Chewing on Champions


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
A divine caster "whose gifts the gods cannot take back" is plainly an oracle. I don't really want the cleric to encroach on the eventual oracle's thematic space.

That's not plain at all.

Oracle wrote:

Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.

Role: Oracles do not usually associate with any one church or temple, instead preferring to strike out on their own, or with a small group of like-minded individuals. Oracles typically use their spells and revelations to further their understanding of their mystery, be it through fighting mighty battles or tending to the poor and sick.

Nothing in there hints at whether the oracle's power could be taken back by whoever bestowed it. Rather, the key difference between a oracle and a cleric (supported by the cleric description) is whether you get power from a single deity you dedicate yourself to or from a bunch of deities you need not be dedicated to at all.

Though that is true, I'd say that the fact that the Oracle can be gifted power by, say, Iomedae, and then play through Hell's Vengeance generally suggests that the Oracle's source either can't or won't take power back.


Cyouni wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
A divine caster "whose gifts the gods cannot take back" is plainly an oracle. I don't really want the cleric to encroach on the eventual oracle's thematic space.

That's not plain at all.

Oracle wrote:

Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.

Role: Oracles do not usually associate with any one church or temple, instead preferring to strike out on their own, or with a small group of like-minded individuals. Oracles typically use their spells and revelations to further their understanding of their mystery, be it through fighting mighty battles or tending to the poor and sick.

Nothing in there hints at whether the oracle's power could be taken back by whoever bestowed it. Rather, the key difference between a oracle and a cleric (supported by the cleric description) is whether you get power from a single deity you dedicate yourself to or from a bunch of deities you need not be dedicated to at all.
Though that is true, I'd say that the fact that the Oracle can be gifted power by, say, Iomedae, and then play through Hell's Vengeance generally suggests that the Oracle's source either can't or won't take power back.

More likely Iomedae does take back her portion of the oracle's power, but it's replaced by someone who likes their new alignment. All in the background, of course. Remember, part of the core concept of the oracle (as quoted above) is that they get their power from many sources.


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I mean, there are no mechanics, even hinted at, in PF1 that an oracle can lose access to their powers (or indeed cure their curse) in PF1. Whereas even without anathema in PF1, we still had stuff like "A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class feature." I figure that sort of thing being vague (and thus almost never enforced) is why Anathema exists.

But in PF1 you could have an Oracle who at some point in their campaign has all nine alignments, and who renounces their current god and picks a new religion every day, and absolutely nothing happens to their magical powers short of outright GM intervention.

So I don't think we need a "fury totem for the cleric". But I would like to see an oracle-version of the Paladin/Champion. Not one who can break the rules, but one who has no clue where their powers come from, but are still held to a standard by mysterious forces.

Liberty's Edge

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Tectorman wrote:
It paints the player as nitpicky or unpleaseable in a way that exercising an already existing option doesn't.

I get this quite well, but if the GM refuses, then it paints THEM as "nitpicky or unpleasable".

I understand that you wish for people to have access to the pack of abilities that the Cleric has without being automatically shackled by anathemas and that you do not want the possibility of playing an anathema-less Cleric left to the player's IRL negotiating ability.

But the Cleric and Champion as servants of deities is very familiar to even new players. It gives these Classes a framework and an identity beyond having a pack of abilities. And the anathemas are a simple and efficient way to tell them how servants of a given deity are supposed to act.

And ultimately, it is the GM's burden to create a setting that makes sense. So I find it fair that they have the final say on whether the anathemas exist in their game or not.

I get that this is not perfect, but I think it is the best solution.

Liberty's Edge

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MaxAstro wrote:
Anathema is less restrictive or controversial than the Paladin code

Give them time ;-)

Quote:
On the other hand, Paizo has suggested that we are going to get rules for heretical Clerics at some point, and I imagine that archetype or w/e it ends up being may have some ability to ignore (or at least reinterpret) anathema.

I read heretical Clerics as a way to have Clerics with alignments outside the PF2 deities' more restricted ones. Come to think of it, mixing that with the ability to ignore some of your deity's anathemas might make sense.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, there are no mechanics, even hinted at, in PF1 that an oracle can lose access to their powers (or indeed cure their curse) in PF1. Whereas even without anathema in PF1, we still had stuff like "A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class feature." I figure that sort of thing being vague (and thus almost never enforced) is why Anathema exists.

But in PF1 you could have an Oracle who at some point in their campaign has all nine alignments, and who renounces their current god and picks a new religion every day, and absolutely nothing happens to their magical powers short of outright GM intervention.

So what? The cleric has a falling mechanic, the oracle doesn't---but those facts are not part of the core concept of the classes. If PF1 had introduced a cleric archetype that couldn't fall, but for whom the introductory paragraphs in the cleric class still held true, very few people besides you would have exclaimed "that's not a cleric any more, that's an oracle!" Whereas an archetype that didn't dedicate itself to a god, but drew power from any and every compatible god, would get that reaction.

Clerics also get proficiency with a deity's favored weapon and oracles don't. That's not part of the core concept of the class either. The core concept is the stuff up front in the class entry saying "Here is what a cleric is." The stuff that archetypes of the class preserve.

We don't have to ever have a no-fall cleric in PF2, but it could certainly have one that would still be a cleric. For that matter, PF2 could have an oracle variant whose mysterious powers and mysterious curse also came with a mysterious geas, with failure to obey the geas meaning loss of powers (though not of curse), and it would still be an oracle, not a cleric.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
So what? The cleric has a falling mechanic, the oracle doesn't---but those facts are not part of the core concept of the classes.

Quite frankly, yes it is. The fact that Clerics have to actively serve a specific God in an ongoing fashion to be empowered is absolutely an essential part of their concept (and reflected by deity-based anathema in PF2). As is the fact that Oracles do not have to do so, have no idea where their powers come from, and generally can't lose them.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
If PF1 had introduced a cleric archetype that couldn't fall, but for whom the introductory paragraphs in the cleric class still held true, very few people besides you would have exclaimed "that's not a cleric any more, that's an oracle!"

Depends on the thematics, but they easily might. They'd certainly provoke a 'this is no longer a Cleric' response pretty widely.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Whereas an archetype that didn't dedicate itself to a god, but drew power from any and every compatible god, would get that reaction.

This would also get that reaction, but so would the first instance.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Clerics also get proficiency with a deity's favored weapon and oracles don't. That's not part of the core concept of the class either. The core concept is the stuff up front in the class entry saying "Here is what a cleric is." The stuff that archetypes of the class preserve.

That is part of their concept, actually. It's a more malleable one, but Oracles don't have a specific God any more than Fighters do, and the fact that they thus lack any specific mechanical connection to any deity is absolutely essential to their concept. Likewise, the fact that Clerics do have such connections (including Favored Weapons) is equally essential.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
We don't have to ever have a no-fall cleric in PF2, but it could certainly have one that would still be a cleric.

Not a very well justified one, no. The fact that you can displease your God and either need to atone or find a new one is actually pretty fundamental to how Clerics work thematically. You could have a heretical Archetype or something that changes the Anathema a bit, but removing them? Not so much.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
For that matter, PF2 could have an oracle variant whose mysterious powers and mysterious curse also came with a mysterious geas, with failure to obey the geas meaning loss of powers (though not of curse), and it would still be an oracle, not a cleric.

You could have a Geas as your Curse (or in addition to your Curse) and that would still be an Oracle, but just having a Deity's Anathema? Not so much. That's pretty fundamentally against the Oracle's themes.


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Feel like the most you could get away with is Clerics that worship specific pantheons, or religions that don't necessarily involve a god like the Green Faith. It's a moot point though, since PF2 is rooted in Golarion and Golarion's lore must require you to worship a god to be a cleric, because otherwise Razmir's entire thing doesn't work as a narrative.

Liberty's Edge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
For that matter, PF2 could have an oracle variant whose mysterious powers and mysterious curse also came with a mysterious geas, with failure to obey the geas meaning loss of powers (though not of curse), and it would still be an oracle, not a cleric.
You could have a Geas as your Curse (or in addition to your Curse) and that would still be an Oracle, but just having a Deity's Anathema? Not so much. That's pretty fundamentally against the Oracle's themes.

Exact, as evidenced by searching Mr. Bulmahn's old posts about the Oracle :

Aug 20, 2009, 07:37 pm Jason Bulmahn
Hey there folks,

Couple of notes here this morning.

1. The Oracle name is one that I really like. Oracle does not always mean the agent of a god specifically. It can mean someone who is the authority on a specific topic or sphere of influence, which is what we are going for here. The hercules example is a really good one. As the oracle of strength, he would be beholden to no particular god, but he would draw his power from the divine and would have relationships with all of the gods that carry the Strength domain. This can make for some very interesting rp opportunities in game. This, of course, is also my way of working a certain level of polytheism into the game, which I think is a good thing.

Nov 13, 2009, 07:45 pm Jason Bulmahn
Rugult wrote:
"That being said, I think we need to look at the Oracle class as described. An Oracle does not specifically worship Pharasma, instead he/she worships an ideal like Undeath, which obviously could involve summoning Undead. As per my notes above, one could make an Oracle devoted specifically to Pharasma with appropriate abilities."

And this was exactly the intent of the class. Its not all about worshiping a single deity... far from it. Oracles are polytheistic at best. They are primarily concerned with their focus, and less about the gods that support that ideal.

That said, it can be played closer to the deities if you so desire, and we made sure that you can chose revelations that allow you to follow one deity closely, even if the other revelations run counter to that deities ideals.

Nov 20, 2009, 09:06 pm Jason Bulmahn

Oracles are not directly empowered by the gods themselves at all. The gods contribute their divine power to certain ideals (part of their portfolio). In some cases the gods have interests that overlap with each other, even if they do not share a similar view about how that ideal should be put forward or advanced. In any case, the ideal itself can manifest through mortals that have some link to it, either through a strange omen at their birth, the divine event, or some other reason. In this case, these mortals become a conduit for the divine power that fuels that ideal, becoming oracles.

The gods themselves have an odd relationship with the oracles. They cannot control them or dictate whether or not they get their powers, but the gods vie to sway them to their view of the ideal. The oracles on the other hand, are trapped in the middle, trying to understand why they have this power and making sense of the ideal that provides the strange powers that they possess.

I hope that makes some sense..

This is how I see their powers working. How this is tied to Golarion, I will let the folks who spend all day on that side of the wall answer.

Dark Archive

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Loreguard wrote:
If you want to have a Priest of Healing Magics, not tied to any particular deity, existing in your local Golarion, and the rest of the players, GM included are good with it. You have your GO! You have a choice, you can discuss playing a Cleric, but being given dispensation to not need a god.

If the GM is fine with it, sure. It could work like the Paladin, and be generically 'empowered by the forces of good and law' or some such nonsense, or, like an oracle or witch, *maybe* empowered by a god, despite your lack of worshipping that god, or maybe even from the sentience behind one of the relevant planes.

Golarion even has precedent that someone can be *wrong* about the source of their clerical powers, thanks to Geryon, so it's not inconceivable that there could be a non-evil divine patron who would empower a cleric with the Healing domain. A whimsical Eldest or CG Empyreal of Humility (who happily empowers Clerics who don't know his name) would fit here neatly, and prevent the player from picking thematically mismatched domains, like Healing + Destruction or Chaos + Law.

The god-less cleric is going to miss out on the 'free favored weapon proficiency,' but plenty of Asmodeus, Pharasma, Nethys, etc. clerics already miss out on that (since those gods grant 'Favored Weapon: Something You Already Had').

Heck, if the player is dead-set on a thematic 'Cleric of Concept,' then it makes sense that the Cleric of No God would not only lack a Favored Weapon, but also have only the single Domain appropriate to that concept, not two mostly unrelated domains. (Or, perhaps, a single 'concept' Domain and a single Alignment domain, as they are generally considered kinda 'meh.')

I'd still be inclined to have something like an anathema, 'though. A Cleric of Healing (no god required) would still risk losing his powers and have to atone if he burned down a hospital or something! The powers still come from faith and strong belief in the principles of [whatever], after all, so doing things antithetical to those principles should have consequences, even if there isn't a god behind the scenes to enforce them.

It's not like the god is really doing anything anyway. It's the GM who has to swing the axe and enforce the ethos/anathema/codes of conduct.

Nothing changes on the meta/mechanical level if the cleric has no god. :)


Let's see if I can delve into real-world theology with offending anyone. <fingers crossed>

In Roman Catholic theology, when Christ had St. Peter found the Catholic Church He guaranteed that God would respect its authority over spiritual matters on Earth. That's why Catholic priests, and only Catholic priests (in Catholic theology, remember) can perform the sacraments and, for instance, take confession and grant absolution. Absolution has an actual albeit metaphysical effect: those sins no longer burden your soul.

The Catholic Church, in Catholic theology, is the only entity that can ordain priests. It's equally the only entity that can defrock them, stripping them of their powers. God can't do so on His own without breaking His promise that the Church is in charge.

So if you got absolved or married by a priest who later turns out to be a child molester or otherwise evil, have no fear! You know those sacraments were still valid, because he still had the power to perform them, because God would never (could never without breaking a promise) take away a priest's powers on His own. Whereas if the guy performing your marriage turns out to be a defrocked priest or a total imposter, you'd better get married for real ASAP.

That is, if we put the real world into Pathfinder terms, we must represent Catholic priests as clerics who cannot fall. They can be stripped of their powers by the Church through an appropriate ritual, but that is the only way for them to lose their powers, and that is not "falling" in the Pathfinder sense.

And no, that doesn't make them oracles.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
That is, if we put the real world into Pathfinder terms, we must represent Catholic priests as clerics who cannot fall. They can be stripped of their powers by the Church through an appropriate ritual, but that is the only way for them to lose their powers, and that is not "falling" in the Pathfinder sense.

Priests like this are explicitly not a thing that exists on Golarion. They are thus pretty much not a thing that should be reflected by the rules thereof. And the rules of PF2 are specifically being more integrated with those of Golarion, remember.

Frankly, in a world with real, active, Gods who regularly perform miracles, having priests who worked via a covenant like this is super weird and will usually make very little sense. You could create a world where it did, but it's about as different a world from Golarion, at least in terms of metaphysics, as a world without magic items. That's not bad, but it's such a fundamental sea change in the default assumptions of the world that we're no longer talking about the same game in many ways.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And no, that doesn't make them oracles.

No, but it makes them not Clerics on a fairly fundamental level. Or so different from other Clerics they might as well not be.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
That is, if we put the real world into Pathfinder terms, we must represent Catholic priests as clerics who cannot fall. They can be stripped of their powers by the Church through an appropriate ritual, but that is the only way for them to lose their powers, and that is not "falling" in the Pathfinder sense.
Priests like this are explicitly not a thing that exists on Golarion. They are thus pretty much not a thing that should be reflected by the rules thereof. And the rules of PF2 are specifically being more integrated with those of Golarion, remember.

Yes, but we're discussing both PF1 and PF2 to get at the "core concept" of Cleric, remember. And we're discussing what the rules of PF2 should be.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Frankly, in a world with real, active, Gods who regularly perform miracles, having priests who worked via a covenant like this is super weird and will usually make very little sense.

Maybe not to you. It makes sense to some of us.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
You could create a world where it did, but it's about as different a world from Golarion, at least in terms of metaphysics, as a world without magic items. That's not bad, but it's such a fundamental sea change in the default assumptions of the world that we're no longer talking about the same game in many ways.

Really. If I declare that priests work based on pacts the gods make and refuse to break, such that priests can only be stripped of their power by other priests, we're suddenly no longer talking about the same game in many ways. I cannot begin to express what a BS hyper-exaggeration this is.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And no, that doesn't make them oracles.
No, but it makes them not Clerics on a fairly fundamental level. Or so different from other Clerics they might as well not be.

And yet.

2nd ed AD&D Player's Handbook, page 33 wrote:
The cleric class is similar to certain religious orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages: the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templars, and the Hospitalers. These orders combined military and religious training with a code of protection and service. Members were trained as knights and devoted themselves to the service of the church. These orders were frequently found on the outer edges of the Christian world, either on the fringes of the wilderness or in war-torn lands. Archbishop Turpin (of The Song of Roland) is an example of such a cleric. Similar orders can also be found in other lands, such as the sohei of Japan.

But hey, what would Gary Gygax et al. know about the core concept of the Cleric class of Pathfinder? It's got a completely different name from D&D!

Silver Crusade

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What Gygax thought or wanted is irrelevant. He's not involved with Pathfinder.


Rysky wrote:
What Gygax thought or wanted is irrelevant. He's not involved with Pathfinder.

Right! And if James Jacobs quits/dies, everything he ever thought or felt or said or wrote about Pathfinder will become irrelevant, because he won't be involved, and that's how it works.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Yes, but we're discussing both PF1 and PF2 to get at the "core concept" of Cleric, remember. And we're discussing what the rules of PF2 should be.

Okay. I like the fact that they're more integrated with Golarion, think it's a good choice, and very much think that's how the game should be.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Maybe not to you. It makes sense to some of us.

Does it? Why would a God in a world like Golarion do that? I'm having real trouble thinking of any remotely rational reason.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Really. If I declare that priests work based on pacts the gods make and refuse to break, such that priests can only be stripped of their power by other priests, we're suddenly no longer talking about the same game in many ways. I cannot begin to express what a BS hyper-exaggeration this is.

It's not. Eberron is a pretty great game setting, but what it does to change Alignment and how the Gods work makes it very much not the same game as, say, the Forgotten Realms in some rather fundamental ways. Plots that work in one simply don't work in the other, nor do character Classes work remotely the same way.

In Eberron, basically nobody should have anathema...but that makes the game fundamentally different on several levels.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And yet.

Uh...firstly, all that says is that Clerics are thematically similar to many Christian Orders (or sohei). It says nothing about them being metaphysically based on the same thing, and indeed given a lack of rules for a Cleric being Christian they sorta can't be. I'm talking metaphysics here, not whether they wear cassocks, y'know?

Secondly, I perhaps misspoke slightly. A better way of phrasing what I meant would've been the following:

"No, but it makes them fundamentally not the same thing as what we've been told Clerics are in Pathfinder. Indeed, it makes them such a different thing from what we've been told Clerics are (ie: directly empowered by a God, not a church) that the two should have definitively different in-game titles."

You can always redefine what Clerics are (and many games have done so), but changing the definition mid stream tends to result in confusion and is usually not a good plan and I advise against it.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
What Gygax thought or wanted is irrelevant. He's not involved with Pathfinder.
Right! And if James Jacobs quits/dies, everything he ever thought or felt or said or wrote about Pathfinder will become irrelevant, because he won't be involved, and that's how it works.

I have the nagging feeling that most creators of such living works as RPGs would be somewhat disappointed if the game they created had not changed over 30 years.


The Raven Black wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Rysky wrote:
What Gygax thought or wanted is irrelevant. He's not involved with Pathfinder.
Right! And if James Jacobs quits/dies, everything he ever thought or felt or said or wrote about Pathfinder will become irrelevant, because he won't be involved, and that's how it works.
I have the nagging feeling that most creators of such living works as RPGs would be somewhat disappointed if the game they created had not changed over 30 years.

So... it's OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like this" because hey, games change, but it's not OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like that" because hey, games shouldn't change?

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
So... it's OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like this" because hey, games change, but it's not OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like that" because hey, games shouldn't change?

Generally speaking, I think the time to ditch conceptual things like this is when you create a new world rather than when you change mechanics like a new edition does.

Every world can, and perhaps should, change concepts and metaphysics and be new and special and different. Doing that midstream on an existing world is firstly a major retcon, and secondly risks damaging what made people like that world in the first place. It's not generally a good idea.

So, Pathfinder worlds other than Golarion should feel free to adjust this, but I think trying to change it for Golarion specifically would be a mistake.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Yes, but we're discussing both PF1 and PF2 to get at the "core concept" of Cleric, remember. And we're discussing what the rules of PF2 should be.

Okay. I like the fact that they're more integrated with Golarion, think it's a good choice, and very much think that's how the game should be.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Maybe not to you. It makes sense to some of us.
Does it? Why would a God in a world like Golarion do that? I'm having real trouble thinking of any remotely rational reason.

Why do the Gods by and large stay out of mortal affairs, working instead through clerics/paladins/etc? ISTR hearing of this thing called an "agreement" that the Gods are party to that dictates doing so. If they can be in one agreement they consider binding, they can be in another. Heck, since we don't have the details of the stay-out-of-things agreement, I could insert a "no bestowing or removing clerical powers on your own, you have to let your existing clerics do it" clause there and not need another agreement.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Really. If I declare that priests work based on pacts the gods make and refuse to break, such that priests can only be stripped of their power by other priests, we're suddenly no longer talking about the same game in many ways. I cannot begin to express what a BS hyper-exaggeration this is.

It's not. Eberron is a pretty great game setting, but what it does to change Alignment and how the Gods work makes it very much not the same game as, say, the Forgotten Realms in some rather fundamental ways. Plots that work in one simply don't work in the other, nor do character Classes work remotely the same way.

In Eberron, basically nobody should have anathema...but that makes the game fundamentally different on several levels.

And if I'd said "let's switch to Eberron!" that would even be relevant. But I very much doubt that all they did was say "clerics don't fall," which is the possibility I'm discussing. I don't really care what they did to alignment, either. Please don't bring up alternative game systems, they're just not relevant.

However, you seem to be claiming that having some or all deities have no-fall clerics would cause massive plot failures. How many actual plots in PF1 APs or even novels would fail? How often do cleric characters actually fall in Golarion stories? Heck, how often do they worry about falling? And if it's a lot, why don't we have a lot of threads about clerics falling on the PF1 forums like we do about paladins falling?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And yet.
Uh...firstly, all that says is that Clerics are thematically similar to many Christian Orders (or sohei). It says nothing about them being metaphysically based on the same thing, and indeed given a lack of rules for a Cleric being Christian they sorta can't be. I'm talking metaphysics here, not whether they wear cassocks, y'know?

Actually, if you read the whole thing it clearly states that Archbishop Turpin is a cleric. Not just thematically similar.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Secondly, I perhaps misspoke slightly. A better way of phrasing what I meant would've been the following:

"No, but it makes them fundamentally not the same thing as what we've been told Clerics are in Pathfinder. Indeed, it makes them such a different thing from what we've been told Clerics are (ie: directly empowered by a God, not a...

We have not been told that clerics' power falls out of the sky onto their heads like oracles' does. It may be---to me it seems very likely---that a layman goes into an ordination ritual with existing clerics and comes out as a cleric. Gosh, that's what Catholics do! And everything a Catholic priest does is drawing on the power of his deity, just like other clerics.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
So... it's OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like this" because hey, games change, but it's not OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like that" because hey, games shouldn't change?

Generally speaking, I think the time to ditch conceptual things like this is when you create a new world rather than when you change mechanics like a new edition does.

Every world can, and perhaps should, change concepts and metaphysics and be new and special and different. Doing that midstream on an existing world is firstly a major retcon, and secondly risks damaging what made people like that world in the first place. It's not generally a good idea.

So, Pathfinder worlds other than Golarion should feel free to adjust this, but I think trying to change it for Golarion specifically would be a mistake.

Are you admitting that it would have been perfectly reasonable for setting-neutral PF1, when it was begun, to just drop the bit about ex-clerics (i.e. falling) and have Golarion proceed on that basis? You don't think that would have been too fundamental a disruption from 3.5?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
So... it's OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like this" because hey, games change, but it's not OK to ditch something between editions that says "clerics are like that" because hey, games shouldn't change?

Generally speaking, I think the time to ditch conceptual things like this is when you create a new world rather than when you change mechanics like a new edition does.

Every world can, and perhaps should, change concepts and metaphysics and be new and special and different. Doing that midstream on an existing world is firstly a major retcon, and secondly risks damaging what made people like that world in the first place. It's not generally a good idea.

So, Pathfinder worlds other than Golarion should feel free to adjust this, but I think trying to change it for Golarion specifically would be a mistake.

But what about the change to Golarion itself that comes about when it turns out that LG Paladins were merely one subset of Champions and lawful Monks were merely one subset of the larger Monk population. Why isn't that "changing Golarion to what it always could have been" or "correcting for last edition's imperfect realization of that world"?


Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
That's one thing that Collection of Class Features #5 (hereafter referred to as the Cleric) CAN be used to express.
The Cleric "part" is not something tacked onto these mechanics you want, they're the whole of the class that the mechanics help represent. The "person who worships a deity and is granted divine power in turn" is not something just thrown in at the last minute.

Here's why I will never hold "Class equals Concept" to be true. Suppose P2E didn't have Pirate as a dedication feat. That doesn't make Pirate as a concept that deserves to be expressed any less valid. If it's not expressed as a dedication feat, it will still be in the game in some fashion, using mechanics that are already ear-marked for other concepts (whether they're other feats or even another class or classes). And even though Pirate is a dedication feat, what do you do if the mechanics it provides are either lackluster or perfectly good, just not for the specific pirate concept you have in mind, and you therefore didn't take the feat?

In any game, the number of tools in the toolbox are finite. They can't not be. But the world they describe is infinite. Even when you narrow the scope such that, say, a Twi'lek Jedi former-Sith doesn't fit, it's still infinite. Ergo, I can only see forcibly tying Cleric the Class to Cleric the Concept as deliberately shortsighted. Does the process begin with Cleric the Concept? Yes. Once constructed, does Cleric the Class have an obligation to, if nothing else, satisfactorily express Cleric the Concept? Yes. But what if it turns out that Cleric the Class also does a good job of expressing some other concept, too? Bearing in mind that since we're talking about finite tools expressing an infinite number of concepts, this isn't an "if" so much as it's a guarantee.

The P1E Monk the Class used to have an alignment restriction cutting out a whole bunch Valid concepts besides what was then thought to be the only Monk the Concept that class was meant to express. Now, that alignment restriction is no longer with us, Monk the Concept didn't go anywhere and still serves as the foundational inspiration for how Monk the Class is constructed, and any other concepts that Monk the Class ends up being able to express as well can proceed without issue. That is nothing but a positive, a success story that needs to be repeated.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
There are so many other things that tool in the toolbox can be used for.
Yes you can make a completely new class when you build it from the ground up, *points at the Oracle*

Why would I need to do that when I've got a perfectly good set of class features that can already express the concept anyway?

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Just like how the chassis of the Champion CAN be used for the LG Paladin, and that need not mean that the LG Paladin should be the only thing the Champion class is used for.
Yes, the Champion chassis can be used to make other champions. Beyond that you need to work from the ground up.

And before, "other Champions" was something beyond other Paladins and we'd be told we had to work from the ground up. But that was the previous edition making a mistake, forcing a situation that never needed to be forced. Why was that something that needed to be (and was) fixed, but using the chassis of the Cleric class for as large a swath of concepts isn't?

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
The Oracle casts prepared rather than spontaneous and off of his entire spell list? Since when?
Never? Just like the current Divine Sorcerer.

But that doesn't address a character who gains the same prepared-and-off-the-whole-list casting as the Cleric, but using the Divine Sorcerer's background (i.e., Cleric the Class, but Divine Sorcerer the Concept).

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Regardless, if the Oracle ended up being the Fury Totem for the Cleric class, that might work (unless it just trades the Anathema baggage for Curse baggage).
It would certainly get the Curse, that's part of its theme. If you want a 9th level Divine caster than doesn't have anything to do with Gods or Curses you would need to make a whole new class.

Then it wouldn't work. I've got no interest in merely an exchange of baggage.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Again, that is true of Cleric the Concept which can be easily expressed by CoCF5 (Cleric the Class). Why is any exclusivity necessitated here?
I don't understand your question here. The only thing I can surmise is your asking for an entirely new class, not a Cleric with an optional rule applied.

No, I'm asking why Cleric the Class can't express a larger swath of Cleric the Concepts, one of which would include what you're calling what the Cleric should be, as opposed to only having that one interpretation.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Again, "fallen Paladin" is one way you CAN use that collection of class features. But unless you can point to an alignment, code, or behavioral requirement to the effect of "a VB must be portrayed as a fallen Paladin", then no such thing was entailed. Suggested? Sure, but a suggestion is only ever one interpretation to be kept, tweaked, or discarded.
I can point to the archetype description itself. You're a fallen Paladin, not a Paladin of simply different mindset, you are in fact a fallen Paladin. You can play it however you wish aster since you're not bound by anything anymore, but that doesn't make you not be a fallen Paladin.

Yes, you do technically have to fall, you have to do something to get the twin monkeys of the alignment restriction and the code of conduct off your back. That's why I suggested lying, because it's the most efficient method. But yes, you do have to become someone who has lied at least one (1) times. Then you become a fallen, fallen Paladin. Beyond that, what sway does the archetype description have?

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
is one way you CAN use that collection of class features.
Since you keep using this rather disparaging phrase to refer to Classes and your insistence on ignoring the requirements and flavor text of classes and archetypes I'm suspecting more and more that Pathfinder at it's core just does not jel with you, since it is built upon a Class system. The Class system isn't going away and you're already modifying and ignoring large swathes of the content (shown by your "is one way you can use that collection of class features" statements) so I don't really see what these optional rules would accomplish for you.

These optional rules would accomplish the exact same thing for me as the removal of the alignment restriction for the Monk. For a solid decade, I pushed for that change so that the Monk class could finally become something that I could just sit down and play, without having to dread a potential argument that I wouldn't have to face if my favorite class were something like the Sorcerer instead. Sorcerer players have no more right than me, and I no less than they (and Cleric players no less than either of us now), to be able to just pick their favorite class and sit down and play with no dread whatsoever.

Well, one decade later, and I can finally play a Pathfinder game without that dread. I've enjoyed a large portion of what the game system and setting did anyway, and this new edition has taken away a major impediment. You've got another think coming if you think that after that progress, giving up is an option.

Rysky wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I'm asking for the same rule change that lets a Barbarian player duck out from under the last edition's alignment requirement while avoiding this edition's Anathema. That's not meaningless, it's a Godsend.
Alignment restrictions and codes of conduct are two completely different things. The Barbarian didn't have to duck anything, they casually sauntered.

The P1E Barbarian had to avoid being lawful. That's still having to duck something, still a Sword of Damocles hanging over the Barbarian player's head.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
What do you mean "far less optional"? A Fury Totem equivalent for the Cleric or the Champion would be exactly as "optional" as the already existing Fury Totem for the Barbarian. The GM isn't being pushed into catering to anyone there.
Paizo is being pushed into catering to you.

I don't see that to be the case. Here's an analogous situation: two factions surrounding the Fighter. One wants the Fighter, across the entire game and for every gaming group, to be "swords only" (no axes, no hammers, no polearms, nothing that isn't a sword). The other wants the Fighter to have all the options and let those who only want swords self-censor their own characters into just using swords. In one case, catering to one leaves the other SOL. In the other, "catering" still gives everyone the avenue to play their character their way.

So if you want to say that someone wants Paizo to cater to them, I will agree, but not that that person is me.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Which is fine. That's one of the things this forum is for. But I really wish you'd just come out and say "I want anathema to be the tacked on optional variant, and anathema-free classes to be the default." It's cool to want things, you don't have to justify yourself further. We aren't your DMs (probably anyways).

I... did?

My option 1 leaves Anathema in the game but puts in at least one avenue in each and every class to ignore Anathema. My option 2 leaves Anathema alone, but puts its compliance AFTER agreement by all parties ("makes it the tacked-on variant to the Anathema-free default", if you prefer).

Sorry I didn't make that more clear, but yes, had I my druthers, you'd be able to play a Dragon-themed Barbarian without having to worry about dragon-related encounters or missions (unless, of course, you opted in anyway, just like how I don't need Fighters all across the game to be banned from using swords just to have MY Fighter only use swords).

AnimatedPaper wrote:
And if those fury totem options like "Philosophical Cleric" or "Ronin Champion" become the most heavily chosen, then yes in PF3 those will likely become the default. But that will be because the playerbase embraced those options, not because you personally advocated for that position.

I know. I said already that Paizo didn't change the LG Paladin to the Any Good Champion in a vacuum but based on player and GM input (and since that change got introduced before I had even filled out the class survey, I know it wasn't my personal advocation).

Loreguard wrote:
Rysky wrote:

...

Tectorman wrote:


That is indeed the whole theme of Cleric the Concept.
It is the whole theme of the Cleric, full stop. There is no "concept Cleric", again the Cleric was not something tacked onto this class, it is this class. If you want the Cleric class without the Cleric then you're going to have to make a whole new class.
Now I'm going to partially disagree here. You don't HAVE to start with a brand new class... but you have to talk to your GM and potentially other players and find out if a change you would like to make would be accepted by the whole.

Which is why I want to see this be in the game as an existing option. Because last edition, a nonlawful Monk was also something that wouldn't require a completely new class to be built from the ground up, but would require that talk. Here, a player can make that choice expecting exactly as much controversy (read: none) as a Fighter deciding to dual-wield instead of go sword-and-board. Between P1E and P2E, the players are the same and the assumed setting (at least on the part of the developers) is the same, but one stays out of the way and doesn't force a negotiation where there never needed to be one.

Loreguard wrote:
In my opinion one shouldn't as a player feel like it is your right to insist on that fundamental change. A more comparable analogy on the Fury token would be to say, my barbarian concept gets boosts of power by saying magical words that boost their abilities and get the rage benefits. However, it has nothing to do with anger, it is all magical or even perhaps alchemical. Since its source is not actually rage, I should have no limitations on my actions during the rounds I am raged, since those limitations no longer fit my presented 'fluff' I should be able to do things that require concentration and mental acuity with no problem, if anything I should get the bonus to such actions.

But who's to say that that has to even be a fundamental change? A player doesn't have the right to insist on such a change, but do they get to have any expectations? They see the Fighter class, get excited about the Fighter class, start envisioning all the cool twin hammer fighting they're going to be doing, only to find out the GM thinks Fighters should be "swords only" and that switching them to also work with hammers is a "fundamental change" that the player needed to ask about first?

And yes, that's an exaggeration. Fighter players today (and I think always) never have to be worrying about dodging that bullet. Someone playing a nonlawful Monk today doesn't have to worry about dodging a bullet, either, when, last edition, that was also a bullet, a "fundamental change" that needed to be asked about. It's not a bullet now, and it was a disservice to players of last edition and earlier that it ever was a bullet.

Loreguard wrote:
The above analogy is perhaps an exaggeration, and I'm not saying you are requesting this specifically, but it may hopefully help you understand why some, such as myself find it as dropping a component that should generally remain a core part of the class. You are asking to have divine powered magic, which the class presumes a willing/chosen affiliation, with that specific deity, but don't want the limitations that would be appropriate for someone who would have made/chosen that affiliation. Does this analogy make sense now? Rage is a power you are granted, it means you have limitations you have to abide by. Clerical divine magic is a suite of powers you have, and along with it come some limitations that you have to abide by, although there are quite a few choices that you may choose between, to fine one that will hopefully be reasonable to your concept?

Bolding mine.

Who told the class to presume that? Why not have that enter the equation AFTER the player picks that as an interpretation on the larger class? Again, the Fighter class COULD have been (and thankfully wasn't) built on the presumption that the Fighter would only be using swords, and if you want something else, there's the Warrior or Commoner class over there.


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Tectorman wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Paizo is being pushed into catering to you.

In the other, "catering" still gives everyone the avenue to play their character their way.

So if you want to say that someone wants Paizo to cater to them, I will agree, but not that that person is me.

Yeah no. "Catering" the way I used it means doing things the way you want it. It doesn't matter how many other players would or would not also be served doing things your way; that's not what I was talking about. It's really offputting that you keep trying to say that you're speaking for many players instead yourself.

Tectorman wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Which is fine. That's one of the things this forum is for. But I really wish you'd just come out and say "I want anathema to be the tacked on optional variant, and anathema-free classes to be the default." It's cool to want things, you don't have to justify yourself further. We aren't your DMs (probably anyways).

I... did?

Like with this. You kind of didn't. Even in responding to the earlier bit on the same post, you kept taking the approach that it would be better for the game as a whole, for everyone, if we all just agreed to do things your way, instead of simply saying "this is what I would prefer." That's why you're getting so much pushback based on the setting, because as Rysky and Deadman go into at length, what you want (and, let me re-emphasize, is a perfectly valid thing to want) would weaken the design direction Paizo has decided to go with PF2.

But...none of that setting stuff matters when it comes to your personal taste. You like what you like, want what you want, and who cares if it makes the settting weaker or stronger? You're not Paizo or PFS, so that's not your headache.

I apologize, I feel like I'm lecturing you, and that's not my place to do so, so by all means yell at me via PM if you feel I've overstepped. I want you to get your options! I want you to be able to play the character you want. I just don't agree with you that it would make a stronger game for that to be the core assumption.

(Also, the personal advocacy snark came from your posts about alignmentless monks. I assume you didn't mean to sound like you, personally and solely, were responsible for monks becoming alignmentless, but the way you phrased your posts conveyed that a bit).

Edit: Because it's not my place, this is my last post on this. I felt I needed to respond to your last post, but anything else would be better served by a PM.

Silver Crusade

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Tectorman wrote:
Here's why I will never hold "Class equals Concept" to be true.
... none of that showed me anything to support this statement.
Quote:
The P1E Monk the Class used to have an alignment restriction cutting out a whole bunch Valid concepts besides what was then thought to be the only Monk the Concept that class was meant to express. Now, that alignment restriction is no longer with us, Monk the Concept didn't go anywhere and still serves as the foundational inspiration for how Monk the Class is constructed, and any other concepts that Monk the Class ends up being able to express as well can proceed without issue. That is nothing but a positive, a success story that needs to be repeated.
The Monk and Cleric are two completely different things, just like how you tried to bring up the Barbarian earlier, it and Monk had Alignment restrictions, which is worlds difference than having to work for a deity. A Monk/Barbarian that can be any alignment is not even remotely close to a Cleric not having a Deity/never being able to fall.
Quote:
Why would I need to do that when I've got a perfectly good set of class features that can already express the concept anyway?
Because you don't ("set of class features" again). You have the Cleric class, and one of its things is divine spellcasting, which is what you want.
Quote:
And before, "other Champions" was something beyond other Paladins and we'd be told we had to work from the ground up. But that was the previous edition making a mistake, forcing a situation that never needed to be forced.
We're going to disagree on that.
Quote:
Why was that something that needed to be (and was) fixed.
More to disagree.
Quote:
but using the chassis of the Cleric class for as large a swath of concepts isn't?
Because we didn't get a bland Divine Caster Class that Cleric and Oracle and Druid can branch off of. We got the Cleric Class.
Quote:
But that doesn't address a character who gains the same prepared-and-off-the-whole-list casting as the Cleric, but using the Divine Sorcerer's background (i.e., Cleric the Class, but Divine Sorcerer the Concept).
This sentence doesn't make any sense.
Quote:
Then it wouldn't work. I've got no interest in merely an exchange of baggage.
Then as I said if you don't want to deal with Deities and Curses you would need to make a whole new class.
Quote:
No, I'm asking why Cleric the Class can't express a larger swath of Cleric the Concepts, one of which would include what you're calling what the Cleric should be, as opposed to only having that one interpretation.
The Cleric perfectly represents the Cleric Class. You're not wanting a Cleric, you're wanting Divine spellcasting that comes from elsewhere.
Quote:
Yes, you do technically have to fall, you have to do something to get the twin monkeys of the alignment restriction and the code of conduct off your back. That's why I suggested lying, because it's the most efficient method. But yes, you do have to become someone who has lied at least one (1) times. Then you become a fallen, fallen Paladin. Beyond that, what sway does the archetype description have?
That you used to be a Paladin and now you're not. If you were actually try to interject the metagaming acknowledgements into the backstory "I want the Paladin powers when I grow up but not to be told how to use them so I'm going to become a Paladin and then lie about it so I can do whatever I want" that person would never have become a Paladin in the first place.
Quote:
These optional rules would accomplish the exact same thing for me as the removal of the alignment restriction for the Monk. For a solid decade, I pushed for that change so that the Monk class could finally become something that I could just sit down and play, without having to dread a potential argument that I wouldn't have to face if my favorite class were something like the Sorcerer instead.
I have never once in the history of ever ever heard of a Monk falling. This leads me to believe that you've just been playing with a malicious GM for the longest if you have this much fear on the monk of all things.
Quote:
Sorcerer players have no more right than me, and I no less than they (and Cleric players no less than either of us now), to be able to just pick their favorite class and sit down and play with no dread whatsoever.

1) Sorcerers and Monks are two completely different things.

2) You're right, no one should with this fear hanging over them, but this isn't a game issue, it's a GM since as I've stated this is so beyond the norm it isn't even funny.

Quote:
Well, one decade later, and I can finally play a Pathfinder game without that dread. I've enjoyed a large portion of what the game system and setting did anyway, and this new edition has taken away a major impediment. You've got another think coming if you think that after that progress, giving up is an option.
I think you just need to play with a halfway decent GM that doesn't traumitze their players.
Quote:
The P1E Barbarian had to avoid being lawful. That's still having to duck something, still a Sword of Damocles hanging over the Barbarian player's head.
Not even remotely.
Quote:
Which is why I want to see this be in the game as an existing option. Because last edition, a nonlawful Monk was also something that wouldn't require a completely new class to be built from the ground up, but would require that talk. Here, a player can make that choice expecting exactly as much controversy (read: none) as a Fighter deciding to dual-wield instead of go sword-and-board. Between P1E and P2E, the players are the same and the assumed setting (at least on the part of the developers) is the same, but one stays out of the way and doesn't force a negotiation where there never needed to be one.

And all of those are nowhere even near the vicinity of a Cleric that can't fall/doesn't worship a Deity.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
If PF1 had introduced a cleric archetype that couldn't fall, but for whom the introductory paragraphs in the cleric class still held true, very few people besides you would have exclaimed "that's not a cleric any more, that's an oracle!"
Depends on the thematics, but they easily might. They'd certainly provoke a 'this is no longer a Cleric' response pretty widely.

Irrespective of your discussion with FW, I think "this is not a cleric" might be alright. In fact, that was one of the things Tectorman was asking for, an assemblage of cleric class features that doesn't necessarily come with the cleric concept.

So, an anathemaless "cleric" might be focused more on channeling perhaps? Going by the fury totem precedent, a cleric without an anathema would be a cleric without a deity, so it'd lose the bonus spells and weapon proficiency. Based on the Cleric of an Ideal precedents, you'd still have to pick a couple domains to focus on at character creation, approved by the DM (possibly even chosen by the DM), which should work well enough.

In the Lost Omens setting, you wouldn't be a cleric of course (except for the purposes of class feats) but it might be an interesting character regardless.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Why do the Gods by and large stay out of mortal affairs, working instead through clerics/paladins/etc? ISTR hearing of this thing called an "agreement" that the Gods are party to that dictates doing so. If they can be in one agreement they consider binding, they can be in another. Heck, since we don't have the details of the stay-out-of-things agreement, I could insert a "no bestowing or removing clerical powers on your own, you have to let your existing clerics do it" clause there and not need another agreement.

Sure, if you want to radically revise the metaphysics of the whole setting (which is what changing what Gods are allowed to do is), you can justify it easily.

But I was questioning how it made sense in a world like Golarion for one God (or even sect) to do this when no others do. And I still can't think of a good reason.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And if I'd said "let's switch to Eberron!" that would even be relevant. But I very much doubt that all they did was say "clerics don't fall," which is the possibility I'm discussing. I don't really care what they did to alignment, either. Please don't bring up alternative game systems, they're just not relevant.

I was pointing out a D&D setting that did what you were discussing, among other things. That seems pretty relevant as an example of me being okay with this in an entirely different setting. I do appreciate you acknowledging that it being a different setting makes it a fundamentally different game, though. That was really my whole point.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
However, you seem to be claiming that having some or all deities have no-fall clerics would cause massive plot failures. How many actual plots in PF1 APs or even novels would fail? How often do cleric characters actually fall in Golarion stories? Heck, how often do they worry about falling? And if it's a lot, why don't we have a lot of threads about clerics falling on the PF1 forums like we do about paladins falling?

It's not as often or easy as Paladins, but it certainly happens. I can think of several plot holes that would be created if it were impossible, including at least one Iconic Villain backstory, some important dialogue in Death's Heretic and a pretty major plot point in Nightglass.

In terms of APs, CotCT actually has at least one pretty important bit of plot driven by this, and I've actually only read a handful of APs to check.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Actually, if you read the whole thing it clearly states that Archbishop Turpin is a cleric. Not just thematically similar.

Um...the defining sentence, the first sentence of the paragraph says being a Cleric is similar to the listed examples. 'Similar' is literally the word used. It seems likely that Gygax was saying that Turpin was an example of a character who would be a Cleric in D&D rather than any deep metaphysical statements about Clerics working exactly like Catholic priests.

I mean...which of those seems most likely to you?

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
We have not been told that clerics' power falls out of the sky onto their heads like oracles' does. It may be---to me it seems very likely---that a layman goes into an ordination ritual with existing clerics and comes out as a cleric. Gosh, that's what Catholics do! And everything a Catholic priest does is drawing on the power of his deity, just like other clerics.

How Clerics get their powers is pretty ill-defined. Saying that you need to receive formal education and ordination by an established church to do so when some Gods lack a formal church entirely, however, seems pretty blatantly false and impossible.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Are you admitting that it would have been perfectly reasonable for setting-neutral PF1, when it was begun, to just drop the bit about ex-clerics (i.e. falling) and have Golarion proceed on that basis? You don't think that would have been too fundamental a disruption from 3.5?

I wouldn't say 'admitting' since I never actually said otherwise, but I think it would've been perfectly reasonable to list that as one option, yes. Something like this:

"In some settings (including our default Golarion setting), Clerics who grossly violate the edicts of their god lose all spell-casting and other magical class features immediately, but in other settings the Gods either do not care or have vested the authority to do this specifically in the church requiring a formal 'defrocking' for this to occur."

Now, I don't think doing that was necessary in a world neutral book (world-specific books can always specify how they deviate from the world-neutral norms), but it certainly would've been acceptable.

Tectorman wrote:
But what about the change to Golarion itself that comes about when it turns out that LG Paladins were merely one subset of Champions and lawful Monks were merely one subset of the larger Monk population. Why isn't that "changing Golarion to what it always could have been" or "correcting for last edition's imperfect realization of that world"?

Because those characters already existed in-world. There were several Archetypes and even a Trait for non-Lawful Monks and a wealth of characters who were thematically and for all practical in-world purposes 'non-Lawful Paladins', who simply had another Class (like Warpriest) written on their character sheet.

In short, this is a mechanical change, not a setting change.

Liberty's Edge

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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Irrespective of your discussion with FW, I think "this is not a cleric" might be alright. In fact, that was one of the things Tectorman was asking for, an assemblage of cleric class features that doesn't necessarily come with the cleric concept.

So, an anathemaless "cleric" might be focused more on channeling perhaps? Going by the fury totem precedent, a cleric without an anathema would be a cleric without a deity, so it'd lose the bonus spells and weapon proficiency. Based on the Cleric of an Ideal precedents, you'd still have to pick a couple domains to focus on at character creation, approved by the DM (possibly even chosen by the DM), which should work well enough.

In the Lost Omens setting, you wouldn't be a cleric of course (except for the purposes of class feats) but it might be an interesting character regardless.

I really and honestly think this is better built as a separate Class entirely. A 'prepared Sorcerer' type Class who gets to pick spell list and picks Divine seems good for something like this, for example. Or even just a different Prepared Divine caster.

Too many Cleric Class Feats and Features are wrapped up in having a God and obeying them. You'd need a whole new list to make this really work both thematically and mechanically, IMO.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I really and honestly think this is better built as a separate Class entirely. A 'prepared Sorcerer' type Class who gets to pick spell list and picks Divine seems good for something like this, for example. Or even just a different Prepared Divine caster.

Oh, I imagine we'll get more than one class that will punch this particular clock during PF2. Eventually. This would just be one way to accomplish it; making a whole new class would be another, yes.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Too many Cleric Class Feats and Features are wrapped up in having a God and obeying them. You'd need a whole new list to make this really work both thematically and mechanically, IMO.

You might be surprised. I certainly was. The majority of a cleric's class feats revolve around channeling. I counted I think 7 that even have the word deity in them, and at least 2 could probably be handwaived to work anyways even without a diety as long as you had preselected domains. I wouldn't let this Not!Cleric pick up the weapon feats or the aligned strike though, since there has to be some kind of trade off, and the Emblazon symbol could be a judgment call (I imagine some player character puting a symbol of a raised middle finger on their shield).

As for class features, well, the Cleric basically has none except channeling, domains, and now their anathema. I think anathema can be worked around via a new option, and domains would need to be worked on with your DM, but channeling would definitely require a whole new class. I'm willing to concede to you and everyone else that the Cleric fluff requires a diety, but from a pure crunch standpoint, channeling is even more central to the class's structure.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
However, you seem to be claiming that having some or all deities have no-fall clerics would cause massive plot failures. How many actual plots in PF1 APs or even novels would fail? How often do cleric characters actually fall in Golarion stories? Heck, how often do they worry about falling? And if it's a lot, why don't we have a lot of threads about clerics falling on the PF1 forums like we do about paladins falling?

To add to DMW's examples,

Return of the Runelords Spoiler:
the Return of the Runelord's first book features a fallen cleric as the main questgiver, and her fallen status is the reason she can't just do the quest herself. Redeeming her is a sidequest in part 2

Not a MAJOR plot point, but it is something that happens.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Definitely agree with Deadmanwalking that being a Cleric can't require official ordination from a church. There is a canon Cleric of Groetus, and Groetus definitely has zero churches.


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So for "Clerics who can't fall" in PF2, could we use clerics of deities who literally are not paying attention, or do not care at all?

Like IIRC, Azathoth is incapable of perceiving the material universe, and clerics of some of the Eldest should either never fall or sometimes fall for no reason that is apparent to anyone.


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Wow this thread has derailed into a landfill and set fire to the whole thing.

While I do have some serious issues with alignment in general I have never had an issue with deities tenets and that clerics have to follow them. I mentioned it in passing in the long ago of this thread but despite it thematically changing the class a bit having champions follow a deity and it’s tenets is very good for the class. While it may make their code stricter in some cases I feel the clarity it adds to the code very helpful.

I’m not going to give my piece to every point made in the last few pages of this thread but I’m in general agreement with the pro anathema cleric side of the debate. It feels integral to the class. Plus the majority of anathema are really easy to abide by (Gorum and Rovagug stand out to me as a bit harder but whatever, they aren’t exactly the most reasonable gods.) If there is so much trouble over this in a game then either the GM or player in question is a problem.

To sum up. Play a sorcerer until other divine casters or optional rules are released or hack the game to shreds with house rules and/or play a different setting or home brew. (Sorry if my feelings towards house rules offends but I’ve only had 1 GM were I wasn’t appalled by them.)


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.


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Anyways this "god can't take back the powers they granted to their cleric" notion is nothing really new. In D&D 4e it was exactly like this. Mainly because if you took away the divine powers of a cleric they remained, literally, power-less: they could only try basic attacks, while every other class would have retained all their at-wills, encounters and dailies.

So the solution was that the god sent their minions against the offending cleric, from followers in general to other clerics, paladins, and angels.

Of course 4e ran into a couple problems. Continuity for instance. They had to drop yet another apocalypse onto the Forgotten Realms to make it work (whether they actually did is a different matter...).

The same continuity problem would appear in Golarion if suddenly clerics weren't beholden to their deities. Which is a much, much bigger change than simply barbs and monks not having to be a certain alignment. You can retcon this latter shift, but declaring that from now on Sarenrae & Co. enter a compact in which they give clerics their spells and can't take them back... there's also the ulterior problem of what happens to a cleric who stops following their deity's tenets - do they keep levelling up as clerics? Of that deity? Even though they're no longer serving them?

I'm totally in favor of an optional rule allowing clerics to ignore anathemas, to take their powers from ideas, and so on, but for the CRB I'm fine as is.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.

Like I would have a real issue with any sort of Cleric of Asmodeus having a mechanical solution short of converting to a different religion to go on to become some sort of CG revolutionary abolitionist while keeping all those infernal powers.

I figure there should like be an archetype for "heretic clerics" but there should be a limit to how far we can stretch things.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Why do the Gods by and large stay out of mortal affairs, working instead through clerics/paladins/etc? ISTR hearing of this thing called an "agreement" that the Gods are party to that dictates doing so. If they can be in one agreement they consider binding, they can be in another. Heck, since we don't have the details of the stay-out-of-things agreement, I could insert a "no bestowing or removing clerical powers on your own, you have to let your existing clerics do it" clause there and not need another agreement.

Sure, if you want to radically revise the metaphysics of the whole setting (which is what changing what Gods are allowed to do is), you can justify it easily.

You throw terms like "radically" around pretty lightly. AFAICT it's "radical" purely in that it conflicts with your personal gut feelings about Clerics. It wouldn't need to make much difference to the world, since the possibility of a cleric fall comes up so rarely.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
But I was questioning how it made sense in a world like Golarion for one God (or even sect) to do this when no others do. And I still can't think of a good reason.

Rovagug is stuck in the Vault. Maybe he can't tell what his clerics are doing, so they never fall. Ta-da.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
And if I'd said "let's switch to Eberron!" that would even be relevant. But I very much doubt that all they did was say "clerics don't fall," which is the possibility I'm discussing. I don't really care what they did to alignment, either. Please don't bring up alternative game systems, they're just not relevant.

I was pointing out a D&D setting that did what you were discussing, among other things. That seems pretty relevant as an example of me being okay with this in an entirely different setting. I do appreciate you acknowledging that it being a different setting makes it a fundamentally different game, though. That was really my whole point.

Actually, based on your descriptions (which are all I had to go by as I haven't played in Eberron or Forgotten Realms) both settings come with a batch of mechanics changes and that makes it a fundamentally different game. Of course, we expect that to be the case with published settings, because they won't sell if they're not new and different in interesting ways, including mechanically.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
However, you seem to be claiming that having some or all deities have no-fall clerics would cause massive plot failures. How many actual plots in PF1 APs or even novels would fail? How often do cleric characters actually fall in Golarion stories? Heck, how often do they worry about falling? And if it's a lot, why don't we have a lot of threads about clerics falling on the PF1 forums like we do about paladins falling?

It's not as often or easy as Paladins, but it certainly happens. I can think of several plot holes that would be created if it were impossible, including at least one Iconic Villain backstory, some important dialogue in Death's Heretic and a pretty major plot point in Nightglass.

In terms of APs, CotCT actually has at least one pretty important bit of plot driven by this, and I've actually only read a handful of APs to check.

To sum up, not very many and not very often, and that's why we don't have many falling-cleric threads.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Actually, if you read the whole thing it clearly states that Archbishop Turpin is a cleric. Not just thematically similar.

Um...the defining sentence, the first sentence of the paragraph says being a Cleric is similar to the listed examples. 'Similar' is literally the word used. It seems likely that Gygax was saying that Turpin was an example of a character who would be a Cleric in D&D rather than any deep metaphysical statements about Clerics working exactly like Catholic priests.

I mean...which of those seems most likely to you?

Oh, I agree that Turpin would be a Cleric in D&D... just like any other Catholic priest would be.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
We have not been told that clerics' power falls out of the sky onto their heads like oracles' does. It may be---to me it seems very likely---that a layman goes into an ordination ritual with existing clerics and comes out as a cleric. Gosh, that's what Catholics do! And everything a Catholic priest does is drawing on the power of his deity, just like other clerics.
How Clerics get their powers is pretty ill-defined. Saying that you need to receive formal education and ordination by an established church to do so when some Gods lack a formal church entirely, however, seems pretty blatantly false and impossible.

Excuse me? When did I say anything about a formal eduction (or any education) or formal ordination or a formal church? I said you have "an ordination ritual with existing clerics" and that's it. You made up all the rest and shoved it into my mouth. Don't do that, it pisses me off.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Are you admitting that it would have been perfectly reasonable for setting-neutral PF1, when it was begun, to just drop the bit about ex-clerics (i.e. falling) and have Golarion proceed on that basis? You don't think that would have been too fundamental a disruption from 3.5?

I wouldn't say 'admitting' since I never actually said otherwise, but I think it would've been perfectly reasonable to list that as one option, yes. Something like this:

"In some settings (including our default Golarion setting), Clerics who grossly violate the edicts of their god lose all spell-casting and other magical class features immediately, but in other settings the Gods either do not care or have vested the authority to do this specifically in the church requiring a formal 'defrocking' for this to occur."

Now, I don't think doing that was necessary in a world neutral book (world-specific books can always specify how they deviate from the world-neutral norms), but it certainly would've been acceptable.

So your contention that clerics must be able to fall is based entirely on the premise that the campaign in question is in Golarion? Because some people in this thread have declared that "cleric who can't fall" just doesn't make sense as a concept in anything Pathfinder-like and I was busy arguing with them when you stepped in. So I'm interested in where you stand on that, Golarion aside.


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Well, PF2 assumes Golarion down to the rules. If you want to run a game in a different setting, you change things. Like for my setting I've removed any requirement for Paladins to follow a deity or assume anathema, and I'm going to need rules for how to handle polytheists and animists and the like (probably will need a Shaman or Oracle class) in order to rework the Cleric, since the dominant religious traditions in my setting are not "follow a specific deity."


PossibleCabbage wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.

Like I would have a real issue with any sort of Cleric of Asmodeus having a mechanical solution short of converting to a different religion to go on to become some sort of CG revolutionary abolitionist while keeping all those infernal powers.

I figure there should like be an archetype for "heretic clerics" but there should be a limit to how far we can stretch things.

I don't see why the fact that you find the notion offensive means that it shouldn't be an optional rule in PF2 Unchained. I mean, I'm sure there are people upset when alignment is removed from PF. Does that mean PF1 Unchained shouldn't have included optional rules on removing alignment? No, it just means that those people shouldn't play with those rules. And you clearly shouldn't play in a game making widespread use of no-falling clerics. That's ok, there are plenty of people who aren't you, and they can and will make good use of that rule when it does appear in PF2 Unchained. (Probably as part of a larger discussion of no-fall classes in general.) Because PF2 assumes Golarion as its default but Paizo is not stupid enough to tell everyone running homebrewed settings to bugger off and take their money with them.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Fuzzy, I'm not sure what you are arguing at this point.

Basically everyone you are replying to has said they would be fine with it appearing as an optional rule at some point as long as it isn't in Core.


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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.

Like I would have a real issue with any sort of Cleric of Asmodeus having a mechanical solution short of converting to a different religion to go on to become some sort of CG revolutionary abolitionist while keeping all those infernal powers.

I figure there should like be an archetype for "heretic clerics" but there should be a limit to how far we can stretch things.

I don't see why the fact that you find the notion offensive means that it shouldn't be an optional rule in PF2 Unchained. I mean, I'm sure there are people upset when alignment is removed from PF. Does that mean PF1 Unchained shouldn't have included optional rules on removing alignment? No, it just means that those people shouldn't play with those rules. And you clearly shouldn't play in a game making widespread use of no-falling clerics. That's ok, there are plenty of people who aren't you, and they can and will make good use of that rule when it does appear in PF2 Unchained. (Probably as part of a larger discussion of no-fall classes in general.) Because PF2 assumes Golarion as its default but Paizo is not stupid enough to tell everyone running homebrewed settings to bugger off and take their money with them.

Literally the entire problem with this thread is that one person has spent half of it trying to force their opinions as fact into the setting.

They want to make it not an optional rule, but the default, with anything anathema-related instead being completely optional. The equivalent is if someone wanted Paizo to rip alignment out of the game, and turn it into an optional rule, but everyone else discussing disagreed with them.

Perhaps you have missed that.


Cyouni wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I like that, PossibleCabbage. Like, I don't really have a problem with there being a Cleric whose god has no anathema. I just have a problem with Shelyn being forced to still grant powers to a Cleric who decides to go on a rampage through an art museum.

Like I would have a real issue with any sort of Cleric of Asmodeus having a mechanical solution short of converting to a different religion to go on to become some sort of CG revolutionary abolitionist while keeping all those infernal powers.

I figure there should like be an archetype for "heretic clerics" but there should be a limit to how far we can stretch things.

I don't see why the fact that you find the notion offensive means that it shouldn't be an optional rule in PF2 Unchained. I mean, I'm sure there are people upset when alignment is removed from PF. Does that mean PF1 Unchained shouldn't have included optional rules on removing alignment? No, it just means that those people shouldn't play with those rules. And you clearly shouldn't play in a game making widespread use of no-falling clerics. That's ok, there are plenty of people who aren't you, and they can and will make good use of that rule when it does appear in PF2 Unchained. (Probably as part of a larger discussion of no-fall classes in general.) Because PF2 assumes Golarion as its default but Paizo is not stupid enough to tell everyone running homebrewed settings to bugger off and take their money with them.

Literally the entire problem with this thread is that one person has spent half of it trying to force their opinions as fact into the setting.

They want to make it not an optional rule, but the default, with anything anathema-related instead being completely optional. The equivalent is if someone wanted Paizo to rip alignment out of the game, and turn it into an optional rule, but everyone else discussing disagreed with them.

Perhaps you have missed...

Oh, I got that. I even posted about it a bit. Explain to me why it means that I can't advocate for an optional rule, when I have clearly and repeatedly said that is what I am doing. Does Tectorman have a monopoly on this thread now?


So one thing I don't understand: Why is it important for something to be an "optional rule" when you could have just houseruled it to work that way from the start?

Particularly when the issue is essentially thematic, and not liable to create or exacerbate game balance problems (like something akin to "everybody has twice as many spell slots and focus points" might).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So one thing I don't understand: Why is it important for something to be an "optional rule" when you could have just houseruled it to work that way from the start?

Particularly when the issue is essentially thematic, and not liable to create or exacerbate game balance problems (like something akin to "everybody has twice as many spell slots and focus points" might).

Primarily, by putting something in a book, Paizo gets to include helpful discussions on, let's say, why you might want or not want to do such a thing, various ways to do it that might not be obvious to everyone, possible explanations for why things work that way, and possible consequences to beware and/or cultivate. The"Removing Alignment" section in PF1 Unchained is mainly this stuff.

Secondarily, having it as an official option legitimizes it in many eyes. (Some people may consider this the primary reason.)


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I actually agree with Fuzzy on that point. I don't think it needs to be more than... half a page or so?... but in a book full of optional rules, I think it has a place. Maybe alongside other related options like stricter anathema.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also agreed. We can all houserule, but there’s a certain convenience to having the same “house rule” we can all point to.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So for "Clerics who can't fall" in PF2, could we use clerics of deities who literally are not paying attention, or do not care at all?

Like IIRC, Azathoth is incapable of perceiving the material universe, and clerics of some of the Eldest should either never fall or sometimes fall for no reason that is apparent to anyone.

Based on some comments about the restricted alignments of PF2 Clerics, it seems that having the proper alignment is a metaphysical prerequisite and not the deity's choice. I guess the same might be true of following anathemas. Even if your deity is broadcasting its powerful blessings in the whole universe, if you do not have the proper alignment or if you do not follow its anathemas, you just cannot benefit from its energy in the form of Clerical powers.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I actually agree with Fuzzy on that point. I don't think it needs to be more than... half a page or so?... but in a book full of optional rules, I think it has a place. Maybe alongside other related options like stricter anathema.

At best the "no anathemas" setting is a sidebar in a "no alignment" setting section. Since alignment has mechanics (some things work differently when used on or by people of specific alignments) so that needs some exploration as to how to deal with "Detect Evil" when there isn't such a thing.

Like it could read:

Quote:

Whither Anathema?

Without alignment, you might want to play up the importance of anathema as important for representing a character's relationship with a deity. Consider adding additional requirements that would ordinarily be associate with the alignments of those Gods an Goddesses, but were not specifically encluded in the Anathema. Iomedae does not specifically prohibit "theft" in her Anathema, but nonetheless should not tolerate it among her devout.

On the other hand, if you like alignment but dislike anathema, feel free to keep the one you like and ignore the other. Doing this has no mechanical impact on anything, you will just need to guard against players playing their characters in an extremely conceptually inappropriate manners. Consider keeping the Anathemas in mind, but only enforcing severe breaches- A Shelynite cleric might not lose their powers for accidentally knocking over a priceless vase (though might be expected to repair it, perhaps in the manner of kintsugi), but assuredly should face repercussions from their goddess if they burned down the art gallery for no reason.

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