Deity lip-service and reskinning


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Shadow Lodge

pH unbalanced wrote:
Lots of awesome FAQ links and thread links that are *very* relevant to this discussion.

@pH: Can you run your understanding of those against the example I posted (and essentially keep re-posting?)

In the link above, I have never said "Worship" or "Venerate" Zzglargrax (the witch's patron). I have simply suggested a witch, like you mention, forms a relationship with their patron (much like a business one) and in roleplay suggests that Zzglargrax is more powerful than any god.

I like to think of this in HeroLab terms. When this PC is filling in the "Deity" dropdown, they do NOT click "Other" and then manually type in "Zzglargrax".

This witch has a choice now with how they handle their Deity dropdown, they can:
1) Pick atheist (does not believe in any gods, and thus unlocks feats like Godless healing)

2) Pick a legal Golarion deity (and thus presumably "Worship" or "Venerate" said god, alignment permitting) and then open up feat/traits exclusive to that deity.

3) Pick "Other" and fill something in, knowing that they are now not able to select any deity-related feats, nor claim they are an atheist and derive any such benefits.

So, again, presuming you show up to a PFS game and your character has clearly listed the one-and-only answer for their official, mechanical deity (whether you use "Worship" or "Venerate" as the verb)... your "Patron" can be a different entity, no? And you can roleplay yourself as "yeah, I'm telling you, Patron is one bad-ass dude - if he and Gorum got into a fight, he'd probably win".

Thus, the Zzglargrax example that netted objections... may be in fact not-that-objectionable?

Note: in the above post I have been using "Worship" (with a capital "W") or "Veneration" (with a capital "V") to indicate rules-bound "Worship" for mechanical appropriation by game rules.

When I use "worship" (with a lowercase "w"), the quotations indicate a relationship-that-is-not-Worship-with-a-capital-W-but-is-like-the-dictionar y-definition ~ "adoring reverence or regard", which is purely used in roleplay or backstory fluff.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

I see my post on Deities was linked, here are the rules on Deities all laid out:

PFS Guide pg 10 wrote:
Religion: Characters can elect to worship any deity listed in a table of gods in the Core Rulebook, The Inner Sea World Guide, Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Gods and Magic, or any other source listed as an official Additional Resource. Characters may elect to worship an evil god, but must always be within one alignment step of their chosen deity. For clerics, this is an especially important choice, since the deity’s alignment determines whether the cleric channels positive or negative energy, a decision with significant tactical implications for the cleric and her allies. Clerics, inquisitors, paladins, cavaliers of the order of the star, and samurai of the order of the star must choose a deity as all classes in Golarion that receive spells and abilities from a specific divine source receive their powers from a deity. Druids, oracles, and rangers are the exception to this rule. The list is not exhaustive, and divine spellcasters of any future classes whose sources are added as additional resources will be required to choose a deity unless otherwise specified. Otherwise, characters who do not receive powers from a divine source may choose to be atheists or to have no deity at all.

So what does this mean?

You can elect to worship a deity but it must come from a legal source as laid out above.

If you decide to worship a Deity you must be within one alignment step of their chosen deity.

Certain divine classes that receive spells and abilities from a specific divine source receive their powers from a deity, so they must and can only choose from a legal source.

Other divine classes that don't receive spells and abilities from a specific divine source are an exception to that rule.

The last line is what can be confusing and cause problems. Characters who do not receive powers from a divine source may choose to be atheists or to have no deity at all, but as above they can also choose to worship a Deity.

What do you get for worshiping a Deity? Anything that requires a deity (feats, traits, spells, etc.) you must choose a deity from a legal source, you can't make one up. You can believe other deities, respect them but your Deity is the be all and end all of deities. Basically your heart and soul is linked to them.

There is also an FAQ on worshiping:

FAQ wrote:

What determines if my character can be a “worshiper” of a deity?

As a character, you may choose to worship a single deity or pantheon (the “deity”). If you worship a pantheon, you do not count as worshiping every god in that pantheon; you must choose one deity from that pantheon for the purpose of gaining mechanical benefits.

Your character’s alignment must be within one step of that of the deity he or she worships. Any character with levels in a class that grants spells or other features from a specific deity must worship that deity.

A character may only worship one deity at a time; the character may change which deity she worships between sessions at no cost. If this change requires the character to change alignment, the character is required to pay for an atonement. Any element incompatible with the new deity no longer functions. These elements may be retrained at normal cost using the rules from Ultimate Campaign.

For example, a cleric of Desna with the Travel and Luck domains and the Butterfly Sting feat switches her worship to Shelyn. The cleric may still use the Luck domain because Shelyn grants that domain, but not the Travel domain or the Butterfly Sting feat, because worship of Shelyn does not grant access to those features.

Much of that FAQ just reiterates what is already in the Guide, though it does mention you can only Worship one deity at a time, even when following a Pantheon.

So as long as you are not getting any mechanical benefit from your deity you can pretty much choose what ever you want but you are not "worshiping" them, those are limited to the Legal choices only.

You can't say you are worshiping one deity but really following another, because then you are not worshiping you are doing something else entirely. You can role-play out that you are "worshiping" a deity but your heart is really with another, but you can't get any benefit for that lie other then some role-playing.

So though I did not directly address your questions, I wanted to lay the rules out so you understand.

Shadow Lodge

By coming home and reviewing pH's finely provided links, I see (at least, historically) there's actually no issue with the witch espousing the super-beyond-godly-power of their patron "Zzglargrax"/"Nutsy"/etc (whatever he may be, a sock puppet, a devourer of worlds or a creator of the multiverse).

Now, these quotes are nothing official from a FAQ or Brock The Law-Giver, but they are from some of the folks upthread who I read (at least by my reading) that a witch couldn't have an all-powerful patron like Nutsy or Zzglargrax or (insert any non-Golarion-deity proper noun)... so I assume unless things have changed in the years since, we're actually in agreement about what's legal in PFS play (and am also confused a bit as why there were objections, so am somewhat expecting a thread that I'm missing now where these statements have changed).

In this thread, Andrew C said:

Quote:
You can choose to venerate whomever you want. Be it one, two, several, the pantheon, a philosophy, or your cat. You can choose to venerate anything, and make it more than one step removed from your alignment.

It seems we could've avoided some back-and-forth had this thread been found earlier and I discovered the specific verb used was a hot button.

..

In this thread, pH refers to a character he created:

Quote:
I put together an Arcane Healer Bard who worships the members of the Cult of the Failed (people who attempted the test of the Starstone, but failed)

pH, I read your post's use of "worship" as "venerate" (in order to achieve Andrew's stamp of approval).

I'll also add Arcane Healer Bard to the list as an excellent base for building out crazy characters who would revere a Nutsy/Zzglargrax/etc, much like a normal person would revere an actual Golarion deity.

I'm not sure what your particular objections were. Another way for me to understand might be to ask if your arcane healer is able to, in addition to revering the Cult of the Failed, also worship (in mechanical benefit gaining terms) Cayden Cailean as their single deity of choice to receive mechanical benefits (and as the most righteous guy to actually succeed in the Test) and take Deific Obedience (if they wanted). Otherwise, outside of the specific taking of that Feat (which I've only asked as a hypothetical), the witch examples I've been provided I believe are identical to your Bard of the Failed.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

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wakedown wrote:
in addition to revering the Cult of the Failed, also worship (in mechanical benefit gaining terms) Cayden Cailean as their single deity of choice to receive mechanical benefits

Wording is important here, You can't "Worship" multiple deities, one has to be above all else.

Think of it like a Pantheon, You may follow the beliefs of a Pantheon but one of them you think of as above all the others. Your full belief follows that one god though you may think highly of the pantheon as a whole.

It is all in how you roll-play it. If at any time you start leaning towards the other deity and less towards the one you are getting your benefits from the GM can an may warn you of losing those benefits, and if you make it a pattern you can lose those benefits. With Atonement you can get it back but you have to show you have atoned after that to keep those benefits.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Sorry to be so slow getting back to this, Wakedown. Life, you know.

Wakedown wrote:
In the link above, I have never said "Worship" or "Venerate" Zzglargrax (the witch's patron). I have simply suggested a witch, like you mention, forms a relationship with their patron (much like a business one) and in roleplay suggests that Zzglargrax is more powerful than any god.

I agree that this can work. Dragnmoon laid it our really well in his last post -- the real issue with defining this is that the line that can't be crossed in this instance is more of a role-play line than a mechanical one. You can have a Patron that you don't worship/venerate, and then worship someone else that you get mechanical benefits from.

But if your role-play leans towards worshipping your patron in all but name, then you're breaking the rule. Since this can be difficult or uncomfortable for a PFS GM to police, it can be easier on everyone if you just don't try to get too close to the line.

If I were playing a character in that situation, I would make sure that for every time during the session I mentioned ZZglargrax I also mentioned Nethys, and that some of my remarks about ZZglargrax were complaints. ("Yeah, he's powerful, but his aim stinks. WIthout my trusty familiar here, any help he sent would likely end up in Arcadia.") Don't ever give the GM any cause to doubt who you truly worship.

I never did end up playing the Arcane Healer Bard of the Failed that I statted out. (At one point I had her drawn up as a multiclassed Arcane Healer Bard/Evangelist Cleric -- which when you stop and think about it is one of the stupidest combinations ever.) It's top of my list of someday characters, though. But in that case her "veneration" of one of the Failed would preclude her from worshipping Cayden Cailean -- you don't get one worship and one veneration, you only get one total. The fun part of that character is that because "veneration" has no mechanical benefits you are free to change it (in between sessions) as long as you never have more than one at the time. So I was going to change up the particulars every level or so, as she realized that her previous "god" had failed after all and jumped on the bandwagon of the new hotness. ("Sitara? She's a loser. Turns out the visions of her at the Grand Opera House was a hoax pulled by an illusionist ex-boyfriend. She's not the Goddess of Sequins after all. But have you heard about Crandicar? He proclaimed himself through the spontaneous transmutation of all blueberry muffins at the market into bananan nut muffins -- his favorite food. So I'm helping spread the word of the ascension of the God of Baked Goods.")

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