Of Gods and Clerics

Gods really need to step it up a bit in this edition, and actually start acting godly....  and clerics need to learn to bow and I dont know actually whorship thier chosen god.


In DnD,  gods are real... they walk the earth when they please,  they are part of history.   They infuse clerics with thier power, and have said clerics do thier will on the material plane.   

In other words theres no such thing as a non believer.  Everyone believes, and everyone knows.  Now everyone may not openly whorship every single god of thier races pantheon... but this is more of a choice to not whorship,  then actually not believing.   Even so,  all mortals know when to show some respect these beings known as gods.


The player who plays a Cleric should know this,  his powers are granted by his god... his god has an agenda.   If said cleric fails to uphold his gods agenda  (wouldnt have to be all the time, but a cleric should when ever possible uphold his chosen god) he should lose his god granted powers until he makes things right and atones through in game actual roleplaying (not having a spell cast on him).   

Clerics are not wizards,  they havent earned thier power on thier own.   Divine power is a gift with a price... and you should have to pay that price or face consequentences.    This is a gift with a huge  cost tied to it,  one that the cleric is more then willing to pay.   Lets not forget, if you're a cleric of a certain god... then you love that god... he/she is your everything.  Your purpose in life is not to make yourself rich, its to spread the word of your chosen god.   Your not going to mind having to do his/her will on the prime plane,  because you will want to do it.

Granted there are times when other grandeur scale things get in the way of cleric doing his job (saving the world yet again),  so thier needs to be leway and some room to wiggle for those times.   But baring those rare instances,  you will do your gods work... or else.   

A god of war isnt going to grant powers to a cleric whose always bringing peace everywhere he goes.   A god of peace just isnt going to allow a cleric to fight and lay waste any willy nilly way he or she wishes.


Alignment works well to help this,  but gods need more....  clerics need restrictions placed on them based on thier chosen god  (and they need to choose a god, none of this whimpy un aligned whorshiping BS from 3.5).   Its the only thing that makes sense.   Restrictions placed on them by thier gods, that they have no choice but to follow or face big consequences... and lessar restrictions that have some wiggle room with.

Clerics should be required to support thier local churches,  and any churches of thier god or thier gods pantheon that they encounter in thier travels.  Yes this means giving up money, and access magical items (only to thier gods church) to these establishments along with time and energy to further thier gods will.    Again,  players should want to do this... they are playing clerics and anything that furthers thier gods will should be something they wish too do.    Or else why are you playing a cleric.....    

In fact I dont think a cleric should be able to advance past level 10,  without first building a new church or temple to thier chosen god... and spread the word enough to convert lots of followers.   Or doing some other form of a huge god quest to show thier true devotion to thier god.




           


      



   
I've actually thought this myself, that there really needs to be a better connection between gods and mortals in general, but especially with clerics.

So I agree with you. However, I can see instances where alignment gets in the way of storylines AND where it helps.

It hurts when you want to have schisms and heresies. Notice that there were schisms between CE, LE, and NE churches of Vecna.

It helps when you are pushing for that mythological, Good vs. Evil feel that Dragonlance had before 5th Age.

I think this would ideally be addressed in Next's version of Deities and Demigods though, rather than in the PHB. Some people just want a healer after all. Though the PHB should make some mention and present some basic options.
In DnD,  gods are real... they walk the earth when they please,  they are part of history.

Setting specific.  From what I've see of published settings, whenever a deity walks the earth, it's kind of a big deal.  I know of one published setting where the deities are even remotely accessible to mortals, and the one time it happened in Forgotten Realms was particularly noteworthy.  Even if they are all objectively real from the game standpoint, the impact of that on any given individual is not guaranteed to be noticeable.
In other words theres no such thing as a non believer.  Everyone believes, and everyone knows.

Again, setting specific.  In a low magic setting, most people will not have witnessed even a minor miracle, because divine spellcasters are few and far between.  In a high magic setting, where every city has its own wizard's guild, there's no reason to believe that divine magic is anything special - it's certainly not proof of the existence of anything, especially when a lot of supposed miracles can be replicated with scientific arcane magic.
The player who plays a Cleric should know this,  his powers are granted by his god... his god has an agenda.

That's meta-game knowledge.  Basing your in-character actions on how your out-of-character self understands the rules is inappropriate from an RP standpoint.
If said cleric fails to uphold his gods agenda  (wouldnt have to be all the time, but a cleric should when ever possible uphold his chosen god) he should lose his god granted powers until he makes things right and atones through in game actual roleplaying (not having a spell cast on him).

I agree completely, with one caveat: the Atonement spell (at least in 3.X) was given a hefty experience cost to be paid by the caster - the intent is that you would need to go on a quest or something to convince someone that you really are sorry, and thus worthy of the personal cost of the spell.  Few parties, having two clerics, would have been able to cast this spell without NPC (and thus quest) intervention.
Clerics are not wizards,  they havent earned thier power on thier own.   Divine power is a gift with a price... and you should have to pay that price or face consequentences.    This is a gift with a huge  cost tied to it,  one that the cleric is more then willing to pay.   Lets not forget, if you're a cleric of a certain god... then you love that god... he/she is your everything.  Your purpose in life is not to make yourself rich, its to spread the word of your chosen god.   Your not going to mind having to do his/her will on the prime plane,  because you will want to do it.

I can see there being some room for interpretation on this, but I've always seen it that you don't consider the cost to be real because your deity would task you with doing those things which you would want to do anyway.  You're not a cleric of Pelor because you want to shoot lasers at someone, but then you feel obligated to heal people because Pelor likes that - you are allowed to wield some of Pelor's power because you are the type of person who would choose to heal people if given the choice.  Likewise, a cleric of Loki wants to cause mischief, and Loki wants mischief to happen, so that's why Loki allows this person to become his cleric.
But baring those rare instances,  you will do your gods work... or else.

Again, it shouldn't feel like an obligation.  Last I heard, Loki was one of those deities who would show up and ask favors unexpectedly, but that's the exception rather than the rule.  A nature deity doesn't task you with saving a forest from industrial encroachment - you want to protect the forest because you're the kind of person to be chosen by a nature deity.  If you fail, you're going to feel plenty bad on your own account, without your deity having to come down and punish you for it.
Clerics should be required to support thier local churches,  and any churches of thier god or thier gods pantheon that they encounter in thier travels.  Yes this means giving up money, and access magical items (only to thier gods church) to these establishments along with time and energy to further thier gods will.    Again,  players should want to do this... they are playing clerics and anything that furthers thier gods will should be something they wish too do.

Yes, but with another caveat.  Money is worthless in anything but a super-high-magic setting, so by all means hand that over (because what else can you do with it?), but magic items could go either way.  It's not much of a stretch, especially past third level, to assume that a PC cleric is one of the greatest servants of a deity in the whole setting.  If that holy avenger is going to be used to further the cause of your deity, then it's going to do the most good in your own hand!  Maybe hand down your old gear to a church to display as a relic (assuming you didn't just buy it in a store), because a great story about a champion of the faith is going to inspire a lot of people.
In fact I dont think a cleric should be able to advance past level 10,  without first building a new church or temple to thier chosen god... and spread the word enough to convert lots of followers.   Or doing some other form of a huge god quest to show thier true devotion to thier god.

Again, setting specific.  Not all deities go out to convert people.  Some are more focused on doing their own thing, and don't actively need worshippers.  It can also be kind of a drag on the campaign, if the cleric needs to go off and do her own thing - especially if the world is going to be destroyed, or something, I would think that just being there and shouting the deity's name while you save the world is doing enough.  Most deities are in favor of the world continuing to exist.

The metagame is not the game.

Gods really need to step it up a bit in this edition, and actually start acting godly....  and clerics need to learn to bow and I dont know actually whorship thier chosen god.

Disgusting.


Please remove your campaign setting from my gaming table.  

I think this is setting specific. But a Manual of Planes could do worse than presenting a variety of tools for different levels of divine intercession.
Yeah, that sounds setting-specific.  As I understand it, for instance, being a non-believer in FR is a really, really bad idea - something about a Wall somewhere?

Whereas in Eberron, the existence of gods is frankly hearsay - and while you have people worshipping them just in case, you have people putting their faith in dead ancestors, pillars of flame, the spirit of humanity, or improvement of the self.  And that's just off the top of my head.

So I see your commandments, and say 'works in your campaign, can work in others, will not work in all'.  As such, not a core mechanic to be codified.

...besides, I prefer Discworld-style gods.  Only as powerful as the belief in them.  With hilarious consequences...
I've actually thought this myself, that there really needs to be a better connection between gods and mortals in general, but especially with clerics.

So I agree with you. However, I can see instances where alignment gets in the way of storylines AND where it helps.

It hurts when you want to have schisms and heresies. Notice that there were schisms between CE, LE, and NE churches of Vecna.

It helps when you are pushing for that mythological, Good vs. Evil feel that Dragonlance had before 5th Age.

I think this would ideally be addressed in Next's version of Deities and Demigods though, rather than in the PHB. Some people just want a healer after all. Though the PHB should make some mention and present some basic options.





I know some may find my views a little extreme... but there defently needs to be something in core that really puts gods and mortals in thier proper places.     Gods and pantheons of gods has always been a big part of DnD-verse (with only a few campaign settings going a different route).   The foundation for DnD-verse's Gods has to be in core PHB,  to be considered core and hence less argueable from a players standpoint.    And lets face,  the PHB is the only book that all players are basically guaranteed to have.

I only mentioned alignment in my first post, cause it was basically the only thing they put in 3.5 core to handle having a character at least share the same ideals as the diety who grants them the gift of divine magic.   Although Im not so sure I see how it hurts the Vecna church in regards to its schisms as you mentioned... it doesnt prevent them as I see it.   If anything it sets  the very very basic foundation for the said schisms,  which then can be detailed more accuretely through other flavor means.

The difference between divine magic and arcane magic is its source... and unlike arcane magic,   divine magic comes from a living breathing diety that has his/her own agenda.  

The standard campaign has always had Gods, and hence pantheons of said gods.  The core rule books need to have section to address this,  at the very least the DMG should have an entire chapter dedicated to gods and thier clerics.   Acceptable writes, tenants, ways of whorship, and restrictions they place on thier clerics... and the consequences for breaking those tenants, along with ways of atonement.

The 3.5 edition cleric had no such restrictions... no such rules.  They quickly became far far to over powered,  never having to even pick a god let alone answer for thier actions that went completely against tenants of thier chosen diety...  

Yeah, that sounds setting-specific.  As I understand it, for instance, being a non-believer in FR is a really, really bad idea - something about a Wall somewhere?

Whereas in Eberron, the existence of gods is frankly hearsay - and while you have people worshipping them just in case, you have people putting their faith in dead ancestors, pillars of flame, the spirit of humanity, or improvement of the self.  And that's just off the top of my head.

So I see your commandments, and say 'works in your campaign, can work in others, will not work in all'.  As such, not a core mechanic to be codified.

...besides, I prefer Discworld-style gods.  Only as powerful as the belief in them.  With hilarious consequences...




See I dont see it as setting specific,  I see it as DnD-verse...  with eberron being an exception to the rule.   They changed the rules in thier campaign setting book, which added to the flavor of that setting.  Its an excellent campaign setting.    But looking over past campaign settings,  its not the standard of DnD-verse.

I just dont think gods should be reduced to a bunch of cool powers that clerics get, and dont have to RP at all for them.     It doesnt make sense or feel right.

A cleric is a cleric because he has powers given to him through whorship of a god,  he knows this cause he whorships a god and gets powers that follow the tenants of his faith.   He has a holy scripture or holy book that portrays his god,  and his gods tenants and rituals.  It also gives the cleric a basis to form a faith based on his/her gods agenda on the mortal plane.   Its not meta-gaming,  its RPing.  Players need to be given the information they need to RP thier clerics, what is expected of thier clerics... what thier god wants on a basic level  (the DM can refine this to a campaign setting).

For instance a Cleric who whorships a civilization, good, and healing oriented god...  yet does none of that ever,  well that doesnt make any sense what so ever.

Defently campaign specific books should tailor gods to fit the themes and flavor of those realms.  But this is not a campaign specific idea,  there needs to be a structured foundation in the core books too build apon though.  

Clerics who dont whorship thier god,  makes no sense.....
Clerics who dont follow the even the basic ideals of thier chosen diety,  makes no sense....
See I dont see it as setting specific,  I see it as DnD-verse. ... whorship of a god

Disgusting.

If thats how the game was, I wouldnt play it.


I think your Freudian slip sounds true. “****-ship of a god”. Heh, have some self-respect.   

I like spirituality. Obsequiousness or bullying disgusts me. Yuck.



Besides, spirituality is as diverse as humans are. Eberron gets it right.
Gods really need to step it up a bit in this edition, and actually start acting godly....  and clerics need to learn to bow and I dont know actually whorship thier chosen god.


In DnD,  gods are real



Dependent on campaign setting.  In Eberron, their existence is questionable.  On Athas, they outright do not exist.  To say nothing of homebrew options.

Try again.
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The 3.5 edition cleric had no such restrictions... no such rules.  They quickly became far far to over powered,  never having to even pick a god let alone answer for thier actions that went completely against tenants of thier chosen diety...  




A cleric of a philosophy or ideal would still need to stick to that philosophy or ideal.

That also had NOTHING to do with how broken the cleric was, as they could completely foul up the game while being in perfect concordance with their DM's subjective views ... I mean, their god.

Simply put, your idea seems like a complete and utterly railroading, and strikes me as horrible game design on any front.
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Clerics and Paladin vs Healers

A cleric or paladin can only cast spells that his or her god/dess grants, if the god/dess is feeling generous.

A healer is a caster who learns spells from the "school" of healing or necromancy and nothing else.

Additionally a cleric or paladin should only use the arms and armor (if any) that his or her god/dess uses. Healers are just like a wizard and have to suck up no armor and simple weapons. 
Clerics and Paladin vs Healers

A cleric or paladin can only cast spells that his or her god/dess grants, if the god/dess is feeling generous.

A healer is a caster who learns spells from the "school" of healing or necromancy and nothing else.

Additionally a cleric or paladin should only use the arms and armor (if any) that his or her god/dess uses. Healers are just like a wizard and have to suck up no armor and simple weapons. 



That's ... pretty ridiculous.
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Gods really need to step it up a bit in this edition, and actually start acting godly....  and clerics need to learn to bow and I dont know actually whorship thier chosen god.


In DnD,  gods are real



Dependent on campaign setting.  In Eberron, their existence is questionable.  On Athas, they outright do not exist.  To say nothing of homebrew options.

Try again.




Eberron isnt core DnD... so who cares.

Athas doesnt even have traditional clerics at all...   so who cares.

Homebrew is homebrew,  hence it can do what ever it likes how ever it likes.....

Forgotten Realms is the most supported realm in DnD-verse,  hence its closest to be core DnD....  with Greyhawk being another realm I would consider Core.   

This is about Core.... and a solid foundation for clerics acting like they actually acknowledge thier god and worship said god.
Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk aren't core either, so who cares?

Stop being a hypocrite.

What you seem to be about is limiting options, limiting player freedom, and empowering the control freak DM.  "I don't like what you're doing, so no spells for you" is perhaps the lamest idea any game book has ever put forth.

No thank you.
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Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk aren't core either, so who cares?

Stop being a hypocrite.

What you seem to be about is limiting options, limiting player freedom, and empowering the control freak DM.  "I don't like what you're doing, so no spells for you" is perhaps the lamest idea any game book has ever put forth.

No thank you.




Actually what I said was.....   "closest to being core",   theres a difference there.... 

I think you should also "stop being hypocrite...."

Giving players free roaming to do anything they want, when ever they wish....  doesnt add anything more to a roleplaying experience,  then having restrictions placed on said character class and having to roleplay the various circumstances that arise from said restrictions. 

Having more information on how the inner workings of a players chosen class works, exspecially in regards to the core foundation of said class,  doesnt seem like limiting player freedom to me.    In this situation the whole foundation of the class is that clerics are worshippers of a god.    Thats in the description.

Shouldnt there be some guidelines, suggestions, and restrictions to help and show a player the many ways he can go about roleplaying his chosen class.  

Having a character class that has restrictions in no ways leads to empowering a "freak" DM, nor do the limit roleplaying freedom.   What they do do is add complexity and challenging non combat situations for said player to excell at.   

Having consequences for your actions,  again doesnt create "freak" DM situation.   What it does do is ...  make playres responsible for thier actions.....


"Do what your DM says or your character gets neutered" doesn't really fit my definition of an interesting consequence of one's actions.  Furthermore, what makes you think there wouldn't be consequences?  They just wouldn't be a complete screwjob like 'you lose ur powerz, ha ha'.  Assuming you're in an organization (not a requirement), and they caught wind of what you did, you'd certainly be called on the carpet for it.  To say nothing of what secular authorities may have thought of what you did, assuming it was criminal.

This is the sort of thing that should be determined by individual playstyles and game tables.  If one group wants to do it that way, fine.  If another doesn't fine.  but it should definitely NOT be hard-coded into the game.

Guidelines and suggestions are fine.  Restrictions are not.  Furthermore, you don't roleplay a class.  You roleplay a character.
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Various options should be presented. But they should all be options and not [an integral] part of the core class.

Some people want gods that are eternal, unkillabe unless they are fighting other gods. Others want them to have power but depend on worshippers for life. Others want them to have stats and be not just killable but killable by players.

And still others want them to be possibly fictional, non-interventionist gods.

So how a cleric interacts with these various ideas of gods depends on the campaign. Personally, I'd love to see gods being more hands-on with clerics in the Great Wheel, but I'm also an Eberron and Dark Sun fan.
Salla is spot on. If your group is down for a game in which not toeing your God's line (as interpreted by your DM, of course) results in being effectively cut-off from your power, have at it. In all honesty, I think my group might have fun as a group of clerics trying desperately to cling to their power as they try to satisfy the whims of their deity.

But I don't want D&D telling me that that's the way it should be. I've created my own campaign setting wherein the deities are distant and dispassionate, and I like it. The mortal races fight and trick and kill to curry favor, and the gods just could not care less (they're more like primal forces of nature). It's NECESSARY to my setting for them to be uninvolved, else they would just tell the warring factions within each church who was right, and all the tension disappears.

So if you, Divergence, enjoy that kind of campaign, then please! Play it! I hope your players and you have a spectacular time! But I don't want to play that kind of game, and for D&D to tell me "hey this is how it should be" completely invalidates the work I've put into my setting.
My D&D Next Philosophy: In this age of user created content, Wizards needs to take a step toward embracing that. Modularity is certainly a start, but the best possible way for Wizards to encourage homebrew is to strip the mechanics of flavor, and to ensure that they are as balanced as possible. Players today should be able to start with a concept and build that character. They should not have to force it into narrowly-defined classes that restrict the ability to play the character you want.
It's probably been said already, but whatever...  I want ambiguity with my clerics!  Have the core include clerical domains.  For all I care, I worship some abstract concept that isn't a god, but rather... I dunno, my pet squirrel!  (Hey, it worked for Bob Ross!)  Leave the deities stuff for a Deities and Demigods and Campaign specific type deal.  Perhaps make it easy for folks to simply pop god fluff over specific domains and whatnot so that way you're not just Sun Cleric, you worship Lathander, Pelor, the sun itself, etc...  This way, it's totally cool to run a campaign completely agnostic to deities.  Perhaps just leave them on a side bar in domain spells as options if you want to tack on gods with ease.

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The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.
The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.



Why not keep them as a side-panel reference in domains saying, "These gods are appropriate for this domain if you wish to use them" instead?  That way they won't butt heads with your games and they're clearly made as an optional module.

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
Why not keep them as a side-panel reference in domains saying, "These gods are appropriate for this domain if you wish to use them" instead?  That way they won't butt heads with your games and they're clearly made as an optional module.

Acceptable.  Suggested gods are way better than default gods.
An option for "no gods" would be nice as well.
I'd like to propose my counterpoint to the whole topics OP: Eberron.

There.



I already did that.  He blew me off.
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Why not keep them as a side-panel reference in domains saying, "These gods are appropriate for this domain if you wish to use them" instead?  That way they won't butt heads with your games and they're clearly made as an optional module.

Acceptable.  Suggested gods are way better than default gods.
An option for "no gods" would be nice as well.



And that's what I am saying.  The Gods are merely a module and at its core it can be used just as easily as no gods.  Now, let's say you want a divinity heavy influence game.  By all means, there should be module support for that too.  (or at least, fluff to support that notion.  The Realms would be a good place to start)  On the flipside, you can go the Eberron route and say, "Gods?"  Maybe, maybe not!  Perhaps even original Dark Sun and flat out deny that there are gods in your world.  On that note, I challenge those who are so clingy to D&D deities to run a campaign with no gods at all.  (No, I'm not trying to make a statement against religion.  I'm just offering a game challenge)


An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
And that's what I am saying.  The Gods are merely a module and at its core it can be used just as easily as no gods.

Yeah, I think we got trolled by post #1.

Gods as an arbitrary DM power to kick cleric PCs into line = not cool.

Churches as NPC organisations who can respond to a cleric's behavior = much cooler, and effective even in Eberron. They turn PC transgressions into roleplaying opportunities rather than an arbitrary slapdown from some big hand in the sky.
This stuff sounds like it belongs as a core module. Something optional that is in the game from the start. D&D may very well have its roots in strong use of gods, but there are so many tables where gods aren't significant or even in the setting. It's such a commonplace arrangement that it should be included in the core. And it should be the default only because it's easier to start without something and to add it in than to start with it and take it out. Well, I mean -- I'm not opposed to the reverse if it turns out that all that stuff lifts out lickity split, but in hypotheticals it's easier for it to be a module.
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The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.

+1

The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.

+1

Agree.

There can be unbelievers in settings with D&D gods. People who don't consider that these beings are just another power hungry extraplanar race using mortals as puppets, and that gods must be something more constructive.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.

+1

Agree.

There can be unbelievers in settings with D&D gods. People who don't consider that these beings are just another power hungry extraplanar race using mortals as puppets, and that gods must be something more constructive.


Gooday

To me, Pantheon of gods is core to D&D. There are plenty of examples in Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms history where they interfere with mortal realms.

- Modules/Options for alternatives should be provided, even if only say half a page of notes. For example People on one world could worship the four elements, or a set beliefs like Taoism.

- Likewise Modules/options for worlds without gods and clerics can be provided, healing kits are made by herbalists, perhaps Psionics fills the Clerical Void?

Regarding Piety, 2nd edition PHB states 'The cleric recieves his spells as insight directly from his deity as a sign of reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment.

-While it's no fun to be constantly railroaded in what you must and must not do, there should be guidelines for what your character can, should and won't do, since the goals of the god are the characters goals, that's why the character found that faith appealing.

Penance for straying from the path can vary from loss of power to undertaking a risky quest, varying by the level of roleplaying/religious detail each Group partake in. I lean towards the risky quest, as all events should lead to opportunities to adventure, taking the option keeping the game going and developing character depth insteady of just a big penalty.

Regarding the gods themselves, I do not think their stats and abilities are required, I like the idea that gods are very powerful, they forged the universe. Gods know everything all of their followers know. Example-A fox sneaks up and kills a rabbit. The Gods of stealth, death and nature are all aware of this fact. They are gods, and have be aware of hundreds of things at once, that's what makes them gods not just some powerful guy.

What would be good is notes on varying gods involvement, ranging from indifferent to capricious to competitive to obsessive. Also characters may not be directly involved in gods politics/goals, but they may be affected by the goals, events and movements of their other minions (such as dragons, giants, medusa). Religions like power groups should not exist in vaccuum and only interact when the players open that dungeon door.

Holy/Unholy ground should mean something, such as disadvantage for all saves when raiding the evil temple, accept the cleric who is shielded by his holy symbol.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

I can's stand it when I am forced to pick a 'god'. It doesn't mesh with my real world lifestyle. When I play I gloss over the gods and just allow the players to get their powers from 'the gods'. Its why I don't play in Forgotten Realms. Freakin' no resurrection if you don't believe in a god crap...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I can's stand it when I am forced to pick a 'god'. It doesn't mesh with my real world lifestyle. When I play I gloss over the gods and just allow the players to get their powers from 'the gods'. Its why I don't play in Forgotten Realms. Freakin' no resurrection if you don't believe in a god crap...



A few things come to mind -

Your character is not you. You can be an aetheist and play a cleric, it's just a game after all.

If you are not comfortable going into detail with religion, can just make it that the high priest gives you missions and you donate 10% cash.

However while resurrection does not require your piety, it should atleast require a favour/quest for the church/deity, because bring brought back to life is a big deal. If it is not there is no challenge because the threat of death has no teeth and you might aswell play a computer game with save games/respawn.

- Regarding Clerics building churches and converting the masses.

Some clerics are show by deed and quest that their view is right and powerful, others do it by teaching and preeching, others merely keep an eye on everything that happens and lets others know what is going on.

Military view - some go on patrols, some recruit others, some plan and inform the others.
Corporate view - some sell the product, some test the product, some keep an eye on the market and other products.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

The funny solution is to render faithless characters immune to any god influence and ignore any divine effect.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

The "gods" need to disappear, and only show up when the setting wants them.

+1

Agree.

There can be unbelievers in settings with D&D gods. People who don't consider that these beings are just another power hungry extraplanar race using mortals as puppets, and that gods must be something more constructive.




Yep, pretty much how I see it. I would like to be able to play (and have played, several times) a (neutral) good character who also doesn't revere the gods.

Others should be able to play a good character who does.

And, of course, there should be the option for campaigns with no gods, or only evil ones-- without massive houseruling, IMO.
@OP
So your vision of D&D  ... utterly excludes Eberron my personal game world or any others with a different Divine/Mortal paradigm. Congrats that is exactly how the game needs designed. NOT
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I'm going to agree with all those who said this is campaign specific, but there does need to be a default.  Ususally for things like this the default should be a middle ground. 

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I agree 100% there should be a default module for clerics...it's called Domains. Beyond that, everything is up to the gaming group. If the DM and players want to use a preconstructed pantheon of gods, then I could see the classic lists being included in a sidebar. There is zero reason to EVER again attach RP requirements to any class.

That goes for alignments, especially. Let the gaming group handle the situation if the cleric of healing feels the best course of action is to burn down the plague-ridden family in their own house...because he was out of remove disease spells and was concerned it would spread to throughout the city. Morality and ethics are far too personal and diverse to mechanize and expect the end result to work well.

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I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
Yeah, provide some optional verbiage to key cleric powers to some ethical standard that could be due to a philosophy, a god, or internal belief in one's Self.

Maybe a side note on ways a church and/or god can reward/punish a character, as well as provide omens and influence reality.

Everything else can go into Deities and Demigods.

Also, the Athar faction in Planescape had some immunity from divine powers due to believing the gods of the Wheel were fakes. Strangely Awesomely enough, the faction was either atheists ("all gods are fake") or theists ("there is a Greater Unknown that represents real gods")
Really depends on the world and how the players play the game. Id say its 50/50 between rping and just playing. You are going to have players that are like "Yeah cleric spells are awsome and have heal spells! What god do I follow? I dont know and dont care I gots spells!" And punishing them just cause thats how they play (though poor in my eyes) is wrong. So do the opposite, encourage and reward those that do play faithful to their god/goddess and in times of trouble said deity might even send them on quest for a strong magic item, or save their butts in a dire situation. In my homebrew world with own set of gods I run a "tithe" system where you get so much tithe by acting as your god sees fit, donating to temples, doing quest in your gods name, etc etc, with divine types (clerics/paladins/etc) getting alittle more points then non divine. I even have an aethist rule for those that totally refuse to acknowledge the gods at all, which is silly cause as you said, they walk the land, grant magic, so hard to say they dont exist. (You get a bonus vs divine magic spells, but cant be magically cured, buffed, or resurrected by divine magic).
I'm going to agree with all those who said this is campaign specific, but there does need to be a default.  Ususally for things like this the default should be a middle ground. 



  I think the default that we have seen in most D&D games is that while the gods are rea and can interact regularly with their followers, but they very rarely appear anywhere except their personal home.  They rely on earthbound mortals to enact their plans across the cosmos, even for such issues as important as saving the world or sealing away ancient evils.  In 4e,should one oof those servants go rogue, rather than yank their powers, the god continues to rely on its other -still faithful- servants to bring the rogue character uner heel, rather than intervene directly.

     That seems like a nice balance.  Both Forgotten Realms and Eberrons become variations of that.  Forgotten Realms suggests that the god will ocassionally step in themselves to handle an issue and take a more direct intervention in the affairs of mortals, while Eberron suggsts that the god might not even be out there in his domain and makes it a matter of belief.  And of course Dark Sun explicitlly absent gods.

    
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