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    Canonfire :: View topic - Piety for Greyhawk gods
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    Piety for Greyhawk gods
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    Novice

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    Sun Apr 21, 2024 8:35 am  
    Piety for Greyhawk gods

    Any of you dabbled with the 5e piety system for the Greyhawk gods? Thoughts?
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    Wed May 01, 2024 1:14 pm  

    I just read about Piety, had no idea it existed for 5e. Looks interesting and hoping to see some replies to this.
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    Wed May 01, 2024 8:53 pm  

    Thanks for responding to Archie488's query Physcor_Whelm. (I didn't initially respond because I was unfamiliar with the Piety subsystem that Mythic Odysseys of Theros introduced several years ago.)

    For folks who are interested, here's an overview of the Piety subsystem, and here's discussion of how PCs might earn (or lose) Piety vis-à-vis particular gods.

    Beyond these webpages, I'm unfamiliar with the Piety subsystem, so I can't comment in depth—although I have been considering acquiring Mythic Odysseys of Theros after one of my players mentioned its effort to support game play where characters are the scions of gods. (I had recently reread, listened actually, to Neil Gaiman's American Gods and started looking into the various RPGs that try to represent / structure such games.)

    Based on the overview link noted above, the Piety subsystem seems like it could be a useful way to mark a PC's devotion to their deity. Skimming the second link, the subsystem looks like it could risk devolving into a way to increase PC power. What seems most useful to me relates to old school Paladins, Clerics, and atonement: in earlier editions, Paladins were by definition Lawful Good, and losing one's grace, even if inadvertent, required atonement. Of course, even in 1e, variants of the Paladin class were presented (e.g., in Dragon Magazine), which raised the issue of different moralities / ethics and hence different ways to fall from grace.

    Flash forward to 5e, and the alignment restrictions have been completely removed from the Paladin (and the Monk). Thus, to me, the Piety subsystem might offer a useful metric by which to adjudicate (and warn) when a PC is in danger of "falling from grace," in a way that could provide nuance (instead of a binary).
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    Wed May 01, 2024 9:23 pm  

    I looked up 5e Piety, and found this 2020 article/summary: https://www.dndbeyond.com/forums/dungeons-dragons-discussion/homebrew-house-rules/102756-the-piety-system-with-other-gods

    Is this still the relevant definition for Piety?

    Allan.
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    Wed May 01, 2024 9:30 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    For folks who are interested, here's an overview of the Piety subsystem, and here's discussion of how PCs might earn (or lose) Piety vis-à-vis particular gods.


    Thanks for the links, Marc. I’ll compare to the one I shared and see if anything looks different.

    mtg wrote:
    Beyond these webpages, I'm unfamiliar with the Piety subsystem, so I can't comment in depth—although I have been considering acquiring Mythic Odysseys of Theros after one of my players mentioned its effort to support game play where characters are the scions of gods. (I had recently reread, listened actually, to Neil Gaiman's American Gods and started looking into the various RPGs that try to represent / structure such games.)


    You may also want to check out Peter Adkison’s _The Primal Order_ series of books, now all republished digitally: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/en/publisher/5669/hostile-work-environment

    TPO was envisioned as a “capsystem” that could be bolted onto any underlying RPG system mechanics, and I think it managed to pull that off fairly well (at least in the context of 1991-2, when it was first published).

    Allan.
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    Thu May 02, 2024 6:06 am  

    Thanks for the responses. I’ll share here why I’ve been thinking about incorporating a piety system into my Greyhawk campaign. Note that the piety system is specific to 5e.

    First, we all know most D&D settings include the conceit that “the gods” are real beings whose power is obvious to the inhabitants of the fictional setting. It makes sense these inhabitants (even non-clerics) would pick one or several to appease and get some value in return for their devotion.

    Second, I like role-playing. A lot. I’ve often wondered how to encourage players to adopt a religious and/or cultural set of ideals that make sense in Greyhawk. I’ve looked for ways incentivize a player with, say, a lawful good fighter, to act in accordance with the will of Heironeous, a bard or rogue Olidammara, a wizard Boccob, etc.

    The 5e piety system seems to provide a mechanical incentive for role-playing reverence to the gods (FWIW, so does dipping into the cleric class). Previous versions of D&D offered similar opportunities by offering unique classes, prestige classes, etc., which were a bit cumbersome and too narrow for my taste.

    I’ve drafted a few piety rules regarding some of the Greyhawk gods, but haven’t put them into play yet. I’m mindful that the rewards for piety, at least as presented in the Mythic Odysseys of Theros, might be a bit overpowered. I’ll share some of my draft rules later and see what feedback it generates among Greyhawk fans.
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    Fri May 03, 2024 8:38 am  

    Courtney Campbell designed a similar concept he called Devotions, Observances, and Taboos, on his blog at https://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2020/10/on-clerics-devotion.html where he uses Boccob as an example.

    This recently came to my attention because Aaron Clark leverages it in his Holmes & Clark new clone system, which is featured in the upcoming _Fight On! #15_ (it’s back from the dead!).

    Allan.
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    Sun May 12, 2024 2:59 pm  

    Grodog, thanks for recommending Adkison’s The Primal Order. (It's another of the publications that caught my interest shortly after its publication but which I didn't originally purchase.) Campbell's "Devotions, Observances, and Taboos" for Boccob also look intriguing although I've never imagined eschewing the Cleric class, so that took a moment to process.

    Archie488, please do share what you've created. In the D&D Beyond forum that Allan shared, the example that RoughCoronet0 shared about the Raven Queen seemed helpful (and evocative of how one might approach Wee Jas), and it'd be great to see what you've developed.

    Who knows, maybe I'll even become motivated to try my hand vis-à-vis the several deities that have been prominent IMC so far—Wee Jas, Osprem and Xerbo, and Lydia (with Kelanen in the background) and the PC's deities:

    One PC is a paladin of Zodal, so we've explored mercy a lot, which has been particularly interesting as the PCs conflict with the Scarlet Brotherhood and help defend the Hold of the Sea Princes from subversion and invasion.

    Another is a Dreadwood sylvan olve, who clearly venerates Corellon Larethian and others of the Seldarine.

    The third is a half-elf (of sea olve lineage) warlock, whose patron is a Fey power of the sea, Thradwaithe the Gathering Dark, whom the player created and whose relationship to Cegilune I've yet to determine. (Presently, I'm thinking that Cegilune is the eldest of a sisterhood of seven hag lesser deities or demigods.)
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    Tue May 14, 2024 6:34 am  
    Followers of Atroa

    Here are my thoughts on earning piety with Atroa (I started working these alphabetically and this is the first and best example I have so far). Many of the requirements and ideas for the worshippers' alignments come from older publications (primarily Atlas of the Flanaess). I was also inspired by Joseph Bloch's work, Faiths of the Flanaess, which is freely available on his website! Players may choose to role-play the ideals and take actions to earn favor as described below. Doing so earns Inspiration and Piety respectively.

    Devotees must be a good alignment.

    Ideals (for earning Inspiration) include:
    - Being married (as part of your background or actively pursuing marriage)
    - Having or attempting to produce and care for a large family
    - Spending downtime with your family when possible
    - Prioritizing the interests of your community

    Gaining favor:
    - Have a child (with a legal spouse), deliver a child, or foster or adopt a child
    - Plant a crop during Growfest
    - Found an orphanage
    - Inspire a marriage

    Losing favor:
    - Neglect a plant, animal, or child
    - Neglect a threat to your community
    - Commit infidelity or divorce a spouse

    Divine favors. The list below is derived from Faiths of the Flanaess and I've adapted it to represent features Atroa might reward her faithful who have earned favor. What I haven't settled on yet is the game mechanic for players to access these features (once a day, at will, with a dice roll, etc.).

    - Year’s Youth: resist aging
    - Gust of (warm) wind
    - Regenerate hit points
    - Regenerate spell

    I've worked up a pretty good list like this for Bleredd, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Heironeous, Hextor, Kord, Olidammara, Sotillion, and Wenta. Happy to share if there's interest.
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    Sun Jun 02, 2024 2:26 pm  

    You all may already be aware of it, but there was a write-up for a Piety system in 2e in Dragon #236 called "Tracking the Faith." I used the basic idea from that to design a piety system in my AD&D campaigns. It has worked great to get non-clerics/priests involved in the deities and religions of Oerth.

    Archie, I wouldn't mind any such write-ups you have. I have only designed lists for deities as needed, so only have a few.
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    Tue Jun 04, 2024 8:12 pm  
    Re: Followers of Atroa

    First, sorry for my delayed response: when I first read this, I wanted to respond thoughtfully but then got bogged down by grading exams . . .

    Archie488 wrote:
    Here are my thoughts on earning piety with Atroa . . .

    Ideals (for earning Inspiration) include:
    - Being married (as part of your background or actively pursuing marriage)
    - Having or attempting to produce and care for a large family
    - Spending downtime with your family when possible
    - Prioritizing the interests of your community

    These all seem good. I'd likely add or modify what you've presented so that Inspiration might be gained by related actions by the PC that significantly benefit or protect an NPC's betrothal, marriage, family, and/or community.

    Archie488 wrote:
    Gaining favor:
    - Have a child (with a legal spouse), deliver a child, or foster or adopt a child
    - Plant a crop during Growfest
    - Found an orphanage
    - Inspire a marriage

    Losing favor:
    - Neglect a plant, animal, or child
    - Neglect a threat to your community
    - Commit infidelity or divorce a spouse

    My prior comment was in part inspired by these lists, which focus on how a PC's significant action to benefit, protect, or undermine another's (i.e., an NPC's) betrothal, marriage, family, and/or community.

    Also, I might remove the "legal spouse" requirement in "Have a child": while Atroa favors marriage, I don't recall her requiring it from her faithful. (I'm relying on her entry in the Great Library of Greyhawk.)

    Archie488 wrote:
    Divine favors. The list below is derived from Faiths of the Flanaess and I've adapted it to represent features Atroa might reward her faithful who have earned favor. What I haven't settled on yet is the game mechanic for players to access these features (once a day, at will, with a dice roll, etc.).

    - Year’s Youth: resist aging
    - Gust of (warm) wind
    - Regenerate hit points
    - Regenerate spell

    Since I don't have the underlying sourcebook, I'd model the frequency and power / level on analogous spells (e.g., Cure Wounds, Gust of Wind), and I like the idea of making the Cure Wounds manifest as a perfectly ripe kara fruit.

    Archie488 wrote:
    I've worked up a pretty good list like this for Bleredd, Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Heironeous, Hextor, Kord, Olidammara, Sotillion, and Wenta. Happy to share if there's interest.

    I'd love to see them all but am particularly interested in Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Kord, Olidammara, Sotillion, and Wenta.
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