How to Play a Zealot Without Starting the Crusades

When I created Gox, my barbarian Kobold, a fellow player suggested that I take Path of the Zealot. This turned out to be an excellent idea, because it is so much fun to play! The best thing about it is that your character doesn’t necessarily have to be a fanatical partisan who is anxious to smite all those who follow other gods.

The first thing to do is find a god that feels right for your character. Gox started out following a god he barely knew anything about. He may have thought it was the god his clan followed. He was bigger than most Kobolds, and believed that this meant he was supposed to protect the weak. The god he was following didn’t quite match up with Gox’s ideals.

Fortunately, the story line of the game merged with another D&D campaign’s storyline. Gox found himself living in a Kobold warren underneath a temple to Bahamut.

A Dragonborn Paladin named Fenix was the person who wanted the temple built. Fenix added some “flare” of his own, and so, the stained glass windows included wagon wheels.

Gox listened to the clerics of Bahamut, and one day overheard some of them talking. They mentioned that Bahamut “had limitless empathy for the downtrodden, the dispossessed, and the helpless”. Gox, who wasn’t a very smart Kobold, took this to mean that Bahmut wants people to protect the weak, the very thing Gox believed he was there to do. Just like that, the storyline led Gox to become the first Kobold to convert to following Bahamut.

Path of the Zealot barbarians “channel their rage into powerful displays of divine power”. In Gox’s case, this means that he occasionally was gifted wings made of light while in battle. No one told him about the wings – so he doesn’t know. This prevents Gox from considering the wings as a sign that his god is the best one (or that he is the “chosen one”).

Gox truly believes that Bahamut is good. But, that doesn’t mean he feels the need to slay everyone who follows a different god. Only one of the other Kobolds in Gox’s party converted to Bahamut, for her own reasons. The rest follow other gods.

Gox is happy to talk about (what little he knows) about Bahamut to those who are interested in that conversation. But, he doesn’t go around actively trying to convert people. Instead, Gox’s Path of the Zealot involves protecting the weak by using his rage to fight those who are attacking them. It is better to cut off the enemies head – that’s how you know they’re dead – then to start the Crusades over a difference of opinion about which god to follow.