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Eksar Lindisfar
2008-07-06, 10:53 AM
self explanatory title

I'm curious on what it takes to change your patron deity, what are the existing rules and what's inside the possibilities, what would imply a change from St. Cuthbert to Hoar for example and what would have to be done to change from... Mask to... Torm to give another example.

just that, any ideas

UserClone
2008-07-06, 10:59 AM
I believe I read that you would have to renounce your allegiance to the previous deity (or not, depending on the two gods involved) and pledge your allegiance to the new one, dedicating yourself entirely over to the new one. Many religions commonly require that you willingly receive a geas/quest spell to do some important quest to prove yourself to the new god.

xPANCAKEx
2008-07-06, 11:01 AM
deffo geas - a new god will want you to proove your alliegence

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-06, 11:03 AM
I agree with FlWiPig and xPANCAKEx. Making a sacrifice to the new diety may help as well. Why are you thinking about swapping?

Eksar Lindisfar
2008-07-06, 11:13 AM
I was just curious, not that I'm really doing it inside the campaing...thought my deity doesn't answer some scrying/divination spells... he's not talking to me...

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 11:15 AM
In contrast to those above I would say the first step would be an atonement cast by an existing devotee of the new god, and likely then a geas/quest included in the terms of the atonement.

nagora
2008-07-06, 11:56 AM
self explanatory title

I'm curious on what it takes to change your patron deity, what are the existing rules and what's inside the possibilities, what would imply a change from St. Cuthbert to Hoar for example and what would have to be done to change from... Mask to... Torm to give another example.

just that, any ideas

Well, for one thing I'd probably doc you 20 to 50% of your xp based on the degree of alignment change (no alignment change being 20%), minimum 100K. If that would take you below 1st level, then you aren't accepted.

You don't think your cleric is just going to walk into the same level of another church, do you?

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-06, 01:06 PM
That is an interresting point, nagora. I was thinking about an Exp. cost, but I never thought of having that much Exp. docked (I tend to see level as being a measure of personal power rather then being concerned with someones position in a heirarchy).

xPANCAKEx
2008-07-06, 01:14 PM
im with TF there - you may be a powerful individual, but within the new church you might still be treated as an outsider. It will take you a LONG time to gain access to any benifits of being in the church, such as church support etc

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-06, 01:19 PM
How would you incorpiorate that into the game, though? If Eksar's character doesn't have any support from other St. Cuthbart followers, it wouldn't make any difference to the campaign (I agree with what you said about needing to earn status in the new churvh, though).

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 01:24 PM
You don't think your cleric is just going to walk into the same level of another church, do you?

That's... rather an abuse of the term "level".

Or would you think it reasonable that a cleric who is demoted within his church should actually lose levels?

Fenix_of_Doom
2008-07-06, 01:32 PM
Well, for one thing I'd probably doc you 20 to 50% of your xp based on the degree of alignment change (no alignment change being 20%), minimum 100K. If that would take you below 1st level, then you aren't accepted.

You don't think your cleric is just going to walk into the same level of another church, do you?
And how does making you an outsider take away your health(HP) and fighting prowess(BaB)?

Clerics might channel divine power, but some of it is still their own, I can understand that you might want to take away some XP because of the heavy transfer from one god to another, but these numbers are insane and will make it impossible to actually switch gods in lots of campaigns because you'll be to far behind. Really with your rules you might as well just say it isn't allowed to switch from one god to another.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 01:41 PM
That's... rather an abuse of the term "level".

Or would you think it reasonable that a cleric who is demoted within his church should actually lose levels?

I think it has more to do with an idea that a cleric's "level" is how close to their God they are. Changing gods, therefore, will result in a loss of power. In 1e and 2e, these sort of massive XP penalties were actually a common way to penalize players for "poor" roleplaying, or to add weight to extreme changes. Turns out these aren't really fun in implementation, so 3e dropped it.

This is, of course, but one way of looking at what "level" means for any character, and clerics in particular - your mileage may vary, depending on your use of fluff.

Personally, though, I would require a large quest of some sort, and if the PC is of a high enough level that they would be generally known, this sort of oathbreaking will probably cause some chatter. Depending on the faith you're leaving, this may include assassination attempts to kill the apostate.

Mark Hall
2008-07-06, 01:53 PM
I would say, btb, an Atonement spell... perhaps 2. The spell allows someone who has lost clerical powers to regain them by getting in good with their new deity. The second would be the first cast, if necessary, using the Redemption/Temptation function of the spell.

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 01:56 PM
I think it has more to do with an idea that a cleric's "level" is how close to their God they are. Changing gods, therefore, will result in a loss of power.

Yes... but as Fenix points out, many things tied to level have little to do with piety. I would say rather that you have to complete a quest before the new deity will grant you spells or domain powers, but you retain your level and things like HP, BAB, saves etc. You're cut off from the power granted directly by your deity, but your own ability is not affected.

Grey Paladin
2008-07-06, 02:02 PM
I'd make the cleric lose all spell-casting capabilities until s/he proves his/her loyalty to the new god beyond doubt: if high level performing some herculean task, if low than making a choice that would actually harm the character but be in line with the dogma of the new god with the whole task being subtly engineered by that deity.

A fallen cleric should be treated much like a fallen paladin.

Signmaker
2008-07-06, 03:30 PM
Solars with ranks in Profession(Lawyer) and legal documents.

...What?

mikeejimbo
2008-07-06, 03:44 PM
I would think it would depend on the reason for switching deities. Like say an evil deity seduced you - he might give you your power straight-off to get you away from the light side.

Or what if your god did something horrible? Maybe another would take pity on you and take you in immediately.

Or what if you're changing from one patron in a pantheon to another?

nagora
2008-07-06, 06:01 PM
And how does making you an outsider take away your health(HP) and fighting prowess(BaB)?
Who grants a cleric the luck element of the hp? Who grants them their spells? Fighting skill suffers from the mental and emotional conflict of such a major change in the character's life/belief system. You're literally questioning everything that you believed.


Clerics might channel divine power, but some of it is still their own, I can understand that you might want to take away some XP because of the heavy transfer from one god to another, but these numbers are insane and will make it impossible to actually switch gods in lots of campaigns
In a world where the gods are real, that seems reasonable and was the intent. Count yourself lucky they don't just lightning bolt you for even trying.

If you don't want to take the responsibility, don't become a cleric. Gods are quite humourless on the topic of traitors.

PS: changing diety within a pantheon might be much easier.

Tequila Sunrise
2008-07-06, 06:40 PM
I was just curious, not that I'm really doing it inside the campaing...thought my deity doesn't answer some scrying/divination spells... he's not talking to me...

Forget spells and XP, this is the kinda thing that's best handled by role playing. As a DM I'd have the cleric's brothers-in-faith-to-be require that he/she complete some kind of quest before being accepted into the new faith. If the cleric's new faith is unorganized (like Farlanhgin's), I'd have the deity require the quest.

TS

nagora
2008-07-07, 04:03 AM
Forget spells and XP, this is the kinda thing that's best handled by role playing.
The spell and xp penalties are the result of role-playing the deity.

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 05:05 AM
Who grants a cleric the luck element of the hp? Who grants them their spells? Fighting skill suffers from the mental and emotional conflict of such a major change in the character's life/belief system. You're literally questioning everything that you believed.

I will note that a fallen Paladin retains his BAB, HP, etc. He loses class features such as spells, Divine Grace, and mount, which proceed directly from his devotion to good / the blessing of his deity.

If you want to impose XP penalties as punishment to discourage players from changing deities, then I disagree with you that it's a good idea but it's a matter of play style. But I can't agree that it makes more sense in-game than for the character to lose directly-granted gifts from his god (such as spells) until an atonement or quest is completed.

nagora
2008-07-07, 05:41 AM
But I can't agree that it makes more sense in-game than for the character to lose directly-granted gifts from his god (such as spells) until an atonement or quest is completed.
I'm sorry, but I can't work out what you're saying in this sentence.

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 06:53 AM
I'm sorry, but I can't work out what you're saying in this sentence.

Looking at things from an in-game perspective, I can't agree that it makes more sense for an apostate cleric to lose actual XP, which means competence with a weapon, training in skills, possibly learned abilities (i.e. feats), and so on, than to simply lose those abilities which are granted directly and explicitly by a god, namely spells and domain abilities, especially given that the latter is what applies in the case of a fallen paladin.

nagora
2008-07-07, 08:19 AM
Looking at things from an in-game perspective, I can't agree that it makes more sense for an apostate cleric to lose actual XP, which means competence with a weapon, training in skills, possibly learned abilities (i.e. feats), and so on, than to simply lose those abilities which are granted directly and explicitly by a god, namely spells and domain abilities, especially given that the latter is what applies in the case of a fallen paladin.
Okay, I see. Well, in-game, I would point out that a fallen paladin is not quite as drastic as a cleric switching: a fallen paladin has broken his/her oaths etc. The cleric is doing that AND asking someone else to accept new oaths and take their word for it that this time they really, really mean them, honest.

I would be very sceptical as a deity. Thus, I would start the cleric on a lower level as regards gaining my special blessings (ie, spells per day), and I might not refill their hit points up to the level that the previous diety granted them and so on. Basically, the game-mechanic that best suits all this is xp-loss. I have no problem with losing attacking strength and so forth as a side effect of the mental and emotional trauma of all this either.

Again, all this assumes a reasonably drastic change. If alignment AND pantheon have not changed I'd knock a level off and leave it at that, probably. Depends on the circumstances.

nepphi
2008-07-07, 08:40 AM
Docking levels is far too much of a penalty. One has to consider the in-game effects mechanically as well as storywise. Docking someone levels puts them at a distinct disadvantage to the rest of the party, to the point that if you're applying the ludicrous "-100k minimum" amount mentioned earlier in a high level game, you're simply ending that person's involvement in the game. They won't survive the high level encounters that are coming their way, and the ultimate goal of the game is to create an experience the entire group can enjoy, not to penalize someone for choosing a potentially difficult rp path.

I'd go with the idea of not granting NEW levels, domain spells, or several other benefits until the person in question performs an atonement to their previous deity (if the two deities are aligned), and a quest of a significant nature (probably geared a level or so higher than their probationary level) for their new deity. If the pantheons are opposed, the new god probably won't care what terms you left the old one on, and just more about your personal loyalty.

Signmaker
2008-07-07, 08:49 AM
Okay, I see. Well, in-game, I would point out that a fallen paladin is not quite as drastic as a cleric switching: a fallen paladin has broken his/her oaths etc. The cleric is doing that AND asking someone else to accept new oaths and take their word for it that this time they really, really mean them, honest.


So you are saying that the extreme case of severing ties from a patron diety (falling, rejection, etc.) isn't as drastic as a cleric changing faith, but doing so in a more wholesome and peaceful way? And that while someone who has shunned his former patron's beliefs by falling retains his combat potential, which is derived from deific powers, while the switcher loses almost everything? Ahuh. Giving the punk his lollipop and telling the math geek to get back in the room and re-study multivariable calculus, much?

nagora
2008-07-07, 09:07 AM
I'd go with the idea of not granting NEW levels, domain spells, or several other benefits until the person in question performs an atonement to their previous deity (if the two deities are aligned), and a quest of a significant nature (probably geared a level or so higher than their probationary level) for their new deity. If the pantheons are opposed, the new god probably won't care what terms you left the old one on, and just more about your personal loyalty.
Which is highly questionable given that you've already walked away from a supposedly life-time (and beyond!) commitment to another deity.

Really, I think any effects that fall short of insta-kill are very generous in these sorts of cases.

In terms of the game effects, then you have a point about crippling the character, but the alternative is to treat the Gods as coats to put on and take off as required. If you, as DM, are role-playing the gods at all reasonably, I think you'll see that that is not going to be allowed by them. Each cleric knows things about the inner workings of the god's religions and has had a great deal of energy spent on granting spells and other benefits over the years.

When you approach a new deity you've already established that all that energy was wasted. Why should they believe that it won't be wasted this time? Are the gods so short of clerics that they can't afford to be fussy about damaged goods?

Grey Paladin
2008-07-07, 10:18 AM
What if the new deity is the God of Betrayal or Temptation? wouldn't he *reward* the cleric for sticking to his dogma while risking being striked by lightning? most of the advice here is far too specific. OP needs to provide more information about the deities involved so we can provide a proper answer.

Nagora: I'd simply send a celestial force of vengence after another until the character solves the issue or dies trying, and deny the Cleric spells until he proves himself to a new deity (some epic quest/plot arc)

Docking him EXP would make such a situation outright impossible, and that is simply a waste of an excellent roleplaying opportunity aswell as seeming unrealistic when compared to the same situation when it involves a Paladin (who I have always saw as devoted to his god as much as a cleric, given the fact he is supposed to be the god's dogma incarnated).

nagora
2008-07-07, 10:54 AM
What if the new deity is the God of Betrayal or Temptation? wouldn't he *reward* the cleric for sticking to his dogma while risking being striked by lightning?
Nah, the god of betrayal would only promise the cleric a reward, s/he/it wouldn't actually grant them anything. :smallbiggrin:


Docking him EXP would make such a situation outright impossible, and that is simply a waste of an excellent roleplaying opportunity aswell as seeming unrealistic when compared to the same situation when it involves a Paladin (who I have always saw as devoted to his god as much as a cleric, given the fact he is supposed to be the god's dogma incarnated).

This might be a 1e/3e issue: I don't see any need for a connection between paladins and deities, in the sense that a paladin can be a paragon of lawful goodness etc. without any need for a religious basis to their powers. Most paladins will take religious vows, but it's not a core requirement in a D&D-style world, IMO.

Sending a spirit of vengence simply does not fulfil the basic requirement of a DM to play the NPCs (which include the gods) as if they were his/her own characters. What god would take a lapsed cleric seriously? Do a quest?! Get real: most clerics will have done quests and all sorts of services for their previous god, and in this case it specifically did not prove their faithfulness.

From the (in-character) point of view of the new deity: what is the rationale for giving a lapsed cleric equal footing with their other clerics who have never wavered in their devotion to the (new) god?

"So what if you've risen to 16th level worshipping god x? Well, I have 16th level clerics who got there worshipping ME! Take a hike, Jack!"

I don't think it makes much odds what the alignment or type of deity it is, the issue is the cleric's demonstrated untrustworthyness.

Grey Paladin
2008-07-07, 11:26 AM
Good point,

However, try thinking of this this way: Its the cold war and one of the most brilliant minds of the opposition had turned stag, risking his life, family, station, and leaving behind the benefits of his massive social status, all to join your side.

After he has proven himself trustworthy by serving you well on some enormous task, would you still not let him all the tools he requires to do what he does best? Would you keep the man that is capable of winning the war from attempting to do so?

Telonius
2008-07-07, 11:49 AM
From the SRD:


Ex-Clerics
A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by his god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. He cannot thereafter gain levels as a cleric of that god until he atones (see the atonement spell description).



Emphasis added. That particular text could be interpreted to mean that your cleric levels aren't really "Cleric" levels, they're "Cleric of Pelor" (or Hextor, or whatever) levels. I think apostasy would qualify as grossly violating the code of conduct. It doesn't specify what that would mean for spells, if you gained a level as a Cleric of a different god.

Wardog
2008-07-07, 11:49 AM
Good point,

However, try thinking of this this way: Its the cold war and one of the most brilliant minds of the opposition had turned stag, risking his life, family, station, and leaving behind the benefits of his massive social status, all to join your side.

After he has proven himself trustworthy by serving you well on some enormous task, would you still not let him all the tools he requires to do what he does best? Would you keep the man that is capable of winning the war from attempting to do so?

I agree with that analogy.

While it will probably depend somwhat on the deities in question and the motivation of the character (and whether the player is changing for role-playing reasons or metagaming/munchkining), I would expect the main problem facing the apostate cleric would be his former deity (and its followers).

For the new deity and its church, converting an important cleric of a rival religion would be a major propoganda coup. "Look! The high priest of Argl-thron has converted to Banjo-ism! Obviously Argl-thron sucks! All praise Banjo!" That certainly seems to be among real-world religions.

(Although the problem with making real-world comparisions, apart from discussing them in detail being against the rules, is that in D&D, the existance of the gods is not in doubt. If you change from one religion to another in D&D, its not because you no beleve your old god exists, and your new one does, its because you think your new god is better. Which also means that the idea of "crisis of faith making you fight worse" is less likely to be valid. Although "angry jilted god smitting you with a bolt of level-draining lightning could be).



Although some way of testing the sincerity of the cleric would probably be in order.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 12:12 PM
Forgotten Realms Campaign setting clarifies you can switch dieites and keep all your class features (replace domain with new domain, And, I guess, keep skill points you put into a class skill opened up by your old domain)

Player's Handbook 2 also recommends you still be at full power when you switch over (quest/atonement needed for this)

the idea of a 15th level level Ex-cleric of X / 5th level cleric of Y is not supported: the expected result is 20th level cleric of Y.

comicshorse
2008-07-07, 12:21 PM
"Look! The high priest of Argl-thron has converted to Banjo-ism! Obviously Argl-thron sucks! All praise Banjo!"

Hmm imagine the scene you've been loyally serving your god for years then some other guy turns up and gets the position you've been promised for years and you're suddenly expected to obey orders from this complete stranger and traitor to his own god. Can't really see a defecting cleric as being to popular with his new church. Which of course raises lots of intersting political back-stabbing and role-playing opportunities

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 12:23 PM
rank doesn't always correspond to level. A cleric might outrank a more powerful one.

nagora
2008-07-07, 06:05 PM
After he has proven himself trustworthy by serving you well on some enormous task, would you still not let him all the tools he requires to do what he does best?
Yes, specifically the task of earning their place "at the table". How do you track their progress? Well, as they do things as a cleric of their new god, you could give them points and when they have collected enough points the god starts restoring their old abilities. These points could reflect their experiences in service to their new god. I have a name for them: the trouser press experience points!

Grey Paladin
2008-07-07, 06:21 PM
Grey Player Has Been Defeated.

Devon
2008-07-09, 09:15 AM
I always find that with these questions you need to two main questions.

1) What drew the PC to that faith in the first place?

Your PC will have been a certain type of person, someone who mirrors the "personality" and values of said deity. Clerics of Mask would have been secretive and sneaky people long before they ever took up the faith. Being a cleric of a god is as much about who you are, as whether your stats made you eligable for the character class. That character has then gone on to make the goals and objectives of his faith and attached cult his own. The fact that a cleric is out in the world, adventuring and such is in some way to benefit his church, by providing funds, spreading the gospel or smiting the foes of the faith, not to mention promting the values that the deity holds as their own. This job is not given to people who hold these values as anything less than sacred.

To change this, the cleric in question will need to have undergone a core change of values before questioning his faith or his deity. As this may have occurred during your game, look at what events made the character doubt that they were "on the right path", it will not only make for a gerat story, but wil limit the character from getting out the big book of gods and simply picking out a new one from a list.

2) Why does the player want to change deity?

If your deity seemed like a good choice when you were making the character, but now isn't granting the spells / powers you want or need to fulfill the role your character performs within your party, then you need to be aware that your character isn't experiencing problems - you (the player) are. The character may simply be a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. From the character's perspective, his faith is not in doubt, merely his effectiveness at performing a certain role. Change the character's role within the party to suit his skills and see if the party can adapt to having a new PC or NPC to perform that function. If not, you may need to think about retiring that character and making a new one who better fits the bill.

To conclude:

Many of the other posts in this thread have looked at the method by which changing deity can be done. Any or all of these are fine, although as a primary DM myself, i would make you jump though hoops to see how dedicated you were to the idea. But if there is no roleplaying reason, the methods are, quite simply, irrelevant.

Devon