View Full Version : [3.5/Pathfinder] Making everyone a cleric (sort of)

2010-04-20, 07:28 AM
Religion in D&D land has never made a whole lot of sense to me. With a plethora of gods vying for the attention of followers, you'd think that rather than channel their power through an elite few they'd lower the bar and hand out power to as many people as possible.

One of the results of mechanically bundling spiritual energy only into a few specific classes is that it sucks having any religious dimension out of all of the other classes. Sure, a player can add fluff to their character, but that is only going to appeal to those players who care a lot about real roleplaying, something which I've not encountered very often over 30 years of gaming.

So one campaign idea I have is to remove clerics, druids, and perhaps even paladins, and instead diffuse those classes over the rest of the base classes. There are many ways of mechanically approaching it. One of the simplest would be to use gestalt rules, but that seems a bit overpowered to me.

Another way might be to allow everyone to pick two domains as if they were a cleric. Perhaps another approach would be to use feats to unlock more and more divine power for the character.

Regardless of how it would mechanically get worked out, the idea is simply that everyone in the world is spiritual. There are no atheists because religion isn't really an issue of faith, but more of what power are you aligning yourself with. The divine are immanent within the world, the effects are obvious, and so who you pick defines the forms of worship and the privileges you get.

Spells like Bless and Cure Light Wounds would be relatively easy to cast by anyone wise enough to cast them, as you'd be calling upon your God for aid, and since these are jealous gods who want attention, would be happy to dole it out to those wishing to follow them.

Now, I'd assume a twist like this would have been proposed a thousand times over after all of these decades of the game existing. Has anyone written up a 3.5 compatible treatment of this?