PC Journeys / Crises of Faith and Alignment?


General Discussion

Radiant Oath

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

Something I've been struggling with while playing Starfinder is it seems difficult to roleplay a PC having a crisis of conscience or a "come to Deity" moment over the course of play without playing a character whose spirituality isn't intrinsically tied to their class features.

Mystics are obviously the first example, but Operatives with the Disciple specialization and any class who takes the Divine Champion archetype also seems to essentially need their spiritual convictions, both in terms of alignment and deity, locked into place within the first three levels of play. If you want to roleplay the events of the campaign causing your character to reflect on their beliefs and possibly change alignment or a non-spiritual character becoming more spiritual over the course of their adventures, they effectively have to ignore some of their class features until they reach a narrative point to "unlock" them, which may be well past the point they recieved those features, hampering the group.

The game seems to favor the "Kaiden Alenko" approach, where the majority of the PC's introspection and/or character development happened in their backstory and they've got their past squared away when the plot actually gets going. How do I approach this if I want to actually roleplay through that character development in the actual game?

Attack of the Swarm! SPOILERS:
Specifically I had an idea for an AotS! PC who isn't a spiritual or even Good person at the start of the campaign slowly learning more about Hylax as the AP progresses, culminating in them shifting to Lawful Good and converting to worship Hylax around the climax of book 4, after the PCs are put through a series of educational trials by monks of Hylax. Since this takes place in the 4th book of the AP, such a character would be around 7th level before such an event, well after the time PCs with spiritual class features are required to pick those features. If the character was already spiritual before hand, it diminishes the "come to Hylax" moment in this adventure, like if Luke Skywalker had already known about and believed in the Force before Obi-Wan even informed him about it.

So...what do you folks think? Is this a blind spot in the system? How would you as a GM or player handle it?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First, there is the Divine Connection feat, which can be taken at any level; its not particularly strong, but still is an option.
However, in the case of a mid campaign crisis of faith/deific revelation, I would ley the player in question retrain into the desired architype/specialization for free at the appropriate moment.


It's very easy to pick a Mystic connection for nonreligious reasons that you believe is psychic power or just studying magic with a personal twist/inclination in the direction of your connection, then later finding that it matches the worship of Hylax and serves as a conduit that can grow to make it a personal connection.

Empath, Healer, Hive Mind, and Xenoambassador are all connections associated with Hylax.

A common psychic/psionic outlook influenced by personality could easily lead you to any of these, or you could be an academic who studies magic through an intuitive lens and wanted to be a cop/investigator (Empath), medic (Healer), squad leader/support (Hive Mind), or diplomat/mediator (Xenoambassador) without any religious overtones to start.

Radiant Oath

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

I forgot Mystics don't necessarily need deities for their powers, though I was leaning towards making this PC an Operative with the Disciple specialization. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be such without having something to BE a disciple of in the first place. Putting the cargo trailer before the freighter ship so to speak.

Nathan Monson wrote:

First, there is the Divine Connection feat, which can be taken at any level; its not particularly strong, but still is an option.

However, in the case of a mid campaign crisis of faith/deific revelation, I would ley the player in question retrain into the desired architype/specialization for free at the appropriate moment.

While this is certainly how I'd approach it were I to GM (something that TERRIFIES me!) I'm concerned that if I were to ask a potential GM to do this on my behalf, questions would come up like "How do you know you're going to a monastery of Hylax in Book 4?" and come to the natural conclusion that I was metagaming and ask me to change my concept to not depend on reading ahead in the AP.

Wayfinders

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
While this is certainly how I'd approach it were I to GM (something that TERRIFIES me!) I'm concerned that if I were to ask a potential GM to do this on my behalf, questions would come up like "How do you know you're going to a monastery of Hylax in Book 4?" and come to the natural conclusion that I was metagaming and ask me to change my concept to not depend on reading ahead in the AP.

That certainly can be a valid concern, but I would encourage you to talk to the GM anyway.

*grabs soapbox* RPGs are storytelling games, and communication is key for the best possible storytelling. As long as a character concept doesn't do something to derail the AP, most GMs I know (myself included), can and would cry tears of joy to have a player that invested in the game and their character. Especially since your concept is tying directly into the AP itself! GMs usually love that stuff! *quietly puts soapbox away*

Besides, the information that you're going to "a secret monastery dedicated to the insect goddess Hylax" is literally in the product description, and does not require you to read through the AP to know.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I forgot Mystics don't necessarily need deities for their powers, though I was leaning towards making this PC an Operative with the Disciple specialization. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be such without having something to BE a disciple of in the first place. Putting the cargo trailer before the freighter ship so to speak.

Disciple is the just the name they slapped on it. At the end of the day you're just an operative trained in recognizing magic and resisting it. No need for that to be tied in with a deity at all.

Radiant Oath

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

Oh. Thanks for clarifying that. DERP!

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