Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

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Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

The AD&D 2E PHB inherited 1E's rules about higher-level cleric spells only being granted by divine servants and, for the highest-level spells, gods of higher ranks (it's there, tucked away in the book). However, the Complete Priest's Handbook presented the idea of clerics could worship and receive spells from not just a deity, but also from a force (e.g. nature or the sun, etc.) or a philosophy.

My question is, did we ever see this happen in any particular D&D product? Ideally, is there any 2E product that actually had a force or a philosophy that listed the spheres and special powers that a specialty priest of it would receive?

I know that the divine spellcasters of the Dark Sun setting are the biggest example of this (insofar as forces are concerned, at least), and its arguable that the "native" religions of Ravenloft could be construed as this, but those notwithstanding, what else is there? I know that Ravenloft's Domains of Dread had a philosophy called The Divinity of Mankind, but that wasn't presented in a clerical context. Likewise, Lisa Smedman's The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga had the personified forces of Day, Night, Twilight, and Death, but again those had no clerical context presented.

Was this concept ever put into play anywhere else in the game?

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Boneguard »

To an certain extend yes.

In the Forgotten Realms you can worship the 4 Elements though a God that is really more a personification of those Elements

Kara-tur (Oriental) and Zakhara (Arabian) don't tend to have god per se. cleric tend to follow a Philosophy or a Way instead.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by AuldDragon »

There's some mention in Spelljammer, and I think in Planescape too, but nothing formalized, and they don't have specialty priests detailed anywhere that I've seen. The individual immortals of Mystara did not have specialty priests, but the five groups did, and those could be seen as forces.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by agathokles »

Well, actually there are specialty priests for Immottals both in BECMI (wrath of the immortals) and AD&D 2e (Savage Coast).
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

Thanks for the replies so far!
Kara-tur (Oriental) and Zakhara (Arabian) don't tend to have good per se. cleric tend to follow a Philosophy or a Way instead.
The gods of Zakhara are pretty clearly gods, though they don't have alignments. That said, I only have scant information on Kara-Tur, so if they don't use the Chinese, Japanese, and Indian pantheons in Legends and Lore in favor of a philosophy, that'd be interesting to look into further.
There's some mention in Spelljammer, and I think in Planescape too, but nothing formalized, and they don't have specialty priests detailed anywhere that I've seen. The individual immortals of Mystara did not have specialty priests, but the five groups did, and those could be seen as forces.
Ah, I had forgotten about The Complete Spacefarer's handbook and The Planeswalker's Handbook. That said, both of those seem to describe different methods of worshipping gods, rather than forces or philosophies (e.g. "I worship all of the gods of the Seven Heavens," or "I worship whomever is the god of magic in this sphere"), etc.
Well, actually there are specialty priests for Immottals both in BECMI (wrath of the immortals) and AD&D 2e (Savage Coast).
I'll need to go back and look at my copy of WotI again, but nice catch on the 2E Savage Coast Campaign Setting book! I hadn't realized that specific clerical spheres (albeit by immortal sphere, rather than specific immortals) were there!

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Havard »

Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure for Mystara has a Philosopher Kit for Clerics.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

Havard wrote:Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure for Mystara has a Philosopher Kit for Clerics.
I wasn't aware of that (I don't have that boxed set...yet). Does the kit actually specify that it's for clerics of a philosophy rather than an Immortal? If so, does it change the sphere used and special powers gained?

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by TBeholder »

AuldDragon wrote:There's some mention in Spelljammer, and I think in Planescape too, but nothing formalized, and they don't have specialty priests detailed anywhere that I've seen. The individual immortals of Mystara did not have specialty priests, but the five groups did, and those could be seen as forces.
Alzrius wrote:Ah, I had forgotten about The Complete Spacefarer's handbook and The Planeswalker's Handbook. That said, both of those seem to describe different methods of worshipping gods, rather than forces or philosophies (e.g. "I worship all of the gods of the Seven Heavens," or "I worship whomever is the god of magic in this sphere"), etc.
Contact Home Powers and Detect Powers were back in the original SJ box.

IIRC, Planescape materials said what common sense says: while generally "impersonal" faith works just fine (even for Athar), a priest who doesn't have high-up to order him around also doesn't have high-ups to back him up, and a few spells like Commune can be less ready-to-use and reliable. So... kind of like polygot or planar, but even more so.
For SJ... IMO should be enabled/disabled per sphere (only Realmspace have it stated explicitly), and most can't have icons to use in wildspace, but then, usually there's no reason why Detect Powers won't work for them too in such cases. Of course by serving a specific high-up they'll temporarily get additional limitations, and sometimes CL reduction, depending on how the specific power sees such "seasonal workers" and other factors like alignment differences: chaotic powers usually would be more inclined to accept any opportunities - but then, they would be more inclined to actually use these opportunities for short-term (and thus more dangerous) schemes, too.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by lesh »

In Planescape there are npc clerics of Death, the Great Unknown, the Source, Madness, Oneness, Yggdrasil, Justice, Chaos, Entropy ...

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by TBeholder »

It also occurs to me that depending on the philosophy, the set of spells may be more narrow than that of a specialty priests who occasionally benefit from a deity's baggage of quirks, let alone a more general cleric.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by agathokles »

The Philosopher in K:KoA is identical to the standard Cleric (which IMO was a missed opportunity to make a more flavorful "Philosopher" kit).
There is also a "Specialist" kit, which basically translates WotI specialist Clerics to AD&D.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

A bit of a bump after some inactivity: presuming that you were a divine spellcaster of a force or a philosophy, how would that interact with the various planar/crystal sphere rules regarding accessing your "patron's" power, insofar as replenishing your spells go?

What I mean is, if you're a cleric (or other divine spellcaster of) of The Divinity of Mankind philosophy (from the Complete Priest's Handbook), would you still receive all of your spells when going to another crystal sphere, since you wouldn't have a "home power" to contact? Likewise, if you were traveling the planes, does that mean that you wouldn't lose spellcasting levels regardless of what plane you went to, since your philosophy doesn't have a "home plane"?

Presumably these would apply to a force also (e.g. Life-Death-Rebirth, also from the Complete Priest's Handbook), unless that force was specifically plane-based, such as an Athasian elemental cleric who worshipped water (their power explicitly comes from the Elemental Plane of Water), though that doesn't seem to help with the issue of access in a crystal sphere.

I'd assume that none of these would let a divine spellcaster regain spells in the Phlogiston better than clerics of deities, since this would all seem to include some sort of divine conduits for that power to be channeled through (though I'd have a bit of a hard time explaining that with regards to clerics of a philosophy).

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by dulsi »

I think it would depend on the philosophy/force and the crystal sphere. For Divinity of Mankind, is that human-centric when referring to "mankind"? If so maybe in a sphere without humans, the priest wouldn't regain spells. In some spheres, the cleric might be devoted to a force/philosophy but the divine power is granted by another god behind the scenes. As for the phlogiston, I wouldn't worry about why they couldn't regain spells. Some might say philosophies/forces are a lie and that the powers are still granted by gods. Some might say the phlogiston somehow absorbs divine energy released by the person preventing them from storing it inside themselves for later. Some might say the philosophy/force is wrong and that one philosophy/force is true and will allow regaining spells in the phlogiston. (Could even have a charlatan who claimed to find that philosophy/force. As you can still regain low level spells, he could have a group of low level followers that believe him.)

I'm not familiar enough with Planescape to comment on that matter.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

Alzrius wrote:Presumably these would apply to a force also (e.g. Life-Death-Rebirth, also from the Complete Priest's Handbook), unless that force was specifically plane-based, such as an Athasian elemental cleric who worshipped water (their power explicitly comes from the Elemental Plane of Water)
I just realized that this part wasn't, in fact, the case. It was established - I think most prominently in The Planewalker's handbook, if I recall correctly - that the reason that clerics lose spellcasting levels across the planes, but not on the Prime Material Plane, is because the gods want it to work that way, as a disincentive against cross-planar warring. In other words, the "natural" state of granting spells across the planes would have the cleric's power be undiminished regardless of the planar distance between themselves and their deities. As such, priests that worshipped a plane-based force (such as Athasian clerics) should keep their full spellcasting abilities regardless of what plane they're on.

Given that - and that I think it would follow that crystal sphere "access" wouldn't be a thing for non-divinities - this would seem to be one of the major advantages of worshipping a force or a philosophy, instead of a deity: you can count on receiving your full complement of spells regardless of what crystal sphere or plane you're currently on (notwithstanding places such as the Phlogiston, near the Spire of the Outlands, etc.). The downside is that you're unlikely to have an organized church and divine servitors ready to back you up.

It's nice when everything seems to work out like that. :)

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by AuldDragon »

Alzrius wrote:
Alzrius wrote:Presumably these would apply to a force also (e.g. Life-Death-Rebirth, also from the Complete Priest's Handbook), unless that force was specifically plane-based, such as an Athasian elemental cleric who worshipped water (their power explicitly comes from the Elemental Plane of Water)
I just realized that this part wasn't, in fact, the case. It was established - I think most prominently in The Planewalker's handbook, if I recall correctly - that the reason that clerics lose spellcasting levels across the planes, but not on the Prime Material Plane, is because the gods want it to work that way, as a disincentive against cross-planar warring. In other words, the "natural" state of granting spells across the planes would have the cleric's power be undiminished regardless of the planar distance between themselves and their deities. As such, priests that worshipped a plane-based force (such as Athasian clerics) should keep their full spellcasting abilities regardless of what plane they're on.

Given that - and that I think it would follow that crystal sphere "access" wouldn't be a thing for non-divinities - this would seem to be one of the major advantages of worshipping a force or a philosophy, instead of a deity: you can count on receiving your full complement of spells regardless of what crystal sphere or plane you're currently on (notwithstanding places such as the Phlogiston, near the Spire of the Outlands, etc.). The downside is that you're unlikely to have an organized church and divine servitors ready to back you up.

It's nice when everything seems to work out like that. :)
There's an added element that does not come up very often, that is not mentioned in the Planewalker's Handbook, and that is being on the same plane as your deity allows the casting of higher level magic than is normally allowed based on a deity's power level. In other words, being on the same plane as a demigod (for example, being within Greyspace and worshiping Iuz) allows access to 6th level magic rather than 5th, should the priest be high enough level; this doesn't make much difference most of the time, but it is one of the primary reasons some demipowers and lesser powers reside on Prime Material worlds. I also don't really like the idea of the gods agreeing to something like this rather than it being a law of the multiverse, because there would always be some deities willing to ignore the restrictions and take their chances.

As for forces and philosophies, I don't think it would actually be the perfect workaround for divine access; for example, all priests, rangers, and paladins in the Forgotten Realms are required to worship deities, which indicates forces and philosophies don't have access to Realmspace (or at least Faerun). It should be just as possible for forces and philosophies to be blocked in any given sphere as a specific deity is, although I do think it would be an all or nothing affair (i.e. either all philosophies have access, or none do). Contact Home Power and Detect Powers should work for them just as it does for other priests, however.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

AuldDragon wrote:There's an added element that does not come up very often, that is not mentioned in the Planewalker's Handbook, and that is being on the same plane as your deity allows the casting of higher level magic than is normally allowed based on a deity's power level. In other words, being on the same plane as a demigod (for example, being within Greyspace and worshiping Iuz) allows access to 6th level magic rather than 5th, should the priest be high enough level; this doesn't make much difference most of the time, but it is one of the primary reasons some demipowers and lesser powers reside on Prime Material worlds.
Isn't that specific to Greyspace? I've seen it mentioned in From the Ashes and the Player's Guide to Greyhawk, but nowhere else that I can recall.
I also don't really like the idea of the gods agreeing to something like this rather than it being a law of the multiverse, because there would always be some deities willing to ignore the restrictions and take their chances.
I'd imagine that this is right up there with "don't wreck the Prime Material Plane," in that it's one of those major laws that gets enforced by pretty much every other deity. While I suspect that there are exceptions, they're probably singular, limited-time instances that a particular god thinks they might be able to get away with. If it's really that important, then they'd probably assign a power key.
As for forces and philosophies, I don't think it would actually be the perfect workaround for divine access; for example, all priests, rangers, and paladins in the Forgotten Realms are required to worship deities, which indicates forces and philosophies don't have access to Realmspace (or at least Faerun). It should be just as possible for forces and philosophies to be blocked in any given sphere as a specific deity is, although I do think it would be an all or nothing affair (i.e. either all philosophies have access, or none do). Contact Home Power and Detect Powers should work for them just as it does for other priests, however.
I can see that being the case for areas like Realmspace, but otherwise I'd wager that access is fairly ubiquitous - even then, I'd suspect that Realmspace has deities that would pick up the metaphysical "slack" for priests of a force or a philosophy, since that would essentially be an instance of trying to "poach" followers for which there'd be no reprisal.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Knightfall »

There are details on Forces and Philosophies in the Complete Priest's Handbook. The book has its sample generic priesthood writeups including the following forces/philosophies: Divinity of Mankind (philosophy), Elemental Forces (force), Evil (philosophy), Good (philosophy), and Life-Death-Rebirth Cycle (force).

EDIT: Never mind. I should have dome more than glance at the title and first few posts. :oops:
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Knightfall »

Alzrius wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:As for forces and philosophies, I don't think it would actually be the perfect workaround for divine access; for example, all priests, rangers, and paladins in the Forgotten Realms are required to worship deities, which indicates forces and philosophies don't have access to Realmspace (or at least Faerun). It should be just as possible for forces and philosophies to be blocked in any given sphere as a specific deity is, although I do think it would be an all or nothing affair (i.e. either all philosophies have access, or none do). Contact Home Power and Detect Powers should work for them just as it does for other priests, however.
I can see that being the case for areas like Realmspace, but otherwise I'd wager that access is fairly ubiquitous - even then, I'd suspect that Realmspace has deities that would pick up the metaphysical "slack" for priests of a force or a philosophy, since that would essentially be an instance of trying to "poach" followers for which there'd be no reprisal.
Of course, those divine restriction would apply to the native denizens of Realmspace. However, if a force/philosophy priest from another crystal sphere enters Realmspace, there is no way I would rule that he/she would have to pick a god while there. Their power comes from elsewhere. Maybe Ao could block that cleric's power or limit it, but to be forced to choose a Realmsian god likely would go against the priest's beliefs.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Knightfall »

What else would be a "force" that would cross planar boundaries and be universal throughout the Multiverse?

Elemental Forces for sure. Life-Death-Rebirth Cycle, also likely.

But what about Positive and Negative energy as a force that isn't part of the cycle of life. Negative Energy and/or Positive Energy force priests? What about the Plane of Shadow and the Ethereal Plane? What about the Phlogiston as a sub-force of Elemental Forces? Or should it be its own thing? Is the Spire of the Outlands a force? Is the Forgotten Realm's Weave (and Shadow Weave) a force unto itself? What about the Spellplague? Is wild magic a force?

The Elemental Plane of Wood? Is the Far Realm a force of chaos?

Thoughrs? Other ideas?
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

Knightfall wrote:What else would be a "force" that would cross planar boundaries and be universal throughout the Multiverse?
With the risk of sounding a bit "priestly" but how about faith?

It seems to me that it doesn't really matter if the "force" spans the universe as long as the cleric/priest has faith in that "force". It will then be with him/her whereever he/she goes.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Alzrius »

Knightfall wrote:Of course, those divine restriction would apply to the native denizens of Realmspace.
True, but not if they left the sphere. ;)
However, if a force/philosophy priest from another crystal sphere enters Realmspace, there is no way I would rule that he/she would have to pick a god while there. Their power comes from elsewhere. Maybe Ao could block that cleric's power or limit it, but to be forced to choose a Realmsian god likely would go against the priest's beliefs.
I don't think it's a question of "picking a god" per se. Rather, it's more of a god - presumably one with a related portfolio - choosing to step in and act as a power source for that priest (which is basically what's talked about under the detect powers spell, if I recall correctly). Someone who worships the "life-death-rebirth" cycle might be granted their spells the next time they pray, even if they don't realize they have to change whom they're praying to, by Finder Wyvernspur, for example. If the priest stays there long enough, then Finder can try and reveal that he's become their god "de facto," and try to convince that priest to worship him directly...and hey, no "other god" to try and push back against the conversion attempt!
Knightfall wrote:What else would be a "force" that would cross planar boundaries and be universal throughout the Multiverse?
I don't think that the force needs to be omnipresent to grant spells - that said, the 2E adventure The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga had Day, Night, and Twilight as forces, along with Death (apparently separate from Life-Death-Rebirth).

A lot of the NPCs in Planescape, as other posters have pointed out, were clerics of various forces (or philosophies, I suppose), rather than deities.
Tom Bulls Eye wrote:With the risk of sounding a bit "priestly" but how about faith?
I don't think so; we're told that "faith alone" can grant only 1st- and 2nd-level spells. After that, clerics need some sort of external power granting them their spells and abilities.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

I think you're misinterpreting my answer here. I suggested an answer to the question of what connects the cleric to the force he/she serves, the answer being faith. I didn't state that faith grants the spells.

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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Willmark »

Still wading through this but the two coppers I'll offer is that this is an underrepresented theme in 2e.

In my campaign world I used a force/philosophy to design a religion for the elves: the practice ancestor worship so a philosophy basis worked perfectly.
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Big Mac »

Alzrius wrote:The AD&D 2E PHB inherited 1E's rules about higher-level cleric spells only being granted by divine servants and, for the highest-level spells, gods of higher ranks (it's there, tucked away in the book). However, the Complete Priest's Handbook presented the idea of clerics could worship and receive spells from not just a deity, but also from a force (e.g. nature or the sun, etc.) or a philosophy.
3rd Edition actually went further down this route, and added this rule to the Player's Handbook. There are two paragraphs in the "Religion" section of the Cleric class and the second one is all about clerics who do not worship deities:
Player's Handbook (3.0): Chapter 3: Classes: Cleric: Religion wrote:Some clerics devote themselves not to a god but to a cause or a source of divine power. These clerics wield magic the way clerics devoted to individual gods do, but they are not associated with a religious institution or a particular practice of worship. A cleric devoted to Good and Law, for example, may be on friendly terms with the clerics of lawful good deities and may extol the virtues of a good and lawful life, but he is not a functionary in a church hierarchy.
That's 3e, rather than 2e, but it does demonstrate that the idea from PHBR3 The Complete Priest's Handbook was probably not considered a dead-end idea and dumped before the end of 2nd Edition. If it is there, then maybe it can be found in some of the products published in between the two other books. (I don't own the 4e and 5e PHBs, but I'd love it if someone who owns those books could search for a similar section to see if this idea has carried on through to today.)
Alzrius wrote:My question is, did we ever see this happen in any particular D&D product? Ideally, is there any 2E product that actually had a force or a philosophy that listed the spheres and special powers that a specialty priest of it would receive?
The Spelljammer adventure SJA3 Crystal Spheres includes a crystal sphere, called Faeriespace, where there is a philosophy-force, called "shrakma" (in the faerie tongue). Shrakma is a unifying force that ties everyone together, but also something associated with the carefree chaotic spirit of the people living within the sphere. (It is said to be similar to the oriental principle of Yin and Yang.) It isn't specifically stated to be a source of religion, but given that everyone within the crystal sphere (both good and evil) defer to a being called "Aelivere" (who is called the "One-King of Faeriespace") I don't think it is possible for the locals to have deities, because those gods would have messages that conflict with the message of Aelivere. They would either have to have priests that gain power from Aelivere or shrakma (or maybe both).

I thought there was more stuff, similar to this, in the Spelljammer product line, but I've checked the AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set and CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook and neither of them mention clerics of forces or philosophies. :?
Alzrius wrote:I know that the divine spellcasters of the Dark Sun setting are the biggest example of this (insofar as forces are concerned, at least), and its arguable that the "native" religions of Ravenloft could be construed as this, but those notwithstanding, what else is there? I know that Ravenloft's Domains of Dread had a philosophy called The Divinity of Mankind, but that wasn't presented in a clerical context. Likewise, Lisa Smedman's The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga had the personified forces of Day, Night, Twilight, and Death, but again those had no clerical context presented.

Was this concept ever put into play anywhere else in the game?
The 3e Dragonlance Campaign Setting contains a divine spellcasting class, called the Mystic. Mystics are "spellcasters who have learned to channel divine energy without worshipping (or even acknowledging) any deity".

I think that the Mystic is a new idea, for DLCS. I think it is a "cheat" to allow PCs to have divine spells in eras when the gods of Dragonlance are not talking to mortals. But it is something that I personally think that a GM needs to be able to allow, if groups are going to play in those eras and not have PCs get killed off at a high rate. I don't know if any Dragonlance fans have retro-converted the Mystic to 2e rules (Dragonlance Nexus would be the place to look) but if you want to run a 2nd Edition priest that gains power from a force, seeing what Dragonlance fans do to make the Mystic work under 2e rules would be a great start.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Clerics of a Force or a Philosophy?

Post by Big Mac »

Alzrius wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:As for forces and philosophies, I don't think it would actually be the perfect workaround for divine access; for example, all priests, rangers, and paladins in the Forgotten Realms are required to worship deities, which indicates forces and philosophies don't have access to Realmspace (or at least Faerun). It should be just as possible for forces and philosophies to be blocked in any given sphere as a specific deity is, although I do think it would be an all or nothing affair (i.e. either all philosophies have access, or none do). Contact Home Power and Detect Powers should work for them just as it does for other priests, however.
I can see that being the case for areas like Realmspace, but otherwise I'd wager that access is fairly ubiquitous - even then, I'd suspect that Realmspace has deities that would pick up the metaphysical "slack" for priests of a force or a philosophy, since that would essentially be an instance of trying to "poach" followers for which there'd be no reprisal.
You have the added complication, in Realmspace, that the sphere is not just the "Forgotten Realms Crystal Sphere". The religions of Al-Qadim, Kara-Tur and Maztica also work within the crystal sphere. You already have a crystal sphere where different rules apply to different parts of Toril. So if you extrapolate that to an entire sphere, it follows that it should get more complicated (not just follow what happens in Faerûn).

The 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting has something interesting to say about this in the Deities chapter:
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Deities: Deity Format: Portfolio wrote:The deitiy's portfolio is the topics, ideas or emotions over which the diety has dominion, power and control. No two beings within the same pantheon may hold the same concept in their portfolios.
I think that is an interesting way to go, because the chapter then goes on to show eight tables that each represent different panthons that players can pick gods from. That effectively means that, under 3e rules, something like a force or philosophy could be claimed by one deity (and only one deity) within a specific pantheon, but another deity, within another Realmspace pantheon could also claim the same force or philosophy.

That's quite a logical way to go and I would probably rule that the same logic applies to all crystal spheres. I would certainly consider using that rule with 2nd Edition Realmspace (as it isn't really 3e specific). Do bear in mind that those eight pantheons are not the only pantheons in Realmspace. They are just the only pantheons that PCs from Faerûn have access to. So you would need to add all the monster pantheons and all the pantheons worshipped otuside Faerûn to the mix.

Once you have created a big Pantheons of Realmspace table, you could then use that to see if a priest of a force or philosophy that enters Realmspace is using a force or philosophy that is controlled by any of those deities. There are rules, in Spelljammer about either gaining spells or not gaining spells in other crystal spheres. I would be inclined to rule that if a force/philosophy is in use by any deity that could possibly have influence* on that PC they would be able to block that PC from regaining spells above 2nd level.

* = And when I talk about "influence" I would take the racial pantheons into account. I would be inclined to rule that an elven philosopher priest could get blocked by an elven deity, but could not get blocked by a dwarf deity.

However, even if a priest of a force of philosophy gets past that stage, I would not automatically allow them to gain access to spells above 2nd level. I think you need to look at the force or philosophy and ask if it applies to the crystal sphere they are in.

Take Realmspace for example. That has the "Weave" and the "Shadow Weave" as sources of arcane magic. So (forgetting for a moment that there are already deities of magic) perhaps you could argue that it would be possible for a spellcaster to have "faith in the Weave" (or "faith in the Shadow Weave") and have them gain power that way. But the Weave and Shadow Weave do not exist outside of Realmspace...or at least the idea that there is something called the "Weave" and "Shadow Weave" does not exist. Perhaps the common belief that their is a Weave and Shadow Weave is part of the religion that empowers the gods of magic in that sphere. In Krynnspace you have "Moons of Magic" that are believed to power magic (and are again associated with gods). So you could again argue out localised philosophies about magic that do not apply anywhere else.

So, looking at any force or philosophy, I think you need to prove that force or philosophy exists in more than one crystal sphere (in the same sort of way) to justify claiming it as a power source.

Forces are physical things, so I think it is probably going to be easier to argue that a force exists in multiple crystal spheres, unless there is something in the canon for that sphere (or crossover campaign setting, in the case of Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance or Greyhawk) that implies the force does not exist there. But philosophies are mental concepts. They are things that sages debate about and that people write about. I would be willing to bet that a philosophy is a localised thing. So maybe you can "gain power" from a force or a philosophy, but if you go into an empty crystal sphere, you are going to be in an environment where the force might exist, but the philosophy is not present.

Looking at the SJA3 philosophy-force called "shrakma" in Faeriespace, I wonder is it actually a force, or is it a force created by the universal belief in shrakma?

Are other "forces" actually created by belief in the force? Do other "philosophies" create some sort of mental force? Are the two things one and the same or are there pure forces that need no philosophy to get them to work and pure philosophies that create no force?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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