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[ERROR] No.29943617 [DELETED]  [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

How do you handle players who don't follow a deity in standard fantasy settings. I was always under the impression that basically everyone followed a deity due them directly influencing the world, but I've encountered several players who outright refuse to follow a deity.
Usually it's Wizards, which I guess would make the most sense, but it still feels iffy to me in that kind of setting.

>> No.29943669

Unless you're playing in the Forgotten Realms or they're a Paladin/Cleric, there's really no particular reason for them to worship a god.

>> No.29943687

Acknowledging they exist and doing what they say are 2 very different things.

Atheists tend to die out in D&D worlds when they try to argue the gods don't exist. Usually they die by being hit with a lightning bolt with a not wrapped around it saying "Suffer not the tard to live."

>> No.29943700

Well, you certainly can't force them to follow a god, but it seems like it would have consequences. I imagine in a very religious setting (which medieval-ish societies probably would be) people would be very suspicious of someone who shuns the gods.

In RL, communities were often afraid that even by associating with ungodly people they risked bringing down divine wrath on everybody.

>> No.29943703

Outside clergy, there's no strong reason for a person to revere a god. Especially a single god, given that settings tend to have dozens and dozens of them. They'll probably act like real-world polytheistic people.

>> No.29943719

The Athar.

>> No.29943720

Basically, in most settings, the deities are not really worth worshiping.

Compared to the Christian God, who is infallible, incorruptible, and can be summarized as simply all that is good in this world and everything good that is beyond it, things like the D&D deities are nothing more than very powerful creatures.

Worshiping a creature like that is cute, and suits pagans nicely, but worshiping anything other than the absolute force of all that is divine just seems a bit underwhelming.

>> No.29943728

I would think in a world where you might have proof that gods interact with people, and the non-followers don't get smited, you'd realize the gods have bigger concerns.

>> No.29943733

Sure, everyone in D&D knows that the gods exist. But not everyone has to be a cleric. Many (most ?) people probably view gods as part of the world, but don't necessarily worship them.
Besides, it makes even less sense to worship only one god in such a setting, as opposed to faction/thematic group/whole pantheon of them.

>> No.29943748

I've never forced them to follow a god unless they're playing a Cleric or Paladin.

>> No.29943750

Atheists, or antitheists or whatever, are common as fuck in fantasy settings. They're the people that Gods send missionaries out to claim for their faith, because they're as of yet unaffiliated. It's like a big company buying out the small ones to increase their influence. Power abhors a vaccuum, so of course a 'neutral party' in the grand scheme of divinity is something that the gods would prefer didn't exist for long.

Of course, this divine dickwaving is often the cause of a lot of people choosing to remain uninvolved in the first place.

>> No.29943762

>who is infallible

Thats cute considering all the bullshit even before mankind had free will.

>> No.29943775

It's not just having a giant hand dropping from the sky and squashing a person. People in pre-modern societies often attributed natural events to supernatural forces, so a bad harvest or an outbreak of disease might be regarded as signs of angry gods.

In a fantasy world that might actually true, but even if it wasn't the community might THINK it's true, and hence look for someone to blame (like the foreigner who showed up in funny robes and didn't even give a customary offering at the local temple).

>> No.29943832

>worshiping anything other than the absolute force of all that is divine just seems a bit underwhelming.

Filthy God Learner detected.

Jokes aside, I do what I do with everything else related to religion in my games and steal as much as I can from Glorantha, because that's still pretty much the only setting that actually knows what it's talking about when it comes to religion.

So basically not being religiousin the vast majority of cases means being a kind of halfhearted worshipper who participates because it's socially expected of them. It's just what you do, kind of like any other part of being a respectable person, but not anything more than that.

So far nobody has complained, but maybe I've just been lucky in avoiding the fedoracore assholes and this approach might not work for everyone.

>> No.29943833

It doesn't effect me, so I don't care. That 'a the line of thinking for most folk. There's no point worshiping some deity of you are a farmer, or a merchant, or such who doesn't ever really have need of their help.

>> No.29943887


>There's no point worshiping some deity of you are a farmer

What about a god of hearth and home, or a god of the harvest?

>or a merchant

You better believe there's a god of good fortune and business dealings out there somewhere.

>> No.29943917

you'd better pray to poseidon son or else your trade fleets gonna meet the krakan

>> No.29943935

And then potato blight got his fields. Calls the local priestess of Sucella of the Harvest. Priestess tries to get the blessing of her goddess to remove the blight.


Oh wait. Turns out you never gave a shit about her before but now you want something it all changes. No deal now fuck of.

>> No.29943942

One of the core tenants of Christian theology involves the infuriating concept that if at anytime that we perceive God to be anything less than perfect, it is our own imperfect perceptions that cloud our judgement.

The tricky part is figuring out how to reconcile this with the tools God has granted us to perceive Him, which involves lengthy debates between thousands upon millions of expertly educated men (and exceptional women) over the course of centuries.

>> No.29944105


I find the idea that people on polytheistic fantasy settings pick one god and stick solely with them pretty bizarre.

>> No.29944138

Sounds to me like the priestesses are running a racket.

I bet they're poisoning the crops of those who don't give gold to their temple.

>> No.29944139

>being a wizard
>not worshipping azathoth

He's like the ultimate wizard god. He doesn't fucking care about you, you don't need to pray to him, he just gives out free magical secrets to everyone.

>> No.29944202

The thing is old editions of D&d actually did seperate pelor and shit in to different pantheons that said that if you worshipped one of them you were implicitly a believer in all the others in the group, even the evil ones, it being a religion.

>> No.29944215

>you come across some elvish farmers preforming a ritual for the orc god

It'd be pretty fun if "good people" worshipped evil gods too.

Because really, back in the days, every god got some form of worship. Either to get them into the community, or keep them out of the community.

>> No.29944217

>I was always under the impression that basically everyone followed a deity due them directly influencing the world
That's a wrong logic. You don't have to follow a deity to acknowledge it's existance
Besides, actual existance of deities allows for characters and/or groups who outright antagonize those

>> No.29944241

>There's no point worshiping some deity of you are a farmer, or a merchant, or such who doesn't ever really have need of their help.

Agricultural gods were very important. If you were a farmer, you absolutely wanted to make sure you would have a good harvest, and would be protected from any sudden disaster that might leave you incapable of feeding yourself and your family. Likewise, gods of travel were important because there were a lot of things that could go wrong on the road or at sea.

See: Demeter, Hermes, Poseidon

It's worth trying to think about this from a roleplaying perspective. It's your character's opinion that counts, not yours. Unless your character was born an ancient and powerful archmage, then at one point they were probably an ordinary person. At the very least they were likely brought up in a religious society where paying token respect to the gods was an ingrained and obligatory part of culture. In addition, most people would look to the gods for some safety and support in case anything went horribly wrong, especially in medieval societies where you didn't have much technology or government to fall back on, and if everything was fine they might feel some gratitude to the gods for that, too.

Even if the gods are just "powerful creatures" from a meta perspective, from the perspective of an ordinary person in-universe they would seem impossibly powerful, impossibly knowledgeable and the only creatures on that tier of power that might actually respond if you ask them for help. Your character isn't omniscient, he can't see Pelor's statblock.

>> No.29944256

>gives out secrets to everyone
how does that work

>> No.29944268

You kidding? In many real polytheistic societies there are gods for both of those trades who would be prayed to.

>> No.29944273

Or kill and replace them.

Friend of mine played an Orc in some campaign where the Orcish people got raped pretty hard by a human empire.

So after leading the rebellion, he left his people to the mountains of the North to upsurp his own God. Slew the god in honourable combat, and the Orc god granted him his godly powers with his dying breath.

Turned out, that Orc god became a god through that same trick he pulled off.

Basically, the Orc god is kind of like a lich. Except, he doesn't have a phylactary. The orc that kills the orc God simply becomes the new Orc god.

>> No.29944311

Surely D&D is not retarded enough to penalise people for propitiating evil gods and spirits like people in any actual polytheistic society would. Or is D&D more like a bunch of monotheistic religions all acknowledging the other gods but refusing to worship any others.

>> No.29944312

Well, when Azathoth is used in D&D, he's usually an extremely obscure god.

Azathoth is a TRUE gods, with powers far beyond Pelor or Mystra.

A God that don't require faith or followers and just doesn't care.

So basically, you learn about Azathoth through being inducted in some archmage cult, or by discovering Azathoth through your own magical experimentation.

>> No.29944326

>Or is D&D more like a bunch of monotheistic religions all acknowledging the other gods but refusing to worship any others.

Pretty much.

>> No.29944336

In many instances the latter. I enjoy the DnD settings the most whenever someone actually writes them like proper polytheistic societies, but this does not always happen.

>> No.29944342

That's a pretty great god, I'd say

>> No.29944369

>A God that don't require faith or followers and just doesn't care.

neither does boccob

>wizard gods
>following the rules

>> No.29944389

IIRC, Boccob is simply a rename of Azathoth.

Boccob's cult has all the aspects of Azathoth in earlier versions of DnD.

Hell, his sign is almost like the Elder Sign from Lovecraft's work.

>> No.29944391

Seems like the cosmology could easily get very awkward with so many different pantheons running around. Still not figured out how to have different gods and pantheons for multiple races all be 'real' and have the creation of the world make some sort of sense in my setting.

>> No.29944442

If the player decides to emulate their frustration with the local street-preachers telling them that they are going to be punished eternally with a "devoutly" atheist character, throw in some elements of Planescape.
>After a long RP spiel by the gnome wizard about how gods are all bullshit and don't exist
>Party is in a hilly forest
>They hear a rustling in the bushes
>Garl Glittergold steps out
>He sees the wizard
>Totters over and greets him the way a grandparent would greet his grandson
>After a brief conversation, Glittergold clicks his heels and vanishes in a puff of smoke and laughter
>One of the gnome's pockets is heavier
>He suddenly has a portal key to Bytopia

This could lead to a very interesting campaign or open up a can of worms

>> No.29944453

>The Gods work in mysterious ways

>> No.29944482

>all planes and times are open to boccob

With those words alone, I think its safe to say he cannot be killed by any party unless the DM outright cheats in their favour by not simply having him go away or even having already done so and watched their progress retroactively from the past/future

>> No.29944488

Why do you need it to?
Creation myths are just that. Myths. Consider every pantheon like you would a mortal culture, rather than some set of arbitrary personifications of cosmic forces. Gods tell stories too, it's just that their stories are larger in scope. An echo of those stories would form a core of their worshipper's mythologies, and they don't need to be true or even close to. Maybe the world is much older than the gods that watch over it, and they, too, have their legends of creation?

>> No.29944505

I like to differenciate between the gods that made the world and the gods that rule the world.

>> No.29944565


Look up Glorantha. Still the only setting that has succeeded in implementing several fleshed out pantheons and perspectives on religion without the entire thing breaking down into dumb.

>> No.29944669

What's the relevance of the gods that made the world to the current affairs?

>> No.29944715

The vague idea for my setting is to have the gods be fragments of the primordial being that created the world. Not sure whether to have each god/group of gods have created an intelligent race to add to the world or to have them simply have guided and moulded the primitive versions of what was already there. Either way none of them are especially keen to let anybody know they did not create the world themselves. Only a few wizards, demonologists and other heretical types know the truth.

>> No.29944758


>> No.29945427

So do they do it like Indians where they pick one to be their patron? It's virtually always Ganesh because money

Or do they just make sure to praise them all every once in a while?

>> No.29945744

On a related note, what do people think of characters saying 'the gods are just really powerful mortals that became immortal, why worship them?' Basically, what are some ways to differentiate a powerful being from a god so players understand why people in the game would worship them?

>> No.29945873

...Are you sure you're not thinking of Yog-Sothoth?
Azathoth is the braindead progenitor of reality, who doesn't do anything except for accidentally destroy stuff and listen to flutes.
Yog-Sothoth is the Time-and-Space magic god that is completely omniscient and hands out dark pacts like candy.

>> No.29945960

Hindus have a dazzling array of divinities and sects, but they do tend to revere at least the Trimutri and a handful of patron gods. Shintoists have a similar approach: they pray to whatever divinity is appropriate to their intent, or a regional or familial one.
Polytheistic peoples generally tend to worship (or at least acknowledge) the entire pantheon.
Let's take the classical Greeks as an example, for the sake of familiarity. They had the Olympian pantheon that they sacrificed to on a regular basis, the big gods everyone knew were important, and that had huge spheres of influence. But they also believed that the world was filled by lesser divinities: gods and goddesses of groves, rivers, springs, mountains, winds and so on, and these were the ones that they interacted with the most. On top of that, they had scores of spirits benevolent and malevolent that had to be placated or could be asked for favours.
Polytheism in general doesn't work like the religions we're used to, it's founded on a different way of looking at the world.

>> No.29945988

I like the Dominions approach. Gods are gods because belief in them warps reality to be in tune with their presence. There's plenty of stuff in that game that can push a god's shit in, but none of it has the same kind of influence.

>> No.29946054

Because they are powerful creatures that cause miracles in a whim.
People worship celebrities nowadays and they don't get anything with it. But worshiping a powerful god living guy might get you boon, and people love boons.

>> No.29946137

Gods had a hand in creating some aspect of the universe. Powerful beings came afterwards and obviously didn't.

This can be blurred if the powerful beings come along and create something -else- that mortals think is pretty neat.

>> No.29946405


I like these, thanks. Have another god pic.

>> No.29946434


What more do you need than some superpowered being that's willing to grant you favours in return of something?

People would jump on that shit, yo.

>> No.29946599

The difference between gods and other powerful beings is that gods have a personal interest in mortals, usually a positive one. If they didn't create the world they are probably at least in charge of it.

It's worth trying to think outside the Christian idea of "worship". In polytheism, worship doesn't mean you think the gods are perfect, just worthy of veneration. Think about societies that practice "ancestor worship" - it doesn't mean they believe their ancestors are the greatest things ever, it's a show of respect, and there's a hope involved that their ancestors are still looking out for them.

(With this in mind, remember that you can "worship" a god in more ways than just kneeling down and saying how great they are. The priest of a god of battle might regard skilled combat as worship in its own right.)

So, gods are a bit like kings. They are expected to safeguard the security and prosperity of their people and judge those who have broken the laws of society, and in return their subjects show loyalty, respect and pay taxes (in the form of sacrifice). A priest is kind of like Davos Seaworth, they've decided that a particular god is worthy of special loyalty and respect, but it doesn't mean they think their god can literally do no wrong.

>> No.29946690

dude that pictures fucking awesome, got a source on it?

>> No.29946720

Atheists don't exist in the traditional form. There are however people who would say "They aren't gods, they are just incredibly powerful mortals using magic".

And you also have Anti-thiests who hate gods and believe they don't deserve worship and should be shunned.

Good bait for anti-thiests.

>> No.29946753

It's from Last Man Standing. It was drawn by Dan Luvisi

>> No.29946976

This was playing 3.5, and the player who character took the 'gods are just powerful adventurers' stance was not a divine class, he didn't see any reason. And the other players only care about deities when they are clerics and have to choose domains. I think my issue is getting players interested in giving their character a belief system beyond 'I don't need gods'. I remember a 3e dev giving an example of a character's deity granting miracles in the form of low level divine spells as a way to get players interested, but I prefer something that doesn't feel like bribery.

Yeah, other players I have played with to be stuck with worshiping a god means you think they are infallible.

Someone pointed out that one of the reasons why people don't like playing priest or paladin characters in RPGs is that their 'power' comes from somewhere else, whereas wizards, rogues, fighters, etc. are independent in that their 'power' is from themselves and the result of their own effort. There is also the issue of the non-divine classes don't need vows, tenets, or alignment to retain their abilities. Any ideas on getting players interested in clerics beyond healing and mechanical strength?

>> No.29946980


>Maybe the world is much older than the gods that watch over it, and they, too, have their legends of creation?

Isn't this true in some Hindu strains?

>> No.29947040


Cool, that is where it is from. Have another, although I think most everyone has seen this one by now.

>> No.29947441

Most of them, really, considering the cyclical nature of the world's history.

>> No.29947450

Following a deity in a polytheistic setting should be reserved to clerics and paladins, other people phould worship all of them whenever they fell like theu need to, for example praying to the god of the seas before sailing out.

>> No.29947592

Throw the DnD gods out of the window, because they are little more than a set of power sources for magic.
Write your own mythology, taking real-world religions and cults as an inspiration, give players cultures to choose from in addition ot races and classes...
Getting players interested in anything outside of mechanics boils down to having an interesting, consistent and well put together setting.

>> No.29947622

I'd say that even a priest of a fertility goddess would say a few kind words to the god of seas, storms and sharks before setting sail.

>> No.29947926

>unless they're playing a Cleric or Paladin.
Except that a Paladin can be literally powered by their own conviction in justice and Good.

I would agree that a cleric needs a god to follow, but why should a paladin require one? Can they not be empowered by their code? Like, the longer they follow their code, the more they become a physical embodiment of it? Or did I just describe someone becoming an avatar of Heironeous (who has the title "arch-paladin" for a reason)?

>> No.29948075

I play Hackmaster, and the rules in it state that all Paladins must follow a Deity.

>> No.29948080

>Someone pointed out that one of the reasons why people don't like playing priest or paladin characters in RPGs is that their 'power' comes from somewhere else, whereas wizards, rogues, fighters, etc. are independent in that their 'power' is from themselves and the result of their own effort. There is also the issue of the non-divine classes don't need vows, tenets, or alignment to retain their abilities. Any ideas on getting players interested in clerics beyond healing and mechanical strength?

You could offer them non-theistic clerics, based on Buddhist or Taoist principles or whatever. Or you could just include monotheism, people find it easier to come to terms with worshipping a god if it's THE God. Otherwise, if you want your players to see the gods as more than just powerful beings, treat them the way Planescape treats the Lady of Pain - ineffable, distant and untouchable, more like living symbols or ideas than people.

Keep in mind during the game that if you're playing in a polytheistic setting, there are ways you can make the players feel like the gods have an active role in the world. If the players are about to set off on a sea voyage, the captain might advise making a sacrifice to the sea god - during the voyage, you make a roll for something going wrong (storm, pirates, ect) and if they made a sacrifice, the chance of it happening goes down. If they piss off the sea god (by pissing on sea lions or something) the chance goes up. Likewise, a cleric's god can give them a hand sometimes without them casting a spell first. They might get a vision while they're sleeping which gives them some vital information, or when they roll off a cliff they might "miraculously" snag on a branch. Little things like that.

>> No.29948247

I have been working on this, creating and changing pantheons and religions in my game. So far, I have a main pantheon with archetypical gods (war and storm god, dawn goddess, earth mother, sky father, etc.), two different mystery cults worshiping different ascended beings as bodhisattvas, and a smattering of smaller cults of local spirits and demon princes. It has been awhile since I last DMed, so I have yet to test it out on any players.

Also, as said by >>29944565, Glorantha seems to have some pretty well thought out deities. Does anyone have a link or text detailing religion in Glorantha?

>> No.29948569

>religion in Glorantha

There's a wiki here: http://moondesign.glorantha.com/library/religions/index.html

Bear in mind that it's a bit fragmentary and that there literally are 40 years of Glorantha material, but the basic gist of things is that everybody has their own perspective that is more or less correct. Also magic and religion are intertwined on a fundamental level.

>> No.29948575


>You could offer them non-theistic clerics, based on Buddhist or Taoist principles or whatever.

So, monks.

>> No.29948666

In my worldbuilding, I have non-theistic priests viewinging their 'god' as an ascended bodhisattva rather than a normal god. I could make monotheistic religions ranging from henotheists who find other religions to be lesser, to absolute monotheists who see other religions as shams or misguided.

I like the sacrifice idea, it gives an in-story justification for the DM to fudge a roll or save a character, and it gives flavor to NPCs.

>> No.29948683

Yeah, but less punchy.

>> No.29948750


But what if I wanna play as Zhuge Liang and not Bruce Lee?

>> No.29949649


Note that in FR, if you DON'T worship a god or only pay "lip service" then your unfaithful soul is turned into a screaming brick in the wall between heaven and hell for eternity.

>> No.29949817

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