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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cosmology of the Universe

I hope the title doesn't scare you away, but I'm actually going to touch on 2 topics in this post:

  1. Religion in my upcoming Pathfinder game.

  2. The planes in my upcoming game.

I don't intend on being preachy and I'm not a fan of any singular religion.


In the current PF game I'm playing in, I'm the token Cleric and the church of my characters religion (which also happens to be the predominant religion for the empire) has started to spin out of control since the newest emperor happens to have been a high priest. Corruption shakes its very core, and inquisitors seems to be everywhere. Because the party I'm in is such a thorn in the side of the church, they have actively started to take action against us. (There's a longer story to this, but I hope you get the basic idea.)

At the moment, my character has claimed his birthright as county lord in one of the duchies of the empire, and he's seeking to form a new church based on the original tenants and beliefs he was originally raised on without the corruption of politics.

This got me to think about my own PF campaign. If anyone happens to decided to play a Cleric or (God forbid) a Paladin, I'm seriously considering creating a structure for their chosen religion rather than the "I visit the church and yada, yada, yada." I don't want religion to be a consuming aspect, but there must be more to a Cleric's faith than just the ability to heal and cast spells.

Religious holidays are an aspect that I don't think I've ever really encountered in any fantasy setting. In other games, I've never once seen a Cleric who was devout enough to actively tithe on a regular basis, confess, take part in regular church ceremonies (mass, communion, bris, etc.) or anything like that. I know it's not very conducive to an adventuring campaign, but I think there should be more expected from someone who has chosen to play a faith-based character.

My only issue on the topic of religion for my game is how it will be affected by the next topic...

The Planes-

My original concept was to run a campaign in a singular setting with a few key adventures/modules. As I worked to acquire the necessary books for this undertaking (Yes, though I do have the digital copies I still prefer to have the physical books), I started to re-think my original idea. This was born out of a question I posed regarding the interaction of the different campaign settings. I wasn't 100% certain if they were parts of a single planet or if they were individual planes unto themselves. The response I received from my query was that they are each individual planets, but could be traveled to via magical means.

So I thought long and hard on my options, and I think I will incorporate all the settings into my campaign design. But now the crux of my current dilemma... what about religion?

If a Cleric of Mystra were to travel to the lands of Greyhawk, what would happen to their powers? Greyhawk has it's own pantheon, but would the deities work together? As my personal belief system would welcome the thought of all the deities of the various religions being able to work together, I just don't see it happening with large groups of deities. Sure, I can belief that Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh and such can either be a single deity or work together, but for Zeus, Mystra, St. Cuthbert and Cthulhu I don't see it reasonably happening.

I guess the question I'm dealing with is how do I keep the plan of hoping settings intact without disrupting the abilities of Clerics or Paladin's? I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on these topics.


  1. One common topic of discussion I've run across on forums like is whether the various and sundry gods of a particular campaign setting are all unique or a smaller group that is worshipped under different names and slightly different aspects by the various cultures/races of that world. I prefer to use both ideas in my World of Greyhawk campaign.

    To whit, each race (human, elven, dwarven, goblinoid, orc, etc.) has it's own pantheon of gods, but the gods of the Suel, Flan, Oeridian, Bakluni, and Tuov, being human gods, are all the same beings, just known by different names and worshipped for their slightly different portfolios by those various cultures. I specifically allow for exceptions such as the Olman gods being a separate human pantheon who's awareness of Oerth waxes and wanes over time, which contributes to their worshippers' cultures mirroring such attention in their rises and falls.

    The World of Greyhawk has very well-established holidays for many of its various gods and cultures/nations that any DM or player can incorporate into their campaign storyline. It just depends on how interested the parties involved in the game are in focusing on such matters.

    Sir Xaris

  2. My thought on this is twofold. One (and the way my clerics generally work thematically speaking) is that they receive their power from the elements around them using their beliefs/faith as a sort of mystical focus which is why is is so different from the arcane. Two (this one may work better if you want the magic to come directly from the gods themselves) is that all the gods are just themselves getting their abilities from bigger deities than them so the power is shared. Third (I don't know how well this one works within the meta of mortals ascending to bishops)each god on each ddifferent world is just an aspect of a greater deity that that world sees.

  3. You might be able to find some of your answers on or


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