Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
I know, I was just showing a contrasting point of view.
Eh. If a player has a concept in mind that fits the cleric, and can't be fit by anything else, then that's a shame. The point of my rules was to kill the top tiers without a system rewrite. A cleric with adept spell progression is still 3 and possibly 2, but few would enjoy playing one.

If the concept is a backliner that supports and heals allies, play a bard (with marshal dip), don't focus on melee, be awesome. If the concept is a divine warrior, play a healer, use sanctified spells, and be tier ~4.

I never throw something at a party that requires 9th level spells because my parties don't use them. Also, nothing does require them (except shoutouts like Tarrasque or what have you) because they break the CR curve. If you have a 17th level party in an encounter that they could only win with 9th level spells, the encounter is probably CR 28+.

Generally when balancing an encounter or module, I shoot for: An optimized factotum/Bard/Warblade/Binder party could breeze it, a mid-op Warlock/Healer/Barbarian/Rogue party could do it with moderate challenge, and nearly any Monk/Paladin/Swashbuckler/Soulknife party would have severe difficulty.

As for backstories: No, I like backstories. It doesn't have to be long. A paragraph is acceptable. But if you're just like, "I'm joe the healer. I come from... that room at the inn. My parents were... the same race as me. Growing up I... wanted to heal people." Yeah, no. Some groups run hack+slash, when you're sitting around a table drinking beer in the wee hours I prefer it. But I much prefer some RP for PbP. And you can't RP if you don't know who you are. Vague intentions ("I like helping" etc) rarely cut it.

When I outline I'll often have a character appear in a small role or scene. Then I get to writing it and suddenly I can't figure out what he/she would say, how to react to what's happening, so I have to take a break and invent a history. In these circumstances it's often a short history, answering the question of where they came from and why they're now here. That's enough for a bit character. Main characters need biographies, 200 word minimum.

So the real question is, do you want to be RPing a main character or a walk-on? Make more than one dimension. Once you have, writing it down is the easy part.