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    Canonfire :: View topic - so, pholtus, heironeus and st. cuth walks in a bar...
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    so, pholtus, heironeus and st. cuth walks in a bar...
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
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    Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:27 pm  
    so, pholtus, heironeus and st. cuth walks in a bar...

    ok, its not like that.


    the thing is that i find the a little confunsing. i've read GH basic books, GH wiki and all, but if you guys could work through this example, it would be very helpfull!

    "a man stole some bread to feed his family. than, a knight stop him and beat the hell out of him. some guards appear, and try to stop the knight.
    a big fight is taking place betwen guards and the knight.
    in the confusion, the man takes a knife and kill the knight, stabing him in the back, but actually saving a guard form the knight's sword."
    so, how would the man, the guards and the knight (sure, hes dead now, but lets judge him too, shall we?) be judge, according to the church of pholtus, heironeous and st. cuthbert?


    if all this seems silly, i apologize, but i've been reading here about how they are all too diferent, but i cant tell to my players exaclty how
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:29 pm  

    Happy hmmm....my take, would be....

    church of pholtus - bread thief and guards would be slain as a Knight of Pholtus being slain would seal their fate.

    heironeous - justice must be served, the knight to be punished for over-reacting (if he had lived) and turning on the guards, while the bread thief would be punished accordingly for stealing the bread and stabbing the knight (tho consideration for saving the guard would be given) and nothing to the guards for their pursuit of seeing justice done.

    st. cuthbert - poor bread thief would be given religious penance and the guards left alone, however the knight would be held accountable for being too harsh and over-reactive, maybe dishonoured by the church or an appology by the family of the knight to the bread theif and guards for over reacting with possible payment for the hardship delt.

    A religous law can also have a divine wim and discard all the above.

    I hope you'll get all kinds of legal avenues on this one.

    Cheers

    AncientGamer Cool aka BusterBudd
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:04 am  

    The Church of Pholtus would be the most vehement in this aspect, IMO. There MIGHT be a little wiggle room in favor of the thief for both the fact he has to feed his family (UNLESS this was in the Pale, in which case he's broken the law and is pretty much screwed) and the fact that the stabbing was in the defense of others, but still he broke the law and took a life, and under Pholtus that does demand punishment under the law.

    Heironeous, while a lawful god, would be more interested in the aspect of the combat as opposed to the theft (not that they'd condone the theft, but Heironians tend to focus on martial issues much more). They'd condemn, IMO, the stabbing the knight in the back as a "cowardly way of going about things" and would probably demand fair punishment for the theft.

    St. Cuthbert, I'd feel would excuse the killing (even if it was an overreaction) as the act was not out of malice or chaos, but in defense of others. They might, at the most, demand a weregild be paid to the family of the knight or perhaps some other punishment made, but let the matter rest there (indepoendent of what the law demands). They'd sternly warn the theif about stealing and also tell him "next time, go to the curch of Pelor for a handout -- or us as well -- or you'll get my cudgel upside your head!"
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:46 am  

    Whoops! Double-posted! Sorry! Embarassed

    Last edited by Vulcan on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:57 am  

    WARNING: This is a rather long post!

    In all the examples, the guards would come out clean. They were simply doing their job, enforcing the law. In all cases, the knight shold have remitted the thief to the guard's custody instead of beating the living daylights out of him.

    I don't know if the church of Heironeous would be at all leineint with the thief for stabbing the knight in the back. The church of Heironeous seems to espouse all the classic knightly ideals, one of which is that everyone knows their place. A peasant killing a knight would be reacted to, probably extremely severely. A severe whipping might be getting off light; execution might be called for. This kind of thing is a serious upheaveal of the 'natural' (Feudal) order of things.

    On the other hand, feeding the people is the responsability of the local Lord; an investigation as to why the man had to steal to feed his family. The local Lord might well find himself being punished for failing his feudal duty to his people!

    Now, the knight would also be disciplined. Charity is one of the knightly ideals, and a more appropriate response would be for the knight to capture the thief, find out why the thief had stolen the bread, pay the baker, and put the thief to work in pennance. The knight would be given a religous pennance and time to pray over his misdeeds - say, a week, in a small room in a monestary.

    The church of Pholtus is the most Lawful of the lot. So, there would be a punishment for the thief - likely something embarressing and somewhat painful. A day in the pillory comes to mind... The thief would not be imprisoned or killed, it was a very petty theft, done for good reason. Pholtus may empahsise Law over Good, but Good is still part of the dogma. And a religion that dedicated to Law will have distinctions over varying degrees of theft.

    The knight would again be severely disciplined for taking the law into his own hands - likely some form of self-flagellation. Law enforcement is a job for the guard and the courts (which are run by the priests of Pholtus, most likely). The point would be made that fighting the guard is a chaotic act.

    St. Cuthbert always seems to come out very Catholic in my games - small items like the seven deadly sins get a lot of attention, major evils fought without mercy, and a surprising amount of flexability when people come and ask for forgiveness. The thief would get a religeous pennance (20 Hail Cuthberts...) and effort would be made to make sure that further thievery would be unnecessary. The death of the knight would be ruled as 'defense of the helpless;' more pennance but no real punishment.

    If the theiving continued, things could start getting rough for the thief, though.

    The knight had better show remorse and ask forgiveness, or he is going to be punished severly for beating the helpless thief and fighting the guard. These are chaotic acts and not to be tolerated!

    On a legal note, in all cases the knight is going to spend some time in jail for assaulting the guard, or he is no longer going to be considered a knight for his religion (beacuse he will have fled the city).

    Now, if any of these knights are Paladins, they are likely to be punished
    even more severely. First, they are in violation of their codes, for committing a chaotic act by attacking the guard. This means loss of class features until they recvieve an atonement. The priesthoods in question may well require that, in addition to their legal punishment, that the Paladin spend a few months doing charity work with the poor in the city. Something to teach him a little humility in the process...[/i]
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:04 am  

    Questions
    1) Was the knight within his jursidiction?
    2) Does the knight follow the Church of the Blinding Light LG (LN) or the Church of the One True Path LN faith?

    The Church of Pholtus
    Knight (Church of the Blinding Light) would stop the thief and attack the guards only if threatened - sanctioned if it was ruled he was too zealous. But he was enforcing the law and defending the populace - Slap on the wrist.

    Knight (Church of the One True Path) would assault the thief and attack the guards if they assaulted him as they are condoning unlawful behavior - he would be applauded for his zealousness. He would probably be held up to the faithful as a fine example of faith.

    Bread thief is condemned by both sects as a criminal and instigator of the murder of the knight.

    The Church of the Blinding Light would execute him for the death but their would be some debate.

    The Church of the One True Path no debate criminal scum is executed.

    Guards would be noted for their efforts to uphold the law but be questioned as to why they attacked the knight.

    The Church of the Blinding Light would want to know if the knight or themselves identified themselves. A connection if any to the criminal but the guards would probably be given a light punishment.

    The Church of the One True Path would ask if anyone identified themselves but even if not it was obvious the knight was apprehending a criminal. The guards would have to convince the court it was an accident not corruption. The guards are taken away for questioning and if found corrupt they might be executed. Otherwise they are punished for interference.

    Church of Heironeous
    Knight would be exonerated (upper class and upholding a just law) probably be used as an example as the honourable being felled by the cowardly.

    Bread thief would be condemned as a criminal and his cowardly attack but his execution would be lawful but seem harsh as the "feeding his family" would get little sympathy. The clergy after the incident would urge a separate law be written to clarify the situation.

    Guards would be applauded for doing their duty and engaging in honourable combat but punished for their failure to ascertain what was occuring before entering combat. Punished according to the law and customs of the local military.

    Church of St.Cuthbert
    Knight would be applauded for upholding the law and zeal but condemned for attacking the guards.

    Bread thief would be condemned as a criminal for theft but given compassion for his family; if it stopped community service. However the killing of the knight can not be condoned and the thief could have avoided further bloodshed but he was abused. Stff sentence but no execution.

    Guards would be applauded for upholding the law and trying to do their duty. However they would be sanctioned for failing to disarm the knight, convincing him to end the combat or stopping the fatal stab of the thief. Light punishment and possible dismissal. Church of St.Cuthbert would use the incident as a rallying point for more law and order as well as social reform for the poor.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:32 am  

    not to boast about, but i had no idea i would create such a nice discution!
    Site Theocrat

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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:49 pm  
    Pholtus, Oh, Holy Pholtus

    Hi all -
    As, really, the only real authority on Pholtus and as the only "true" Path to Enlightenment comes through Pholtus' voice in the mortal word, I will speak on this.

    As a player, DM, and fan of Greyhawk Pholtus' churches are what first brought me to him. I personally am not religious in a "church" standpoint. I think that it's odd that Catholics and Protestants all worship the same god - it's just how they view the humans running the church which makes for such contention.
    I am suprised that the concept (multiple churches and faiths all depicting the same god) isn't utilized more in fantasy RPG's. The fact that it is not done so, is one of the core reasons Pholtus is so misunderstood - because he does have multiple churches, and this is often forgotten. Vulcan and Crag are both correct, but also both very wrong (because I'm the Theocrat). And now that I'm unemployed, I should finish that article on Pholtus for the OJ that I have lying around somewhere (and my Weathering the Flanaess binder is in a box someplace since the move). The Pholtus that I represent is more closely related to the Gygax, Holian/ Reynolds, and other models and not what the RPGA's Pale Region (which I am a part of, or was since Vegas, BABY! is part of the region) "Hug Your Heathen ™ [TM by me] regional needed it to be.

    First we have to understand the background of the different churches and make sure that people are using the right ones. The following is from my faulty memory of my previous posts and my writing for said OJ article.

    In the beginning there was the Church of Pholtus (LG) - they were the keepers of the Holy See in the Great Kingdom and still exist. A schism happened with the Church of the Blinding Light (LG) coming forth. They later moved north and kicked out a bunch of Flan people and settled the region known as the Theocracy of the Pale. During some upheaval, another schism took place with the Church of the One True Path (LN) becoming the dominant force in the Pale. With the concept of converting the heathens of st. cuthbert, many missionaries moved out and took on a more cosmopolitan viewpoint. Settling in Greyhawk, some of these missionaries stared yet another Church of Pholtus (LG) yet with a LN bent and a dedication to the Pale (kinda like a sub order of Catholics paying Homage to the Pope, yet following an older code). These missionaries have taken up the Church of the Blinding Light (LG) mantle (seeing how they follow an older code and the CotBL founded the Pale).
    One part of the RPGA that I did like was that the Shield Landers started yet another Church of Pholtus - and I can't recall what it's called, but it too is LG. And lets not forget my ultra secret favorite, the Church of the EbonGleam. Wheee! I personally love these guys. Grand Theocracy of Dimre's (Bandit Kingdoms) church. IIRC, the leader was once a bishop or cardinal to Theocrat Tilit and friend to RPGA's new Theocrat B(forgot his name) and thus one of the reasons so many assassinations are attempted. They're LE, and they believe that you cannot know truly know the path of righteousness without knowing the path of darkness, you cannot see the light without knowing what is darkness. Did George Lucas still this idea from our lord and game creator, Gary Gygax? Well I for one choose to believe that, yes, he did! OK, the clergy of EbonGleam are LE, but the Peasants and general lay people are not. They have been hoodwinked, and in general sermons don't really mention that they're evil or really even advocate evil deeds. They would advocate that Pholtus' laws are strict and unwavering - they'd never mention Tyranny, per se, but the EbonGleam church uses its power and position to keep the people in line and constantly attending church.

    Now the reasons for some of the schisms are based upon which books have been invited to the Pietistical (Pholtus' bible). See my Web site - http://thepale.org/pale/pietistical.htm
    I think it was the Book of Knowledge which helped to form the first Church of the Blinding Light (LG), this is also the book that told them to move north and found the Pale. The Book of Deeds was added when the Church of the One True Path became dominant. Being that it's the same Pietistical, the Palish missionaries brought this to Greyhawk City, with their ties to the Pale, yet with a view of tolerance towards other "false" gods and people, thus funding the second Church of the Blinding Light. I would hazard a guess that the RPGA's people didn't use something like this (the addition of new books to reason the creation of a new church). If I had more info on their church and talked with their people, I"d love to follow this up with something - maybe a new book written by a missionary/visionary about the Righteous Path. The Church of the EbonGleam "found" what they call the Fourth Book - the Book of the EbonGleam as referenced above.


    So lets confuse the lay people some more. We have the following churches and their "locales/power"
    Church of Pholtus (LG) - Great Kingdom - oldest of the Pholtan churches - Their Pietistical does not include the Book of Knowledge or the Book of Deeds.
    Church of the Blinding Light V1 (LG) - same principles as CoP, forms the Pale, added Book of Knowledge.
    Church of the One True Path of Pholtus (LN) - home to the Theocracy of the Pale, per the WoG Boxset - this church is a small minority - but the online community (and myself) believe this to be incorrect. Added Book of Deeds. St. Ceril is attached as one of the founding members of the Church.
    Church of Pholtus / Church of the Blinding Light V2 (LG) - This is the church in the City of Greyhawk as referenced in the CoGH Boxset - they pay homage to the Pale including the sending of money.
    Church of the Pholtus Shield Landers (LG) - I don't know much about them. IIRC, they were more about the Justice aspect seeing as they are formed well after they reclaim their lands from the forces of Iuz.
    Church of the EbonGleam (LE) - added 4th book, the EbonGleam, using Tyranny and position to keep citizens and followers in line.

    Of course, all this is very interesting since Pholtus does grant the clergy of the Church of EbonGleam spells, thus legitimizing their statements (spells are not provided by another deity or demon or devil, as we all know, Pholtus is the One True God and the Path to Glory). Pholtus himself is LG - it is his dysfunctional churches that make things unclear. There is but one Church of Heironeous, and although there might be factions within the church of st. cuthbert, they are not completely separate churches like what Pholtus has. Being the caretaker of the path, this does present a problem for me.

    Now, utilizing the information provided above, I'll attempt to answer your question regarding the "starving" bread thief, the Knight and the guards all depending upon their church affinity/ location. Oh, but wait. You mucked up the waters with the whole Knight aspect.

    OK, Knights. There are Knights of Pholtus (along with the Church of Pholtus), Knights of the Light (Blinding Light v1, and thus may be extinct or not an issue), The Knights of the Valorous League (see my write up in the OJ 14 IIRC) that follow the One True Path, and the Knights of the Valorous League that the Pale Triad proposed [OK, brief trash talk of them - the Pale triad took all the names and the idea of the Valorous League and made them all from the Pale. The KotVL are Nyrondeese! They didn't even read the damn book. They just took their names and made them nice. As such, I"m ignoring this faction completely since it's a lie.] There are also Knights of the Pale - those not associated with the KotVL (as they are rather extreme). I'm not sure, but I assume there are Knights dedicated to the new CotBL v2. If so, I'd lump them in with the Knights of the general Knights of the Pale. Of course Knights of the Shield Landers of Pholtus would follow a closer aspect to their region than to the church (or I would assume, but I cannot say without more information). If there are Knights of the EbonGleam, then I'd be scarred.

    So lets get on with this mess.
    First, lets take the easy group - If this took place in the Grand Theocracy of Dimre and followed the ecclesiastical aspect of the Church of the EbonGleam we would not need to worry. The Knight of the EbonGleam approaches the bread thief. He would outright slaughter the thief, no worrying about beating him. The guards would see this and recognize the Knights authority and use their pikes to kill the thief's family members that might be nearby - or just knock on their door. If someone where hiding the family, well then the whole town might just burn! They would be bringing these poor unfortunate souls to Pholtus, freeing them from the darkness that is their meager lives and allowing them to see his Glory.

    If this took place in northern Nyrond and the Pale border and the Knight was a Knight of the Valorous League, something similar to what would happen in Dimre might just be valid. The Knight comes across a bread thief. The thief would be asked if he has prayed to Pholtus and did Pholtus direct the thief to steal to feed his hungry family. If the thief said "Yes, I prayed and Pholtus said it was OK to steal to feed my starving family," the Knight would beat the thief because Pholtus follows a very Rigid and Righteous Path and would never give a follower - a true follower - permission to stray from that Path. If the thief said that he had not prayed, the Knight would beat the thief because he was not pious enough and therefore has one of two things wrong - he is either being punished by Pholtus for his lack of piety and therefore he is deserving of being starved (along with his family, as he is the head of the family and their eternal salvation) or he is being inhabited by demons. In either case, the guards approaching the Knight, seeing his Valorous League colors would not get involved. There are a couple reasons they would not get involved - These knights have no official jurisdiction - they are not outlaws, but they are welcomed to most towns - because they generally protect the townsfolk from Monster Manual / Fiend Folio style "heathens" - and therefore have demonstrated their authority. Also, noting the colors of the VL, if the guards were to prevent the Knight from "cleansing" the thief, their faith might be questioned, with their salvation being questioned. But lets go with they are unaware of the VL's colors or that this town isn't one that the VL frequents. The guards kill the Knight of the Valorous League. The town has a dead Knight of the VL, a beaten "bread" thief, and a couple guards. Oh boy. The town mayor would likely figure that it's time to high tail it out and declare the town up for grabs. With a dead KotVL, you know the whole crew comes in and declares the entire town to be full of demon worshiping (demons because they're chaotic) heathens and they burn the town down to the ground. Two days later they pour salt over the fields so that nothing will grow. Knowing this, I think the Knight lives, the guards take the thief and keep him locked up for the remainder of the time that the Knight stays in town.

    Lets say this plays out someplace in the Pale where the Church is the Law. The Pale is an interesting situation, because there should be no difference between Ecclesiastical Law and Governance Law (I don't remember the term for the Laws of the Land) in a Theocracy. However, as per Wg8 The Fate of Istus' Wintershiven section, there is a difference. The Pale is the one place in the Flanaess that boasts that there is not one organized Thieves Guild. This tells you that they are very harsh on thieves. Starving thieves may be a little different and that is the aspect that I take. If you stole a 10GP gem from Neighbor X it would be the same as if you broke in and sat on my Throne of the Sun, you would be severely punished. Thus the Knight approaches the bread thief and gives him a beating. After suffering the beating, he would be told to take his family to the temple to pray about what he has done. However, before leaving the Knight would give him a copper to feed his family. Now the guards walk in on this beating - seeing the authority of the knight, would not stop him. If there Knight were not part of the equation, the guards finding the thief, they too would likely beat the thief and put him jail. Thus the Knight would be easier on the poor fellow.

    If this took place in Greyhawk City, and a Knight of the Blinding Light saw a thief steal bread, he would likely not beat the citizen. With the climate in Greyhawk City, and the numerous Knights and other people of power, a Knight does not have the authority to "arrest and punish." However, if the Knight did "arrest and punish" then you scenario is possible, and is the only way I see it being possible. Thus the guards arrive and see an armed fellow attacking an ordinary citizen, they would be forced to attack the armed person. If he did or did not state that he was a Knight of the Blinding Light it would not matter - he is not a figure of justice within the city and the guards would attack. Being a Knight, once the guards arrived I think he would quit the beatings. However, the Knight thinks he is in the right and fights back, giving the thief time to consider his position. I think he'd act like the previous mayor above and FLEE. However, starving citizen finds a knife and stabs the Knight (he has to find the knife, because he could have sold it for food, ignoring this whole thing). The Knight dies. The thief is taken into custody for killing the Knight, but is released due to self-defense (because only the Knight knows he was stealing bread). Being that Justice was served - in that the thief was taken into custody and found innocent the other Knights would not be compelled to seek retribution on the poor starving citizen. If the citizen was found guilty of stealing the bread (because a witness is there, and we want to continue this lesson on Pholtus and his followers), the City of Greyhawk rules and regulations would take precedence over what the Knights might prefer (see CoG Boxset).

    If this scenario happened within the Domain of Greyhawk or another civilized area but in a small town and not in an urban area a mix of the above would happen. Knight of the Blinding Light is in a small village and notices a thief steal an apple from the cart. He picks up the thief and presents him to the owner. This is part of the beating (the picking up). Sheriff arrives and tells Knight to put the man down. Knight refuses for some un-Pholtus reason and ends up dead from an apple peeler. Sheriff declares the thief to pay restitution to the Knights family. This is a small village and everybody knows everybody, whereas a Knight travels from one town to the next, attempting to stop perceived ills that don't require his business anyway, I mean, shouldn't he be out there fighting the Monster Manual? I think this situation would be the same with a Knight of the Pale. If it were a Knight of the Valorous League, and he were on his own I think the situation would play the same, however, if he were with his crew (thinking that he is not in the Palish/Nyrond regions, but elsewhere, where he is unlikely to be recognized - but still within a heavy Pholtus belief system), the crew goes in the middle of the night, takes the Sheriff and the thief and crucifixes them in the center of the village square. The next several days are edgy for the villagers. The VL begins to make sure that everybody in the town follows the One True Path of Pholtus, and that they know that the VL and Pholtus expect the villagers to do the right thing - converting to the worship of Pholtus as well as ending the life of the thief and the Sheriff (as he had a hand in the death of the knight, because, an apple peeler really shouldn't kill even a 1st lvl Knight!).


    I hope I have clarified some of the misunderstanding of the way Pholtus is seen. In all, I cannot see the overall situation happening in the way proposed, but someone somewhere wins a $350 million lottery so just maybe the apple peeling wielding thief was lucky and the GM was using Paizo's Game Master Critical Deck and the thief rolled multiple 20's during the confirmation phase of the dice roll.

    I wish I could do this for the other gods, but alas, they are false and anybody following them deserved to die if they got stabbed by an apple peeler.

    Thank you and I'll be using some of these ideas for my future OJ article on Pholtus and his people.
    I welcome any discussion on any of the ideas I proposed.

    In His Path and Glory We Follow,
    Theocrat Issak of the Church of the One True Path of Pholtus
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    Last edited by TheocratIssak on Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:17 pm  

    Shocked

    OMGs

    Shocked

    Was that a book...



    AG Cool
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:23 pm  

    I bow to your wisdom Theocrat Issak plz forgive an unenlighted heathen Wink

    Boiled down for the unenlightened
    Original Church of Pholtus (LG) - Great Kingdom
    Church of Pholtus (One True Path LN) - Theocracy of the Pale
    Church of Pholtus (Blinding Path LG (LN) - Nyrond
    Church of Pholtus (Ebon Flame LE) - Dimre Bandit Kingdom

    The others such as Greyhawk, Shield Lands and other areas follow more or less a version of the creed expressed above.
    Site Theocrat

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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:36 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    I bow to your wisdom Theocrat Issak plz forgive an unenlighted heathen Wink


    Convert or Die!

    In His Path and Glory We Follow,
    Theocrat Issak
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    Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:11 pm  

    Happy Make me! Happy

    Only Father Zeus may command me, and only then by force! Shocked
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    Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:06 pm  

    Originally from the High Priest Issak:

    Crag wrote:
    I bow to your wisdom Theocrat Issak plz forgive an unenlighted heathen Wink

    Boiled down for the unenlightened
    Original Church of Pholtus (LG) - Great Kingdom
    Church of Pholtus (One True Path LN) - Theocracy of the Pale
    Church of Pholtus (Blinding Path LG (LN) - Nyrond
    Church of Pholtus (Ebon Flame LE) - Dimre Bandit Kingdom

    The others such as Greyhawk, Shield Lands and other areas follow more or less a version of the creed expressed above.


    -I like this.
    GreySage

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    Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:24 am  

    The term "ebon flame" is probably too close to the demon-conjuring Cult of the Black Flame. I'd rather the Pholtans of Dimre believe they're still following the Blinding Light, not some dark parody that eschews their patron's connection to celestial bodies altogether. It'd be more interesting to me if they took the normal Pholtan creed even further, calling themselves the Way of True Blindness, or the Unconquerable Light, or the Unchanging Law, or the Pure Way, or some other moniker indicating "we're much more extreme than other Pholtan sects, and therefore the best." They should have a name indicating their belief that the other sects have fallen short of or been corrupted from following Pholtus's original ideal. Perhaps the Undimmed Light, suggesting the other sects have faded from their original brilliance (and punning slightly on the name Dimre). The Pholtans of Dimre are ultra-Pholtans, Pholtans on crack. They're not the evil bizarro version of the Church of Pholtus, they're the zealots who have taken Pholtus's tenets to their illogical extreme, emphasizing his laws past the point of goodness or even neutrality.

    For that reason, I'm not fond of EbonGleam, either (besides the odd spacing choice).

    I also don't care for the idea that the Church of Pholtus was "originally" lawful good. Pholtus himself seems to have been always neutral-leaning, and he chose St. Ceril (who is lawful neutral) himself. What's more, at the time of the Great Kingdom's founding, Hextor and Heironeous were held in equal esteem, suggesting an overall lawful neutral bent. While lawful good sects of Pholtus doubtless exist today and in the past (expecially in Nyrond), I don't think this could have been the church's original state.
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    Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:42 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    The term "ebon flame" is probably too close to the demon-conjuring Cult of the Black Flame. I'd rather the Pholtans of Dimre believe they're still following the Blinding Light, not some dark parody that eschews their patron's connection to celestial bodies altogether. It'd be more interesting to me if they took the normal Pholtan creed even further, calling themselves the Way of True Blindness, or the Unconquerable Light, or the Unchanging Law, or the Pure Way, or some other moniker indicating "we're much more extreme than other Pholtan sects, and therefore the best." They should have a name indicating their belief that the other sects have fallen short of or been corrupted from following Pholtus's original ideal. Perhaps the Undimmed Light, suggesting the other sects have faded from their original brilliance (and punning slightly on the name Dimre). The Pholtans of Dimre are ultra-Pholtans, Pholtans on crack. They're not the evil bizarro version of the Church of Pholtus, they're the zealots who have taken Pholtus's tenets to their illogical extreme, emphasizing his laws past the point of goodness or even neutrality.
    For that reason, I'm not fond of EbonGleam, either (besides the odd spacing choice)...


    -I still like Theocrat Issak's breakdown, but I accept Rasgon's semantic issue; "Hail Dimre! Land of the Super-Dooper Stupendously Blinding Light!". Laughing

    rasgon wrote:
    ...I also don't care for the idea that the Church of Pholtus was "originally" lawful good. Pholtus himself seems to have been always neutral-leaning, and he chose St. Ceril (who is lawful neutral) himself. What's more, at the time of the Great Kingdom's founding, Hextor and Heironeous were held in equal esteem, suggesting an overall lawful neutral bent. While lawful good sects of Pholtus doubtless exist today and in the past (expecially in Nyrond), I don't think this could have been the church's original state.


    In all the old Greyhawk stuff, Pholtus was (IIRC) LN (LG); it's only in Living Greyhawk that he became LG.

    At about the same time, St. Cuthbert, who, IIRC, was LG (LN), suddenly became LN...
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:37 pm  

    Both Pholtus and St. Cuthbert were originally listed as LG (LN). I don't have a problem with the idea that Pholtus's church is primarily lawful good, only with the idea that lawful good was its original state and lawful neutral a newer innovation.
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    Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:21 pm  

    Threadomancy! Arise! Arise!

    I'm working on a Dimrite prestige class for my BK project and I am stumped about something: where did the term "Ebongleam" originate from IN CANON? I can't find it anywhere. Theocrat, did you make it up and it just sort of went viral? Was it created for the LGG but didn't make it in?

    Secondly, in canon, Pholtus is listed as LG(N) and in 1st edition he has non-clerical worshippers who are any lawful. Even more explicit, canon says that his clerics were LG except in the Pale, where they were LN. No mention anywhere of lawful evil clerics.

    In Greyhawk Adventures, his specialty priests are listed as lawful neutral. Again, no mention of lawful evil clerics.

    Yes, Dimre is founded by the heretical sect leader as per the LGG, but nothing says that sect is evil in the LGG or any other canon source that I found. In fact, it's not until the LGG that Dimre is associated with Pholtus at all. My guess is that when the Dimre shield was created for The Vale of the Mage or WOGA, it was decided that the two concentric circles used in the shield represented Pholtus' holy symbol. However, this was not canonized until LGG.

    So, where did the idea of lawful evil Dimrite Pholtans come from? I need some canon or the topic or I think it's wrong. Did I miss a canon reference somewhere?

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    Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:27 pm  

    SC-Tiny wrote:
    So, where did the idea of lawful evil Dimrite Pholtans come from? I need some canon or the topic or I think it's wrong.


    It was Gary Holian's idea, who has elaborated on it in chat. I don't think it's explicitly stated in canon that the heretical Pholtans of Dimre are evil, but I think the LGG strongly implies it with the line "Dimre’s clergy preaches that to understand the glory of Light, one must first walk hand-in-hand with Darkness." (Which contradicts my statement earlier in this thread that they shouldn't have "Darkness" in their name - I still think EbonGleam and ebon flame are bad names, though). You could argue against that interpretation, but it was the author's intent.

    The idea is also related to Samwise's history of the Hand and Eye of Vecna, which has the artifacts brought to Dimre by followers of the corrupted Paladin-King of Miro.

    My own interpretation is that the Pholtans of Dimre are actually (and perhaps unwittingly) getting their spells from Vecna, not Pholtus, which solves the problem that lawful evil clerics of Pholtus technically aren't allowed. Even if the Dimreans were lawful neutral, it'd still be a problem that Dimre and Pholtus were fighting each other (to some extent, though the LGG suggests the Pale actually secretly finds Dimre useful). Non-intervention pact or no, Pholtus has a powerful tool he can use to prevent doctrinal disputes from erupting into violence - he can stop granting spells to one side of the conflict, thus establishing beyond a doubt which side Pholtus favors. He may not care to take sides with the lawful neutral Pale faction or the lawful good Nyrondel faction, but if his flock actually starts killing each other, one would think he'd do something. Or perhaps not.
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    Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:43 pm  

    But if Pholtus decides to cut it off to both sides and the Dimrians are actually getting their spells from Vecna but don't know it, then they would think they are the winners and maybe cause the whole church to descend into doctrinal chaos. Just and idea.
    GreySage

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    Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:19 pm  

    vonbek wrote:
    Just an idea.


    And a good "point." If Pholtus did nothing, then others would also get the impression that Pholtus was supporting the Dimrians.

    This could well give others the "further" impression that Pholtus was -- or was becoming -- Lawful Evil, himself.

    For his own honor and reputation then, Pholtus would have to act, in order to circumvent whatever Vecna was doing. I don't think that Pholtus could simply "sit it out." He would be forced to support the side opposing Vecna, or at least make it evident that he opposed the Vecna supported Dimrians.

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:05 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    He would be forced to support the side opposing Vecna, or at least make it evident that he opposed the Vecna supported Dimrians.


    The problem is, he can't do the latter; he can't intervene on Oerth except by empowering his clerics and paladins, unless he wants someone on the evil/chaotic side of the equation to be able to intervene to an equal extent. And if all he's doing is granting spells and special abilities to clerics and paladins, well... the clerics and anti-paladins of Dimre are also getting spells, so it's not evident to a casual observer that Pholtus favors one over the other. Even if you think that evil deities can only grant "evil" powers (commanding rather than turning undead, harming rather than healing), a mortal on Oerth could easily argue that Pholtus is a neutral deity, granting evil powers to his evil followers and good powers to his good followers.

    As I see it, there are two possibilities:

    Pholtus: Why are you sending my paladins over to Dimre to be killed?
    Theocrat: Dimre is full of blasphemers using your name in vain. Also, it gives meddlesome adventuring types something to do rather than causing trouble here.
    Pholtus: Actually, I support both Dimre and the Pale equally.
    Theocrat: I can't tell anyone that! It'd cause chaos!
    Pholtus: This makes me uncomfortable! But carry on.

    Or:

    Pholtus: Why are you sending my paladins over to Dimre to be killed?
    Theocrat: The paladins are totally detecting evil in your clerics there!
    Pholtus: What? I'll stop granting them spells! Then they'll straighten up.
    Vecna: Fine. I'll grant their spells and tell them I'm you.
    Pholtus: Is that allowed? Can he do that? Who made you a demigod, anyhow? I don't see you listed in the World of Greyhawk boxed set. The DMG said you were just some lich that Kas destroyed.
    Vecna: David "Zeb" Cook.
    Council of greater deities: We'll allow it.
    Pholtus: Grr. Fine. Carry on.

    From a mortal perspective, it wouldn't be obvious which side was correct. A commune spell would work, but only if you asked the right deity.

    Cleric of Pholtus from the Pale: O heavenly father, which doctrine is the correct one, the Church of the Blinding Light, or the Church of Light and Darkness?
    Pholtus: Er, neither side turned out exactly how I expected... but the Pale is more correct than Dimre is.
    Cleric: Thank you, O Pholtus. Thy will be done.

    Cleric of Pholtus from Dimre: O heavenly father, which doctrine is the correct one, the Church of the Blinding Light, or the Church of Light and Darkness?
    Vecna: The Church of Light and Darkness, of course. If there is nothing but light, everyone is blind. One requires both light and darkness to truly see.
    Cleric: Thank you, O Pholtus. Praise be to the Light that blinds, and to the Darkness that illuminates.

    Cleric of Hextor: Mighty Herald of Hell, I'm mildly curious. Why are two sects of Pholtans fighting each other?
    Hextor: Pholtus waits to see which side will prove itself superior in battle. Then he will show his favor to the victor.
    Cleric: That makes perfect sense. Why is it taking so long?
    Hextor: Because both sides are weak and stupid.
    Cleric: That also makes perfect sense! Thank you for confirming my prejudices, O Hextor.
    Hextor: Not a problem. Don't be a stranger, now.
    GreySage

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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:18 pm  

    Rasgon, ole' buddy, have you always been a fan of conundrums? Laughing

    It is rather problematic for Pholtus, isn't it? Evil Grin
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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:55 pm  

    That was pretty amusing, Rasgon, and nicely sums up some of the problems I have been having with this issue (in fact, Britt and I have been arguing about it for a while now).

    The problem I have with LE Dimrites getting their spells from Vecna, even if they think they are getting them from Pholtus, is that there is no canon support for the idea that Dimrites are evil other than one brief line in the LGG about them walking handing in hand with the darkness. Yes, darkness could equate to evil, but if Pholtus' light represents Law, doesn't it actually make more sense that darkness then represents Chaos? Perhaps we've all gone about this wrong. Based upon this theory, Dimrites shouldn't be LE, they should be CG/CN. Even more bizarre, if Light is LG, then perhaps Darkness should be CE.

    (Imo, it would make even more sense if the Dimrites were NG, Palish were LN, and most Pholtans elsewhere were LG. Then the Dimrites' tendencies away from law and to accept some chaos would make perfect sense and would help to set up major tensions between LN Pale and NG Dimre. However, Dimre's NG alignment would then be tested by the fact that they did indeed, per canon, raid other nations, such as Tenh or Stoink. A "kindler, gentler" NG Dimre doesn't fit at all with what we developed in the BK during LG. However, part of my project is to fix what LG got wrong [despite Britt's yowling that fixing any LG mistakes is not fair to LG].)

    Now, again regarding LE Dimrites somehow getting spells from Vecna but thinking they are getting spells from Pholtus, I don't buy it. From a mechanics stand point, and I believe in a D&D world in which the mechanics are pretty much well known to the learned inhabitants (regardless of edition), there are several key indicators.

    1) In an earlier edition of the game, clerics of Pholtus gained the ability to cast dispel darkness, glow, and reflect at 1st, 5th, and 9th levels. It therefore follows that a cleric who is not granted these special powers CANNOT be a cleric of Pholtus.

    2) In addition, clerics of Pholtus MUST turn undead, not rebuke. Clerics of Vecna MUST rebuke undead, not turn. This would be a known fact of faith, imo. Therefore, the first time a Dimrite rebuked undead in Pholtus' name, his comrades would be very surprised and would probably torture the poor evil bastard until they learned the truth of the matter.

    3) In addition, it is my belief that clerics must use their god's holy symbol to cast spells. While Vecna is a god of secrets, etc., I just don't see Pholtus not noticing if some LE schmuck who has been duped by Vecna is casting spells in his name. It's then easy for Pholtus to relay this information to his outsider servants, who then make sure that the appropriate mortals learn of it via divinations. After all, gods know what is going on whenever their name is said, right? Yes, I assume that the god's name is mentioned when a clerical spell is cast, except perhaps in the case of Vecna and other trickery oriented gods. (BTW, is there any discussion of mechanics anywhere in canon of whether or not clerics of Vatun were receiving spells while Iuz was pretending to be that god? It's probably in Iuz the Evil).

    4) In addition, the few paladins of Pholtus living in Dimre would be wandering around, detecting evil for no reason, as paladins are likely to do when bored, and would notify the authorities when someone sets off their evil-detecting radars. Again, torture probably ensues after a few quick divinations.

    All of this, of course, would be a moot point if Pholtus were LN, as I would probably make him in a home campaign. However, for official purposes as relates to my BK gazetteer project, I just can't accept that Dimrites have openly evil clerics who purport to worship Pholtus, regardless of who much they believe this to be true based on the mechanics of D&D through various editions of the game (excluding 4th edition, which I do not care to know anything about nor would any arguments using 4th edition sway me in any way).

    Now, with all that being said, during LG, we did envision Dimre has being harshly LN with a penchant towards self-flagellation, zero-crime tolerance, etc., HOWEVER, they were willing to tolerate evil IF it furthered the purpose of Law. In addition, one plot cooked up by Theo, who used to visit these boards, was that a high ranking official of Dimre, an arcane spellcaster, was a LE cultist of a devil lord. So, I can see how a LE cult could arise in Dimre, I just refuse to accept, based on the mechanics of D&D through several editions, that the LE clerics who purported to worship Pholtus would be accepted as Pholtans by other Pholtans.
    GreySage

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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:50 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    The problem I have with LE Dimrites getting their spells from Vecna, even if they think they are getting them from Pholtus, is that there is no canon support for the idea that Dimrites are evil other than one brief line in the LGG about them walking handing in hand with the darkness.


    There's no canon support for the idea that they're anything other than evil, either.

    Quote:
    Yes, darkness could equate to evil, but if Pholtus' light represents Law, doesn't it actually make more sense that darkness then represents Chaos?


    Perhaps. But we don't know that Pholtus's light represents Law. Most likely, it represents a number of things: law, goodness (constrained by law), knowledge (of law and goodness), unwillingness to see alternatives, the destiny of the Oeridian people, the proper ownership of the See of Medegia, the celestial bodies, prescience of the future, the corrupt nature of perceived reality, Pholtus himself, you name it.

    Quote:
    Even more bizarre, if Light is LG, then perhaps Darkness should be CE.


    Why is that bizarre? That seems the most reasonable explanation to me. If Pholtus is the Light, or the herald and prophet of the Light, then Darkness should be the opposite of Pholtus in every respect. If Pholtus is LG/LN, then Darkness should be CN/CE, somewhere in the vicinity of Pandemonium.

    That's not Vecna's alignment, of course, but I view Vecna as more of an opportunist than someone who deeply cares what the Dimreans believe.

    Quote:
    1) In an earlier edition of the game, clerics of Pholtus gained the ability to cast dispel darkness, glow, and reflect at 1st, 5th, and 9th levels. It therefore follows that a cleric who is not granted these special powers CANNOT be a cleric of Pholtus.


    Why can't Vecna grant them these powers? Just because he doesn't grant them to his own clerics doesn't mean he doesn't have the ability to grant them to false cults that aren't in his name.

    And of course, even if this isn't the case, from the perspective of someone in the Flanaess, they would only know that "most clerics of Pholtus have these powers, but Pholtus or some other entity has chosen to give them different powers in Dimre." That's not proof that the powers are coming from someone other than Pholtus, only proof that the god, unknowable as all gods are, has chosen to reward these particular followers differently.

    And how can a mortal truly know? Perhaps the powers that clerics of Pholtus display elsewhere are the false ones, and the powers of Dimre are the true ones.

    That said, it's my assumption that a god falsely granting powers in another god's name would imitate the powers commonly associated with the god. Otherwise it'd be a poor scam.

    Quote:
    2) In addition, clerics of Pholtus MUST turn undead, not rebuke. Clerics of Vecna MUST rebuke undead, not turn.


    See above.

    Quote:
    3) In addition, it is my belief that clerics must use their god's holy symbol to cast spells.


    Mine too. In this case, corrupted clerics of Pholtus would need to use a (possibly a slightly variant version of) Pholtus's holy symbol to cast their spells. If an inner circle of them find out where their powers are really coming from, they could use Vecna's holy symbol as well.

    Quote:
    I just don't see Pholtus not noticing if some LE schmuck who has been duped by Vecna is casting spells in his name.


    I'm sure he knows. He just can't do much about it.

    Quote:
    It's then easy for Pholtus to relay this information to his outsider servants, who then make sure that the appropriate mortals learn of it via divinations.


    Sure. And, as above, inappropriate mortals learn contradictory things. Why should the people of Dimre care what blasphemers and idolators think? They know the truth.

    Quote:
    (BTW, is there any discussion of mechanics anywhere in canon of whether or not clerics of Vatun were receiving spells while Iuz was pretending to be that god? It's probably in Iuz the Evil).


    I'm not sure, but I'm of the opinion that Iuz was perfectly capable of granting spells in Vatun's name.

    Quote:
    4) In addition, the few paladins of Pholtus living in Dimre would be wandering around, detecting evil for no reason, as paladins are likely to do when bored, and would notify the authorities when someone sets off their evil-detecting radars. Again, torture probably ensues after a few quick divinations.


    Yup. That's why the LGG notes that the paladins (templars) from the Pale keep getting killed when they go to Dimre.

    Of course, you don't even need Vecna (or another evil deity) as an explanation, since 3e Forgotten Realms introduced a feat that allowed clerics of false cults to gain spells without requiring any deity at all.

    Allowing false cults, religious schisms, and uncertainty to profligate is good for an RPG campaign. I see no reason to invent a multiverse in which such things are impossible. TSR/WotC did not do so.
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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:34 pm  

    From Rasgon:
    Pholtus: Why are you sending my paladins over to Dimre to be killed?
    Theocrat: The paladins are totally detecting evil in your clerics there!
    Pholtus: What? I'll stop granting them spells! Then they'll straighten up.
    Vecna: Fine. I'll grant their spells and tell them I'm you.
    Pholtus: Is that allowed? Can he do that? Who made you a demigod, anyhow? I don't see you listed in the World of Greyhawk boxed set. The DMG said you were just some lich that Kas destroyed.
    Vecna: David "Zeb" Cook.
    Council of greater deities: We'll allow it.
    Pholtus: Grr. Fine. Carry on.
    -------
    I saw this and spurted egg drop soup. Damn you!

    This could be a Mortellan comic any day. Almost like the one I proposed and he wrote regarding st. cuthbert taking on Tritherion's portfolio. I'd link it, but I haven't yet fixed GHO.
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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:49 pm  

    It might be relevant that the Lords of the Gloaming are a Pholtan order that "stands between darkness and light." To them, darkness evidently means the Lower Planes.
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    Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:46 pm  

    I love debating religion in the real world and I have to say it does not lose any of it's fascination in our shared make believe one.
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    Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    There's no canon support for the idea that they're anything other than evil, either.


    This is a poor rhetorical device and I believe that you know it.

    rasgon wrote:

    Perhaps. But we don't know that Pholtus's light represents Law. Most likely, it represents a number of things: law, goodness (constrained by law), knowledge (of law and goodness), unwillingness to see alternatives, the destiny of the Oeridian people, the proper ownership of the See of Medegia, the celestial bodies, prescience of the future, the corrupt nature of perceived reality, Pholtus himself, you name it.

    aurdraco wrote:
    Even more bizarre, if Light is LG, then perhaps Darkness should be CE.


    Why is that bizarre? That seems the most reasonable explanation to me. If Pholtus is the Light, or the herald and prophet of the Light, then Darkness should be the opposite of Pholtus in every respect. If Pholtus is LG/LN, then Darkness should be CN/CE, somewhere in the vicinity of Pandemonium.


    I think it's fair to assert that Light "probably" refers to Law (LG/LN) since that is what Pholtus focuses on, imo. Therefore, Darkness as Chaos (CN/CE), instead of evil, is an eminently reasonable conclusion.

    rasgon wrote:
    Why can't Vecna grant them these powers? Just because he doesn't grant them to his own clerics doesn't mean he doesn't have the ability to grant them to false cults that aren't in his name.


    Why can he? What rules or information in canon materials state that this can happen? Sure, any of us can make a home campaign PrC that grants these powers, but that doesn't defeat my point that the multiverse's rules are well known to its powerful occupants.

    rasgon wrote:
    And of course, even if this isn't the case, from the perspective of someone in the Flanaess, they would only know that "most clerics of Pholtus have these powers, but Pholtus or some other entity has chosen to give them different powers in Dimre." That's not proof that the powers are coming from someone other than Pholtus, only proof that the god, unknowable as all gods are, has chosen to reward these particular followers differently.

    And how can a mortal truly know? Perhaps the powers that clerics of Pholtus display elsewhere are the false ones, and the powers of Dimre are the true ones.


    Again, this ignores my point that the gods ARE knowable in D&D and on Oerth due to magical communication and planar travel.

    rasgon wrote:
    That said, it's my assumption that a god falsely granting powers in another god's name would imitate the powers commonly associated with the god. Otherwise it'd be a poor scam.


    Agreed, but I find nothing in the core/canon rules of the major previous editions which allow for this.

    aurdraco wrote:
    2) In addition, clerics of Pholtus MUST turn undead, not rebuke. Clerics of Vecna MUST rebuke undead, not turn.

    rasgon wrote:
    See above.


    There is no rule precedent anywhere that I am aware of that would allow an evil god to grant its cleric the ability to turn and a good one its cleric the ability to rebuke. Yes, Wee Jas at LN limits her clergy to rebuking, but this is not the same thing. Therefore, I do not accept that Vecna can grant anyone the ability to channel positive energy for the purposes of turning undead. Again, the multiverse has rules.

    aurdraco wrote:
    3) In addition, it is my belief that clerics must use their god's holy symbol to cast spells.

    rasgon wrote:
    Mine too. In this case, corrupted clerics of Pholtus would need to use a (possibly a slightly variant version of) Pholtus's holy symbol to cast their spells. If an inner circle of them find out where their powers are really coming from, they could use Vecna's holy symbol as well.


    While a clever work around, I again take the position that this is not allowed by the rules. Gods have clearly defined holy symbols. Yes, the idea for different variant symbols (based on culture, evolution of dogma, etc.,) makes sense, but it is not, afaik, technically legal per the rules of the various editions. Therefore, to cast spells in Pholtus' name, a cleric must use Pholtus' proper symbol. The same holds true for Vecna or any other god.

    aurdraco wrote:
    I just don't see Pholtus not noticing if some LE schmuck who has been duped by Vecna is casting spells in his name.
    rasgon wrote:
    I'm sure he knows. He just can't do much about it.


    It's then easy for Pholtus to relay this information to his outsider servants, who then make sure that the appropriate mortals learn of it via divinations.

    rasgon wrote:
    Sure. And, as above, inappropriate mortals learn contradictory things. Why should the people of Dimre care what blasphemers and idolators think? They know the truth.


    You are taking a position that Dimre is run by LE clerics who think they are Pholtans or who are pretending to be Pholtans. As I have shown, there is no canon basis for this position, therefore it is moot.

    aurdraco wrote:
    (BTW, is there any discussion of mechanics anywhere in canon of whether or not clerics of Vatun were receiving spells while Iuz was pretending to be that god? It's probably in Iuz the Evil).

    rasgon wrote:
    I'm not sure, but I'm of the opinion that Iuz was perfectly capable of granting spells in Vatun's name.


    Again, this is your opinion, it does not appear to be based on any canon fact or rules.

    aurdraco wrote:
    4) In addition, the few paladins of Pholtus living in Dimre would be wandering around, detecting evil for no reason, as paladins are likely to do when bored, and would notify the authorities when someone sets off their evil-detecting radars. Again, torture probably ensues after a few quick divinations.

    rasgon wrote:
    Yup. That's why the LGG notes that the paladins (templars) from the Pale keep getting killed when they go to Dimre.


    LGG wrote:
    Brave young templars are often sent by
    the Pale’s theocrat to undermine the little realm. The
    appalling failure rate of such endeavors has led many
    to suggest (in private) that Dimre presents the Pale
    with a convenient means for disposing of challengers
    to the status quo.


    While this may imply that the templars are killed, it is not explicit. In addition, templars do not necessarily have to equate to paladins. For all we know, the Dimrites could be capturing the Palish templars and converting them to the Ebongleam. This would certainly be in line with a NG Dimre.

    rasgon wrote:
    Of course, you don't even need Vecna (or another evil deity) as an explanation, since 3e Forgotten Realms introduced a feat that allowed clerics of false cults to gain spells without requiring any deity at all.


    This I was not aware of but we aren't talking about Forgotten Realms, we are talking about Oerth. I am very strict about FR material being applied to Oerth because we did not tend to allow it in Living Greyhawk. Naturally, home DMs can do whatever they want.

    rasgon wrote:
    Allowing false cults, religious schisms, and uncertainty to profligate is good for an RPG campaign. I see no reason to invent a multiverse in which such things are impossible. TSR/WotC did not do so.


    Your conclusion is too broad as you have not proven that they did indeed make such things possible OTHER than their general rule that the DM should do whatever the DM wants to do. I see no rules or canon precedents which should lead us to presume that the Dimrites are LE pretenders who are getting their spells via some other agency. You have provided no canonical support for this position, merely opinion and speculation. That's fine for a home campaign, but this is Canonfire.

    Casey
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    Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:57 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    This is a poor rhetorical device and I believe that you know it.


    Not at all. My point is that Dimre is virtually a blank slate. Assuming that Dimre isn't lawful evil is just as wild and unfounded as assuming it is. We have little canonical grounds for making any assumptions at all about the state, and no grounds for considering the lawful evil interpretation to be "wrong." I wouldn't consider the lawful neutral interpretation to be "wrong," either, though the neutral good one seems fairly dubious to me (I won't out and out deny it's a possibility, though).

    Quote:
    I think it's fair to assert that Light "probably" refers to Law (LG/LN) since that is what Pholtus focuses on, imo. Therefore, Darkness as Chaos (CN/CE), instead of evil, is an eminently reasonable conclusion.


    Chaos in addition to evil, rather. But Dimre embraces both Darkness and the Light, so what that means is pretty much up for grabs. If it combines the evil inherent in Darkness with the order inherit in Light, it could as easily be lawful evil as anything else.

    Quote:
    Why can he? What rules or information in canon materials state that this can happen?


    More importantly, there's no indication anywhere that it can't happen. Your assumption that it can't is no more persuasive than my assumption that it can. If there's anything worse than a rules lawyer, it's a rules lawyer whose arguments have nothing to do with the rules. You can't just invent rules stating that fun ideas aren't permitted to happen and expect anyone who doesn't play in your game to be impressed.

    If there's no rule against it, and it's fun, it works. That's, like, the entire point of roleplaying games.

    Quote:
    Sure, any of us can make a home campaign PrC that grants these powers, but that doesn't defeat my point that the multiverse's rules are well known to its powerful occupants.


    There's no reason to think that "the multiverse's rules" are what you declare them to be. There's no reason anyone in Dimre should be automatically impressed by what the multiverse's "powerful occupants" tell them when they're convinced their own god is telling them otherwise.

    Quote:
    Again, this ignores my point that the gods ARE knowable in D&D and on Oerth due to magical communication and planar travel.


    I'll concede your point when:

    1. The rulers of Dimre get a personal audience with Pholtus.
    2. Someone proves to them that it's actually Pholtus they're talking to, when they believe that Pholtus has already assured them otherwise.

    And for that matter, that applies equally to the rulers of the Pale, your PCs, and everyone else in the multiverse. With all the magical means of deception in the D&D game, nothing is 100% knowable.

    rasgon wrote:
    Agreed, but I find nothing in the core/canon rules of the major previous editions which allow for this.


    You're inventing limitations where there aren't any.

    Quote:
    I again take the position that this is not allowed by the rules.


    You would be wrong, unless by "the rules" you really mean "the rules you made up."

    Quote:
    . Yes, the idea for different variant symbols (based on culture, evolution of dogma, etc.,) makes sense, but it is not, afaik, technically legal per the rules of the various editions.


    Considering that most of the major gods have been given multiple variant symbols in canon (compare Istus's symbol in From the Ashes to her symbol in The Player's Guide to Greyhawk, or Rudd's symbol in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer to her symbol in Dragon #265), you would be incorrect.

    Quote:
    It's then easy for Pholtus to relay this information to his outsider servants, who then make sure that the appropriate mortals learn of it via divinations.


    And it's easy for Vecna to relay contradictory information through his outsider servants.

    Quote:
    You are taking a position that Dimre is run by LE clerics who think they are Pholtans or who are pretending to be Pholtans. As I have shown, there is no canon basis for this position, therefore it is moot.


    And as I've shown, there's no canon basis for any other position. By your "logic," we can have no discussion at all.

    Quote:
    While this may imply that the templars are killed, it is not explicit. In addition, templars do not necessarily have to equate to paladins.


    "Templar" is the official name for a Pholtan paladin. See Dungeon #104.

    Quote:
    For all we know, the Dimrites could be capturing the Palish templars and converting them to the Ebongleam.


    That wouldn't be a very convenient means for the Pale of disposing them, would it? Admittedly it's all rumor, but I think they're being killed.

    Quote:
    This I was not aware of but we aren't talking about Forgotten Realms, we are talking about Oerth. I am very strict about FR material being applied to Oerth because we did not tend to allow it in Living Greyhawk.


    Fair enough, but if we're talking about whether the game (in its first through third editions) has allowed heretical cults, there is that precedent. Since the Forgotten Realms is a similar multiverse (in terms of being able to visit/commune with the gods) I'd say that's a pretty ample rebuttal to your central point. There's no rule saying heretical/false cults are impossible in D&D, and there is a rule saying that they're perfectly possible. In your house rules you may disallow feats that only appear in the FR rules (though considering there are far more FR supplements than Greyhawk ones, I'll argue that says more about availability of space than anything else), but that doesn't change the fact that your entire premise is has been shown to be false.

    Naturally, as a home DM, you can do what you want, but this discussion would be more productive if you'd stop insisting that your home rules are "canon" for the rest of us.

    All that said, I don't really have a dog in this race, since I've never even used Dimre in game play. I think having it as a lawful evil Pholtusian theocracy is an interesting idea, though, and I know it doesn't contradict any "canon" (particularly as it was the intent of one of the LGG's authors). There are a number of possible explanations for this, including Pholtus being impersonated by another god, Dimre being an exception to Pholtus's usual rules, or the priests of Dimre spending a feat to gain spells without Pholtus's participation. If you don't like any of those ideas, that's fine. I'm not here to tell you what Dimre is or what it should be. I'm pretty happy with the "sternly lawful neutral" version you describe in Living Greyhawk, honestly. But D&D and Greyhawk has never been a game where every single thing that hasn't been explicitly spelled out is somehow illegal or wrong. Quite the opposite. If you're going to make the claim that a given interpretation is "wrong" or impossible by the rules of the multiverse, the onus is completely on you.
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    Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:58 pm  

    As usual, Rasgon, great points. I probably got ahead of myself in my last post when I should have been keeping the issue simpler. The crux of the matter, in my mind, is the belief that Dimre is LE when, imo, there is no canonical evidence for this. Imo, the bits in the LGG could be interpreted in a variety of ways, none of which can be proven correct. The use of the phrase "heretical apostate cult of Pholtus" is very confusing as an apostate denounces his religion.

    Awesome templar = paladin reference. Did that issue of Dungeon come out before or after the LGG? I'm betting that if it was before, the LGG authors included it on purpose as they did a great job of weaving bits of lore into the LGG where they could.

    I'll spend more time thinking about this before I write up Dimre's entry for my BK project. Thanks for your points!
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    Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:24 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    Awesome templar = paladin reference. Did that issue of Dungeon come out before or after the LGG? I'm betting that if it was before, the LGG authors included it on purpose as they did a great job of weaving bits of lore into the LGG where they could.


    Long after, actually, but the article was by Gary Holian.
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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:25 am  

    While pondering the evidences presented in this thread another possibility occured to me.

    Whereas the gods of Greyhawk are neither omnipotent nor omniscient, and;

    Whereas the gods generally attained their powers through a process over time (whether they were primodial essences which eventually gained awareness, super beings created by more powerful entities which learned to gain more power by creating lesser creatures to worship them, or mortals that acquired divine status through some epic means);

    It can be concluded that the gods are still learning. That being the case, it is not unreasonable to postulate that Pholtus may be aware of what his priests in Dimre are doing, that they are prosthelytizing heresy according to his proscribed teachings, that they are crossing a line blasphemous to his portfolio while at the same time deciding that it is an intriguing direction of thought and continuing to grant them spells and other divine powers. That (as a strictly Lawful deity) it is a worthy experiment. As long as it is controlled (that is, contained within a small segment of his worshipers), it may be a valuable excercise with respect to Pholtus' greater knowledge and experience. He may simply be willing to sacrifice a few of his worshipers for the sake of the experiment on the chance that he may gain something greater as a result.

    He may eventually decide that Lawful Evil is not where he wants to go with his portfolio and quit granting spells to his clerics in Dimre and encourage his faithful elsewhere to eradicate them. It is likely, in that scenario, that the abandoned clerics of Dimre would immediately seek another, Lawful Evil, god to venerate and destroying them would be more difficult the longer Pholtus waits to see it done.

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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:09 pm  

    On Thursday night's GreyTalk, rasgon, myself, and Russ Taylor dove into this issue, searching canon far and wide for rules references and clues. Here is a summary of what we found, based on the chronological order of the references (rasgon, correct me if I get this wrong please, typing this up without having the sources up):

    1st Edition sources:
    Deities and Demigods states that clerics must have the same alignment as the deity they worship.
    Glossography p45, Pholtus listed as having worshipers of any lawful alignment.

    Proto-2nd Edition:
    Greyhawk Adventures, all clerics of Pholtus must be LN.

    2nd Edition:
    From the Ashes, Pholtus listed as having worshipers of any lawful alignment, clerics must be LG or LN (in the Pale, LN only).

    3rd Edition:
    PHB, Clerics must be within one alignment step of the god they worship.

    Based on the above, I think we all 3 agreed that, as far as canon goes, Pholtus does not have LE clerics nor was the intention of the Glossography's worshiper alignment reference intended to include clerics as clerics were already covered by rules from the DDG book which was already out.

    Casey


    Last edited by aurdraco on Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:01 pm  

    aurdraco wrote:
    Proto-2nd Edition:
    Greyhawk Adventures, Pholtus listed as having worshipers of any lawful alignment, clerics must be LG or LN (LN in the Pale only).


    I think you're mixing up Greyhawk Adventures with From the Ashes. In Greyhawk Adventures, uider "Pholtus' Clerics" (page 17), it says their alignment is Lawful Neutral. It does not give any alternate alignments, nor does it give country-based exceptions. By that source, all Pholtusian clerics everywhere are lawful neutral.

    From the Ashes says that clerics of Pholtus can be either lawful neutral or lawful good, but says those from the Pale may only be lawful neutral (Atlas of the Flanaess, 91).

    Quote:
    , I think we all 3 agreed that Pholtus does not have LE clerics


    Well, by canon. There are still workarounds (as above, secretly gaining spells from another deity, spending a feat, or a special exception for those of Dimre, who are obviously not like the standard light-worshiping Pholtans).
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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:47 pm  

    Rasgon, I edited my post. Thanks for the corrections. Does that look right, now? FtA was 2nd edition, right?

    I also qualified my concluding statement a bit more.

    Casey
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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:39 pm  

    Yes, FTA was 2e. I'd phrase it as "In the Pale, LN only" since "LN in the Pale only" makes it sound as if the Pale is the only place you'll find LN Pholtan clerics, which isn't the case.
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    Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:36 pm  

    I think the edition limitations is something of a misnomer as the Paladin aka Templar (Pholtus) was intended to be strict. With the rule creep of later editions with people asking "whay can't I be a holy warrior" for "pick a divine being" thus the issue was conceeded.

    Sargent, I believe intended the Pale, to show the scuffs on the armour depending on the view point as the templars as written feel no ambivilence.The LGG provided Dimre as a further herectical position though whether the deep ecclassical issues were considered or simply it was a fun idea remains open for discussion.

    Though the question remains; Are they still a paladin if you serve corrupt ends, and who makes the determination?

    Perhaps as rasgon suggests, Pholtus is merely strectching his spiritual legs and simply wants to know where the experiment ends.

    Its strange; a while back, in part due to this thread, IIRC. I wrote a series of paladin oversight and schism articles for several faiths. Cebrion contacted me as he was interested so we tossed around ideas. I didn't want to step on toes as he planned a gazateer, so I shelved the articles. It is what caught the attention of the "beyond the flanaess" project.

    With the apparent interest, I should submit them and allow the editors mull them over as my time is currently consumed with the "beyond the flanaess" supplements.

    Just a thought...


    Last edited by Crag on Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:41 am  

    Crag wrote:
    Sargent provided Dimre as a further herectical position though whether the deep ecclassical issues were considered or simply it was a fun idea remains open for discussion.


    Dimre is not detailed at all in Iuz the Evil (Dimre isn't detailed at all until LGG, i.e., even the city of Alhaster did not exist until then). Is there some other Sargent source you are referring to?
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    Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:52 am  

    Embarassed

    My mistake, it was late...the post has been edited.
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    Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:33 pm  

    All we knew about Dimre prior to the LGG was what Dragon #56 and #63 said about it: that its leader, Szek Winvid, was a 10th level cleric (commanding 300 cavalry and 550 infantry). That makes it clear the state was a theocracy, but its alignment isn't given.
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    Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:35 pm  
    LE vs. LN Pholtines

    Wow ... okay ... *way* back at the beginning of the OP, this was an interesting discussion of different churches ... it's kind of devolved into a semantic debate.

    I'm glad that you guys came to a grudging middle ground. The whole thing came down to " ... in *my* campaign ..."
    Really? Is it about arguing semantic little minute distictions of rules editions and minutiae of linguistic usage regarding who's more right than the other? No ... it's simply someone saying, "I wanna do something that is different that other people's campaigns." But that's not any more right, or better, than anyone else's campaigns ... so, "prooving" who's right and who's wrong is a little far out for what's supposed to be nothing but a game. (granted, rules-lawyering an issue to death *is* a game for some people.)

    I am not coming down on any of the marvelous knowledge that these to fellas have ... Aurdraco and Rasgon both know that I respect their encyclopedic knowledge of GH and that they're both considered friends by me when we talk in Thrusday night chats ...

    I'm just saying that I wish that the thread hadn't derailed into an alignment issue. I was really looking forward to a couple of pages worth of discussion on the Original Post. ... it did make for interesting reading though. I especially liked the fact that "Templars" came up ... I use that name for them to exclusivity in my home campaign; as do I for the "Crusaders" of Pelor (fr. LGJ # 20, Paladins of GH, also by Gary Holian). Hmm ... that brings to mind somethings I've been wanting to write ...

    Dangit, now you guys went and inspired me to make game notes for my home campaign! D'oh!
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    Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:11 pm  

    I would say a possibility for LE clerics of Pholtus exists as chaos and evil where major concerns of this region. Pholtus decided to turn a blind eye to their actions as the desired results are being met. I never liked alignments for gods just portfolios however I feel the churches themselves interpret the gods actions as gods cannot directly effect things on Oerth with approval from the other gods.

    All in all whether Aurdraco decides to use a LN or LE approach in his BK project is a mute point to me as the author reserves the right to interpret his take on it. Rasgon has given good alternatives but I prefer having Pholtus grant the abilities as Lawful is his main portfolio and good can be defined as for the good of the people even though the means by which this is acheived is grey at best. NOt to say that Dimre is not a LN/LE state with law and order being the edicts of the day.

    What ever you decide for your project it will be on my to read list.

    Although a site called Canonfire represents a convention that does not need to strictly adhere to canon imo. Hence Canonfire not Canonical law.
    Fire off in the face of canon or strictly adhere to it if you wish i'm fine either way.
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:50 am  

    Icarus wrote:


    Wow ... okay ... *way* back at the beginning of the OP, this was an interesting discussion of different churches ... it's kind of devolved into a semantic debate...I'm just saying that I wish that the thread hadn't derailed into an alignment issue...


    -The minutae may have been a bit much, but the alignment of the Dimre Pholtans is something that I'd like to see resolved. It hasn't come up in my campaign, and it might not EVER come up, but still... I'm stuck on the idea of everyone being on the same sheet of music. So at the risk of yet another "well, in my campaign..."

    rasgon wrote:

    ...I don't think it's explicitly stated in canon that the heretical Pholtans of Dimre are evil, but I think the LGG strongly implies it with the line "Dimre’s clergy preaches that to understand the glory of Light, one must first walk hand-in-hand with Darkness."


    ...When I first read that in the LGG, I simply assumed that it was sort of like "before you can truly see the Light, you have to HAVE BEEN in the darkness (i.e. WAS in darkness, but no longer). To use real world examples, it is sort of like "you won't really find Jesus until you've hit rock bottom," "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see." In game terms, Dimrans are LNs (with perhaps some LGs) who had PREVIOUSLY been Evil or Chaotic in the past, or perhaps had been generally LN, but had committed some grievious alignment variation in their past for which they needed to repent (and have). Those Ogres who were brought to the Light by Haraldus (?) in Ulek would be perfect examples of what the Dimrans are looking for (except for the final back-sliding Evil Grin ).



    On a slightly different topic:

    aurdraco wrote:


    (BTW, is there any discussion of mechanics anywhere in canon of whether or not clerics of Vatun were receiving spells while Iuz was pretending to be that god? It's probably in Iuz the Evil)...



    -That is an intersting question...
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:28 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    In game terms, Dimrans are LNs (with perhaps some LGs) who had PREVIOUSLY been Evil or Chaotic in the past, or perhaps had been generally LN, but had committed some grievious alignment variation in their past for which they needed to repent (and have). Those Ogres who were brought to the Light by Haraldus (?) in Ulek would be perfect examples of what the Dimrans are looking for (except for the final back-sliding


    It seems like gaining your followers exclusively from former apostates and recruits, ignoring the faithful children of believers as unworthy, would be impractical. It might work in a secret cult that lived among a much larger population of potential recruits, but not in a state in which everyone is expected to follow the way of the Shadowed Light. Therefore, in a set-up like this, they'd need to have their own faithful children deliberately committing evil acts in order to comprehend the darkness sufficiently to be initiated into the true faith.

    Bringing in evil acts as an institutionally required part of a state-mandated faith means that Dimre must be an evil state. Not neutral; a state that requires "grievous alignment variation" for all citizens of good standing, as well as priests, isn't just requiring some route blasphemy. I can imagine a milder interpretation of your suggested creed, like everyone peeing on a holy wafer before being baptized, but I think you were suggesting that actually would risk changing their alignment in order to be meaningful - something like ritually mutilating an innocent or killing a loved one in Pholtus's name. And that's not the sort of stain that any number of subsequent good deeds can fully erase, not if the state keeps telling people to keep doing it, generation after generation. Only ending the heresy, and no longer approving of it (that is, actually repenting rather than justifying their past actions as necessary, and no longer enabling and requiring others to do the same), could bring them as a collective body back into the light.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:53 am  
    Dimrite alignment

    jamesdglick wrote:

    ...When I first read that in the LGG, I simply assumed that it was sort of like "before you can truly see the Light, you have to HAVE BEEN in the darkness (i.e. WAS in darkness, but no longer).


    Well, I s'pose I am giong to weigh in on this on, after all. I have to say, I interpreted it just as James did it seems, and that's how it plays out "in my campaign". I haven't ever seen anything that directly says anything about Dimrites being explicitly evil. But, there is plenty that says that they understand something that those who've never "been there".

    Without getting into what is and isn't evil, or how vile it is to perform certain acts, and who needs Atonement afterward, I am going to offer an idea that I believe coincides with James' opinions above. Nowhere does it say "evil". This entire discussion has fallen into "Good vs. Evil". I would submit for consideration that one can know Darkness without being evil. Good people do bad things, and make poor choices every day, without violating their alignments. (Which is another point - it is mostly adventurers that have that stipulation - Commoners are typically nuetral.) But, just because people know what it is to be away from the Light, doesn't mean they've been unrinating in baptismal fonts. And there isn't necessarily a generational plot to teach others to do so. For my part, I think that a good definition of "Darkness" (in terms that are more RP than rules debates) would be anything that "blocks" or "impedes" the Light. And that leaves much more leeway for Dimrites to generally be nuetral, and, yes, even some portion to be evil (because there are undoubtedly some). But, not evil by definition.

    To draw another modern analogy, we all know that gross over-comsumption of alcohol, and becoming an alcoholic, is something that is detrimental to oneself. But, despite a plethora of information out there, there are people who live in the streets, begging and turning to crime, rather than put down the bottle. There is a street culture based on drugs and alcohol, and there are a great deal of people who are caught up in it. (I'm not talking here about dealers.) But, these people are often living in Darkness, despite knowing that they shouldn't be, and are often nearly powerless to change it. But, that doesn't make them evil. And none of that prevents thousands of people every year from becoming alcoholics. And what's more, there is an organization that exists specifically for them. Knowing that (in American culture) there's probably not 5%, perhaps, that truly are alcoholics in treatment. So ... if there's a correlation, perhaps 5% of the Pale's population would make a good comparison for how big Dimre is. That'd peg it just under about 20, 000 people.

    It is possible for an individual to have lived a life in the streets, or associating with those who do, having nothing in their lives' even resembling Light ... without knowingly and intentionally commiting evil acts that would change their alignments. But, they certainly are able to realize their mistakes, and to "convert" to being devout and strictly adherent to their chosen faith. (Anyone for a Rogue/Paladin? Shocked I got one!) It has often been said that there is nothing quite so vehement as the faith of a convert. Which, I believe, is the intent of Dimre being written thus. They are just as fervent as other Pholtans, but in a different way.

    Of course, this is all "IMC" ... and anyone else is totally allowed to "interpret" things in their game as they see fit. I for one, like sticking as close to that canon as I am able. Which includes not making nuetrality into evil.

    That's probably $0.25 ... can you spare some change?
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:23 pm  
    Re: Dimrite alignment

    Icarus wrote:

    Without getting into what is and isn't evil, or how vile it is to perform certain acts, and who needs Atonement afterward...


    -As far as Pholtans are concerned, the above would include "Just About Anybody" anyway.

    Icarus wrote:

    I would submit for consideration that one can know Darkness without being evil. Good people do bad things, and make poor choices every day, without violating their alignments... For my part, I think that a good definition of "Darkness" (in terms that are more RP than rules debates) would be anything that "blocks" or "impedes" the Light...


    -That's true, too. Using your example, I think that alcoholism or drug addiction would count as an alignment violation of LN/LG. But even if it didn't per se, it would still tend to "impede" the Light from penetrating one's skull.

    rasgon wrote:
    It seems like gaining your followers exclusively from former apostates and recruits, ignoring the faithful children of believers as unworthy, would be impractical...


    -Ever hear of the Prodigal Son? Razz

    Icarus wrote:
    ... It has often been said that there is nothing quite so vehement as the faith of a convert...


    -Ding ding ding!

    Nothing like a reformed sinner. Wink

    rasgon wrote:
    It might work in a secret cult that lived among a much larger population of potential recruits, but not in a state in which everyone is expected to follow the way of the Shadowed Light...


    1) Again, The Light is a narrow path, so it wouldn't take much to consider oneself a back-slider;

    2) Dimre is the in the BKs. They would have a never-ending supply of reformed sinners (i.e., ex chaotics or evils) to bring to the Light.

    Hooray!

    rasgon wrote:
    ...Therefore, in a set-up like this, they'd need to have their own faithful children deliberately committing evil acts in order to comprehend the darkness sufficiently to be initiated into the true faith...


    Hmmm... I hadn't actually considered it, but accepting repentent sinners in so easily might be what gives the Pholtans over in the Pale fits. Or maybe the Dimreans (or Dimrans?) actually set the bar of conduct higher than those in the Pale, which is why they consider everyone a sinner- in the Dimrean view, the Pale is full of hypocrites who don't recognize their own deviations from the Light as being too small. Again, I suspect that the Dimrean Pholtan attitude would be something like "we're all sinners," so it could be stretched to include almost anyone. So, as a practical issue, the problem of what to do with someone who has never committed a sin doesn't come up, at least as the Dimreans see it.

    For now, I'll stick with repentant evils and chaotics (emphasis on repentant) as the primary recruiting pool for the Dimreans. But as for the children of Dimreans, I already considered the possibility of an officially sanctioned "wilding" for younger Dimreans. But:

    1) Any such activity would only be a violation of The Light (i.e. any behavior which is not LN/LG, and anything in general of which Pholtus would disapprove); it wouldn't have to involve spending a weekend as a cannibalistic serial killer (as entertaining as that might be Evil ). It would probably be more like tolerating teenage boys and girls getting drunk during Growfest and throwing beads at each other. After they get it out of their system, they move on. But...

    2) I eventually decided that even an official "wilding" policy wouldn't be neccessary. Kids are kids. They'll do stupid things whether it's officially sanctioned or not. They'll continue to to do stupid things when they're older. Razz
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    Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:21 am  

    Just read the whole topic, and I have to say, the idea of Dimre as NG sect of Pholtus worshipers has a certain appeal to me.

    Perhpas they, in their mind, are following simpler, "truer" tenets of Pholtus. To them, the church in the Pale (and to a lesser extent, Nyrond and former GK) have become lost, blinded by their own light, stuck in elaborate rituals and codifications, that they fail to see the true nature of evil out there. Perhaps their "belief" of having to walk hand in hand with darkness means putting more effort in redeeming nonbelievers/sinners than in punishing them, hence why they settled in the middle of a bunch of "sinners" (BK beign one of the more chaotic locations in the flannaes), and hoping to turn them away from the wrong path? An perhaps the rest of the Pholtan churches views them as dangerous apostates/heretics for their emphasis on redemption/Good rather than Law/order?

    It is amusing though that the church of Pholtus is the only religion in the Flannaess with so many splinter cults.
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    Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:36 am  

    Lukas wrote:
    ...Perhpas they, in their mind, are following simpler, "truer" tenets of Pholtus. To them, the church in the Pale (and to a lesser extent, Nyrond and former GK) have become lost, blinded by their own light...


    -They're supposed to be blinded by the Light!

    Unless the emphasis is "blinded by their OWN Light" i.e., instead of Pholtus'.
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    Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:52 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    Lukas wrote:
    ...Perhpas they, in their mind, are following simpler, "truer" tenets of Pholtus. To them, the church in the Pale (and to a lesser extent, Nyrond and former GK) have become lost, blinded by their own light...


    -They're supposed to be blinded by the Light!

    Unless the emphasis is "blinded by their OWN Light" i.e., instead of Pholtus'.


    Yes, OWN, I guess I shoul've made that clearer Razz
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