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View Full Version : 3.5 Cleric Build Lvl3 33AC, can't attack



timbuck_hunter
2008-06-10, 01:24 AM
For this build I used PHB and Book of Exalted Deeds

Human Cleric Charm and Healing (or Animal?)
At level 1, take Sacred Vow, human bonus feat: Vow of Non-Violence, exalted bonus feat for being nice: Vow of Poverty +2 Diplomacy
At level one: +4AC
At level 2, take Vow of Peace (+6 AC and an additional +2 to poverty) +4 to Diplomacy too
At level 2: +12AC
At level 3: Tower Shield Proficiency, dual wield tower shields, AC goes up +1 with Vow of Poverty as well as an endure elements
At level 3: +21 AC
At this point I have added the two tower shields. Since he doesnít have a weapon, he doesnít need the other arm free really. Itís a stretch but I didnít see anywhere where it says I canít. I am not allowing the Cleric to have anything over 100 gp on his person at a time as the vow of poverty was pretty unspecific, so this gives him 60 gp total with 40gp left for other possessions. This means at level 3 a cleric can have 31 AC. This is without the DEX bonus, can only be +2 due to tower shields anyway so a possible 33.

So whatís the purpose of this all? Well, for starters with two shields the cleric can just rush into melee and absorb attacks as other characters fight. He can also buff, summon monsters, and heal whenever is needed. You also have calm emotions aura and the ability to destroy weapons that attack your body sometimes. Sure you are pretty useless in terms of combat as you probably will never make an attack roll, but you summon, buff, and heal, possibly do some turning, have celestial summons smite evil and can contribute a decent amount to the battle. Not to mention you free up others to attack the many enemies swarming all over you.

Please correct me on everything here that I did wrong or just give further suggestions. I have access to a wide variety of books that my friends own.

tyckspoon
2008-06-10, 01:30 AM
I'm.. pretty sure Vow of Poverty does not allow you to use a Tower Shield. If it does, there's no point to using two of them. They will both provide a Shield bonus to AC, which cannot stack with itself.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-10, 01:31 AM
Would't Vow of Poverty stop you from using shields? I thought you were only allowed to carry 1 Simple Weapon if you took that feat.

timbuck_hunter
2008-06-10, 01:35 AM
Hmm, good point on the stacking of shields. -4 AC 29 AC. When I read the description it was iffy on what all you were allowed by way of armor/clothing. I put the limit at 100 gps but that might be too high.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-10, 01:36 AM
I assumed you were limited to 1 days worth of food, 1 basic set of clothes, a basic spell componant pouch and 1 Simple weapon (I don't have the book, so I can't check it).

tyckspoon
2008-06-10, 01:40 AM
Hmm, good point on the stacking of shields. -4 AC 29 AC. When I read the description it was iffy on what all you were allowed by way of armor/clothing. I put the limit at 100 gps but that might be too high.

I don't see how it's iffy, actually. Assuming dandello has it accurately, you're allowed:

Simple, non-magical non-masterwork weapons (in the spirit of the vow you would only have one, but the text does allow for multiple)
One set of simple clothes
One day's food
A spell component pouch.

That's it. By the strict text, you may have no other material possession, not even a holy symbol to use as a divine focus. A DM may relax this to 'no material possessions of value', which would probably let you use a basic wooden symbol and carry a larger food supply, but it would still not cover Tower Shields.

Animefunkmaster
2008-06-10, 03:44 AM
Your bonuses are added wrong, me thinks.

Vow of Poverty: +5 Exalted bonus

Vow of Peace: +2 (increase to Vow of Poverty's) exalted bonus, +2 Natural Armor, +2 deflection.

Remember that bonuses of the same name don't stack, and vow of peace grants both a bonus (that won't stack with Vow of Poverty) and an increase to the bonuses of vow of poverty.

Also, no shields with vow of poverty for the above reasons, it is very specific under the feat description.

First recommendation: don't play this, it isn't fun. You can't summon (read vow of peace under non damaging spells), you can't do buffs (outside of temp hp and con, again read non damaging spells under vow of peace), enemies will not swarm you (you have AC, sure, but there is no reason for an enemy to attack you if you aren't threatening them in some way) and finally you are a wet blanket (read vow of nonviolence and the moral penalty to alleys, it is almost counter intuitive to take this feat with a normal party).

Second recommendation: find something fun to do with this (I did a warforged who used stigmata and mitigate suffering, bleeding warforged... weird), because otherwise you will be preaching the same jazz and making diplomacy checks and begging the party to play by your rules. Find something do that isn't always this (like levels in feat rogue and go skill monkeying around)

Third recommendation: Be a Dragonborn (wings) strong heart hafling, get the bonus feat and the small size, its really a win win. This will keep your AC high, bonus feat like a human, and flight... which is a good magic item you will miss. Not to mention small bonus to hit and high ground bonuses (could be used for a well placed stunning fist).

Fourth recommendation: go into apostle of peace asap (level 8), nab a level of cloistered cleric if you must (domains and such) not cleric (no need for armor proficiencies), but use your other levels for things that might help you more. 2 levels in monk or swordsage are great, 2 levels in paladin fit thematically and mechanically (take the serenity feat from Dragon Compendium to make your pali abilities work off of wisdom), a level of fighter (if your dm lets shields fly with vop take it quickly and never look back).

Fifth recommendation: synergize with wisdom... casting, AC, Saves, and to hit (Zen Archer CWy, or Intuitive Attack BOED).

Haakon
2008-06-10, 08:04 AM
Another problem with using multiple shields (especially tower shields), is that you can't cast any spells that require somatic or material components. I'd argue its hard to reach into your pocket with a 30 pound shield attached too it.

"Tanking" really doesn't work as well as people expect to in D&D. Unless you have an ability or spell forcing creatures to attack your unbeatable AC, they are just going to attack your other party members, since they will probably be much easier to hit then you are (though that really depends on the Int of the things attacking you).

Like the previous posters have mentioned: Shields don't stack and you can't use shields due to the vow (its very specific).

Cainen
2008-06-10, 08:27 AM
Potions of Shield are 50 gp each, and grant a +4 shield bonus to AC for the remainder of combat. 5 ranks in Tumble grants a +1 bonus to fighting defensively and a +2 bonus to total defense.

Is this specifically supposed to be a Cleric, or can you branch out into other classes? The Swordsage works wonders for a defensive class, especially when you start dipping into extra AC boosting items.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-10, 08:33 AM
The 50gp version of shield of faith is only +2 deflection. :smallsmile:

Cainen
2008-06-10, 08:36 AM
Right, but the Wizard spell is quite existent, too, and that -is- +4 AC. Brew Potion isn't limited to Clerics.

SamTheCleric
2008-06-10, 08:50 AM
You can't make a potion of Shield (which is a Shield bonus, not a deflection bonus) as it is a Personal spell. No potions of personal spells.

Cainen
2008-06-10, 09:25 AM
Whoops. Forgot that we had had that houseruled due to it being basically nothing more than a per-encounter Mage Armor with a useless perk attached.

timbuck_hunter
2008-06-10, 09:51 AM
I don't believe that you are alowed your own potions, someone else must grant them to you.

This is a major work in progress people. I wanted the two shields more for roleplaying purposes than actual funcuality. I wasn't sure on the shield rules or the AC rules as I almost always play wizard or an equivalent and am not familiar with all the fighter etc. rules. As for summoning, I don't think that it's not allowed as these are spells that bring something into existence rather than directly attack another character. Also I have heard of people doing crazy things with summons, ie. summoning unicorns for healing, summoning celestials for smite evil, and the all powerful gate spell to have monsters grant wishes, broken) I would think that a DM would allow it anyways. As for the dragonborne that is a great idea. I have also been suggested being a wizard for mage armor and alter self (+6 AC and flight with a second level spell? okay...) along with other spells, this would probably be the more effective choice but I am wondering if a spellbook is allowed. I am looking in to seeing if there is a spell/feat/ability that will cause monsters to focus their attacks on you, kind of like some martyr type feat or taunt ability.
Overall I think a lot of this will be subject to DM approval, especially as this character will have huge Diplomacy stats and Diplomacy on a whole is super broken: "you like me---WE LIKE YOU!!!"
THere are also many other interesting effects that happen along the road with vow of poverty.
Also, just because you have a vow of poverty and vow of peace does not necessarily mean that the character is totally perfect and good in all ways. Maybe he's a chronic liar (goes well with Diplomancy, maybe Trickery (?) as a Domain?), or likes to sleep around, who knows? I am planning on him being lawful good, also a change for me as I usually just play a super chaotic neutral character who would rather kill problems than deal with them.

Thanks for the help. Aditional help would be much appreciated, especially later levels to make sure he doesn't suck later on.

Keld Denar
2008-06-10, 11:31 AM
Um, reread Vow of Peace and Non-Violence...summoning creatures to fight for you doesn't work, since you are advocating violence through means that aren't directly by your hand. Its the same as telling an ally to cut the throat of a helpless foe. It'll cause you to fall faster than W's approval rating. Exalted characters aren't just LG, they are LG+1. Reread the whole section on what an exalted character means. Its pretty hardcore, almost to the point of unplayability.

Don't get me wrong, its not a bad gimmik for a character, but if you want to go about abusing what are widely considered some of the most rediculous rules in existance, be prepared to face the consequences of falling.

And like one of the above posters mentioned, exalted characters not only make play difficult for you, but for your allies. The aura from Vow of Peace is EXTREMELY annoying for your whole party, and the cumulative penalty you impose upon your party is just stupid.

BTW, the feat you want to make people attack you is called Goad, and I believe its in CAdv? Someone correct me if I'm wrong. There is a thread over on CharOp on how to maximize Goad. Take a look there if you are interested.

Curmudgeon
2008-06-11, 12:54 AM
After subtracting spells that require either a (divine) focus or expensive material component (Vow of Poverty), and spells that do damage (Vow of Peace), I think your entire spell list is the following.


Bull's Strength
Cause Fear
Command
Create Water
Cure Light Wounds
Cure Minor Wounds
Cure Moderate Wounds
Darkness
Deathwatch
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Detect Undead
Eagle's Splendor
Elation
Endure Elements
Enthrall
Entropic Shield
Eyes of the Avoral
Find Traps
Guidance
Lantern Light
Lastai's Caress
Make Whole
Mending
Obscuring Mist
Purify Food and Drink
Ray of Hope
Remove Addiction
Remove Fear
Remove Paralysis
Lesser Restoration
Shatter
Shield of Faith
Silence
Status
Undetectable Alignment
Vision of Heaven

Chronos
2008-06-11, 01:49 AM
After subtracting spells that require either a (divine) focus or expensive material component (Vow of Poverty), and spells that do damage (Vow of Peace), I think your entire spell list is the following.To be fair, I think most DMs will houserule that a cleric is allowed a simple holy symbol made of a humble material like wood or leather. That should open up your spell list considerably.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-11, 01:58 AM
I'd have to agree with Chronos. (doesn't a Holy Symbol do the same thing for Divine Casters as a Spell Componant Pouch does for Arcane Casters?)

Illiterate Scribe
2008-06-11, 02:00 AM
I don't believe that you are alowed your own potions, someone else must grant them to you.

While potions are an example given, the 'cannot use magic items of any type or fall' aspect of the vow is fairly clear.


As for summoning, I don't think that it's not allowed as these are spells that bring something into existence rather than directly attack another character.


But that's not the point. You've taken a Vow of Peace. Committing actions that lead to violence - actions whose sole purpose is to lead to violence - is not compatible with it.


Also, just because you have a vow of poverty and vow of peace does not necessarily mean that the character is totally perfect and good in all ways.

Actually, yes, that is basically what the [Exalted] descriptor means.


(goes well with Diplomancy, maybe Trickery (?) as a Domain?),


Diplomancy is not exactly considered a good tactic; while technically it slaughters everything, it's not very fun for everyone else.



or likes to sleep around, who knows? I am planning on him being lawful good, also a change for me as

Most lawful societies would be monogamous (generally more stable type of relationship); sleeping around, even in a polygamist society, would generally be seen as destabilising; ergo ...


I usually just play a super chaotic neutral character who would rather kill problems than deal with them.

That is a potentially problematic outlook.

Basically, I think that the issue with the vows is that you're trying to find a way round them, to get the benefit without having to constrain yourself to the difficult prerequisites. That's not the point. The point is to use these exalted feats as a reward - albeit even a slightly suboptimal one - for characters who do their best to try to be perfectly good. Summoning minions to kill stuff so that you don't get your hands dirty isn't exactly a good example of that.

Ixtli
2008-06-11, 02:49 AM
Even with Vow of peace, you can fully unleash all the repressed energy (accumulated in years of "non violent smiles" and "non violent kindness" in front of unpolite and rude behaviour of some NPS or PC) attacking some kind of monsters that are not "alive" (such as undead or constructs).
;)

Other than that, according to me you should play the Exalted feats limitations ad indications not to the letter but to the spirit.

I agree with Chronos about the holy symbol.
I also think that every character that has Exalted feats should be allowed to carry a holy symbol, just because those kind of characters should have very strong ties to their patron god.

Animefunkmaster
2008-06-11, 04:37 AM
Is there any reason to take vow of poverty and vow of nonviolence (vow of peace being a pre req)? I would think not. These feats cripple your ability to be useful in a game (as diplomacy tends to be your primary tool, and forces your team to do the same) but it also forces your RP ability (Nothin like begging for stuff... and preaching non violence and the downfalls of ownership... your not really the adventuring type). Don't get me wrong, in some extreme circumstances this can work, but in most you are just better off with your own personal vow and use the items you want... it will tend to be better than vow of poverty anyway.

As for being a tank, try grabbing combat reflexes, reach (spiked chain preferable), a size increasement and either improved trip or standstill.

As for straight AC, lets look at what you could have with non magical items that are restricted due to VOP.

Fullplate: +8 armor +1 max dex
Tower Shield (not you can't shield bash with a tower shield, use another one):+4 ac OR +2 cover

This already gives you more AC than all of your vows put together, without starting to purchase the magical items (like ring of deflection, pendant of nat armor, yatta yatta).

The vows from a mechanical stand point are just not worth it, it is better to have a personal vow that you are fine with breaking from time to time than a feat that stats once you break it, you are boned.

Ceaon
2008-06-11, 04:51 AM
Two possibilities:
Take the Sacred Vow, Vow of Non-Violence, Vow of Poverty and Vow of Peace feats. The exalted bonus to AC from Peace stacks with Poverty (this is specifically stated). You'd have no shields though, so you'd get an AC of +13 at level 3.

Or you could take the Tower Shield proficiency feat and equip one and a Full Plate. You'd have an AC of +12 at level 3. And be able to make them magical.

Vows are not overpowered, in fact, they are underpowered. Even when used in a cheesy way, like the OP originally wanted, they create subpar characters.

The purpose of the Vows is for characters who want to roleplay those kinds of characters without becoming extremely underpowered.

nagora
2008-06-11, 05:15 AM
I usually just play a super chaotic evil character who would rather kill problems than deal with them.
Fixed that for you.

Iudex Fatarum
2008-06-11, 08:33 AM
So lets look at what we have
A character with absurd AC who can't attack, can't provoke others to attack (remember calm emotions aura) and can only buff party members, unless ...
He is a monk, monks almost exclusively use no weapons, they can't wear armour (which is indeed prohibited by VoP "ordinary ... simple weapons ..., simple clothes ... and enough food to sustain you for a day in a bag.") and also get equal use from non-lethal and lethal damage (unarmed strikes FTW)
Oh and also you add both DEX and WIS to AC. So play a high DEX monk and get weapon finesse. Or, get Intuitive Attack.
If you could get your Dm to approve it, take Touch of Golden Ice. Now they take Dex damage and get stunned and take non-lethal damage all in the same attack. By definition it does violate Vow of Non-Violence, but it is an exalted feat and does only dex damage and only against evil creatures.
Thematically either Sanctify Ki Strike, or Nimbus of Light and Stigmata.
Also, I'd like to point out the penalty to attacks from Vow of Non-Violence only activates if "who slays a helpless foe" So its not a big deal really, just no senseless killing, imprisonment work well instead (get allies to carry loads of MW Manacles.
I'd like to point out that I had a friend who using the SRD only made a character level 1 with AC of 25 (base 10, Full Plate +8, Tower Shield +4, Small +1, Natural Armour +1, and Dex +1) (he was kobold fighter)

nargbop
2008-06-11, 09:52 AM
VoP characters cannot carry tower shields, nor wear any armor. [/ nitpick ] Also, a Vow of Peace character - really, is that character going to dive into battle for any reason, let alone to intentionally take hits?
One of my friends played an Apostle of Peace reasonably, that is, screaming "STOP IT STOP IT MASS HEAL!" Incredibly annoying to everyone else, but true to the Vows he took.

SpikeFightwicky
2008-06-11, 10:48 AM
I'd like to point out that I had a friend who using the SRD only made a character level 1 with AC of 25 (base 10, Full Plate +8, Tower Shield +4, Small +1, Natural Armour +1, and Dex +1) (he was kobold fighter)

While I won't point out some of the glaring issues of monks and the VoP, I'll just comment that the kobold's full plate is worth more than level 2 wealth by level, so by raw that won't happen. Not only that, but all that armor weighs 47.5 lbs. For a small character, you'd need a strength of at least 15 to carry those around and stay in light encumberance (hard to do at level 1 with a -4 to strength) -> if your groups uses encumberance rules.

Iudex Fatarum
2008-06-11, 11:35 PM
The group I was in pooled gold for this guy, hey a tank that can't be hit is useful even if it does mean that my bard can't get a +1 to AC. Also, Who cares, he is a koblod he's not going to be moving too much, so encumbrance really isn't a big deal, hence a strength score of 9 is all that is needed. If I wanted it to be a light load then yes a strength score of 15 is required, but why? he takes no additional armour check penalties, takes no reduced max dex, takes no speed reduction. He might as well just not bother. To get the strength score of 9 the stat he rolled would have to be 13 which is not absurdly high at all.

JaxGaret
2008-06-11, 11:43 PM
I usually just play a super chaotic evil stupid character who would rather kill problems than deal with them.


Fixed that for you.

Meta-fixed that for ya.

JaxGaret
2008-06-11, 11:54 PM
I usually just play a super chaotic evil stupid character who would rather kill problems than deal with them.


Fixed that for you.

Meta-fixed that for ya.

Citizen Joe
2008-06-12, 12:00 AM
You could just stay at the bar and drink. You'd be equally protected and useful to the party.

Worira
2008-06-12, 12:11 AM
The group I was in pooled gold for this guy, hey a tank that can't be hit is useful even if it does mean that my bard can't get a +1 to AC.

No, it's really not. People would just go "Oh, hey, a harmless, heavily armoured kobold." and then stab the other party members in the eye(s).

Armads
2008-06-12, 01:51 AM
I suggest you take a Fighter level at level 3, be a Silverbrow Human, and snag the Dragonscale Husk alternative feature. Basically, you get another +6 to AC but can't wear armor (and you dont have armor anyway). It's not an armor bonus, so it stacks with VoP.

Crazy Scot
2008-06-12, 02:21 AM
I think the others have pretty much covered the basics on this character idea, but I will throw out another thought or two.

-First, VoPoverty is underpowered, and unless your DM is playing the campaign as a low-magic item campaign, the vow is probably not worth the benefits.

-Secondly, no matter the case, I would strongly recommend not taking VoPeace. It would hamper not only you but your allies and their options. And being the annoying player always shouting "Don't hurt it!" gets pretty annoying to everyone else pretty fast, besides the fact that you can't do much at all in combat.

-Third, if you are bound and determined to play a VoPoverty character, may I suggest playing a character that does not rely much (if at all) on physical possessions. The two main classes which fill this bill are Monk and Druid. Monk grants you good movement, pretty good AC (while unarmored, and hey you can't wear any), and good unarmed combat abilities (with some other things thrown in for good cause). Druid is a whole different story, though. With this, you have two different routes you can choose. Option One is to focus on wildshaping (which would be nice since you don't have to worry about doning and doffing armor/equipment before changing). Option Two is a little departure from the normal, by taking the alternate class feature from page 58 of Unearthed Arcana. With this alternate class feature you sacrifice your armor and shield proficiencies (you can't use them anyway), and your wildshaping capabilities (you would have to resort to Polymorph), but gain the fast movement/bonuses to AC of a monk, and Track/fast tracking/favored enemies of a Ranger. The benefit of going with one of the Druid options is that you also get full spellcasting capabilities, and if you were considering taking Cleric originally, then these options might be better. Between the two Druid options, I always thought the second option would be a good one, and with the feat Intuitive Strike from BoED, you would have one stat (Wis) which affects your AC/to hit/spellcasting capabilities.

Again, I wouldn't normally recommend a VoPoverty character, due to the general weakness of the feat, but (as I said before) if you are bound and determined to play it, I would recommend one of the above 3 options. Anything outside of those would only hurt your character and your gaming group. And, if you don't talk to your group about your idea of taking VoPeace before you take it, you will probably be pissing them off. At least let them know, and if they seem okay with it, then why not. But IMO VoPeace is even weaker than VoPoverty and should ONLY be taken for thematic purposes and with the full consent and knowledge of the entire gaming group.

Happy gaming!

Crazy Scot
2008-06-12, 02:30 AM
I suggest you take a Fighter level at level 3, be a Silverbrow Human, and snag the Dragonscale Husk alternative feature. Basically, you get another +6 to AC but can't wear armor (and you dont have armor anyway). It's not an armor bonus, so it stacks with VoP.

There are only a few problems with this alternate class feature. One: you have to cross-class which would hurt your spellcasting. Two: it is treated as medium armor with all the regular penalties thereof. Three: you are limited to a max Dex bonus to AC of +2, with a -4 armor check penalty. And saving the worst part for last, Four: the class feature specifically states that it doesn't stack with any feat, racial trait, or other special ability that would grant a bonus to AC. (Note: it doesn't say it doesn't stack with other Armor bonuses, it says it doesn't stack with basically ANYTHING that grants a bonus to AC.)

So sorry, but IMO, this is one would not work, and would do more to hamper this basic character concept even more than the proposed vows would.

Curmudgeon
2008-06-12, 03:47 AM
(doesn't a Holy Symbol do the same thing for Divine Casters as a Spell Componant Pouch does for Arcane Casters?)
No, it's an additional requirement, just as a spellbook is an additional requirement for Wizards; Clerics still need spell components for most of their spells. A house rule that allows a holy symbol is in direct opposition to the spirit of Vow of Poverty, to my mind.

Iudex Fatarum
2008-06-12, 05:14 AM
It is an additional requirement for some spells. But, ...
Let us look at the spirit of the feat not the feat itself. It is designed to model real world vows of poverty. So, out of these which allow religious symbols. Well in my tour of monte casino (head of the benedictine order of monks) They all carried a rosary or some other religious iconography with them (a holy symbol if you were). the purpose being to remind them of why they took the vow to begin with. so I would say it follows the flavor of the text.

Also, just so everyone is clear, out of the first level cleric spells in core, 3 use material components, two of these are expensive material components (Bless Water, and Curse Water) the other has a material that I can't imagine is in a standard spell component pouch. Shield of Faith requires a small scroll with religious text written on it.
So, in a sense out of 29 spells one requires material components, this is a similar rate to that of a focus material for arcane casters. So I think that the exception for a holy symbol and banning a spell component pouch is balanced.
Also, purely for flavor I would make anyone in any of my campaigns who took VoP have a wooden holy symbol that they public display at almost all times.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-12, 05:21 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Curmudgeon. (could it be included with a standard Spell Componant pouch for the purpose of using VoP?)

Iudex Fatarum
2008-06-12, 06:47 AM
Spell Component Pouch: A spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all the material components and focuses needed for spellcasting, except for those components that have a specific cost, divine focuses, and focuses that wouldnít fit in a pouch.
(bolding by me)

So by RAW no. But, it is a 5 gp item, a holy symbol wooden is a 1 gp item, so I don't see how you can't switch one for the other, but as has been pointed out, RAW says no. You can't have divine focus, only material components of negligible value.

Tempest Fennac
2008-06-12, 06:53 AM
Thanks (I'm sorry about forgetting about that). This page, http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Components_(Spell_Descriptor), just said something that made me think that Divine Casters only needed a Holy Symbol:

"Divine Focus (DF)
A divine focus component is an item of spiritual significance. The divine focus for a cleric or a paladin is a holy symbol appropriate to the characterís faith.

If the Components line includes F/DF or M/DF, the arcane version of the spell has a focus component or a material component (the abbreviation before the slash) and the divine version has a divine focus component (the abbreviation after the slash)."

(I misunderstood what it meant about requiring a DF.)

monty
2008-06-12, 09:12 AM
A house rule that allows a holy symbol is in direct opposition to the spirit of Vow of Poverty, to my mind.

May I ask why? A spell component pouch costs 5gp; that's allowed. Most simple weapons cost a few gp; you're allowed to have one of those. Why, other than a mistake on the writer's part, wouldn't a 1gp holy symbol be allowed?

Curmudgeon
2008-06-12, 06:40 PM
May I ask why? A spell component pouch costs 5gp; that's allowed. Most simple weapons cost a few gp; you're allowed to have one of those. Why, other than a mistake on the writer's part, wouldn't a 1gp holy symbol be allowed? Because it's a voluntary reduction in character power in exchange for the benefits of leading a simplified life. The power of a divine focus for a Cleric is much greater than its cost. Access to fewer spells is only part of this voluntary power-down, because without a holy symbol the Cleric also can't turn undead. You've decided to be poor, and a poor Cleric also can't use ordinary padded armor, even though that, too, is in the same price range as a spell component pouch or some of the allowed simple weapons. VoP even keeps you from owning a comb or toothbrush unless these happen to be in your spell component pouch.

By specifically stating what is allowed, the feat clearly establishes the power limits that the character voluntarily agrees to. Adding a house rule just for this specific item greatly increases the power available to Clerics who take Vow of Poverty.

If you want to play a divine caster with Vow of Poverty, why not just play a Favored Soul? Favored Souls cast divine spells from the Cleric spell list, but they don't have specified divine focuses. They also can't turn undead anyway, so that additional power boost isn't an issue.
Holy Symbol, Silver or Wooden

A holy symbol focuses positive energy. A cleric or paladin uses it as the focus for his spells and as a tool for turning undead. The default divine focus for other classes is mistletoe or holly, and holly is found in spell component pouches (for the Fire Seeds spell). I don't see any problem with a Favored Soul using holly as their divine focus, but divine focuses are religion-specific so you should check with your DM.

timbuck_hunter
2008-06-12, 06:52 PM
As for all this nonsense of holy symbols, isn't there some sort of rule/ability/feat/something or other that allows you to tattoo the holy symbol to your skin? For a vow of Poverty character this would be most optimal as it doesn't add any bonuses, doesn't cost much, and adds to the whole I AM PERFECTLY GOOD idea?

monty
2008-06-12, 06:54 PM
Because it's a voluntary reduction in character power in exchange for the benefits of leading a simplified life. The power of a divine focus for a Cleric is much greater than its cost. Access to fewer spells is only part of this voluntary power-down, because without a holy symbol the Cleric also can't turn undead. You've decided to be poor, and a poor Cleric also can't use ordinary padded armor, even though that, too, is in the same price range as a spell component pouch or some of the allowed simple weapons. VoP even keeps you from owning a comb or toothbrush unless these happen to be in your spell component pouch.

By specifically stating what is allowed, the feat clearly establishes the power limits that the character voluntarily agrees to. Adding a house rule just for this specific item greatly increases the power available to Clerics who take Vow of Poverty.

If you want to play a divine caster with Vow of Poverty, why not just play a Favored Soul? Favored Souls cast divine spells from the Cleric spell list, but they don't have specified divine focuses. They also can't turn undead anyway, so that additional power boost isn't an issue. The default divine focus for other classes is mistletoe or holly, and holly is found in spell component pouches (for the Fire Seeds spell). I don't see any problem with a Favored Soul using holly as their divine focus, but divine focuses are religion-specific so you should check with your DM.

You trade armor for armor bonuses. That seems fine to me. I still ask, why should you get a spell component pouch but not a holy symbol, especially since the pouch costs more?

Also, it has been established that VoP is underpowered. Why are you concerned about making clerics with it more powerful?

And I still haven't seen where it says that you have to use the Holy Symbol in the equipment list. The key word is symbol. It's the picture that's important, not what it's drawn on.

marjan
2008-06-12, 06:58 PM
it's a voluntary reduction in character power in exchange for the benefits of leading a simplified life.


OK.


Access to fewer spells is only part of this voluntary power-down, because without a holy symbol the Cleric also can't turn undead.

And why exactly being poor means that you are not supposed to fight undead? Your Exalted nature prevents you fighting vile things? (Note that undead are supposed to be vile creatures, according to D&D books)

Also note that most of the classes have spells that don't require material components so I really don't see why they don't lose some spells, by say removing pouch from the list allowed by VoP.



By specifically stating what is allowed, the feat clearly establishes that WotC sometimes don't give much thought to their actions.


Fixed.



If you want to play a divine caster with Vow of Poverty, why not just play a Favored Soul? Favored Souls cast divine spells from the Cleric spell list, but they don't have specified divine focuses.

So it's OK for regular cleric and FS to have the same ability to cast spells, but once they take a feat it isn't. Why?




The default divine focus for other classes is mistletoe or holly, and holly is found in spell component pouches (for the Fire Seeds spell).

Holly and mistletoe don't have price so it is irrelevant that they are found in pouch.

Siosilvar
2008-06-12, 06:58 PM
does not rely much (if at all) on physical possessions. The two main classes which fill this bill are Monk and Druid.
Scot made a funny.

Whenever these VoP threads come up, someone always mentions Monk and then someone else points out that they fail, usually for reasons such as lack of flying/counter to flying without items (From what I've heard, you can basically have a nonmagical crossbow), special abilities that are completely contradictory (move speed boost + flurry of blows), and other weaknesses of the monk class. I, personally, agree with them.


As for all this nonsense of holy symbols, isn't there some sort of rule/ability/feat/something or other that allows you to tattoo the holy symbol to your skin? For a vow of Poverty character this would be most optimal as it doesn't add any bonuses, doesn't cost much, and adds to the whole I AM PERFECTLY GOOD idea?
Not that I am aware of (of course, it could be in any of the 5 complete books I do not own). If such a thing existed, it would probably be in complete divine.

marjan
2008-06-12, 07:00 PM
As for all this nonsense of holy symbols, isn't there some sort of rule/ability/feat/something or other that allows you to tattoo the holy symbol to your skin? For a vow of Poverty character this would be most optimal as it doesn't add any bonuses, doesn't cost much, and adds to the whole I AM PERFECTLY GOOD idea?

There is a feat in Faiths of Eberron, Worldly Focus that allows you to cast spells without holy symbol, but you must worship Sovereign Host.

Curmudgeon
2008-06-12, 11:52 PM
And why exactly being poor means that you are not supposed to fight undead? Your Exalted nature prevents you fighting vile things? (Note that undead are supposed to be vile creatures, according to D&D books) No, your poorness means you are supposed to fight undead, not just make them run away.

marjan
2008-06-12, 11:58 PM
No, your poorness means you are supposed to fight undead, not just make them run away.

So if you are poor you have to fight undead?

Let's swallow that. You still have means to achieve such a thing:

You won't make them run away if you destroy them with your turning. Furthermore, there are Exalted feats that do damage to turned undead, so it is not always run away.