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    Retired Mod in the Playground Retired Moderator
     
    kpenguin's Avatar

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    Default Pacifist Survival

    I'm planning on making a god of peace with a pacifist clergy. Any ideas on how to make it so its believable they don't all die within the first few years of their church's foundation?
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Give them domain that allows to add your level to nonlethal damage with every strike.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    To be clear, they are pacifists in the truest sense. No violence at all.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Give them few enemies, and place them in a culture that is, if not in full agreement with its ethos, then tolerant of it. They can be protected by that society even if they themselves are generally unwilling to harm others.

    EDIT: Keep in mind that, as true pacifists, they're not a great threat to anyone. They might be opposed by the evil deities, but killing them is not likely to be a huge priority, compared with the Church of Smacky, the Lawful Good deity of beating up evil.
    Last edited by Jack Mann; 2007-03-23 at 02:39 AM.
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Check out Vow of Nonviolence & Vow of Peace feats from BoED. It's not true pacifism but you might get useful ideas. And the fact that nonmagical weapons can't hurt them would prove quite useful. Maybe you could homebrew domain that offers these feats as granted domain power.

    Edit: Maybe you could put them on the plane of their own that oposes violence by itself (something like Elemental Plane of Love, Peace etc. ). Maybe conditions on the plane duplicate the effect of Calm Emotions spell or similar.
    Last edited by marjan; 2007-03-23 at 02:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    You can give them pretty much any power you deem fit, with the explanation that they're protected by their deity. Giving them abilities like that could be fitting.

    I'm assuming that this church isn't meant for PCs (since D&D doesn't really work well if you can't participate in combat of any sort), so you've got a pretty free hand in designing them. If PCs don't have access to the abilities, you don't need to worry so much about balancing them, or keeping to the normal rules.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    compared with the Church of Smacky, the Lawful Good deity of beating up evil.
    Man... I really need to set up a panthenon with the random dieties I see named here frequently. ^_^ Smacky, along with Stabicles, the diety of buffing onesself up and beating things.

    Anyway, do they believe in subdue-ing their foes in any fashion? One could use, say, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, walls, and general grappling-pinning-manacles, mixed with jail. Those are effective methods of solving combative situations without direct combat or direct harm.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Well, you could make it so they're protected by the armed forces of the country they reside in, or something like that--maybe the order was founded by a King who renounced violence and gave up the throne, or something, and his descendants have felt themselves beholden to protect the order!

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    Jack Mann's Avatar

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Indeed. The kingdom may be quite practical about violence, but it's always good to see someone acting good and holy as an example for the children. That way everyone else can be as bellicose as they like.
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    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
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    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    You could give them an important job to do. Perhaps the country was once ripped apart by magical forces. The founder of this church had put it back together again, and the clerics of the order must perform daily rituals to keep the country together. They have to renounce violence because that would interfere with the calmness of mind they need to do this.

    The country will protect these priests out of not-being-ripped-apart-again self interest :) Also, only enemies of the country as a whole will want to harm them.

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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Give them also some bonus on Diplomacy. Since they don't fight they should be quite good at avoiding it.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Or perhaps they do a lot of charity work. Heal the sick, feed the poor, that sort of thing. Even if people don't agree with them, they'll still like them quite a bit. "'Ere now, don't you be 'urtin' Brother Mendicore! 'E's a good bloke, 'elped our Pelia when she got the white lung."
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    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Give them nothing worth taking from them. Perhaps also give them something to do that doesn't harm anyone and profits everyone, so having them doing it would be in everyone's interests.

    Give them protections that prevent others from attacking them. Mind-affecting and abjurative spells, homebrewed Zone spells to make their temples true sanctuaries, etc.

    Have their deity curse anyone who harms a member.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    or more simply, you can just give them protection through societal means.

    in our society, defrauding a charitable organization is felony.

    I don't see why this would be any different here.

    I mean, these people are basically just priests who are not even a threat to anyone.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Aside from game mechanics, there are some things that you can do.

    Make them socially respected, maybe even loved by the common man.

    As true pacifists they aren't a major threat to anyone.

    Perhaps their wisdom and compassion are admired and respected by the majority of people, both the commoners and the rulers.

    That kind of respect gives them a unique power. Because where they may not fight to protect themselves, they may be well-thought of enough, that others would be quick to rise to their defense.

    And even the most vile hearted person would need to think twice of striking down such a helpless, but admired, foe, when that act would encourage everyoen else to unite against them. Doesn't mean they wouldn't do it, but they'd have to consider the consequences.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Thanks for the suggestions. The church has been in the campaign for some time (it's a rest&heal place for the PCs), but my players have started asking questions about how they exist without any combat abilities. Especially after the priests try to convert the PCs.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. The church has been in the campaign for some time (it's a rest&heal place for the PCs), but my players have started asking questions about how they exist without any combat abilities. Especially after the priests try to convert the PCs.
    here's an answer:

    "ever punched a priest? ever wonder why you never had?"

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    You could make the church be very isolated geographicly, so they could be protected by mountains or rivers or desert or something similar.

    You could have them be ultra specialists in protection spells, cure spells, and especially any spell that calms people or animals. Charm-like spells too, unless that would be a bit rude. You could have them supported by the majority of people who actually DO fight.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    Man... I really need to set up a panthenon with the random dieties I see named here frequently. ^_^ Smacky, along with Stabicles, the diety of buffing onesself up and beating things.

    *snip*

    Don't forget DestructoWar, the god of ... destroying things. (Totally CG. Really.)

    I say, give 'em a pacifist clergy and a slightly-less-pacifist-and-also-much tougher paladin order to back them up.
    Last edited by storybookknight; 2007-03-23 at 09:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Quote Originally Posted by storybookknight View Post
    Don't forget DestructoWar, the god of ... destroying things. (Totally CG. Really.)

    I say, give 'em a pacifist clergy and a slightly-less-pacifist-and-also-much tougher paladin order to back them up.
    And then there's Saint Lovey, the patron God of Lovely-loveliness!!! Free lovely healings for everybody!!! their priests burn with lovely rectitude!!

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Calm Emotions, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, Sleep, Deep Slumber, etc. All these sorts of spells(maybe even Daze as a special Orison) help to ensure that they can survive. Make sure to point out in graphic detail how they always strip all agressors once knocked out, and leave them naked in the town fountain, or a small mud pit outside the walls.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    I'm planning on making a god of peace with a pacifist clergy. Any ideas on how to make it so its believable they don't all die within the first few years of their church's foundation?
    Give them a lot of healing, paralysing and charm - spells, and they would be able to fight pretty good without killing or harming anyone.
    With bonuses to diplomathic abilites this would be a pretty playable class.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    The Apostle of Peace

    A couple of spells here, notably "End to Strife," which deals 20d6 damage (you can make it nonlethal) to anyone who takes a violent action within its area. You could have this effect permanently in place over their holy sites (technically, they aren't causing any damage; it's the deity they serve), or else a similar effect that doesn't deal damage (eg "Anyone who takes a violent action must make a DC 20 Will save or fall unconscious").
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    This sounds like it would be a fun cleric to play, actually. The paladin order to back it up would be really cool too. You could even just use Good-Aligned knights instead of actual paladins to make conspicuously excellent defensive tactics available to the madly buffing and healing clerics among them.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Try giving them rules-bending abilities to pacify aggressors, but only when in the area of effect of some Plot Device, which only affects their churches.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    I have a similar religion in my homebrew world. They can only harm non-living things, so they reserve their ire for undead and constructs. Even then, they really are pacifists so most wouldn't act even in self-defense. Anyway, the way I handled it was making paladins the holy defenders of the religion.
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    Being pacifist does not mean one won't take action to defend oneself. Make them monistic with super high dex/dodge modifiers or bonus to AC. Or have them emit a constant Sanctuary/Calm Emotions aura. The best way to not take damage is not to be hit, they never have to strike back.
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    I have a church like this. When i make them, i thought "How can i make sure that they survieve, i mean pacifist can't do much in the real world." Then i thought "Wait, what about Mr. King, or Gandie (how do you spell that?). Look at the peaceful tenents of chritain and buhhdist relgions. Do some research on what they can do and how they might threaten a sociaty.
    That being said, there are some other options. It might vary on your diety, but in my world their are three pacifist orders
    1. Don't worship any gods but attempt to bring the world to peace none the less. Will only fight with staves and only when being directly attacked. Should they see another being attacked, they can use their own body as a sheild, but no fighting back. They live in a single abby and tend to stay to themselves, but are well regarded by their friends. Much like the mouse from RedWall, but more nice.
    2. This group worships the godess of peace. They never attack living creatures. Because of their devotion, quite a few high level clerics live in their ranks. They clerics are experts of non harming conflict, mostly buffs and the like. They never truly fight. Should an enemy attack a member, the member will simple fall to his/her knees and pray until they are ether killed or left alone. They have a small order of paladins who use mercy weapons, but even then only in defence. This group will attack undead, but not with weapons. They will also attack always evil fiends, as they are unable to be redeemed. But nothing else
    3. The holy light is one of the most powerful forces in the the world, an unblieveably powerful god. It is so powerful that it spanes worlds, and because of this it can be interpited in many different ways. One such cult is the "Way of the Tranquil Light" and order that never fights. They to have many healers and protectors, but no fighter or killers. They do not surrport paladins but are often protected by those who do worship the light. They are very low key and try to make a simple living, healing and helping everyone they see.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    It also occurrs to me that conquerers and tyrants may see a benefit in promoting a religion that advocates pacifism -- at least among their subject populations. They'd get nasty with the religion if they started promoting pacifism among their troops, but would allow and even encourage them to promote pacifism among the conquered.

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    Default Re: Pacifist Survival

    A truely pacifist order could easily exist within a large culture and would wield perhaps the greatest popular support because it's tenants are so attainable. Other religions advocate valor, strength, or other specific qualities but peace and goodness to others can be embraced by everyone.

    I could see any other more martial church freely lending protection to them. Many forget that D&D is polytheistic, so churches usually dont compete or even have rivalries, a god for every aspect of life. Hurting a priest of such an order would be seen as an especially malicious crime, surpassed only by hurting an innocent child or woman.

    Crunch wise, I'd recommend tweaking the Cloisterd Cleric variant. Lore class ability could be replaced with some sort of Diplomacy booster or a stronger Lay on Hands than Paladins get. Domains could be Protection, Good, Healing, maybe a homebrewed Peace domain. I'd got through their spell list removing anything damaging or offensive and giving generous bonuses to certain aspects (saves, durations, effects) of spells fitting their theme. I also like some of the above ideas.

    Our late Ptolus campaign had a pacifist priest that helped alot. She wore platemail and carried a tower shield wielding only a Cure Moderate wand. She effectively gave our only tank DR 2d8+9/-
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