13
\$\begingroup\$

The honest real world answer is that I joined a campaign late, and created by character in a rush. I had never played Pathfinder and didn't have time to research the different gods to pick a suitable one. So I went with having no god.

However, recently during a role play session the fact I had no god came up and I managed to annoy a couple of the more devout religious folks in the party. i.e, the cleric, and the two dwarfs.

I need some sort of logical reason why, in a world where gods are 100% proven to exist, I don't have one I follow. I managed to pass it off as that I believe in the gods (i.e. I am a polytheist, not a deist or atheist) but I don't follow one myself, and that I just don't like the one my parents followed (I'm a royal wood elf run away from home).


Are there any examples of characters from official campaigns that don't follow a god whom I could use as examples for my character?

\$\endgroup\$
17
\$\begingroup\$

There is Karsakim. He is the leader of a military force dedicated to eradicating religion in Rahadoum.

Apart from that pathfinder has some abilities that require you to not follow a god.

One example is the feat godless healing

"Godless Healing

You have mastered a specialized and complex technique to ignore pain by focusing your belief on the self rather than relying on faith.

Prerequisites: Cannot have a patron deity.

Benefit: Once per day when you have half your total hit points or fewer, you may heal yourself of an amount of damage equal to 1d8 plus your total Hit Dice as a move action. This is a supernatural ability.

Special: You can take this feat more than once. Each time you do, you may heal yourself one additional time per day."

Beside the above mentioned Rahadoum in Garund there are Touvette in the River Kingdoms and Bachuan in Tian Xia that discourage or forbid religious practice.

\$\endgroup\$
10
\$\begingroup\$

Rahadoum is an "atheist" realm from Golarion, Paizo's official campaign setting for Pathfinder. They are not atheist per-se as we know it, but they ban religions and god worshipping.

Atheism has a different meaning in Golarion, at least, where it does not mean that you do not believe that gods exists, but that you deny them and you do not believe they should be worshipped. The proper term for that is Apostasy:

Apostasy: the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.

Rahadoum decided on their ban on religions after centuries of religion-infused conflicts. Similarly to what we see in the Middle-East.

One interesting fact about Golarion is that atheists and agnostics are judged by the Goddess of Death, Pharasma, regardless of their religions (or lack of) and are sent to a special place called the Graveyard of Souls, which means that your soul is dead, as it didnt fulfill it's purpose and you must wait until the end of times. Like a permanent Purgatory.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ In an interesting ironic twist pharasma uses the souls of atheists and agnostics to delay the end times by feeding them to the god Groteus who orbits pharasma's boneyard. \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Feb 17 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note this is not appeasement it is stated it delays the end by repelling Groteus, it literally forces him away from the boneyard. \$\endgroup\$ – John Sep 1 '17 at 0:03
6
\$\begingroup\$

Alahazra is one of the "iconic" characters; she was exiled from atheist Rahadoum because they thought she was a cleric, but in fact she worships no god (she draws her powers from, variously, "the desert" or "the sun").

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The question asked: "Are there any examples of characters from official campaigns that don't follow a god?" and I think Alahazra is a good answer to that question. The issue of whether Alahazra could be described as an "atheist" is a separate question and I don't think it's helpful to focus on it here. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Feb 17 '17 at 20:07
3
\$\begingroup\$

While the following answer is not strictly Pathfinder, you might still be interested aş you mentioned that you "need some sort of logical reason why, in a world where gods are 100% proven to exist, I don't have one I follow": In the Planescape campaign setting, there is a faction called the Athar. According to this faction, the powers are merely impostors, just uber-powerful beings, but not real gods. So they are not to be considered worthy of worship. One cannot know if there is/are true god(s), but even if it/they exist, it is/they are beyond our understanding. The Athar also claim that there is a greater universe beyond the (gaming) multiverse.

If you like to use this faction or their philosophy in a Pathfinder game, you might find the following fan-made D&D3.5 material (page 12 onwards) useful. It is from the official fansite of the setting and provides 3.0-3.5 conversions of the 2e material. http://mimir.planewalker.com/sites/default/files/chapter3.pdf

Note: A belief that is somewhat similar to the Athar philosophy was also held in a chapter of the ancient history of the Forgotten Realms setting. During the time of Netheril, powerful arcanists (archwizards) could cast spells of levels higher than 9. Many archwizards believed that deities were just merely other archwizards who had found the ultimate magic. Most even believed that if you ever accepted a priest's healing spells you would be surrendering your chance of ever achieving godhood yourself.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And also this rather famous fan-made Athar material \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Aug 14 '17 at 19:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for that, thats actually quite a good way of looking at it! \$\endgroup\$ – Keeghan McGarry Aug 16 '17 at 9:25
1
\$\begingroup\$

There is the Purity Legion Enforcer prestige class from inner sea combat. They are required to be atheists. They are also granted several anti-divine powers, like better saving throws against divine spells, the ability to detect divine spells and holy paraphernalia, and the ability to sever the connection between a divine spellcaster and his deity with a critical hit (basically shuts down all their spellcasting for several minutes). It is hard to see this as anything but atheist as a class. They even have an ability called Iron-Willed Atheist (Su) which grants them spell resistance against divine magic, they are literally canceling out the power of the gods with their lack of belief.

Logical (or at least playable) reasons to be athiests are easy. What do you call it when you know of the gods but don't worship any of them, and have no faith or even are opposed to faith in general. Many would call such a person an atheist.

What even makes a god special in a world with dragons, demons, and meteorites that can make gods out of random drunken humans. remember a human can be turned into a god in pathfinder, so why are gods special other than power, which many things in pathfinder have. The sliding scale of powers makes gods lose their awe and specialness. so why worship them.

Fantasy atheists can come in many flavors. some of these are more atheist than others, but most lack faith which is the basic requirement.

  1. Some people are just offended by the idea of relying the gods instead of trying to fix things on your own. They will succeed or fail on their own merit, they see prayer as giving up. To them whether the gods exist or not is basically meaningless. "Do not pray, when you pray your hands close together and you can no longer do."

  2. You have the people who acknowledge that the gods exist but don't think worshiping them makes any sense. They have no faith to speak of. They don't worship the gods for the same reason they don't worship the local king or the powerful mage, they do not see it as a worship type of relationship. This tend to be very egalitarian types of people. They follow their own conscience and if the gods don't like it that is their problem. The gods are just another powerful thing in the universe, nothing special. What exactly is the difference between a really powerful demon, dragon, or mythic character. This would be completely compatible with the Purity legion enforcer. "There was no difference at all between the richest man and the poorest beggar, apart from the fact that the former had lots of money, food, power, fine clothes, and good health. But at least he wasn’t any better. Just richer, fatter, more powerful, better dressed and healthier. Gods are the same, just becasue the gods have power does not mean I should worship them."

  3. Some just don't want anything to do with the gods, thinking involving yourself with them invites trouble. This is probably the least athiest of the list, but they may well be common in a fantasy setting. “You don’t bother gods, and gods don’t come bothering you.”

  4. Some are just mad at the gods for doing what they see as such a piss poor job of running the place. They may believe in the gods but they do not respect them. More importantly such a person may deny the gods just as an act of rebellion even if they do believe in them. The Purity Legion Enforcer often falls under this, seeing gods and/or their worshipers as detrimental not beneficial. "If I meet god in the afterlife, he's going to have a lot to answer for."

  5. Alternatively there are those that see religions as intentional or unintentional tricks. Keep in mind in pathfinder the gods do very little directly, so who is to say the gods are not just a powerful energy source the clerics have tapped into and are not just making everything else up. This is another group that plays well into the Purity Legion, and also could be type 2 at the same time. “I remember in your Citadel I saw a crowd stoning a man to death in a pit. Ever seen that? Don’t know about the soul. All I know is, it was a horrible sight. Oh, I’m not talking about the poor bugger in the pit, I’m talking about the people throwing the stones. They were sure all right. They were sure it wasn’t them in the pit. You could see it in their faces. So glad that it wasn’t them that they were throwing just as hard as they could.”

  6. Followers of a more hands off type of god may never invoke them at all in terms of anything but the occasional curse by them. their god is not an interventionist god and they have no problem. in this case telling a believer from a non-believer is all but impossible.
    "I do not pray to him, he does not listen, he gave men courage and wisdom and it is up to us to use them."

  7. Some people just don't care. The gods just are not important to them, they have more direct and practical concerns. "No, offense but you have to much time on your hands if you can worry about that, I got fields to plow, hogs to feed, and a leaky roof to fix. Unless your god is going to come down and help, you can keep em'."

  8. Then you have people that just absolutely refuse to think in new way or look at the world in a critical manner and just believe the first thing they were told for their whole life. They exist everywhere, and in our world are morel likely to be religious than atheist, but that is just due to numbers, and the fact that with science not-supporting gods it just makes the religious ones easier to spot. In a world with gods then the a-religious ones would be easier to spot. --Insert close minded quote of your choice

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.