About the worship of Rovagug and its anathemas


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


If I understand correctly, deific anathemas are an area of concern only for the most devout followers and clerics and other classes with abilities that depend on remaining in a deity's good graces. Most deities have anathemas that make sense and don't need special sets of circumstances to be avoided.

Then comes Rovagug and his "create something new" anathema. It makes sense for the quintessential god of annihilation of everything to be repulsed by creation, but the fact is that depending on how its wording is interpreted, it may either make Rovagug worshippers too limited to be a threat or it may barely be an anathema at all:
- If simply creating an item from scratch counts as creating something new, it would be hard for Rovagug worshippers to make their own weapons and they would either depend entirely on pillaging or fight unarmed, both are impractical and above all for clerics who should use the greataxe as their main weapon. Hard to understand how Rovagug worshippers would be a real threat there.
- If creating someting new means inventing something no one ever came up with before, then there is no real restriction here. Just copy someone else's design and you're good to go.

Hos is this anathema supposed to impact Rovagug worshippers?


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Anathema are only mechanically restrictive to clerics/champions/etc.

However, if you are worshiper of a deity, their anathema probably color your life to one degree or another. In the case of Rovagug, yeah. He's the embodiment of destruction. Creative types probably aren't too common and banditry/pillaging is likely a big thing.

Need a greataxe? Choke someone who has a greataxe.


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Saedar wrote:

Anathema are only mechanically restrictive to clerics/champions/etc.

However, if you are worshiper of a deity, their anathema probably color your life to one degree or another. In the case of Rovagug, yeah. He's the embodiment of destruction. Creative types probably aren't too common and banditry/pillaging is likely a big thing.

Need a greataxe? Choke someone who has a greataxe.

Or just do like most people do and buy one, really. You can't be tied to material substance, but the anathema doesn't say you can't exploit them to further your goals of destruction.

Also, if it came down to it, unarmed combat can be extremely practical in a world with monks, animal instinct barbarians, humanoids with claws, etc.


FlashRebel wrote:
If simply creating an item from scratch counts as creating something new, it would be hard for Rovagug worshippers to make their own weapons and they would either depend entirely on pillaging or fight unarmed, both are impractical and above all for clerics who should use the greataxe as their main weapon. Hard to understand how Rovagug worshippers would be a real threat there.

I think you're really overestimating the number of people who make their own equipment with this statement. Most people, Rovagug worshippers are not, probably aren't going to have handmade equipment.


Squiggit wrote:
FlashRebel wrote:
If simply creating an item from scratch counts as creating something new, it would be hard for Rovagug worshippers to make their own weapons and they would either depend entirely on pillaging or fight unarmed, both are impractical and above all for clerics who should use the greataxe as their main weapon. Hard to understand how Rovagug worshippers would be a real threat there.
I think you're really overestimating the number of people who make their own equipment with this statement. Most people, Rovagug worshippers are not, probably aren't going to have handmade equipment.

Even if they did, I think the Rough Beast isn't going to object too much if the creation is only used to destroy other stuff. Hand-make a club, an axe, a Kalashnikov, just destroy stuff with it and he's..well, still angry but not quite as angry at you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm pretty sure it's not specifically relating to inventing but more the act of creation given the nature of rovagug.

If you tied a rock to the end of a stick, or you make a sandwich for dinner... I think you'd be fine. If you used your forge to smith a greataxe so beautiful it would make a dwarf proud I definitely think that goes against the nature of Rovagug.

Somewhere in-between you find the tipping point - interpretation & discussion between player and GM is definitely needed to properly implement anathemas sensibly...

The grandeur of the creation would to me determine the seriousness of the anathema breach. As the cleric entry says performing "enough acts that are anathema" - not just 1 relatively minor act. Making a sandwich rather than just ripping the meat and sinew from the bone with your teeth would not be rovagug's style but I doubt he's falling a cleric for that. Spending a month building a bridge across a ravine or forging an ornate weapon, yeah I'd think that's pretty weird for a rovagug worshipper & may be worth a fall... though circumstance often dictates everything in this area.


Rovagug worshipers are NPCs anyway. So I take it as saying "you take what you need, you don't make it." Pillaging as a way of life is all well and good for Rovagugians. I mean, this is the chaotic evil big bad of the setting who is generally worshiped only by those who abhor civilization or are lone mad nihilists.

Plus the anathema only binds the clerics. So if you have say a group of orcs who worship the Rough Beast, only the actual spiritual leader needs to be someone who contributes nothing positive to society- everybody else can make stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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It's pretty explicit in the Belkzen book, among other places, that yes, creating a weapon is anathema to Rovagug, just as all other acts of creation. Now, not all Orcs worship Rovagug, and most who do probably consider breaking that tenet a minor sin at best, resulting in them treating craftspeople like dirt rather than actively killing them or anything, but the Clerics and Champions of Rovagug must abide by it, well, religiously.

So, in short, they survive and remain a threat because only the true fanatics actually abide by that tenet. But it's a real tenet and one people who actually want Rovagug's magical blessings must abide by.


Wait, why did he create the Spawn if he's against creating anything?


Yqatuba wrote:
Wait, why did he create the Spawn if he's against creating anything?

They may not literally be his spawn. Or maybe they are weird divine fleas that he shakes off. Spontaneous creation?

/shrug


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They should add "pointing out flaws/contradictions in this deity's theology" to each deity's anathema. :-P

Dark Archive

Yqatuba wrote:
Wait, why did he create the Spawn if he's against creating anything?

Its never really stated he created from purpose really, just that they keep leaking out of his prison. So they might actually be more of side effects than creations

Liberty's Edge

It's also arguable that breeding is not anathema per se. That's creating 'someone' rather than 'something' after all. Now, why Rovagug might object less to that is a very interesting question...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Birth is not what the anathema is talking about. It's specifically talking about building things. If you worship Rovagug, you're not suposed to build bridges, buildings, armor, or weapons. You're supposed to take those things from others and use those resources to destroy. And if you're making a magic item, it's better to craft the item from an object someone else made. Rather than forge the sword or craft the ring or carve the figurine or sew the cloak that you're trying to turn into a +1 sword or ring of fire resistance or figurine of wondrous power or cloak of the bat, you should take a normal sword or ring or figurine or cloak from someone else and go from there. Either that, or craft something that's flawed or cursed or simply appears to be old and worn.

Keep in mind that Rovagug is a god of destruction. He wants to ruin things, not make new things. He expects nothing less from his faithful. Does this make him a tougher deity to worship as a PC? Perhaps... and that's kind of by design. He's meant to be a bad guy, not a friend.


I think a cleric of Rovagug is one of the things that would not even work in an evil Party. But it would be a reason for good and evil to work together^^

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