The Pangenitor, a monotheistic religion for Pathfinder/3.5

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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

The Pangenitor, a monotheistic religion for Pathfinder/3.5

Postby Lachlan the Sane » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:12 am

This is a bit of homebrew I made for an old Pathfinder campaign. I considered posting it in the comments of the most recent Diecast, as an answer to the question about inserting real-world stuff into D&D, because this religion started out as a proxy for Dark Ages Christianity. However, I realised that this religion didn't technically fulfil the requirements of the Diecast question, because while the religion was structurally and culturally similar to Dark Ages Christianity, its dogma was heavily dependent on the inner workings of the D&D universe (specifically, the fact that "good", "evil", "law" and "chaos" are actual forces which can be empirically tested). So I'm posting it on the forums instead. What fun!

In this world, the ebb and flow of religious belief was effectively the proxy battlefield between various gods, all of whom were (secretly) ascended mortals. The church of the Pangenitor, referred to colloquially as "the new god", was rapidly displacing the pseudo-Norse "old gods" because of its centralised structure and substantial capacity for integration with the world's various monarchies. Here's the crunch behind it.

The Pangenitor

The Pangenitor is a relatively new god whose religion is rapidly increasing in popularity. Unlike previous major religions, which have been polytheistic, the religion of the Pangenitor considers Him to be a single god who contains within Himself all aspects of the world.

Core beliefs:
  • Conviction is the source of power. Those who hold strong beliefs, and can defend those beliefs in debate or in war, are greater than those who seek to hold the middle ground.
  • Human progress is ordained by the Pangenitor. The rise of kingdoms, the construction of cities, and the fall of the wilderness are sacred acts before Him.
  • Mortal life is sinful by necessity, but those who uphold their convictions and believe in the Pangenitor can be cleansed of their sins after death.

Alignment: The Pangenitor has no alignment per se; He is both Good and Evil, both Lawful and Chaotic. However, the Pangenitor claims that mortals who are True Neutral -- neither lawful nor chaotic, neither lawful nor evil -- are no better than children or animals, beings which are incapable of holding any convictions. To that end, the Pangenitor allows worshippers of any alignment except for true neutral.

Worshippers by race: The religion of the Pangenitor is very attractive to humans of both the ruling classes (who enjoy His dogma of progress being sacred) and the peasantry (who enjoy His church's offers of charity and goodwill). Likewise, races which associate closely with human kingdoms (such as halflings and half-elves) will usually also follow that kingdom's religion. However, races which do not associate with humans, or which prefer the wild places of the world, stand in active opposition to the spread of the Pangenitor's church.

Worshippers by class: The Pangenitor's church requires a great many priests to run its temples, although these are mostly barely-ordained adepts from the local area; wandering cleric-adventurers are usually trained in large cities. The church also effectively invented the Inquisitor training, offered to its most devoted servants. Paladins devoted to the Pangenitor in His Lawful Good aspect are also fairly common, although they usually take up this mantle from their own personal conviction rather than the church's direction. The church of the Pangenitor does not generally acknowledge spontaneous divine casters as deriving their power from Him, and actively stands against the existence of divine classes who draw their power from nature.

Favoured weapon: Flail and heavy flail. Worshippers of the Pangenitor must select either one of these weapons whenever a rule mentions their deity's favoured weapon. Their choice cannot be changed.

Holy symbol and symbolism: The Pangenitor's holy symbol is an eight-spoked wheel, and the number 8 is usually considered sacred. His temples are usually 8-sided and elevated off the ground; parishoners enter through a staircase situated in the centre of the temple, move to one of its eight altars to worship, and exit through a smaller staircase behind the altar.

Alignment and class features: Any divine class feature which changes depending on a character's alignment (such as aligned spells or a cleric's spontaneous cure/inflict spells) is determined solely by the alignment of the character, irrespective of the Pangenitor's alignment.

Alignment and domains: The Pangenitor has a different set of domains depending on which of His aspects (alignments) your character belongs to. Any class which uses domains as a class feature chooses their domains from the list for their character's alignment. In addition, if a character's class gives them access to two or more domains, they must take an available alignment domain as one of their choices. Choices in italics are from the Pathfinder SRD.

Lawful Good; Glory, Good, Law, Protection
Neutral Good; Community, Good, Healing, Water
Chaotic Good; Chaos, Charm, Good, Luck
Lawful Neutral; Artifice, Earth, Knowledge, Law
Chaotic Neutral; Air, Chaos, Liberation, Travel
Lawful Evil; Darkness, Evil, Law, War
Neutral Evil; Evil, Fire, Strength, Void
Chaotic Evil; Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Madness

Changing alignment: The Pangenitor is far less strict on worshippers who change alignment than other gods might be (assuming that they don't become True Neutral, of course). In general, a character who derives divine power from the Pangenitor and changes their alignment to anything other than TN keeps access to all of their class features and spellcasting, and can continue to gain levels in that class, with a few exceptions. If their alignment change locks them out of an alignment-dependent class feature, they cannot use that class feature (for example, a LG cleric who becomes LE cannot use the Spontaneous Cure Spell class feature, but a LG cleric who becomes LN can). If the character has an alignment domain, and their new alignment is still compatible with that domain, they can continue to use class features, domain spells, and bonus spell slots from that domain; however, they cannot use class features or domain spells from their other domains. If the character's new alignment is not compatible with any of their alignment domains, they lose access to domain-based class features entirely (for example, if an LG cleric with the Good and Protection domains becomes NG, they keep the Good domain but lose the Protection domain; if they become LN, they lose both domains). By using the atonement spell, a worshipper of the Pangenitor who has changed to a non-TN alignment can either return to their old alignment (regaining all of their old class features) or cement themselves within their new one (choosing new class features to replace any lost ones) with no material and/or XP cost.

However, worshippers of the Pangenitor whose alignment becomes True Neutral are considered to be severely fallen. They are treated as though they had seriously and deliberately broken the Pangenitor's code of conduct even if the alignment change was involuntary. They must first restore their alignment to anything other than TN (by using the atonement spell to change alignment, or by undertaking a strongly good, evil, lawful or chaotic quest or action), then use the atonement spell to restore their class features, paying full material and/or XP costs.
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Re: The Pangenitor, a monotheistic religion for Pathfinder/3

Postby Cuthalion » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:59 am

That's an interesting concept, having that religion be based on conviction itself rather than the direction of conviction.

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