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Thrawn183
2009-01-20, 01:59 PM
For a campaign that I plan to be tipping off in the next week or so, I'm thinking about making a change in how clerics work.

I'd like to restrict clerics to a single domain, then instead of spontaneously converting spells to the cure/inflict line they spontaneously convert to the spells of that domain. They would, of course, get an extra spell of each level to make up for the fact that they are supposed to have that domain spell slot.

I'm really hoping that this will make clerics devoted to say... a war god significantly different from a cleric devoted to a god of healing. Think it'll work?

Oh, I'll also remove the affiliations of domains with specific gods so that any alignment can still pick up whichever domain they choose.

Keld Denar
2009-01-20, 02:03 PM
That already exists as an Alt Class Feature in PHBII. Give up Spont Curing for Spont access to 1 domain.

I'd still give them 2 domains though. There are just too many good ones to choose. Even if you only allow Spont access to 1, having 2 is still really nice.

Another big things it does is encourages clerics to choose primarily domains that give them wizard spells, or other spells that wouldn't normally be on their lists. The Darkness domain, for example, gets the spell Darkbolt, a really really really strong damage + disable spells. I've single handedly wiped well built PC parties by continuously spraying Darkbolts every round till my cleric runs out of 5th+ level spells. Its brutal. Also, domains like Travel and Time become really popular. Domains like Good and Evil become even less unpopular than they already are, because they don't give any goodies.

*Casts Protection from Ninjas*

Tequila Sunrise
2009-01-20, 02:06 PM
I'm really hoping that this will make clerics devoted to say... a war god significantly different from a cleric devoted to a god of healing. Think it'll work?
Honestly, no, I don't think it'll work. It's a step in the right direction, but just a baby step. Clerics will still all have the same huge generic spell list, the same class skills/skill points, turn undead and BAB. To make clerics meaningfully different, you'll have to split it into a few new priest classes that each have meaningfully different mechanics and focus. It's more work, but it's doable. I've done it, and I'm sure many others have too.

TS

adanedhel9
2009-01-20, 02:40 PM
This is (more or less) what I've done for my clerics: make them spontaneous casters. Then look at how shugenja choose their spells known, and apply that to domains. I think this is a pretty quick way to differentiate clerics of different deities.

Unfortunately, Keld Denar's problem still applies here. Plus, you've got the problem of what to do with domain powers. I took this one step further and wrote a bunch of custom domains designed for this mechanic, doing my best to ensure that every domain has a significant number of interesting spells.

valadil
2009-01-20, 03:08 PM
I do like the idea of having a primary domain for spontaneous spells and a secondary domain. It's more interesting than straight up having two domains.

I'm wondering if it might also make sense to take a page out of the wizard book and restrict spelsl somehow. Maybe have them pick another domain or two that they can't cast from? Flavorwise that makes sense, but I don't know domains off the top of my head and I'm sure there are some domains with no good spells.

Nohwl
2009-01-20, 03:49 PM
why do you want to change clerics?

Saintjebus
2009-01-20, 03:50 PM
What if you split all cleric spells into domains(like schools?), and you only get spells from your domains? That would give customization to clerics. Would that work?

Person_Man
2009-01-20, 03:56 PM
Here's my homebrew Domain Favored Soul (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57097). I posted it over a year ago and have playtested it extensively since then, and it works really well. You could easily convert it over to a Cleric for your purposes.

Dyllan
2009-01-20, 04:27 PM
If you really want to make Clerics special, just let them ride the short bus wagon.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-20, 06:12 PM
There are too many capabilities inherent in the Cleric class to make a big difference in flavor with just this domain emphasis. How about some other possibilities?
You can't turn undead without the Undeath domain. If you don't have this domain, you must pick one of the alternative class features that trades turning/rebuking undead for something else.
You can't Cure spontaneously without the Healing domain. If you don't have this domain, you must use the Spontaneous Domain Casting alternative class feature (Players Handbook II).
You can't Inflict spontaneously without the Destruction domain. If you don't have this domain, you must use the Spontaneous Domain Casting alternative class feature (Players Handbook II).
Only Cloistered Clerics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) can have the Knowledge domain.
There is no War domain. Choose Favored Soul instead of Cleric if you want automatic Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus. (Favored Soul is a weaker class than Cleric, so you might throw in a bonus 1st level feat.)
Nonhuman Clerics get their racial bloodline domains (such as Elf for half-elves, Kobold (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060420a) for kobolds) as bonus domains.

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-20, 09:38 PM
Instead of tweaking the Cleric class, I'd start with the Mystic class from the Dragonlance Campaign Setting. It differs from the cleric as follows:

1. It's a spontaneous Wis-based caster with spells per day as spells known as a sorcerer.
2. In addition to base spells known, a mystic knows all of the spells and gains the granted power(s) of just one domain.
3. No default ability to turn or rebuke undead.
4. Knowledge(nature) is a class skill instead of Knowledge(history) and Knowledge(the planes).
5. No heavy armor proficiency.

A mystic with the Sun domain gains the ability to turn undead instead of the greater turning ability.

Mystics are more distinct from each other than clerics are even with spontaneous casting of domain spells, since two mystics likely won't know a lot of the same spells, and their domain spells make up a larger chunk of their spells known.

I'd say they're pretty good as-is, though I'd give them Knowledge(the planes) as a class skill, and maybe have the Death domain grant the ability to rebuke undead instead of its death touch ability.

Optimystik
2009-01-20, 10:00 PM
There are too many capabilities inherent in the Cleric class to make a big difference in flavor with just this domain emphasis. How about some other possibilities?
You can't turn undead without the Undeath domain. If you don't have this domain, you must pick one of the alternative class features that trades turning/rebuking undead for something else.
You can't Cure spontaneously without the Healing domain. If you don't have this domain, you must use the Spontaneous Domain Casting alternative class feature (Players Handbook II).
You can't Inflict spontaneously without the Destruction domain. If you don't have this domain, you must use the Spontaneous Domain Casting alternative class feature (Players Handbook II).
Only Cloistered Clerics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric) can have the Knowledge domain.
There is no War domain. Choose Favored Soul instead of Cleric if you want automatic Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus. (Favored Soul is a weaker class than Cleric, so you might throw in a bonus 1st level feat.)
Nonhuman Clerics get their racial bloodline domains (such as Elf for half-elves, Kobold (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060420a) for kobolds) as bonus domains.


I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

Looks to me like it sufficiently diverges clerics while keeping the fun factor alive and well. I especially like the replacing war clerics with favored souls idea :)

mikeejimbo
2009-01-20, 10:17 PM
Another big things it does is encourages clerics to choose primarily domains that give them wizard spells, or other spells that wouldn't normally be on their lists. The Darkness domain, for example, gets the spell Darkbolt, a really really really strong damage + disable spells. I've single handedly wiped well built PC parties by continuously spraying Darkbolts every round till my cleric runs out of 5th+ level spells. Its brutal. Also, domains like Travel and Time become really popular. Domains like Good and Evil become even less unpopular than they already are, because they don't give any goodies.

Heh, I thought these domains were already extremely popular.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-20, 10:54 PM
I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

Looks to me like it sufficiently diverges clerics while keeping the fun factor alive and well. I especially like the replacing war clerics with favored souls idea :) Thanks; I'm glad you liked my ideas.

The biggest similarity Clerics have to each other is access to all the goodies on the Cleric spell list. I tried to change pretty much everything else, using the options in existing rules. (I couldn't resist suggesting some extra love for Favored Souls, because they really don't stand up well against Clerics until they get wings at level 17 and DR at level 20 -- too little, too late.)

Keld Denar
2009-01-20, 11:42 PM
Curmudgeon, I don't think you should limit turn undead, especially not to the Undeath domain. If anything, Undeath should have rebuke, and domains like Sun and Glory should get turning.

Regardless, I don't think it should be pitched. I do like the possibility of restricting the cleric list as a whole, retooling a few of the domains, and having a smaller list of "universal" spells, and a lot more domain customization. Domains like Good and Evil are just so lackluster, because they only have spells that normal clerics can memorize anyway.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-21, 03:05 AM
Domains like Good and Evil are just so lackluster, because they only have spells that normal clerics can memorize anyway. 8/9, actually; there's Holy Smite and Unholy Blight. Most of their power comes from the +1 CL on a large number of spells. If you want some examples of generally powerful domains, just look for those racial domains like Gnome and Kobold. Both of these add 9 new spells and have decent granted powers, too.

Keld Denar
2009-01-21, 11:05 AM
Yea, I used to play a cleric with the Good/Sun domains (RSoP) and he used Holy Smite as kind of a Heightened Sculpted Glitterdust, so long as all your allies are good and all your foes are evil. And the +1 CL is really only cheesy if you combine it with Holy Word/Blasphemy...which convienently is on the Good/Evil spell list. Holy Smite also appears on the Glory domain.

Funny thing though. Only clerics with the Good and Glory domains (or Archivists or Artificers) can craft Holy weapons, due to that limited spell requirement. Kind of a neat fact.

Draz74
2009-01-21, 12:59 PM
I really like this variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/spontaneousDivineCasters.htm) from the SRD.

Clerics have a limited number of Spells Known, like Sorcerers (and cast spontaneously). It's a bigger selection than Sorcerers, but not by much. But then, they also get their domain spells added to spells known automatically! That makes Domains really important.

The Healing domain is suddenly appealing, for example, because it means you don't have to waste any of your actual spells known on healing spells -- you'll get them all automatically, unlike other clerics.*

Along with this variant, I would also recommend a limited version of the Cloistered Cleric variant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric), too. (Not replacing the normal cleric, just offering an optional alternative version.) The cloistered cleric is nicely balanced (especially in the spontaneous variant, where Divine Power isn't automatically a known spell!), with the following changes:

- No automatic Knowledge domain (but still all Knowledge skills as class skills)
- No Lore ability
- If the cloistered cleric selects Knowledge as one of his two domains, he regains the Lore ability, in addition to gaining the +1 caster level on Divinations bonus.

* Technically this is a flawed example in highly-optimized games, as optimized Cleric players won't actually want Cure Moderate, Cure Serious, etc., and will want non-domain healing spells such as Lesser Vigor. But you get the idea.

Epinephrine
2009-01-21, 01:00 PM
Here's my homebrew Domain Favored Soul (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57097). I posted it over a year ago and have playtested it extensively since then, and it works really well. You could easily convert it over to a Cleric for your purposes.

I really like this... I am sending a link to a player to see whether she's interested in rebuilding her PC as one (rather than the cobbled together cleric/favoured soul hybrid she's currently using).

hamlet
2009-01-21, 01:41 PM
Read The Complete Priest's Handbook from the AD&D 2e era.

Learn.

Apply.

Essentially, priests of various gods function off of completely different lists of spells. Some overlap, but for the most part, a priest of undeath and a priest of agriculture will typically have very different spells to choose from.

It also changes powers so that not all priest turn or control undead.

Person_Man
2009-01-21, 02:15 PM
I really like this... I am sending a link to a player to see whether she's interested in rebuilding her PC as one (rather than the cobbled together cleric/favoured soul hybrid she's currently using).

Glad you like it. The build I played extensively was a Favored Soul of Apollo, and he was ridiculously fun. His domains were Sun, Healing, Renewal, Strength, Knowledge and Truth (I only made it to 17th level. I'm guessing I would have gone with Good or Fire for the 20th level Domain). He was extremely powerful at healing and divination (which often ending up playing a major plot role in our games), and could also tank respectably. The DM was fond of using various Favored Souls of other gods against our party, and each had their own flavorful spell list and powers.

Mark Hall
2009-01-21, 08:40 PM
One option I went with was to make a sort of double-strength domain especially for clerics of specific deities... they could take only one domain, but it was really good, and limited to their deity's purview.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-22, 06:22 AM
One option I went with was to make a sort of double-strength domain especially for clerics of specific deities... they could take only one domain, but it was really good, and limited to their deity's purview. Have you seen the planar domains (appendix in Spell Compendium)? These are "double-strength domains", though they're not specific to any deities.