Posted on

[Pathfinder] Religion for Non-Priests

One thing that always bothered me about D&D is that I have seen few characters have any faith beyond those of clerics. There have known a few to buck the trend (some of whom I have played), but the large majority I have known only gave thought to religion during character generation, choosing the obvious choice (i.e. dwarf character takes the main dwarf god, druid choosing the nature god). To help build the role playing aspect of this, what appears to be my first product for the Pathfinder Role Playing Game will help the non-Cleric to make their faith an integral part of their life.

Looking back at the long history of characters I have played, the one that I remember the most fondly were the ones with some major contradiction or non-obvious mashup of ideas. Among them was a fighter that worshiped the god of magic. He came from a family of wizards and wished to be a wizard himself, but was never smart enough to study the arcane arts. That internal conflict kept him interesting and memorable.

In Book of the Faithful I: The Power of Prayer, we explore ways for faithful followers of a deity to tap into a small bit of that divine power without multiclassing. We do this through a familiar mechanics: feats. Prayer Feats, the specific type of feats detailed within, gives a follower a daily reward for faithfully praying to their deity. Whenever a cleric prayers for their spells, the faithful follower must also make a short prayer, not nearly as long or intricate as the cleric. And for that prayer, the god rewards the character one time during the day at a time of the god’s choosing, not the character. In game terms, the player chooses when to use the power of the feat at whatever time they feel is most opportune.

Unlike clerics which may choose the majority of their spells from a large collective pool of spells, a god can only grant prayer feats based on the domains the deity may grant their clerics. Below are two that appear in Book of the Faithful I:

Shield of Divine Gust (Prayer)
The gods of air blow a single strike from you.
Prerequisites: Worshiping a deity with the Air Domain
Benefit: Against a single ranged attack per day, you gain a divine bonus to your armor class equal to (1/2 your character level). When multiple ranged weapons work off a single attack roll (such as a Manyshot attack), they count as a single attack.

Vine Skin (Prayer)
The gods of plants make you the protection of a plant against the elements.
Prerequisites: Worshiping a deity with the Plant Domain.
Benefit: Against a single blow per day, you gain resistance to either electricity or fire equal to (1/2 your character level).  You may decide to use this and which energy type after a successful attack roll but before damage is rolled.

Upon first glance, these feats may appear overpowered, but they are balanced by the fact these can only be used one time per day. It is the difference between the Maximize Spell feat (which requires the spell occupy a higher spell slot) and the Sudden Maximize Spell Feat (which did not require a higher spell slot but could only be used once per day) from the “Complete” series of book series. In the same way, this gives the character the feeling of being touched by their god without breaking the game.

Leave a Reply