D&D General Nay-Theists Vs. Flat-Earth Atheists in D&D Worlds

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Pool of Radiance (Tarl), Avatar Series (Adon eventually, Fzoul), Year of the Rogue Dragon (Pavel), War of the Spider Queen (Several Drow), all showcase clerics who actively advocate the agenda of their gods. Special mention goes to Prince of Lies, where the entire plot revolves around a book that instantly turns you into a zealous worshiper of Cyric.

Of course, nobody wants to read about proselytizing clerics unless they are evil. So far more clerics are laid back, like Cadderly.

Did Crysania advocate for her god? I genuinely don't remember. Elistan did.
Fair enough
 

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Hussar

Legend
Exactly.

And yet we see no evangelizing pretty much at all in FR in any adventures, and no books I can recall.

And most worlds don’t even have that conceit.
I've often felt that this was a failing of the cleric class. And, to be fair, it's an issue that has been brought up many times in the past. But, for whatever reason, D&D has never actually tied the cleric to a faith. Not really. My cleric of Whatever never has to bring up his faith, never evangelizes, never even visits a temple of his own faith, and there's no problems.

Clerics should have codes of conduct on the order of paladins IMO.
 

Iry

Hero
I've often felt that this was a failing of the cleric class. And, to be fair, it's an issue that has been brought up many times in the past. But, for whatever reason, D&D has never actually tied the cleric to a faith.
I think that's our fault.

I don't know many people who enjoy IC evangelizing in general outside of evil groups, odd quirky character moments, or Warhammer-like games. It's considered downright pushy by some, and it's a little too easy to conflate evangelizing with an OOC agenda. Plus advocating for fictional gods was a big No-No during the panic, and still exists in some homes to this day.

I do like codes of conduct, though!
 
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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
If you have nay-theist, what impact does that have on adventuring?
It's had a ton in my campaigns. If it hasn't in yours, it must just be a different DMing/campaign style. It had so much affect on one campaign that it ended up with the Hobgoblin Necromancer character aspiring to become Archduke of Avernus (at the end of Descent into Avernus).
 

In a world where clerics exist, atheism can't really exist.

Cleric: My deity gives me power.
Atheist: There is no such thing as deities, your spells come from some powerful natural source.
Cleric: But if I behave in conflict with my god's wishes, they withdraw their power. A natural source wouldn't care about that.
Atheist: So, its a powerful natural source with a moral code.
Cleric: Which is pretty much the definition of a god.
Not true. To use an example one of the characters I made but never got to play was a cleric of the Blood of Vol which, among other things, is (a) an atheistic self-improvement cult and (b)
a fraud actually being run by a vampire
. He didn't know about the second part of this - but definitely had the powers of a cleric while believing the gods of Eberron didn't actually exist and you just needed to unlock your own inner potential.

So that would be:
Cleric: My deity gives me power.
Atheist: I've almost exactly the same powers you do and no deity, but I do have a faith group.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Not true. To use an example one of the characters I made but never got to play was a cleric of the Blood of Vol which, among other things, is (a) an atheistic self-improvement cult and (b)
a fraud actually being run by a vampire
. He didn't know about the second part of this - but definitely had the powers of a cleric while believing the gods of Eberron didn't actually exist and you just needed to unlock your own inner potential.

So that would be:
Cleric: My deity gives me power.
Atheist: I've almost exactly the same powers you do and no deity, but I do have a faith group.
The spoiler part isn’t quite true. It’s only true of the main church, the faith itself not so much.
 

Not true. To use an example one of the characters I made but never got to play was a cleric of the Blood of Vol which, among other things, is (a) an atheistic self-improvement cult and (b)
a fraud actually being run by a vampire
. He didn't know about the second part of this - but definitely had the powers of a cleric while believing the gods of Eberron didn't actually exist and you just needed to unlock your own inner potential.

So that would be:
Cleric: My deity gives me power.
Atheist: I've almost exactly the same powers you do and no deity, but I do have a faith group.
Worth noting that the BoV in general is a nay-theistic self-improvement cult. They specifically do believe in the sovereigns, but in an oppositional sense. - They accept that they are gods, and have created the systems of the world, but actively reject them as being unworthy of worship because they are gods, and they should have done better.

Of course than doesn't mean that your particular cleric couldn't have different views to the usual. I've even seen a cleric of one deity, who actually worshipped a different one in Eberron. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Worth noting that the BoV in general is a nay-theistic self-improvement cult. They specifically do believe in the sovereigns, but in an oppositional sense. - They accept that they are gods, and have created the systems of the world, but actively reject them as being unworthy of worship because they are gods, and they should have done better.

Of course than doesn't mean that your particular cleric couldn't have different views to the usual. I've even seen a cleric of one deity, who actually worshipped a different one in Eberron. :)
I can’t recall if a book has explicitly said this, but I do think so, but I know that Keith Baker views the BoV as having a fair number of members who are atheists. It’s a not uncommon point of view amongst Seekers.
 


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