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    Lightbulb Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Just a little something out there for all those higher power/non-deity based clerics.

    Justice
    Those who revere justice as a divine truth place great weight upon orderly transparent judgement given at a fair pace. While they usually abhor violence and are willing to go the extra length necessary to deliver justice under an organized and legitimized system, their ultimate goal is the eradication of evil.
    Lawful Good
    Domains: Community, Destruction, Good, Law
    Holy Symbol: A Set of Scales
    Favored Weapon: Scimitar
    Associated Language: Celestial

    Mercy
    Those who revere mercy as a divine truth are tireless in their work to protect and heal the downtrodden. The ultimate goal of mercy is not fairness, but simply to create a positive peace that can be felt throughout civilization. The merciful are often tasked with giving the last rites to the dead, regardless of their previous sins.
    Neutral Good
    Domains: Good, Healing, Protection, Repose
    Holy Symbol: An Ankh
    Favored Weapon: Whip
    Associated Language: Celestial

    Truth
    Those who revere truth as a divine truth understand that good might not always be the immediate result of their actions. But their hope is that through the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge and power across all people they can bring about a free and honest society that addresses evil before it has room to hide.
    Chaotic Good
    Domains: Chaos, Good, Knowledge, Liberation
    Holy Symbol: An Ostrich Feather
    Favored Weapon: Shortbow
    Associated Language: Celestial

    Stability
    Those who revere stability as a divine truth are a diverse lot, they cling to the technological advances that they came to be comfortable with but shun quick advancement and radical change as dangerous to society. Ultimately those who revere stability are concerned for their people and culture at large, though this actions may sometimes threaten them in ways they don't understand.
    Lawful Neutral
    Domains: Artifice, Community, Law, Protection
    Holy Symbol: A Keystone
    Favored Weapon: Warhammer
    Associated Language: Celestial

    Balance
    Those who revere balance as a divine truth strive to find a harmony among the natural world. They see the arrangements of the elements as four and catalog living beings into groups that they view as a functional part of a great system without the need for enforcers to artificial laws.
    Neutral
    Domains: Animal, Community, Plant, Weather
    Holy Symbol: The World
    Favored Weapon: Scythe
    Associated Language: Aquan, Auran, Sylvan

    Freedom
    Those who revere freedom as a divine truth are willing to throw away anything that might shackle them. Culture, beliefs, civilizations, families and homes are luxuries to these people who see the ability to choose as the ultimate expression of person-hood.
    Chaotic Neutral
    Domains: Chaos, Liberation, Travel, Trickery
    Holy Symbol: A Crossroad
    Favored Weapon: Battleaxe
    Associated Language: None

    Security
    Those who revere security as a divine truth seek luxuries, status and power through all legal means in order to elevate themselves into an unassailable position. They are quite willing to corrupt and change the systems that put them into power as long as it ensures greater comfort for themselves.
    Lawful Evil
    Domains: Evil, Law, Nobility, War
    Holy Symbol: An Opulent Crown
    Favored Weapon: Greatsword
    Associated Language: Infernal

    Power
    Those who revere power as a divine truth seek raw and refined magic, tools and practices that can allow them to exert their will upon their other people, civilizations and cultures. They seek an accumulation of wealth and status only so long as those concepts will manifest in greater ability to subject and control the reality before themselves.
    Neutral Evil
    Domains: Artifice, Evil, Magic, Strength
    Holy Symbol: Hand Holding Fire
    Favored Weapon: Greataxe
    Associated Language: Infernal, Abyssal

    Hate
    Those who revere hate as a divine truth seek the satisfaction that comes with expressions of power. Rather than lust for power for it's own sake they are willing to give anything in order to feel the rush that comes with expressing their will. They care solely for their own freedom and power and have no true peers, incapable of connecting with even the like minded.
    Chaotic Evil
    Domains: Chaos, Death, Destruction, Evil
    Holy Symbol: A Personal Icon
    Favored Weapon: Heavy Flail
    Associated Language: Abyssal, Necril

    Design Goals: To give clerics are concepts and philosophies a simple and flexible package of philosophy, four domains, and favored weapon. This option should be be included in an effort to restrict cleric from picking their own philosophies, favored weapons, etc, but instead as a set of easy examples. Similarly, the philosophies are not meant to be any sort of absolute statement about the concepts they are named after outside of a gaming context.

    Answered Questions

    Q. Why is Mercy's favored weapon the whip? Don't whips inflict a lot of pain?
    A. The whip is nonlethal (the mercy philosophy presented here is about prolonging life rather than preventing suffering), it also has the disarm, reach and trip properties in Pathfinder. This makes it a very thematically appropriate weapon for a character who would rather disable their enemies than kill them.

    This question was not asked, but I wanted to pre-empt it.
    Q. What are associated languages?
    A. Associated languages are bonus language options for followers of that faith or clerics, depending on the DMs preference.
    Last edited by Knitifine; 2017-08-18 at 08:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Whip-a very painful, but not overly effective weapon.

    Mercy-Favored Weapon: Whip.

    I is confused.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    Post Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Whip-a very painful, but not overly effective weapon.

    Mercy-Favored Weapon: Whip.

    I is confused.
    The whip is nonlethal (the mercy philosophy presented here is about prolonging life rather than preventing suffering), it also has the disarm, reach and trip properties in Pathfinder. This makes it a very thematically appropriate weapon for a character who would rather disable their enemies than kill them.

    Thank you for your observation, it'll be added to the list.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    I still feel like something would be more appropriate. I'm not sure exactly what, though.

    I do get your reasoning, though.
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    Lightbulb Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    I still feel like something would be more appropriate. I'm not sure exactly what, though.

    I do get your reasoning, though.
    That's very fair, and I encourage customization for people who seek to use these generic faiths in their home games. I simply aim to present a simple coherent package that can be picked up and used if desired.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    I quite like these generic ideals - although they're really just deities by a different name they're well-reasoned, plus it always rubbed me the wrong way that a cleric could technically just select whatever domains he wanted most and get them under the pretense of a home-made ideal. Much better to a have a pre-made set of them, as you have provided. The extra languages are a nice touch too.

    Re: whips - I think your rationale is perfectly logical (subdual damage, tripping, etc.). If someone has a problem with whips being merciful though, I think unarmed strikes, quarterstaves, and nets are the usual favored weapons of merciful deities.

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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    What about holy symbols for these causes? Would that even make sense?

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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Instead of a whip, I remember 2e having a weapon that was basically a 'grabber-on-a-stick' that was recommended for clerics of nonviolent deities/concepts.

    In 3.5e I would homebrew it with d4 damage dice, granting Improved Grapple as bonus feat, treated as a light weapon for purposes of dealing damage while grappling.

    I'm not sure if this is effective or not, but something along those lines seems thematically appropriate.

    Otherwise, maces and sickles were both seen as implements associated with healers and mercy historically.

    In that vein, furthermore, why not give Justice the longsword instead of the scimitar? The 'knight's weapon' was easily associated with the concept of upholding just laws, something not easily seen in the scimitar.

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    eek Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetiebot View Post
    What about holy symbols for these causes? Would that even make sense?
    Yeah, absolutely. As with anything I encourage customization if the DM desires, but the goal is for these packages to be ready-to-use, so I've added symbols. Thank for for the recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    Instead of a whip, I remember 2e having a weapon that was basically a 'grabber-on-a-stick' that was recommended for clerics of nonviolent deities/concepts.

    In 3.5e I would homebrew it with d4 damage dice, granting Improved Grapple as bonus feat, treated as a light weapon for purposes of dealing damage while grappling.
    Neat, but I wanted to use weapons that are found in the pathfinder SRD.
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    I'm not sure if this is effective or not, but something along those lines seems thematically appropriate.

    Otherwise, maces and sickles were both seen as implements associated with healers and mercy historically.
    I chose to avoid simple weapons because Pathfinder (and some 3.5e classes) grant faith based classes proficiency with their religion's weapon. So I wanted the weapon to be appealing (even if only to a small audience).
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    In that vein, furthermore, why not give Justice the longsword instead of the scimitar? The 'knight's weapon' was easily associated with the concept of upholding just laws, something not easily seen in the scimitar.
    This is a sticky subject... so let me just say this. I don't think there's any argument that can be made where the longsword can be seen as a symbol of justice, and the scimitar not equally so that isn't racist or islamophobic. I choose the scimitar because the longsword is overused and I thought the reliability of its critical damage provided an interesting perspective on 'law as an mechanical damage effect'.

    Also always, thanks to everyone for your feedback.
    Last edited by Knitifine; 2017-08-18 at 08:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    I think unarmed strikes, quarterstaves, and nets are the usual favored weapons of merciful deities.
    IMHO the best choice is Unarmed Strikes.

    Those can deal non-lethal damage without an attack penalty.

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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Just one question: what exactly is meant by a personal symbol? Does that mean all hatred clerics would have their own symbol?

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    smile Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetiebot View Post
    Just one question: what exactly is meant by a personal symbol? Does that mean all hatred clerics would have their own symbol?
    Yeah, this was the most difficult one. Eventually I decided since the Hate religion is so individualistic that it's worshipers do not even consider each other to be peers and colleagues the best holy symbol for them would be something personal. Such as a set of initials, a personal weapon or flag, a house insignia or a stolen symbol from one of the less reviled faiths.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    I don't think there's any argument that can be made where the longsword can be seen as a symbol of justice, and the scimitar not equally so that isn't racist or islamophobic.
    Do note, however, that both curved and straight swords were used by both Europeans and Arabs, Berbers, Turks, etc. during the middle ages. However, insofar as I am aware, the development of the longsword with this symbolism was a distinct thing to Europe, not paralleled by weaponry in the Muslim world--where scholars and judges of the Ulema were seen as the upholders of just law, not the knights of medieval Europe. The idea of justice largely interpreted by warriors, not scholars, was particular to Europe, as far as I know, at least during the Early to High Middle Ages.

    Thus, I don't believe it's particularly Islamophobic to rely on weapon symbolism that did not seem to develop in Dar al-Islam at the time, and I don't think it's particularly fair to project European customs in this respect on Islamic culture of the time, simply adjusting to fit the scimitar stereotype.

    If anyone is more familiar than I am on these concepts of weapon symbolism, though, please point it out to me.

    As for the critical damage aspect, that to me suggests more reliance on fickle luck than consistent ability--something I have a hard time reconciling with the concept of law.

    Unrelated to the favored weapon question, are all domains that would be wanted covered/how could further domains be introduced?
    Last edited by KarlMarx; 2017-08-19 at 10:04 AM.

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    Exclamation Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    Do note, however, that both curved and straight swords were used by both Europeans and Arabs, Berbers, Turks, etc. during the middle ages. However, insofar as I am aware, the development of the longsword with this symbolism was a distinct thing to Europe, not paralleled by weaponry in the Muslim world--where scholars and judges of the Ulema were seen as the upholders of just law, not the knights of medieval Europe. The idea of justice largely interpreted by warriors, not scholars, was particular to Europe, as far as I know, at least during the Early to High Middle Ages.

    Thus, I don't believe it's particularly Islamophobic to rely on weapon symbolism that did not seem to develop in Dar al-Islam at the time, and I don't think it's particularly fair to project European customs in this respect on Islamic culture of the time, simply adjusting to fit the scimitar stereotype.

    If anyone is more familiar than I am on these concepts of weapon symbolism, though, please point it out to me.
    Responding to this part of this post is going to take a while. Given the number of projects I'm working on and upcoming college classes (on monday) in my region, so I'm putting it on hold with this placeholder post.

    The short version is that scimitars have a long history of being adopted as a symbol of rule of law, particularly among faith based governments, and thus seem appropriate for the this purpose. In parallel I've seen the longsword be used a symbol only rarely, and would associate knights more with oppression and class based hierarchies that are based upon wealth (and thus more appropriate as the favored weapon of say, the Security faith) that are faith-adjacent rather than faith-derivative. When I have time I'll revisit this post with a longer and more detailed explanation, so please do not reply to this post before then as it is based on off-the-dome explanations made while eating pancakes and trying to type fast and move the thread along to a subject that is less likely to consume it in a minor matter of weapon selection.
    Last edited by Knitifine; 2017-08-19 at 10:21 AM.
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    Post Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    As for the critical damage aspect, that to me suggests more reliance on fickle luck than consistent ability--something I have a hard time reconciling with the concept of law.

    Unrelated to the favored weapon question, are all domains that would be wanted covered/how could further domains be introduced?
    Critical damage is luck based, but all weapons have critical chances. A high modifier means a great stroke of luck, where as a higher crit range means consistency. Consistency is part of law and thus seems appropriate.

    The way I choose domains was by choosing an alignment. Explaining a the first principal I could think of based on that alignment, and then choosing enough additional domains based on that explanation for equal 4, which I view as the ideal number of start with. Additional domains or different domains should be subject do DM discretion, the goal is simply for everything to be ready-to-use.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlMarx View Post
    Do note, however, that both curved and straight swords were used by both Europeans and Arabs, Berbers, Turks, etc. during the middle ages. However, insofar as I am aware, the development of the longsword with this symbolism was a distinct thing to Europe, not paralleled by weaponry in the Muslim world--where scholars and judges of the Ulema were seen as the upholders of just law, not the knights of medieval Europe. The idea of justice largely interpreted by warriors, not scholars, was particular to Europe, as far as I know, at least during the Early to High Middle Ages.

    Thus, I don't believe it's particularly Islamophobic to rely on weapon symbolism that did not seem to develop in Dar al-Islam at the time, and I don't think it's particularly fair to project European customs in this respect on Islamic culture of the time, simply adjusting to fit the scimitar stereotype.

    If anyone is more familiar than I am on these concepts of weapon symbolism, though, please point it out to me.

    As for the critical damage aspect, that to me suggests more reliance on fickle luck than consistent ability--something I have a hard time reconciling with the concept of law.

    Unrelated to the favored weapon question, are all domains that would be wanted covered/how could further domains be introduced?
    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    Responding to this part of this post is going to take a while. Given the number of projects I'm working on and upcoming college classes (on monday) in my region, so I'm putting it on hold with this placeholder post.

    The short version is that scimitars have a long history of being adopted as a symbol of rule of law, particularly among faith based governments, and thus seem appropriate for the this purpose. In parallel I've seen the longsword be used a symbol only rarely, and would associate knights more with oppression and class based hierarchies that are based upon wealth (and thus more appropriate as the favored weapon of say, the Security faith) that are faith-adjacent rather than faith-derivative. When I have time I'll revisit this post with a longer and more detailed explanation, so please do not reply to this post before then as it is based on off-the-dome explanations made while eating pancakes and trying to type fast and move the thread along to a subject that is less likely to consume it in a minor matter of weapon selection.
    I think this is all academic, paladins commonly wield longswords and are personifications of pure lawful-good justice (and yet are based off off of the Templar who committed monstrous injustices in real life). Scimitars and longswords are equally (un)acceptable images of justice, use whichever you prefer in your own games.

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    sigh Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    I think this is all academic, paladins commonly wield longswords and are personifications of pure lawful-good justice (and yet are based off off of the Templar who committed monstrous injustices in real life). Scimitars and longswords are equally (un)acceptable images of justice, use whichever you prefer in your own games.
    Yes, that is the point I was trying to make. Thank you. I don't think an in depth conversation on this matter is necessary for this thread. Let's all move on.
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    This is cool! I might use it (or a modified version of it) soon in a game.

    I am curious though, what language is Necril?
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    Lightbulb Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    This is cool! I might use it (or a modified version of it) soon in a game.

    I am curious though, what language is Necril?
    Necril is a language from Pathfinder spoken by a society of Ghouls. I would suggest it be used as a language for any intelligent undead society that exists within your campaign setting.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    Necril is a language from Pathfinder spoken by a society of Ghouls. I would suggest it be used as a language for any intelligent undead society that exists within your campaign setting.
    Intelligent undead might just speak whatever they spoke when they were alive.

    Having a special undead language is weird.

    Ghouls in Dresden Files have their own language -- but that's because they're NOT undead, they're very alive (and very icky).

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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Intelligent undead might just speak whatever they spoke when they were alive.

    Having a special undead language is weird.
    You read a little too fast there and missed a key part of that explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    Necril is a language from Pathfinder spoken by a society of Ghouls. I would suggest it be used as a language for any intelligent undead society that exists within your campaign setting.
    Re-emphasized.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    You read a little too fast there and missed a key part of that explanation.

    Re-emphasized.
    You're missing the point.

    I brought up the contrasting case of a fictional framework in which ghouls do have their own language, except that language is justified by the narrative.

    The idea that any undead society would share a common language which the constituent members did not speak while alive is ... well, unjustified would be the kindest way to say it.

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    Question Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    You're missing the point.

    I brought up the contrasting case of a fictional framework in which ghouls do have their own language, except that language is justified by the narrative.

    The idea that any undead society would share a common language which the constituent members did not speak while alive is ... well, unjustified would be the kindest way to say it.
    No, I didn't miss the point, it was just a bad point.

    I think you're misunderstanding perhaps, what a society is. Any society that exists for long enough is likely to develop it's own language. This is even more likely if the society has little friendly outside contact. This is incredibly likely for undead societies because their previous lives can be from various different sources and they're likely to become cut off from living society due to all those unfriendly clerics and paladins going around slaying every undead they come across. Even in the case of a society with a uniform race turning their people undead in some sort of ritual, the political fallout is likely to result in isolation.

    Further, Necril could be treated as a secret society language similar to Druidic. There's countless ways to implement such a language if you want to.
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    Default Re: Generic Cleric Faiths [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Intelligent undead might just speak whatever they spoke when they were alive.

    Having a special undead language is weird.

    Ghouls in Dresden Files have their own language -- but that's because they're NOT undead, they're very alive (and very icky).
    Quote Originally Posted by Knitifine View Post
    No, I didn't miss the point, it was just a bad point.

    I think you're misunderstanding perhaps, what a society is. Any society that exists for long enough is likely to develop it's own language. This is even more likely if the society has little friendly outside contact. This is incredibly likely for undead societies because their previous lives can be from various different sources and they're likely to become cut off from living society due to all those unfriendly clerics and paladins going around slaying every undead they come across. Even in the case of a society with a uniform race turning their people undead in some sort of ritual, the political fallout is likely to result in isolation.

    Further, Necril could be treated as a secret society language similar to Druidic. There's countless ways to implement such a language if you want to.
    Again, you're both right, it just depends on your own gameplay preferences and rationale.

    I personally don't like the feel of there being an "undead language", BUT it seems quite plausible that a society of undead would develop their own language out of spite or contempt due to being ostracised by the living. Plus, I admit it'd also be cool if undead creatures rise again with an inherent knowledge of Abyssal or Infernal or some other supernatural "Black Speech", the language of the underworld that they learned in the brief time they were down there...

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