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

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think even though the divinity/sacredness is tough to define, it is the more core aspect to being a god than worship.

Generally most stories of the non-ascended gods have them as existing before worshippers. So Correlon and the Seldarine were gods before Gruumsh spilled Correlon's blood and the first elves who worshipped him were made.

I have seen campaigns where gods are literally the creations of worshipers, but that is not the standard D&D cosmology.
I don’t disagree. I’m proposing that the definition of divinity/sacredness is “worthiness worship.”
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Huh, I was thinking about this before I read this thread. Cool.

Flat-Earth Atheists depend on your campaign because its alot easier not to believe in gods when there isn't an actual magical cleric within 20 miles of the town you never leave.

Its also possible you could have actual, magic-casting clerics be in an Atheist's day-to-day life with them still not believing in gods. Here's how:

They believe in magic but not in gods. That cleric casting Cure Wounds is just casting Cure Wounds through the weave and not calling on their god. Those Spirit Guardians are just manifestations of magic given humanoid form. Resurrection is just advanced necromancy where you give them back their conscience.

The weave exists and always has but there was no god to create the weave. Nor was there a sentient force that led things the way they were. Everything exists through natural cause-effect and those pristine armored charlatans are selling you molotov cocktails and pretending they're holy water.
 

Iry

Hero
I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you contending that the gods are walking up to people and evangelizing?
Depends on the setting! Athas and Eberron have a pretty low-god or no-god policy, while Forgotten Realms has downright frequent appearances. But primarily what I'm saying is that beings with good persuasion scores, who believe in the gods, strongly outnumber beings who do not. Your average person wandering around town is far far more likely to encounter temples to several gods than encounter a No-Theist faction of some kind (unless that town happens to be Sigil).

Obviously, most of them are not brainwashing entire cities full of people. But the sheer amount of representation would go a long way towards numerical superiority.
 

MGibster

Legend
Every time I get a little overenthusiastic about world building I stop to asking myself the following questions:

  1. Will this actually come up in play?
  2. Will this make a difference?
  3. Will my players care?
Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time religion played a prominent role in any D&D game I participated in. Deities were largely selected based on the mechanical benefits they brought to the table and were otherwise window dressing to the setting.

If you have nay-theist, what impact does that have on adventuring?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Depends on the setting! Athas and Eberron have a pretty low-god or no-god policy, while Forgotten Realms has downright frequent appearances. But primarily what I'm saying is that beings with good persuasion scores, who believe in the gods, strongly outnumber beings who do not. Your average person wandering around town is far far more likely to encounter temples to several gods than encounter a No-Theist faction of some kind (unless that town happens to be Sigil).

Obviously, most of them are not brainwashing entire cities full of people. But the sheer amount of representation would go a long way towards numerical superiority.
I don’t see why there would be any more proselytisers in Faerun than in my home town, honestly.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Every time I get a little overenthusiastic about world building I stop to asking myself the following questions:

  1. Will this actually come up in play?
  2. Will this make a difference?
  3. Will my players care?
Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time religion played a prominent role in any D&D game I participated in. Deities were largely selected based on the mechanical benefits they brought to the table and were otherwise window dressing to the setting.

If you have nay-theist, what impact does that have on adventuring?
The answer to all of those questions becomes yes if religion plays into your NPCs’ motivations, especially your villains.
 

Iry

Hero
I don’t see why there would be any more proselytisers in Faerun than in my home town, honestly.
Faith = Power in Faerun. We know many gods jockey for more power to gain advantage against their foes. AO steps in if things get too unbalanced, but there's considerable wiggle room to advance divine agendas. Then there's the old argument about the Wall of the Faithless, and gods of good hopefully wanting you to avoid that fate (and join them, if possible). Not to mention all the Devils who have actual quotas to fill, and the old "Join us to get a slightly better rank after death" contracts. Asmodeus is a god in Forgotten Realms.

I mean, it's not like the No-Theists are handing out magic candy or gift bags. Just the fact there's some actual tangible payoff for faith is going to draw in more folks than the no payoff alternative. Athars not withstanding.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Especially since not every religion is interested in proselytizers. In a setting where the gods are demonstrably real what need is there to proselytize, right?
Exactly.
Faith = Power in Faerun. We know many gods jockey for more power to gain advantage against their foes. AO steps in if things get too unbalanced, but there's considerable wiggle room to advance divine agendas. Then there's the old argument about the Wall of the Faithless, and gods of good hopefully wanting you to avoid that fate (and join them, if possible). Not to mention all the Devils who have actual quotas to fill, and the old "Join us to get a slightly better rank after death" contracts. Asmodeus is a god in Forgotten Realms.

I mean, it's not like the No-Theists are handing out magic candy or gift bags. Just the fact there's some actual tangible payoff for faith is going to draw in more folks than the no payoff alternative. Athars not withstanding.
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.
 

Iry

Hero
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.
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.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top