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Poll : Do you allow godless clerics?

Do you like/allow clerics without a diety?

  • I don't like godless clerics for mechanical reasons.

    Votes: 14 5.4%
  • I don't like godless clerics for flavor/homebrew gameworld reasons.

    Votes: 115 44.6%
  • I don't like godless clerics for other reasons I will outline below.

    Votes: 5 1.9%
  • I'm OK with godless clerics.

    Votes: 76 29.5%
  • I love godless clerics!

    Votes: 40 15.5%
  • I never knew you could have a cleric without a patron god until reading this thread...

    Votes: 8 3.1%

  • Total voters
    258

Kahuna Burger

First Post
OK, just to make it clear that godless clerics are not a houserule, or even an 'option' the relevant comments from the SRD:

Aura (Ex): A cleric of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity’s alignment (see the detect evil spell for details). Clerics who don’t worship a specific deity but choose the Chaotic, Evil, Good, or Lawful domain have a similarly powerful aura of the corresponding alignment.
and
If a cleric is not devoted to a particular deity, he still selects two domains to represent his spiritual inclinations and abilities. The restriction on alignment domains still applies.

That said, I've gotten the impression that a lot of people don't like godless clerics, or consider them a "real" option. So tell me about your veiws on godless clerics from either player or DM perspective.

Kahuna burger
 

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Harlock

First Post
Neat poll, KB. I chose the "I don't like godless clerics for flavor/homebrew gameworld reasons" option because I run a Scarred Lands game. In the Scarred Lands the gods are very active and even have their heralds and avatars at work across the lands. Now, if a player came up with a good reason to allow a godless cleric, I'd consider it.
 



Teflon Billy

Explorer
I wouldn't allow it for Flavor reasons.

A "Godless Cleric" is a bookeeper (at best)

I'm not even sure I understand the idea of a Priest who foloows no Gods.

Congrats on your nuptials BTW KB :)
 

Steverooo

First Post
I allow them, for RL reasons. Some people (Baptists, Catholics, etc.) don't want to worship a false god, even in a game. So I'm okay with "an unaligned Cleric of Good". Also, your pantheon may not have anything to a PC's tastes, so they may prefer to serve an ideal (like "Good") instead. If a Druid or Ranger can draw "divine" power from unintelligent nature, I don't see why a Cleric can't draw the same from an unintelligent ideal...
 

Creamsteak

First Post
One iconic example of a "Godless" cleric would be a cleric of an elemental plane of existence. They draw their power from, for instance, the elemental air plane. Thier first domain is pretty obvious in this case (Air), and the second is probably related to some vestige within that plane (such as chaotic, representative of the cleric's alignment and the types of air elements he uses), or something related to air (travel perhaps).
 

Tsyr

Explorer
The only "godless" clerics in my game are ones that nobody know what god they worship, but they do in fact worship a god.

Godless cleric's dont exist, and I would never allow one.
 


Dark Jezter

First Post
I'm running a Forgotten Realms campaign, and it's stated quite clearly in the FRCS that godless clerics aren't allowed. In fact, ANY divine spellcaster (even rangers and paladins) must have a patron deity to cast spells.

I don't care for the concept of godless clerics; it dosen't make sense to me that a cleric would be able to cast divine spells without a god granting them.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Dark Jezter said:
I'm running a Forgotten Realms campaign, and it's stated quite clearly in the FRCS that godless clerics aren't allowed. In fact, ANY divine spellcaster (even rangers and paladins) must have a patron deity to cast spells.

I don't care for the concept of godless clerics; it dosen't make sense to me that a cleric would be able to cast divine spells without a god granting them.

Just think of them in the same way as wizards - wizards don't have to get their spells 'granted'. The power comes from their use of formulae and their own will.

In the same way a godless cleric's power comes from rituals and his devotion to an ideal.
 


Gellion

First Post
I love godless Clerics. And anybody who does not agree with me should be drug out into the street and beaten with toxic kittens.J/K. :D
 

Teflon Billy

Explorer
Steverooo said:
...If a Druid or Ranger can draw "divine" power from unintelligent nature, I don't see why a Cleric can't draw the same from an unintelligent ideal...

That's actually a petty good point from a Canonical D&D standpoint.

Doesn't change my "homebrew reasons" answer...but your point is well taken.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I've never had to use the option, and I'd prefer if they were directly worked into the world metaphysics than allowed simply because the rulebook says thay should be. But I think it's pretty analogous to druids and rangers, as others have noted. One can draw power from faith in an ideal, or from a force of the universe, and not have that ideal or force be a sentient being in a polytheistic pantheon.
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
I'll allow a godless cleric if the players in question occasionally requested domains such as 'Good', 'Healing' or 'Law'...

Unfortunately, all godless clerics *I've* seen proposed tend to skew heavily toward 'Elf', 'Time', and 'Celerity'

Odd that.
 

SnowDog

First Post
I run a variant Book of the Righteous cosmology. This book is an awesome resource for religion in D20, but I digress :).

The Great Church, in that Cosmology, worships all the good-aligned gods. Thus, any "godless" Cleric in my campaign would probably worship all the gods, and probably be associated with the Great Church.

So, they wouldn't be godless ... but would they be churchless? That might be a more interesting question.
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
Tsyr said:
The only "godless" clerics in my game are ones that nobody know what god they worship, but they do in fact worship a god.

Godless cleric's dont exist, and I would never allow one.

Uh, I hope you meant the "in my game" bit to apply to your second paragraph as well... otheriwse that was a very very weird comment... :confused:

Kahuna burger
 

Kahuna Burger

First Post
Wormwood said:
I'll allow a godless cleric if the players in question occasionally requested domains such as 'Good', 'Healing' or 'Law'...

Unfortunately, all godless clerics *I've* seen proposed tend to skew heavily toward 'Elf', 'Time', and 'Celerity'

Odd that.

I'm sorry about your players. :p my godless (in fact atheistic) cleric has the knowlege and protection domains... I don't know a lot of the 2nd party domains, but I doubt there were any that fit my character concept better...

Kahuna Burger
 

shadow

First Post
I like the idea of "godless" clerics from a game standpoint. It allows the DM to customize a campaign. Believe it or not, not every DM runs a campaign that assumes a polytheistic pantheon made up of token deities. I've seen campaigns that run the gamut from animistic (every natural thing has a spirit) to complete lack of gods (such as Dark Sun where "clerics" draw power from the elements.)

Although my campaign is not "godless" I assume that clerics serve some vague quasi-Catholic good church or some evil religion, and never go into many details about religion. I've gamed with people who were uncomfortable about "worshiping" false gods (although "casting spells" was okay). I've also gamed with some creepy people who got so into their cleric class that they were actually wanting to act out the rituals that their cleric was doing. Hence, the "godless" cleric option allows me to take religion out of the game when it causes people to get uncomfortable.
 

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