Cleric and Deity Alignment

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.  Please feel free to jump in from this point, or to continue your discussions from the druid alignment requirements thread here as well.

Sure, so long as dieties are fully under the realm of DM Prerogative, up to and including granting permission for a player to just make up a diety or creed (or lack thereof) right there on the spot.

Alignment requirements for classes serve literally no purpose other than to tell people "no, you can't play that".

Clerics - a class and concept based around worship of a diety - should work towards the goals of their diety via roleplaying. If that involves alignment in some games, great. If that doesn't involve alignment in other games, great. That's a decision that should probably be recommended but not required by the book.

 

But hey, let's just remake 2e. That'll fix things for everybody.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

blacksheepcannibal wrote:

But hey, let's just remake 2e. That'll fix things for everybody.

Of course, it's important to remember that 2E is when tinkering with the system starded gaining significant momentum, well before the 'Option' series.

Qmark wrote:

 

blacksheepcannibal wrote:

But hey, let's just remake 2e. That'll fix things for everybody.

 

Of course, it's important to remember that 2E is when tinkering with the system starded gaining significant momentum, well before the 'Option' series.

Really?  There seemed to be a whole lot of tinkering going on in the 80s.  If anything, it seemed to me like I saw more and more extensive variants for 1e than 2e (if only because 2e was a little cleaner).

 

 

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SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.  Please feel free to jump in from this point, or to continue your discussions from the druid alignment requirements thread here as well.

 

A faith should be designed in such way that a cleric who does have the same alignment as the god would have the easest time following the ideals of the deity.

If your alignment matches the alignment of the deity you won't run into many rp chalanges.

But sombody trying to play a good aligned character that worships a evil god but wants to maintain his good alignment would run into many challenges.

 

So no a cleric should not have to match his deities alignment.

But It should always be that if your alignment matches the alignment of the deity you will have the easyest time playing a folower of that deity.

 

I remember that in 3E that clerics had to be in 1 step of the deity's alignment. This gave some wiggle room to give variance of personalities and sects within a church.

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.  

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

 

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Any kind of Cleric might maintain a specific alignment, depending on the Setting. There can be some sacred philosophical traditions that are Neutral Good, others that are Lawful Evil, animistic traditions that Chaotic Neutral, others that are Lawful Good, and so on. Alignment itself can be a sacred philosophy, or even a cosmic principle. The Domain can be an alignment. Alignment can be as important or as nonimportant as the player wants to customize for ones character concept.

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.  Please feel free to jump in from this point, or to continue your discussions from the druid alignment requirements thread here as well.

 

No.  I can't remember how 1e went, but in 2e and 3e, most deities allowed clerics/worshipers of multiple alignments.  Justice doesn't require lawful, or even good.  A god of justice could have clerics that are LG, NG, CG or LN and those would all work just fine.

blacksheepcannibal wrote:

Alignment requirements for classes serve literally no purpose other than to tell people "no, you can't play that".

 

This is objectively false.  They serve the purpose of identifying what personality types a deity will grant spells to and/or allow into his church.  That and quite frankly, a person who wants to play a CE cleric of the god of truth, justice and all that is good should be told, "No, you can't play that.".

 

[quote[Clerics - a class and concept based around worship of a diety - should work towards the goals of their diety via roleplaying. If that involves alignment in some games, great. If that doesn't involve alignment in other games, great. That's a decision that should probably be recommended but not required by the book.[/quote]

 

Whether it requires alignment or not is pretty much irrelevant.  Both ways require the same exact thing.  Working towards the deity's goals and ideals. 

 

 

Tony_Vargas wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.  

 

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

He could profess worship, sure, but the god would never grant spells, nor would the church allow him into it.  He'd just be some wackjob claiming to be part of something he really is not a part of.  The example you cite really doesn't work for the worship of individual gods.  Someone who is that good would balk at the rituals and methods of worship he would be REQUIRED to undertake. 

 

Where you would have a cleric that is good calling upon a god of disasters to avert a disaster is with pantheistic worship.  There the cleric would sacrifice a goat to the god of disasters when the fire mountain starts making noise, and doing a rain dance to the nature god if the crops are withering, and so on.

I recall when the deities were better detailed, and they included worshiper alignments and church beliefs. It would help players to play closer to their diety's code, and give a frame of reference when dealing with priests.

 

However, I also am a believer that their are exceptions. I had a PC who played a LN cleric of St Cuthbert in 3E. However, he focused a lot on the law aspect, and issued out severe punishments to any lawbreakers. His alignment was far closer to LE than LN, but St Cuthbert did not allow for evil clerics. Despite the severity of his punishments, he followed the docrine pretty well. I had a fellow priest talk to him about it, and after a good discussion, it bacame apparent that he felt the doctrine of St Cuthbert would ultimately produce his behavor. I decided to change his alignment to LE, but allow him to remain a cleric of St Cuthbert. He bascially became an Avenger, before such a thing existed.

Orethalion wrote:

 

Tony_Vargas wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.

 

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

 

He could profess worship, sure, but the god would never grant spells, nor would the church allow him into it.  He'd just be some wackjob claiming to be part of something he really is not a part of.  The example you cite really doesn't work for the worship of individual gods.  Someone who is that good would balk at the rituals and methods of worship he would be REQUIRED to undertake.

 

Where you would have a cleric that is good calling upon a god of disasters to avert a disaster is with pantheistic worship.  There the cleric would sacrifice a goat to the god of disasters when the fire mountain starts making noise, and doing a rain dance to the nature god if the crops are withering, and so on.

It depends on the Setting. In some objectively polytheistic Settings, the god of war might be Neutral Evil, but a Lawful Good warrior might do worship regardless of alignment. A god of magic might be Chaotic Neutral, but a Lawful Good mage might do worship. Alignment is as important or as nonimportant as the Setting makes it.

I liked 3rd eds 1 step of deities alignment rule for nice and simple. 2nd eds Faiths and Avatars carried it a little further with each god having a specific listing of allowed alignments per priesthood so you oculd hvae a LE priest of Mystra a NG deity. 

 

 Generally I find people IRL objecting to a deities alignment restriction as munchkins basically wanting the benefits of that priesthood but without the draw backs or other hindrences. Hell I had people asking to rekin Horus-Re's priesthood into Lathanders as they wanted a Cleric being able to use a holy avenger. I ended up using his priesthood ina homebrew game anyway but you had to be LG still to get the benefits of a holy avenger. I'm kind of using a house ruled variant of Gods and Monsters from Castles and Crusades so all followers of a deity get an ability as opposed to just clerics. Of course you also get a restriction as well. You are not required to take the benefit and restriction but I do not allow the benfit without the drawback as some of them are things like +3 on primary ability score, +1 on all ability scores or +2 AC, to hit and damage. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Prerequisite alignment codes fail to balance mechanical benefits. Fluff has little to do with balancing crunch.

Since D&D 5e has a Flaw system in place. Strict adherence to a specific alignment code can count as a Flaw - for players who want this kind of hero.

I agree with theblacksheep in so far as alignment requirements shouldn't be default mechanics for classes. I think if a group plays a game that invests heavily into alignment then putting alignment into the game as a mechanical structure should be allowed and encouraged. So in the event of such a campaign, I'd suggest the one-step alignment because I have a hard time finding justification for a CE Orc cleric of St. Cuthbert or a LG human cleric of Gruumsh. But I dont force alignment restrictions so its not really an issue.

Oh man, the latest installment in the "Argue about Alignment Requirements" thread franchise!  I can't imagine how this will go.

Alignment in Next has no mechanical impact, and is thus only a roleplaying consideration.  Since the DM can allow or disallow anything at the game table, putting roleplaying restrictions into the rules strikes me as unnecessary and redundant.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

1 mandatory alignment. "Lawful Waffle."

Tony_Vargas wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.

 

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

Yes.  It also doesn't work as a balance weight in my opinion.

 

In case you're a fan of computer games and have the time, you might check out Icewind Dale 2.  In the very beginning, in the first town, you get a quest to talk to a priest of Forgotten Realms god of death, Myrkul.  He enters into a very interesting conversation with you in which he says you are worshipers of Myrkul even if you don't realize it, whenever you kill in battle.  Similarly, the worship Umberlee likely receives is mostly things said and done to avoid her curses and storms at sea.  There is no love for this deity, even among her "followers".

Alignment in Next has no mechanical impact

 

Is that verified?

I'd trade it all for a little more! Grognard? Is that French for awesome?

AzoriusGuildmage wrote:

Oh man, the latest installment in the "Argue about Alignment Requirements" thread franchise!  I can't imagine how this will go.

 

This one is for Landro actually.  Tell me, though, would you like to read one about barbarians, bards, monks, and psionicists?  I was considering starting one each week or something, but not if they're really no good of course.

SirAntoine wrote:

 

AzoriusGuildmage wrote:

Oh man, the latest installment in the "Argue about Alignment Requirements" thread franchise!  I can't imagine how this will go.

 

 

This one is for Landro actually.  Tell me, though, would you like to read one about barbarians, bards, monks, and psionicists?  I was considering starting one each week or something, but not if they're really no good of course.

I know sarcasm doesn't always come out right over the internet, so I'll be direct.  No, would not like to read a new alignment restrictions article every week.  Everything that needs to be said about the issue has been said, and the public feedback portion of the playtest is over anyway.  The arguments for and against alignment restrictions have been well explored, and they don't vary between classes.

Diffan wrote:
I agree with theblacksheep in so far as alignment requirements shouldn't be default mechanics for classes. I think if a group plays a game that invests heavily into alignment then putting alignment into the game as a mechanical structure should be allowed and encouraged. So in the event of such a campaign, I'd suggest the one-step alignment because I have a hard time finding justification for a CE Orc cleric of St. Cuthbert or a LG human cleric of Gruumsh. But I dont force alignment restrictions so its not really an issue.

 

Two or three steps around the Great Wheel are easily feasible.

Dragonspirited wrote:

Alignment in Next has no mechanical impact

 

Is that verified?

Considering that in the last year and a half any and all alignment requirements plugged into the playtest have been quickly removed and taking into account that the final playtest packed had zero references to alignment requirements in general I believe its highly unlikely that they will be including them at least in the PHB.

Diffan wrote:
Dragonspirited wrote:

 

Alignment in Next has no mechanical impact

 

Is that verified?

Considering that in the last year and a half any and all alignment requirements plugged into the playtest have been quickly removed and taking into account that the final playtest packed had zero references to alignment requirements in general I believe its highly unlikely that they will be including them at least in the PHB.

 

I hope in their zeal they don't take away from the greatness that alignment itself and the classes designed around it can bring, though.

Haldrik wrote:

 

Orethalion wrote:

 

Tony_Vargas wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.

 

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

 

He could profess worship, sure, but the god would never grant spells, nor would the church allow him into it.  He'd just be some wackjob claiming to be part of something he really is not a part of.  The example you cite really doesn't work for the worship of individual gods.  Someone who is that good would balk at the rituals and methods of worship he would be REQUIRED to undertake.

 

Where you would have a cleric that is good calling upon a god of disasters to avert a disaster is with pantheistic worship.  There the cleric would sacrifice a goat to the god of disasters when the fire mountain starts making noise, and doing a rain dance to the nature god if the crops are withering, and so on.

 

It depends on the Setting. In some objectively polytheistic Settings, the god of war might be Neutral Evil, but a Lawful Good warrior might do worship regardless of alignment. A god of magic might be Chaotic Neutral, but a Lawful Good mage might do worship. Alignment is as important or as nonimportant as the Setting makes it.

 

For simple followers, sure.  For clerics, which fully support and further the philosophy of their god, no. 

Orethalion wrote:

 

Haldrik wrote:

 

Orethalion wrote:

 

Tony_Vargas wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

On behalf of the players, should the cleric always match the alignment of his or her deity?  This thread continues a discussion started within another thread.

 

You'd think it'd make the cleric's life a little easier if he did.  But, no, there could be cases where a cleric worships (or appeases) a deity of entirely opposed alignment.  Like worshipping a god of disasters to avert disasters, for instance.

 

 

 

 

He could profess worship, sure, but the god would never grant spells, nor would the church allow him into it.  He'd just be some wackjob claiming to be part of something he really is not a part of.  The example you cite really doesn't work for the worship of individual gods.  Someone who is that good would balk at the rituals and methods of worship he would be REQUIRED to undertake.

 

Where you would have a cleric that is good calling upon a god of disasters to avert a disaster is with pantheistic worship.  There the cleric would sacrifice a goat to the god of disasters when the fire mountain starts making noise, and doing a rain dance to the nature god if the crops are withering, and so on.

 

It depends on the Setting. In some objectively polytheistic Settings, the god of war might be Neutral Evil, but a Lawful Good warrior might do worship regardless of alignment. A god of magic might be Chaotic Neutral, but a Lawful Good mage might do worship. Alignment is as important or as nonimportant as the Setting makes it.

 

 

For simple followers, sure.  For clerics, which fully support and further the philosophy of their god, no.

 

I'd say alignment has nothing to do with religion.  Your prayers will not be answered if you displease the deity, and it's as simple as that.

Alignment is a person's conscience, not their faith.

Here is an idea; all characters must be Traditional Boring. Again a terribad idea. 90% of the clerics will match alignment with their diety anyway, for the remaining 10% this just says "bleh, nah, cba cuz I am a dried up old husk who stopped thinking new things in the 70ies" to the cool ideas about a conflicted relationship with your diety. Awful awful.

For many players, a Paladin accesses divine magic by means of alignment alone. Depending on alignment mechanics, alignment is a personality (impulse and conscience), a sacred philosophy (ethical value system), a sacred way of life (an alignment code), or a cosmic principle (alignment as an objective force in the universe that sustains Outer Planes, triggers alignment detection magic, alignment prerequisites, and so on).

 

It is possible for Cleric to dedicate oneself to an alignment as a sacred tradition, whose aspects are simultaneously personal, community, and cosmic.

Considering that in the last year and a half any and all alignment requirements plugged into the playtest have been quickly removed and taking into account that the final playtest packed had zero references to alignment requirements in general I believe its highly unlikely that they will be including them at least in the PHB.

 

Maybe, but its also possible they removed alignment stuff because that would be a distraction from the other elements of the playtest they wanted people to focus on.  Alignment also is not something that needs to be tested... we pretty much know how it works, assuming a nine alignment wheel.

I'd trade it all for a little more! Grognard? Is that French for awesome?

AzoriusGuildmage wrote:

Oh man, the latest installment in the "Argue about Alignment Requirements" thread franchise!  I can't imagine how this will go.

What we really, really need is a thousand posts about four rangers in the same room.

I dare say heavy alignment mechanics will be in a module.

Dragonspirited wrote:

Considering that in the last year and a half any and all alignment requirements plugged into the playtest have been quickly removed and taking into account that the final playtest packed had zero references to alignment requirements in general I believe its highly unlikely that they will be including them at least in the PHB.

 

Maybe, but its also possible they removed alignment stuff because that would be a distraction from the other elements of the playtest they wanted people to focus on.  Alignment also is not something that needs to be tsted... we pretty much know how it works, assuming a nine alignment wheel.

The problem isn't that people don't generally know how it works or what it is. I think people of todays gaming age don't enjoy being told "no" when it comes to invisioning their character concept on the role-play level. Basically when you say "no, you can't roleplay that class that particular way because the book says so" your going to lose their interest (IMO). We even saw it with things like WoW and how Paladins were strictly Alliance and then they relaxed it to be Blood Elves in the Horde and then relaxed it further to any side, any race because people wanted to play undead, minotaur, night elf paladins. Basically people want inclusive options and alignment restrictions prohibit that.

Diffan wrote:
Dragonspirited wrote:

 

Considering that in the last year and a half any and all alignment requirements plugged into the playtest have been quickly removed and taking into account that the final playtest packed had zero references to alignment requirements in general I believe its highly unlikely that they will be including them at least in the PHB.

 

Maybe, but its also possible they removed alignment stuff because that would be a distraction from the other elements of the playtest they wanted people to focus on.  Alignment also is not something that needs to be tsted... we pretty much know how it works, assuming a nine alignment wheel.

The problem isn't that people don't generally know how it works or what it is. I think people of todays gaming age don't enjoy being told "no" when it comes to invisioning their character concept on the role-play level. Basically when you say "no, you can't roleplay that class that particular way because the book says so" your going to lose their interest (IMO). We even saw it with things like WoW and how Paladins were strictly Alliance and then they relaxed it to be Blood Elves in the Horde and then relaxed it further to any side, any race because people wanted to play undead, minotaur, night elf paladins. Basically people want inclusive options and alignment restrictions prohibit that.

Actually this was balance and a combination of "Oh my god people are picking up level 60 ungeared dwarven priests for endgame raids because they have the only comparable thing to Tremor Totem" and "Paladins are useless except for healing while shaman actually bring utility". Divine Shield/Hearthstone was a joke in the game for a while and it sure wasn't because the paladin was a good class. The one time they were useful in Vanilla was the Reckoning bug. Oh Recbombs.

 

Also you can't be every race paladin. Only Humans, Dwarves, Draenei, Blood Elves and Tauren. Tauren paladins are sun druids, y'see

 

(The NElf paladins, which are NPC only and existed centuries ago, actually have a good backstory in that they're the knights of their Queen, the Light of Lights, Azshara, and the one, and only one, undead paladin ingame is not only an enemy, his body is controlled against his will by the Lich King)

 

If you're gonna try to badmouth Warcraft, at least be accurate

Whoa, I hope my post didnt come off as bad mouthing. I actually like WoW (for a while anyways) and think its a great game. The point is when I picked it up, humans and dwarves were the only races allowed. The expanded to the Draenei and Blood Elves of the Horde. This showed me the designers thought the paladin could be expanded upon as an arch-type and not only beholden to the Alliance. Thats a good thing. It also shows that people wanted Horde options for paladins as well. I haven't played in a few years so I was going on what my friends say about it, which was that paladins weren't restricted anymore. So thats my mistake. Anyways, the point is people want inclusive options and it isnt just D&D that is following this trend.

I am too used to the paladin thread and all that nonsense therein

 

Anywho, I'm all for people doing it within reason. Obviously some evil person isn't going to go worshipping a good god mostly, but if you're some Chaotic Evil guy, what's stopping you from worshipping the same god of glorious combat as a lawful good guy? Nothing.

Shiroiken wrote:

I recall when the deities were better detailed, and they included worshiper alignments and church beliefs. It would help players to play closer to their diety's code, and give a frame of reference when dealing with priests.

 

However, I also am a believer that their are exceptions. I had a PC who played a LN cleric of St Cuthbert in 3E. However, he focused a lot on the law aspect, and issued out severe punishments to any lawbreakers. His alignment was far closer to LE than LN, but St Cuthbert did not allow for evil clerics. Despite the severity of his punishments, he followed the docrine pretty well. I had a fellow priest talk to him about it, and after a good discussion, it bacame apparent that he felt the doctrine of St Cuthbert would ultimately produce his behavor. I decided to change his alignment to LE, but allow him to remain a cleric of St Cuthbert. He bascially became an Avenger, before such a thing existed.

 

These possibilities are far more interesting than to lock all cleric in a box atuned to their diety.

Your PC can provoke a schism or a religion war between St-Cuthbert followers.

That is nice interaction between PC decision and play and the DM Campain.

I let Freedom to players, but follow impact of their actions.

 

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