Clerics, Dieties, and religion in Starfinder


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I'm honestly not sure how this is supposed to work in a sci-fi setting. While I'm sure there WILL be religions, for the most part clerics and dieties will be majorly downplayed, so what might be replacing the cleric?

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I've been asking myself questions like this. Ultimately I settled on waiting for the Starfinder panel at GenCon.

Silver Crusade

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I don't know if they'll be downplayed terribly much. I mean, the explanation I have heard from the design team for how interstellar travel is feasible is that they "hyperspace dimension" was either created or discovered by an ascended AI deity and gifted to mortals, as well as the gods refusing to answer questions about Golarion, which would imply the answer questions normally. I wouldn't really think that's the downplaying of deities or their impact on the setting. Whether there will be clerics or not is still up in the air, I agree


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Plus, wasn't there already mention of giant cathedral ships in the setting? There are plenty of examples of religious zealots in sci-fi settings, i am sure they will have their place in Starfinder too.


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lordofthemax wrote:
I'm honestly not sure how this is supposed to work in a sci-fi setting.

Remember that Starfinder is not Science Fiction, but Science Fantasy, so spellcasters, clerics, gods and such are integral part of the setting.


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I could see some fun with mixing technology and science! Lets have dimensional hopping cruise ships :)

"Why worship the gods when for just the low, low price of 25,000 Credits you can book passage with our new star-liners and spend 3 days and 2 glorious nights traveling through the outer heavens and Elysium Fields! Because don't you deserve your rewards a little bit early?"

Cue all the angels baffled on how to handle tourists swarming the angelic hosts for photo ops.

The real question for me is, will magic be explained at all in a setting with advanced science and, presumably, the scientific method being king? Is it a fundamental force? Is it wholly outside the laws of nature? How is the use of magic viewed by practitioners of "hard science"? I dont think they are incompatible in the same setting but i am curious about how they mesh. I am remembering hazy memories of the old Mage: The Awakened game where you had science, mad science, magic and faith all operating around each other to various degrees.


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"Ok. I prayed for healing for you."

"My spleen is still all over the cargo hold."

"Well, so as not to create paradoxes, prayers can only travel at the speed of light. By my calculations, we should be getting an answer in... well, never mind my calculations. You just lay there and let the healing power of the gods wash over you."

"Are you sure I can't just have a medpack? Even a suture or two would be--"

"--shush, shhhh... the gods... wait for it..."


Didn't I ask this question some threads ago?


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quibblemuch wrote:

"Ok. I prayed for healing for you."

"My spleen is still all over the cargo hold."

"Well, so as not to create paradoxes, prayers can only travel at the speed of light. By my calculations, we should be getting an answer in... well, never mind my calculations. You just lay there and let the healing power of the gods wash over you."

"Are you sure I can't just have a medpack? Even a suture or two would be--"

"--shush, shhhh... the gods... wait for it..."

"Hey, do you want to help me try out this laser cannon? It looks really cool!"

"I'm sorry, that goes against my religion."

"Um, okaaay... so you can use laser swords but not cannons?"

"EXCUSE ME??? I am personally offended by your lack of respect for others, you selfish idiot."

"Okay, okay, sorry. But seriously, do you want to at least watch it blow something up?"

"I can't believe how INCONSIDERATE you are. I hope you're satisfied with yourself, you faithless dog."

"Geez, fine. I'll just go find Jake then."

"WHAT??? First you mock my religion, and now you're DUMPING ME?!?!"

"... I'm done."


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Dune, Star Wars,Warhammer 40k and Star Trek, have all of them religions as part of their Core. Marvel Cinematic Universe has actually the Gods themselves running around. So does DC with Darkseid abd Orion abd such. Dragonstar, Spelljsmmer, Fading Suns have religions as well. So does Avatar, Stargate, and Mutant Chronicles and several others. Many of them give powers or the equivalent of spells.

Starfinder will have it's own pantheon, of course. But it's not like religion is a foreign concept to Sci -Fi (and even more to sci-fantasy). Put Aroden in a Golden Throne and you have one of WH40k's religions.


Torbyne wrote:

I could see some fun with mixing technology and science! Lets have dimensional hopping cruise ships :)

"Why worship the gods when for just the low, low price of 25,000 Credits you can book passage with our new star-liners and spend 3 days and 2 glorious nights traveling through the outer heavens and Elysium Fields! Because don't you deserve your rewards a little bit early?"

Cue all the angels baffled on how to handle tourists swarming the angelic hosts for photo ops.

Golarion is not the totality of its universe. It's generally implied that there are far more technologically advanced species 'elsewhere' (see: the fallen ship in Numeria), so it's not like this would be NEW to them. XD

Dark Archive

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Dune, Star Wars,Warhammer 40k and Star Trek, have all of them religions as part of their Core. Marvel Cinematic Universe has actually the Gods themselves running around. So does DC with Darkseid abd Orion abd such. Dragonstar, Spelljsmmer, Fading Suns have religions as well. So does Avatar, Stargate, and Mutant Chronicles and several others. Many of them give powers or the equivalent of spells.

Starfinder will have it's own pantheon, of course. But it's not like religion is a foreign concept to Sci -Fi (and even more to sci-fantasy). Put Aroden in a Golden Throne and you have one of WH40k's religions.

There is your answer.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Didn't I ask this question some threads ago?

And this question will continue to be asked every few threads until a month after Starfinder is released, from which point it will mutate into "Whisn't God/Goddess X emphasised more or less than it is now?


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Mutate? You're saying we now have mutant Divinities Drahliana?!!


So think of it this way. Take everything that's D&D and everything that's Star Wars. Now smush them together into the same universe. You have aliens and spaceships and laser guns. You also have gods and magic and monsters. They all exist together. If you ever played Dragonstar it's about the best (and only, really) game to have done this before. It's a fantastic idea--like peanut butter and chocolate. I'm excited to see Pathfinder go this way.

P.S. Also in Pathfinder, Golarion, Earth, Star Wars and D&D are all in the same Material Plane anyway so the idea that all this stuff coexists should just be common sense.


Thomas Seitz wrote:
Mutate? You're saying we now have mutant Divinities Drahliana?!!

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter...


Uhm I don't have a newsletter...


Thomas Seitz wrote:
Uhm I don't have a newsletter...

This does me no good! How am I supposed to learn about mutant deities?! Pah!

*stalks off in small blue huff*

:)


If it's a deity of mutants, I feel like Lamashtu would be involved. If it's an outright mutated deity... Zon-Kuthon?


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lordofthemax wrote:
I'm honestly not sure how this is supposed to work in a sci-fi setting. While I'm sure there WILL be religions, for the most part clerics and dieties will be majorly downplayed, so what might be replacing the cleric?

Dragonstar had fully operational gods and clerics in their setting, but a rather interesting conceit. The running paradigm would be that all of the gods of a given planet, were actually aspects of the Twelve, and as the Dragon Empire assimilated it's worlds, the clerics of the Twelve would assimilate the clergy of the local pantheon until it's population were all worshippers of the Twelve.

And in case you wondered, when the Empire issues it's invitations to a world to join, refusal is not an option.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Mutate? You're saying we now have mutant Divinities Drahliana?!!

Paizo's new comic book coming out... Worshipped in a world that fears and hates them.. they are the are X-GODS.

Dark Archive

*Cue theme music from the 90s*


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Some how I don't see any pathfinder gods as Mutants.

Not unless they accept Apocalypse as their lord and savior. ;)


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Mutate? You're saying we now have mutant Divinities Drahliana?!!
Paizo's new comic book coming out... Worshipped in a world that fears and hates them.. they are the are X-GODS.

"And lo, he said unto them, 'I am the best there is at what I do...'"

"...'And what I do isn't very nice.'"

"Amen, bubs."

*congregation makes 'claw flick' gesture*

"Go in pieces."

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Rednal wrote:
If it's a deity of mutants, I feel like Lamashtu would be involved.

Lamashtu evolved. She's now a jigglypuff.


Seriously, Apocalypse is the only mutant god I know. The rest are...well gods.


Although I really don't understand why "we won't tell you where golarion is" should even matter in an interstellar campaign; it's some screwy random prison-planet, not bloody Coruscant...

If the AI 'gifted' hyperspace as a way of screwing all the other gods over would be interesting. "They can be dealt with when in there" would at least explain why gods tend to be stuck to a single system (single planet in previous editions of D&D) in regards to where their food comes from.

They should be able to transmit to clerics at more or less any distance, with dangerous limitations like the rare sealed worlds (think Athas) being something clerics must learn to stay away from at all costs. However, the gods are godly in their own domains, lording high "above" the prime material; catch one in the cleft between dimensions and it's no sturdier than its normal avatars.

This would explain why it was done; as a distributed, decentralized system, the AI Deity can travel with very little risk, at most losing a copy rather than its eternal existence. Rather advantageous when all your rivals can't.

As for favored weapons, that should probably be more by 'type': One god loves himself some ion cannons, a different one thinks you should pack gravitics and there's one that's all about lazorz, but whether it's a pistol, a melee weapon or a vehicular-scale cannon, or something even bigger that you actually DID install to your ship (because why would you install some peashooter the crew could even run around with? that's a personal weapon if they can!) does not matter: you're using the holy whatever that deity likes most.


Jamie Charlan wrote:
prison-planet

A prison planet containing the God of Destruction. That's probably a pretty good reason to keep it hidden, should there be someone or something capable of busting Rovagug free. XD


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GM Rednal wrote:
A prison planet containing the God of Destruction. That's probably a pretty good reason to keep it hidden, should there be someone or something capable of busting Rovagug free. XD

Worst. Kinder Surprise. Ever.


I like where he's going with that, I'd like to hear more, why don't you just break that seal there, and i will destroy everything we can discuss it further.


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
GM Rednal wrote:
A prison planet containing the God of Destruction. That's probably a pretty good reason to keep it hidden, should there be someone or something capable of busting Rovagug free. XD
Worst. Kinder Surprise. Ever.

"But I just wanted to know how many licks to get to the center of Golarion!"


You heard him. Let's add MORE seals to the planet. 8D I'm sure that will make his prison nice and comfortable!


That's kind of my point; most people shouldn't know, and most people shouldn't care either, so trying to make it some big deal in the setting doesn't sit right.

Shouldn't be "Planet unfindable, news at 11!", should simply be a nonsubject?

Plus unlike "let's make it suck more than crossbows" land, the tech's probably considerably more effective thousands of years later in starfinder; wouldn't some random planet exploding and releasing an ancient destroyer god that needs to be put down make for an interesting AP for high level characters or a small fleet?


Jamie Charlan wrote:

That's kind of my point; most people shouldn't know, and most people shouldn't care either, so trying to make it some big deal in the setting doesn't sit right.

Shouldn't be "Planet unfindable, news at 11!", should simply be a nonsubject?

There is also the "Special all day report, what caused The Gap, and what does it mean to you". Even if the planets disappearance isn't a big deal that missing time is huge to everyone.


Seriously, am I the only one that thinks Apocalypse is a mutant god?


I wonder if we'll finally find out what happened to Aroden


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I wonder if Galactus shows up...


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Aroden isn't dead. He was a sliver of Rovagug that was building humanity up in order to cause a race war so destructive it would release the Rough Beast. The Eye of Abendago? That was the first seal. The Worldwound? The second.

The gods had to hide Golorian to stop him.

*completely made up on the spot thing*

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Gods emprisoned Rovagug. No way they would free it. Those pesky mortals on the other hand...

Thankfully we have a deity whose whole business is watching the entire lives and doings of all mortals once they died and are done with

Except for those who become undead that is

So undead are the greatest risk to the Gods' emprisonment of Rovagug

Which is why Pharasma is so keen on having them destroyed so that she can judge them and know all their secrets

Beware the Whispering Tyrant


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That's only around one world though. Other regions may very well have their own gods. Sure, the ones around that one, from a local's little point of view may have been preventing the end of the universe, but take a step back to the galactic scale and "what do you mean they caged *A* rovagug in there? did no one have a broom? what were they thinking those things are filthy!"

Back in Planescape and Spelljammer for example, most pantheons had a single planet.... and some were such petulant tantrum-tossing little a$#++&#s that they wouldn't even have that much if they hadn't blockaded the flow of souls to avoid a complete loss against the "goes to plane of alignment" system default. Each of those pantheons tended to make DAMN sure they were their worshipers entire universe, lest they lose that tasty tasty psychic food to those people just leaving for grander things


I still want Galactus to come along and start eating stuff.


Thomas Seitz wrote:
I still want Galactus to come along and start eating stuff.

Galactus is a lot less horrific than the Warhammer 40k universe where entire planetary populations may be consigned to oblivion DUE TO ROUNDING ERRORS.

Silver Crusade

Jamie Charlan wrote:

That's only around one world though. Other regions may very well have their own gods. Sure, the ones around that one, from a local's little point of view may have been preventing the end of the universe, but take a step back to the galactic scale and "what do you mean they caged *A* rovagug in there? did no one have a broom? what were they thinking those things are filthy!"

Back in Planescape and Spelljammer for example, most pantheons had a single planet.... and some were such petulant tantrum-tossing little a%@%~&@s that they wouldn't even have that much if they hadn't blockaded the flow of souls to avoid a complete loss against the "goes to plane of alignment" system default. Each of those pantheons tended to make DAMN sure they were their worshipers entire universe, lest they lose that tasty tasty psychic food to those people just leaving for grander things

I think that definitely is the case for some deities. For example, I sincerely doubt anyone beyond Golarion worshiped Aroden while he was alive, or that anyone outside of the same area worships any of the Ascended Pantheon.

That being said, there are a few deities that are much more universal or instrumental to how the multiverse functions. One example is Asmodeus, who is referenced as one of the two "first beings" that was born into the multiverse (in Book of the Damned: Princes of Darkness), who along with his brother Ihys (and some unnamed minor deities) formed the creation to their liking, forming the very idea of Order and eventually mortals. Pharasma judges souls from around the entire Material Plane and sends them on their way to their afterlife.

Point its, I do look forward to seeing the reworked pantheon, and the personal deities of other planets and systems, but I feel a few deities are going to be around no matter the pantheon.

And if Asmodeus is afraid of Rovagug and willing to work with angels to imprison him, I'm inclined to listen to him when he tells me that Rovagug is a credible threat :-P


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
I still want Galactus to come along and start eating stuff.
Galactus is a lot less horrific than the Warhammer 40k universe where entire planetary populations may be consigned to oblivion DUE TO ROUNDING ERRORS.

That may be Drah, but I like the idea of a god like being eating planets for food.


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Phylotus wrote:

{. . .}

And if Asmodeus is afraid of Rovagug and willing to work with angels to imprison him, I'm inclined to listen to him when he tells me that Rovagug is a...

You have fallen right into Asmodeus' trap -- of course that's how he wants you to feel. Even when he says something that happens to contain some truth, it always has a lie behind it . . . .

Silver Crusade

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Phylotus wrote:

{. . .}

And if Asmodeus is afraid of Rovagug and willing to work with angels to imprison him, I'm inclined to listen to him when he tells me that Rovagug is a...

You have fallen right into Asmodeus' trap -- of course that's how he wants you to feel. Even when he says something that happens to contain some truth, it always has a lie behind it . . . .

Nonsense, nonsense. Asmodeus is always truthful to those who are strong enough follow his every word... (tries to cover freshly drawn pentagrams in the dirt)


Jamie Charlan wrote:

That's only around one world though. Other regions may very well have their own gods. Sure, the ones around that one, from a local's little point of view may have been preventing the end of the universe, but take a step back to the galactic scale and "what do you mean they caged *A* rovagug in there? did no one have a broom? what were they thinking those things are filthy!"

Back in Planescape and Spelljammer for example, most pantheons had a single planet.... and some were such petulant tantrum-tossing little a~+$$@*s that they wouldn't even have that much if they hadn't blockaded the flow of souls to avoid a complete loss against the "goes to plane of alignment" system default. Each of those pantheons tended to make DAMN sure they were their worshipers entire universe, lest they lose that tasty tasty psychic food to those people just leaving for grander things

According to Jacobs, it's pretty much the same core bunch that manage all of the worlds of the Prime Material plane, even if the names might change, and there might be local additions or subtractions.

From the latest I've read, Golarion was created specifically to cage Rovagug, hence it's nickname. "The Cage".


Grimcleaver wrote:

So think of it this way. Take everything that's D&D and everything that's Star Wars. Now smush them together into the same universe. You have aliens and spaceships and laser guns. You also have gods and magic and monsters. They all exist together. If you ever played Dragonstar it's about the best (and only, really) game to have done this before. It's a fantastic idea--like peanut butter and chocolate. I'm excited to see Pathfinder go this way.

P.S. Also in Pathfinder, Golarion, Earth, Star Wars and D&D are all in the same Material Plane anyway so the idea that all this stuff coexists should just be common sense.

Stargate had magic, but it was normally very rare. Only Ascended Beings (Ancients, the Ori, Anubis) or their protégés (the Harcesis, the Priors, Adria) could wield it. The Nox and Furlings (aka Zales & co.) seemed to have magic but it could have just been very advanced technology. Certain alien beings seemed to have innate magical abilities, like the Ree'tou (invisibility) or the Reol (implanting false memories and allegiances), not to mention the Wraith (who can steal life energy like a vampire) and their insectoid cousins.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

According to Jacobs, it's pretty much the same core bunch that manage all of the worlds of the Prime Material plane, even if the names might change, and there might be local additions or subtractions.

From the latest I've read, Golarion was created specifically to cage Rovagug, hence it's nickname. "The Cage".

May be what they say for now to keep the surprise; some of the best fluff comes from exploring the differences; adds quite a bit of life to even some otherwise quite dull histories when other points of view or evidence of what one's 'angle' was come to light, so I do hope they'll deepen their universe a bit.

As for the horrors of 40k... I'm more of a fan of the Bydo personally. Less final-bureaucracy, but a lot nastier overall.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

all according to plan

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