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In Pathfinder 2, the spell Spiritual Weapon (https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=306) has, as a requirement, "you have a deity".

What does it mean exactly? My guesses (from the most to the least likely imho)

  • You need the "deity" class feature (that you get as a cleric)

  • You need to be a follower of a specific deity

  • You need to be the owner of a deity (ok, this one is so unlikely that I only put it here for the joke)

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No, Spiritual Weapon Doesn't Require the Deity Class Feature

The evidence for this in the Core Rulebook is somewhat scant. When a statblock requires a class feature it is phrased as noun. For example, the harming hands Cleric feat (pg. 121) says :

Prerequisites: harmful font

This is not a phrase, like Spiritual Weapon. If it had meant that you should possess the Deity class feature it would be phrased similarly.

Lost Omens Gods & Magic clarified this more. The "Character Options" section starts with an introduction which explains that spells, items, feats, etc. that require faith are largely for flavor, rather than mechanical, reasons. This is formalized in blocks by requiring the worship of a deity. The Feats section of that book (pg. 105) is full of feats that require worshiping deities with specific traits. As the introduction to that section says:

While champions and clerics have ties to their chosen deities and gain definitive benefits from them, they don't hold a monopoly on such abilities. The following feats represent ways all characters might benefit from adherence to a deity or a particular philosophy ...

Therefore, it must be true that clerics and champions (who have the Deity class feature) are not the only classes which can access spells, feats, et cet. that require worshipping a deity. This confirms the text.

Spiritual Weapon Requires Worshipping a Deity

So what does it mean to "have a deity". There is no special magic to this phrase, but the Core Rulebook (pg.29) explains the relationship between player characters and deities:

Write down the deity your character worships, if any. Champions and clerics must worship a deity. ...

If your character worships a deity (a phrase not defined in any stat block anywhere), then they may use Spiritual Weapon. The class feature can't be what allows access.

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It means you need to be the follower of A deity. The shape the weapon takes depends on the deity.

From https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=99 :

Write down the deity your character worships, if any. Champions and clerics must worship a deity.

This means your character may or may not worship any, unless it's a champion or cleric.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have anything to back that up? \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Aug 1 at 0:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme Yeah, for starters it's in the main spell list and not specifically in the cleric section, where the cleric-only spells are mentioned (such as Agile Feet, cleric spell not in the main spell list but definitely mentioned in the cleric section as a spell). It is tagged by the manual as being an "attack, evocation, force" attack from the divine tradition, whereas Cleric-only spells are tagged as being "Uncommon, Cleric, then more tags here". page 299 mentions at least 3 types of divine magic users, (Cleric, Divine Sorcerer and Champion) which means they are eligible. \$\endgroup\$ – Marker Thirteen Aug 1 at 2:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme ALSO page 29 makes a statement that supports the idea of non-clerics and non-champions following deities: "Your character might be so drawn to a particular faith that you decide they should be a champion or cleric of that deity; they might instead be a lay worshipper who applies their faith’s teachings to daily life, or simply the child of devout parents." \$\endgroup\$ – Marker Thirteen Aug 1 at 2:19

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