View Full Version : Redoing the cleric from the ground up, attempt #4

2011-04-29, 08:17 PM
Okay, here's the thing: The fact that clerics all have practically identical ablities, and are differentiated only by their domains,never really sat right with me. Why does a cleric of Olidamarra, god of thieves and trickery, know how to wear platemail and cave in skulls with a mace, but can't even sneak around decently without using magic or cross-classing? How come a cleric of Boccob, the god of magic, isn't significantly better at using magic than a cleric of Kord, god of strength, without resorting to proxies like wands and scrolls? Hell, how come it's entirely possible for a cleric of Boccob to be STRONGER than a cleric of Kord unless the latter invokes the favor of his deity (which he can only do once per day)?

SO, my previous ideas were... (spoilered for space and generally not being important to this thread)
- Basically take every domain and use it as the basis of its own class. Obviously, this would have been a lot of work and I never got far with it.

- The second idea I had was similar; clerics can choose two domains, one of which is their primary domain, and they gain the granted ability of their primary and can cast spells from both, along with a small handful of basic cleric spells. The granted powers of the primary domain would be enhanced compared to what's written in the PHB, but the core cleric abilities would be reduced (only light armor, d4 HD, and poor BAB). Again, too much work and I never did much with it.

- The third idea I had was... more complicated and basically a weird mix of gestalting, except with the abilites on the non-cleric side staggered by one level every four levels, and again, reworking domain powers. This kinda works, but feels clunky and takes a lot of work.

ANYWAY... yesterday it suddenly hit me: Paragons! The racial paragon classes in UA are perfect templates for the kind of thing I want to do with clerics!

(For those of you who don't have UA, the paragon classes are basically prestige classes that ramp the stereotype of whatever race your character is up to 11. They improve or expand on most of your racial bonuses to stuff and are really only fit to be taken by that race's favored class, and are only three levels long. They're kind of like prestige classes but have no entry requirements and don't impose any XP penalties.)

So here's the idea I have: Make the cleric a sort of 'template class' like the paragon classes are, and unlike the paragon classes they have prerequisites for advancement- you can take the first level of cleric at any time, but you can only take the second and third levels once you reach a certain level- I'm not sure where to place these, which is part of the reason I made this thread.

Anyway, here's the basic outline of what I want to do:

- At cleric level 1 you pick domains. Obviously, some domains and their granted powers are a lot better than others (Magic domain kicks the crap out of the Air, Earth, Fire, and Water domains, even if they're all rolled together.) So, give domains values- you get four "faith points" to split between your domains; Magic costs all four, and the elemental domains only cost one each.
- You gain the ability, once per spell level per day, to lose a prepared spell and cast a domain spell of that level (or lower) instead, similar to how the PHB cleric loses prepared spells to cast Cure/Inflict Wounds spells.
- You cast spells from and get the granted powers of every domain you have.
- When you take the first level of cleric, you gain the ability to cast spells. I'm not quite sure how to word this next part... Instead of using the PHB cleric progression, you use that to determine what level of spell you have available, but the revamped cleric class' level to determine how many spells per day you get. I'll try to illustrate this below.

At cleric level one you get 1 spell per spell level per day (plus a domain spell per spell level), regardless of your other class levels, but you get them at the same rate a cleric of your character level does. You only get one spell per spell level per day regardless of your level, unless you take more levels of cleric. A rogue 16/cleric 1 gets

You get a number of spells per spell level per day equal to your cleric level, plus one domain spell per level.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a way to word this part properly: You get access to new spell levels, based on your character level, at the same class level a wizard does, but you still only get spells per spell level per day equal to your cleric level (plus the domain spell per spell level.)

The base stats for the revised cleric class:
Poor BAB, poor will, reflex, and fortitude save progression, no weapon or armor proficiencies, d4 HD, 2 skill points/level, class skills are as the PHB cleric. (You're basically taking time out of whatever it is you normally do to focus entirely on achieving the enlightenment needed to connect with your god and learn how to channel a portion of his divine power.)

I'm thinking you can only take a cleric level as long as you have at least twice times as many levels in other classes as cleric levels, with the exception of being able to take a level of cleric at level 1. The soonest you could take cleric level 2 is character level 6 (two levels of cleric and four levels of whatever else,) and the third level could be taken at level 9, at the earliest.

Another thought I've had is that cleric level 1 only lets you cast up to level 3 spells. Cleric level 2 lets you cast spells up to level 6, and taking the final level of cleric lets you cast spells of any level.

I'm not sure how well I've explained this- it's my first attempt at writing this idea out.

The reason I got the idea to do it this way is to allow clerics to have far more flexibility in design- a cleric of Olidamarra would probably have most of his levels in rogue, while a cleric of Kord would likely have most of his levels in fighter or barbarian.

2011-04-30, 08:11 PM
Nobody has anything to say?

2011-05-05, 02:52 PM
Okay, last bump... I really liked this idea and I'd like to get some kind of feedback, but evidently nobody agrees with me.

2011-05-05, 03:14 PM
If you can get effectively full cleric casting by just taking three levels of this class, wouldn't everyone want to do this?

2011-05-05, 04:35 PM
It's not "effectively full cleric" it's "a couple domains and a small handful of spells core to the concept of 'cleric' (here I'm thinking stuff like Bless/Bane- no more than one or two definitively 'priestly' spells per spell level.) You also get practically nothing else from those levels (d4 HD, poor save and BAB progression, and the only class abilities are domains and spells.)

As for "wouldn't everyone want to do this?" Well, that's kind of what I'm looking for feedback on- I want to make this workable.

I can see why classes like fighters would, seeing as how fighters suck and lose very little by doing it, but wizards would be delaying spell progression for a few spells that don't expand a great deal on what they're already capable of. Sorcerers already get new spell levels a level behind wizards, and delaying their spells even more in exchange fr versatility isn't helping them a great deal.

How about, full casters that take revised cleric levels don't get extra spells slots exclusively for cleric spells- they have to use their sorcerer/wizard/whatever spell slots instead?