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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
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Dante wrote:
<snip>If someone continues to recite the Cants with faith that they will succeed yet now believes that it's powered from a different source (e.g., from Nier-as-Fire Dragon, or from intermediary Valinor instead of directly from Gods), then who's to say it will fail?<snip>


Henry does. Not sure why as the creator of the world that it's an insufficient answer. Henry has stated though I'm having problems finding the thread that this kind of conversion is not possible in the LoA game. If it's a home campaign, it's up to the GM in interpreting the world. The metaphysics behind it may be obscured, but the net result is the same. What am I missing?

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Hat wrote:
Dante wrote:
<snip>If someone continues to recite the Cants with faith that they will succeed yet now believes that it's powered from a different source (e.g., from Nier-as-Fire Dragon, or from intermediary Valinor instead of directly from Gods), then who's to say it will fail?<snip>


Henry does. Not sure why as the creator of the world that it's an insufficient answer. Henry has stated though I'm having problems finding the thread that this kind of conversion is not possible in the LoA game. If it's a home campaign, it's up to the GM in interpreting the world. The metaphysics behind it may be obscured, but the net result is the same. What am I missing?

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


I think that is a sufficient answer, to prevent someone from switching gods entirely. But the question I've asked isn't about switching gods entirely, but switching/accepting additional aspects of gods, and possibly the priests perspective. Does the canon conversion of the Ashen Hide to worshipping the Fire Dragon as an aspect of Nier mean that Nier=Kassegore for the Ashen Hide Priestess's spell casting to work? Or is it sufficient for them just to believe that?

I mean, I suspect that if the Ashen Hides migrated across a country and started worshipping the Fire Dragon as an Aspect of Nier and all their divine magic stopped working, I don't think they would accept that the Fire Dragon had abandoned them and start worshipping Nier (even if a Nierite priest was willing to teach them cants of Nier). So obviously, their spells kept working when they made this major religious change. Why? Because Fire Dragon=Nier=Kassegore? or just because they believe Fire Dragon=Nier? If the latter isn't enough, than the former must be true, right? That is a huge revelation that I don't think people have discussed much if true. Please let me know if the canon is clear enough to know if this is true!

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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:20 pm 
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At present, it is impossible for Heroes to change faith. In the current Legends of Arcanis Living Campaign, short of a campaign certified event (of which there are character documents and CP's and all that noise) you CANNOT switch Gods.

As Paul suggested in a Home Campaign, that is up to you. I have some mechanics in my mind about how this could work, but thus far the official Legends of Arcanis opinion is "You cannot do this at this time."

If you wish to do it as a home campaign, there are a few things to consider as the Chronicler for authenticity to the universe:

1) If you switch Gods, all your previous talents that you will have taken which are specific to them (Including Divine Spell Casting (ta)) are ultimately worthless since they were keyed to that specific God. While many of the cants are the same, you do not know how the other temple has taught it, so you can't simply 'cross it over'. This has been stated by Henry somewhere on the forums, but I cannot find the post at present (mostly because I'm too busy to look it up right now :P)

2) You would need to be allowed entry into the 'secret' knowledge of your new priesthood to learn the talents and cants of this new god, and let's face it: If you were willing to jump ship on your old god, how willing are you to jump ship in your new one, and if there is that threat how much secret information are they willing to share?

3) While some Gods may be the same divine beings, their worship is not. As such, you can't simply transition between Anshar and Yig as one would a blue shirt from a red shirt. You would have to work on it and do a LOT of soul searching to reconcile the vastly different theologies. A similar point probably would even exist between the Hunnai version of Belisarda and the elorii version: Same Goddess, vastly different theology and paradigms in their worship. A lateral move like this is probably easier than a complete conversion to another god, but it still is VERY hard, as evidenced by the fact that only the highest level of Black Talon priestesses are told the 'truth' about the Fire Dragon, and those who can't handle the 'truth' are purged.

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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Nierite wrote:
At present, it is impossible for Heroes to change faith. In the current Legends of Arcanis Living Campaign, short of a campaign certified event (of which there are character documents and CP's and all that noise) you CANNOT switch Gods.


Yes, yes. Not to be dismissive of your shouting, but I think that has been clear all along. Every time I've mentioned it I've talked about changes that aren't necessarily changes in faith, but just in name, and I've also specifically mentioned the practical impossibility of it happening because no one from the new faith would train you in the new cants. I would assume something "practically impossible" like that would take campaign certification.


Nierite wrote:
If you wish to do it as a home campaign, there are a few things to consider as the Chronicler for authenticity to the universe:

3) While some Gods may be the same divine beings, their worship is not. As such, you can't simply transition between Anshar and Yig as one would a blue shirt from a red shirt. You would have to work on it and do a LOT of soul searching to reconcile the vastly different theologies. A similar point probably would even exist between the Hunnai version of Belisarda and the elorii version: Same Goddess, vastly different theology and paradigms in their worship. A lateral move like this is probably easier than a complete conversion to another god, but it still is VERY hard, as evidenced by the fact that only the highest level of Black Talon priestesses are told the 'truth' about the Fire Dragon, and those who can't handle the 'truth' are purged.


#1 and #2 are a given. My questions lie in #3 and realities vs. faith. Is it enough that a priest believes something, even if it is not true (such as Fire Dragon=Nier) to continue to get spells, or does it actually have to be correct? Does the fact that the Ashen Hide's believe that Fire Dragon=Nier and continue to get divine spells indicate that Fire Dragon=Nier?

And, as I proposed for my character earlier (though this would be invalidated as a character concept if Fire Dragon=Nier has to be true) would a character that believes that Altheres=Kassegore and worships him as both be able to get Altheres spells (since he would be advancing through their priesthood)? Obviously if the character believed that, he would need some campaign documentation to get any Kassegore/Fire Dragon spells. But that isn't my concern, my concern is whether if that assumption is totally wrong, whether he can still get spells for Altheres when he thinks something entirely wrong about him? He would have no problem being trained by the church (he knows to keep his heretical beliefs hidden), and he has (heretical)faith, but does it matter if his faith is (factually) wrong?

If it does matter that his faith is wrong, doesn't that indicate that Fire Dragon=Nier? If it doesn't matter that its wrong, than that opens up divine spell casters to all kinds of interesting heresies about their gods, as long as they believe them... right? I'm pretty much assuming it is the latter, since many priestesses of the Fire Dragon believe to their bones that the Fire Dragon is not Kassegore, and continue to get spells. Does that stand to reason?

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Last edited by toodeep on Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:00 pm 
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You've hit an area where the plot elements and rules elements don't perfectly mesh. Related is also a question of how something like the Church of the Dark Triumverate or the Milandesian Orthodox Church splinter off and become seperate from the Mother Church where the followers can start smiteing each other when a decade ago (or a few centuries) they couldn't. I don't think it's easy (possible?) to change factions like a DT Nerothian becoming a MC Nerothian. Much less changing faith in Gods in the world of Arcanis. But the underlying principles are not fully spelled out so I don't blame people for finding the gray areas confusing. To me this has always been clear as mud.

One (wrong) answer would just be to say it's all some form of solipsism... that it's all how an individual priests see the world. And as a result could freely change between sects, or different "faces" of divine beings (Anshar/Yig or Fire Dragon/Kassegore). But from game play and Henry's past statements I think it's clear that this ISN'T the model use in the Arcanis Campaign.

Another (wrong?) answer would be to say the fundamental teachings/secrets are unique to each temple and you have to start over from scratch and relearn everything. At least for the PoM, the tradition of Cants comes out of a Pantheonist background. It breaks versimilitude for me to believe under this origin that there are 12 or 13 unique version of Diminish Fatigue each reinvented by each different Temple in the PoM and the "Pantheonists" who tend to the whole. I don't think this is the likely answer either.

Yet somehow it seems to me it's part A (personal faith) and part B (institutional instruction) mixed together. There is a solipsistic belief component and there is a difference in temples/teaching component. And it murky and perhaps not entirely subject to consistent internal logic.

I personally believe that Kass/The Fire Dragon is still the one who watches over the Ashen Hides. Because the Cants are not granted by celestial beings I don't think there is any reason at all to think that Nier is actually involved with them despite the politics in Canceri and their Priestess' beliefs. No idea how true that is or not.

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AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen


Last edited by val Holryn on Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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val Holryn wrote:
Another (wrong?) answer would be to say the fundamental teachings/secrets are unique to each temple and you have to start over from scratch and relearn everything. At least for the PoM the tradition of Cants comes out of a Pantheonist background. It breaks versimilitude for me to believe under that background that there are 12 or 13 unique version of Diminish Fatigue each reinvented by each Temple in the PoM.


I believe Henry has said this exact thing. There are unique versions of each cant for each god. That is a major reason priests can't switch faiths. They would have to start over at the very beginning, as none of the spells they were taught in the service of a previous god are applicable in any way to their new one. It was not discussed how the spells to different aspects of the same god might relate, since to date there is only one (two?) known cases of this, and no one can play one side of that worship.

But because of this, and the supposedly unchanging nature of cants, reportedly the cants each faith uses, no matter the church, are identical. So changing between mother church and Khitani is theoretically possible, but not very likely, since supposedly priests of a god in both those churches cast the same spells identically - though each church may have unique spells the other lost in the time since the emperium. (And of course, impossible without campaign documentation for players)

Though I've always wondered about the "unchanging" no experimentation idea to the cants when we see the priests do so many crazy unique things. Giants get cursed and turned into dwarves and souls trapped on this plane? After much research the Beltinian's develop soul shards. Where did those come from? Same with what they did to the Pride of Chendo. You're saying these rituals were just hanging out in books somewhere passed down from the emperium with no one wondering why? My first assumption was always that the priest figures out how to supplicate the gods for these new things, but that isn't supposed to be possible. Very odd.

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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:14 pm 
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Yes Henry has implied that each Temple is full of it's own secret teachings (which I don't doubt) and techniques for teaching the Cants, but I also think that's inconsistent with some other things that Henry has said and with the common background of the Pantheon of Man Temples. Clear as mud. IMO the campaign and story lines we have seen have not unfolded in a way that is totally consistent with the position that each Temple has totally unique Cants.

I do know from talking to Henry that part of the inspiration of the Mother Church came to him when he was visiting Rome and standing in the Pantheon and thinking about how it would have been in Roman Times. Statues to "all" the Roman gods would have been under one roof. That idea of separate Gods under one administrative framework does lend itself to the idea that each temple is unique in how their cants are structured...

...but it's not consistent with a true Pantheonist origin and a later fragmentation during the Shadowed Ages and the Time of Terror. Henry has also spoken clearly that most Priests of the First Imperium were Pantheonists and not priests of X administering to a wider whole. That's inconsistent with each temple having their own recipie for Diminish Fatigue. Whose version were the Pantheonists using?

Personally, largely as a matter of aesthetics, I prefer a common origins. I think that even if there somehow were a dozen different versions of diminish fatigue in the First Imperium that many versions would be less efficient and would tend to be discarded.

So despite what Henry said that one time I suspect that (on balance) Dimish Fatigue is probably the same in each of the Temples. It's only their Deity spells and various "secret sauce" ritual magics that I think are different. Though it could well be that, as taught in each Temple, you can only access the power of DF through faith in their particular God.

One final thought: the spells cast through DSC (or ASC for that matter) are only one part of "magic" as seen (for example) in Sorcerous Pacts or the Order of the Phoenix. Most crazy discoveries or actions that move at plot level are, I believe, not spells but "rituals." As such they aren't necessarily bound by the restrictive rules of divine spell casting. To me there is nothing odd that the Temple of Beltine (in consultation with the dead and/or extraplanar beings) came up with an invention like soul shards.

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AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen


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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:57 pm 

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It is my understanding that the casting of divine spells is a combination of the faith of the believer powering the specific ritualistic casting be it in word or gesture. As the worship of the gods has fallen from its heights as pantheonistic into fractured base components (individual gods) it's likely fair to say that the understanding of divine spellcasting has as well.

It's quite possible that there are spell "forms" for lack of better description that have certain elements that are fixed and immutable or if changed must be done in proscribed ways and that there's space for filler or fluff that has it's own rules. Say you must complete Part A then Part B, but there's a pause between A & B that you can insert filler text with a maximum length and if you want it to be longer then you move from Part A to Part D, linking Part B to Part C later in the process.

Under this supposition the various priests were able to tailor their cants within the strict rules provided by the forms given to them from on high without impact. As knowledge was lost the "filler" information got locked in place as it was unclear what the underlying rules of composition were. This could explain the 1 Diminish fatigue spell and 12 variations (1 for each god) including adding one for a god that doesn't existing within the Khitani pantheon.

This understanding of the underlying forms could also explain the flexibility that the Sarishans continue to enjoy with regard to employing adaptations to divine spells.

For further consideration also remember that through the fall of the 1st Imperium the Emperor had a cadres of mages working for him and the entry for the 4 Towers of the Magi in the Uncleansed Area paints a very collegeal picture of the relationship between the two sides. There is certainly understanding and appreciation that's been lost over time, the question is what was the foundation for both sets of magic?

Hopefully at some point we'll find out more about that relationship.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:14 pm 

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Hello Eric,

val Holryn wrote:
but I also think that's inconsistent with some other things that Henry has said and with the common background of the Pantheon of Man Temples. Clear as mud. IMO the campaign and story lines we have seen have not unfolded in a way that is totally consistent with the position that each Temple has totally unique Cants.


The reason for that is probably because you don't know the full story behind things and I do.

Whenever I answer questions, I run it by the internal logic I have developed for the setting. Many of those "secrets" others are not privy to yet.

I will admit that there have been times when authors have written things that go contary to that internal logic and I've been trying to either fix them so that they are consistent or ret-con them altogether. I may have missed some, so that possibly leads to the confusion, but though I try to keep an eye on things, some do slip through.

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Henry Lopez
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 Post subject: Re: priests changing gods, again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:44 pm 
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PCIHenry wrote:
Whenever I answer questions, I run it by the internal logic I have developed for the setting. Many of those "secrets" others are not privy to yet.

I will admit that there have been times when authors have written things that go contary to that internal logic and I've been trying to either fix them so that they are consistent or ret-con them altogether. I may have missed some, so that possibly leads to the confusion, but though I try to keep an eye on things, some do slip through.


Hi Henry,

Without a doubt the internal consistency of the campaign setting is fabulous, and a great reward for people who try to dig between lines an tease out "real truth" from various "political truths." I have faith that there is an internally consistent explanation of how Cants work and how the Temples relate to each other and the First Imperium priesthood. But I don't currently see it with the pieces that are available to me.

I think all of us here agree you can't readily change from a Priest of one Temple/Framework to another. But there are a number of corner cases that are (to me anyway) confusing.

Any chance of you squaring the circle or illuminating any of the following points?

(1) Does each Temple within the PoM have essentially the same version of Diminish Fatigue or does each Temple have a totally unique version? (Repeat for each of the commonly shared Cants from the Corpus, Wards & Anathema/Benediction traditions). And How is that answer reconciled with a common origin from a Pantheonist past & the Shadowed Age/Time of Terror.
(2) If the Cants of the Temples are mutually exclusive and depend on the faith to each Temples Diety then how is it that the Order of the Phoenix can steal a Cant from the Nerothians of Canceri (the exotic spell Veil of the Phoenix) and still cast it as Milandesian priests of any Diety (almost certainly not Neroth).
(3)How did the priestess of the Ashen Hide egg clutch keep casting spells of the Fire Dragon despite the crisis of faith brought on by discovering that the High Mother Matriarch and elite of the Temple were venerating Kassegore? How could the same teachings, Cants and rites work with the switch in belief that the Fire Dragon was in fact Nier? If (somehow) a priestess of the Black Talons could meet and sit down with a Priestess of the Emerald Scale Egg clutch (who venerated Kassegore directly) could they potentially share teachings or Cants?
(4) if one were a val'Inates priest of Ansharmand discovered and assimilated the truth about Yig could you theoretically begin learning additional material (Cants, Rites etc) from the Yiggites? Does the answer change for Ansharans who have gone through their metamorphosis?

_________________
Eric Gorman

AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen


Last edited by val Holryn on Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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