Are gods discriminatory about worshippers?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Like, if a half-orc worships Erastil or Cayden, human deities. Or, even more extreme, a bugbear decides to worship Shelyn. Or, going in the other direction, a human worshipping Torag, the dwarf deity.


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Nope as long as long as they follow the codes of those gods it's fine.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, very few Gods are racist (a few of the Elven Gods are implied to be, but that's about it).

Mostly, if you're the right Alignment and espouse and practice the right beliefs, you're golden.


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Generally? No. However, this doesn't mean that the gods are obligated to answer all prayers or grant power to just any worshiper. Depending on how your GM portrays the gods, they might have certain preferences...

"Sarenrae, you have an incoming prayer from a worshiper on line one."

"Of course. I'm always available to answer the prayers of those in need. Who is it?"

"Some guy named Barry..."

"Oh no...is he that heavy-set human with the weird left eye and the Sublime t-shirt?"

"Umm...yes..."

"Aw man...@#$% that guy. Tell him that I'm out of the celestial office and that 'Saranrae works in mysterious ways' or something..."

Gods don't have to like everyone.

Dark Archive

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Barong wrote:
Like, if a half-orc worships Erastil or Cayden, human deities. Or, even more extreme, a bugbear decides to worship Shelyn. Or, going in the other direction, a human worshipping Torag, the dwarf deity.

Torag is called out as a popular god among gnomes, halflings and humans, as well as dwarves. The rest of the dwarven pantheon seem to be more dwarf-centric, but even then, it's entirely possible that a group of human mountaineers or gnomish craftsmen who live in the Five Kings Mountains might reverse Kols or Dranngvit or something.

The only race-specific gods I recall being overly picky about the race of their followers are one of the elven gods (Findeladra, IIRC, who is specifically the goddess of elven craftsmanship, and not 'humans who like to cosplay as elves and craft stuff'), the serpentfolk god Ydersius (who is a serpentfolk supremacist and hates humans, after one [spoiler alert] cut his head off), etc.

Even the demon lord Anghazan, who's pretty much 'god of apes,' has human followers, as do the dragon gods Apsu and Dahak.


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Don't forget Aroden.


Splode wrote:
Generally? No. However, this doesn't mean that the gods are obligated to answer all prayers or grant power to just any worshiper. Depending on how your GM portrays the gods, they might have certain preferences...

Oh, I figured that. But I just wondered that if an earnest half-orc who works hard and is faithful to the teachings, can he become a cleric of Erastil? The answers in this thread show me that the answer is mostly 'yes' right?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Most gods are as old as the cosmos, and easily predate any life on the material plane, let alone humans. The idea that they would deny prayers to a person b/c of the shape of their meat sack is much too provincial for such a being.


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Some of their followers, however, might be...


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Erastil is also implied to be a very very old god, and predating humanity (His natural form could very well be that of a stag-headed humanoid)

In that case, I don't see any issue with him having non-human worshippers, assuming you follow his precepts.


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Barong wrote:
Splode wrote:
Generally? No. However, this doesn't mean that the gods are obligated to answer all prayers or grant power to just any worshiper. Depending on how your GM portrays the gods, they might have certain preferences...
Oh, I figured that. But I just wondered that if an earnest half-orc who works hard and is faithful to the teachings, can he become a cleric of Erastil? The answers in this thread show me that the answer is mostly 'yes' right?

If he is within one step of his Alignment yes the Half-Orc can be a Cleric of Erastil.

Liberty's Edge

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Findeladlara is an elven deity that does not answer the prayers of non-elves. She is a noted exception to the norm.


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Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.

So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?


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Erastil would accept a half-orc cleric/whatever, and would be totally cool with being depicted as a half-orc (Erastil, Shelyn, Abadar, and others are frequently depicted as the same race as the worshiping community). None of the Big 20 would refuse a half-orc follower simply for being a half-orc.

Set's called out the couple of gods who actually care about the species of the worshiper.

Being a racial mismatch with the actual racial gods (like a half-orc revering a dwarf or giant god) would be pretty weird, but a sincere follower will still be accepted.

Some gods/demigods have other qualifiers.

Nethys rejects all muggle worshipers - which may be glossed over in Osiron, where Nethys is a major religion. If you can't use magic at all, Nethys says "you're wasting my time, sod off." But if you can use so much as a cantrip (the actual example is a rogue with the minor magic trick talent), Nethys is cool with you, and you can advance in the ranks of his clergy.

Kotschtchie the Deathless Frost, who's practically the demon lord of misogyny, rejects all female worshipers (and calls for the death of all female spellcasters).

Gyronna the Hag Queen apparently rejects all male worshipers, as her clergy are exclusively female.

If a deity rejects a type of worshiper, it will be called out in the deity's write-up.


Asmodeus has certain views about women too, right? Which doesn't mean women can't be clerics, but I would think there is a pretty serious glass ceiling.

Dark Archive

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Sissyl wrote:
Asmodeus has certain views about women too, right? Which doesn't mean women can't be clerics, but I would think there is a pretty serious glass ceiling.

Asmodeus is *said* to be a misogynist, but it seems like the rulers of nations or city states under his sway are women (rulers of Cheliax and Korvosa, for instance).

Much like chatter about Rahadoum being punished by the gods with a terrible drought, and yet being, on the map, the greenest and most fertile land on it's latitude, some of what is said about Golarion seems to be in contradiction to what's actually going on in Golarion...


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Poldaran wrote:
Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.
So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?

Totally worth it


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Sissyl wrote:
Asmodeus has certain views about women too, right? Which doesn't mean women can't be clerics, but I would think there is a pretty serious glass ceiling.

Asmodeus already hates mortals for being mortals. His opinion of women may be lower than his opinion of men, but it's a difference measured in microns.

Asmodeus actually does measure that difference, but for the purposes of his rank-and-file mortal followers they'd never notice the difference.

Now, the complete lack of any women among Asmodeus's hand-picked archdukes is more telling. The archdukes of Hell are either firmly male (Dispater, Baalzebul, Geryon, Mephistopheles) or firmly other (Belial, Barbatos, Moloch, Mammon) - and three of those others identify as male.

Belial identifies as everything.

I strongly recommend Mr. Schneider's thread on Hell if you haven't already.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zhangar wrote:


If a deity rejects a type of worshiper, it will be called out in the deity's write-up.

In "Confirmation" you can learn that the Gillmen never held much truck for Aroden as he apparently restricted his regard to pure Humans ONLY, and had no regard for Human offshoots such as Gillmen. Presumably, he had no love for half-elves nor half-orcs either.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.
So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?
Totally worth it

"Let me tell you about how I got my first mythic tier..." :P


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Poldaran wrote:
Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.
So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?

"I wanna spank that goddess!"

"Okay then...roll for an Unarmed Strike against a goddess' touch AC! Do you have Improved Unarmed Strike?"
"Uh...no..."
"That provokes..."

;)

Sovereign Court

How do the gods know who's worshipping them? Do they physically see the individual?


How do you know if someone is talking to you?

Either you can perceive them, or you can't.

A deity's ability to perceive their worshipers is implied in their ability to refuse to grant spells.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Selk wrote:
How do the gods know who's worshipping them? Do they physically see the individual?

The gods won't PREVENT anyone from worshipping them, because they can't. However they reserve the right to refuse to ACKNOWLEDGE worship from beings they won't care about, like Aroden for creatures that aren't purely human, (i.e. Gillmen, Asimars, half-elves, half-orcs, tieflings and other plane-touched) and Findelara for non-elves, including half-elves. Nor will they give any blessing or spells to would-be clerics of those races, and clerics that ordain them may be up for an attonement.


I think it is cool that deities of Golarion that are nominally from one race are willing to acknowledge followers from other races. The older D&D settings seemed to have Human deities that would take non-Human worshippers, but generally not vice versa. The big examples in Golarion that buck this trend are Torag (nominally started out as a Dwarven deity, but has large numbers of other types of followers), Desna (nominally started out as an Elven deity, but has large numbers of other types of followers), and Calistria (like Desna, but Not Good). And of course Golarion has a fair number of nominally Human deities that take other types of followers.

For Good, Evil, or in between, it often makes sense to expand your market, unless you have a hard-core existing market that won't tolerate the people you are expanding it to.

I can't think of an Evil major deity example off the top of my head (the major evil deities are either nominally of Human origin or of nominal origin not associated with ANY mortal race, unless you count Urgathoa with Undead, but she was supposedly some kind of mortal, probably Human, before she was Undead). But an obvious one for the future would be Droskar, currently only a Dwarven/Duergar deity, but being a nearly perfect pointy-haired boss deity (of the commodities company type, not the insurance company type), he should be able to gain huge amounts of worshippers from Gilded Age Humans.


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Sissyl wrote:
Asmodeus has certain views about women too, right? Which doesn't mean women can't be clerics, but I would think there is a pretty serious glass ceiling.

Wes got asked this a while back; Asmodeus doesn't care about the gender of his worshipers because he doesn't care about mortals enough for that to weight on his opinion. His misogyny extends only towards entities that are at least of the demigod level and up; mortals are just a random collection of molecules, but deities have control of their forms and Asmodeus sees deities who choose to appear as female to be inferior.

Even then, Asmodeus never lets his misogyny get in the way of his plots and schemes.

So, technically there is a glass ceiling for female followers of Asmodeus; the Whore Queens.


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LazarX wrote:
Selk wrote:
How do the gods know who's worshipping them? Do they physically see the individual?
The gods won't PREVENT anyone from worshipping them, because they can't.

This isn't quite true. It's well known from SKR's articles that gods have the ability to send minor omens to their worshipers; Gyronna apparently abuses this by flat-out murdering any male who has the temerity to do so. (But she's a demigod, and it seems like the less powerful you are the more direct intervention you can get away with.)

Shadow Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
Selk wrote:
How do the gods know who's worshipping them? Do they physically see the individual?

The gods won't PREVENT anyone from worshipping them, because they can't. However they reserve the right to refuse to ACKNOWLEDGE worship from beings they won't care about, like Aroden for creatures that aren't purely human, (i.e. Gillmen, Asimars, half-elves, half-orcs, tieflings and other plane-touched) and Findelara for non-elves, including half-elves. Nor will they give any blessing or spells to would-be clerics of those races, and clerics that ordain them may be up for an attonement.

Echos of Glory (the Taldor background book) specifically mentions an elderly half elven bishop as senior remaining bishop of the Arodenite church and one of the few remaining clerics alive who remember getting spells from Aroden. Milani who started out as a saint in his church is mentioned in her write up in Reign of Winter as originally a half elf mortal who favored her human side and specifcally is cool toward the elven dieties (the goddess of revolts first revolt was in her childhood, against her elven upbringing)) though I suspect she probably would support individual elves if the need arose.

Based off these to bits of info, I would say Aroden had no problems with part humans who struggled in the name of humanity and were part of the human community.

Still, as god of humanity, I don't see him having many gnomish worshipers. I suspect though, it was a matter of gnomes just didn't get the urge to bring their problems to Aroden very often. Still, I don't think a gnomish cleric wouldn't be outside the realm of possible if they were dedicating their lives to forwarding humanity.

Findelara and Gryonna are specifically called out for excluding worshipers. So I think if the gods aren't called out as being predjudiced should be treated as accepting of sincere worship from any source, though really odd examples like arodenite gnomes would raise some eyebrows and perhaps not be accepted by all his worshipers.

Hope that was helpful.


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The Gillmen might be a special case for Aroden, given that their are hints and strong suggestions that they serve as a sort of Aboleth 5th column/sleeper cell, and the Aboleth are obviously a major enemy of Aroden.


Thank you all for the replies! I was introducing a new race into Golarion that looked like 3.X D&D bugbears, but were a kind-hearted, simple people who lived by farming, herding, and hunting. I was originally going to make up a god for them, but Erastil seemed to fit the bill perfectly. But the write-up I read said a lot of humans worshipped him, which made me think he was a human god. But know I now he'd be fine with non-human worshippers.


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LazarX wrote:
Selk wrote:
How do the gods know who's worshipping them? Do they physically see the individual?

The gods won't PREVENT anyone from worshipping them, because they can't. However they reserve the right to refuse to ACKNOWLEDGE worship from beings they won't care about, like Aroden for creatures that aren't purely human, (i.e. Gillmen, Asimars, half-elves, half-orcs, tieflings and other plane-touched) and Findelara for non-elves, including half-elves. Nor will they give any blessing or spells to would-be clerics of those races, and clerics that ordain them may be up for an attonement.

(Bolding mine, above) Actually, now that I think about it, this is potentially a really awesome hook for a heresy/schism within a church . . . .


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On Aroden and non humans, we see in Liar's Blade that Aroden had placed an elf (ranger? druid? ex-cleric? i am not sure) as a guardian of something very important.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.
So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?
Totally worth it

In the unlikely event that I meet an untimely demise, I will certainly make sure that I get the chance to do that before I return to the realm of the living.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chrysanthe Spiros wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
Splode wrote:

<snip>

Gods don't have to like everyone.
So what you're saying is that slapping Pharasma's backside as you get resurrected may be a bad idea even if it's totally in character?
Totally worth it
In the unlikely event that I meet an untimely demise, I will certainly make sure that I get the chance to do that before I return to the realm of the living.

The only opportunity you'd likely be able to get that as a deadite would be when you're up for Pharasma's Judgement.

Which means at that point, no matter what happens, you're not coming back to tell the tale.


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And I thought I was the only killjoy around here...


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LazarX wrote:

The only opportunity you'd likely be able to get that as a deadite would be when you're up for Pharasma's Judgement.

Which means at that point, no matter what happens, you're not coming back to tell the tale.

The epicness of the tale is in defying impossible odds. You don't get remembered forever for going quietly into the night, you get it by running like hell and getting lucky enough on a res to escape in the nick of time.

Or you hope it amused Cayden enough that he tosses you a resurrection in the nick of time and makes you into his new champion or something.

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