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Paladin 3 (Oath of Conquest) / Cleric 1 (Forge Domain)

Source: Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

How are character categories interpreted correctly? As a paladin, has he sworn an oath of Tempus and at the same time prays to Gond? Is that possible or is the explanation much easier?

In the rules there is no limit in this regard, the question arises in knowing especially how to interpret or focus correctly on the character.

Another dubious example of multiclass: Cleric of the domain of trickery (Loki) and Druid. If he were a cleric in the domain of nature and at the same time a druid, it would be easy to understand or at least assimilate, but the Loki / Druid mix did not fully understand how he focuses to play it correctly.

Another simple example taken from the player's manual: cleric of the domain of war and druid. What god does he pray? Or is it really supposed to pray to several and there is no problem in a polytheistic environment?

I have put several examples not because of the idea of needing an answer for each of them, but rather I looked for a generic answer for any mix that could be made with a multiclass character.

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Firstly, Paladins do not need to worship a god at all, since "Although many paladins are devoted to gods of good, a paladin's power comes as much from a commitment to justice as it does from a god." (PHB, pg. 82)

To actually answer your question, though, yes a PC may worship several gods if they wish. This is outlined in the PHB, pg 293:

From among the gods available, you can choose a single deity for your character to serve, worship, or pay lip service to. Or you can pick a few that your character prays to most often.

It makes sense from a narrative perspective not to worship multiple gods (especially not those you are trying to get powers from, i.e. as a Cleric) that clash with one another, but otherwise it's perfectly reasonable to pray to different gods in different environments or situations as makes sense.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for the contributions and clarifications, now I have more clear the polytheistic approach. \$\endgroup\$ – YUGULO Jul 11 '18 at 14:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @yugulo this is supported by the lore of the FR setting: some characters worship a plethoria of gods (usually from the same pantheon and general alignment axis). Some clerics even go cross pantheon, for example one worshipping both Sune (faerunian pantheon) and Hanali Celanil (elven pantheon). \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jul 11 '18 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may make sense from a narrative perspective if your character is an attempt by said clashing gods at brokering peace, or similarly if your character is being fought over in some mystical sense by the two gods. There are a few ways a character could be 'devoted' to multiple clashing gods now I come to think of it.. \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Bloggs Jul 12 '18 at 6:13
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This is fine

The pantheon section in the PHB actually explains how many people worship multiple gods depending upon the situation. I think the examples are more mundane (IE: Pray for sun to a sun god, calm seas to a sea god), but the basic principle still applies.

There is no real conflict here, and the RP element is that each class is weaker than a full class because of the slightly lesser connection to each god.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I still have a doubt and it is about the classes that apparently do not have any common point or are apparently characters that can not be interpreted: for example, multiclass cleric with the domain of death (Myrkull) and druid. According to the rules you can play, according to the polytheistic pantheon you can worship several gods ... but how would that strange type of character be interpreted? Would it be as simple as saying that he is someone who cultivates carnivorous and poisonous plants and delights in that approach to death? \$\endgroup\$ – YUGULO Jul 11 '18 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YUGULO That would indeed be one way of trying to narratively explain this otherwise seemingly contradictory combination. Perhaps as a druid, they believe that death is part of nature, and wish to focus their druidic duties or whatever to that aspect, which is then in sync with their Death Domain Cleric theme? I believe that pretty much any odd combination can be explained with an interesting enough character concept or backstory... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 11 '18 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YUGULO but how would that strange type of character be interpreted? However you want them to be. There's not really any rules on how to roleplay your character. The rules are only for the mechanics. The rest is flavor. \$\endgroup\$ – Captain Man Jul 11 '18 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Captain Man After reading all the contributions, my idea of how to approach a multidisciplinary character would be like a Venn diagram, where each set would represent the actions of a class and the intersection of the sets would be the set of decisions of the character common to all its classes . The more discordant the classes are, the less maneuvering space that character would have; in contrast, a character oriented towards a common thematic factor in all its classes would have a much broader intersection space. \$\endgroup\$ – YUGULO Jul 11 '18 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YUGULO I think your Venn diagram picture is backward. Character classes are abstractions. If you start by imagining the character's mindset and way of life, and then ask "Based on that, what class would best represent this guy?", then you won't get stuck with combinations of classes that you don't know how to play. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jul 13 '18 at 18:58
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The generic answer is that it depends on the setting. The background of the setting (either specific or implied in the case of the core books) had details one need to decide whether the blending make sense or not. Then talk with the player about how they are going to handle the combination.

Background

Throughout human history many cultures have people venerating different spiritual entities. Yet there are some combinations that are rare due to conflicting theologies or customs. The religious history of the subcontinent of India has numerous examples of different religions intersecting.

A specific source to read on how this works is to read up on Syncretism. A cultural process where different belief systems or schools of thought are combined.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To fit into your historical theme, might want to add on a quick reference to Greek or Norse or Ancient Egyptian pantheon / multi deity systems. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 11 '18 at 18:32
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In this topic referring to having a character whose categories serve different deities, we must distinguish two cases on a global level: without a concrete game world and with a concrete world, like the Forgotten Realms. Although the rules apply equally in both cases, nuances in dealing with specific gods (Tempus) and not with a simple domain of an unnamed deity count. The idea is very simple: the gods fight each other. In what position would a character be who worshiped opposing deities? Unthinkable.

This is perfectly described by Ed Greenwood himself: Could a paladin of Tempus serve a an additional god?

At this point, my conclusion is that if the developing party has no concrete world or background of the gods then everything is acceptable; but if it has a background (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance ...) then only one god is worshiped per character. That does not mean that he reverences and respects the rest of the deities that coexist in a pantheon, but when dedicating and consecrating the adoration of a character, only one deity should be done exclusively.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There's either something missing from this answer, or a fallacy (specifically, “Tempus is incompatible with worshipping other gods. Therefore all gods are incompatible with worshipping other gods.”) Is there more support for all Realms gods being incompatible to worship together, other than the example of Tempus? Deneir and Oghma, for example, and Azuth and Mystra, for another, among many others, are strong counterexamples to that conclusion. Is there something in your source that you didn't mention that you're using as support for the conclusion? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 13 '18 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie♦ Ed Greenwood's annotations mention the fact of the incompatibility that a character has several categories worshiping different deities and as a rare exception he sets the example of the Triad (Tyr, Torm, Helm) because they work together. in that case, a paladin of Torm and a cleric of Tyr would not be inappropriate. Why is it incompatible with the rest of the deities? Usually by having different interests from each other, apart from having conflicting interests on many occasions (except the Triad). \$\endgroup\$ – YUGULO Jul 14 '18 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great. You can edit to make your answer more complete. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 14 '18 at 19:53

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