D&D General building a faith around the assumptions of the cleric instead of in spite of it?

HammerMan

Legend
DIVINE INTERVENTION
Beginning at 10th level, you can call on your deity to intervene on your behalf when your need is great.
Imploring your deity's aid requires you to use your action. Describe the assistance you seek, and roll percentile dice. If you roll a number equal to or lower than your cleric level, your deity intervenes. The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate.
If your deity intervenes, you can't use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, your call for intervention succeeds automatically, no roll required.

High level 5e clerics call on their god for aid and something completely DM determined happens.

The default 5e setup seems to leave plenty of room for ambiguity from the mortal perspective.
again, there is a difference (in my mind) between lacking faith and just out right denying reality. In a world where gods intervene (direct or indirect) regularly it seems it is almost crazy to NOT believe in the gods,
 

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If so, the race will be extremely setting-dependent, and problematic to port into other settings.

As I mention above, it is possible for the community to form an astral domain, within which, the gods are virtually true. Then the race can import into any setting that has an astral plane.
the Morndinsamman and Seldarine are multi planer so I was building to a similar spec so I was going with more or less whatever system they have.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
the Morndinsamman and Seldarine are multi planer so I was building to a similar spec so I was going with more or less whatever system they have.
Those arent in my Eberron setting, Dark Sun or any other settings I use. It would be problematic to import any options that required them.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
When I run, PC classes are not the templates for all NPCs. The NPCs in the MM and other books don't mirror them, don't have the all same abilities, etc. Even multiple NPCs of the "same class" aren't all the same. The outgrowth of this is that everyone, PC or NPC, manifests their own gifts. The PC class is not considered a template of what must be in a particular class.

So for this, that a PC cleric is one unique person among thousands of other unique individuals. It has no inherent weight or multiplicity to grown a religion from - the other way is more true that to be blessed with powers the cleric needs to fit the religion, but we can't assume all will be blessed in the same way. I could even separate that further from church or sect, as a PC cleric could easily be a hermit or outlier who has amazing belief in the god but is not a formal member of a church.

So, what has multiplicity? That well may vary by DM and setting. The majority of NPC clergy I create can cast, so that seems a common gift. But really spell selection are 95% the same, so it's hard to grow religions from that. Often they can turn undead but I've created NPC clerics that had that power towards fiends instead, as well as NPC clerics that bolster or command instead of turn. Or turn celestials. So for my own settings the multiplicity is the ability to affect certain types of supernatural allies or enemies of the church.
 

When I run, PC classes are not the templates for all NPCs. The NPCs in the MM and other books don't mirror them, don't have the all same abilities, etc. Even multiple NPCs of the "same class" aren't all the same. The outgrowth of this is that everyone, PC or NPC, manifests their own gifts. The PC class is not considered a template of what must be in a particular class.

So for this, that a PC cleric is one unique person among thousands of other unique individuals. It has no inherent weight or multiplicity to grown a religion from - the other way is more true that to be blessed with powers the cleric needs to fit the religion, but we can't assume all will be blessed in the same way. I could even separate that further from church or sect, as a PC cleric could easily be a hermit or outlier who has amazing belief in the god but is not a formal member of a church.

So, what has multiplicity? That well may vary by DM and setting. The majority of NPC clergy I create can cast, so that seems a common gift. But really spell selection are 95% the same, so it's hard to grow religions from that. Often they can turn undead but I've created NPC clerics that had that power towards fiends instead, as well as NPC clerics that bolster or command instead of turn. Or turn celestials. So for my own settings the multiplicity is the ability to affect certain types of supernatural allies or enemies of the church.
I was trying to build a culture that has cleric as its favourite class like in 3e then I realised how difficult it would be as I have no idea what a revision built around the cleric would even make sense as?

you got any idea about that?
 

Hussar

Legend
DIVINE INTERVENTION
Beginning at 10th level, you can call on your deity to intervene on your behalf when your need is great.
Imploring your deity's aid requires you to use your action. Describe the assistance you seek, and roll percentile dice. If you roll a number equal to or lower than your cleric level, your deity intervenes. The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate.
If your deity intervenes, you can't use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, your call for intervention succeeds automatically, no roll required.

High level 5e clerics call on their god for aid and something completely DM determined happens.

The default 5e setup seems to leave plenty of room for ambiguity from the mortal perspective.

Unless the dm actually exist in your world the dm determining the results don’t really matter.

Cleric says hey god I need a miracle. Poof it happens. Not a whole lot of ambiguity.
 

Voadam

Legend
Unless the dm actually exist in your world the dm determining the results don’t really matter.

Cleric says hey god I need a miracle. Poof it happens. Not a whole lot of ambiguity.
:)

The verbal component for a magical power is ask god x and poof, maybe a spell happens in a way that might or might not be noticeable.

Ergo gods are unambiguously proven in a land where a mortal arcane caster can cast wishes?
 

Hussar

Legend
:)

The verbal component for a magical power is ask god x and poof, maybe a spell happens in a way that might or might not be noticeable.

Ergo gods are unambiguously proven in a land where a mortal arcane caster can cast wishes?

Nothing in the rules state any sort of verbal component.

This just happens.

Plus we know it’s not a spell because it cannot be counterspelled and even functions in dead magic zones.

This whole meme about how gods are unknowable in DnD is so bizarre. You literally have gods appearing. They objectively exist. No believing in a god in a DnD world (typical world mind you, there are exceptions) is flat earth territory.

Ok. Since literally showing up and presenting yourself isn’t proof, what would count as sufficient?
 

Voadam

Legend
Nothing in the rules state any sort of verbal component.
True, I guess they could silently call upon their god. So less unambiguous proof for an observer?
This just happens.
The effect just happens.
Plus we know it’s not a spell because it cannot be counterspelled and even functions in dead magic zones.
I guess we can infer it is not a spell because it is the effect of a spell. I don't see any specifics on whether such spell effects can happen in dead magic zones or not so that seems a DM ruling issue.
This whole meme about how gods are unknowable in DnD is so bizarre. You literally have gods appearing. They objectively exist. No believing in a god in a DnD world (typical world mind you, there are exceptions) is flat earth territory.

Ok. Since literally showing up and presenting yourself isn’t proof, what would count as sufficient?
Proof is hard.

There is little about D&D gods that is unique to a god as a god.

Magic is not proof of a god. It is proof of magic in a high magic cosmology.

Magical power of a god is not proof of a divine status. It is just proof of magical power in a context where lots of beings have magical power.

Granting magical power is not proof of divine status. Warlock patrons grant magical power and are generally considered a different class of powerful supernatural beings than gods (though this can vary from campaign to campaign and cosmology to cosmology such as the different treatments of Asmodeus as a god or not and a fiend patron to warlocks).

In part it will depend on how you define gods and what the natures of the gods are.

This is going to vary from campaign to campaign under the core rules.

Under the core rules a god might never show up. Even clerical divine intervention when the objectively real god is intervening might just be a subtle magical effect that the cleric might not be able to notice.

Under the core rules gods might be manifest in the world, live in a specific place where you can go see them, and show up for divine intervention in the flesh in showy ways.

Gods might be transcendent and conceptual beings. They might be concrete powerful magical beings of a specific sort. It can vary.

So someone believing that gods definitionally are immortal and transcendent could look at the FR gods and see them as powerful beings who call themselves gods but who can die and are not actually really gods.

If the proof you have about gods is clerical magic and stories of the gods there is room to be skeptical about the existence of gods. Magic such as true resurrection happens in 5e without gods (True Resurrection is on the bard spell list) and so a tradition of spellcasters who claims their magic comes from gods is just a group with claims. Their magic is real, and they assert their claims, but it is just a story which might be true or not. In 3e FR the Red Wizards of Thay said they were not bad guys, they were just out to sell magic items in foreign nations. A story to be believed or not.
 

true I think it like depends on the organisation as if the gods what a large organisation to deal with the task they will get one likewise wandering preist like are the original system is fairly common for small gods or for gods who hate organised structure.

any idea how to build interesting gods?
1) Don't try and build "gods". Build interesting religions. Some of these might have gods, some might not. They might even share a god with a different faith. So much of the blandness of D&D religion comes from a belief that it has to be this bizarre mismash of 12th-century Catholic crusaders who for reasons never explained worship Zeus or Thor. (Basically a antiquity-era polytheistic faith shoved into a medieval era monotheistic religion)
 

1) Don't try and build "gods". Build interesting religions. Some of these might have gods, some might not. They might even share a god with a different faith. So much of the blandness of D&D religion comes from a belief that it has to be this bizarre mismash of 12th-century Catholic crusaders who for reasons never explained worship Zeus or Thor. (Basically a antiquity-era polytheistic faith shoved into a medieval era monotheistic religion)
do you have any ideas on how to do that as I seem to be better at making things when I am not dealing with a blank page?
 

do you have any ideas on how to do that as I seem to be better at making things when I am not dealing with a blank page?
It depends on how deep you want to go with your world-building, but you need to fundamentally think about "What is the purpose of religion" and think about the role it plays in peoples lives and how it is tightly coupled to culture and history. How does a religion develop in our world, what features does it have, and how might that inform your own creation.

Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox, Copts, Sunni, Shia, Jew all worship the same "god" (as D&D would put it), but do they feel the same, religion wise?

Modern religion tends to worship inside their "temples" (ie church, mosque, etc) but a fundamental feature of classical paganism was the fact that most worship happened outside the temple. (How much D&D "polytheism" has even considered that?) Something as simple as that can start to inform your thinking.
 

It depends on how deep you want to go with your world-building, but you need to fundamentally think about "What is the purpose of religion" and think about the role it plays in peoples lives and how it is tightly coupled to culture and history. How does a religion develop in our world, what features does it have, and how might that inform your own creation.

Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox, Copts, Sunni, Shia, Jew all worship the same "god" (as D&D would put it), but do they feel the same, religion wise?

Modern religion tends to worship inside their "temples" (ie church, mosque, etc) but a fundamental feature of classical paganism was the fact that most worship happened outside the temple. (How much D&D "polytheism" has even considered that?) Something as simple as that can start to inform your thinking.
I was going to have a divide other whether they worship in a formalised temple or whether they are more classically pagan, not a bitter divide but two cultures never the less, with a complex syncretism with a different almost godless faith to casually explain how dnd monks are also a part of it.

any idea on how to do a many god hierarchical temple?
 

I was going to have a divide other whether they worship in a formalised temple or whether they are more classically pagan, not a bitter divide but two cultures never the less, with a complex syncretism with a different almost godless faith to casually explain how dnd monks are also a part of it.

any idea on how to do a many god hierarchical temple?
If there are two competing religions, then the simplest explanation is that one is a "newcomer", and there hasn't been much syncretization yet (this tends to eventually happen once the faiths begin to accommodate each other). A recent conquest, colonisation, or migration of a different people, perhaps. The dnd monks could even be the outcome of the first element of syncretisation, alternatively one of the religions might have a monastic element that is becoming prominent,
 


If there are two competing religions, then the simplest explanation is that one is a "newcomer", and there hasn't been much syncretization yet (this tends to eventually happen once the faiths begin to accommodate each other). A recent conquest, colonisation, or migration of a different people, perhaps. The dnd monks could even be the outcome of the first element of syncretisation, alternatively one of the religions might have a monastic element that is becoming prominent,
I am assuming the monk is coming from another compatible faith that the residence gods find either acceptable or desirable to work with for whatever reason.
for what the thing that originated the monk is I have no idea about yet.
Research about Hinduism.

Research about multi-god temples in Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.

Example to model could be what is known about The Temple of Karnack or the Luxor Temple.
I will do that, any idea what exactly I am looking for as I have no idea how to do a research assignment nor do I know what exactly I am looking for?
 

This is what I got so far not exactly up to standards yet.

Structure of the??? And their temple.
The temples organisation is split into two parts
The priests who perform rights for the lay worshipers and the ????
The priests?

The ???? might be imagined as a divine task force opposing undead influence and performing tasks that either benefits the god directly or seek to do things that will please their patron god or the pantheon
 

right off the bat I have a hard time calling it faith.

faith is believing with lack of evidence (in my mind)

Avoiding real world religion for a moment, you (in most settings) not only get powers, not only can meet angels, but you can (at higher levels) talk to or go meet your god.

I was having a discussion with a Muslim IRL the other day (I'm Agnostic personally) and he asked me that even if assuming I had died, and was standing in front of Allah on judgement day, would I believe in the religion then.

I answered 'No'. Honestly.

That's not anything about Islam specifically; in the same vein should a Demon or Angel could appear in front of me, or God, Buddha, Thor, or Ganesha pop over and say 'hello', or people suddenly disappear via the Rapture, and it proves nothing to me.

There is no spoon.
 

I was having a discussion with a Muslim IRL the other day (I'm Agnostic personally) and he asked me that even if assuming I had died, and was standing in front of Allah on judgement day, would I believe in the religion then.

I answered 'No'. Honestly.

That's not anything about Islam specifically; in the same vein should a Demon or Angel could appear in front of me, or God, Buddha, Thor, or Ganesha pop over and say 'hello', or people suddenly disappear via the Rapture, and it proves nothing to me.

There is no spoon.
fair point
 

Voadam

Legend
I am assuming the monk is coming from another compatible faith that the residence gods find either acceptable or desirable to work with for whatever reason.
for what the thing that originated the monk is I have no idea about yet.

I will do that, any idea what exactly I am looking for as I have no idea how to do a research assignment nor do I know what exactly I am looking for?
Since you are looking for possible models on a polytheistic temple these are real world ones that a bunch is known about.

Hinduism is a diverse living polytheistic faith with over a billion followers so it is a possible model (and from the diversity, multiple possible models) to gain an insight on how to do a polytheistic faith in a game. Wikipedia articles, children's books about Hinduism for Hindus, The Idiot's Guide to Hinduism, fairly concise online articles, library copies of the Teaching Company's college classes on introduction to Hinduism (audio CDs or DVDs) are all possible pathways to getting an insight.

Different strains of Buddhism and Taoism include polytheistic faiths as well and could be similarly used as different models.

Ancient classical and to a lesser extent Egyptian polytheism has a lot of research and knowledge about them as well and similar researches could be done. For western fantasy audiences this is typically the mythology base that comes to mind first and is most familiar, even if the actual religious and temple and worship aspects are not familiar to most modern Western audiences.

These are if you want a realistic model for your game's polytheism.

This is for a game so other priorities are reasonable too.

Other models could be media genre ones, if you like pulp fantasy genre stuff then reading R.E. Howard's Conan stories for how various religions and religious practices are portrayed in different stories would be a great basis, keeping in mind cultural sensitivity issues as you read 30's pulp fantasy. He is a great writer and different religions and religious practices come up in stories involving Stygian Set worship, Pictish religious practices, Mithraism, and Conan's relationship with Crom and Bel and such.
 

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