit of including devotion to your deity as well in their regular religious habits. If you're a cleric of Sarenrae, it should be enough to convince a regular worshiper of Pharasma and Shellyn to also remember to routinely include Sarenrae in their devotions, rather than requiring they cut the other gods out of their lives as well.
Mechanics-wise, a few ideas:
1. Whether or not your cleric has Leadership, the modifiers to Leadership score (permanent base, reputation for generosity, special power etc) may also be modifiers to conversion attempts.
2. While you're at it, why not get Leadership? The followers and cohort can be your core church and greatly multiply getting the word out and vastly assist your conversion efforts and keep an active presence in the community while your cleric is out furthering your deity's renown (ie - adventuring). You could have all sorts of fun with your followers actively doing community goodworks (or whatever you feel would be appropriate for your deity). Revival camps, public healings, Heroes' Feast days etc...
3. Perform (Oratory) while benefiting from eagle's splendor to give your sermons some zing and improve crowds attitudes by one step before following up with the conversion attempts one on one: the Diplomacy checks should then be easier due to both your ongoing eagle's splendor and the improved attitude from your awesome, thought-provoking, spiritually uplifting sermon.
4. Know a bard that owes you a favour? ...
a) They can perform/compose/conduct a benefit concert
b) Convincingly spread the word.
c) Enhance your own sermons with spells/illusions special effects
5. Profession (scribe) to disseminate wisdom-packed religious tracts.
6. Hire NPCs to do any/all of the above.
7. Your PC cleric is a hero. Redirect any praise given to your PC to the PC's deity. Your hero's deeds will surely lend credibility on the topic of her faith.
8. Remind your fellow party members that all that awesome support you provide? That's all courtesy of (insert deity here)! Get the PCs on board!
Good on you for considering your cleric as a greater source of influence in your setting than just a source of cure light wounds to be taken for granted.