Should there be exceptions to what deities let their clerics channel?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Negative and Positive energy are inherently neutral forces, so it always kind of bothered me that evil gods gave the former and good gods gave the latter with no difference between them.

But there are evil gods with an emphasis on something other than destruction, LE deities that emphasize order and community or armies, for instance. Wouldn't they have some sort of vested interest providing healing for their army? Or an evil god that doesn't like undead, or emphasizes more corruptive than destructive traits.

There are also good deities that do emphasize destruction, ones that are more interested in smiting the wicked than helping the innocent and it seems like in the same vein such a god might be interested in giving their cleric more offensive powers through which to deliver their divine justice.

But no, it's positive if you're good and negative if you're evil. Neutral clerics of neutral deities get to pick at least, so that's cool.


i suppose you could lift the prereqs on Versatile Channel, because I see your point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Are they inherently neutral? I haven't read that assertion before.

The Negative Energy Plane is the source of undeath, and undead and their creation is evil in Golorian's cosmology.

Even if we accept that the energies themselves have no morality, there's still reason why good deities would avoid using Negative Energy and evil deities would encourage the use of Negative Energy.

Good deities want to foster a good world, while this means destroying evil monsters, they don't want their clergy doing it by releasing soul-sucking, undead-fostering energies into the world.

Evil deities want as much Negative Energy in the world so it leads to their idealized world, so they force their clergy to use it.

Speculation: Think of it as whichever energy is highest at the end of the life of the Prime Material Plane wins.


Most undead are evil because they consume other creatures, despite not needing to do so to survive.

In a sense, negative energy is less dangerous than positive energy. Many positive-aligned creatures require death of others in order to exist. Undead are not forced into that way of existence. Likewise, undead can exist in perfect condition on the Negative Plane, but the Positive Plane will kill you, regardless of your energy affinity.

Liberty's Edge

I prefer the rule that good aligned clerics can only use positive energy in channeling, while evil clerics can only use negative energy. I would even more prefer that evil aligned clerics not be able to utilize cure spells of any kind.


Blake's Tiger wrote:
Are they inherently neutral? I haven't read that assertion before.

Well, the negative and positive energy planes are both unaligned and the cure and inflict line of spells lack alignment tags, so yeah I'd say they''re inherently neutral. Specific applications of negative energy (animating the dead) are considered evil, but putting someone in a positive-dominant plane so they'll explode would be pretty evil too.

Quote:
Good deities want to foster a good world, while this means destroying evil monsters, they don't want their clergy doing it by releasing soul-sucking, undead-fostering energies into the world.

Well, it's not soul sucking, but that's pretty fair. Still I also think it's fair that it seems odd destructively minded good gods are doling out the same healing that more protective and pacifistic ones would.

Quote:
Evil deities want as much Negative Energy in the world so it leads to their idealized world, so they force their clergy to use it.

This I can't agree with and I think is the stronger argument for versatility here. Some, yes. Orcus probably loves the idea of spreading more wanton destructive forces onto the material plane and that it helps the undead is even better.

But I can't buy the notion that, say, Asmodeous or General Susumu are interested in that kind of entropic force being thrown around willy nilly and the potential implications of 'flooding' the world with it. Nothing about (wanton) death and undeath really fits their ideal worldview. Plus I just think healers would fit a lot better in some deities portfolios. Pragmatic, ruthless healers, maybe, but still.

Martin Kauffman 530 wrote:
I prefer the rule that good aligned clerics can only use positive energy in channeling, while evil clerics can only use negative energy. I would even more prefer that evil aligned clerics not be able to utilize cure spells of any kind.

Any reason why? My thought was just that... teams of evil people need healing too and that some evil deities would probably want to promote that instead of just destruction.


I can't speak to the position of the deities of Golarion on the energy planes. However while forces themselves may be neutral, it doesn't follow that employing those forces is a neutral act. The planes may be unaligned simply because there isn't any driving intelligence behind the force. Death is neither good nor bad, it's a force of nature, but killing people without cause is generally a bad thing.

That isn't to say there aren't occassions when using negative energy wouldn't be good, and using positive energy wouldn't be evil. It's just that clerics don't to have the ability to snuff out life as a class ability unless they are evil, or heal the injured unless they are good.

I'm sure there are ways round this if you really want. A house rule in one game I ran was that clerics can use the other form of energy by using double the uses. Though to be honest we haven't continued that because it seemed to make the cleric a bit too good.

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