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DoomedPaladin
2009-12-22, 04:44 AM
I've not read any of the Fiendish Codex books, and it's has been a while since I've browsed my Deities and DemiGods book. I can't recall if there are any rules for Outsiders acting as Gods to mortal Cults.

I remember that some Demons can grant spells to their followers but where do they gain the power to do so? If giving access to domains sped one on it's way to becoming a God, how would that change in status effect it's previous position as a lord of it's plane? Are there any non-evil entities that do similar things? Where can I find info on these things for 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4th?

AslanCross
2009-12-22, 04:56 AM
Book of Exalted Deeds allows clerics to get spells for being servants of the Celestial Hebdomad, the Companions, or the Court of the Stars, if I'm not mistaken. (The LG, NG, and CG celestial rulers)

The Fiendish Codices also contain various domains that can be granted by Demon Princes and Archfiends.

It really depends on the cosmology as to how the clerics get those spells. In core, even being a cleric of a philosophy gets you spells and domains, so it's not really implied that the gods actively grant the spells.

In Eberron, spells are granted independent of the actual morality of the recipient, and it's heavily hinted that the faith of the cleric is the true power source of the spell.

In Forgotten Realms, every ascendant deity has to be sponsored by an existing deity (like what Tempus did for Red Knight) or otherwise wrest control of a portfolio from an existing god, typically by killing him/her, (like what Shar, Tiamat, and Cyric did) or receiving it from him somehow (like how Bane, Cyric and Myrkul got their portfolios from Jergal).

Inyssius Tor
2009-12-22, 09:55 AM
I've not read any of the Fiendish Codex books, and it's has been a while since I've browsed my Deities and DemiGods book. I can't recall if there are any rules for Outsiders acting as Gods to mortal Cults.

I remember that some Demons can grant spells to their followers but where do they gain the power to do so? If giving access to domains sped one on it's way to becoming a God, how would that change in status effect it's previous position as a lord of it's plane? Are there any non-evil entities that do similar things? Where can I find info on these things for 3.5, Pathfinder, and 4th?

In 4th: "Are there any non-evil entities that do similar things?"


Fey, for one.
Powers of the Shadowfell and deep Underdark, though they're obviously less likely to be non-evil.
A few of the lesser aberrant Powers, though they're mostly evil or beyond morality in a way that looks close enough to evil for it not to matter.
Vestige-pact warlocks get power from pretty much anyone who can grant it, but usually the dead, the memories of the dead, those who cannot die but ought to have, and those who collect entities of the previous three sorts.
There are presumably a number of primordial lords and elemental Powers who aren't evil or completely dead, and they almost certainly grant power to their servants, but WotC hasn't gone into that stuff in detail as of yet.
Astral powers that aren't quite god-level could do it, but it would be harder, since the process of imbuing a divine character with player-character-level power takes a lot of energy in 4e.


In 4th: "... some Demons can grant spells to their followers but where do they gain the power to do so?"

The same way anyone gains power. Killing things, harnessing what power sources they can find, researching arcana, practicing, growing into inherited power (like dragons do), rising in the favor of their own sponsors.

In 4th: "If giving access to domains sped one on it's way to becoming a God, how would that change in status effect it's previous position as a lord of it's plane?"

It wouldn't, aside from the obvious geopolitical effects of a major local Power accruing more, well, power. Sometimes people move on to another place or plane when they feel their current home has no more to offer them. Sometimes they stick around. Sometimes they follow a route to godhood that inherently removes their own choice in the matter, or alters their minds so they want to leave; but that doesn't happen often, because not as many beings would decide to take a path which ends in them losing their own freedom of choice.

Baron Corm
2009-12-22, 11:35 AM
In 3e, gods get their power from worship. I believe it states in the Book of Vile Darkness how certain archdevils like Asmodeus and Mephistopheles can grant spells to worshipers, even though they don't have divine ranks yet. But it says they are on their way to getting divine ranks, due to increasing numbers of worshipers.

I might have paraphrased this wrong, but the Book of Vile Darkness and the Fiendish Codexes are good places to look.

Gensh
2009-12-22, 12:00 PM
Actually, even in core, it says that clerics who don't worship a god can gain spells from an abstract source. BoVD just elaborates on that; the archfiends don't grant spells, they just function as extraplanar patrons for clerics who don't have gods.

KillianHawkeye
2009-12-22, 01:00 PM
I also think I remember reading something in Deities & Demigods to the effect that it takes a God more of an effort to cut off one of his clerics from their spells than it does to grant them, since they're normally granted more or less automatically.

Yuki Akuma
2009-12-22, 01:10 PM
I also think I remember reading something in Deities & Demigods to the effect that it takes a God more of an effort to cut off one of his clerics from their spells than it does to grant them, since they're normally granted more or less automatically.

Yep! Cutting a cleric off is a free action and must be done consciously - granting spells is entirely automatic and can be done even when it's not the deity's turn.

Also, according to certain sources, deities don't grant their own power to their clerics - they just act as a way to channel the power of the Great Unknown into mortals. In earlier editions, mortals could do this by themselves just by believing hard enough - but they didn't get many spells that way, as it's hard.

In 3e, though, clerics can ignore deities completely because channeling power directly from the Great Unknown is easy now. For some reason.

Oh well.

Thalnawr
2009-12-22, 01:23 PM
Yep! Cutting a cleric off is a free action and must be done consciously - granting spells is entirely automatic and can be done even when it's not the deity's turn.

Also, according to certain sources, deities don't grant their own power to their clerics - they just act as a way to channel the power of the Great Unknown into mortals. In earlier editions, mortals could do this by themselves just by believing hard enough - but they didn't get many spells that way, as it's hard.

In 3e, though, clerics can ignore deities completely because channeling power directly from the Great Unknown is easy now. For some reason.

Oh well.
Y'know, I always saw the "cleric without a god" thing as the cleric still getting his power channeled through gods with portfolios that coincide with his chosen domains. Basically, I'll say we've got this hypothetical cleric with the domains of Celerity and War. He thinks he's accessing the power directly, but the gods with those respective domains are each granting him the power on the sly, in the hopes that they can convince him to join their church. This could open up all sorts of nifty little RP scenarios for the godless one.

Inyssius Tor
2009-12-22, 01:47 PM
Re: cutting clerics off,

In the core 4e cosmology, it basically can't be done. Clerics, paladins, and invokers are imbued with divine power at their investiture, and this power simply can't be taken from them. This dates back to the Dawn War, when it was necessary for two reasons:

If clerics are empowered with a divine flow of power which can be cut off by a god, it can be cut off by the more-powerful enemies of the gods.
If a cleric's god dies, which was pretty likely in the Dawn War, the cleric would cease being useful altogether. You can't just take a suddenly powerless host of former Moradin-worshippers and tell them that they have to rededicate themselves in body and mind to the dark serpent Zehir, because he's the only local Power with power to spare.

Paladins and clerics can be imbued with more power, but they weren't designed to lose any. Invokers are effectively the same, but for different reasons: they're not imbued with divine power, they're imbued with divinity--a part of them is literally a part of their god, and cutting off power to them would be rather like cutting off power to little bits of your own brain. It could probably be done, sort of, but it probably wouldn't exactly be a free action.

Avengers may be an exception; part of their mandate is hunting down and decapitating rogue priests of their own god's order, and they seem to draw power more from an external source than the others. Their primary attribute is Wisdom, even though they're melee combatants, because their god basically acts as their choreographer when they get into fights.

Damned if I know how all this translates into Eberron or the Forgotten Realms' cosmologies. It's almost certainly different, at least in some cases, but I've not the foggiest idea how.

DoomedPaladin
2009-12-22, 04:44 PM
Re: cutting clerics off,

Invokers are effectively the same, but for different reasons: they're not imbued with divine power, they're imbued with divinity--a part of them is literally a part of their god, and cutting off power to them would be rather like cutting off power to little bits of your own brain. It could probably be done, sort of, but it probably wouldn't exactly be a free action.



I like that concept!

Are there stats of Gods in 4th? Like in the Deities & Demi-Gods book? Or is it just their Fluff+alignment and domains they grant? A friend told me that the FR book for 4th has a single page listing a very few Deities with only a few lines describing each for example. Have they been expanded upon?

I'm writing up a Demon on his way to godhood. He created his own race at some point in the past and I could see him placing a portion of his power into that race to be reaped later. Investment seems more of a Diabolic thing to do, but hey, demons are unpredictable right? Having such an act supported by the power structures of Divinity in the different Editions makes it feel more complete and justified when I explain it to others.

Beelzebub1111
2009-12-22, 04:54 PM
I believe that the 3rd Ed "Fiend Folio" has a prestige class for outsiders that lets them act as the head of a cult and grant spells.

Gensh
2009-12-22, 05:02 PM
I believe that the 3rd Ed "Fiend Folio" has a prestige class for outsiders that lets them act as the head of a cult and grant spells.

Yep. That's the fiend of corruption.

On another note, since deific power is based on belief, couldn't the system work in such a way that unused belief travels somewhere else...like enough belief in nothing would create a god of atheism who doesn't believe in himself and passes off his own miracles as coincidences?

Yuki Akuma
2009-12-22, 05:36 PM
Yep. That's the fiend of corruption.

On another note, since deific power is based on belief, couldn't the system work in such a way that unused belief travels somewhere else...like enough belief in nothing would create a god of atheism who doesn't believe in himself and passes off his own miracles as coincidences?

Yes. This is exactly what happens.

The God of Atheism gets more powerful the less people worship him, naturally.

Inyssius Tor
2009-12-22, 06:10 PM
Are there stats of Gods in 4th? Like in the Deities & Demi-Gods book?

There are some--mostly the gods you'd want to go beat up at high epic levels: Vecna, Maglubiyet, Tiamat, Lolth. Bahamut is in the metallic Draconomicon, because leaving him out of it after putting Tiamat in the chromatic one would be kind of weird. Two of Bane's aspects were in Dragon Magazine (in the same article as Maglubiyet, actually, since the goblins' god is one of his servants), but the writers decided that Bane himself is probably too powerful to bother giving a monster-style combat stat block.

They're not quite like the 3e Deities and Demigods stats, though. In general, 4e reserves actual stats for things you're fighting; out of combat, the paradigm goes, a god can do pretty much whatever the DM decides he can do.


Or is it just their Fluff+alignment and domains they grant? A friend told me that the FR book for 4th has a single page listing a very few Deities with only a few lines describing each for example. Have they been expanded upon?

In bits and pieces, yes. The core ones have gotten some attention, at least; the FR ones have been kind of neglected. The single most detailed resource would be Divine Power, a supplement for divine characters rather like 3.5's Complete Divine or Complete Champion.

Beelzebub1111
2009-12-22, 06:18 PM
Yep. That's the fiend of corruption.

On another note, since deific power is based on belief, couldn't the system work in such a way that unused belief travels somewhere else...like enough belief in nothing would create a god of atheism who doesn't believe in himself and passes off his own miracles as coincidences?

there's precedent, albiet a less positive incarnation:
http://whfb.lexicanum.com/wiki/Necoho

Jothki
2009-12-22, 07:17 PM
Fluffwise, what's the difference between a 4th edition cleric and a 4th edition warlock, besides the different abilities that they get? Is it just that warlocks get their power from non-divine sources, or is there some more significant difference?

Yuki Akuma
2009-12-22, 07:38 PM
Fluffwise, what's the difference between a 4th edition cleric and a 4th edition warlock, besides the different abilities that they get? Is it just that warlocks get their power from non-divine sources, or is there some more significant difference?

Warlocks make pacts directly with otherworldly beings in exchange for power. Clerics and Paladins get imbued with magical power from their gods by another Cleric. Their god doesn't have much (read: any, if the Cleric is a rogue) say in the matter.

FoE
2009-12-22, 07:56 PM
Are there stats of Gods in 4th? Like in the Deities & Demi-Gods book?

Gods in 4th Edition are considered quasi-omnipotent and are pretty much untouchable. To actually kill a god (without being a godlike being yourself), you have to meet a series of requirements to force said deity into a physical form. As others on this board can attest, a battle against a god can be extremely tough unless you're using some serious cheese.

Demon Princes and Dukes of Hell frequently gather cults around themselves. But they do not grant divine powers. They may impart other abilities it is not unusual to encounter a priest of Orcus who has an necrotic aura that damages the living, and Demogorgon's cultists share in his madness.


Clerics and Paladins get imbued with magical power from their gods by another Cleric. Their god doesn't have much (read: any, if the Cleric is a rogue) say in the matter.

As I understood it, clerics and paladins become empowered by their faith after taking part in a lengthy set of holy rituals. No cleric simply touches someone on the forehead and says "Thou art a cleric of Pelor, brother."

One of the big debates when 4E came out was what happens when paladins "fall" from the path. Other than being hunted by other members of the faith and possible divine repurcussion, there aren't concrete consequences for when a paladin says, "Screw Pelor/Bahamut/Bane/Asmodeus, I'm doing things my way."

But that's the thing: 4E makes the paladin/cleric more than just taking a level in that class. Nobody gets drunk one weekend and wakes up on Monday to discover they're now a champion of Kord. It's now a commitment nay, a complete devotion to a particular faith. If you as a player aren't going to adhere to your character's faith just "because", you probably shouldn't be playing as a cleric/paladin in the first place.

Inyssius Tor
2009-12-22, 07:57 PM
Fluffwise, what's the difference between a 4th edition cleric and a 4th edition warlock, besides the different abilities that they get? Is it just that warlocks get their power from non-divine sources, or is there some more significant difference?

The main difference is that warlocks trade for their power. Their patrons want something out of them, or else the very nature of their abilities demand something in exchange. The precise nature of that exchange is entirely variable, but it's always there.

As well, clerics are something of a boundless font of energy. Warlocks ... not so much. They have to fight for each bit of power. The nature of that fight is again entirely variable, but again it's something of a recurring theme. Warlocks' power, whatever that power may be, tends to be of an innately contrary sort.