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


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cbwjm

Seb-wejem
The cleric isn't totally out of sync with polytheistic faiths, I know both Rome and Egypt had priests dedicated/in charge of administering to specific gods or their temples. These may have been more political positions in some cases, but still it shows a dedication to a single god as your profession. I think that what's really needed is a pantheon "domain" which encompasses the overall faith. I'm not sure how you would build one since it requires greater detail of the pantheon and culture than most games likely have. I've tried but got stumped when I realised I simply haven't written up enough for the faith.

The way I've been building faiths is having the gods and then different cultures have pantheons giving different weight to the gods. People don't identify as a follower of the sun god, rather they are followers of the Northern Gods or the Trinity of Knowledge. The dark elves follow the Tyranny, the dwarves the Family of the Soul-Forger and the Earthmother. You need to play up the overall faith rather than create individual temples to the gods, have a temple with the statues of the main gods positioned down the side of the temple.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
The Eberron setting handles sacred traditions well. It is inclusive and multicultural. It cares more about the communities - and the things that adventures will interact with, in a way that is interesting and compelling. It is a compassionate approach that seeks to comprehend why each community does what it does.

Eberron both has a solid grasp for how the D&D mechanics work, as well as, by far, the best verisimilitude to compare to the reallife sacred traditions of various cultures.
 

The Eberron setting handles sacred traditions well. It is inclusive and multicultural. It cares more about the communities - and the things that adventures will interact with, in a way that is interesting and compelling. It is a compassionate approach that seeks to comprehend why each community does what it does.

Eberron both has a solid grasp for how the D&D mechanics work, as well as, by far, the best verisimilitude to compare to the reallife sacred traditions of various cultures.
with the only difficulty of the gods not being either real or interactable but could you lay it out how it works for me if you are able? please
 

Hussar

Legend
You get powers, but lots of other people get powers too. Indeed, people with entirely different belief systems from yours - people that deny your god's very existence, get powers. The existence of powers don't prove the existence of any particular god or gods.

A high level cleric an summon a celestial. But it is CR 4 or 5. Not terribly potent. Indeed, one can form a cogent theory that the celestial didn't really exist as an individual before it was summoned. Not proof that any particular god or gods exist.

Actually meeting your god is not a function granted by the cleric's powers. That the FR has had people meeting gods should not be a central issue for this discussion.

I mean, it is great for you to have your personal take on gaming world religion. But, how about we work towards something that doesn't require your personal assumptions?
Umm, every 5e cleric at 10th level has a direct line to their god. They can literally directly petition their god and around 1/week that god will answer. By 20th level it's automatic.

This notion that gods are unknowable isn't really supported by the game. It is something in some settings, but, in the baseline game? Not really. Not when you can call in divine intervention, no spells, no rituals, not magic needed and it works.

Not even a Wish is as powerful as this as Wish could be counterspelled, or blocked in a variety of ways. There is nothing that can stop my cleric from directly calling down my god to help me do something. And the only limitation on this is whatever the DM comes up with.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
with the only difficulty of the gods not being either real or interactable but could you lay it out how it works for me if you are able? please
The basic idea is, it is the religious community that matters, the adherents.

The concepts that are sacred to the community are the "cosmic forces" (Xanathars).

People have religious experiences, even miracles, and events that many people in the community experience. Still, it is the people of the community and their response to these wondrous experiences who matter. It is the people that player characters will meet. These are the ones who a player Cleric has as contacts. It is the people who players will encounter during an adventure. So it is important to make the people of each community make sense, and be relatable and interesting.

In other words, whether the religion is true or not doesnt matter. The ideas, activities, and goals of the membersof the community matter.

There is evidence for the belief of the community. The difficulty is, communities with conflicting worldviews each have their own wondrous experiences, so there is uncertainty about which community is "correct", and a person needs to decide whether or not to trust the worldview of the community. And again, ultimately it is the people in the community and the relationship with them who matter.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Umm, every 5e cleric at 10th level has a direct line to their god. They can literally directly petition their god and around 1/week that god will answer. By 20th level it's automatic.

This notion that gods are unknowable isn't really supported by the game. It is something in some settings, but, in the baseline game? Not really. Not when you can call in divine intervention, no spells, no rituals, not magic needed and it works.

Not even a Wish is as powerful as this as Wish could be counterspelled, or blocked in a variety of ways. There is nothing that can stop my cleric from directly calling down my god to help me do something. And the only limitation on this is whatever the DM comes up with.
In my campaigns each sacred community forms its own domain within the astral plane. From the perspective of this astral domain, the worldview of the community is 100% true. But if one visits an other domain with a conflicting worldview, it seems 100% true from its own perspective.

The astral plane is a realm of pure thoughts and emotions. Each astral domain is a realm where the religious symbols, ideals, and archetypes take on a life of their own. It can also be a place for an afterlife if the sacred community believes in an afterlife. The astral domain normally includes members of different alignments, albeit the ideology and behavior of a community tends to form a domain with a collective ideology over all. Individuals who share the same alignment have affinity with each other, and they feel a connection between them regardless of which astral domain they belong to.
 

Voadam

Legend
Umm, every 5e cleric at 10th level has a direct line to their god. They can literally directly petition their god and around 1/week that god will answer. By 20th level it's automatic.

This notion that gods are unknowable isn't really supported by the game. It is something in some settings, but, in the baseline game? Not really. Not when you can call in divine intervention, no spells, no rituals, not magic needed and it works.

Not even a Wish is as powerful as this as Wish could be counterspelled, or blocked in a variety of ways. There is nothing that can stop my cleric from directly calling down my god to help me do something. And the only limitation on this is whatever the DM comes up with.
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.
 

The basic idea is, it is the religious community that matters, the adherents.

The concepts that are sacred to the community are the "cosmic forces" (Xanathars).

People have religious experiences, even miracles, and events that many people in the community experience. Still, it is the people of the community and their response to these wondrous experiences who matter. It is the people that player characters will meet. These are the ones who a player Cleric has as contacts. It is the people who players will encounter during an adventure. So it is important to make the people of each community make sense, and be relatable and interesting.

In other words, whether the religion is true or not doesnt matter. The ideas, activities, and goals of the membersof the community matter.

There is evidence for the belief of the community. The difficulty is, communities with conflicting worldviews each have their own wondrous experiences, so there is uncertainty about which community is "correct", and a person needs to decide whether or not to trust the worldview of the community. And again, ultimately it is the people in the community and the relationship with them who matter.
It is more that I am working from the assumptions that the gods are real as is the case for most dnd world which means something rather different than that as otherwise, I would have it in the bag.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
It is more that I am working from the assumptions that the gods are real as is the case for most dnd world which means something rather different than that as otherwise, I would have it in the bag.
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.
 

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