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    Default Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Does anyone know of any rules for a cleric of a dead god*? I suppose I could just run it as a "as is" cleric, but are there any rules for this? If not, how would you run it?

    *As a side note, this is for my homebrew world, so I don't have to run it by a DM or anything. And I'd like to keep the spellcasting.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Clerics are allowed to worship ideals, pholosophies, or whatever they choose in order to gain spells. A dead god isn't much of a stretch; so long as the character is devoted enough, it gains spells and works just like a standard cleric.

    Unless your world is like Forgotten Realms, and requires all divine spellcasters to worship deities.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Ur-Priest. Seriously. Right in the Flavor text.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    There's a feat called "Servant of the Fallen" (or something like that) in the Lost Empires of Faerun that let's you worship a dead god (eg. Moander or Amaunator).

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Personally, if it was something the party was aware of, I'd strip the cleric of his abilities for a while, and then depending on his actions, might allow a roleplay shift into worshipping the same ideals as the old deity had, or they could take on a new deity who's similar to their old one.

    If it's something that happened elsewhere in the world and the party wasn't aware of what had happened, I'd do much the same, and the cleric would get one hell of a bad feeling ("There's been a disturbance in the force..."). The Cleric would know their deity was no longer there, and be able to have the same choices as above.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dementrius View Post
    There's a feat called "Servant of the Fallen" (or something like that) in the Lost Empires of Faerun that let's you worship a dead god (eg. Moander or Amaunator).
    If that's all it does, that's a pretty poor feat.

    Don't Ur-Priests have to be evil?
    Last edited by Miles Invictus; 2007-07-10 at 12:10 AM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    There used to be a mechanism in old editions of the game where low-level spells (up through level 3, I think) were powered by the cleric's discipline and faith, not directly by the gods or their servants. So a cleric who was cut off from contacting higher powers (trapped in a demiplane that blocked divine communication or some such thing) could still renew low-level spells, but not higher-level ones. A similar effect could kick in if the god was displeased with his/her servant: high-level spells would be withheld, but the cleric could still manage the low-level, self-powered ones.

    None of this would be standard anymore in 3.5 edition, where as people have correctly pointed out, clerics can follow an ideal instead of a god. The teachings of a vanished goddess could be a perfectly valid ideal, if you want to play it that way.

    However, it might be interesting to embrace the throwback to old editions, and rule that low-level spells can be drawn from the lingering remnants of the goddess's power...but higher level spells become increasingly difficult and unreliable. (Maybe the cleric has to make increasingly concentration or knowledge:religion checks when casting...or just a certain chance, growing with spell level, that the spell fails or goes wild.)

    Make it clear that the "easy road" would be to find a new patron diety...so that the goddess's followers are making a meaningful sacrifice by remaining faithful to her. And maybe now and then, have something very good happen, to hint that there may still be something out there, grateful for the loyalty.
    Last edited by Recursive; 2007-07-10 at 12:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    An interesting way would be to say that for now it is for him like the world had an impeded magic trait (SpellCraft DC15+spelllevel)

    Now the player has two options he could try to shift his worship to the ideals or to a new god.

    If so give him a bonus to the spellcraft roll of 1 per month (or week or day, depending on how fast you let time go by in your world)until he doesn't need to roll anymore.

    But, the catch is that if he remains faithfull, there is the chance to ressurect his god.
    (Power of belief and all that nonsense)

    Mechanical wise it makes no difference if his god comes back or if he gets rid of the penalty.

    But roleplaying wise it could be interesting to take the hard route. (Where he has to suck up the penalties longer)
    (Of course ressurecting a god probably not only requires belief, but also a quest or two and some rituals to perform)

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Invictus View Post
    If that's all it does, that's a pretty poor feat.

    Don't Ur-Priests have to be evil?
    I didn't say it was a good feat. I think it has some other minor fringe benefits, which are also really crappy. I remember reading it and going "Cool, I get to worship a dead god! ... Oh. That's all it does."

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Another god can assume the portfolio of a dead god and anomnously continue to grant spells to the previous gods followers as it slowly converts them over to outright worship of the new god(or not and continue to just reap the rewards.)
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    That's a perfect plot hook.
    A god fakes a risen dead god in order to get away with various peculiar things. Hilarity ensues.

    Maybe not perfect perfect, but definitely perfect!
    Last edited by Demented; 2007-07-10 at 02:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Yeah, that's one thing about Ur-Priest that I didn't really like, evil alignment required.

    What is so bad about them? There's a lot of reasons not to like gods.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    First off LoopyZebra, you win an Internets for:

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    and, in answer to your question; if a dead god is granting spells then it aitnt properly dead, is it?

    You could go the "Small Gods" route and attempt to singlehandedly restore the people's faith in their almost entirely forsaken patron.
    You could just take the Planescape route and assume that the spells are actually granted by the mysterious deity who watches over the Dead Gods on the Astral.
    Or you could be an Ur-priest.
    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2007-07-10 at 01:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Your powers are granted by the minor incarnation of the god created by your belief.

    Which is why I have an atheistic cleric.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    I hate the "your god is dead, you lose your magic" trope. It's cliche and unfair...you never say "there's been a cosmic change and fighters lose all their bonus feats!" or "Surprise! Your rogue gets hit in the head and loses her knowledge of anatomy and can no longer sneak attack..."

    Then again, I don't like deities-as-actual-beings. I like them being remote and non-personified and possibly non-existant.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Another fluff-interpretation that would allow clerics of dead gods to maintain their powers would be following the Malazan Book of the Fallen pattern for deities. (Yes, I have brought this up before.) A god's power comes from having control over its domain, but that power is resident in the domain/Warren/higher plane rather than the god itself. So even if the Goddess of Healing died, her clerics would still be drawing power from the plane she ruled over - unless/until another figure stepped into place and took control of the realm.

    This allows both for renegade priests who have renounced their god but still draw on his power - sort of an Ur-Priest model - and for clerics of dead deities. The threat of some new wannabe-god taking over the empty place of power could also make for a good plot hook for those clerics.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    I think it may depend on which came first... The chicken or the egg? Or perhaps more relevant to the OP, the God or the worshippers. Now I know that the answer might seem obvious, but stick with me on this..

    It all matters on what creation myth you believe in/applies to your world.. lets say that by some shear cosmic chance the world was created and sentient beings evolved from an ocean soup. These sentient beings start banding together, forming communities, and different social structures. One of the most capable social structures at uniting a great variety of people is.. religion. So you get these people all worshipping ideas.. and then *PLOT TWIST* the Gods were born. Instead of the other way around..

    This applies to the OP, because even if your God is "dead".. ie no one really believes in Her/Him.. believeing in the ideals they stood for could recreate Her/Him. =)

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    I DM by the concept that the gods are possibly fictional, but Clerics believe they get spells from the gods. Maybe they are really can cats by their own power, but need the psychological crutch of believing it's divine energy.

    I pretty much rule that caster fluff is all just what helps them channel the magic. The "reality" which no PC knows, is that magical energy is available in the world, and anyone can channel it with sufficient strength of will. Wizards rituals, Sorcerers limits to spells knows, prayers, etc are just ways PCs have been taught to harness that energy.

    This allows me to easily incorporate any new magic classes or types of magic that may come up, and to contradict any stupid "Dragon heritage" or Vancian "I forgot the spell I just cast" fluff I don't like without messing with class mechanics. If you can't cast the spell, it's because you can't focus your energy. You only think it's because your god has forsaken you.

    Which, for a believer, is probably a big enough shock to sap their confidence and mess withe their mojo.
    Last edited by Mike_G; 2007-07-10 at 02:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    I think this is completely dependent on how the gods work in your setting in the first place. If gods of a "cause" exist then it doesn't really matter to have a real single being granting the cleric spells.

    On a more speculative train, you could say that there is a fixed number of god "positions" in existence and that id any becomes vacant worthy mortals can be raised to it. If there is anything like the soul of the dead god he could be the one choosing his successor. If not the other gods of the same pantheon/sphere/alignment/plane might take the matter into their hands. Alternatively the mortal has to find his way into godhood on his own.

    If the dead gos is going to be a major one, you could rule that his clerics used to be insanely powerful and now that they no longer have his backing they operate just as normal clerics, as per the rules. Obviously this open the door to a lot of people wanting to restore the god to life or get a replacement in order to get the old power back. If that is an evil god this makes a great adventure, if not a completely original one. The return to the temple of elemental evil and the chronicles of Dragonlance are based on a similar concept.

    Hope this helps
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by LoopyZebra View Post
    *As a side note, this is for my homebrew world-
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    An internets! w00t!

    Anyways, thanks for the ideas everyone. I'd give you puppies or some such, but they're actually demonic groupings of waste. :)

    I might give them something similar to what recursive described, if not the same fluff description, but give them some sort of bonus to compensate for the loss. It seems hard to balance though, so I might go with something else. To clarify, I wanted the clerics to be viable options in play, preferably from level one, and yet be mechanically different.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    In addition to Recursive's suggestion, how about giving the clerics the ability to draw spells from the void left in the universe by their god's passing? Give them the ability to learn Maho spells (Oriental Adventures 236) or something like them, perhaps.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Gods can get kind of desperate when things go bad for them. It'd be neat if the cleric kept his/her powers and later spawned a scion of his god which could then attempt to re-ascend.

    The clergy might get absorbed by whatever deity picks up the dead one's portfolio. There's precedent for that, I think.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    In my campaigns, rather than all gods being in a true pantheon, it is more like the real world, with a regrettably relativisitic twist, in which everyone is worshiping the same "God" but by different names and different accompanying dogma. Why "God" chooses to grant powers to contradicting or opposed forces is quite beyond me, but perhap He/She has the events of the world planned out through his followers of various "dieties" - surprisingly like 1984. Of course God is the ultimate Big Brother, we only have to hope he is right in supposing he knows better.

    On a brief side-note, a God who is evil and acts as above would be a great overall plot - everyone is against you but for completely different reasons. It would tend to have pretty anti-religious overtones though that some people might be uncomfortable with.

    Anyway, a plausible way to do this would be to have the world declare the deity dead, but the cleric to either have faith in his living existance or hope for his resurrection.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by lukelightning View Post
    I hate the "your god is dead, you lose your magic" trope. It's cliche and unfair...you never say "there's been a cosmic change and fighters lose all their bonus feats!" or "Surprise! Your rogue gets hit in the head and loses her knowledge of anatomy and can no longer sneak attack..."

    Then again, I don't like deities-as-actual-beings. I like them being remote and non-personified and possibly non-existant.
    Do you prefer the you get surprised by a rust monster cliche.

    A Fighter who loses his armor and weapons is at least as desperate as a cleric without spells.

    And it happens a lot more often than a god dying
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Seems like you have a pretty good idea of where you are going with this but thought I throw in an idea. What if the gods body or spirit is somewhere in the afterlife or still on it's plane. With every spell cast, a little piece of what's left gets used up. (kind of like in IK I think) and basically if a few high powered Clerics starting casting a bunch of 9th level spells they could destroy what's left and THEN lose thier power. but wait... with every follower, the god also gains a little power back so the clerics would be actively recruiting to maintian thier own power.

    as for crunch, nothing different. At higher levels if you want to make it a plot hook, the Cleric's powers start to get wonky and he has to recruit or otherwise help the god stay alive. You could even go so far as to have a known or unknown number of spell levels left.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    well, you can be a devote of your dead god ideals, and later take that god's place!.

    i'm such a genius!

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    I DM by the concept that the gods are possibly fictional, but Clerics believe they get spells from the gods. Maybe they are really can cats by their own power, but need the psychological crutch of believing it's divine energy.

    I pretty much rule that caster fluff is all just what helps them channel the magic. The "reality" which no PC knows, is that magical energy is available in the world, and anyone can channel it with sufficient strength of will. Wizards rituals, Sorcerers limits to spells knows, prayers, etc are just ways PCs have been taught to harness that energy.

    This allows me to easily incorporate any new magic classes or types of magic that may come up, and to contradict any stupid "Dragon heritage" or Vancian "I forgot the spell I just cast" fluff I don't like without messing with class mechanics. If you can't cast the spell, it's because you can't focus your energy. You only think it's because your god has forsaken you.

    Which, for a believer, is probably a big enough shock to sap their confidence and mess withe their mojo.
    Very interesting. I was envisioning something similar once upon a time, but in the end I went with a Montheistic Over Deity from whom all power flows for my Campaign World (Deities, Causes and Arcane Power being aspects of his Godhead). And, as with your case, the Player Characters don't know the truth.
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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana View Post
    Do you prefer the you get surprised by a rust monster cliche.

    A Fighter who loses his armor and weapons is at least as desperate as a cleric without spells.

    And it happens a lot more often than a god dying
    First of all, a DM who drops a rust monster on the party as a surprise, giving them no chance to react before it starts rusting things, is just being cruel (I'm of the opinion that introducing rust monsters at all is generally a bit of a bad idea... losing large amounts of equipment disrupts the flow of the game.)

    Even then, fighters get a chance to react to rust monsters, usually. If they lose equipment, and the DM wasn't being completely horrible by dropping a rust monster on them with no chance to react, it's usually because the party did something wrong. Likewise, casters usually have at least some opportunity to think about how to deal with an AMF they've encountered--they can try to find a way around, or use spells to manipulate things outside it to their advantage, or whatever. Taking away a cleric's diety, on the other hand, is almost definitely zapping them with something that is totally and completely outside their control... it's one step away from 'rocks fall, everyone dies'.

    How often does a DM just say "Ok, a rust monster appears and hits all your equipment, it's gone", without rolling any dice or giving the player any chances to take actions before it happens? That, basically, is what you are doing by taking away a cleric's spellcasting ability like this. Possibly it could be done in response to a catastrophic failure by the players on some quest or another, but I can't see it being a good idea under any other circumstances (and even then, I'd try to give the cleric their powers back by some means before the party has to actually do anything. Having your abilities magically taken away is no fun.)

    Maybe they have to pause for a bit longer when preparing spells that morning to stiffen their resolve and reaffirm their commitment to their gods' ideals even with the god itself dead. Maybe they become convinced that their goddess isn't really dead, or that she'll be resurrected in some spectacular fashion. Maybe they feel some aspect of her remains within the world or inside her followers or within all of us. Presto, they now have an ideal strong enough to continue their faith.

    They could find another god... but from a character standpoint, I actually find that harder to accept than just believing their god is coming back or whatever. It seems, well, weird, more like what a player would do than what a character who actually worshipped that god would do. "Whoops, my god is dead, better drop by the Ecumenical Temple and pick up a replacement?" Unlikely.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2007-07-11 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun till the DM takes the dead goddess away...

    Well gods don't vanish allthe time.
    So if it happens, there better should be a damn good reason for it, and of course the player of the cleric should get a fair compensation for it. (unless it was his fault)

    And a deity that died should be a campaign shaking event.
    (We are talking cosmic changes on the scale of AD&D 2nd to D&D 3rd here.)

    If a DM has Deities dying more than once in his career, his players better start worshipping ideals.
    (Or maybe oneself :) )
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