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I mean,... you guys don't have to like it or agree with it. If it doesn't work for your tables,then that's what's most important... but I'm just quoting to you the relevant passages here, as the basic facts of how it is written in 5e. You don't need a god, as written.


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Although many paladins are devoted to gods of good, a paladin’s power comes as much from a commitment to justice itself as it does from a god.

Many, not all or or universally required.

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The most important aspect of a paladin character is the nature of his or her holy quest. [...] Are you a glorious champion of the light, cherishing everything beautiful that stands against the shadow, a knight whose oath descends from traditions older than many of the gods? [...]

Paladin following an oath and a creed, not a deity.

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How did you experience your call to serve as a paladin? [...] Did another paladin sense the potential within you and decide to train you as a squire? Or did some terrible event — the destruction of your home, perhaps — drive you to your quests? Perhaps you stumbled into a sacred grove or a hidden elven enclave and found yourself called to protect all such refuges of goodness and beauty. Or you might have known from your earliest memories that the paladin’s life was your calling, almost as if you had been sent into the world with that purpose stamped on your soul.

More in-text examples that don't involve deities.

There's a pronounced difference between smiting someone "In Tyr's name" and smiting someone "Because it is just". The difference may not make sense to some people, but it's an important one all the same. Certainly, a Paladin acting justly would be taken as performing acts that honoured Tyr - Tyr would certainly say so, and take that as a source of power happily (and as mentioned, would likely try to sway the paladin to speak their name and follow them directly)... but there's still an important personal difference, which now, in 5e, we are allowed to have and to explore, where previously we were not.

Imagine a situation where Tyr fell; where Tyr was driven to act unjustly and lost control of his folio of justice. The Paladin who devoted themselves to Tyr would either need to follow the new Tyr to continue to receive powers, perhaps being driven to injustice themselves as a result, or they would need to renounce or break their oath and swear a new one if they felt they couldn't follow him any more. A Paladin without a particular deity, sworn to an oath that bade them act justly, uphold the good and to fight injustice and evil wherever they find it, but without a particular god in mind, would NOT be in the same position; they would be unaffected by Tyr's fall.

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Yeah it is written like that to be polite to god-haters, but the truth is that if you accept that you can be a paladin without serving a deity, you basically admit that the portfolio system is nonsense and you can just pull magic out of your behind just because.

Also if Tyr died, another deity would rise to take his place and porfolio (this actually happened, Tyr did die and gave all his power and portfolios to Torm). A paladin devoted to Tyr would probably get a chance to accept Torm (whose portfolio included "paladins") or serve him by proxy of serving justice.

You can't really get around this without breaking the lore tbh.

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Ah ! I was going to write that at some point, but digging up the thread is probably better.

Massive +1 here. Everyone should be able to choose a deity.

Of course, the list would contain "none", so people who want to play a character who doesn't worship anyone can easily do so.


Beside the obvious consequence of seeing this choice on the character sheet, which is pleasing in itself, it could lead to some dialogue options.


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+1 please give all char the choice to choose a deity, all these little things can make custom chars feel a little more personal (especially if this can lead to small dialogue additions)

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Yeah it is written like that to be polite to god-haters,

Inflamatory rhetoric aside, no: it's written like that because that's how it is.

Paladins used to be alignment locked into being lawful good. Now they aren't. Most still are, but it's not actually a requirement any more.
Paladins used to absolutely require a divine proxy in order to channel divine power. Now they don't. Most still do, but it's not a requirement any more.

As KillerRabbit posted, paladins and other individuals who act in ways that fall inside the tenets or domains of a deity's folio are genuinely acknowledged by that deity, and that deity does indeed receive support for their folio by those actions; that is not in question. The paladin in question, however, does not need to acknowledge any deity or pray to any deity, or act overtly in any deity's name, not any more. It seems, perhaps, since the second sundering and the reordering of many aspects of the material and the divine, it is now entirely feasible for mortals with sufficient conviction and dedication - with sufficient faith in what they personally stand for, to tap divine power to fuel their quest; their actions will almost certainly be taken by one deity or another as actions that support them or their folio, but the individual paladin is not affected by this. Indeed, such cases are common enough these days that special note was made of the fact - that deities will often visit and try to sway stand out individuals, and convince them to invoke their name directly.

Originally Posted by Bruh
You can't really get around this without breaking the lore tbh.

You, uh... you realise that what I'm quoting... that stuff that I'm quoting? That's 'the lore'.
It doesn't break the lore; it IS the lore.
Like I said, you don't have to agree with it, and if it doesn't work for you or your table that's fine, don't use it... but it is what it is. If you want to talk about what the present day lore actually says, it's what I'm quoting.
You have an image in your mind about how it all works. That image is perfectly fine - but it is not cognisant with the current statement of the lore.

I really do just want to see the full realms pantheon (all of them) available for choosing, for everyone. I've got a young barbarian who just won't feel like she's got someone watching her back, if she can't give her thanks to Arvoreen in the quiet moments far from the bounds of home.

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Paladins and Clerics, or other divine casters, have not had to serve a specific deity since at least 3.5 in the generic DnD rules -- a concept or virtue was enough. Forgotten Realms however have had special setting rules that in it you need to be devoted to a deity to gain divine magic.

I'm pretty sure that special setting rule no longer carries weight since they pretty much did made FR the generic standard setting in 5e. But regardless there is nothing new about divine casters being able to cast without following gods.

As for 5e Paladins, I think it is safe to say that as a general rule the divinely associated Paladins are still the most common. But in this edition the power-granting aspect is the oath they've sworn -- possibly to a deity, but not necessarily -- rather than direct worship.


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Thanks for all those info.
I got some things:

about souls:
From the text I get the feeling that a soul is an entity of its own, so it can perceive its environment, communicate with others, it remembers its past life and it has feelings, so it can feel pain or joy.
- At what point loses a soul its old personality, since most people do not remember their former lives?
- How or when do the gods put a soul into a child or embryo?
- Does a watcher from PoE make sense in the DnD setting? (somebody who can remember his past lives and who can see the past lives of others)

About paladins
I like the paladins of 5E more than those of former editions. I am sure that gods who are not LG would like to have people who fight for them the way paladins do. Until BG3 came (my first contact with 5E) I felt paladins were too limited and I loved the PoE version of them, so you have different subclasses with different "alignment".


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My only dislike for non-good Paladins is that they're still called "Paladins". They should have renamed the class "Oathbound" or "Oathkeeper" or something.


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I do think that no matter what class you are playing you should have the option to pick a deity or pick no deity


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From the roleplaying point of view the agnostic or atheist option has immense potential: the middle age set that is the base for D&D implies that being doubtful about deities or explicity don't believe in them is something anyone would dare to think to be open with.

To see how the various believers react to [agnostic]/[atheist] dialogue lines would be interesting.

But just like some remarks from the banned one it could be a very inflamatory and divisive material. So I think it's best to follow the rules (also because there are some interesting deities in DnD, and the variety of them allows to really surprising character backgrounds).

I do agree with the user that stated that for specific races, like Drows or Thieflings, there should be the "recommended" deity to follow.

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In my table top game the only players I require to have a deity are those whos spell powers come from a God
However, everyone in my group has declared a deity. And it does not matter because your god is not going to save you, in my game.
But I require them to declare a deity, and then I examine the deity and if they do things they should not they may lose powers.

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I agree everyone should have a deity in this game and in real life I am against Atheism and I believe in God. However this is about a game. Divine spellcasters get their power through a deity.

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Originally Posted by Bufotenina
From the roleplaying point of view the agnostic or atheist option has immense potential: the middle age set that is the base for D&D implies that being doubtful about deities or explicity don't believe in them is something anyone would dare to think to be open with.

To see how the various believers react to [agnostic]/[atheist] dialogue lines would be interesting.

But just like some remarks from the banned one it could be a very inflamatory and divisive material. So I think it's best to follow the rules (also because there are some interesting deities in DnD, and the variety of them allows to really surprising character backgrounds).

I do agree with the user that stated that for specific races, like Drows or Thieflings, there should be the "recommended" deity to follow.

Keep in mind that atheism doesn't have the same meaning in the realms as it does in our world. There isn't anyone who doubts in the existence of the gods, or who doesn't believe in them, any more than there are people who do not believe that rocks fall downwards when dropper, or that the sky looks blue on clear days. They are a known, quantifiable fact of the world, and only the deblitatingly insane do not believe in them. It would be like not believing that cows exist, when you can go to market and see them in front of you. There is no doubt and no question here; it is overtly true and everyone knows it.

Rather, in the realms, atheists are people who, for whatever reason, do not believe that any of the gods are worthy of giving thanks, acts or deeds towards; that none are worth respect or worship, and who makes an active choice not to do so, and also (and this matters), to deny the gods any claim to their deeds and actions. There are no casual atheists; even people who don't actively worship a particular god still know, as factual truth, that they exist and that they have power; a farmer may politely ask Chauntea for good favour when sowing crops, or thank her for a good harvest, but that farmer doesn't actively worship her in any direct way... it's still sufficient. Even people who live their lives and never really think about the gods will generally still act in ways that some deities can take as worthy action. Being an atheist is something you've really got to dedicate yourself to, ironically, more than passively acknowledging various deities well enough to keep yourself out of The Wall of the Faithless, which is where all dedicated atheists end up. It's not nice.

Not to say that it shouldn't be an option, but it's a big, big deal, because it means a lot more than it does in our world.

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. . . Not to say that it shouldn't be an option, but it's a big, big deal, because it means a lot more than it does in our world.

Well said. +1

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I don’t think “atheist” or “agnostic” should be a character option, just because providing it is liable to give players unfamiliar with Forgotten Realms the wrong idea about the lore of the setting. “Faithless” might be more interesting, as it keeps to the lore, without suggesting “I just don’t know if Selûne exists” is something anyone but the most deluded, possibly insane, would ever think. I am sure someone in the Forgotten Realms thinks like that, but putting it in as a character option gives the impression it’s a position reasonable to hold. I support the idea of all characters being able to choose a god they are more dedicated to, without requiring it.

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I want the option, as I would always want to choose one.
Heck, Creating a Character in NW2 gave me an idea for an entire Race and Deity of my own design.
Just because I had the option (Although to be fair, said character WAS a cleric.).

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Originally Posted by Starsmith
I don’t think “atheist” or “agnostic” should be a character option, just because providing it is liable to give players unfamiliar with Forgotten Realms the wrong idea about the lore of the setting. “Faithless” might be more interesting, as it keeps to the lore, without suggesting “I just don’t know if Selûne exists” is something anyone but the most deluded, possibly insane, would ever think. I am sure someone in the Forgotten Realms thinks like that, but putting it in as a character option gives the impression it’s a position reasonable to hold. I support the idea of all characters being able to choose a god they are more dedicated to, without requiring it.

"Faithless" with a descriptive blurb of what that means, in amongst deity choices, would be a good way of doing this, which I'd support.

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Originally Posted by Terminator2020
I agree everyone should have a deity in this game and in real life I am against Atheism and I believe in God. However this is about a game. Divine spellcasters get their power through a deity.
Well in Neverwinter Nights 2 you could pick a deity no matter what class you pick which is what I am hoping for in BG3 otherwise it's going to be like PK where every other npc can pick a deity but you can't which I find to be very odd the only way you could pick a deity in PK is being a divine spellcaster


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Originally Posted by Niara
"Faithless" with a descriptive blurb of what that means, in amongst deity choices, would be a good way of doing this, which I'd support.

A perfect solution. Hope you are listening, Larian.

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+1 for Patron Deity options for all, with none as an option, Faithless as a specifically anti deities option would be interesting as well.

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