Jarodemo
 member, 819 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 10:11
5e Clerics and alignment
I have a query on clerics and alignment. I have a hankering to play a cleric who follows a storm god so I can throw lightning bolts and so on around. However, most if not all 5e Tempest domain gods are Evil. Not a problem in a home brew setting, but if using FE, Eberron, etc. then options are limited and/or not appropriate.

So, my query is - does a Cleric have to have the same alignment as their patron deity? If not, is it acceptable for a character who is Good to act as a priest, advocate and/or zealous follower of an Evil god? How would that work?
willvr
 member, 1109 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 10:36
5e Clerics and alignment
In 5E I think the ruling is no alignment restrictions for classes; so work it out with your GM.

I personally would stick to the one-step rule of 3.x, but I think RAW, there are no alignment restrictions. I would have severe issues with an LG cleric worshipping a CE god, because I just don't think you can uphold your god's ethos, whilst maintaining that alignment.
Ski-Bird
 subscriber, 95 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 10:50
5e Clerics and alignment
^^ What he said.  RAW there is no prohibition.  Setting by setting, that may differ.

I think a good cleric of some evil deity is absolutely possible.  It gets even easier to justify narratively with a Tempest deity.  Someone who placates the storm god, lives their life to appease him.  Makes offerings so that sea voyages may pass his waters unharmed ... that kind of thing.

Straight out of the DMG:
In the Forgotten Realms, a person might propitiate Umberlee before setting out to sea, join a communal feast to celebrate Chauntea at harvest time, and pray to Malar before going hunting.

Bruiser419
 member, 13 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 11:18
5e Clerics and alignment
I'm no expert, but even if the god is CE, it would be hard to imagine that every cleric that follows him has to be evil.  A god wants followers and would likely understand that to maximize that, at least a small portion of his clerics would have to be "good" to try and convert "good" people to his worship.

You could also roleplay it that in general the god allows you to do your good deeds and what not without much bother as long as it's not in absolute direct opposition to his core beliefs, but on occasion he comes to the cleric with a more "morally questionable request" that the cleric would have to undertake to stay in the god's good graces.

This message was last edited by the user at 11:19, Thu 30 Apr.

Zag24
 supporter, 623 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 13:35
5e Clerics and alignment
Remember, also, that people don't generally think of themselves as evil.  It may be otherwise for gods, especially in the over-simplified world of Fantasy RPGs, but that isn't a requirement; there is no reason not to have a more complex view of their personalities.  An evil god may only think of himself as a realist, sickened by the sanctimonious arrogance of the so-called "good" gods and hating them because they have shunned him.  He could have good clerics which he dotes on, thinking of them as sweet but tragically naive.
DaCuseFrog
 member, 92 posts
 SW Florida
Fri 1 May 2020
at 05:06
5e Clerics and alignment
The first question I'd have to ask would be what books do you have access to?  Both Sword Coast and Mordenkainen's have tables of gods listed (and there may be others I am forgetting), some of which are non-evil Tempest.  Second, I should point out that there is nothing that says that a human can't serve an elven god, so don't discount the nonhuman deities.  Third, all of the above posts are good points that can explain the difference in alignment.

Finally, excellent Python quote in your tagline.
Jarodemo
 member, 820 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Fri 1 May 2020
at 06:34
5e Clerics and alignment
In reply to DaCuseFrog (msg # 6):

Only PHB. My budget is very limited and I have it on PDF. If I was playing more regularly then I would consider investing in others.

Thanks for all advice, I will look into options.

And thank you for noticing the Python quote!