Question about the "Chained God"

183 posts / 0 new
Last post

Hey guys, I'm kinda new to this forum, and I would love to get some help. I don't know if this is the correct forum to ask this Question, but I thought its the most apropriated one.


I read in the DM'S Guide that the "Chained God" does not make contact with his evil followers, so I was thinking "Well he is chained, and he does not make contact with his followers,
How Does He Grant Them Divine Powers, If he is chained?

In 4E, the gods don't (necessarily) grant their followers powers. Exactly how a cleric comes in possession of his powers is not specified: merely being a true believer could be sufficient, or belonging to a church, or something else you come up with.
Garic's City - A 3.5 D&D PbP (play-by-post) roleplaying game with a decade of tradition. Enter and enjoy the city of Garic and explore the surrounding, unchartered lands. A city in the middle of nowhere is always in need of heroes... Other PbP forums: Castle of Fun - Coalition War Game - COre COlisseum - D20 Modern - Gleemax Roleplaying - Guild House - Magic Puzzles, Fun, & Games! - Map of the Planes - Paranoia Paradise - PbP Haven - Real Adventures - Terisia City
Thank You Very Much! :D
They actually mention that Avenger, Cleric and Paladin receive their power from some kind of ritual in the player handbooks.

However, once the ritual is done, there's no need to keep believing in the god... the power can't be taken away. It seems like it's more about opening a conduit to the Astral Sea, allowing a character to manipulate divine energy then it is about having your power invested in you by a god.

So... technically, once you become a Cleric, you could turn your back on your religion and just go around shooting radiant beam at stuff for the hell of it. Your church will probably want to kick your ass for it, but there's no immediate drawback. Same for Paladin and Avenger.

Being a divine class is more about using Divine energy then about following Divine will.

Follower of the Chained God who have divine power are thus:
1 - Former follower of another god who went through the ritual and defected.
2 - Cultist of the Chained God who learned the ritual for themselves.

Hey guys, I'm kinda new to this forum, and I would love to get some help. I don't know if this is the correct forum to ask this Question, but I thought its the most apropriated one.


I read in the DM'S Guide that the "Chained God" does not make contact with his evil followers, so I was thinking "Well he is chained, and he does not make contact with his followers,
How Does He Grant Them Divine Powers, If he is chained?




Tharizdun, the "Chained God", doesn't communicate with his followers because he's locked in a semi-comatose slumber inside an extra-dimensional prison plane (the "Black Cyst" in 3.x edition, a frozen fairy-like castle of adamantine in the original Gord the Rogue books), at least according to prior editions.  4e's Manual of the Planes seems to suggest that he's locked on the prison plane of Carceri. 

In 3.x edition his followers were trying to find the 333 gems of Tharizdun, along with forgotten temples to funnel enough power to him so that he would awaken from his prison.  They got their powers via contact with long-forgotten temples, sites, or artifacts dedicated to their insane deity.  Eventually said contact would drive them mad, but when you're trying to free a god that wants to destroy the entire universe, one is probably well along that path anyway.

In the original Greyhawk setting of the "Gord the Rogue" books, Tharizdun could only be freed by finding and then combining the Tripartite Artifacts of All Evil.  Once combined, they would release Tharizdun from his prison so that he could wreak havoc and destroy the universe.  The catch was though that only mortals could find and use the artifacts, and once used, they would turn the user irreversibly to the side of evil.  Also, in that setting, Tharizdun was not in a semi-slumberish state although I don't believe he communicated with his followers then either.


Being a divine class is more about using Divine energy then about following Divine will.



This makes no sense.  It says in the PHB:

"As a cleric, your deity does not directly grant you powers. Instead, your ordination or investiture as a cleric grants you the ability to wield divine powers."

So if my powers aren't granted by my worship of a particular deity, why have them (deities) at all?  Why is the power called "Divine" if it's not directly from a deity?  Why is it not called "Astral" instead?  Divine implies a deific power, hence why it's called divine.  Why couldn't one just find a rogue cleric who knows the investiture ritual/ceremony and gain their powers that way?  This is just one more thing that makes no sense when considered in the larger context of the world as a whole. 

Also consider:

"Once per encounter you can invoke divine power, filling yourself with the might of your patron deity."

The part that's underline clearly seems to contradict the above statement about your deity not directly granting you powers; or is it assumed that you use the feat and just suck energy from your deity without them noticing/caring? 

Just another example of how Wizards contradicts itself in it's own rules.
Keep in mind that channel divinity feat do have as a requirement that you must worship a given god... so if you lose the the pre-requisite, you lose the power. But there's no such pre-requisite to having a divine class.

Weither you want it to be that way in your setting is entirely up to you, but that's what it says in phb.



Being a divine class is more about using Divine energy then about following Divine will.


This just rubs me as wrong.  So if I'm a cleric who has dedicated my life to my deity's cause, I can just suddenly one day snub my nose at said deity and continue using their Channel Divinity powers and what-not w/o retribution from him/her?  Divine power should be granted from said deity, else why have Channel Divinity powers and Domains associated with particular deities? 

At least in earlier editions, if the power was tied to a deity, it made sense that if you broke your deities tennets you would be stripped of your powers; usually only temporarily until you could make amends in some fashion.  Now since "Divine" is just a nebulous "power source", you could pretty much play in the exact opposite fashion as your churches dogma suggests and still have access to all your powers according to the RAW.  You may take heat from your church or get kicked out, but there is no penalty for doing so.  Obviously there's nothing stopping one from houseruling any of the older ideas from previous editions back into the game, but as it's written now, it's totally illogical.  Like I said before, why even go through the trouble of naming Channel Divinity feats after certain deities or associating certain ones with certian domains when there's no penalty for not staying true to your deities ideals?



If my options are illogical (which I don't find this illogical at all; you undergo rites of investiture that open a conduit from the Astral Sea, which grant you powers), or the sheer unbridled suckiness of 'DM yoinks your powers 'cause he doesn't like how play your character', I'll take illogic.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.




If my options are illogical (which I don't find this illogical at all; you undergo rites of investiture that open a conduit from the Astral Sea, which grant you powers)



So if they open a conduit to the "Astral Sea", why is it called "Divine" power?  Why isn't it "Astral" power?  Divine power implies it's granted from a deity.  Astral Power would be a better wording.  In case you missed it, here's what the dictionary has to say about the word "Divine" (I've underlined some of the important words....):



1.of or pertaining to a god, esp. the Supreme Being.


2.addressed, appropriated, or devoted to God or a god; religious; sacred: divine worship.


3.proceeding from God or a god: divine laws.


4.godlike; characteristic of or befitting a deity: divine magnanimity.


5.heavenly; celestial: the divine kingdom.


6.Informal. extremely good; unusually lovely: He has the most divine tenor voice.


7.being a god; being God: a divine person.


8.of superhuman or surpassing excellence: Beauty is divine.


9.Obsolete. of or pertaining to divinity or theology.

Hmm...seems pretty clear the common understanding of the word divine has it pertaining to a god or deity. 

or the sheer unbridled suckiness of 'DM yoinks your powers 'cause he doesn't like how play your character', I'll take illogic.



So let's get this straight.  You're a cleric of 'Righteous Good Guy" and you suddenly feel one day like going around and slaughtering a whole village, yet going by your "logic", you somehow shouldn't get punished or chastised for such an abhorent and polar opposite act according to the faith you've supposedly "faithfully" been following...???  According to the rules as written, that's exactly what you can do and suffer not for it; which again makes no sense.

Basically what you're saying is, "Don't make the 9 yr. olds cry".....


If a player, abruptly, for no reason, just wakes up one morning and says 'my character's going to be evil and start shooting random passers-by', you have a player problem, not a game problem.

And you are going to be punished.  You just became a criminal, so there's law enforcement and adventurers gunning for your butt now.  I would imagine most DMs would just take your character sheet and say 'thank you for the new campaign villain'.

And it's called 'divine' because that's how it's percieved in-world.  People think the power comes directly from their god, and their faith shapes the power (in terms of Channel Divinity feats).  The fact that you can be a cleric from simple belief in a philosophy or concept, not ust a god, bears this out.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The illogicality to me doesn't come from the fact that once given, the power can't be taken...

Technically anybody can cast this ritual and thus anybody can be made into a divine class. Over centuries (millenia?) of history, warface, betrayal and alliance of circumstances... you'd think the secret to this ritual would eventually spill out and go outside of the religious cults.

So why isn't there an organisation that isn't religious, doesn't really care about the gods aside from a nod to acknowledge them (I mean obviously, they do exist in the D&D universe) and wield divine power anyway - because over the millenia of histroy, they figured out or were given the ritual? Or hell, maybe they just sent spy in the church of Bahamut and copied it from the grandmaster's spell book.

And if the option is there... why go through the lenghty and most likely difficult 'religious training' that comes along with being accepted as a member of the religious order when you could go see the Merchant Guild, make 3 easy payment of 300 gold and have them cast the ritual on you.

In short, it's more of setting/world consistency issue to me then it is a balance/characer issue. If you don't need to be religious to be a divine class... why are all divine class religious?

If a player, abruptly, for no reason, just wakes up one morning and says 'my character's going to be evil and start shooting random passers-by', you have a player problem, not a game problem.



I guess you've never played in a game where a geas spell was cast on a character, which essentially says "Do what I say or suffer the consequences....".   I guess you've also never played in a game where your character is tempted to do something evil and does it in the belief that doing the evil act will ultimately benefit the greater good....

My example about slaughtering a whole village was extreme, obviously. Previous editions used the idea of losing your powers as plot devices, not punishment.  Not sure where you guys get the idea that everything bad that happened to your character was "punishment"....you must have had some bad DMs.
And it's called 'divine' because that's how it's percieved in-world.  People think the power comes directly from their god, and their faith shapes the power (in terms of Channel Divinity feats).  The fact that you can be a cleric from simple belief in a philosophy or concept, not ust a god, bears this out.




"As a cleric, your deity does not directly grant you powers. Instead, your ordination or investiture as a cleric grants you the ability to wield divine powers."

"Once per encounter you can invoke divine power, filling yourself with the might of your patron deity."

I've underlined the contradictions.  My particular niggle, again, is why are they called "Divine" powers since they are not granted from a divine being.  Why aren't they just called "Astral" powers since they're implied to come from the Astral Sea.  
Technically anybody can cast this ritual and thus anybody can be made into a divine class.


First, since we don't have the details of this ritual, we have no idea if this statement is accurate.  As far as we know, the only people who can invoke the rituals are members of a divine class.

Second, that organization sounds like a perfectly fine organization for your campaign world.  I imagine that nobody is going to be giving out divine ordination willy-nilly.  You give out power to people you trust.  For religious organizations, that means going through religious ordination.  For non-religious groups, they probably have their own initiation period, to make sure that the person will use it to further the group's goals.

In short, it's more of setting/world consistency issue to me then it is a balance/characer issue. If you don't need to be religious to be a divine class... why are all divine class religious?


Who says all divine classes are religious?
Well, it is heavily implied in pretty much anybook that deals with the Divine Class. Divine power talks about champion of their god and deities and mention faith and such quite often. And all divine class are also trained in Religion.

But you're right, it's not out right stated.

Still... it just seem weird that technically someone who knows the ritual could pick up a bunch of street orphans, feed them, build a sense of loyalty and then cast the ritual on them and have his own group of divine powered thugs as bodyguards... and those guys wouldn't even know the first thing about the various gods - to them the guy that picked them up from a life of squalor also somehow gave them super power.

I guess an easy way to 'work around' this issue is that the pre-requisite for the ritual maybe that you need to worship a Deity, so that a group with a purely materialistic bend couldn't just spawns an army of divine powered soldiers with no religious alliegance.
The illogicality to me doesn't come from the fact that once given, the power can't be taken...

Technically anybody can cast this ritual and thus anybody can be made into a divine class. Over centuries (millenia?) of history, warface, betrayal and alliance of circumstances... you'd think the secret to this ritual would eventually spill out and go outside of the religious cults.

So why isn't there an organisation that isn't religious, doesn't really care about the gods aside from a nod to acknowledge them (I mean obviously, they do exist in the D&D universe) and wield divine power anyway - because over the millenia of histroy, they figured out or were given the ritual? Or hell, maybe they just sent spy in the church of Bahamut and copied it from the grandmaster's spell book.

And if the option is there... why go through the lenghty and most likely difficult 'religious training' that comes along with being accepted as a member of the religious order when you could go see the Merchant Guild, make 3 easy payment of 300 gold and have them cast the ritual on you.

In short, it's more of setting/world consistency issue to me then it is a balance/characer issue. If you don't need to be religious to be a divine class... why are all divine class religious?


 

You answered your own question.  They don't have to be!  There's absolutely no reason someone couldn't do that.  It'd certainly make for a fun twist on a cleric PC, and do a lot to shake up old-schooler stereotypes.  I'll have to try this sometime.

The Rites of Investiture are undocumented, so we don't know how expensive they are, how long they take, or what you have to do to perform them; since not every religious character channels divine power (aka 'is a PC'), presumably the restrictions are pretty severe, since PCs are very rare.   If nothing else, it's certainly cheaper to throw a spear to twenty or so peasants and tell them, 'you're in the militia, start practicing stabbing that scarecrow' than go through the ritual 20 times.

And actually, it's not obvious that gods exist in the D&D universe.  They are described in the DMG as being 'distant' and non-interfering.  Meaning, no manifestations, no appearances, no direct actions on the Natural World.  Atheism isn't a big stretch.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't know, the fact that after killing somebody, the paladin of the raven queen invokes her name and his wound are healed by her would be a pretty convincing evidence among other things.

Even if divine power aren't proof that the god exist (technically it should be called the astral sea power source, not divine), Channel Divinity feats and Domain feats are. That doesn't mean you can't build a setting where it's not as clear cut, but in the the core settings... it's pretty obvious. Gods also have exarch and stuff and you can litterally go to their realm and go talk to them (well, at least see them) if you're so inclined.

Not believing in the gods in the core D&D setting because you haven't seen them is akin to not believing in the Eiffel Tower because you've never went to France.
If a player, abruptly, for no reason, just wakes up one morning and says 'my character's going to be evil and start shooting random passers-by', you have a player problem, not a game problem.



I guess you've never played in a game where a geas spell was cast on a character, which essentially says "Do what I say or suffer the consequences....".   I guess you've also never played in a game where your character is tempted to do something evil and does it in the belief that doing the evil act will ultimately benefit the greater good....



Nope.  We never did that geas crap (and if I did, I'd suffer the consequences of the geas rather than do something evil), and I've always managed to find better solutions.

My example about slaughtering a whole village was extreme, obviously. Previous editions used the idea of losing your powers as plot devices, not punishment.  Not sure where you guys get the idea that everything bad that happened to your character was "punishment"....you must have had some bad DMs.



Rendering a character utterly impotent certainly strikes me as being a punishment.  It's another way of saying 'you can't contribute', which is something 4e has strived to avoid by removing things like sneak attack limitations, spell resistance, and hordes of other 'neener-neener' abilities and rules.


Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't know, the fact that after killing somebody, the paladin of the raven queen invokes her name and his wound are healed by her would be a pretty convincing evidence among other things.

Even if divine power aren't proof that the god exist (technically it should be called the astral sea power source, not divine), Channel Divinity feats and Domain feats are. That doesn't mean you can't build a setting where it's not as clear cut, but in the the core settings... it's pretty obvious. Gods also have exarch and stuff and you can litterally go to their realm and go talk to them (well, at least see them) if you're so inclined.

Not believing in the gods in the core D&D setting because you haven't seen them is akin to not believing in the Eiffel Tower because you've never went to France.



The wound wasn't healed by the Raven Queen.  It was healed by the paladin, using his power.  The bard and artificer can come along a few minutes later and do the same thing, after all.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.



And actually, it's not obvious that gods exist in the D&D universe.  They are described in the DMG as being 'distant' and non-interfering.  Meaning, no manifestations, no appearances, no direct actions on the Natural World.  Atheism isn't a big stretch.


So if it's not obvious they exist and that they are "distant" and non-interfering and have no appearances, manifestations, etc. then why are there:

  1. Divine Boons - these are directly given by the gods to their followers..seems pretty intefering to me and a good sign they exist....

  2. Aspects of gods (Bane & Bahamut off the top of my head) - these would clearly be manifestations of their power

  3. Channel Divinity feats tied to the deities themselves - sounds pretty non-distant to me....

The Channel Divinity power I'm refering too requires you to worship the RQ. It doesn't work for people who don't. This stuff is quantifiable.

See also the part where you can just travel to the Golden City and see Pelor or Erathis... because that's where they physicall reside. To use my earlier example, the Eiffel Tower is also very distant to most Americans and most of them will probably never see it in their life time... but people know it exist.



Well
Maybe the deities give the ritual to their followers. Hell maybe the gods even give power directly during a religious ceremony. A "ritual" in the world is not necessarily a ritual in game mechanics.

All it means that once the powers given the gods don't take it back even if the follower leaves their worship. The Church just goes after them with a big stick.
  
If a player, abruptly, for no reason, just wakes up one morning and says 'my character's going to be evil and start shooting random passers-by', you have a player problem, not a game problem.



I guess you've never played in a game where a geas spell was cast on a character, which essentially says "Do what I say or suffer the consequences....".   I guess you've also never played in a game where your character is tempted to do something evil and does it in the belief that doing the evil act will ultimately benefit the greater good....



Nope.  We never did that geas crap (and if I did, I'd suffer the consequences of the geas rather than do something evil), and I've always managed to find better solutions.



That you use such childish language and since you and your players couldn't find a creative way to deal with that spell, that it must therefore be crap, is very telling.  What did your characters do if they were charmed, dominated, etc. or did you just not use those either? 


Rendering a character utterly impotent certainly strikes me as being a punishment.  It's another way of saying 'you can't contribute'



So because the cleric or paladin lost their spells, they're somehow now "impotent"....I guess all that martial training and what-not goes away when they lose their spell-casting ability and thus they can't contribute by using their weapons??  Last time I checked paladins and clerics were very capable of melee combat and were quite good at it as well.
which is something 4e has strived to avoid by removing things like sneak attack limitations, spell resistance, and hordes of other 'neener-neener' abilities and rules.


The only thing 4e has strived to remove was any sense of logic as to how things work in the game world.  The rules don't follow any logic within the game world

Sneak attack limitations made perfect sense.  Plants, undead, and non-humanoid targets such as oozes and the like have no discernable anatomy (or functioning anatomy in the case of undead), thus how would I know where to stab it to do the most damage or why would my attack do extra damage in the undead case since their vitals aren't functioning anyway?

Spell resistance made sense in that some monsters had an ability that countered the mage's spells, so the party had to come up with alternate ways to deal with the situation.  One could ask why certain monsters have vulnerability, as that seems highly unfair to the monster to be saddled with a major handicap as taking extra damage from an attack. 

As for Save or Die spells, I don't really see the problem with that either.  By the time you were likely to face a Save or Die spell, a ressurection or raise dead spell should've been easily affordable/available unless you were in a remote location cut off from a town/city.  In that case, if you didn't prepare before hand whose fault was it?  If your DM just outright killed your character with no foreshadowing or warning and it was case closed/hand in your character sheet, then I will agree it was bad DM'ing.  It's not the fault of the spell however, it's bad DM'ing.

Again, what it boils down to in 4e is, "If I'm not constantly winning or something bad happens to my character, then it's not fun or the DM must be bad".
The PHB is admittedly vauge about the exact nature of divine classes and their connection to their patron diety. In my opinion, this is a good thing - it allows the DM to decide how the gods work (or don't work) in his campaigns. After all directly intervening gods and distant philosophical gods can lead to quite a different feal for a campaign.

I agree with Salla, that taking a way a character's power is generally a bad idea. It could potentially be an interesting plot thread (with a willing player) if it were a temporary situation, but even then I would be wary of limiting the character's ability to contribute to the game. This is especially relevant with divine classes: the tendency of any threads about alignment / divine will to spiral into pages of heated discussion is a good indication that D&D players have many disagreements about what exactly is good or evil and acceptable or unacceptable to a given god! Plus fallen clerics that retain their power has the potential to be a great plot point.
 
That said, I can see how in some campaigns it is important that a gods have a direct hand in granting their clerics (and paladins and avengers) their power. Fortunatly, the PHB is vauge about the exact nature of divine classes. As prickly says, it is perfectly valid to rule that the gods consent is required for the ritual to invest a divine class to actually work. In other words, maybe someone can go through the initation to become a cleric to the Raven Queen, for example, as many times as he or she wants. However, if the Raven Queen doesn't reach out and actually open the conduit to the astral sea the ritual doesn't do squat (or worse it does sometihng very very bad). You might have a scene like the end of "Raiders of the Lost Arc", maybe a bunch of false initiates get ahold of the ritual to become a Paladin of Bahaumet, but when the speak the final words, the god sees the lack of faith in their heart and melts off their faces!
Well Bahamut is said to have a icy breath so he wouldn't MELT their faces :p

fluff is mutable, in Eberron you have Cleric of PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS, a non-entity, that still wield Channel Divinity powers and radiant might.

I'm pretty sure if someone stole an investiture ritual they would have a few dozen Avengers on their butt in no time.

Your problem DaveyB is that you want games rules that act as laws of physics. They don't so stop trying. Accept things as they are and refluff how it works until it makes sense for you. Maybe Divine Power 2 will have as much fluff as Primal Power and give you better answers to your questions.

Frankly its not that hard to imagine the God gives powers and then they just can't take it back and that's how it works. Maybe the power melds with the recepient's Soul and taking the power away would require essentially cutting a Soul to shred, something they can't do?
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
The PHB is admittedly vauge about the exact nature of divine classes and their connection to their patron diety. In my opinion, this is a good thing - it allows the DM to decide how the gods work (or don't work) in his campaigns. After all directly intervening gods and distant philosophical gods can lead to quite a different feal for a campaign.

I agree with Salla, that taking a way a character's power is generally a bad idea. It could potentially be an interesting plot thread (with a willing player) if it were a temporary situation, but even then I would be wary of limiting the character's ability to contribute to the game. This is especially relevant with divine classes: the tendency of any threads about alignment / divine will to spiral into pages of heated discussion is a good indication that D&D players have many disagreements about what exactly is good or evil and acceptable or unacceptable to a given god! Plus fallen clerics that retain their power has the potential to be a great plot point.
 
That said, I can see how in some campaigns it is important that a gods have a direct hand in granting their clerics (and paladins and avengers) their power. Fortunatly, the PHB is vauge about the exact nature of divine classes. As prickly says, it is perfectly valid to rule that the gods consent is required for the ritual to invest a divine class to actually work. In other words, maybe someone can go through the initation to become a cleric to the Raven Queen, for example, as many times as he or she wants. However, if the Raven Queen doesn't reach out and actually open the conduit to the astral sea the ritual doesn't do squat (or worse it does sometihng very very bad). You might have a scene like the end of "Raiders of the Lost Arc", maybe a bunch of false initiates get ahold of the ritual to become a Paladin of Bahaumet, but when the speak the final words, the god sees the lack of faith in their heart and melts off their faces!



I guess I should've made it clear that I don't really have a problem with 4e, per se, I just have a problem with the internal consistency of 4e and how it's rules relate and model the in-game world.  The fact that the PHB says one thing, contradicts itself a paragraph later, and then later we get exarchs, aspects, divine boons, etc. for gods that supposedly don't take a vested interest in the PoL world and are more hands-off'ish just irks me. 
Well the Gods wouldn't be so off-handish if the Primal Spirits weren't there.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
The PHB is admittedly vauge about the exact nature of divine classes and their connection to their patron diety. In my opinion, this is a good thing - it allows the DM to decide how the gods work (or don't work) in his campaigns. After all directly intervening gods and distant philosophical gods can lead to quite a different feal for a campaign.

I agree with Salla, that taking a way a character's power is generally a bad idea. It could potentially be an interesting plot thread (with a willing player) if it were a temporary situation, but even then I would be wary of limiting the character's ability to contribute to the game. This is especially relevant with divine classes: the tendency of any threads about alignment / divine will to spiral into pages of heated discussion is a good indication that D&D players have many disagreements about what exactly is good or evil and acceptable or unacceptable to a given god! Plus fallen clerics that retain their power has the potential to be a great plot point.
 
That said, I can see how in some campaigns it is important that a gods have a direct hand in granting their clerics (and paladins and avengers) their power. Fortunatly, the PHB is vauge about the exact nature of divine classes. As prickly says, it is perfectly valid to rule that the gods consent is required for the ritual to invest a divine class to actually work. In other words, maybe someone can go through the initation to become a cleric to the Raven Queen, for example, as many times as he or she wants. However, if the Raven Queen doesn't reach out and actually open the conduit to the astral sea the ritual doesn't do squat (or worse it does sometihng very very bad). You might have a scene like the end of "Raiders of the Lost Arc", maybe a bunch of false initiates get ahold of the ritual to become a Paladin of Bahaumet, but when the speak the final words, the god sees the lack of faith in their heart and melts off their faces!



I guess I should've made it clear that I don't really have a problem with 4e, per se, I just have a problem with the internal consistency of 4e and how it's rules relate and model the in-game world.  The fact that the PHB says one thing, contradicts itself a paragraph later, and then later we get exarchs, aspects, divine boons, etc. for gods that supposedly don't take a vested interest in the PoL world and are more hands-off'ish just irks me. 



   Boons, exarchs, and the like are standoffish.  The gods cannot set foot on the world and fight for what they want themselves.  They can, however, give their followers and lesser entities the training and tools they need in order to fight on their behalf.

  The only problem arises when they give someone the training and tools, and that individual doesn't use it for its intended purpose.  The gods can't just take it back.  They can't come down and smite the offender either. All they can do is give more knowledge and more tools to others and trust that they'll bring that particular offender to justice.
Boons, exarchs, and the like are standoffish.  The gods cannot set foot on the world and fight for what they want themselves.  They can, however, give their followers and lesser entities the training and tools they need in order to fight on their behalf.

  The only problem arises when they give someone the training and tools, and that individual doesn't use it for its intended purpose.  The gods can't just take it back.  They can't come down and smite the offender either. All they can do is give more knowledge and more tools to others and trust that they'll bring that particular offender to justice.


That all depends on the game.  Can't is too strong a word.  For some (games) they can, and, in fact, do.
Through the ages, many would wonder "Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?" I wonder "Does the art of discourse on the internet imitate the art of discourse in life or does the art of discourse in life imitate the art of discourse on the internet?"
The wound wasn't healed by the Raven Queen.  It was healed by the paladin, using his power.  The bard and artificer can come along a few minutes later and do the same thing, after all.


     Exactly.  The Paladin claiming his healing comes from the Raven Queen is like when the wide receiver says Jesus gave him that touchdown.  It's a great statement of faith but it loses a lot of credibilty when one considers that the quarterback who threw the pass is a buddhist and the last guy to score a touchdown was an atheist.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
The wound wasn't healed by the Raven Queen.  It was healed by the paladin, using his power.  The bard and artificer can come along a few minutes later and do the same thing, after all.


     Exactly.  The Paladin claiming his healing comes from the Raven Queen is like when the wide receiver says Jesus gave him that touchdown.  It's a great statement of faith but it loses a lot of credibilty when one considers that the quarterback who threw the pass is a buddhist and the last guy to score a touchdown was an atheist.



I was intentionally not invoking RL religion, but yeah, that's basically what I'm getting at.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Except it's a bad example.

People who don't follow the RQ cannot use this Channel Divinity.
Except it's a bad example.

People who don't follow the RQ cannot use this Channel Divinity.



I'm pretty sure an Atheist wouldn't credit Jesus with their touchdown either. 
The wound wasn't healed by the Raven Queen.  It was healed by the paladin, using his power.  The bard and artificer can come along a few minutes later and do the same thing, after all.


     Exactly.  The Paladin claiming his healing comes from the Raven Queen is like when the wide receiver says Jesus gave him that touchdown.  It's a great statement of faith but it loses a lot of credibilty when one considers that the quarterback who threw the pass is a buddhist and the last guy to score a touchdown was an atheist.




                       This is D&D and the Raven Queen could have given the paladin that power. With topics like this please don't bring real world scenerios into it.
The wound wasn't healed by the Raven Queen.  It was healed by the paladin, using his power.  The bard and artificer can come along a few minutes later and do the same thing, after all.


     Exactly.  The Paladin claiming his healing comes from the Raven Queen is like when the wide receiver says Jesus gave him that touchdown.  It's a great statement of faith but it loses a lot of credibilty when one considers that the quarterback who threw the pass is a buddhist and the last guy to score a touchdown was an atheist.



I was intentionally not invoking RL religion, but yeah, that's basically what I'm getting at.




                You do know that has absolutely no meaning in this argument.
Still, the only thing specifically tied to a diety is their channel divinity feature, which can mean that only when using CD powers doe  they actually channel their gods power, the rest is the more general divine energy.
I'm pretty sure an Atheist wouldn't credit Jesus with their touchdown either.



Except it doesn't matter because the ability to do a touch down doesn't requires a feat with a pre-req called 'worship Jesus'... but the RQ feats has a pre-requesite that says must worship the Raven Queen.

Come on guys, stop being purposefully obtuse here.
I can see removing a character's powers for a legitimate reason (within reason), I fail to understand why you would do so when said player is forced (Geas, Charm, Dominate, etc.) or duped (persuaded, intimidated, tricked, etc.) in to doing an act which is against their faith.  If they are going to break their faith with a certain act, it must be done with full knowledge of their action and, therefore, the repercussions of that action as reguards his character (if there are any).

Beyond that, I would probably have those repercussions show up more in the game in the form of the character being hunted by avengers or something similar.

People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. --George Orwell

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. --Howard Zinn

He who fights with monsters must take care lest he thereby become a monster. --Friedrich Nietzsche

Devil\'s Brigade

So why isn't there an organisation that isn't religious, doesn't really care about the gods aside from a nod to acknowledge them (I mean obviously, they do exist in the D&D universe) and wield divine power anyway - because over the millenia of histroy, they figured out or were given the ritual? Or hell, maybe they just sent spy in the church of Bahamut and copied it from the grandmaster's spell book.


Sounds like a good idea for a Dragon or Dungeon article, frankly - a sect composed of classes using the Divine power source, but not dedicated to any god.  Heck, they may even be opposed to the gods and seeking to slay them.

And if the option is there... why go through the lenghty and most likely difficult 'religious training' that comes along with being accepted as a member of the religious order when you could go see the Merchant Guild, make 3 easy payment of 300 gold and have them cast the ritual on you.


Well, they don't go into much detail about what the rites of investiture are like, but I'd say you'd have to go through a lot of hoops to prove that you earnestly believe in your church's tenets.  So while in theory you might be able to betray your church, in practice it would hardly ever come up.  You've proven your belief and desire to be in this group and have been determined by many others to be a suitable candidate for investiture.

In short, it's more of setting/world consistency issue to me then it is a balance/characer issue. If you don't need to be religious to be a divine class... why are all divine class religious?


Well, again, I don't really see anything that says they have to be.
I think a class better suited for the Divine powersource without following a god would be something like a Witch class or a Mystic like from 3.5 Dragonlance.
"As a cleric, your deity does not directly grant you powers. Instead, your ordination or investiture as a cleric grants you the ability to wield divine powers."

"Once per encounter you can invoke divine power, filling yourself with the might of your patron deity."

I've underlined the contradictions.  My particular niggle, again, is why are they called "Divine" powers since they are not granted from a divine being.  Why aren't they just called "Astral" powers since they're implied to come from the Astral Sea.  


As far as the apparent "contradiction," when you use Channel Divinity it just means your deity doesn't directly fill you with her might.  I don't see their being a contradiction at all, necessarily.  I don't know how you were able to fill yourself with your deity's might, but however you did it you don't need your deity's help.

As far as calling the powers "Astral," "astral" means "of the stars," and that doesn't seem like a reasonable alternative in my opinion (especially with confusion about the star pact for warlocks).
So because the cleric or paladin lost their spells, they're somehow now "impotent"....I guess all that martial training and what-not goes away when they lose their spell-casting ability and thus they can't contribute by using their weapons??  Last time I checked paladins and clerics were very capable of melee combat and were quite good at it as well.


All paladin and cleric powers  - melee or otherwise - have the "divine" keyword.  So if these classes were to lose access to their divine, they could only do basic attacks and powers that don't have the divine keyword (from multiclassing and the like).