Deity lip-service and reskinning


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Shadow Lodge

I have an unformed ball of GM credit and wanted to explore some options with it on the forums.

Basically, for the purposes of the discussion I'm interested in making a "priest of Pelor" (from Greyhawk) and don't want to run afoul of PFS-specific reskinning rules.

Now I see a couple options that I'd like to discuss:

1. Witch
2. Oracle
3. Sorcerer (Razmiran Priest archetype)

Now to dig into details:

1. I think Witch is fine, as my patron could easily be a deity from another world and most of the text in the witch seems permissive of this.

2. Oracle is a bit of a grey area, here's the text from the Oracle class:

Oracle wrote:
Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs.

I'm not sure if there is a PFS-specific precedent that an Oracle, as "tending to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs" would be a show-stopper here. If I wished to roleplay this "priest of Pelor" as having issues with Sarenrae, this might be difficult if PFS specifically suggests that an Oracle of Flame/Life would likely be venerating Golarion-specific deities. This is a case I'm looking for input.

3. Mike Brock has already stated that archetypes can't be reskinned, thus a Razmiran Priest is a Razmiran Priest, espousing the glory of Razmir with a mask holy symbol as his false focus. My question here is - what if I stop taking levels in Razmiran Priest at some point and instead take levels in another class where I now speak of a different deity? Do I lose my ability to use my Razmiran mask False Focus? Do I lose all abilities of that archetype? Or can I convert the False Focus to the new "deity"? This case I'm also looking for input.

4. Finally, on top of all this - there's Deific Obedience and the Evangelist PrC.

Deific Obedience Prerequisites wrote:
... must worship a deity.

In any of the above cases, where I'm clearly not worshipping a legal Golarion deity (perhaps a PFS-specific restriction) - can I even take Deific Obedience? (aka. since I'm not worshipping an official Golarion deity, could I say my one deity for PFS purposes is Nethys, and take it as such, even though I run around talking about another "deity" and hardly mention Nethys?)

5. What if I chose to go the route of Razmiran Priest (and as required since an archetype can't be reskinned, actually went with Razmir as my "deity"). Can a Razmiran Priest take Deific Obedience? Would they do so for Razmir? Or would they select another deity (like Nethys?). If they select another deity, what happens to their Razmiran False Focus and the abilities of their archetype? I guess part of this is if Razmir counts as a deity for all the purposes of PFS-specific single deity restrictions.

5/5

1 & 2 should be no problem really...outside of the whole wrong setting thing. Neither class requires a deity to function.

3. No clue

4. No, you can not take a canonical non-existent god and call it worshiping a deity. To gain a mechanical benefit of following a deity, it must be a legal deity choice. Deities are restricted in PFS, see Additional Resources (or there's a sticky post in this forum too).

5. IF a Razmiran Priest was able to take a Deific Obedience, it would have to be of an actual deity, not Razmir. Not sure if it's legal or not.

Silver Crusade

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.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I could see a Razmiran priest with Deific Obedience: Sivanah... if Sivanah had a Deific Obedience. :)

Silver Crusade

First of all, why do you want to create a priest of Pelor? Greyhawk is a great setting, one of my favorites. But Golarion is awesome! Why not embrace the setting you are playing in?

Now to answer your questions:

1. Witch patrons are not deities. You could refer to your patron as "Pelor", but it won't be a deity, and it certainly is not the Pelor worshipped on Oerth.

2. Oracles don't need to worship a deity.

3. I don't see anything in the Razmiran Priest archetype for sorcerers that requires you to venerate Razmir. I should have read Mike Brock's post first. :)

4. You must worship a deity to take Deific Obedience. Pelor is not a deity. Razmir is not a deity. Here is a list of deities in Golarion. Those with the Glyph of the Open Road symbol are legal choices for PFS.

5. Again, Razmir is not a deity. You could take Deific Obedience with another deity, and Nethys might be a good choice. I don't see anything that prevents a Razmiran Priest from worshiping a deity.

I think Mike, in the post you linked, is trying to dissuade people from doing exactly the sort of thing you are trying to do.

Shadow Lodge

The Fox wrote:
First of all, why do you want to create a priest of Pelor? Greyhawk is a great setting, one of my favorites. But Golarion is awesome! Why not embrace the setting you are playing in?

There is much roleplay to be had by someone from Oerth popping into Golarion commenting on the differences between the two worlds (and as an aside, this is going on like PFS #-24 or something so you can trust I've played plenty of Golarion-specific deities out).

*looks at priest of Iomedae*

"For the glory of Heironeous, right?"

--

And yes, I agree with your edits that it looks like for all intents and purposes Razmir occupies your chosen deity, preventing you from having a subsequent deity without losing the benefits of whatever Razmiran perks you had prior to swapping deities.

(FWIW, I lean towards witch, but wanted to explore all the options since you can get more mileage at actually presenting a "deity" over a patron with things like False Focus).

Silver Crusade

wakedown wrote:
The Fox wrote:
First of all, why do you want to create a priest of Pelor? Greyhawk is a great setting, one of my favorites. But Golarion is awesome! Why not embrace the setting you are playing in?
There is much roleplay to be had by someone from Oerth popping into Golarion commenting on the differences between the two worlds (and as an aside, this is going on like PFS #-24 or something so you can trust I've played plenty of Golarion-specific deities out).

Play the character that you want and have fun. I find such crossovers to be very lame. But it isn't my character, it's your character. You should have fun with it. Praise be to Pelor. :)

Shadow Lodge

The Fox wrote:
Play the character that you want and have fun. I find such crossovers to be very lame. But it isn't my character, it's your character. You should have fun with it. Praise be to Pelor. :)

Reflect well, my child.

I should also point out that Pelor isn't the "deity" I have in mind, but that example was given for the purposes of the discussion.

If it makes you more amiable, we can continue the discussion with more fervor with the assumption of the patron/"deity" being - Bulmahn, the God of Tears or Brock, the Maker of Law.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree with pretty much everything Fox has said, but I want to say something about Witch and Oracle.

The being that serves as a Witch's Patron or that gives the Oracle power has to be something that is canonically Golarion -- but there's nothing that requires that you know who that is. In fact, my read of the Witch fluff is that a Witch probably *doesn't* know who her Patron is unless they tell you -- and even then you are relying on your Patron to be truthful. (One reason I dump Wisdom on all my Witches -- you have to be crazy to be one.)

So who the person your Witch/Oracle claims is their Power Source and who their Power Source actually is don't ever have to match up.

5/5

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One thing to watch for, is not to confuse other players about the lore of Golarion. It's a very rich setting, and many players learn about it through other players at their table even moreso than from the scenarios they play. It would be an unfortunate side-effect to have new players think Pelor and Heironeous were Golarion canon, just to allow you to play out your (somewhat meta-) concept for your PC.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Be an Oracle of the Dark Tapestry =P

Dark Archive

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Razmiran priest fire bloodline sorcerer-

Hallowed are the Ori- I mean Razmir, of course...

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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I tend to think it pretty poor to play another settings lore in the setting you are playing in.

Grand Lodge

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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.

But you're not arguing for the oracle character, you're asking as a PLAYER to metagame a diety from another publisher in defiance of the setting.

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
.. metagame a diety from another publisher in defiance of the setting.

Ugh, I feel like my questions have gotten lost in the woods by suggesting the character would worship a non-deity but claim it to actually be a deity from a distant world.

I'm honestly a little shocked at the backlash against creative roleplay that someone might create a PC that claimed they worshipped a deity that isn't a standard Golarion deity.

Whether the PC claims their otherworldly patron/deity is Pelor, Brock the Law-Bringer, The First Church of Banjo, Rock & Roll, or another PC's eidolon (ala Dave Gross's King of Chaos)... I don't consider this "defiance of the setting" or "poor play", and I'm sad to see it taken that way.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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There is a huge difference between creativity and rudely ignoring the lore of the campaign you are actually playing in.

If you can find some lore to support your alternate idea, that's great and creative. To flat out write your own lore is rude. Its like you are saying, "what's written isn't good enough." Save creation for your own home game.

I find it much more creative the make something unique while using existing lore. Its lazy to just create your own thing, because it takes less work and research to fit into existing lore.

Dark Archive

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Worshipping something that isn't a Golarion deity isn't the problem, it's trying to drag in lore from other settings. Mechanically there is no difference in worshipping anything not a Golarion deity as any flavor of that is effectively atheist in mechanical terms (and I have seen examples of summoners treating their Eidolon as a demigod), but bringing another setting into the picture is a massive social faux pas, you are breaking the other player's immersion for a chuckle.


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Thing is I think it's more or less a given that the pantheons published Paizo thus far aren't exhaustive so if I were GM of a home game and a player wanted to design their own god or import one from another setting I would smile and ask for the details to make sure that they're balanced.

My view of PFS is that we accept a degree of limitation on our creativity for the sake of keeping the game fair for everyone. This isn't to say I'm accusing of trying to create some sort of overpowered deity for your character to worship but unfortunately the case of PFS is that certain loop holes need to be closed so players won't exploit them. I have nothing against the idea of playing a character with unconventional religious beliefs in PFS but I agree that trying to backdoor such a character into a divine caster or something similar does seem to be against the spirit of PFS.

I'm sorry it's not a condemnation of the character concept just an opinion that it may not be right for organized play.

Shadow Lodge

Andrew Christian wrote:
To flat out write your own lore is rude. Its like you are saying, "what's written isn't good enough." Save creation for your own home game.

Ack, we have a major difference of opinion, then!

I fully appreciate when people play PCs that create lore, and always think it adds value to the local organized play scene.

When someone rolls up "John Blakros of the Blakros Family" or "Lady Loretta, daughter of Queen Galfrey" - it's not official lore/canon, but I'm supportive and appreciative of the table interest created when people play things that go beyond written lore.

When someone decides their squirrel-themed eidolon is a long lost deity of a race of sentient squirrels, it creates local lore for players to then refer to Nutsy the Squirrel God. If they detail out a set of a half-dozen "gods" of small furry animals, I have no qualms as they roleplay "prayers" to the appropriate member of their "pantheon".

One conversation happening here is - "man don't try to play with made-up stuff in Golarion", to which I'm trying to point out that's kind of the whole point of the game.

My original question(s) still stand (.. somewhat with the derail), which if someone wanted to believably represent themselves a proponent of a non-standard "deity", what could they do without running afoul of reskinning rules.

1. Could you play a witch of Nutsy the Squirrel "God" (*cough* patron)?
2. Could you play an oracle of Nutsy the Squirrel "God"?
3. Etc..

(and yes, I now understand several folks here would be less than pleased when such a PC shows up at a table with things made up that aren't in a book printed in a book by Paizo)


I've got a similar issue with a couple of my characters.

First off, my sorcerer (who venerates Desna, by the way). Her family mostly follows Desna, but has a cult-like obsession with something that's been calling to them from the stars for generations. I figure this one's fairly safe, since they don't actually worship it.

Second is my Vanara monk. He's from Vudra, which we have barely any information on. Since they have thousands of gods, I just made one up.

Both of these characters are effectively atheist (the sorcerer because she's just out of "worship" range), but is anything about their beliefs illegal for society play?

Grand Lodge

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I think there is a big difference in your example there Wakedown.

In the John Blackros example, the player is using the existing lore and fitting their character into it, blending them into the campaign world. In the Nutsy the Squirrel god example, the player is making up their own lore that they want to add to the setting. These are two different things.

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Starfinder Superscriber

Not all creativity is appropriate, though. Creating stuff that doesn't fit with the world or the tone of the game is jarring, and out of place.

One of the mistakes I made years ago when directing a musical revue, was not telling somebody not to do a joke that was funny. It was in a song that was very humorous, and one of the two people performing it came up with a movement in it that was quite funny, and that got a laugh... but didn't fit with his character in the scene, and didn't fit with the song. It sort of ruined it, actually, but the guy doing it felt all good about it because he got a laugh. There are some cases where anything that gets a laugh is appropriate (movies like Airplane), but this was not one of those cases.

Similarly, being creative and coming up with new story and lore is good. But, when it doesn't fit with the world at hand, it becomes jarring and takes you out of it. So, somebody who wants to worship "Nutsy the Squirrel God" is going to bug me a bit, because it doesn't fit the tone of the world and lore that we have for Golarion. I've also found it jarring when somebody shows up trying to recreate Black Widow or Captain America in a game (and I have seen that, complete with character portrait and name). Similarly, it's going to bug me if somebody's going to try to torture the rules to worship a god of Greyhawk. That latter case isn't even all that creative, it's just picking an inappropriate option, and is akin to trying to play an Avengers character in a PFS game. But even if done creatively, it doesn't fit. Creativity, to be good, has to work where it is.

Creation of lore can add value. It doesn't necessarily do so.

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wakedown wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
To flat out write your own lore is rude. Its like you are saying, "what's written isn't good enough." Save creation for your own home game.

Ack, we have a major difference of opinion, then!

I fully appreciate when people play PCs that create lore, and always think it adds value to the local organized play scene.

When someone rolls up "John Blakros of the Blakros Family" or "Lady Loretta, daughter of Queen Galfrey" - it's not official lore/canon, but I'm supportive and appreciative of the table interest created when people play things that go beyond written lore.

When someone decides their squirrel-themed eidolon is a long lost deity of a race of sentient squirrels, it creates local lore for players to then refer to Nutsy the Squirrel God. If they detail out a set of a half-dozen "gods" of small furry animals, I have no qualms as they roleplay "prayers" to the appropriate member of their "pantheon".

One conversation happening here is - "man don't try to play with made-up stuff in Golarion", to which I'm trying to point out that's kind of the whole point of the game.

My original question(s) still stand (.. somewhat with the derail), which if someone wanted to believably represent themselves a proponent of a non-standard "deity", what could they do without running afoul of reskinning rules.

1. Could you play a witch of Nutsy the Squirrel "God" (*cough* patron)?
2. Could you play an oracle of Nutsy the Squirrel "God"?
3. Etc..

(and yes, I now understand several folks here would be less than pleased when such a PC shows up at a table with things made up that aren't in a book printed in a book by Paizo)

Creating a Blakros is dubious in only that there is 20pp vanity to be one, and creating s child of Galfrey or Maldriss or whatever is at least using existing lore to create your character's story.

Creating a silly animal spirit or totem worship has precedence with several ethnicities in Golarion.

But creating a new Deity or bringing in another world's lore is lazy, not creative.

5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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If it isn't listed in the additional resources it isn't PFS legal.

Players deciding to build roleplaying off other characters isn't that big of an issue until it starts to interfere with the mechanical rules of the game.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Vutava wrote:

I've got a similar issue with a couple of my characters.

First off, my sorcerer (who venerates Desna, by the way). Her family mostly follows Desna, but has a cult-like obsession with something that's been calling to them from the stars for generations. I figure this one's fairly safe, since they don't actually worship it.

Second is my Vanara monk. He's from Vudra, which we have barely any information on. Since they have thousands of gods, I just made one up.

Both of these characters are effectively atheist (the sorcerer because she's just out of "worship" range), but is anything about their beliefs illegal for society play?

You don't get any mechanical benefits from this. But, you aren't trying to, so there's nothing illegal about it. And, in contrast to the Pelor example, both of these examples do fit well with the setting.

Shadow Lodge

dwayne germaine wrote:
These are two different things.

Maybe, but at least I don't see them as wildly different things.

Someone who say invents a region and a town in Cheliax, invents family members and then connects themselves into a well known name ("yeah, I'm Drendle Dreng's nephew") is certainly inventing lore and I wager is likely to draw as much ire as someone who invents "Zzlargrax the Dweller in the Dark" (I just made this up completely), their witch's dark patron.

That's different from what Rob is talking about, which is taking what might be a serious romp through Day of the Demon and injecting Black Widow, Nutsy the Squirrel God, The Church of Banjo... I certainly get that it can dent the thematic feel of a certain scenario. But that problem exists whether or not it's Nutsy or just someone's goof-ball halfling that fails to take things seriously.

Shadow Lodge

rknop wrote:
You don't get any mechanical benefits from this. But, you aren't trying to, so there's nothing illegal about it. And, in contrast to the Pelor example, both of these examples do fit well with the setting.

Wait, this is pretty much my example!

With the exception that I am deriving the usual mechanical benefit that a witch (for example) would derive from a patron.

Remember Pelor is just the example for the purpose of a discussion... so the question now is if the objection is specifically to 1) "Pelor" or 2) inventing a name of a patron and deriving standard witch benefits thereof.

(I get that Rob's general objection is to things with a jarring "tone", but I mean beyond that).

For what it's worth, I just played at a local convention where someone played "Captain Andoran" complete with the shield throwing archetype and a picture of Captain America. It's not my favorite thing that anyone's ever done and the table had a lot of fun. I don't think there's anything in PFS rules that prevent someone from doing this?

Grand Lodge

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wakedown wrote:


Someone who say invents a region and a town in Cheliax, invents family members and then connects themselves into a well known name ("yeah, I'm Drendle Dreng's nephew") is certainly inventing lore and I wager is likely to draw as much ire as someone who invents "Zzlargrax the Dweller in the Dark" (I just made this up completely), their witch's dark patron.

Yeah, both of these seem like very harmless and cool creative things to do with your character that are perfectly within the realm of expected creative license that you have when creating your character. Unless of course your Cheliax town is Happyville, run by carefree delegation of elected halfling officials who worship Desna and Milani.

See how there is a difference between creating something that fits in the campaign and something that goes against it.

Perhaps if you had just come out and said what you wanted to make in the first place instead of clouding the issue with your example of worshipping Pelor, everyone here might be able to help you more. As it is, I'm less certain now that what you want is wrong in any way, but you are asking about it in a manner that makes it seem like you are trying to to pull something shady

Dark Archive

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wakedown wrote:
Remember Pelor is just the example for the purpose of a discussion... so the question now is if the objection is specifically to 1) "Pelor" 2) inventing a name of a patron and deriving standard witch benefits thereof.

My only problem was dragging actual lore from other games into it - if the Pelor thing was just meant as an example, it was an extremely confusing choice of one :) Don't expect mechanical benefit (such as granting Deific type spellcasting), and don't be surprised when other PCs think you're a crazy person, but other than that I don't think there's a real issue.

The real world has silly things and humor in it, no reason for Golarion to lack the same. The world would be a much darker place if I couldn't have my wolfish Eidolon go around to the other party members and demand nibbles of their trail rations and belly rubs :)

Grand Lodge

To objections of a character being jarring to the scenario. A lot of tonality from a scenario can come from the GM. Once you get a set of regulars who are good at working off of each other, it becomes more of a plus.

Sometimes people want the story where your team is all but being sent on a suicide mission by a crass and uncaring Aram Zay, while others want to be the rag tag misfits thrown together by an Aram Zay who forgot about his assignment to get relief to Azlant Ridge for over a month, and figured the assistance of an agent of an obscure squirrel god was just what they needed.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/5

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.

Shadow Lodge

Part of the fun of fantasy roleplay is carving out a creative niche for your characters. When you carve yourself a creative niche, you're essentially the expert of that niche, because nobody can trump you on that matter.

Character next to a Desnan priest: "Nuh uh, Desna's two greatest sorrows are Ghlaunder's Hatching and Lamashtu's Trap."

By inventing your own "something", whether it's your own village of origin, your own merchant company, or even your own otherworldly patron - you are the bonified expert of that matter. And as you go from level 1 to level 5 to level 10 playing your character, you'll spontaneously evolve it as you become inspired.

"Yeah, the Blue River Mining Company used to have operations in Absalom, until those gillmen outbid us."

See what I just did there? I invented some lore, clearly not canon about my dwarf's mining operations.

The moment we create a new PC, we're usually inventing or borrowing lore (because it's rare we actually invent anything in today's world).

I don't criticize the guy who's at the game store who's playing an elf based on Legolas or his wife who's playing Arwen (who potentially lacked discovery of the creative juices to not borrow a name from the appendix of The Hobbit).

Likewise, I don't lament the player who's clearly lifted Tyrion Lannister from ASoI&F and brings him to a game of Disappeared.

Andrew Christian wrote:
But creating a new Deity or bringing in another world's lore is lazy, not creative.

I still don't buy it.

So I want to create a character who wants to worship a being of "light" who I claim is so powerful, he's a god among his own pantheon.

You're suggesting one of these is lazier and less creative than the others...

My patron is... Sarenrae.

My patron is... Ra.

My patron is... Tonatiuh.

My patron is... Pelor.

In the above list, I've referred to four quantifiable gods of light from four pantheons. Believe it or not, two of those are PFS legal deities and two of those are real world earth deities (and one is actually shared between Golarion and another world).

I honestly think that of all the players who sit down and tell me his "patron of light who is godlike", the ones telling me it's something other than Sarenrae are the ones who are less lazy and more creative. You're telling me I'm lazy and uncreative because I'm not worshipping Sarenrae, and I don't get that.

Certainly, the PFS scene down here is such that another "Kyra" is viewed upon as less creative than something different.

I digress from the point at hand. It shouldn't matter if what I'd like to refer to as my character's "deity"/patron is Pelor, Tonatiuh or Nutsy. I'm totally on board with the tonality argument from Rob, but I honestly feel like if a PC popped in the store who was really a witch who drew their powers from Tonatiuh (the Aztec god of light), I wouldn't feel they were any more out of place in Pathfinder Society than a bonified cleric or warpriest of Ra.

Anyway, back to the original set of questions... and view this in the proper tonality such that you're not feeling peanut butter is being improperly introduced to chocolate:

#2 is of particular interest. Can you make an oracle in PFS play (where reskinning is not allowed) and claim you draw your power from a non-sanctioned deity?

Or can you pick a deity (i.e. Nethys) but while playing them, never actually say anything about Nethys while at the same time talking about how another entity besides Nethys is all powerful?

(and the reason this question is of importance is because it would open up both witches and oracles as classes of play to a set of concepts where you claim to draw power from "deity" from another pantheon)

5/5

I understand what you are saying, and I agree that fun and enjoyment of the table and player should be the first goal.

However:
Pelor is copyrighted material of another corporation (and a direct competitor to Paizo at that.) PFS shouldn't allow or assist in the use of copyrighted materials, if for nothing else than the issues of legality it could potentially spark off. PFS is run by Paizo (more or less as a marketing tool) and being seen to directly rip off material also could negatively portray on the creativity of Paizo itself.

So to sum up, probably best to make your imaginary god something drawn from your own creation (or at the worst non-copyrighted materials.)

Grand Lodge

wakedown wrote:

#2 is of particular interest. Can you make an oracle in PFS play (where reskinning is not allowed) and claim you draw your power from a non-sanctioned deity?

Or can you pick a deity (i.e. Nethys) but while playing them, never actually say anything about Nethys while at the same time talking about how another entity besides Nethys is all powerful?

I guess I still don't understand what you are trying to achieve here. Neither of these classes require you to worship any diety. I don't get why you would have to choose Nethys, when you are worshipping some other entity. Why wouldn't you just say the patron IS this other entity, who doesn't even have to be defined by the rules.

The only exception to this would be if you were intending to take the Deific obedience feat and go into evangelist. Then you would actually have to worship the god in question (but it wouldn't nessecarrily have to be your patron) in order to get the benefits. So you couldn't have deific obedience to Nethys, and be an evangelist of Nethys and go around worshipping "Zzlargrax the Dweller in the Dark" even if that's who give you your powers.

For organized play at least, they have indicated that you can only be an actual worshipper of one god, and so to take deific obedience (Nethys) you must actually worship Nethys.

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It's quite easy. For anything that draws it's powers from a divine source or that specifies you have to worship a deity (like Deific Obediance), you have to choose one deity to worship from among the PFS legal Golarion deities. The exception are druids/rangers/hunters, who can venerate nature, and oracles who don't have to worship the deity that grants them powers.
In addition, anything Razmir-related has to actually venerate Razmir.

Apart from that, your character is free to "worship" anything he likes. Other characters will most likely know that this worship is abyolutely bogus, and at some points you will want to inform new players about that detail before the game (otherwise they might believe you're using some strange deity from some sourcebook).

Also, I also wouldn't like a player to have that "invented deity" be a deity from Greyhawk. D&D and Pathfinders both use the same genre, so mixing in stuff from one world into the other seems a bit strange. Of course, not every GM thinks this way and you might be able to play a character who venerates a Greyhawk deity, but you should be prepared to run into GMs who ask you not to play such a character.
But I suppose with a deity that's clearly invented by the character, you're ok most of the time.

As for the specific questions:

- Witch: Sure, a witch can venerate whatever he/she wishes. The actual name of the patron doesn't have to be defined (so you don't have to define whether or not it's the same entity the witch venerates), you just have to define the patron's theme.

- Oracle: An oracle can venerate whatever he/she likes, as an oracle doesn't know the source of their powers. You should maybe define a deity that has actually found interest in the character and granted them powers. The character doesn't need to know, it's just an out-of-character info in case a GM asks.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ToshiroKurita wrote:


So to sum up, probably best to make your imaginary god something drawn from your own creation (or at the worst non-copyrighted materials.)

If you come to my table and say that you're a cleric of Pinky, I'm going to ask the player what the character's real diety is. If it's not one of the approved deities for the campaign, that character has no spells, no domain powers, nothing.

There's a lot of room for Players to customize and individualize their characters without presuming to be the GM's and creators of the world by trying to monkey with the game setting itself.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
ToshiroKurita wrote:

I understand what you are saying, and I agree that fun and enjoyment of the table and player should be the first goal.

However:
Pelor is copyrighted material of another corporation (and a direct competitor to Paizo at that.) PFS shouldn't allow or assist in the use of copyrighted materials, if for nothing else than the issues of legality it could potentially spark off. PFS is run by Paizo (more or less as a marketing tool) and being seen to directly rip off material also could negatively portray on the creativity of Paizo itself.

So to sum up, probably best to make your imaginary god something drawn from your own creation (or at the worst non-copyrighted materials.)

This is a red herring. I personally don't like Greyhawk gods showing up in Golarion for the same reason it would be jarring to have the Doctor show up on the Millenium Falcon, or to have Spock beam on to Serenity.

However: copyright is not the all-powerful tool of speech control that you portray it to be, despite the efforts of some in the copyright lobby to make people think that it is. Copyright means that nobody else can legally publish material (even for free) that uses Pelor. It says nothing about what people can talk about when they're sitting around at a gaming table playing a game. There are absolutely no legal ramifications whatsoever of a player pulling from any source at a PFS table. (There may be "PFS-legal" ramifications, sure, but not actual legal ramifications.)

Shadow Lodge

To prevent further derailment of discussion the actual legality of playing a witch/oracle who claims to revere a deity, and the subsequent legality of later taking something like Deific Obedience/Evangelist for an actual deity in tandem with the purported deity...

And to allow discussion of those who would turn away players/pressure them to rebuild their fluff for reasons/etc...

Here's a thread to discuss not liking character fluff and what you'd insist players behind such fluff do.

Shadow Lodge

And back to the original topic, so far I've seen pretty much universal support and while there's been folks who express distaste over the thought of things like Pelor/Fluffy the Cute-God/Pinky (distate which can be migrated to the aforementioned thread), there hasn't been much to say that such fluff is expressly forbidden in PFS play when there's no mechanical benefit derived from it.

Basically, it seems folks agree (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not trying to ignore genuine statements that these are not permitted):

1. Yes, you can play a witch and name your patron anything you like, describe it as a deity, even if such a name is drawn from another pantheon from another universe or the real world.

2. Yes, you can play an oracle in the same way above and you're just lucky that powers within the Golarion universe still choose to provide you with your divine magic (after all, the iconic oracle is an atheist, which is no worst than claiming your divinity originates from something made-up).

3. No, Brock's original statement about reskinning archetypes means a Razmiran Priest must absolutely worship Razmir and nobody else. If a Razmiran Priest stops espousing Razmir as the greatest of all gods, what happens to the archetype is unclear (I imagine the person reverts to a standard sorcerer?)

4. Yes, you can take Deific Obedience and select an appropriate deity from Additional Resources while at the same time purporting to venerate another entity that you claim as a deity (as long as it's not another deity as the sole deity you've selected to derive mechanical benefit from that also exists in Additional Resources). Thus a witch who claims their patron is a "deity" named Banjo of the Church of Banjo could also say "yeah Nethys is cool too", select Deific Obedience and perform their daily obedience to Nethys in tandem.

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.

Silver Crusade

I think your summary is accurate.

Shadow Lodge

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


4. Yes, you can take Deific Obedience and select an appropriate deity from Additional Resources while at the same time purporting to venerate another entity that you claim as a deity (as long as it's not another deity as the sole deity you've selected to derive mechanical benefit from that also exists in Additional Resources). Thus a witch who claims their patron is a "deity" named Banjo of the Church of Banjo could also say "yeah Nethys is cool too", select Deific Obedience and perform their daily obedience to Nethys in tandem.

This is the only one that I disagree with.

Mechanically speaking, by venerating Banjo, you are choosing to be an 'atheist'. You aren't allowed to get the mechanical benefit of being an atheist (and there are some -- it opens up specifc traits and feats) in addition to the mechanical benefits of worshipping Nethys.

To put it another way, Deific Obedience and the Evangelist pretige class both require that you have a special relationship with Nethys. Nethys won't feel that way if you are just saying 'yeah, Nethys is cool too' -- you only get the power from him if you acknowledge him as your one and only.

There's no double-dipping, and that's what you're doing in this example

The difference with your earlier ones is that a Witch's Patron and an Oracle's Power Source don't care whether you venerate them or not. But with Deific Obedience they do care.

Grand Lodge

I'm unsure if #4 is correct.

I was under the impression that you could not reskin your diety to something else, if you are gaining anything mechanics-wise from it in game. As soon as deific obedience comes into play you are gaining a mechanical bonus from worshipping that deity, so I don't think that you can re-skin it.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Choose a trickster deity, like Sivanah, or some cultist type deity like lisala. Invest ranks in bluff. In secret your character worships this rules and setting appropriate deity, but they simply lie to everyone they meet posing as [insert whatever you feel like here].
This is my advice to any player who wants to play something not in the rules. Want to be a goblin? Play a gnome or Halfling and disguise yourself. Want to worship pelor? Fine, just lie and claim to worship pelor. You can't reskin things Ooc, but there's plenty of ways with bluff, disguise and illusions to reskin stuff legitimately in character.

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

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rknop wrote:
ToshiroKurita wrote:

I understand what you are saying, and I agree that fun and enjoyment of the table and player should be the first goal.

However:
Pelor is copyrighted material of another corporation (and a direct competitor to Paizo at that.) PFS shouldn't allow or assist in the use of copyrighted materials, if for nothing else than the issues of legality it could potentially spark off. PFS is run by Paizo (more or less as a marketing tool) and being seen to directly rip off material also could negatively portray on the creativity of Paizo itself.

So to sum up, probably best to make your imaginary god something drawn from your own creation (or at the worst non-copyrighted materials.)

This is a red herring. I personally don't like Greyhawk gods showing up in Golarion for the same reason it would be jarring to have the Doctor show up on the Millenium Falcon, or to have Spock beam on to Serenity.

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

Silver Crusade

For #4, I think wakedown is saying that I can worship Nethys, and take Deific Obedience to Neythys, and when asked who I worship, I can lie and say I worship Xbox.

I think this is kosher...

...with a caveat. Some deities and might take exception to their followers with Deific Obedience denying them (others, like Asmodeus, Calistria, Baalzebul, or Shax probably would reward you).


ToshiroKurita wrote:

I understand what you are saying, and I agree that fun and enjoyment of the table and player should be the first goal.

However:
Pelor is copyrighted material of another corporation (and a direct competitor to Paizo at that.) PFS shouldn't allow or assist in the use of copyrighted materials, if for nothing else than the issues of legality it could potentially spark off. PFS is run by Paizo (more or less as a marketing tool) and being seen to directly rip off material also could negatively portray on the creativity of Paizo itself.

So to sum up, probably best to make your imaginary god something drawn from your own creation (or at the worst non-copyrighted materials.)

This, I think, is the best and most accurate answer.

There's really no storytelling or role-playing reason that a character couldn't call the (for example) god of Sun and Healing anything the player likes, and consider it a difference in language, culture, etc. equivalent to the practical differences between Mars/Ares/etc. - there's plenty of precedent in the "real world" for this sort of thing.

But, the legal and copyright implications of using a copyrighted character from another setting in an officially sanctioned gaming event is something different altogether.

For my own, private RPG games, I'd allow a player to use all the mechanics of, say, a Cleric of Sarenrae (Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun), "refluff" the non-mechanical things to Pelor (Sun, Light, Strength, and Healing - close enough), and then let the player decide whether this is considered a Tomayto-Tomahto/rose-by-any-other-name situation, or if his character is considered to be a member of a heretical sect, or whatever fits best with the character concept. I'm OK with anything that adds depth and color to the setting, so long as it doesn't interfere with anyone's immersion in the setting or otherwise drags the game to a halt.

If I'm doing something a little more public and official, however, I'm probably going to avoid allowing external copyrighted fluff in, and tell the player "just pick an official Pathfinder deity, and think to yourself 'it's just another name for Pelor/whoever' if you need to."

Shadow Lodge

yronimos wrote:
.. avoid allowing external copyrighted fluff in, and tell the player "just pick an official Pathfinder deity, and think to yourself 'it's just another name for Pelor/whoever' if you need to."

I created another thread for GMs to talk about what kind of player concepts that would not allow and for set reasons, mostly so we could stick to the topic of what's allowed/not allowed by the rules here. I suspect the allowed/disallowed thread could easily bloom to 100s of posts whereas what a player can do with Deific Obedience is actually a shorter conversation.

I personally wouldn't disallow a barbarian player in PFS play because he utters "Crom.." when bad things happen, despite the fact he's using a deity name protected by copyright from Cimmeria/Mongoose/20th Centuy Fox. I also wouldn't turn away a witch who talked identified their patron as Ao or Pelor. I have since learned many GMs will turn these folks away, though (so please check into the other thread and discuss away!)


rknop wrote:

...This is a red herring. I personally don't like Greyhawk gods showing up in Golarion for the same reason it would be jarring to have the Doctor show up on the Millenium Falcon, or to have Spock beam on to Serenity....

Not quite. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Firefly are in more or less very different genres -

Swords & Sorcery... IN SPACE!
Wagon Train... TO THE STARS!
Fairy Tales... IN TIME AND SPACE!
Western/Pirate Adventure Stories... IN SPACE!

The non-human characters, where present, are very different... and in Firefly, there are no aliens at all. The technology and physics assumed in each setting - the position on a scale between "hard" and "soft" sci-fi - are different and not quite compatible without a lot of tweaking.

Instead, Golarion vs. Greyhawk really aren't THAT different: they're both flavors of Dungeons & Dragons, they're both high-fantasy settings, they use the same cast of Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Haflings, Gnomes, Orcs, Goblins, Dragons, Fighters, Wizards, Clerics, Rogues, Rangers, Barbarians, etc. etc. etc. They use more or less compatible game mechanics and assumptions about how magic works. There's a long history in D&D of providing ways to crossover between the various flavors (some official D&D settings explicitly provide ways to travel between the various other settings).

At this point, it's quite a bit more like DC superheroes appearing in Marvel superhero comics, and vice-versa: it's been done before, the settings aren't incompatible, and it's not likely to be shocking to anyone but the most hardcore purist.


wakedown wrote:

And back to the original topic, so far I've seen pretty much universal support and while there's been folks who express distaste over the thought of things like Pelor/Fluffy the Cute-God/Pinky (distate which can be migrated to the aforementioned thread), there hasn't been much to say that such fluff is expressly forbidden in PFS play when there's no mechanical benefit derived from it.

Basically, it seems folks agree (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not trying to ignore genuine statements that these are not permitted):

1. Yes, you can play a witch and name your patron anything you like, describe it as a deity, even if such a name is drawn from another pantheon from another universe or the real world.

2. Yes, you can play an oracle in the same way above and you're just lucky that powers within the Golarion universe still choose to provide you with your divine magic (after all, the iconic oracle is an atheist, which is no worst than claiming your divinity originates from something made-up).

3. No, Brock's original statement about reskinning archetypes means a Razmiran Priest must absolutely worship Razmir and nobody else. If a Razmiran Priest stops espousing Razmir as the greatest of all gods, what happens to the archetype is unclear (I imagine the person reverts to a standard sorcerer?)

4. Yes, you can take Deific Obedience and select an appropriate deity from Additional Resources while at the same time purporting to venerate another entity that you claim as a deity (as long as it's not another deity as the sole deity you've selected to derive mechanical benefit from that also exists in Additional Resources). Thus a witch who claims their patron is a "deity" named Banjo of the Church of Banjo could also say "yeah Nethys is cool too", select Deific Obedience and perform their daily obedience to Nethys in tandem.

Let me know if I've gotten anything wrong there. Yes, I get that some...

That sounds accurate to me.

Mainly:
A. For Pathfinder Society games, I wouldn't mess with the mechanics.
B. For Pathfinder Society games, I wouldn't do anything with the fluff that messes too much with what is assumed to be "Canon" for the general Pathfinder setting.
C. Anything you do regarding the fluff that can be hand-waved as coming from characters as unreliable narrators is probably not going to shake anything up too badly.

5/5

wakedown, I would suggest you divorce your twin ideas of having a "Greyhawk observer" character, and having a character with a nebulous deific patron. Combining them is the major issue, since there are potential mechanical benefits involved.

Mind you, I would dislike playing with the observer character, but no more so than any other with constant out of place comments.

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