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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Tawmis's Avatar

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    Post Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    So, in most cases - when you play a class that draws their power from a deity (Cleric/Druid/Ranger/Paladin, etc)... Once they pick, there's not much else to it.

    So a Cleric could pick Goddess_01 at the start - and then that's it. There's no flavor that makes Goddess_01 different than Goddess_12.

    So I was thinking for my homebrew world - where, depending on the deity you follow - you get 1 Cantrip that you can cast ONCE a day.

    The Cantrips would (ideally) be based on the Deity's sphere/what they're known for. So for example, a God of Trickery might have "Vicious Mockery" as their Cantrip.

    Again, these would be a CANTRIP that someone would only be able to cast once a day as a "bonus" to the deity they follow and would not act as a normal cantrip (of pretty much unlimited uses).

    Naturally, if they play selects that as a CANTRIP they want (to be able to use normally), it'd override the deity's "blessing" of the Cantrip.

    So using the example of the God of Trickery granting "Vicious Mockery" once per day; if said player who selected that God as their god; but they want Vicious Mockery, they would then get it to use normal (and it would count towards their Cantrips known).

    Thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Why?
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    Bad idea? Why?
    Yes. Either give them the cantrip or don't. Arcana Domain Cleric gets two Wizard cantrips.

    My brother gave my life cleric a custom cantrip from her deity: it improves the quality/flavor of beer. (This can have some interesting RP implication and on a few occasions allowed us to make a small profit)

    He gave vicious mockery as an additional cantrip to a wizard.

    It has not broken our game.
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Yes. Either give them the cantrip or don't. Arcana Domain Cleric gets two Wizard cantrips.
    My brother gave my life cleric a custom cantrip from her deity: it improves the quality/flavor of beer. (This can have some interesting RP implication and on a few occasions allowed us to make a small profit)
    He gave vicious mockery as an additional cantrip to a wizard.
    It has not broken our game.
    A custom cantrip route isn't a bad idea, to explore this.
    Need a character background written up? I'd be happy to write one up for you! Now with over 150 character backgrounds written! How can you help me? Not required, but appreciated, if you're so inclined! <3

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    A custom cantrip route isn't a bad idea, to explore this.
    From my own experience, I think you'll get the most mileage out of that in terms of tailoring it to your PC and the PC's deity.
    Avatar by linklele
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also quite handsome) ... 2D8HP told me so
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Druids cast spells by “Drawing on the divine essence of nature itself” not through any deities they choose to follow.

    Clerics cast spells “As a conduit or divine power”

    Rangers learn to cast like Druids, Paladins learn to cast like Clerics.

    So diety choice would not matter for Druids and Rangers in RAW 5e, anymore than it would for a wizard.

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    If you really want worshiping one deity to be meaningfully different from worshiping another deity, then make the deities and their relationships with their worshipers different. Give them different religions with different teachings, different practices, and different communities of followers.

    If you want them to grant different powers, then establish a one-to-one correspondence of members of your pantheon to Cleric Domains. (The Paladins and Druid classes aren't about devotion to specific gods, and Ranger doesn't even have anything religious to it. Warlocks are closer to Clerics in this regard. "Divine spellcaster" and "arcane spellcaster" are misnomers.)

    Granting the use of a cantrip once per day is pretty much a (harmless) joke, like giving Rouges proficiency with longswords. Well, maybe a bit less irrelevant than that, but not enough to MEAN something, with CAPITAL letters.
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoringInfoGuy View Post
    Druids cast spells by “Drawing on the divine essence of nature itself” not through any deities they choose to follow.

    Clerics cast spells “As a conduit or divine power”

    Rangers learn to cast like Druids, Paladins learn to cast like Clerics.

    So diety choice would not matter for Druids and Rangers in RAW 5e, anymore than it would for a wizard.
    It is a common interpretation that paladins don't need a deity either, because "a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god" (PHB p82) and "[divine] spellcasters' access to the Weave is mediated by divine power---gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin's oath" (PHB p205).

    But I would recommend reading Forces and Philosophies (DMG p13) and Serving a Pantheon, Philosophy, or Force (XGtE p18) before deciding what divine sources are available to these classes. It might also depend on the setting. FR? Gods for everyone. Eberron? No gods, or at least no way to be sure.
    Last edited by Millstone85; 2020-03-05 at 07:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    I'd consider it to be flavor text, nothing more. Considering the Domain is the flavor of the god/deity/greater power/ideal that the character serves, adding a cantrip to the mix doesn't add much mechanically, and is a drop in the bucket as far as the flavor goes. Considering cantrips are meant to be spammed (dealing minimal damage, having a very limited scope of effect, etc.) I'd just give them the cantrip right out if you want to give them anything. The greatest variety I can think of in a cantrip is Prestidigitation, which in and of itself is almost entirely flavor text in application. Being limited to using it once a day seems... Well, lame. It'd be like those obscure racial abilities most people forget about until they're at their wit's end and scanning their character sheet for any hope, at which point one use of a specific cantrip would be very very very unlikely to get them out of that level of pinch.

    If you're issue is that the cleric class (which, I may add, is the only one specifically related to a deity in RAW, even Paladins are only linked to the Oath they take) doesn't have enough deity-specific flavor, add more in-character visual or aesthetic to make the application of the spells or mechanics feel different. Some examples:

    Caduceus Clay from Critical Role: When they're introduced, they cast Cure Wounds and explain that it manifests as a fungus/moss that grows over the wound, then fades away, leaving the wound healed. Very Wildmother-style.
    My Theurgy Wizard, when casting the same spell, draws a deep grey/black smoke out of the wounds, sealing them and absorbing said smoke into their crystal ball.
    Very different aesthetic/flavor, same exact mechanics. If you're looking for more personality in the choices your players make, increase immersion in the game as a whole. What do the characters look like, how do they act, particularly in situations that don't involve rolls or stats? Who are they as individuals? What do they do in their free time? Asking players this, or rather forcing them to enact such things, can help the players in the future create characters that translate into stats rather than stats that they translate into a character.
    "There are truly only 2 sources of conflict: Miscommunication, and Intolerance. Of the two, only one is acceptable."

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    So, for my homebrew world - I do have even Paladins and Druids & Rangers pull their magic from the gods. This has no actual "impact" to the characters, other than in my world, my gods enjoy having tributes offered to them. After all, it is (in this world) the gods that grant them their powers. A Paladin of Life, for example, who comes across a town that'd been attacked by a dragon, and had a Temple to the Goddess of Life, now in shambles, and trying to rebuild - if they did nothing to help (whether it's helping rebuild, by helping with manual labor, or donating money so the Temple can purchases the resources it needs to rebuild), the goddess of Life might frown upon them for their lack of helping something built specifically for her.

    Only Warlocks (who essentially pull from whoever their pact is with), Wizards (who learn to essentially warp and control the magic energy flowing in the world) and Sorcerers (who are born with the innate magic due to their bloodline) do not pull from the gods.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    I think giving people a single cantrip based on your deity doesn't break anything. Cantrips aren't generally game breaking, and there are only a handful of cantrips that are truly game changing. And even then, the game changing ones aren't really connected to a deity. You have Green Flame Blade and Booming Blade, neither of which are very "deity-ish", Chill Touch, which seems like it'd be connected to some God of Death and makes it taboo, and Eldritch Blast, which isn't connected to any true Deity and is more the realm of outsider patrons for Warlocks.

    As for giving everyone an extra cantrip, at worst it'll slightly buff Paladins by giving them a reliable ranged attack option. An option easily gained by a feat or multiclassing.

    I do fully get wanting more than just reflavoring skills and abilities though. I've never been one to reflavor stuff because the effort just isn't worth it. I can say my Cure Wounds is healing moss, healing light, or just a slap to the face and me yelling at you to keep going...it still does 1d8+Spell Casting Mod. No real point in slowing down combat to describe everything you're doing.
    Last edited by sithlordnergal; 2020-03-05 at 07:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    The idea of mortals siphoning magic from deities without ever requiring their approval is... interesting. Technically a twist on convention, but the effect would seem to be to turn the cleric into being even moreso a different type of wizard. Rather like how Dragonlance turned wizards into clerics of the gods of magic, as I recall.

    So are Bards "divine casters" in your setting, Tawmis? Or does your setting not have Bards?

    Anyway, here's a thought. How about giving every deity an associated commandment and blessing granted to followers? The idea being that those who follow the commandment* are granted the blessing. That makes religion matter for everyone. Someone can even obey multiple gods to gain multiple blessings.

    That's a neat little setting element thing that a setting designer can add in any system, by the way.

    *Technically, those who have appropriately atoned since they last violated the commandment.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    A bonus cantrip is no big deal. You don't need to handcuff the PCs who get it. Just create a list of which cantrips go to which god and don't pick Minor Illusion or Guidance as one of them. Pretty much anything else is unlikely to unbalance the game.

    However, I am of the opinion that the game does plenty to differentiate gods by Domain for Clerics. The others don't necessarily need to differentiate by god. Any sort of Ranger might worship Silvanus or Malar or whoever. It's up to the player to decide how much the chosen god matters to their character and how they're going to portray that. They don't need a cantrip to do it.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    So a Cleric could pick Goddess_01 at the start - and then that's it. There's no flavor that makes Goddess_01 different than Goddess_12.
    Well, that seems an issue to me. Why do you have two deities that are the same, flavor-wise? You should probably cut one of them from the setting or merge them into a singular deity, unless one is the aspect of the other, or they're both aspect of another deity, but even then there should be some difference between those two aspects. Ideally, every deity in your setting should be filling a role and be unique enough so that deciding to worship them over another god actually means something to the characters.

    My suggestion is: make the deities actually meaningful. A cleric of Kelemvor will absolutely loathe undead and necromancers, and is expected to do their best in contrasting them. Failure or refusal to do so is likely to incur into the god's disappointment, or at the very least his church's questioning the fitness of the cleric to be in their ranks.
    Similarly, a cleric of Moradin is going to appreciate craft and smithery, but above is going to be a leader and protector of dwarves. Would the Allfather approve of a cleric who used their powers to harm the dwarven race? Of course not!

    I know 5e has done away with the rule that characters deriving powers from a deity must match their alignment at least partially, but consider that a god is still going to be disappointed in followers who fail to live to their ideals. Is a Chaotic Evil paladin of Tyr a character concept that makes sense? In my opinion, no: that paladin isn't going to remain in good standing with Tyr for long, unless they are striving to redeem themselves. If they are unapologetically Chaotic Evil, Tyr would not want such a paladin to claim to be his servant.

    A follower of a god is going to have at least some parts of their ethos informed by the god's dogma and teachings, and this influences them as characters. Don't let players pay lip service to their gods and be done with it: remind them that the divine has a strong presence, and if they draw their powers from the deities they can't expect to hold onto that power without paying the proper respect and following their commandments.
    Last edited by Silly Name; 2020-03-05 at 08:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    I think the way to make dieties matter is more narrative. Keep in mind the gods domains and use them to make relevant signs. Include dream sequences. Keep it subtle.
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by sithlordnergal View Post
    I do fully get wanting more than just reflavoring skills and abilities though. I've never been one to reflavor stuff because the effort just isn't worth it. I can say my Cure Wounds is healing moss, healing light, or just a slap to the face and me yelling at you to keep going...it still does 1d8+Spell Casting Mod. No real point in slowing down combat to describe everything you're doing.
    If you're saying Role-Playing isn't worth doing in a table top Role-Playing game, you may not be playing the right type of game my friend.
    If you've listened to Critical Role Campaign 2, you'll notice how Caleb Widogast (played by Liam O'Brien) often explains what casting his spells looks like mid-combat, and it doesn't slow down combat in the slightest. In return, it allows for a much more visually immersive experience of combat. If you don't care for the roleplay bits, I would suggest video games, particularly the likes of Runescape or Diablo. Combat is repetitive and the roleplay is shallow at best, but it's direct and completely based in number crunching.
    "There are truly only 2 sources of conflict: Miscommunication, and Intolerance. Of the two, only one is acceptable."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    It is a common interpretation that paladins don't need a deity either, because "a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god" (PHB p82) and "[divine] spellcasters' access to the Weave is mediated by divine power---gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin's oath" (PHB p205).

    But I would recommend reading Forces and Philosophies (DMG p13) and Serving a Pantheon, Philosophy, or Force (XGtE p18) before deciding what divine sources are available to these classes. It might also depend on the setting. FR? Gods for everyone. Eberron? No gods, or at least no way to be sure.
    One of the things I liked about 3.x D&D was the conceptual changes to Paladins. Under the religion section, it said something like “A paladin need not follow any specific deity, a belief in righteousness is enough. But a paladin the chooses to follow a deity will be welcome at any church of that deity”. (From memory, Book in Storage).

    It was a strong statement that Paladins did not get their power from a deity. Later in the paladin entry was a statement that being a paladin was a calling higher than race or religion.

    Still, some argued that paladins had to worship a deity, because that was how it worked in 2nd edition.

    Now, in 5th, the language is “as much from A as B.” If you were given $50, and told it was as much from Bob as George, then would you not conclude that both contributed $25?

    A paladin’s chooses his Oath and starts getting abilities from it at 3rd level. But he gains spellcasting at 2nd level. It also says Paladins get their spellcasting through “meditation and prayer”

    Yes, the DMG and Xanathar’s both describe options for DMs to use different sources of divine power than what is presented in the PHB.

    But I think the PHB paladin default seems to be both deity worship and oath taken together.

    I preferred the 3.5 method, and am glad it is listed as an option. But when I read the Rules As Written, the default for Paladins is Deity and Oath together as the source of their power.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    If you're saying Role-Playing isn't worth doing in a table top Role-Playing game, you may not be playing the right type of game my friend.
    If you've listened to Critical Role Campaign 2, you'll notice how Caleb Widogast (played by Liam O'Brien) often explains what casting his spells looks like mid-combat, and it doesn't slow down combat in the slightest. In return, it allows for a much more visually immersive experience of combat. If you don't care for the roleplay bits, I would suggest video games, particularly the likes of Runescape or Diablo. Combat is repetitive and the roleplay is shallow at best, but it's direct and completely based in number crunching.
    I prefer my role play to happen outside of combat. How a spell looks when its cast doesn't really matter to me, all that matters to me are the effects. Only time it does matter is with an illusion, but that's because illusions require the role playing. Other then that though, there's no difference between a Fireball cast with a staff from a Druid, a Fireball cast from a wizard that swiftly coasts some bee in a magical powder and sends it out to explode, or a Fireball cast by a Bard that simply sings loud enough to cause a fiery explosion with their voice. They all have the same effect, and are all exactly the same to me.

    Outside of combat though, I gladly role play the heck out of whatever character I'm playing. The Moon Druid that distrusts major leaders in societies, and distrusts large corporations? He is always going to be hostile and standoffish to those in power...and doesn't hide it. The Rogue/Fighter Goblin that was raised as a Noble in Waterdeep that's desperately trying to gain recognition from his family? He will do whatever he can to make a name for himself as a good being and uphold his family's name and honor.

    Funnily enough...Runescape was my first MMO, I still prefer it since its quests are far more interesting then 90% of other MMos out there. XD Instead of just going and killing X number of things, you have stuff like "Build this bridge so you can go find a map that leads you to half of a shield that will eventually let you fight a Dragon"

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    If you really want worshiping one deity to be meaningfully different from worshiping another deity, then make the deities and their relationships with their worshipers different. Give them different religions with different teachings, different practices, and different communities of followers.
    There are some differences between them; for example, those who follow the Death God (who is simply true neutral in my world) must consume a poisonous berry. Those that survive consuming this lethal berry, are deemed worthy of following the death god (and were not afraid of dying before consuming said berry). However, this processes turns the followers of the Death God skin purple, and makes them very noticeable. They Death God often sends ravens to his followers (as raven are the gatherer of souls), and those who are unworthy of the afterlife, have their eyes removed from their sockets so that they can never find their way to the afterlife in death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    It is a common interpretation that paladins don't need a deity either, because "a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god" (PHB p82) and "[divine] spellcasters' access to the Weave is mediated by divine power---gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin's oath" (PHB p205).
    Aye, however, in my world; Paladins are essentially the "Holy Warriors" of their chosen gods/goddess. And any alignment works. There's even a goddess of sex (and Hedonism) whose Paladins not only visit "establishments of male and female entertainment" - but also protect them (male and female) from being victimized. (One of my players is playing such a Paladin).

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    So are Bards "divine casters" in your setting, Tawmis? Or does your setting not have Bards?
    Anyway, here's a thought. How about giving every deity an associated commandment and blessing granted to followers? The idea being that those who follow the commandment* are granted the blessing. That makes religion matter for everyone. Someone can even obey multiple gods to gain multiple blessings.
    That's a neat little setting element thing that a setting designer can add in any system, by the way.
    *Technically, those who have appropriately atoned since they last violated the commandment.
    So Bards, in my world, are expert singers and story tellers; they know a little bit about everything.
    So when they "cast spells" their either singing stories (say to enhance their comrades; a nice upbeat song that fills them with magic and heals them), or they're telling stories about the dumbest ogre they ever encountered (for example, vicious mockery). So they're similar to Wizards, I would say, if you want to look at the aspect of "magic." But it's essentially story telling/songs that they're performing that create the magical effects (like awaken a person's desire to heal... al la cure wounds).

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post
    Well, that seems an issue to me. Why do you have two deities that are the same, flavor-wise? You should probably cut one of them from the setting or merge them into a singular deity, unless one is the aspect of the other, or they're both aspect of another deity, but even then there should be some difference between those two aspects. Ideally, every deity in your setting should be filling a role and be unique enough so that deciding to worship them over another god actually means something to the characters.

    My suggestion is: make the deities actually meaningful. A cleric of Kelemvor will absolutely loathe undead and necromancers, and is expected to do their best in contrasting them. Failure or refusal to do so is likely to incur into the god's disappointment, or at the very least his church's questioning the fitness of the cleric to be in their ranks.
    Similarly, a cleric of Moradin is going to appreciate craft and smithery, but above is going to be a leader and protector of dwarves. Would the Allfather approve of a cleric who used their powers to harm the dwarven race? Of course not!

    I know 5e has done away with the rule that characters deriving powers from a deity must match their alignment at least partially, but consider that a god is still going to be disappointed in followers who fail to live to their ideals. Is a Chaotic Evil paladin of Tyr a character concept that makes sense? In my opinion, no: that paladin isn't going to remain in good standing with Tyr for long, unless they are striving to redeem themselves. If they are unapologetically Chaotic Evil, Tyr would not want such a paladin to claim to be his servant.

    A follower of a god is going to have at least some parts of their ethos informed by the god's dogma and teachings, and this influences them as characters. Don't let players pay lip service to their gods and be done with it: remind them that the divine has a strong presence, and if they draw their powers from the deities they can't expect to hold onto that power without paying the proper respect and following their commandments.
    Oh, I have an entire "Origin of the Gods" - which says who is at war with who, and everything, among the gods.
    However, all of these players are new to D&D - so getting them to learn what gods fight with who (this early in the game), is a task (even if I used the PHB gods). So I am doing this slowly through the course of their adventuring; they're learning about my world I created (as players, though technically their characters would already know the stuff I am mentioning - but it's working out fine, just slow - because again, they're new; so I do a lot of focusing on them learning different aspects of the game too).

    So for now I was trying to think of something that says, "You picked this deity, here's a cool benefit you get for picking that specific deity."

    Quote Originally Posted by iTreeby View Post
    I think the way to make deities matter is more narrative. Keep in mind the gods domains and use them to make relevant signs. Include dream sequences. Keep it subtle.
    I do this. :)
    Last edited by Tawmis; 2020-03-06 at 03:04 AM.
    Need a character background written up? I'd be happy to write one up for you! Now with over 150 character backgrounds written! How can you help me? Not required, but appreciated, if you're so inclined! <3

    Check out my 5e Module The Secret of Havenfall Manor over at DMsGuild.com! (If you check it out - please rate, comment, and tell others!)

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    There are some differences between them; for example, those who follow the Death God (who is simply true neutral in my world) must consume a poisonous berry. Those that survive consuming this lethal berry, are deemed worthy of following the death god (and were not afraid of dying before consuming said berry). However, this processes turns the followers of the Death God skin purple, and makes them very noticeable. They Death God often sends ravens to his followers (as raven are the gatherer of souls), and those who are unworthy of the afterlife, have their eyes removed from their sockets so that they can never find their way to the afterlife in death.
    So, I know your gods probably have more about them, but I want to comment on this: this is an interesting bit of worldbuilding, but it doesn't actually tell us anything about what followers of the Death God believe in, how they act, what they value and, in broader terms, what roleplaying implications exists for a character who worships this god.

    What are the Death God's teachings? Is there anything he particularly encourages, and is there anything he loathes? What are the taboos of his church? Those are the kind of questions that prompt players to engage with the flavour of the setting, and which you should be asking yourself when designing your setting's deities and religions. Rituals and omens are obviously important, but nobody is going to join a church based on their rituals rather than their beliefs. You obviously don't have to dump all this exposition on your players at once, but giving them a document with the Cliff Notes could be useful: stuff like "The Death God sees undead as an abomination and forbids his followers from creating or using them"; "The Sun Goddess is also the patron of justice and tribunals"; "The Wind God is worshipped both by sailors and thieves, being a chaotic deity refusing authority". Those tidbits of information will help players form their own opinions on the gods, and make deciding which one to worship a more careful choice than just finding the god who has the domain they care about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    Oh, I have an entire "Origin of the Gods" - which says who is at war with who, and everything, among the gods.
    However, all of these players are new to D&D - so getting them to learn what gods fight with who (this early in the game), is a task (even if I used the PHB gods). So I am doing this slowly through the course of their adventuring; they're learning about my world I created (as players, though technically their characters would already know the stuff I am mentioning - but it's working out fine, just slow - because again, they're new; so I do a lot of focusing on them learning different aspects of the game too).

    So for now I was trying to think of something that says, "You picked this deity, here's a cool benefit you get for picking that specific deity."
    I get it, I have dozens of page for my homebrew settings that my players will probably never learn of! I actually like the idea of the bonus cantrip, and I agree that tailoring it to the specific deity is probably the best route.

    Another option would be to add this "cantrip" as a new effect for Thaumaturgy: clerics of the Death God could, for example, summon an ethereal storm of ravens (no effect, they're just flashy) in addition to the typical effects for the cantrip. For Druids, it's an addition to Druidcraft (maybe the god of the Wild could grant them the power to mimic the sound of an animal's roar or the like), and Paladins get to add Thaumaturgy as their singular cantrip. This is lower-powered than your original idea, but can still give players the feeling of different gods granting different powers.

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    I'm a relatively new DM running a group of relatively new players, but so far I've had deity matter more in terms of "if you follow the tenets, or at least don't blatantly go against them, everything works as you suspect. But, go against your god's desires (i.e. a paladin of a goddess focused on peace being needlessly violent in speech or action), and your god withholds some of their power from you for a time (fewer spell slots for the next day, spells fizzle, etc.)."

    Still trying to wrap my head around how I want to have particularly on-brand actions to provide benefits, but I feel like this offers enough reason to stay aligned with your deity, without completely dictating player actions.

    That said, I do like the idea of offering a cantrip or some other (relatively) minor benefit as long as a character's god is happy with them...

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    Default Re: Making the Deities Clerics/Druids/Rangers/Paladins Select MEAN Something.

    Quote Originally Posted by OddlucK View Post
    I'm a relatively new DM running a group of relatively new players, but so far I've had deity matter more in terms of "if you follow the tenets, or at least don't blatantly go against them, everything works as you suspect. But, go against your god's desires (i.e. a paladin of a goddess focused on peace being needlessly violent in speech or action), and your god withholds some of their power from you for a time (fewer spell slots for the next day, spells fizzle, etc.)."

    Still trying to wrap my head around how I want to have particularly on-brand actions to provide benefits, but I feel like this offers enough reason to stay aligned with your deity, without completely dictating player actions.

    That said, I do like the idea of offering a cantrip or some other (relatively) minor benefit as long as a character's god is happy with them...
    It's pretty much how I do it (like I said, a lot of Norse mythology type influence with my Gods, mixed with Greek) - so the gods can be fickle.
    One such instance was - there was a town that'd recently been attacked by a dragon and Kobolds, and when the party arrived (after the fact) the town was in tattered pieces, most of the buildings in shambles and such. On top of that the nearby woods where they got their lumber, was reportedly haunted. The mines where they get their steel was infested with large insects. So they were in dire straits; and the Temple of the Life Goddess was in this decimated town and suffered a ton of damage. The party when they came along went to the Temple, for which one of the Clerics was a follower (and had ample gold on their person) and didn't donate to the Church. So after helping with the forest (not haunted, it'd been a hag) and the cave (can't remember the insect names off the top of my head; but they're not in the MM), the town was attacked again - and suddenly said Cleric was not able to do anything with their magic, because of spending all this time in the town and never helping at the Temple.

    Made for a fun bit of roleplaying (because while it took down his healing ability), he was still good at fighting (I mean, AC 16 and then a Mace weapon) - so it's not like it took him out of the fight. (And said cleric was more of a pew-pew cleric than a healing cleric when he did have his magic). Realizing what had happened, he "redeemed" his goddess' faith by helping at the Temple (which created even more RP moments).

    But this was something I told them going in - that their powers come from the gods - and to always keep an eye out on ways to "appease" them. :)
    Last edited by Tawmis; 2020-03-06 at 11:19 AM.
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