How do people find out there's a new god?


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Whether by the Starstone or more mysterious means, some mortals become gods. How does anyone on the Material Plane find out this has happened? Does everyone get to know, or do a select few spontaneously become their clerics and start spreading their word, or what? If it's different for each of the Ascended, what's it been for the ones so far?

I'm mostly wondering whether this is at all explained / hinted at somewhere in the actual lore, but imaginative suggestions are welcome too!


Well Iomedae became the herald of Aroden, and eventually succeeded him as the god of humanity. I imagine she got most of her publicity from her heralding days.
Cayden Cailean peobably did a bunch of heroic stuff and/or drinking once he achieved godhood. Either way he probably went around telling everyone he was a god.
Norgorber ... it makes no sense that anyone knows about Norgorber. I presume other gods told motals about the god of secrets as a warning, and that led to knowledge/worship.
And then there's Razmir. He went and told a city he's a god, and when they refused to bow to him he raised the city and made a new one in his own name.

(I might have paraphrased some of this)


I feel like a god needs to intervene or send a herald to a place to make themselves known to the people of that place, at least at first. Eventually followers of that deity will spread your existence to others, but you need to do something to get followers.

Like people on Golarion didn't become aware of Hylax whenever she underwent apotheosis.


I guess it's also worth noting that Iomedae and Caylen were both heroes before their ascension. Iomedae at least would have been pretty well known (I don't know Cayden's pre-goodhood story as well), so the test of the Starstone would have just been the jext chapter in an existing legend.
Once again Norgorber really doesn't fit this. A god of secrets should be really good at not being found out, but apparently isn't ...


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From what I understand from the stories of minor deities, a god is created by mortals worshiping them. Either in life or in death. Kurgess, a athlete known far and wide around the realm was immortalized after his death by the very same athletes he competed against, giving him the base of worshipers to spread his faith around.

It's said that Kurgess might have been a demi-god by birth already and that it was Cayden Calean, his father who raised him to godhood. But it gives you an idea of how religions can spread. Just be famous enough that people already know about you and then die a martyr and there's a non-zero chance you'll become a minor god.


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MrCharisma wrote:

I guess it's also worth noting that Iomedae and Caylen were both heroes before their ascension. Iomedae at least would have been pretty well known (I don't know Cayden's pre-goodhood story as well), so the test of the Starstone would have just been the jext chapter in an existing legend.

Once again Norgorber really doesn't fit this. A god of secrets should be really good at not being found out, but apparently isn't ...

Presumably, Norgorber wants to be worshiped and have minions to use in pursuing his goals. He likely recruited followers to grow his cult out of thieves' guilds and other shady organizations. He's erased his mortal past from even the minds of the gods, so what the world knows of him is how he wants to be known.


DwarfMan Esq. wrote:

From what I understand from the stories of minor deities, a god is created by mortals worshiping them. Either in life or in death. Kurgess, a athlete known far and wide around the realm was immortalized after his death by the very same athletes he competed against, giving him the base of worshipers to spread his faith around.

It's said that Kurgess might have been a demi-god by birth already and that it was Cayden Calean, his father who raised him to godhood. But it gives you an idea of how religions can spread. Just be famous enough that people already know about you and then die a martyr and there's a non-zero chance you'll become a minor god.

This depends on the god. Irori and Nethys achieved godhood through entirely personal means (physical perfection and a stroke of arcane genius, respectively). It is, of course, very likely that both men were famous prior to their ascension given their power and would have many people who desire to be their clerics.


Well... technically, there is typically nothing directly stopping a god from just showing up on the mortal plane whenever they feel like it. Just look at how Arazni was summoned in order to fight the Whispering Tyrant.

The problem is... look at how Arazni died to the whispering tyrant.

There are likely a number of reasons why gods would be in danger while on the mortal plane. First, they attract attention of enemies and they are not on their home turf- either the enemies want to eliminate a threat (Whispering Tyrant) or seek to gain something from them (Geb). Summary- too much Aggro.

Next, their personal realms are often filled with armies of loyal and powerful outsiders and made specifically to give them advantages. So when they are away from home, it is a perfect chance for enemies to amass armies to pile dive on the lone god.

Additionally, I would assume that their sheer divine presence might cause a certain degree of collateral damage (possibly over time)- which might destroy the very thing they wished to gain or protect. This is why you are more likely to see a chaotic evil god like Rovagug or an old one to show up- they WANT to smash everything. Good gods would avoid the loss of innocent lives, and lawful evil gods like devils would want to avoid the loss of assets. (note- I also kind of assume this is why there is a summoning ritual involved with the Arazni story- it might have also put restrictions on her that both stopped her from melting everything... and also made her vulnerable; ).

All put together... there is a reason why the gods of the star stone end up being famous. This is because they are free to randomly show up right after their ascension because even other gods barely realize they exist yet. So you end up with Iomedae showing up and shining everywhere and quickly scooping up followers.


It seems like the birth of a new god is accompanied by some kind of dramatic event, including cataclysms, earthquakes, and stuff.

On the other hand, The examples I think of weren't quite that dramatic:

The Ascension of Heracles was little more than a funeral pyre.

The Crucifixion was followed by a brief, secretive reappearance.

The burning of Joan of Arc was received by lots of people repenting immediately realizing they were burning a saint.

When the good citizens of Green Lake lynched Onion Jim, beginning the career of the outlaw Kissn' Kate Barlowe, it also never rained again, and Green Lake became a desert.

Freddie Kruger became a nightmare-monster when he was lynched after he was acquitted in his trial.

Godzilla was awoken by atomic bombs. That's pretty dramatic.

Tamerlane pronounced a curse on his tomb. In 1941, some Soviet archeologists excavated a kurgan and found the skeleton of a tall man with a bad leg, so they were pretty sure they found the last resting place of Timur Kahn the Lame. I think so too because of the curse, "If you d3sturb my resting place, a fate worse than ME will come upon you. Well 2 days after opening his sarcophagus, the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. Doesn't get much more accursed than that!

Not all of these are examples of the birth of gods, but I think they are illustrative.


MrCharisma wrote:

I guess it's also worth noting that Iomedae and Caylen were both heroes before their ascension. Iomedae at least would have been pretty well known (I don't know Cayden's pre-goodhood story as well), so the test of the Starstone would have just been the jext chapter in an existing legend.

Once again Norgorber really doesn't fit this. A god of secrets should be really good at not being found out, but apparently isn't ...

Not only that, but they likely already had sufficient Mythic ranks (or at least the equivalent) to be already granting spells as well.


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I feel like any time someone leaves the test of the Starstone (since it's right there in the middle of a huge city) it's going to be a really big deal, even if you fall short of divinity in the process (some people leave the cathedral with fabulous wealth but no divinity.)

But the next Nethys or Irori could be off in their hermitage right now on the cusp of achieving divinity and most people wouldn't know about it for a while unless they make a point of telling folks after they succeed.

Like I'm pretty sure most people from Golarion don't have the faintest idea who

Spoiler:
Cassandalee

is, and won't for thousands of years, despite her nascent divinity.

Dark Archive

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Does everyone get to know, or do a select few spontaneously become their clerics and start spreading their word, or what?

That would be my first thought, that their new clerics, selected from those mortals who would be most inclined / well-suited to their specific areas of concern (which would be hilarious for a new god like Cayden. "Okay, he's super-drunk all the time. Maybe he wants to be one of my clerics?").

Perhaps it could start with involuntarily 'blessing' some appropriate people with Oracle levels, or sending some portents to themtically appropriate NPCs with Adept NPC class levels, converting / upgrading those Adept levels into Cleric levels one by one if they embrace the tenets of the new god who is sending them signs and visions and dreams.

A new god-in-the-making might want to write their own holy canon (or at least dictate it to their first clerics, or at least have an outsider servant or herald do that), to make sure that the new clerics don't add anything to their church that they might not entirely agree with. ("No, I don't promote misogyny! Someone's getting a smiting..." -Erastil, reading his own holy book and getting pissed.)

Presumably allied or strongly opposed churches might also get a heads-up from their own divine patrons, to welcome their new buddy (as the church of Desna may have soon after Cayden Cailean ascended) or to watch out for the faithful of the new problem-child/enfant terrible (as Iomedae may have warned her highest clergy, when Norgorber got up and running as a god of murder, poisoners, venomous rumor-mongers, thieves, etc.).


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DwarfMan Esq. wrote:

From what I understand from the stories of minor deities, a god is created by mortals worshiping them. Either in life or in death. Kurgess, a athlete known far and wide around the realm was immortalized after his death by the very same athletes he competed against, giving him the base of worshipers to spread his faith around.

It's said that Kurgess might have been a demi-god by birth already and that it was Cayden Calean, his father who raised him to godhood. But it gives you an idea of how religions can spread. Just be famous enough that people already know about you and then die a martyr and there's a non-zero chance you'll become a minor god.

This is explicitly not the case in Golarion's cosmology. Gods do not require worshipers to have their power, unlike certain D&D settings. This is based on statements James Jacobs has made.

Deities have innate power, worshipers happen because deities are powerful. Beings do not become deities because they have worshipers. If that was the case Razmir would actually be a god. How beings achieve their deific status and power in the first place varies.


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They have to buy the latest splatbook.


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The god writes "for a good time worship (god name)" in a major city somewhere.


Also, if we're talking about the Starstone specifically, people do build up a sizable following before they take the test. So there's plenty of witnesses. Also they have a temple built and a new bridge extends from the Cathedral, so I think that's the biggest clue.

It's entirely possible Norgorber was a cult leader before taking the test, given how his worship tends to organize. Also, there's a conspiracy theory that Norgorber is actually an adventuring party who ascended together, so even more reason to believe that they had a devoted following.

I think Cayden Cailean is an exception, as he was just some guy (maybe) but being some guy he probably kicked the doors of the Cathedral open, rocked some air guitar, and then shot up into space.


"Excuse me sir, have you heard of our Lord and Savior Cayden Cailean"


In general, when a new god emerges I imagine if they're not already well known from their mortal life they find some specific people who become followers. The deity bestows power unto them, and asks them to go spread the word, especially by performing miracles.

I mean, look at how religion was spread in our world. Now imagine that but with actual magic and miracles that occur that unarguably occur and claimed to be performed due to a specific deity's power.*

You can positively identify magic, and even tell between arcane and divine magic with a bit of effort. But you can't tell that a specific deity provided spells as far as I know, but hey. If the cleric says it was a specific deity, most people would be inclined to believe it was that deity and not another.


Ok serious answer: Perhaps gods have something like the spell Dream but can reach multiple targets at once. So they send a dream to a bunch of people where they appear and explain who they are.


Claxon wrote:

This is explicitly not the case in Golarion's cosmology. Gods do not require worshipers to have their power, unlike certain D&D settings. This is based on statements James Jacobs has made.

Deities have innate power, worshipers happen because deities are powerful. Beings do not become deities because they have worshipers. If that was the case Razmir would actually be a god. How beings achieve their deific status and power in the first place varies.

I will say that belief likely has an effect on their existence though. I've seen a bestiary entry for Cyth-V'sug that mentioned how he was a Qlippoth lord that turned into a demon lord as he responded to mortal sins and desires.

Of course- he already broke through the threshold of being a demigod level entity. He just happened to turn into a different type... while being on a chaotic plane that was really getting into the 'hip new fad' of mortal sin.

Actually, thinking about this, there is another consideration- demigods that turn into full gods. Sarenrae is a prime example- she was an empyreal lord back in the days of rovagug. And we have entire splat books devoted to the cults for empyreal lords. So the god may have had worshippers anyway due to going about their usual business by the time they become a god.


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I feel like "worshipers are a kind of power a would-be deity can use to advance in the universe, but there are other kinds of power one could use instead."

Like if some Empyreal Lord were to sit down and eat the Starstone (like with a fork) that would probably net them an extra domain if they could pull it off. But this may be literally the worst idea for doing that.


Its a complete aside but the Finder's Stone Trilogy (80's90's forgotten realm trilogy) does it very well. spoilers to follow. just overview spoilers. This god did show up in 1,2,3rd eidtion dnd. I sorta dont think he did in later ones. I'll use the godname to avoid potential reading spoils

The god is made in the first/second book . Finder Wyvernspur being a new god only introduced himself to one bard. and convienced he was a god. They basically did a buddy adventure going around. No one really seeing or hearing Wyvernspur god but that bard. Eventually due to the divine empowerment more and more folks start to believe in this bard going around as a bardic priest of this god. Because well.. other gods started talking about said new god and the bardid priest was pulling off things that are clearly divine. So word of mouth got around. (because no one can talk to his main believers.. a group of lizard folks he knew in life (sorta) that worship him but not like they can talk nor itneract with the world at large).

I utterly adored this way of making a new god. and following the actual introduction and his interactions with senior gods. and the new priest's interactions.

I've always kind of wanted to play the first/few earth patron of a new god. i really dislike playing divine but that would be interesting


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lemeres wrote:
Claxon wrote:

This is explicitly not the case in Golarion's cosmology. Gods do not require worshipers to have their power, unlike certain D&D settings. This is based on statements James Jacobs has made.

Deities have innate power, worshipers happen because deities are powerful. Beings do not become deities because they have worshipers. If that was the case Razmir would actually be a god. How beings achieve their deific status and power in the first place varies.

I will say that belief likely has an effect on their existence though. I've seen a bestiary entry for Cyth-V'sug that mentioned how he was a Qlippoth lord that turned into a demon lord as he responded to mortal sins and desires.

Of course- he already broke through the threshold of being a demigod level entity. He just happened to turn into a different type... while being on a chaotic plane that was really getting into the 'hip new fad' of mortal sin.

Actually, thinking about this, there is another consideration- demigods that turn into full gods. Sarenrae is a prime example- she was an empyreal lord back in the days of rovagug. And we have entire splat books devoted to the cults for empyreal lords. So the god may have had worshippers anyway due to going about their usual business by the time they become a god.

The case of Cyth-V'sug is interesting, but Qlippoth Lords are almost on the same level as nascent Demon Lords. So this is the case of a almost-demigod upgrading to complete demigod status, and in the process changing themselves. It is probable that he deliberately did this change to increase his power.


PR.
Seriously.
Ascended mortals, at the very least, can keep futzing around on the mortal world for centuries.
Plus, give some divine revelations to a select few, get some proselytism going if that's your thing, and you're good.
Presumably, that simplicity is also why the Living God (All Hail) can get away with it as well.

In the case of obscure gods not looking to be worshipped, like outer gods, outsider lords etc, researchers stumbling the name and deciding to worship for... Some reason.

For Cyth V'Sug, I'll say "responding to sins and desires" doesn't necessarily imply worship. I see it just like how demons came to be in the first place : sin getting shoved into innocent qlippoth spawned the race. CVS, resilient an entity as it may be, is going through something similar.
Assuming it wasn't voluntary, as we know some Qlippoth Lords even did it willingly, since demons can grow more powerful than qlippoth ever could.


I'll readily admit- because it is DEEP in the ever chaotic abyss faction, Cyth-V'sug is a relatively poor example. Weird mutations and transformations are a key feature, even when you are turning from one kind of inhuman monster into a different kind of inhuman monster.

I am pretty sure that the only rule in the Abyss is "whatever seems cruel and interesting".

Dark Archive

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "worshipers are a kind of power a would-be deity can use to advance in the universe, but there are other kinds of power one could use instead."

That seems on-theme for the gods of Golarion, in particular, who have a plethora of ways to 'become' gods, from 'always were' (Pharasma) to 'ascended outsider' to 'bootstrapped mortal' to 'starstone scion.'

Certainly some deity level figures, like some of the Great Old Ones, seem to be able to maintain cosmic levels of power, with few or no active worshippers, while others (like Razmir) have a bunch of 'followers,' but no divine power to show for it...

Quote:
Like if some Empyreal Lord were to sit down and eat the Starstone (like with a fork) that would probably net them an extra domain if they could pull it off. But this may be literally the worst idea for doing that.

Well yeah. Firstly, only heathens eat Starstone *with a fork.*

Secondly, if you complete the Test, you come to a stone plinth on which the Starstone used to sit, but now holds only a slip of paper that reads, "Out for cleaning. We apologize for the inconvenience. Ha ha, suckers. -Norgorber"


Nyerkh wrote:
In the case of obscure gods not looking to be worshipped, like outer gods, outsider lords etc, researchers stumbling the name and deciding to worship for... Some reason.

Azathoth (and paizo created gods that take influence from the character) is described as a 'blind idiot god' that is unable to even realize he has worshipers. In that case, the worshipers are more like parasites- they seek to create a connection by paying lip service, and then they leech away at his divine power for their own purposes.

I would imagine that an individual would seek out obscure gods because they are more likely to have minimal interest in maintaining a devoted religious organization. As a result, they might be less likely to to bring heavy demands on their worshipers.

Then again, they might be obscure because they place such insane demands on the worshipers that they all die due to a horrible ritual (or a curse for refusing the ritual) and get forgotten by history. But people willing to make deals with long forgotten gods in the pursuit of power are not very likely to pay attention to that risk.


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What, doesn't everybody subscribe to Apotheosis Quarterly?


Set wrote:
Certainly some deity level figures, like some of the Great Old Ones, seem to be able to maintain cosmic levels of power, with few or no active worshippers, while others (like Razmir) have a bunch of 'followers,' but no divine power to show for it...

I feel like Razimir's problem is that "access to a font of power" like a horde of worshipers is a necessary but not sufficient condition for divinity, the other being "direct access to, containing, or being a divine source." Like if a 3rd tier mythic character chooses the "Divine Source" universal path ability and then gets as many followers as Razimir, they are probably on track for apotheosis.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like Razimir's problem is that "access to a font of power" like a horde of worshipers is a necessary but not sufficient condition for divinity, the other being "direct access to, containing, or being a divine source." Like if a 3rd tier mythic character chooses the "Divine Source" universal path ability and then gets as many followers as Razimir, they are probably on track for apotheosis.

All gas, no matches?


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Amusingly, while worship and belief does little to help gods and wannabes, it does have power and can lead to the creation of god-ish things, like idols.
So, while Razmir has no divine power, some of his most prominent statues might end up with a bit of it, eventually.


He might even try moving his own soul into an Idol if he can't make it to Level 20 in time.


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Headline: "Living God" Razmir Overthrown by Statue of Himself


I think especially for ascended humanoids, they're going to show off.
They will already have network of relationships, and their new status will get around.

Now, if some acquatic worm on another planet somehow ascends, yeah people might not know.
If some force of universe creates deity entity, yeah people might not know.
Because I don't think people know about all of existing gods per se, only if it's somehow relevant to them.
Heck, most people probably don't know about the Osirioni gods, even if they step foot in Osirion they mostly see the same big boys/girls.

So I think the question might be a bit too much informed by normal real-world discourse of "existence of (a) god".
Mere existence of a god doesn't really matter to anybody in Golarion universe,
it only matters if it's somehow relevant to them, so they tend to find out when it becomes relevant to them.


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blahpers wrote:
Headline: "Living God" Razmir Overthrown by Statue of Himself

Meh. It would spin the situation as Razmir 'overcoming the limitations of the flesh' and simply disposing of something it doesn't need anymore.


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White smoke from the Vatican?


lemeres wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Headline: "Living God" Razmir Overthrown by Statue of Himself
Meh. It would spin the situation as Razmir 'overcoming the limitations of the flesh' and simply disposing of something it doesn't need anymore.

This may have already occurred.


blahpers wrote:
Headline: "Living God" Razmir Overthrown by Statue of Himself

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO ARODEN - SILLY GOD, STUPID DEATH! MEANWHILE, VERY SOON BIG PEACE PLAN FOR NIRMATHAS AND MOLOTHUNE, EVERYBODY HAPPY!!!


Did Razmir replace himself with a clone of a certain President?

Or was it the statue?


I'm not dead! I can't quite remember who I am though?!?


Of course, something like this could happen, followed by this . . . .


In Pallidium's book of Deities to become a god you need personal power, a bit of luck and massive amounts of worshippers. At least a million if not more. So in Raziman's case he lacks the numbers of worshippers and probably the power as well. It's been stated in his case he is a mortal human of venerable age. While a high level wizard nothing I have read has suggested he is more then that. In the case of mortals becoming gods they were special. Cayden and Iomadea were very famous for their adventures before taking the test.


blahpers wrote:
What, doesn't everybody subscribe to Apotheosis Quarterly?

I used to, but finally had to cancel my subscription. It was just too preachy....


Derek Dalton wrote:
In Pallidium's book of Deities to become a god you need personal power, a bit of luck and massive amounts of worshippers. At least a million if not more. So in Raziman's case he lacks the numbers of worshippers and probably the power as well. It's been stated in his case he is a mortal human of venerable age. While a high level wizard nothing I have read has suggested he is more then that. In the case of mortals becoming gods they were special. Cayden and Iomadea were very famous for their adventures before taking the test.

Millions? Wow. Doesn't leave much room for household gods, tribal gods, and the like, does it? Good thing this isn't Palladium. Unless you want it to be, anyway.


Is there an history of a god killing other god like cyric kill mistra in forgotten realm?


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Zepheri wrote:
Is there an history of a god killing other god like cyric kill mistra in forgotten realm?

Lamashtu went from being a demon lord to being a god by killing and stealing a domain from a true god.

She is also implied to be the first demon created via the soul experiments of a Horseman of the Apocalypse. Obviously... things did not go well for that guy, and someone else now holds his position. I can't remember if the Horsemen are considered true gods though.

Dark Archive

I think the battle with Rovagug may have killed an unremembered god or two as well, but I don't recall (and might have memories quantum-entangled with the Divine War in the Scarred Lands setting...).


lemeres wrote:
I can't remember if the Horsemen are considered true gods though.

Only 4 domains, so not full powered deities at least.


lemeres wrote:
Zepheri wrote:
Is there an history of a god killing other god like cyric kill mistra in forgotten realm?
Lamashtu went from being a demon lord to being a god by killing and stealing a domain from a true god.

I think in some of the creation myths they killed some gods. Asmodeus killing his brother, for example. But there is more than one creation myth and Paizo has never said which one(/ones) is(/are) true - if any.


The last time someone became a god in my campaign, all of Absalom lit up blindingly for a bit and then a city-sized face descended out of the clouds, only to be held back by the new deity.

It would've been much harder for anyone in the city to not notice a new god. XD

For players, they tend to start churches and just spread the word that way.

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