Does Rahadoum tolerate divine magic healing spells within its borders?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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DM Beckett wrote:

I understand what you are saying, I just disagree with your conclusion. Yes, some can tell the difference between Divine and Arcane magic, but that's not that relevant, as not all Divine Magic is received from being beholden to a god. As I said, Oracles, Paladins, and Druids do not receive their abilities by being beholden to a god. Of the three, only Oracles need to even have a link to one at all, and that could very literally have been something that affected their parents before they where even born and was passed onto them. I'd also say that Rahadoum is the most likely place that Divine Casters/priests would be hiding their spellcasting, or connection to a deity, as well.

Witches fall into a place that is, from the Rahadoumi point of view, no different than a priest.

APG wrote:
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

It's also worth reiterating that it's not explicitly Divine Magic that is banned, but rather religion, faith, and being linked to a deity, or allowing a deity to gain influence in the nation. That's the disconnect I was speaking about earlier. Divine Magic is similar to, but not the same thing as religion and gods. A faithful <Wizard> priest of Nethys with no Divine Casting is still risking execution or exile in Rahadoum, for the exact same reason a Cleric would.

Although the Witch casts Arcane Spells, they are still violating that First Law of Man, because there is no real criteria of what a god is,...

Reminds me of a demon lord I came up with. Sagira-Valn. She was a Rahadoumi as a mortal, before leaving and crafting herself into a demon and later a demon lord.

Part of her write up: "She bears a great disdain for any who would debase themselves before a master, be it a lord, a god, or ideological construct and laughs at those who claim true freedom while slavishly adhering to their tenets."

Shadow Lodge

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I wouldn't say that a non-priest Wizard/Sorcerer would be in any more trouble than anyone who wore armor or touched iron being mistaken for a follower of Gorum.

Liberty's Edge

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DM Beckett wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I just disagree with your conclusion. Yes, some can tell the difference between Divine and Arcane magic, but that's not that relevant, as not all Divine Magic is received from being beholden to a god. As I said, Oracles, Paladins, and Druids do not receive their abilities by being beholden to a god. Of the three, only Oracles need to even have a link to one at all, and that could very literally have been something that affected their parents before they where even born and was passed onto them. I'd also say that Rahadoum is the most likely place that Divine Casters/priests would be hiding their spellcasting, or connection to a deity, as well.

You're assuming those Classes are illegal. Staff members at Paizo (other than James Jacobs, who hasn't contradicted this point) have explicitly said they aren't. They're disapproved of culturally which is a whole different thing.

DM Beckett wrote:
Witches fall into a place that is, from the Rahadoumi point of view, no different than a priest.

This is not true. James Jacobs (in one of the links I did earlier) explicitly says as much. And that actually makes sense. The Class descriptions are for a typical member of the Class, not written in stone, and even in that description it mentions that it's a pact, not an agreement to serve. And in no way specifies a deity as the source. Add in the fact that their magic is verifiably Arcane, and Witches probably don't have too much more trouble in Rahadoum than most places.

Now, most Witches come in for a lot of prejudice in a whole lot of places, and Rahadoum seems likely to have more if anything, but that doesn't mean they can't live and work there, it just makes it harder.

DM Beckett wrote:
It's also worth reiterating that it's not explicitly Divine Magic that is banned, but rather religion, faith, and being linked to a deity, or allowing a deity to gain influence in the nation. That's the disconnect I was speaking about earlier. Divine Magic is similar to, but not the same thing as religion and gods. A faithful <Wizard> priest of Nethys with no Divine Casting is still risking execution or exile in Rahadoum, for the exact same reason a Cleric would.

True. But, as noted, per the Creative Director for Golarion. ie: the guy whose word is controlling on this stuff, they're culturally pretty down on all Divine Magic and not at all on Arcane.

They're also terribly against all religion. But while these things are related, they are slightly divergent prejudices.

DM Beckett wrote:
Although the Witch casts Arcane Spells, they are still violating that First Law of Man, because there is no real criteria of what a god is, (vs a powerful outsider), and there are also plenty of religions that do not venerate a deity, or a single deity that are likewise banned. So, for instance, there is no practical difference between a Cleric that worships Sarenrae <a goddess> vs a Cleric that worships Ragathiel <a powerful Outsider Entity, but NOT a god> vs The Old Ones <again, who are NOT gods>, vs an Oracle of The Whispering Way <a religious philosophy>. All of these are banned in Rahadoum.

Only if you worship your Patron. Or pray to them for things. Neither are required by the Class's definition. And, actually, Ragathiel and the Great Old Ones are Gods. In Golarion/Pathfinder terminology, Gods are things as Cleric can get spells from, and are what Rahadoum bans.

'Deity' is the term for Gods that are so powerful they no longer have stats, but that's not actually a distinction Rahadoum cares about.

A Witch's patron on the other hand, does not need to be capabl;e of granting spells. Baba Yaga, for example, is a Mythic character but has absolutely no ability to grant spells to people who worship her. She's an available Witch patron, though.

DM Beckett wrote:

Finally, once again, the entire point of Rahadoum is a mixture of "reaping what they have sown" and hypocritical fanaticism. They place the blame so easily on their scapegoat of religion (as a whole) and are blind to the fact that they have dug themselves into an even deeper hole in the process. They have murdered, humiliated, enslaved, and/or exiled all of the priests that could help them out, but would rather see their own people, families, and friends suffer or die because of the "cost". But, they had and continue to make that choice and the downside is that they lack methods of gaining enough food, allies, or methods to fight plague, disease, and the like.

Simply saying a Witch can do all that instead both defeats the point and the theme of the nation/setting, the exact same way that allowing an Oracle or a Druid to operate fine would. Neither of them are beholden to a god, <or would loose their powers if they swapped faiths or had no patron god>, and it isn't Divine Magic that is banned.

Actually, whether that's the point of Rahadoum depends heavily on who you ask. Different people at Paizo have different opinions.

Additionally, having Witches doesn't invalidate this point at all. Witches are an order of magnitude less common than Clerics in most places. Besides which, Alchemists are clearly allowed in Rahadoum and they can do Remove Disease and the like as well.

By removing Clerics (by law) and other Divine Casters (by social pressure), they've likely cut their number of 'doctor' equivalents by a factor of ten. The fact that they still have some in no way makes this not a horrible idea, nor does it mean that people haven't suffered and died because of it.

Let's do an analogy, flipping some roles in the real world. Say that the U.S. government decided top forcibly eject all doctors and other medical personnel who didn't believe in Young Earth Creationism from the country. The fact that a few doctors would remain, and could train some more eventually in no way means this was in any way a good idea, nor does it mean that lots of people wouldn't suffer and die due to this decision.


DM Beckett wrote:
ISWG wrote:
Since then, Rahadoum has charted a resolutely secular path. No one denies the existence or power of the gods, but their aegis comes at too high a price for the people of Rahadoum. The lack of religion has brought the region the peace it so desperately desired, though it has also brought its own costs. Plague has ravaged Azir and Botosani three times in the past 500 years, and the prospect of famine hovers over the fragile land like a shroud. A century ago, Manaket was among the lushest ports of the Inner Sea. Today, it is choked by encroaching desert sands, and its famous gardens are a memory of the distant past. While few dare speak it aloud, nervous whispers abound that the gods have finally decided to punish the people of Rahadoum for their insolence. Still, the Rahadoumi resolutely hold to their ancient laws and avoid any contact with religion.

I see "gods", "religion" and "worship" are banned.

None of these words have anything to do with Witches.


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We can argue rules text and corner interpretations until we're blue in the face.

Now if we go by published STORIES, such as Death's Heretic, the attitudes expressed by the protagonist, would seem that Rahadoum and the Pure Legion take a very expansive view of what they consider magic tied to outer powers. It extremely cheapens the concept if Paladins, Oracles, and Witches are allowed as much as Paramount did the concept of Voyager being exiled to a far quadrant.


Paladins do need to worship a god in the Golarion setting, I believe.

Liberty's Edge

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

We can argue rules text and corner interpretations until we're blue in the face.

Now if we go by published STORIES, such as Death's Heretic, the attitudes expressed by the protagonist, would seem that Rahadoum and the Pure Legion take a very expansive view of what they consider magic tied to outer powers. It extremely cheapens the concept if Paladins, Oracles, and Witches are allowed as much as Paramount did the concept of Voyager being exiled to a far quadrant.

Having read Death's Heretic, I rather disagree. The quotes from the Pure Legion in that book are pretty much all about how faith is the enemy of reason, and reason is all-important, and how avoiding serving the Gods is an important expression of freedom.

It's all explicitly anti-God and anti-worship rather than anything else.

Now, the Pure Legion are more inclined to be educated than the common folk are as a rule. The common folk have a number of prejudices and assumptions that make things a bit worse. Assuming an Oracle is somehow in league with the Gods for example, but that's prejudice, not law.

Would those prejudices hit a Witch as hard as an Oracle? Perhaps. Perhaps not. According to James Jacobs, whose word in controlling on this subject, they do not. Probably due to the more studied nature of witchcraft and it being verifiably Arcane.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A Witch could easily pick up a spell book and pretend to be a Wizard. Thus, I'd expect that many witches could operate in Rahadoum without any problems whatsoever. Only a witch that emphasized their connection to other worldly powers and/or actually worshipped a god would likely have trouble... and the same would be true of a wizard... or a farmer.


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Here's the thing about Witches, though: Although technically they may not be beholden to their Patron, in practice they are, as can be seen by the fact that if they lose their connection (usually a Familiar, but sometimes a Bonded Objecct)(*) to their Patron, they lose ability to prepare spells. It is not too much of a stretch that the same thing could happen if they honk off their Patron. In addition, their Patron, being an unknown otherworldy entity or force could, be a deity -- I would be surprised if NONE of the deities were researching ways to make Witches be their priests(**) in Rahadoum, thereby doing an end-run around the First Law. It would be surprising if this possibility hadn't occurred to the Pure Legion and others in the Rahadoumi power structure, and even occurred independently to the Rahadoumi common people. Rightly or wrongly, those having it in for Witches could claim that they are actually divine casters that have a really devious way of disguising their magic as arcane. Things might be uneasily stable right now, but all it would take would be a scandal (possibly manufactured, depending upon who benefited) to expose a Witchcraft end-run around the First Law, and the Witch Hunts begin.

(*)Ley Line Guardians seem to be exempt, although this wouldn't get them off the hook from a crazed Witch Hunt, except that proving that they are Witches instead of Sorcerers might be a bit harder, since they don't have a Familiar or a Bonded Object.

(**)Getting us a d6, 1/2 BAB divine caster in the process -- wooo!

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Here's the thing about Witches, though: Although technically they may not be beholden to their Patron, in practice they are, as can be seen by the fact that if they lose their connection (usually a Familiar, but sometimes a Bonded Objecct)(*) to their Patron, they lose ability to prepare spells.

This is true.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
It is not too much of a stretch that the same thing could happen if they honk off their Patron.

This is not. In no way does it follow logically that a Patron can do this. There are no rules for this ever occurring under any circumstances and it's thus as unreasonable as a Cleric of Iomedae losing casting for switching from LG to NG because a Paladin would.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
In addition, their Patron, being an unknown otherworldy entity or force could, be a deity -- I would be surprised if NONE of the deities were researching ways to make Witches be their priests(**)

It's pretty clearly stated that some have. Feiya's Patron is either Desna or someone very close to her, for example.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
in Rahadoum, thereby doing an end-run around the First Law. It would be surprising if this possibility hadn't occurred to the Pure Legion and others in the Rahadoumi power structure, and even occurred independently to the Rahadoumi common people.

Possible? Sure. Is that what's happened? Apparently not given that James Jacobs has directly said this isn't what's happened.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Rightly or wrongly, those having it in for Witches could claim that they are actually divine casters that have a really devious way of disguising their magic as arcane. Things might be uneasily stable right now, but all it would take would be a scandal (possibly manufactured, depending upon who benefited) to expose a Witchcraft end-run around the First Law, and the Witch Hunts begin.

They probably could, but, again according to the guy who has authority over this, apparently they haven't as of yet. Which seems plausible enough.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Adepts (Core Rulebook, NPC Class) cast divine spells, but they don't necessarily have a god. They gain a familiar, so they look like wizards or witches. And they can channel like clerics with the Adept Channel feat.

How's that for confusion, from a Pure Legion enforcement's perspective? :P :D :) :D :P

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Again, even if the Pure Legion decided that witches are 'divinely inspired' (which is certainly true for some of them)... 15 gp for a spellbook, "Not me officer... I'm a Wizard".

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

LOL - and the Adept sheepishly produces it's toad familiar and says, "Me too, officer - wanna pet Warthy?"

:P

Shadow Lodge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
. This is not true. James Jacobs (in one of the links I did earlier) explicitly says as much. And that actually makes sense.

That's interesting, because I was going off of what J.J. mentioned on the subject as well, namely that in his opinion Witches would not be well received.

Dark Archive

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

Bards with healing ability aren't going to be that common.... because true bards themselves are not... and most that are... aren't the kind to submit to conscription or the demands of a military career.

Ummm, What? Not all bards sing in taverns for their supper. There isn't a "chaotic only" requirement for the bard class. I bet a lot of bards play drums or trumpet or oratory in armies. Add in access to healing magic and the ability to buff all allies that can hear you? The military is perfect place to find a bard. Hell, there is even a prestige class explicitly designed for the bard military officer in mind.

Also, some Arcanists can heal, Alchemists and Investigators can heal if they take a certain discovery, and there are some new classes that can cast cure light wounds as an occult spell.

However, none of these non divine options are as good at healing as dedicated cleric, so there is a price to pay for the ban.

Liberty's Edge

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DM Beckett wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
. This is not true. James Jacobs (in one of the links I did earlier) explicitly says as much. And that actually makes sense.
That's interesting, because I was going off of what J.J. mentioned on the subject as well, namely that in his opinion Witches would not be well received.

The quote I'm going by:

Link.

So, there's some suspicion. But no more than Bards suffer. IE: They cast healing spells so they could be a cleric who's lying.

Nothing about a proven Witch having problems due to being a Witch.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . ..........}

UnArcaneElection wrote:
It is not too much of a stretch that the same thing could happen if they honk off their Patron.

This is not. In no way does it follow logically that a Patron can do this. There are no rules for this ever occurring under any circumstances and it's thus as unreasonable as a Cleric of Iomedae losing casting for switching from LG to NG because a Paladin would.

{. . .}

I was thinking the above more from the point of view of Rahadoumi people than of the rules. Rahadoumi (and other) scholars might actually have a pretty good idea of a functional equivalent of the rules, but the common people, politicians, and even an awful lot of the Pure Legion might have significant misunderstandings or outright leaps of faith to their own point of view, and while that could make all sorts of things (as it does here), this leap of faith is particularly easy to make, since it has logical backup by way of analogy (honking off your deity leads to loss of Cleric/Inquisitor/Paladin/Warpriest powers, with some possible exceptions --> honking off your Patron leads to loss of Witch powers).


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Here's the thing about Witches, though: Although technically they may not be beholden to their Patron, in practice they are, as can be seen by the fact that if they lose their connection (usually a Familiar, but sometimes a Bonded Objecct)(*) to their Patron, they lose ability to prepare spells.

Kind of like a Bonded Item Wizard?

Fact is, Witches use Arcane Scrolls, and Familiars are a shared feature with Wizards, but Clerics rarely have them.
Wizards themselves will be familiar (ahem) with how Witches learn spells and can "transfer" their knowledge from spellbooks to Familiars.
Thus Wizards should reasonably behave as if Witches are part of the arcane caster community as it were.

And I think it's important to remember the basis of Rahadoumi Law of Man, they are not based on ideological analysis of Deities/religion,
it is based on concrete experience of religious wars, led by Clerics beholden to Gods for their powers, pushing Gods' agenda.
i.e. The over-all paradigm of Laws of Man is lumping all Clerics/Religions together to be banned,
given that both "Good" and "Evil" religions violated interests of Rahadoumi people during their wars, *ALL* Clerics/religions are now unwelcome.
Witches likelier than not played a role in suppressing the religious wars and establishing the Laws of Man,
but if a Witch isn't participating in a (banned) religion then no reason to associate them with that.
(if a Witch runs around saying they get their powers from some God, then sure, string 'em up, but same goes for non-caster religious type)

Honestly, the abilities of Witches along with Bards, Alchemists, etc, should be respected and appreciated,
as enabling the Rahadoumi people to exist independent of the Gods with their religious agendas.

Sure, there could be an outburst of paranoia that may target a Witch, but that could also target just about anything else...
Not sure why it's super relevant to keep pushing that as a GENERAL scenario against Witches in general.

Anyhow, links have been made to Paizo explicitly legitimizing Witches-in-Rahadoum,
perhaps not eveybody was aware of that statement before, and were blindly extrapolating lore without that information...
But now that we have that information brought to our attention, it seems silly to ignore such a primary statement.
If you want to understand how Rahadoum operates, Witches-being-OK is the starting point we should work from.


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Don't worry, I can see that Witches are (in general) officially allowed in Rahadoum -- it's just that if I was a Witch there, I wouldn't take my safety for granted. (Of course, seeing the other things that they do, like slavery, even as a non-Witch I wouldn't feel safe their, even though as far as I can tell I am in full flying colors compliance with their First Law.)


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

LOL - and the Adept sheepishly produces it's toad familiar and says, "Me too, officer - wanna pet Warthy?"

:P

Officer: 'Excellent then. One of my soldiers has been wounded chasing down those Theist scum. I'm sure you'll have no problem Cureing his wounds without using a Divine Focus then eh?'

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