Golarion Cleric Etiquette


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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When clerics of two different patrons encounter each other (out of combat at least) is it considered more polite to refer to the other cleric's patron by his/her name or by his/her title?

For example: When dealing (peacefully) with clerics of "Zon-Kuthon" does a cleric of Shelyn refer to their god as "Zon-Kuthon" or as "The Midnight Lord"? (The Shelynite -in this case- wishes the encounter to remain cordial.)

Liberty's Edge

I guess it comes down to who at the meeting and how it happened. If two clerics meet in an anything goes city, and ones a true neutral worshiping a NE deity and the others a true neutral worshiping a NG deity, they would most likely be as friendly as you'd be to someone you hate on the street.

But, if those same two meet in a dungeon, even if they're on the same side and don't know it, I think they would throw down.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

fine_young_misanthrope wrote:

I guess it comes down to who at the meeting and how it happened. If two clerics meet in an anything goes city, and ones a true neutral worshiping a NE deity and the others a true neutral worshiping a NG deity, they would most likely be as friendly as you'd be to someone you hate on the street.

But, if those same two meet in a dungeon, even if they're on the same side and don't know it, I think they would throw down.

Life is never so simple. And your answer avoids the question.

What is the correct etiquette for the situation?


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The following is all conjecture, as I'm quite certain this issue has not been adressed anywhere in an official product.

I suppose it depends on the gods involved. In the example you presented, the Shelynite would probably avoid glorifying Zon-Kuthon by using titles that make him seem fearsome and powerful, perhaps by avoiding mentioning him in the first place. If it could not be avoided, referring to him by name would probably be the safe choice. Referring to him as Dou-Bral would probably be a faux pas...

With allied, or at least neutral parties, titles would probably be used more often. With a Kuthite talking to an Asmodean, I could imagine them referring to each other as "servant of the Lord of Hell/Midnight Prince," denoting respect for their respective masters (as long as their goals aligned, of course). Same would probably apply to a Shelynite who is speaking with a Sarenite, or any of the above negotiating with a respected Gozren or Nethysian.

Few can deny the power of nature or magic, after all.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I could see a cultural component to it too - a culture that places great value on elders and titles might have a cleric that strictly refers to the deity by title, while another worshiper of the same deity insists on using a familiar term. It could actually be a great source of sectarian tension!

I have an etiquette question as well - when a cleric is bent one taking down the alter to another deity, what is "proper"? I actually bumped into a player who felt that defiling an alter in any way was sacrilegious (since it's counter to the basic tenant of respecting deities period). Defilement of the alters of the good gods in very horrible ways is pretty common though, while the desecration of the alters of evil gods seems rare (and if it does happen, the desecrator is usually horribly punished). I was really thrown by the idea that a cleric should respect the alter of any god, but it also does make sense on some level? I'm torn on the idea, I guess.


Evil Gods and their Altars are certainly not owed respect by Good folk. Take, for instance, an Asmodean altar before a Caydenite. This altar stands for everything you are against. It is slavery and tyranny. Not only does it stand for such a thing, but it gives power to followers of that god. By all accounts, a Caydenite should bust that thing up.


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Again, it probably depends on the situation and the gods in question. If a paladin of Iomedae came across the same altar to Asmodeus, in a legitimate temple in a land that is under Asmodean jurisdiction, they would probably show at least a modicum of respect. If the same paladin came across a bloody shire to a Demon Lord in the outskirts of the Worldwound, they would most likely smash it right down, and smite the cultists for good measure.

Regardless, I don't think most good deities or their worshippers would see this as "desecrating" the altar, as much as cleansing and hallowing (perhaps literally) a land that has been corrupted by its evil presence. Of course, how they went about doing so would probably depend on the deity. A Caydenite would probably smash it to bits with reckless abandon, but a more ordered faith might have strict protocol for such events.

Grand Lodge

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Lord Fyre wrote:

When clerics of two different patrons encounter each other (out of combat at least) is it considered more polite to refer to the other cleric's patron by his/her name or by his/her title?

For example: When dealing (peacefully) with clerics of "Zon-Kuthon" does a cleric of Shelyn refer to their god as "Zon-Kuthon" or as "The Midnight Lord"? (The Shelynite -in this case- wishes the encounter to remain cordial.)

I have my religious characters use their god's title when addressing members who are not a part of their faith, and they in turn use the titles as well if they know them. I imagine it to be a little bit like the god stating "Only my friends get to call me Shelyn."

Another way of thinking of it is how medieval subjects would refer to their lord by title, rather than by name, but the lord's closest friends and servants (and they could get quite close) would be able to refer to them by name comfortably.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Another way of thinking of it is how medieval subjects would refer to their lord by title, rather than by name, but the lord's closest friends and servants (and they could get quite close) would be able to refer to them by name comfortably.

This makes a lot of sense. :)


I figure they use metaphors and nicknames. "The power of <Our> lord shall grant me the strength to strike down the deeds of your Pretender" Depending on the rivalry/hate smacktalk will vary.

They may not always f~%# up the other guy's church, but I can see it happening. Unlike today, burning down somebody's church can result in some mundane (as in not supernatural) consequences, but f!#$ing over Asmodeus' church could get you a visitation.

Generally I think churchs are fine with their people getting nuked, since they're all chesspieces. But be mindful about f+!~ing up some godling's house :)

Silver Crusade

Depends on who the two clerics are. For example I'd quite expect a Caydenite cleric to attempt to bloody the nose of an Asomdean cleric.

Any interaction between a Pharasman cleric and an Ungothran cleric is likely going to be violent in some way or another.

AND it depends what city they're in. If ANYONE in a sane civilzation meets a cleric of Rovagug, they're going to put that person down, without even thinking about it, because followers of Rovagug are nutters.

In the same way worshiping places of gods that are disallowed in a civilization are likely fair game for the deities who are allowed there. Once again with the Rovagug "temple". Burn that to the ground and hallow it then burn it again, just to make sure any taint is gone.


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Abadar vs Calistria is a more interesting case: they're both neutral and can empathise with at least some of each other's points of view (civilisation, commerce, legitimate revenge, fun times) and might well take advantage of each others' services (banking, prostitution). But they might not want to be seen together in public.

Grand Lodge

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Mudfoot wrote:
Abadar vs Calistria is a more interesting case: they're both neutral and can empathise with at least some of each other's points of view (civilisation, commerce, legitimate revenge, fun times) and might well take advantage of each others' services (banking, prostitution). But they might not want to be seen together in public.

You just gave me an idea for the head cleric of each church in a city having a relationship with each other, while the head cleric of the temple of Shelyn is trying to get them to marry.


I would assume it is mostly by the dieties proper name, possibly a title.

Grand Lodge

I imagine it would be very similar to when the "followers" of two powerful human leaders meet IRL. When a Brittish cop visits China, does he refer to the Premier as "Li?" I guess it depends on if the bobby wants to piss off his hosts.

Silver Crusade

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Daneel wrote:
I imagine it would be very similar to when the "followers" of two powerful human leaders meet IRL. When a Brittish cop visits China, does he refer to the Premier as "Li?" I guess it depends on if the bobby wants to piss off his hosts.

Well depends on how well the deities get along. I don't think a Caydenite would care if he pissed off an Asmodean

Sczarni

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ms. Pleiades wrote:


I have my religious characters use their god's title when addressing members who are not a part of their faith, and they in turn use the titles as well if they know them. I imagine it to be a little bit like the god stating "Only my friends get to call me Shelyn."

Another way of thinking of it is how medieval subjects would refer to their lord by title, rather than by name, but the lord's closest friends and servants (and they could get quite close) would be able to refer to them by name comfortably.

I do something similar. Other than a few of the major gods, most of my (PFS) players don't know the title right away. So I've found that both written NPC and myself will refer to both name and title the first time, and then use title for the rest of the conversation.

I mean look at Desna(link to wiki page), she has a ton of titles:

The Song of the Spheres
The Great Dreamer
Starsong
The Tender of Dreams
Lady Luck
Resplendent Goddess of Fortune
Goddess of the North Star
Queen of the North Star
Mother Moon

Would a PC know all of these? A cleric of Desna? yes. Other Clerics? Most likely with an knowledge check. Lay people? No way. Therefore whichever title a NPR is going to use should be prefaced the first time used; "Desna, Lady Luck"


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Lord Fyre wrote:


For example: When dealing (peacefully) with clerics of "Zon-Kuthon" does a cleric of Shelyn refer to their god as "Zon-Kuthon" or as "The Midnight Lord"? (The Shelynite -in this case- wishes the encounter to remain cordial.)

In that situation I think the Shelynite would call him The Brother of Our Beloved Lady. True, and not something the Kuthite can take offense to.

Grand Lodge

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hjgz89 wrote:
In that situation I think the Shelynite would call him The Brother of Our Beloved Lady. True, and not something the Kuthite can take offense to.

Probably off-topic, but if the Shelynite insults the Kuthite with a cutting remark, would that count as worship of Zon-Kuthon? And if it does, would the Kuthite still consider it an insult? And if the Kuthite enjoys the fact that the insult was worship of Zon-Kuthon, does it still count? And if …

… oh no, I've gone cross-eyed …

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