Deity lip-service and reskinning


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Liberty's Edge 5/5

If I'm not mistaken, the OP feels like his creativity is being hindered by some of the responses. In effect, it is to a certain degree. As a player of an organized campaign you have made a social contract to not only adhere to the rules of the campaign, but to play inside the world the campaign resides. As such, your creativity is restricted. You do not have wholesale creation or development rights.

If you can't discern the difference between crafting your characters special niche within the world by using the lore already available to you, and creating new lore that runs counter to what exists, then not sure our discussion will be productive.

Creating a small village with its own uniqueness next to a canon river in a canon country is fine. Expanding on existing canon lore to give your character more background details is great. I love it.

But any creation that would typically require GM approval in a home game (I.e.creating a whole new deity) is not ok in PFS. Because that is world creation, not detail fleshing out.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, the OP feels like his creativity is being hindered by some of the responses.

Nah, if anything it just cements my resolve to take the concept further and at least what I feel is a more creative direction. It does make me aware that there are a handful of GMs and VCs who strongly dissuade players from pursuing certain concepts in organized play that I was not aware of two days ago.

There's the other thread now to contain personal opinions about what GMs/VLs like and don't like and what they'd GM or not GM for regarding player-created fluff to try to keep this thread crisp when it comes to what witches and oracles can do in terms of fluffing the source of their powers.

I'd be interested (there, in that new thread) in understanding why you draw the line at a player inventing lore by way of a small village (aka Happytown) but are upset by someone who invents own lore for a witch patron, oracle's power source or eidolon and claiming it as a "deity" (aka Nutsy the Squirrel-God).

Shadow Lodge

Majuba wrote:
Combining them is the major issue, since there are potential mechanical benefits involved.

I think you're the first person to say this, so could you elaborate?

I don't think anyone's provided a deep example (it hasn't been necessary since nobody has said "no" up until now, at least in terms of what's allowed as opposed to what they wouldn't like to see).

So, I present Example #1 for dissection, we'll call her "Wanda the Witch of Tonatiuh."

Character is a witch, they select the Light patron.

Character roleplays as "I am an agent of Tonatiuh, the all-powerful Sun, a god among gods, sent to Golarion to bring light to the darkest depths."

Character also roleplays they are superstitious and fearful of all gods, and will mutter a prayer to Gozreh before a sea journey, mutter a prayer to Erastil to wish a newly married couple well, and mutter a prayer to some entity called "Metztli" before sleeping for the night.

At some point, to further guard themselves against bad omen, they begin to perform the deific obedience of Desna, dancing under the stars and reciting the names of all distant stars they can name.

Character selects Desna as their sole Golarion-based deity from which they will receive any and all mechanical benefits for organized play.

Character selects Deific Obedience (Desna).

I think the above example is all fully respectful of PFS rules and has no major issues with potentially undeserved mechanical benefits, right?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

wakedown wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Combining them is the major issue, since there are potential mechanical benefits involved.

I think you're the first person to say this, so could you elaborate?

I don't think anyone's provided a deep example (it hasn't been necessary since nobody has said "no" up until now, at least in terms of what's allowed as opposed to what they wouldn't like to see).

So, I present Example #1 for dissection, we'll call her "Wanda the Witch of Tonatiuh."

Character is a witch, they select the Light patron.

Character roleplays as "I am an agent of Tonatiuh, the all-powerful Sun, a god among gods, sent to Golarion to bring light to the darkest depths."

Character also roleplays they are superstitious and fearful of all gods, and will mutter a prayer to Gozreh before a sea journey, mutter a prayer to Erastil to wish a newly married couple well, and mutter a prayer to some entity called "Metztli" before sleeping for the night.

At some point, to further guard themselves against bad omen, they begin to perform the deific obedience of Desna, dancing under the stars and reciting the names of all distant stars they can name.

Character selects Desna as their sole Golarion-based deity from which they will receive any and all mechanical benefits for organized play.

Character selects Deific Obedience (Desna).

I think the above example is all fully respectful of PFS rules and has no major issues with potentially undeserved mechanical benefits, right?

This is fine except for:

Your witch patron is not a Sun God and is not a God among Gods and has not been sent to Golarion from anywhere to do anything. This is the meta creation that should be left to Paizo.

But if you want to name your witch patron Tonatiuh, a powerful being of Light from unknown origins from beyond the known stars or even from another dimension, I would have no problem with it.

See the difference there? One is imposing new lore onto existing Golarion lore. You don't have the right to create a new deity. That's meta world information that you shouldn't be creating.

The second option is ambiguous enough that it can easily fit into Golarion Lore. It is mysterious, and fits what you are going for.

But to say that your Witch Patron is a more powerful Sun God than Sarenrae is basically sticking your tongue out and flipping your middle finger at the Lore already created.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
This is fine except for..

Hmm, here's where maybe there's the confusion, and I've tried to be super clear on the points before.

The witch describing the patron as "the all-powerful Sun" is a witch actually describing a star (local? distant? who knows?). The witch making claims that this all-powerful Sun was the first-of-all-Suns and is the source of Creation... that's just their mumbo jumbo roleplay of that character and how they've fluffed a patron they've detailed out.

I've played with Razmirans who claimed all the gods are false except Razmir. They aren't flipping middle fingers at the Lore, they're interacting with it by providing an interesting roleplay pivot with it. In the hands of responsible players, this creates an eyeroll from Kyra where she holds up her hand and tells the party wizard that the Razmiran is crazy-in-the-head.

I've played with summoners who claimed their eidolon was actually an aboleth god when Golarion was just a nebuluous part of a greater universe. They've decreed Golarion gods since the "before times" are actually demi-gods and but a fraction of the power of the "oldest gods".

This is all just roleplay. Is what they are saying true? Are they absolutely crazy? Who knows? There's no attempt to subvert the lore, and in fact it's almost always intended to interact with the lore in a creative way. Player behind these characters (hopefully) know quite a bit of Golarion lore and are the antithesis of lazy because they are actually inviting the person playing Sarenrae to pop open Inner Sea Gods, study their deity and "bring their game" when it comes to having in-game, in-character debates about the multiverse, origins and polytheism.

Hopefully that helps make my point clearer, as it seems like your general point is more about people who are just too lazy to pop open a campaign book and invent stuff instead.. versus invent something because they've popped open too many campaign books and through creative roleplay interact with existing lore in new ways.

Grand Lodge

There is even a cleric archetype for this:Separatist.

You could worship another Sun God, such as Ra, and claim that he is also known as Pelor.

You could have a background that you were from a different plane, time or reality in which Ra was known as Pelor.

Maybe the character has a goal of finding his way back to Greyhawk where he is from, but now due to a magical mishap finds himself in Golarion, an alien land.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
wakedown wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Combining them is the major issue, since there are potential mechanical benefits involved.

I think you're the first person to say this, so could you elaborate?

I don't think anyone's provided a deep example (it hasn't been necessary since nobody has said "no" up until now, at least in terms of what's allowed as opposed to what they wouldn't like to see).

So, I present Example #1 for dissection, we'll call her "Wanda the Witch of Tonatiuh."

Character is a witch, they select the Light patron.

Character roleplays as "I am an agent of Tonatiuh, the all-powerful Sun, a god among gods, sent to Golarion to bring light to the darkest depths."

Character also roleplays they are superstitious and fearful of all gods, and will mutter a prayer to Gozreh before a sea journey, mutter a prayer to Erastil to wish a newly married couple well, and mutter a prayer to some entity called "Metztli" before sleeping for the night.

At some point, to further guard themselves against bad omen, they begin to perform the deific obedience of Desna, dancing under the stars and reciting the names of all distant stars they can name.

Character selects Desna as their sole Golarion-based deity from which they will receive any and all mechanical benefits for organized play.

Character selects Deific Obedience (Desna).

I think the above example is all fully respectful of PFS rules and has no major issues with potentially undeserved mechanical benefits, right?

If someone were to ask Wanda (in character) who she worships, what would she say?

If Wanda feels the need to equivocate and go into a long explanation...then the Diefic Obedience isn't appropriate. But if she truthfully reveres Desna above all others then there is no problem.

Now, what about Wanda's Familiar? A Witch's Familiar is an agent from the Witch's Patron and typically knows a lot more about the relationship than the Witch actually does. What kind of familiar does Wanda have, and what would *it* say about the Patron, if it was being truthful?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

Andrew Christian wrote:


This is fine except for:

Your witch patron is not a Sun God and is not a God among Gods and has not been sent to Golarion from anywhere to do anything. This is the meta creation that should be left to Paizo.

But if you want to name your witch patron Tonatiuh, a powerful being of Light from unknown origins from beyond the known stars or even from another dimension, I would have no problem with it.

See the difference there? One is imposing new lore onto existing Golarion lore. You don't have the right to create a new deity. That's meta world information that you shouldn't be creating.

The second option is ambiguous enough that it can easily fit into Golarion Lore. It is mysterious, and fits what you are going for.

But to say that your Witch Patron is a more powerful Sun God than Sarenrae is basically sticking your tongue out and flipping your middle finger at the Lore already created.

Wow, that is taking it really far, and reads really elitist to me.

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.
And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

But if I want to worship Hakawai the bird god, because I believe he saved me from the goblins, even if I recieve no mechanical benefit from it what so ever, that is wrong. Because Wakawai the bird god does not exist in the lore? Neither does Lutjebroek by the sea.

We are playing a fantasy game where you are fairly free to make your backstory and roleplay how you like. The only real restriction is that you cant bend things to give you actual benefits.

If someone came to my table saying they worshiped Hakawai the bird god with their ranger, because he believes Hakawai saved him from the Goblins. That is why he has favored enemy: Goblins, and always buys a bread and feeds it to the birds each session, I would love that.
Other players would be free to believe or disbelieve him. Maybe a Druid player would go with the idea and it would evolve because he educates the Ranger that Hakawai is a local nature spirit or something.
Maybe another player would pat the Ranger on the back with a "of course buddy" just thinking the loss of his village had driven the poor guy slightly mad, as there is no Bird God Hakawai. And they can have some nice roleplay about that.

I really dont see how creating your own god or spirit to believe in is a slap in the face of the Lore. Or lazy. I find it creative! Many existing gods have many aspects, and it is even canon for worshippers to adhere to a specific aspect of a god to revere.
Its a vast world out there. A world with magic. Not everything has to be so clearly defined by the rules. Let roleplay be roleplay. We have enough strict rules to abide by in PFS.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Woran wrote:

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.

And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

The difference is that there's (intentionally) enough blank spots on the map for small towns villiages, and people.

A god is a big enough thing that it should have a write up.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Woran wrote:

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.

And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

The difference is that there's (intentionally) enough blank spots on the map for small towns villiages, and people.

A god is a big enough thing that it should have a write up.

Exactly this.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

I think you misunderstand the intention. If I invent a 'God' I know its not canon. I know its not in the pantheon.
But there are enough holes in the pantheons, just as there are holes in the map.

I mean, for those thinking Nutsy the Squirrel god is weird, there is an actual empyrial lord of rainbows, I kid you not. Lalaci. His symbol is a rainbow.

And lets not start about the Tien practice of Kami. There are kami for everything, as they embody a certain aspect of, well, everything. There is a kami for scissors, for example. Of course, he is a long way down the ladder, as he falls under the higher kami of edged objects.

Anyway, I am starting to digress. I mean to say: there are holes in the pantheon. Filling that hole with your own creation doesnt mean I want it to be recognised as a real god. Of course not. I know its something that does not excist, or if it does, it is at least an aspect of a bigger entity.
But the thing is: My character does not. My character is convinced its a real thing.
And that gives a wide opening for others to play with. It does not give me powers, but it does give me, and others who play with me a handle to have roleplay moments with me.
Either because they want to convice me I am bonkers, a heretic, or want to edjucate me that the house spirit I revere is an aspect of a bigger entity, sparking a spiritual journey for my character.

That is way more fun in my book then a "what do you worship?" "Desna." "oh, ok."

EDIT: Of course I understand I can never recieve a mechanical benefit from this, and I understand that if someone comes at your table expecting that they will recieve benefits, or that everyone sees their made up god/spirit as all powerfull as they do, and resist roleplay about it, yeah that is annoying. I am just looking at this from a point of view that things like this can create a lot of fun for everyone.

Grand Lodge

Woran wrote:

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.

And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

But if I want to worship Hakawai the bird god, because I believe he saved me from the goblins, even if I recieve no mechanical benefit from it what so ever, that is wrong. Because Wakawai the bird god does not exist in the lore? Neither does Lutjebroek by the sea.

You are ignoring large parts of what makes Wakedown's character unpalatable for people.

I would have no problem with some character worshipping some minor god they created for fluff reasons, so long as it was presented as a minor god with a niche portfolio that fit in the campaign world.

What Wakedown seems to be talking about is presenting a diety that pretty much overlaps the portfolio of a major god in the pantheon and claiming that it is more powerful.

On top of that he wants to be able to take the deific obedience of some other god, and either say that worshipping his created god allows him to take it, or really worship the other god but play his character like he worships the made up god, or something else that allows him to gain the benefits from the deific obedience while not playing a character who actually worships the god that grants it in any way.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

dwayne germaine wrote:
Woran wrote:

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.

And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

But if I want to worship Hakawai the bird god, because I believe he saved me from the goblins, even if I recieve no mechanical benefit from it what so ever, that is wrong. Because Wakawai the bird god does not exist in the lore? Neither does Lutjebroek by the sea.

You are ignoring large parts of what makes Wakedown's character unpalatable for people.

I would have no problem with some character worshipping some minor god they created for fluff reasons, so long as it was presented as a minor god with a niche portfolio that fit in the campaign world.

What Wakedown seems to be talking about is presenting a diety that pretty much overlaps the portfolio of a major god in the pantheon and claiming that it is more powerful.

On top of that he wants to be able to take the deific obedience of some other god, and either say that worshipping his created god allows him to take it, or really worship the other god but play his character like he worships the made up god, or something else that allows him to gain the benefits from the deific obedience while not playing a character who actually worships the god that grants it in any way.

I can understand that a lot of people have a problem of inserting a god from a different setting because it can be breaking the immersion of Golarion.

But that is not the point I am making. A lot of people in this thread and the other are against creating ANY god or spirit, major or minor by yourself. Even if you do not gain a mechenical benefit from it, it should not be done, they say, because a god is something too major.
While I am advocating that it is not something major, its just something your character believes in. And that provides roleplay oppurtunities, as its is something ONLY your character believes in (and others never even heard of)

5/5

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PCs can say anything they want. I have a PC who is a direct lineal descendant of Aroden (at least, that's what he's been told). I have actually met Aroden Reborn, and also a gnome who claimed to be a goblin. I assumed they were both nuts. None of this is a problem. I can claim to worship Pelor if I want (although it is a singularly poor choice, since it is meta).

Here's the issue: if I claim to worship a made-up entity, that's fine, provided I don't also actually worship a real god that has powers and actually cares what her worshippers say. Denying Desna repeatedly, and she will stop giving you any mechanical benefits (even faith traits).

Silver Crusade

GM Lamplighter wrote:
Denying Desna repeatedly, and she will stop giving you any mechanical benefits (even faith traits).

Desna, probably. Calistria, maybe, I think it will depend upon context. Baazlebul, on the other hand, might smile upon all of your lies.

Shadow Lodge

I think the concept actually sounds pretty okay.

It isn't out of the ordinary for this character to exist, especially if he occasionally talks about other deities in comparison and throws out the odd "oh yeah, Sarenrae is okay too..." line in there once or twice per scenario, which would explain why a deity would think such a person could be converted to their faith will a little divine magical guidance.

To meet the requirements of the class or feat or whatever and still allow the "reskin", you can just pick one deity that you're "supposed" to have, and roleplay it as if Pelor is the real deity - even though that's not the case.

That's just one way to make (most of) this work. Something similar could be worked out to make it more acceptable and less prone to table variation.

Shadow Lodge

It's worth mentioning again that my personal interest in creating a character has never had anything to do with Pelor - it was just an example I gave in the very first post "for the purpose of the discussion".

I selected Pelor for the example knowing it would be clearly recognized as a non-Golarion name (versus Zzglargrax, which who knows, may exist in the daemon book for all anyone knows as there's tons of obscure little names sprinkled throughout the game). In a later post, I reiterate this and suggest if commenters take issue specifically with Pelor, assume the witch patron/oracle source name is Brock or Bulmahn or Nutsy or any word you like.

In terms of what's mechanically allowed in PFS play - Pelor, Zzglargrax, Nutsy... it's all the same. If it's a proper noun nowhere printed in Pathfinder's rules - they are all essentially the same as far as the rules are concerned.

I personally wouldn't take objection to someone naming a witch patron of Light, "Pelor"... I think it's nice nod to Gary Gygax for helping build the sandbox we all play in, although ultimately I'd give even more props to a player if their patron was one of arbitrary randomness (Time patron?) named Zagyg.

This thread does help me warn players in our region (as well as be self-warned) that if they travel elsewhere, like to PaizoCon, they will encounter others who will give them very stern looks (or even turn them away!) on their fluffing.

Shadow Lodge

dwayne germaine wrote:

What Wakedown seems to be talking about is presenting a diety that pretty much overlaps the portfolio of a major god in the pantheon and claiming that it is more powerful.

On top of that he wants to be able to take the deific obedience of some other god...

If you scan my posts, you can see I'm talking about stuff that is all pretty straightforward actually.

1) Witch selects their patron as usual and names it something. For this response, I'll use Zzglargrax again.

2) Witch roleplays "Yes, Zzglargrax was the Creator of All. He is more powerful than all the gods combined".

Is the witch crazy? Have they some insight into the Beyond? Who knows? There's nothing that prevents a witch from naming their patron and playing them as some super powerful super-god. They have not at this point selected any Golarion deities for the one they receive mechanical deity-based benefits from for PFS play (in which you get one in PFS).

3) The witch can still appreciate all the Golarion gods, even though Zzglargrax is more powerful than all of them combined in her eyes.

4) She can decide that one of Golarion's gods is actually in fact closest to her ideals and respect that one more than all the others (heck, as much as all the remaining Golarion gods combined). She could select Nethys for example.

5) She could perform the daily obedience for Nethys, knowing this makes Nethys happy.

She could wave her hand at doing the same for Zzglargrax when asked, claiming such things as "Zzglargrax would care not for what I do each day, the day he will devour the universe to rebirth it again is set in stone.".

There's nothing in Deific Obedience that says you forsake all other deities/patrons/etc.

Honestly, I don't think there's anything sketchy here (aka disallowed mechanically, reinforced by rules). I know some folks are seeing it as sketchy and outside of the rules, and that's a bummer - but at this point, it seems to be all kosher ruleswise. This thread's really an attempt to be educational in that way.

Dark Archive

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I think the issue people have is Deific Obedience isn't just belief. It isn't just worship. Deific Obedience is a step above - you are entirely committed to a particular deity and carrying out their will. That just doesn't fit well with the idea that you're actually revering another god higher. You may be able to argue by RAW that Deific Obedience does not technically state you cannot have any other faith and get away with it, but you're not likely to get a positive response from the rest of the table by doing so.

5/5

Agree with Tiger Lily - your concept is fine, you just can't have it and still get actual powers from an actual god.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
wakedown wrote:

There's nothing in Deific Obedience that says you forsake all other deities/...

Actually, in PFS, from a mechanical standpoint, that is *exactly* what "worships a deity" means. You can acknowledge the existence of other deities. But you cannot put them on the same level or higher than the deity that you profess to worship for mechanical benefits.

And the prereqs for "Deific Obedience" are:

"Prerequisites: Knowledge (religion) 3 ranks, must worship a deity."

You can't get out of that clause just because ZZglargrax hasn't been defined in Golarion.

It's trying to have it both ways that is the problem. If you want to make up a deity that you worship, then do that. I might roll my eyes and be mildly annoyed, but I'll play along. But you can't get a mechanical benefit from another deity at the same time.

5/5

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The Fox wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Denying Desna repeatedly, and she will stop giving you any mechanical benefits (even faith traits).
Desna, probably. Calistria, maybe, I think it will depend upon context. Baazlebul, on the other hand, might smile upon all of your lies.

Actually, religion traits specify that if you stop worshipping that deity, you lose the trait. (I mispoke earlier, and meant religion traits, not faith traits). There are no rules for this because it's obvious to most people, that if you are overtly worshipping another entity, and just pretending to worship Desna so you can get her faith trait, that you are gaming the system. I wouldn't allow this at my table, and I believe the rules back me on this.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
pH unbalanced wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Woran wrote:

So I can invent Lutjebroek by the sea, a nice coastal town in varisia, close to sandpoint and have a backstory how goblins burned it down, and then I moved to sandpoint which got again attacked by goblins, but that town survived.

And that is all right. I invent a new place and what happened to it, and that is fine.

The difference is that there's (intentionally) enough blank spots on the map for small towns villiages, and people.

A god is a big enough thing that it should have a write up.

Exactly this.

Just wanted to say that when I made my reply here, I thought it was in the other thread. For me this is a personal preference stance, not a rules stance.

Shadow Lodge

Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
You may be able to argue by RAW that Deific Obedience does not technically state you cannot have any other faith and get away with it, but you're not likely to get a positive response from the rest of the table by doing so.

This is good rules (as intended, as written, etc) discussion now.

I see Akari, pH, and Lamplighter are suggesting/agreeing that if you take Deific Obedience, it would be looked down upon to roleplay a relationship with any other patron/power/faith.

I'm supportive of this stance. However - is there text somewhere to support this - to indicate this is a rule as intended?

**

Could someone not create a character that is roleplayed as born to a Varisian caravan, where he was raised to respect Desna, slept under the stars and said a goodnight prayer to her? Then, his caravan is beset upon by orcs who murder everyone but himself? He wanders into a town and learns about Calistia, and swears to avenge himself against those same orcs. Each morning, he swears to Calistria he will achieve this, while continuing to pray to Desna at night before he retires. At some point, he also learn about Irori and prays to him for the strength to carry out his plans.

His backstory concludes here, and now that he begins statting himself for PFS play, he states his "sole deity for mechanical benefits will be Calistria". Now, he's locked in to only selecting feats/traits/etc for Calistria - nobody else.

As such, he takes Deific Obedience for Calistria.

Whenever this character can, he performs this obedience.

Additionally, as he continues to seek vengeance, he regularly sleeps under the stars and remembers his family. Before falling asleep, he mutters a prayer to Desna to watch over his family in the Great Beyond.

Here's a character who maintains a reverential relationship with several bonified deities each day via roleplay. However, he's selected one for mechanical benefit - as he is specifically required to do in PFS organized play rules.

Are the three of you saying, you would not give this player a positive reaction for his character, because you see somewhere written that he should have forsaken Desna and Irori and now roleplay his "fluff" as a sole relationship with Calistria only?

(Also note, this is a more restrictive example as it involves actual sanctioned deities. The earlier one was regarding that a witch with a patron would be looked down upon for taking Deific Obedience, because obedience to that deity would conflict with a roleplayed reverence of their patron.)

Shadow Lodge

GM Lamplighter wrote:
.. pretending to worship Desna so you can get her faith trait, that you are gaming the system. I wouldn't allow this at my table, and I believe the rules back me on this.

What might also be helpful is instead of saying "no, I wouldn't allow this" when looking at the situation... perhaps discuss what you would allow? This would help zero on what some folks are comfortable with versus what others aren't.

I've never given examples where someone "pretended" to worship a deity, all relationships with powerful beings were ones in which the character actually maintained a degree of respect with at least the powerful beings he was explictly stated to have a relationship with (for both fluff and crunch). If his fluff/crunch was her patron is ZZglargrax the Devourer, and she maintained a deific obedience to Nethys because she not only related to the two-faced god, but felt Nethys was the only one who might be able to stop ZZglargrax (while all other deities combined could not even cause ZZglargrax to pause) - it's genuine reverence for both ZZglargrax and Nethys.

I know some other folks had examples where they were actually lying about revering Desna and then doing a deific obedience to a deity of Deceipt, though - but those were never my examples.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

In this instance. What the would allow is implicit.

Silver Crusade

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GM Lamplighter wrote:
The Fox wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Denying Desna repeatedly, and she will stop giving you any mechanical benefits (even faith traits).
Desna, probably. Calistria, maybe, I think it will depend upon context. Baazlebul, on the other hand, might smile upon all of your lies.
Actually, religion traits specify that if you stop worshipping that deity, you lose the trait. (I mispoke earlier, and meant religion traits, not faith traits). There are no rules for this because it's obvious to most people, that if you are overtly worshipping another entity, and just pretending to worship Desna so you can get her faith trait, that you are gaming the system. I wouldn't allow this at my table, and I believe the rules back me on this.

I think I misunderstood you earlier.

I thought you were talking about the situation where the character worships Calistria, say, but lies about that for one reason or another.

There are instances—such as infiltrating a rival church to gather intelligence on the organization—where I think Calistria would be okay with that. There are almost no instances where Desna would be okay with that. And Baazlebul would actually support that fully pretty much all the time.

The case where the character is paying lip service to a deity just for the mechanical benefit while actually following another is entirely different. In that case, I totally agree with you.

Dark Archive

I'd have no general problem with a character who worships multiple deities. Heck, I'd actually be fine with a standard cleric who derived their power from one deity, but offered up occasional prayers to others (as long as they were of similar alignment). But when you start getting into the Inner Sea Gods materials, such as Deific Obedience or the prestige classes, you're talking about taking things to a whole additional level, beyond even many of that deities full time clergy. I don't have any problem with revering multiple deities, but no, I would not be comfortable with such a character taking Deific Obedience, as Deific Obedience implies a far tighter connection to the deity in question.

Your example also has some alignment issues - for example, I do think Calistria would start taking personal exception to one of her supposed "devout followers" legitimately praying to Irori, who is pretty much her opposite. Tricking a bunch of those foolish Irori followers into thinking you're a practitioner? That's cool, Calistria has Deception as a domain, but actual prayer, not so much.

Shadow Lodge

The Fox wrote:
The case where the character is paying lip service to a deity just for the mechanical benefit while actually following another is entirely different. In that case, I totally agree with you.

I'm also 100% agreed here, which is why the thread is called "Deity lip- service and reskinning", which in the first post I call out as pretty much not allowed, and try to spark the discussion of what is allowed.

I'm actually one of the types of GMs that looks at a player who is playing say a Paladin of Irori 5/Druid 5 who spends all their time shapechanged as wondering - "really? wouldn't Irori be kind of disappointed that you are never in your native/true form and trying to master/perfect it?"

My questions (still in that original post) are many-fold and impact upon many characters in our region (none of which are mine, even!).

I know one of our local players is likely lurking on every post in this thread as one of the characters weighed upon by this discussion is their Priest of Razmir who has also taken levels as an Evangelist of Iomedae (and has yet to roleplay saying anything at all about Razmir).

/waves-at-said-player

I feel like we need to get through the basic discussion about "can you take Deific Obedience for one deity while having roleplay fluff that you maintain a relationship with other deities/faiths/patrons deriving no mechanical benefit thereof" before the discussion can evolve to those next steps, though.

Dark Archive

wakedown wrote:
I know one of our local players is likely lurking on every post in this thread as one of the characters weighed upon by this discussion is their Priest of Razmir who has also taken levels as an Evangelist of Iomedae (and has yet to roleplay saying anything at all about Razmir).

Sorry to your player, but wow, I'm not even sure where someone would get the idea that combination should work (assuming you're talking about the Sorcerer archetype). Razmir is LE, Iomedae is LG, and it's trying to use kinda-sorta-pretends divine and genuine divine power from such dissonant sources. If the character still followed Razmir (which is a requirement to maintain the abilities of the Razmiran Priest archetype), Iomedae would not take that character as an Evangelist; If they forsook Razmir to follow Iomedae, they would lose the special abilities of the archetype as they are no longer being fed by Razmir's power.

5/5

Well, Razmir isn't actually a god, and so he isn't actually feeding any power to anyone... so it's a bit of a grey area. But if you claim to be a Razmiran "priest", Iomedae is going to just say no.

Silver Crusade 5/5

The Fox wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Denying Desna repeatedly, and she will stop giving you any mechanical benefits (even faith traits).
Desna, probably. Calistria, maybe, I think it will depend upon context. Baazlebul, on the other hand, might smile upon all of your lies.

Actually, I would assume that Asmodeus and the Archdevils (note to self, great band name) have an exclusivity clause worked into their Faustian contracts for power.

Edit: I do agree that they would be fine with a worshipper lying about it it to infiltrate a group, though.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
wakedown wrote:
Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
You may be able to argue by RAW that Deific Obedience does not technically state you cannot have any other faith and get away with it, but you're not likely to get a positive response from the rest of the table by doing so.

This is good rules (as intended, as written, etc) discussion now.

I see Akari, pH, and Lamplighter are suggesting/agreeing that if you take Deific Obedience, it would be looked down upon to roleplay a relationship with any other patron/power/faith.

I'm supportive of this stance. However - is there text somewhere to support this - to indicate this is a rule as intended?

There's been a long, ongoing conversation on this subject. I'll go looking for links later, but I want to summarize my understanding first.

RAW for PFS is that if you want to worship someone, you must worship one deity that is on the official list of deities who is within one alignment step of your character. Full stop. So, no worshipping Fluffy the Squirrel God, no worshipping ZZglargrax, no worshipping the Old Ones, no worshipping Iomedae if your alignment isn't LN, LG, or NG.

Some people felt that was too limiting, and so after a long discussion it was decided that you could "venerate" any deity, notwithstanding the RAW restrictions. This allows you to be a follower of a deity that is not allowed by RAW, with the proviso that you may not gain any mechanical benefit from this veneration. So now my CN character who believes the Iomedae's teachings are the best, but can never seem to live up to them, can say she worships Iomedae.

Getting that much leeway was not easy, and many people argued against it. But leadership did finally agree to allowing "veneration". However, implicit in the entire conversation was that you were still limited to one deity -- that what you were essentially doing was giving up *all mechanical benefit of worship* for the ability to roleplay that you were the worshipper of a deity that you didn't meet the RAW restrictions of.

(I'm ignoring pantheons for the moment -- worshipping a pantheon is a thing, although even then you need to have a primary deity. Your Calistria/Desna example would be satisfied by being a worshipper of the "Elven Pantheon" (which includes both Calistria and Desna) with Calistria being your primary. Pantheon's are described more fully in Faiths and Philosophies.)

So I'm not sure if it was clearly stated that you could not "worship" one deity and "venerate" the other, but it was implicit in the context of the conversation.

The analogy I use for all of this is as follows:

An Oracle gets their power from this guy who just gives you stuff. Maybe you have a relationship with them, and maybe you don't -- it doesn't matter. You just got these powers in the mail and now they're yours.

A Witch gets their power through a contract. The relationship between a Witch and their Patron is a business relationship. Maybe you like your Patron, maybe you don't -- the only thing that matters is that you both follow the terms of your agreement.

Worship/Veneration is a marriage, and in PFS it has been ruled that this marriage must be monogamous. You are allowed to get a divorce and get remarried, but you can only be married to one person at a time -- and no cheating. If you are married to Nethys, he's not going to put up with it if you spend your time having an affair with ZZglargax. Where the line is can be a little vague, but a good rule of thumb is that if your fellow players get confused as to who you are married to, that you've crossed it.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Regarding veneration, I see no problem with some worshipping a deity and venerating one or more others, within reason. For example, I have no issues with someone that wishes to worship Sarenrae and venerate Desna and/or Erastil. However I would definitely have issue with some that wants to worship Iomedae while venerating Norgorber. I would also have issue with people worshipping one deity but proclaiming that another deity (real or made-up) was more true, or more powerful.

Silver Crusade

Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
wakedown wrote:
I know one of our local players is likely lurking on every post in this thread as one of the characters weighed upon by this discussion is their Priest of Razmir who has also taken levels as an Evangelist of Iomedae (and has yet to roleplay saying anything at all about Razmir).
Sorry to your player, but wow, I'm not even sure where someone would get the idea that combination should work (assuming you're talking about the Sorcerer archetype). Razmir is LE, Iomedae is LG, and it's trying to use kinda-sorta-pretends divine and genuine divine power from such dissonant sources. If the character still followed Razmir (which is a requirement to maintain the abilities of the Razmiran Priest archetype), Iomedae would not take that character as an Evangelist; If they forsook Razmir to follow Iomedae, they would lose the special abilities of the archetype as they are no longer being fed by Razmir's power.

That's not quite the whole story. The character has always worshipped Iomedae, but was trained by a Razmiran as a child in the techniques of Razmir's priests without her ever knowing where they came from. Because the archetype doesn't have a rules line saying "must worship Razmir," nor is he an actual god, the assumption was that the archetype represented the skills his "priests" have learned, and wasn't tied to a direct worship of him. That post from Mike Brock seems to counter that interpretation, sadly.

The basic concept of the character is a sorc that believes wholeheartedly that they are not just a cleric, but a favored servant of Iomedae that gets to break the normal rules (she actually calls herself a curseless oracle).

Dark Archive

Hrothdane wrote:

That's not quite the whole story. The character has always worshipped Iomedae, but was trained by a Razmiran as a child in the techniques of Razmir's priests without her ever knowing where they came from. Because the archetype doesn't have a rules line saying "must worship Razmir," nor is he an actual god, the assumption was that the archetype represented the skills his "priests" have learned, and wasn't tied to a direct worship of him. That post from Mike Brock seems to counter that interpretation, sadly.

The basic concept of the character is a sorc that believes wholeheartedly that they are not just a cleric, but a favored servant of Iomedae that gets to break the normal rules (she actually calls herself a curseless oracle).

It should be noted that I actually love unusual concepts like this. The tricky bit comes with it being PFS instead of a home game, where we are bound by the Word of Brock. Word of Brock is that the Razmiran Priest Sorcerer is a follower of Razmir, no exceptions permitted (I believe this should be relaxed a bit, but at the moment, that is the law).

Reading up on the fluff a bit - if it weren't a home game, I'd actually be cool with departing Razmir's church and retaining your knowledge to this point, since as was stated above, it's not a granted power but something you are taught. Probably wouldn't allow gaining any more archetype abilities, as presumably you are no longer a member of the church and they are no longer teaching them to you.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
UndeadMitch wrote:
Regarding veneration, I see no problem with some worshipping a deity and venerating one or more others, within reason. For example, I have no issues with someone that wishes to worship Sarenrae and venerate Desna and/or Erastil. However I would definitely have issue with some that wants to worship Iomedae while venerating Norgorber. I would also have issue with people worshipping one deity but proclaiming that another deity (real or made-up) was more true, or more powerful.

Again, this get picked up through the Pantheon rules. Sarenrae, Desna, and Erastil are all in the "Sandpoint Pantheon" so you can do this by worshipping the pantheon, with Sarenrae as your primary.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:


It should be noted that I actually love unusual concepts like this. The tricky bit comes with it being PFS instead of a home game, where we are bound by the Word of Brock.

Yeah, it's very weird for me, too. I was very much on the side of "you can't dictate to me who my character worships." But at the same time, there was always an understanding that the price of Freedom of Roleplay Religion was that no mechanical benefits would ever be gained.

Silver Crusade 5/5

pH unbalanced wrote:
UndeadMitch wrote:
Regarding veneration, I see no problem with some worshipping a deity and venerating one or more others, within reason. For example, I have no issues with someone that wishes to worship Sarenrae and venerate Desna and/or Erastil. However I would definitely have issue with some that wants to worship Iomedae while venerating Norgorber. I would also have issue with people worshipping one deity but proclaiming that another deity (real or made-up) was more true, or more powerful.
Again, this get picked up through the Pantheon rules. Sarenrae, Desna, and Erastil are all in the "Sandpoint Pantheon" so you can do this by worshipping the pantheon, with Sarenrae as your primary.

Like I said, that was just an example. The specific deities are irrelevant, it could just as easily be Cayden Cailean, Abadar. Pantheons aren't a fix-all, especially if the PC doesn't have a legal source for pantheons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wakedown wrote:
Let me know if I've gotten anything wrong there. Yes, I get that some people will turn away a player who shows up with their patron named Pinky/Pelor/Banjo or encourage them to rebuild to something more "appropriate", but there's nothing expressly forbidding such in PFS play.

Like many folks who try to justify a concept they know is wrong, they go to the "I can't find a rule that forbids this.." defense. It's a fallacious approach because the rule-set is about what's ALLOWED, not what's forbidden.

If you tell me that there is nothing that says you can't play a Star Wars Jedi Knight, I will concede the point. I will then ask you to show me the rule that specifically allows such a character.

Dark Archive

There's also some degree to which domains play into things. For example, it wouldn't be unusual for even a lawful person to offer up a quick prayer to Calistria if they've been slighted and want to see the offender punished, or for a chaotic neutral hunter to offer up a quick prayer to Erastil for a good hunt, as you are directly addressing their domains. However, should it become routine for someone who draws some manner of divine power from their primary deity, that would start to be an issue and they'd be likely to withdraw their power until you correct your ways.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
UndeadMitch wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
UndeadMitch wrote:
Regarding veneration, I see no problem with some worshipping a deity and venerating one or more others, within reason. For example, I have no issues with someone that wishes to worship Sarenrae and venerate Desna and/or Erastil. However I would definitely have issue with some that wants to worship Iomedae while venerating Norgorber. I would also have issue with people worshipping one deity but proclaiming that another deity (real or made-up) was more true, or more powerful.
Again, this get picked up through the Pantheon rules. Sarenrae, Desna, and Erastil are all in the "Sandpoint Pantheon" so you can do this by worshipping the pantheon, with Sarenrae as your primary.
Like I said, that was just an example. The specific deities are irrelevant, it could just as easily be Cayden Cailean, Abadar. Pantheons aren't a fix-all, especially if the PC doesn't have a legal source for pantheons.

Oh, you mean the "Taldan Pantheon" :) :) :) :)

I get your point, though.

Here's a link to a thread about all PFS legal deities. In the first post there is a link to a Google doc which includes all the legal pantheons.

EDIT: Better yet, here is the post in that thread specifically talking about the legality of pantheons.

EDIT2: Sorry, the entire reason I posted the links to the pantheons was because even if you can't legally worship a pantheon (because you don't own F&P) it still gives you an idea of which deities will tolerate a little bit of overlap if you throw one of their pantheon partners the occasional prayer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hrothdane wrote:

Ugh. Post from Brock makes me sad.

I would argue that the oracle can do whatever they want, as the iconic is a Rahadoumi atheist. If you dont technically need to worship anything at all, why would you be prevented from venerating whatever you want? If it's not a god from the Golarion setting, it would make you functionally an atheist oracle.

Oracles are a special case in that worship is not required as they aren't willingly entering a dietie's service, they've essentially been drafted into becoming divine conduits. Of course this would make said person very unwelcome in Rahadoum.

Silver Crusade 5/5

pH unbalanced wrote:
UndeadMitch wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
UndeadMitch wrote:
Regarding veneration, I see no problem with some worshipping a deity and venerating one or more others, within reason. For example, I have no issues with someone that wishes to worship Sarenrae and venerate Desna and/or Erastil. However I would definitely have issue with some that wants to worship Iomedae while venerating Norgorber. I would also have issue with people worshipping one deity but proclaiming that another deity (real or made-up) was more true, or more powerful.
Again, this get picked up through the Pantheon rules. Sarenrae, Desna, and Erastil are all in the "Sandpoint Pantheon" so you can do this by worshipping the pantheon, with Sarenrae as your primary.
Like I said, that was just an example. The specific deities are irrelevant, it could just as easily be Cayden Cailean, Abadar. Pantheons aren't a fix-all, especially if the PC doesn't have a legal source for pantheons.

Oh, you mean the "Taldan Pantheon" :) :) :) :)

I get your point, though.

Here's a link to a thread about all PFS legal deities. In the first post there is a link to a Google doc which includes all the legal pantheons.

EDIT: Better yet, here is the post in that thread specifically talking about the legality of pantheons.

Yes, pantheons are nice, but they do little good for someone without Faiths and Philosophies, or someone in Core mode

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
UndeadMitch wrote:
Yes, pantheons are nice, but they do little good for someone without Faiths and Philosophies, or someone in Core mode

Sorry, you caught me mid-edit -- here's the point I *meant* to make above:

Quote:
EDIT2: Sorry, the entire reason I posted the links to the pantheons was because even if you can't legally worship a pantheon (because you don't own F&P) it still gives you an idea of which deities will tolerate a little bit of overlap if you throw one of their pantheon partners the occasional prayer.

No disagreement about your main point, though.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Ah, I get your point now, and that's something I can get behind.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Woran wrote:


The Doctor showing up on the Enterprise, however, is canon. He even offered Spock a Jelly Baby.

Unfortunately, comic books aren't canon for either series.

Shadow Lodge

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All right, I told you that I would find links for you.

First of all, here is the FAQ which sets out the rules. It has a later date than some of the other threads I'm going to link to, but it's more of a codification of the earlier rules than a change. Note that by strictest RAW (which is what this is) there is no allowance for lip-service or worship of non-canon deities *at all*.

This is the oldest thread I could find on the subject. It began by discussing the legality of worshipping the Old Gods (shudder), and moved into trying to explore grey areas of strict RAW. The main discussion moved to this thread, which explored whether it was possible for a character who did not receive a mechanical benefit from worshipping a deity could maybe stretch the RAW limitations. I believe this is the first time that "venerate" was used.

This thread is where the above listed FAQ was announced. You will see that in this discussion it had pretty clearly become conventional wisdom that veneration was a thing, but it was also exclusively discussed in terms of worship *or* veneration, never worshipping one deity while venerating another.

This thread is the most recent discussion I've seen. I linked to the post that gives the clearest, most concise explanation of how "worship" and "venerate" are used. The main thing to notice about that thread is how little disagreement there is. Let me repeat: it's a discussion of an emotional area of the rules on the PFS forums, and there was essentially no disagreement -- that should tell you how clear the consensus is on this matter.

Hopefully that helps. The thing to understand is that anyone insisting on having RAW show them why they can't do many of the things you have put in your examples is that RAW doesn't allow *anything* outside of having one deity from the Golarion canon (with the small exception of pantheons). So if they *really* want to go with RAW, they will be much more limited than the answers we've been giving you in this thread.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Alexander Lenz wrote:

I would not have a problem with that but maybe that comes from playing with a VL who fanaticly tries to get the (non divine casters) to worship his Eidolon as a God of Fluffyness and "all cute things" -> As long as everyone at the table is ok with that i do not see a problem if there is you can remain silent because you do not get anything mechanicly from this. Not to say that I play with a Paladin of Erastil since 4 Levels and must ask every Scenario what god he worships because it could be any "good god wiht something to do with nature/boats" so i do not think it is THAT relevant to know the exact god of a divine class -> Heck there is even a seperatist archetype for those wierdo Clerics.

And because of Crossovers: After seeing someone playing Sara Kerrigan (Starcraft) as an Eidolon of his (pretty nonexistant) summoner and that contributing much to the fun of the table i have no problem with crossovers.

But all in all as long you do not disturb the table with it do it if it makes the game more fun.

Well, I guess there is a difference between the inspiration for a character (in my chase usually a piece of art (picture, game novel) and how you actually want to RP the character.

When it comes to the specific rules question in the OP, the only issue, that is a bit unclear is Deific Obedience and the Evangelist class. Claiming as part of your RP to be the disciple of one god, and having another god on your character sheet (and the corresponding obedience feat... well expect table variation), and since this can ruin a character, I would advise against doing so.

(Unless you know the GMs in your are and ask them ahead of time).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ph answer and link to the FAQ is right on the money. If you want to venerate "squirrel girl", you can. You however can gain absolutely no mechanical benefit from any religious based traits, abilities, or feats.

If you want to gain any mechanical benefit from a religious trait, feat, or ability, you must worship a specific god. I can empathize with players wanting "different" characters, but setting consistency is also a factor as well. For example if you have "butterfly sting" as a feat, you must be a worshipper of Desna to have the feat work.

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