Could the Gods use an update?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Uh...the deities in Golarion all explicitly do minor miracles for their faithful. Indeed, there's a specific entry in all the deity articles on what those miracles look like. Cayden Cailean makes kegs never empty, grants courage to the timid, and other similar things, for example.

But no, the deities of Golarion do not require worship to power them.

I'll also note that very rarely are people 'ground into cosmic bread flour'. That's a theoretical possibility in some ways, but mostly only if you utterly reject the cycle of the world as a concept and would prefer to be dissolved rather than going to another Plane as a petitioner.

well.. Petitioners and even outsiders can do this as well. Through death or ennui or other reasons. I believe it is more of a thing for petitioners since they will eventually go off somewhere and lie down to be absorbed. LIke, after an eon of partying, a petitioner of Cayden will go 'sleep it off' and just fade into the fabric of the plane.

Liberty's Edge

Phillip Gastone wrote:
well.. Petitioners and even outsiders can do this as well. Through death or ennui or other reasons. I believe it is more of a thing for petitioners since they will eventually go off somewhere and lie down to be absorbed. LIke, after an eon of partying, a petitioner of Cayden will go 'sleep it off' and just fade into the fabric of the plane.

This isn't inevitable, though. Well, or only in the sense that the end of the universe is inevitable. They only do this when they 'die' as a Petitioner or Outsider (and even then, True Resurrection can bring them back), rather than it automatically happening at some point.

Now, a follower of Cayden Cailean might well eventually want to rest and cease to be and that might happen, but it's not automatic and there's no evidence it happens before they wish it to. They don't go to sleep expecting to wake up and then fade away unexpectedly.

Dark Archive

I mean it IS mentioned that if petitioner doesn't die violently or transform into outsider, eventually all of them will go into that lethargic mode were they will fuse with the plane. Its just riiiiiiiidiculously long time.


I'm going to make an unpopular argument here -- I think deities providing cleric power to worshipers that don't necessarily exactly follow their alignment is a fun aspect of the setting, and I'd rather keep it where possible.

I find that 'shades of grey' in deity choice like this adds more room for interesting roleplaying opportunities, and more depth to the deities themselves. Compare to the Kingmaker CRPG's treatment of Lamashtu and Shelyn. Sure, evil and creepy monster kids are what the majority of Lamashtu's worshipers are into, but not every worshiper is the same or generally agrees on what she stands for, what she did, what rites are important, etc, etc. Just like with religions on Earth, not everyone even within the same sect agrees on the past events their religion considers important, or the deeper meaning behind anything they teach or do. And just because one band of followers believes their deity orders criminals to be put on stakes, doesn't mean that there aren't other followers out there shaking their heads and muttering about overzealous jerks.

Golarion's deities are distant deities; they generally don't interact much with their followers beyond throwing down some spells and occasionally providing summons. This is how you can get situations where Iomedean paladins can raid a Hellknights of the Godclaw sanctuary and steal an important Iomedaen artifact, despite both sides being devout Iomedaens to at least some extent. The Godclaw itself is a good example of this -- a binding of several different deities into one sect, despite those deities ostensibly having little to do with each other, and most of those deities' followers outright disagreeing with the whole concept.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
wizzardman wrote:

I'm going to make an unpopular argument here -- I think deities providing cleric power to worshipers that don't necessarily exactly follow their alignment is a fun aspect of the setting, and I'd rather keep it where possible.

This still exists, its just rather than have "one step away" each deity has unique sets of appropriate alignments. I personally think this allows for more flavour as you could for example create a LG diety of Justice and Law who allows LG, LN and LE followers. This gives you a much greater flavour than the same god who allows LG, NG, and LN due to the step system.


Malk_Content wrote:


This still exists, its just rather than have "one step away" each deity has unique sets of appropriate alignments. I personally think this allows for more flavour as you could for example create a LG diety of Justice and Law who allows LG, LN and LE followers. This gives you a much greater flavour than the same god who allows LG, NG, and LN due to the step system.

I agree with that, and I'm pretty okay with these changes, though I'd argue that the one step away system still fit pretty well with the idea that "people interpret the gods the way they want to interpret the gods". I could definitely see a LN or NG interpretations of Iomedae, for example. Expanding it out to specific alignments to account for specific faiths makes sense, but I'd probably still be okay with, say, an LN Iomedaen cleric whose interpretation of the law is a bit more "entrenched" than her fellows.


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Malk_Content wrote:
wizzardman wrote:

I'm going to make an unpopular argument here -- I think deities providing cleric power to worshipers that don't necessarily exactly follow their alignment is a fun aspect of the setting, and I'd rather keep it where possible.

This still exists, its just rather than have "one step away" each deity has unique sets of appropriate alignments. I personally think this allows for more flavour as you could for example create a LG diety of Justice and Law who allows LG, LN and LE followers. This gives you a much greater flavour than the same god who allows LG, NG, and LN due to the step system.

This is true. Specific execution may leave some people wanting if there's an alignment they want to use but can't, but conceptually specific list of alignments is not any more restrictive than the one step alignment rule, and can in fact allow more flexibility. Theoretically you could have a honey badger deity that doesn't give f@$@ and allows for every alignment.


I could see the Eldest (or some of them) allow for Clerics of any alignment. Like Imbrex and Ng don't seem to acknowledge that they have followers period, and Shyka most likely has every alignment (it just averages to Neutral). Heck, the Green Mother is probably a less objectionable option for inveterate hedonists who are nonetheless neutral than Urgathoa. Whereas the Pallid Princess actually wants to promote pestilence and cannibalism, the Feasting Flower mostly is just perfectly selfish, is willing to betray anyone and everything when it is expedient/amusing, and has a somewhat disturbing sense of humor.


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I would very much love for there to be a full pass over the gods to detail their edicts and anathema for the varying different people following them. Some examples would be:

  • Paladins

    Champions and Paladins are supposed to embody the ideals of a god and offer protection to their followers. While they typically have the strictest code of all a deities followers not all gods would have the same prohibition on lies and other typical anathema.

  • Inquisitors

    Inquisitors typically have divine mandates that allow them to be even more lenient with their code than Paladins so they can track down those who betray the faith and those who actively seek to commit grave sins against their god and its followers.

  • Clerics/Clergy

    This would include all worshipers of a deity that actively preach their word. That would include Clerics and to a lesser extent any other class that takes on the role of a priest.

    They typically have a code that they need to follow depending on their god, usually observing the holy days of their religion and practicing their regular obedience.

  • Followers

    This would include all of the worshipers of a deity that offer prayer and have not taken on any specific pacts.


  • Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    If I were to single out two issues with the current set of dieties, it would probably be the following:

    1) The deities in general seem rather disconnected to each other. I am fine if say, the Elf gods maybe don't have much connection to the human gods, and so forth, but in general all of the gods seem to be sort of removed from the majority of gods, except for one or two relationships. Versus mythology, where they tend to cluster into families with more complex relationships with one another

    2) I admit I really the underlying cosmology of petitioners and quintessence and how outsiders are made. I think more compelling stories are possible if the dead retain their memories after judgement: They know why and how they are being punished or rewarded, they can reunite with loved ones or even enemies, and there is a potential that they can go on and become an outsider to aid or directly challenge the PCs.

    Liberty's Edge

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    MMCJawa wrote:

    If I were to single out two issues with the current set of dieties, it would probably be the following:

    1) The deities in general seem rather disconnected to each other. I am fine if say, the Elf gods maybe don't have much connection to the human gods, and so forth, but in general all of the gods seem to be sort of removed from the majority of gods, except for one or two relationships. Versus mythology, where they tend to cluster into families with more complex relationships with one another

    A lot of this is because they are not precisely a pantheon. They are the 20 most commonly worshiped deities in the Inner Sea region. It's a popularity contest to be on the list, more or less. Looking at the top 20 list for Tian Xia in comparison makes that very clear (ie: Shelyn is on that list but Zo-Kuthon is not, nor is Rovagug despite his cosmic importance).

    Finding it weird that some of them are unrelated is sort of like asking 'What are the 3 most popular religions in country X?' in the real world and then finding it weird that two of them are Abrahamic faiths and the third isn't.

    But, because in-universe they are real beings who interact with each other, it's also a lot less true than it looks on the surface.

    Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon are obviously siblings, while Rovagug, Asmodeus, and Sarenrae are all very involved in the battle that trapped him. Lamashtu and Desna are ancient enemies, both being heirs to some of another deity's power. And all those are thus tied together because Desna, Shelyn, and Sarenrae are all in a romantic relationship together. Abadar is also tied in, as he had a rather important deal with Zon-Kuthon in the lore.

    Cayden Cailean, Iomedae, and Erastil also all have established relationships with many of the above listed deities, and get included in the sort of informal 'Gods who hang out together' group that comes up in a lot of the Deity articles (Iomedae, Erastil, Torag, Shelyn, Sarenrae, Cayden Cailean, and Abadar...Calistria and Desna are sort of adjacent to this group butt not always exactly part of it). But that group (plus references to Zon-Kuthon, Lamashtu, Asmodeus and Rovagug as bad guys), are the real 'pantheon' followed most places (well, with Pharasma, and thus Urgathoa, added in a lot of the time, just because she's got an important sphere of influence). The others tend to be followed solo, as basically completely divergent faiths.

    Cayden Cailean, Norgorber, and Iomedae are also all Starstone-Ascended mortals, while Irori and Nethys are Ascended other ways. And Iomedae in particular is tied to several others via her now-dead patron, Aroden, while Irori not being tied in makes sense since he's effectively a popular foreign import.

    Pharasma and Urgathoa are tied into an oppositional pantheon of sorts that is all their own, and a bit separate from everyone.

    Calistria and Torag are a bit outside all those connections (though Calistria has some history with Cayden Cailean, and Torag and he are apparently fairly friendly as well, though not in the same manner), but that's due to being a Dwarven and Elven deity, respectively. Heck, Torag has his own whole Dwarven pantheon to call home.

    The most distant from all the others are probably Gozreh, with little connection to any of the others, and Gorum, who cares only for his own sphere of influence (ie: battle). Though Nethys and Irori are also, admittedly, pretty distant.

    Anyway, lots of connections there, though them all not being the same family is admittedly different from most real-world pantheons, I think it makes sense in context, though, which is that these are real beings in-universe who actually regaularly communicate with people to tell them they're doing it wrong if they start saying that, say, Shelyn and Sarenrae are sisters (one divination spell reveals that no, they aren't).

    MMCJawa wrote:
    2) I admit I really the underlying cosmology of petitioners and quintessence and how outsiders are made. I think more compelling stories are possible if the dead retain their memories after judgement: They know why and how they are being punished or rewarded, they can reunite with loved ones or even enemies, and there is a potential that they can go on and become an outsider to aid or directly challenge the PCs.

    I tend to agree here, though I will note that you can in fact do stories like this canonically even with most people losing their memories. Some people do canonically remember their time as mortals (though such people usually skip Petitioner status for something more impressive right off the bat).


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Sarenrae has a hell of a temper when pushed, and has an unfortunate tendency to give some people a few too many chances before putting her foot down.

    Yeah, that's generally what you'd expect from a goddess of redemption. Not a bad thing at all, in other words.

    Liberty's Edge

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    magnuskn wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Sarenrae has a hell of a temper when pushed, and has an unfortunate tendency to give some people a few too many chances before putting her foot down.
    Yeah, that's generally what you'd expect from a goddess of redemption.

    Well, yes. :)

    magnuskn wrote:
    Not a bad thing at all, in other words.

    A lot of Gods' flaws are tied in to their domains of influence, and are in many ways too much of a good thing rather than problems in their own right...but that doesn't, in my opinion, make them not problems.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    Iomedae's flaws are ... interested in the redemption of others? Not so much. And secondly, that she's a bit inflexible about some things.

    I would say that Iomedae is interested in redemption. One of her Acts was the redeeming of the graveknight The Black Prince'. Now, said redemption involved the graveknight throwing himself on his sword as punishment for his evil. I think what causes a problem is that Iomedae is interested in one's redemption and interested in one paying for their crimes appropriately. I mean, if Iomedae wasn't forgiving, I doubt Seelah would be her paladin.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Kasoh wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    Iomedae's flaws are ... interested in the redemption of others? Not so much. And secondly, that she's a bit inflexible about some things.

    I would say that Iomedae is interested in redemption. One of her Acts was the redeeming of the graveknight The Black Prince'. Now, said redemption involved the graveknight throwing himself on his sword as punishment for his evil. I think what causes a problem is that Iomedae is interested in one's redemption and interested in one paying for their crimes appropriately. I mean, if Iomedae wasn't forgiving, I doubt Seelah would be her paladin.

    Iomedae isn't entirely uninterested in redemption. She's more invested than, say, Torag, certainly. But she's definitely on the unforgiving end of the Good deities (probably right after Torag and right before Cayden Cailean or Erastil in the 'unforgiving' rankings). Even the redemption in her Acts involves the necessity of death (though, in fairness, they were undead, I suppose).

    Seelah was a child who committed a minor crime and felt terrible when it had severe consequences. One need not be especially interested in redemption to find her redeemable. Indeed, I'd argue that treating her with anything but compassion straight up makes you no longer Good, and Iomedae is certainly a Good and righteous person.


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    I feel like Paizo's trend in this area is good, in emphasizing Clerics' (and Deities') particular ethical or thematic approaches more than just Alignment (which is ultimately just a sum measurement). For all the complaints/shock about Anathema, it's ignored that even in 1st Edition Pathfinder, Clerics were explicitly supposed to have Codes that governed their powers... It's just that these were never detailed in Core, and most Deities never got any detailing of them whatsoever, so people mostly ignored this aspect... Even people inclined for specific behavioral ethics usually approached that as something distinct or auxiliary, and not something already hardwired into the rules (even though it was, just without specific implementation details).

    Now, if we needed to have a universal rule for alignment & clerics, the 1-step rule was fine enough. But I think Paizo realized that we don't really need a universal rule, it takes minimal word-count to indicate each Deity's allowed cleric alignments (whether in table or sentence). As others mentioned, that can just as easily allow more Aligment options than the 1-step rule, even if complaints focus on options it takes away... Either way, dropping the universal 1-step rule allows a more specifical and conscious realization of the unique nature of each Deity and their worship (the decoupling of Positive/Negative Channel also goes along with this). IMHO, there SHOULD be Deities whose Clerics must follow Code/Anathema pretty close to Paladins, there should also be ones whose Anathema revolve around issues unrelated to Good/Evil/Law/Chaos.

    Relatedly, "Alignment as such" can be more or less important to a given Deity, reflecting e.g. Cosmic Balance vs "I don't give a F#%!" Neutral, "Lawbringer" vs "Conformist" Lawful. One of my pet peeves of 3.x/P1E was "enforced Alignment Domains" hedging out more interesting Domains directly related to the Deities stated themes/interests, and the new approach clearly allows less-Alignment-conscious Dieites to just focus on what they "want to".

    I can actually see a new space carved out for concepts like Separatist, like just allowing the 1-step rule in addition to normally legal Alignments... and allowing a re-ordering of Alignment/Anathema priority. Something like that seems interesting, and allows a tighter thematic focus IMHO, while of course other vehicles for "deithy/morality/thematic flexibility" can exist in parallel.


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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    magnuskn wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Sarenrae has a hell of a temper when pushed, and has an unfortunate tendency to give some people a few too many chances before putting her foot down.
    Yeah, that's generally what you'd expect from a goddess of redemption.

    Well, yes. :)

    magnuskn wrote:
    Not a bad thing at all, in other words.
    A lot of Gods' flaws are tied in to their domains of influence, and are in many ways too much of a good thing rather than problems in their own right...but that doesn't, in my opinion, make them not problems.

    Perhaps "flaws" isn't the best word for it, because that depends on point of view. It's more quirks of the gods. And their quirks really make them more real characters than simply a generic "God of X." So the Lawful Torag is drinking buddies with the Chaotic Cayden Cailean.

    Some gods are still a bit bland in my mind. Particularly the neutral ones. For example, Abadar, Gozreh and Gorum just don't seem all that interesting to me. I think there's a reason why people keep bringing up Asmodeus as a god of laws and contracts for LN followers, while that overlaps with Abadar perfectly without the explicitly evil focus of Asmodeus. It's because he's much more interesting than Abadar. Being the literal devil makes him more interesting, while Abadar is an oatmeal on white-bread sandwich. Gozreh just kind of exists. And Gorum is a bit too "I'm the war god of war, and warriors, warring with warness. Because war. Did I mention that I like war?" Even though he's a walking heavy metal album cover, he's still kind of meh. But this is certainly a case of your mileage may vary.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Perhaps "flaws" isn't the best word for it, because that depends on point of view. It's more quirks of the gods. And their quirks really make them more real characters than simply a generic "God of X." So the Lawful Torag is drinking buddies with the Chaotic Cayden Cailean.

    Well, sure. Beings of perfect Good (or perfect Evil) are boring as hell. IMO, that doesn't make their flaws no longer flaws, it just means that most characters need flaws to be interesting.

    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Some gods are still a bit bland in my mind. Particularly the neutral ones. For example, Abadar, Gozreh and Gorum just don't seem all that interesting to me. I think there's a reason why people keep bringing up Asmodeus as a god of laws and contracts for LN followers, while that overlaps with Abadar perfectly without the explicitly evil focus of Asmodeus. It's because he's much more interesting than Abadar. Being the literal devil makes him more interesting, while Abadar is an oatmeal on white-bread sandwich. Gozreh just kind of exists. And Gorum is a bit too "I'm the war god of war, and warriors, warring with warness. Because war. Did I mention that I like war?" Even though he's a walking heavy metal album cover, he's still kind of meh. But this is certainly a case of your mileage may vary.

    Personally, I find Abadar an interesting figure. There's actually a fair amount of stuff on him that makes him distinctly not bland, at least to me. He suffers in comparison to Asmodeus only because Asmodeus is one of the most interesting Gods in the pantheon, rather than through any fault of his own.

    I'm mostly in agreement on Gorum and Gozreh, though. Neither have ever seemed especially compelling (though I admit that the Half Orc thing with Gorum is his most compelling point, and pretty neat...though I did find it neater when he could have Good worshipers).

    Dark Archive

    Thing with Gozreh as the nature deity is that it makes perfectly sense for them to just exist :P

    I mean, thats the nature, it exists. Green Faith is also kinda similar in a way


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    My biggest critique of Abadar is that most of the stuff his faith gets up to that I consider even remotely cool... could also fit in Erastil's wheelhouse. And what's left... is either boring or vigorously nasty.

    Speaking of boring...

    Gorum has always felt like either a Tempus expy or a slightly less-nasty Khorne.

    Torag is a Dwarven creator deity with a thing for forges. Y'dont say?


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    So I think the thing with deities is that sometimes you need them to be pretty basic. Like, not every player is going to so a deep dive into the existing pantheon(s) and try to find that unique snowflake of a god that fits their idea. Sometimes they just want to pick a god and start playing.

    I feel like Torag is the God equivalent of human warrior fighter. It is cliche, but that also means that a player gets it. Having the core pantheon cover the basic tropes is a pretty decent idea from a player perspective. It also makes some sense from a narrative perspective: prospective worshippers find these domains easy to understand and broadly relevant.

    Meanwhile, various less mainstream deities can be used to get weird, nuanced, and interesting. Much like non-core classes are allowed to get more complicated.


    Captain Morgan wrote:

    So I think the thing with deities is that sometimes you need them to be pretty basic. Like, not every player is going to so a deep dive into the existing pantheon(s) and try to find that unique snowflake of a god that fits their idea. Sometimes they just want to pick a god and start playing.

    I feel like Torag is the God equivalent of human warrior fighter. It is cliche, but that also means that a player gets it. Having the core pantheon cover the basic tropes is a pretty decent idea from a player perspective. It also makes some sense from a narrative perspective: prospective worshippers find these domains easy to understand and broadly relevant.

    Meanwhile, various less mainstream deities can be used to get weird, nuanced, and interesting. Much like non-core classes are allowed to get more complicated.

    I think it was a good design decision to make many of the core gods be connected to classes, which was well done by the "you used to be mortal and now you are god" gods being pretty associated with classes. Of course some of the "not used to be mortal" gods fit pretty well too.

    I don't just say that because I used to joke on the "paladins should be the mortal swords of the gods" threads about the difficulties the prospective paladin of Nethys would experience trying to convince him that his "champion" should be anything but a full caster....


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    Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    ....

    I'm mostly in agreement on Gorum and Gozreh, though. Neither have ever seemed especially compelling (though I admit that the Half Orc thing with Gorum is his most compelling point, and pretty neat...though I did find it neater when he could have Good worshipers).

    Now technically I'm pretty sure, Gorum can still have good worshipers, just not Good clergy.

    I think that the list shown in the playtest expresses a good move creating some core flexibility with respect to the different faiths, moving away from the generic 1 alignment difference, etc. Decoupling the absolute relation of positive and negative from alignment and coupling it with the nature of the deity instead were both good moves.

    Technically, it seems like many of the faiths actually became more restrictive, which might have removed some old cannon lore characters, or require them change alignments. OR it may be that a particular deity may lead more than one FAITH. Sarenrae and what is listed may be the primary and theoretically more core aspect of Sarenrae. However, it might be possible that a Dawnflower faith might exist, with slightly different choices of domains, and alignment restrictions, a splinter personality of Sarenrae, which may well power the spells of people that Sarenrae proper may not fully approve of, but might exist non-the-less.

    In any case, there are cases where clerics of a particular faith, had drifted from the tenets for what ever reason, but they did not appear to have lost their power yet. Somehow the deity didn't know about the individuals infidelity. Probably either because the individual didn't comprehend that they had actually drifted, or they felt justified in their drifting. One of the cases was a Priest of Pharasma who truly was working to completely work around their goddess's tenants because they felt they deserved to. But Pharasma didn't just god strike him, he had to be rooted out and discovered, due to his actions.

    I think that this might be reflected potentially in game via some sort of Heresy feat that could be taken that might allow someone to ignore a specific aspect of an anathema, replacing it with another, reflecting a skewed interpretation of a/their faith. A high enough level priest with this trait might well be able to found an alternate faith based on that false teaching. Such a mechanics could be listed as Rare, but could explain certain in world events and people in existing lore.

    So, maybe there could be a priest of a watered down Asmodeus faith who is LN. They wouldn't necessarily have all the same domains offered to them as Asmodeus' core faith, and might even have a different one. They would have different teachings, and would probably spin what the world says about Asmodeus in a different way than everyone else.

    You could even have a cleric for Rovagug, who is is CN or N who is like a Shepherd, who actually gets power from Rovagug, because they help insure sacrifices are made. But the thing is, they try to insure that only the minimum such sacrifices are made, and only of those who can be spared or are of least value to the community. (people like strangers, criminals or politicians for instance) If they are honestly doing the minimum to avoid what they believe would cause total destruction, it might not really require an evil alignment) But admittedly, this is not truly a core faithful of Rovagug, but a heritic, who cares more for their 'flock' than their devourer, but may have a place in Rovagug's table as an agent, none-the-less.

    So I look at it as a good base for Core. A base which leaves some options to re-introduce as more advanced options some legacy things that might have fallen out of scope out of Core via some reasonable rules that can come later and build on the framework we got in the core.

    I love the gods having 'quirks' in the nature of flaws. I like the faithful being able to be quirky as well. I generally like the changes, I just look forward for some potential additional options in the future. I have always liked the idea of different orders with different perspectives having different 'take' on their deity, and thereby having different choices of abilities and restrictions. So I like there being more specific details in the faith definitions, and them not just being aliment distance <= 1 etc. being the rules.

    I think a degree of the increased restrictions on priests was limitations that seemed to show a focus on the Good/Evil axis being a bit more important and immutable. However, I would point out, as mentioned, some of the gods good may have quirks that could result in from a purely objective standpoint being kind of evil, so I'd simply ask are they being consistent in these expectations. [if a priest of Torag goes around on a murdering rampage (including some otherwise innocents) because they think that is what they should do are they they no longer good, and no longer a priest any longer] Most specifically though, the focus of my question is the second half.


    Captain Morgan wrote:

    So I think the thing with deities is that sometimes you need them to be pretty basic. Like, not every player is going to so a deep dive into the existing pantheon(s) and try to find that unique snowflake of a god that fits their idea. Sometimes they just want to pick a god and start playing.

    I feel like Torag is the God equivalent of human warrior fighter. It is cliche, but that also means that a player gets it. Having the core pantheon cover the basic tropes is a pretty decent idea from a player perspective. It also makes some sense from a narrative perspective: prospective worshippers find these domains easy to understand and broadly relevant.

    Meanwhile, various less mainstream deities can be used to get weird, nuanced, and interesting. Much like non-core classes are allowed to get more complicated.

    That's true. There is a lot to be said for gods that are easy to grasp on first glance. But I think they can have that and more depth and interesting quirks. Like Desna. Probably the best deity in the setting. At first glance you can say "Chaotic Good goddess of Travel, Luck and dreams, she likes butterflies and is very popular, especially with Elves, but has the downside of a really dumb favored weapon." That's enough to get interest right there. All those things are good (except the star-knife), and the Travel domain is awesome. But when you dig deeper you get the stuff showing that's she's even cooler. "Oh yeah, she's actually a giant butterfly from outer space. She's so awesome that she accidentally created a god when a constellation she made came alive. And she once invaded the abyss, killed a demon lord and blew up it's sub-pane for excessive jerkassery, then her goddess posse friends covered for her." Or Shelyn, goddess of love, art and beauty. Easy to grasp. But then there are details like her brother being corrupted by a Cenobite to become Zon-Kuthon and her favored weapon is his glaive that she stole when he came back.

    I don't think those details make the gods any harder to grasp, but they do make them more interesting if you look into them. Meanwhile others just don't have much beyond the surface glance.


    This thread got me thinking about souls being absorbed into the quintessence of the planes and you know what? I think I've gone from indifferent to actually liking the concept.

    I feel like it mirrors what happens to our flesh bodies. We pass, our bodies decay, and it feels into the environment. This happening to the soul separately is an interesting choice.


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    Albatoonoe wrote:
    I feel like it mirrors what happens to our flesh bodies. We pass, our bodies decay, and it feels into the environment. This happening to the soul separately is an interesting choice.

    I mean, pretty much everything in our universe heavier than helium is made out of the remains dead stars, so it's not a bad parallel to think that almost everything in other planes is made of the remains of dead souls.


    It took me way too long to realize I wasn't on the Starfinder boards when reading this.

    I could definitely see an update happening, ideally in the format of Inner Sea Gods, my favorite work from paizo in general. More information on them is always nice, and if they need any rebalancing at all, this would be the time


    Albatoonoe wrote:

    This thread got me thinking about souls being absorbed into the quintessence of the planes and you know what? I think I've gone from indifferent to actually liking the concept.

    I feel like it mirrors what happens to our flesh bodies. We pass, our bodies decay, and it feels into the environment. This happening to the soul separately is an interesting choice.

    Really depends on how aware of it you are. The Wall of the Faithless in FR has you aware of every second of yourself being ground down so blankity-blank that.

    Dark Archive

    Phillip Gastone wrote:
    Albatoonoe wrote:

    This thread got me thinking about souls being absorbed into the quintessence of the planes and you know what? I think I've gone from indifferent to actually liking the concept.

    I feel like it mirrors what happens to our flesh bodies. We pass, our bodies decay, and it feels into the environment. This happening to the soul separately is an interesting choice.

    Really depends on how aware of it you are. The Wall of the Faithless in FR has you aware of every second of yourself being ground down so blankity-blank that.

    The difference is that Wall of the Faithless was created by evil god as method of punishment while other is natural process that is initiated by the petitioner :p Pretty sure its less of horrifying thing and more of "becoming one with the universe" literally

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    I liked the theory of getting rid of the 1-step rule in favor of custom-fitted alignments for each deity's clerics (and maybe even worshippers, at least James Jacobs wrote so). Same for giving positive or negative channel to deities depending on concept rather than mere Good-Evil alignment.

    I hated that, in the playtest, it only ended up in more restrictive choices, thereby banning existing characters (whether PCs or homebrewed NPCs) from existence. There is zero occurrence in the playtest of a deity with a broader range of alignments allowed, even though that would create new concepts :-(

    And really why would they later allow these now forbidden Clerics back in the game when they could have just kept the old alignments viable ?

    No gain here in my view, just losses.

    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Perhaps "flaws" isn't the best word for it, because that depends on point of view. It's more quirks of the gods. And their quirks really make them more real characters than simply a generic "God of X." So the Lawful Torag is drinking buddies with the Chaotic Cayden Cailean.

    Well, sure. Beings of perfect Good (or perfect Evil) are boring as hell. IMO, that doesn't make their flaws no longer flaws, it just means that most characters need flaws to be interesting.

    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Some gods are still a bit bland in my mind. Particularly the neutral ones. For example, Abadar, Gozreh and Gorum just don't seem all that interesting to me. I think there's a reason why people keep bringing up Asmodeus as a god of laws and contracts for LN followers, while that overlaps with Abadar perfectly without the explicitly evil focus of Asmodeus. It's because he's much more interesting than Abadar. Being the literal devil makes him more interesting, while Abadar is an oatmeal on white-bread sandwich. Gozreh just kind of exists. And Gorum is a bit too "I'm the war god of war, and warriors, warring with warness. Because war. Did I mention that I like war?" Even though he's a walking heavy metal album cover, he's still kind of meh. But this is certainly a case of your mileage may vary.

    Personally, I find Abadar an interesting figure. There's actually a fair amount of stuff on him that makes him distinctly not bland, at least to me. He suffers in comparison to Asmodeus only because Asmodeus is one of the most interesting Gods in the pantheon, rather than through any fault of his own.

    I'm mostly in agreement on Gorum and Gozreh, though. Neither have ever seemed especially compelling (though I admit that the Half Orc thing with Gorum is his most compelling point, and pretty neat...though I did find it neater when he could have Good worshipers).

    I liked the idea of Gorum, because really, Gorum is Crom.

    But I had trouble imagining what Gorum himself would talk, think, behave like, what his principles and commandments might be like.

    Until I met Marvel Comics' Ares.

    Your typical badass CN greater god of war, who cares for nothing but the thrill of battle and the glory of triumph.

    I wanted to share this epiphany with you all, just in case it speaks to you as strongly as it spoke to me.

    The Ares mini-serie, as well as the "God of Fear, God of War" issue of the Secret Warriors, are choke full of enlightening quotes for exactly this kind of character.

    The one that got me in love ?

    "No one I select for my squad of shades will ever lose a fight for the rest of their life.
    It's just that the rest of your life may be somewhat shorter than you'd expect."

    Some other examples taken from the aforementioned comic books :

    - There will always be War
    - Good and Evil are for man. Not I
    - I need no favors. I am my own god
    - Honor above everything
    - Brook no insults
    - Honor for your comrades and no one else
    - Leave no god/man behind
    - Some commanders NEED blowing up

    Well, you get the drift.


    Pharasma should be LN. Because honestly, I'm not convinced TN is possible for anyone above animal intelligence, or maybe for Gozreh being natural phenomena. As an example, aeons only caring about maintaining some balance and not the circumstances is the definition of Lawful Stupid. For example, "I don't care that you're using time travel to stop a Great Old One from waking. You're using time travel!"

    Gorum should be CE. Or more exactly, Gorum now only allowing CN and CE clerics only supports my concerns that he's basically the official version of Chaotic "Neutral".

    And on a less contentious note, I think it would be interesting to promote someone like Cassandalee to official god status. She is by the time of Starfinder, and 2e is assumed to take place after all the 1e APs.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    RazarTuk wrote:
    As an example, aeons only caring about maintaining some balance and not the circumstances is the definition of Lawful Stupid. For example, "I don't care that you're using time travel to stop a Great Old One from waking. You're using time travel!"

    They are getting moved to LN in 2e.

    Liberty's Edge

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    RazarTuk wrote:
    Pharasma should be LN. Because honestly, I'm not convinced TN is possible for anyone above animal intelligence, or maybe for Gozreh being natural phenomena.

    Uh...no? Neutral, in most cases, can be summed up as indifference, or at least practical indifference. Most Neutral mortals probably vaguely believe in the same things as NG mortals (though they could believe in anything), but regardless of their vague and theoretical beliefs they just don't actually do anything about it. They simply drift through their life doing vaguely self-centered things, probably taking care of their families, and not actively hurting people too much (if only to avoid jail and other unpleasantness).

    Most people are Neutral in this sense, and it's not hard at all. Hell, if you always take the easy route you'll usually wind up Neutral (though under an Evil regime the 'easy route' may drift you over to Evil pretty quick).

    The philosophically Neutral are much rarer (though hardly impossible), and can go a few different ways. But actually, in Pharasma's case her Neutrality is actually much more like the above listed common version. It is her complete indifference to, well, literally everything outside her specific remit. Evil, Good, Law, and Chaos? Immaterial and meaningless to her. She is absolutely uncaring and ambivalent about them, a force of nature more than a person. Arguing her as LN makes some sense, but misses the point that she's only Lawful in a very specific context and can be quite Chaotic and arbitrary in others simply due to not caring, and that she cares absolutely nothing about Law in the abstract (she'd be just as content to watch the universe dissolve into Chaos as anything else).

    RazarTuk wrote:
    As an example, aeons only caring about maintaining some balance and not the circumstances is the definition of Lawful Stupid. For example, "I don't care that you're using time travel to stop a Great Old One from waking. You're using time travel!"

    The Aeons probably should be LN, yes. That doesn't invalidate any other Neutral creatures, though.

    RazarTuk wrote:
    Gorum should be CE. Or more exactly, Gorum now only allowing CN and CE clerics only supports my concerns that he's basically the official version of Chaotic "Neutral".

    Gorum is on the Evil end of Neutral, sure. He has some good points, though, and violence is a tool that can be used for Good. He's an example of a Neutral God that's almost Evil. A counterexample of one that's almost Good would be very interesting, now that I think about it...

    RazarTuk wrote:
    And on a less contentious note, I think it would be interesting to promote someone like Cassandalee to official god status. She is by the time of Starfinder, and 2e is assumed to take place after all the 1e APs.

    This will probably be the case if it's true in an AP. It may take some time to show up, of course...


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Gorum is on the Evil end of Neutral, sure. He has some good points, though, and violence is a tool that can be used for Good. He's an example of a Neutral God that's almost Evil. A counterexample of one that's almost Good would be very interesting, now that I think about it...

    Alseta springs to mind. Or Acavna, if a CN example is desired.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    RazarTuk wrote:
    Pharasma should be LN. Because honestly, I'm not convinced TN is possible for anyone above animal intelligence, or maybe for Gozreh being natural phenomena.

    Uh...no? Neutral, in most cases, can be summed up as indifference, or at least practical indifference. Most Neutral mortals probably vaguely believe in the same things as NG mortals (though they could believe in anything), but regardless of their vague and theoretical beliefs they just don't actually do anything about it. They simply drift through their life doing vaguely self-centered things, probably taking care of their families, and not actively hurting people too much (if only to avoid jail and other unpleasantness).

    Most people are Neutral in this sense, and it's not hard at all. Hell, if you always take the easy route you'll usually wind up Neutral (though under an Evil regime the 'easy route' may drift you over to Evil pretty quick).

    The philosophically Neutral are much rarer (though hardly impossible), and can go a few different ways. But actually, in Pharasma's case her Neutrality is actually much more like the above listed common version. It is her complete indifference to, well, literally everything outside her specific remit. Evil, Good, Law, and Chaos? Immaterial and meaningless to her. She is absolutely uncaring and ambivalent about them, a force of nature more than a person. Arguing her as LN makes some sense, but misses the point that she's only Lawful in a very specific context and can be quite Chaotic and arbitrary in others simply due to not caring, and that she cares absolutely nothing about Law in the abstract (she'd be just as content to watch the universe dissolve into Chaos as anything else).

    There are also repeated references/hints that Pharasma doesn't follow some strict script in allocating souls during judgement. A few weird results happen that can't be explained by the normal "rules" as understood by observers. Presumably these are based on some tenet of neutrality or balance rather than obsessively following a law of soul judgement.

    This also comes through in the yamaraj's bestiary write up on how they approach judgement of souls. They aren't rigidly applying laws and precedents, they take a more pragmatic and personalized approach to things. They mostly follow the letter of the rules, where convenient or strictly applicable, but are happy to find exceptions based on circumstances that they feel meet the spirit of the rules or some bigger picture concern. Maybe even the occasional whim or personal feelings.


    Doktor Weasel wrote:


    Some gods are still a bit bland in my mind. Particularly the neutral ones. For example, Abadar, Gozreh and Gorum just don't seem all that interesting to me. I think there's a reason why people keep bringing up Asmodeus as a god of laws and contracts for LN followers, while that overlaps with Abadar perfectly without the explicitly evil focus of Asmodeus. It's because he's much more interesting than Abadar. Being the literal devil makes him more interesting, while Abadar is an oatmeal on white-bread sandwich. Gozreh just kind of exists. And Gorum is a bit too "I'm the war god of war, and warriors, warring with warness. Because war. Did I mention that I like war?" Even though he's a walking heavy metal album cover, he's still kind of meh. But this is certainly a case of your mileage may vary.

    So he likes war


    Deadmanwalking wrote:

    I'm actually a big fan of the (not proven, but well supported) interpretation that she's basically a friendly eldritch abomination. Something utterly alien that just happens to actually like humanoids.

    And I just failed my will save.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Combat Monster wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    I'm actually a big fan of the (not proven, but well supported) interpretation that she's basically a friendly eldritch abomination. Something utterly alien that just happens to actually like humanoids.
    And I just failed my will save.

    And suffered what fate?

    I'm pretty sure Desna keeps her sanity-draining stuff pretty well hidden most days. Though I suppose Shelyn and Sarenrae are probably familiar with her true form...


    Phillip Gastone wrote:

    ]

    So he likes war

    That was intense


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Phillip Gastone wrote:
    So he likes war

    I expected this to be the Abridged version; not having heard the original before I was surprised to find that the Abridged version is actually tamer than the original. XD


    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Combat Monster wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    I'm actually a big fan of the (not proven, but well supported) interpretation that she's basically a friendly eldritch abomination. Something utterly alien that just happens to actually like humanoids.
    And I just failed my will save.

    And suffered what fate?

    I'm pretty sure Desna keeps her sanity-draining stuff pretty well hidden most days. Though I suppose Shelyn and Sarenrae are probably familiar with her true form...

    In more ways than one. *Boomshacka Boomshacka Wowwow*

    Liberty's Edge

    Phillip Gastone wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Combat Monster wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    I'm actually a big fan of the (not proven, but well supported) interpretation that she's basically a friendly eldritch abomination. Something utterly alien that just happens to actually like humanoids.
    And I just failed my will save.

    And suffered what fate?

    I'm pretty sure Desna keeps her sanity-draining stuff pretty well hidden most days. Though I suppose Shelyn and Sarenrae are probably familiar with her true form...

    In more ways than one. *Boomshacka Boomshacka Wowwow*

    That was where I was going with that, yes. ;)

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