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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Thinking About Clerics . . .

    So I've been thinking about ways to limit the extreme flexibility of the Cleric without resorting to splitting it up into separate classes. Here's my idea so far, tell me what you think.

    First, you make up a slew of gods (or use pre-existing ones) and use the various Source Books to make sure that each God has a good number of Domains. For example, every God in my campaign has seven Domains. Essentially what would happen is that the Cleric's Domain Spell and regular Spells would switch places. A Cleric would draw all of their normal spells per day from their Domain Spell lists and get any one spell per day that's not on their list as being prepared straight off of the Cleric Spell list, regardless of whether or not it's on any of their deity's domains.

    The idea is that deities are more important to a Cleric, and they can only channel so much divine energy that their god doesn't represent. Thoughts?

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    That will require a lot of domains for each deity, which probably means more background information on each deity.
    The idea sounds balanced to me (at least in 3.5 rules, I`m unfamilier with 4 rules) and it will decrease the flexibility of the cleric. But it will require more work on gods, or a lot of unexplained domains.
    Last edited by akma; 2009-12-01 at 11:31 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by akma View Post
    That will require a lot of domains for each deity, which probably means more background information on each deity.
    The idea sounds balanced to me (at least in 3.5 rules, I`m unfamilier with 4 rules) and it will decrease the flexibility of the cleric. But it will require more work on gods, or a lot of unexplained domains.
    Sorry, going off of 3.5 Rules.

    I have it set up that in my campaign, every deity has seven domains to pick from. No more, no less. Every deity has access to either Good, Law, Chaos, Evil, or Balance (Neutral) depending on their alignment, for example, Lawful Good Deities have Good, Law, and five other domains, Neutral Evil Deities have Balance, Evil, and five other domains, and True Neutral Deities have Balance and six other domains.

    Also, Domain powers will work the same; you select two domains at 1st level and gain their powers. Clerics will also continue to have Spontaneous Healer/Wounder (as in the Complete Divine Feat's Rules, not the Base Cleric rules) where they can loose a spell for a cure/inflict spell a number of times per day equal to their Wisdom modifier. The idea is to limit the Cleric; not take away their abilities to heal well.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    Also, Domain powers will work the same; you select two domains at 1st level and gain their powers. Clerics will also continue to have Spontaneous Healer/Wounder (as in the Complete Divine Feat's Rules, not the Base Cleric rules) where they can loose a spell for a cure/inflict spell a number of times per day equal to their Wisdom modifier. The idea is to limit the Cleric; not take away their abilities to heal well.
    So if I understood you correctly, clerics gain the domain powers from 2 domains, and get spells from all 7 of their god domains?

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Sounds a lot like the Clerics of Specific Mythoi alternate rule from the 2nd Edition PHB. All clerical spells in 2e belonged to 'Spheres' - the equivalent of Domains - each god had access to specific Spheres, and clerics drew on their god's porfolio only.

    It included a detail you may or may not be interested in applying - some deities had 'minor' access to certain Spheres, allowing their clerics to draw spells from that Sphere only through a particular level. If you're going to restrict clerical lists this hard, you might want to give each Deity minor access to an extra Domain or two, and let their clerics draw low-level spells from those Domains as well.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    The idea is good IMO, but I wouldn't want to be the one to tell my cleric that he's going to be nerfed so much (even if he actually deserves it)

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Ah CODzilla.

    Extra spells, infinite spellbook, no arcane spell failure, heavy armor, lots of skill points, rogue BAB, better than rogue hp, spontaneous casting and other powerful class perks.

    Start just by making them use a prayerbook, just like a spellbook.
    Follow up by applying spell failure if they wear heavy armor, just like mages.
    Drop their base HP and BAB to wizard/sorcerer levels

    If they give you a hard time, remind them that they have been focusing on praying powerful prayers, not fighting. Offer them the paladin class if they want a holy warrior with some spellcasting.

    Full spellcasters give UP physical power for magical power, they don't get both.

    Half casters (see ranger, paladin, bard, warlock etc) get some physical power and some magical power.
    Last edited by sdream; 2009-12-01 at 02:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by sdream View Post
    Ah CODzilla.

    Extra spells, infinite spellbook, no arcane spell failure, heavy armor, lots of skill points, rogue BAB, better than rogue hp, spontaneous casting and other powerful class perks.

    Start just by making them use a prayerbook, just like a spellbook.
    Follow up by applying spell failure if they wear heavy armor, just like mages.
    Drop their base HP and BAB to wizard/sorcerer levels

    If they give you a hard time, remind them that they have been focusing on praying powerful prayers, not fighting. Offer them the paladin class if they want a holy warrior with some spellcasting.

    Full spellcasters give UP physical power for magical power, they don't get both.

    Half casters (see ranger, paladin, bard, warlock etc) get some physical power and some magical power.
    I like this, but maybe give the paladin more spellcasting to make up for it? I'd make the prayerbook contain spells from the core cleric list only, or make domain spells the same as ordinary spells. Not convinced that this is the best idea thematically though.
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    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I like this, but maybe give the paladin more spellcasting to make up for it? I'd make the prayerbook contain spells from the core cleric list only, or make domain spells the same as ordinary spells. Not convinced that this is the best idea thematically though.
    Definitely agree about paladins and rangers needing more casting.

    My paladins and rangers (basically a druid version of paladin) use the same spellbooks as their full caster counterparts.

    At level 1, they can cast only cantrips.

    Afterward they have spellcasting equal to half their level.

    Basically I treat full caster classes as prestige classes where every level says "+1 to caster level", and half caster classes as only saying that every other level.

    They pay for their other class features (and toughness) with slower spell progression along the same path. By multiclassing with their battle counterparts druids, mages, and priests (the three spell lists) can find their preferred balance of toughness and spell power.

    Full details of my systems here:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7100328

    Please, take anything you find useful, and fix it up better to give me ideas. :P

    A psionic full and half caster would be most welcome, if it could use the same point system. I've always heard that psionics were fun but never had the time to explore it.
    Last edited by sdream; 2009-12-02 at 03:37 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by akma View Post
    So if I understood you correctly, clerics gain the domain powers from 2 domains, and get spells from all 7 of their god domains?
    Hrm. The trick is explaining how the concept works.

    Okay, here's my next try. When you look at the Cleric Spells Per Day, they get X+1 Spells, where X improves as they increase and level and +1 stands for their Domain spell slot. In 3.5, a Cleric's X spells are drawn from the Cleric Spell list and +1 spells are drawn from the Cleric's two selected Domain lists.

    What I'm suggesting is to switch it around. A Cleric picks their X spells from their Deity's Domains and their +1 spells from the Cleric spell list. Essentially, you cut down the Cleric's normal spellcasting from the entire Cleric list to a select few domains; the idea being that a Deity can easily grant a Cleric spells from the Domains that the Deity stands for, but they can't offer many spells to the Cleric that don't fit within their dogma.

    So, here's an example using source material from my campaign. Let's say that a 5th Level Cleric of Apollo is preparing their spells. 5th Level Clerics gain 5 0-Level Spells, 3+1 1st Level Spells, 2+1 2nd Level Spells, and 1+1 3rd Level Spells. Apollo's Domains are: Balance, Celestial, Competition, Good, Healing, Song, and Sun.

    In 3.5, the Cleric would draw 5 0-Level spells, 3 1st Level Spells, 2 2nd Level spells, and 1 3rd-Level spell from the Cleric Spell List and then prepare 1 1st, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd Level Spell from their two chosen domains.

    With my Change, the Cleric would draw 5 0-Level spells, 3 1st Level Spells, 2 2nd Level spells, and 1 3rd-Level spell from the list of spells on either the Balance, Celestial, Competition, Good, Healing, Song, or Sun Domain, and then choose 1 1st level spell, 1 second level spell, and 1 third level spell from the Cleric Spell list.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2009-12-02 at 07:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    The idea is that deities are more important to a Cleric, and they can only channel so much divine energy that their god doesn't represent. Thoughts?
    Bring back the 2e Sphere system.

    Explanation: Each spell had a list of the sphere's of influence it belonged to (e.g. Righteous Might would be Strength, and War for example). Each god has a list of sphere's he influence. A cleric of any god could only cast spells of the god's spheres, no exceptions. If each god had ~7 spheres, and there were say, 20+ spheres, then the spells a cleric could cast are a very small fraction of the total spells available to clerics as a whole.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Have you looked at the d20 rebirth cleric?

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    The project I'm working on is roughly as follows:

    1) Redefine cleric spells into 2e spheres. Each sphere contains probably a dozen spells of each level (this number is very approximate, and drops as spell level rises). Spheres which have massive numbers of appropriate spells will be divided into two or more spheres, as suitable sub-themes are be found. Spells may be in multiple spheres.
    2) Clerics have a spell list that contains every spell on the spheres of their deity's domains. In the case of deities with many spheres, the cleric chooses a number (probably 3 or 4, tbd) for game balance.
    3) That bonus spell that must be filled with a domain spell under RAW? Drop it.
    4) Each sphere also contains one spell of each level as a core spell of that sphere. A cleric with the Sphere Focus (xxxx) feat can freely cast these spells spontaneously. In addition, he gets a special ability appropriate to that sphere.
    5) A 1st level cleric gets Sphere Focus as a bonus feat, and must choose from one of the spheres to which he has access.
    6) Clerics do not get to spontaneously cast cure/cause wounds spells. This ability is filled by the Sphere Focus (healing) feat, should they choose this.
    7) Turn undead is replaced by "channel divine energy". Each deity grants one or more abilities that are fuelled by channelling divine energy. Feats can be used to expand this list. Turn undead would be just another such feat, available only to servants of deities that hate undead.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    The project I'm working on is roughly as follows:
    6) Clerics do not get to spontaneously cast cure/cause wounds spells. This ability is filled by the Sphere Focus (healing) feat, should they choose this.
    7) Turn undead is replaced by "channel divine energy". Each deity grants one or more abilities that are fuelled by channelling divine energy. Feats can be used to expand this list. Turn undead would be just another such feat, available only to servants of deities that hate undead.
    I've been doing those 2 for years though with the end of 3.5 support and im all consuming hatred of 4e(hyperbole) Now's a good time to actually finalise my own campaign world. Spontaneously cast spells are a function of chosen deity, and turn undead replaced by a deity specific ability (which is what is fuel for divine feats)

    Though i've been using the d20 rebirth cleric as a base to work off.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    I actually prefer Fax's 0.5 version of the cleric (with fewer levels of spells and unlimited casting).

    The only issue present was at-will healing, and I'd have preferred to see healing based on skills or feats (accessible to anyone) rather than having clerics as the official healing characters in any event.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-12-03 at 08:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    I was a bit late jumping following the d20 rebirth project so i've only seen the current one.

    Though I'd really rather NOT giving everyone access to healing.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    I was a bit late jumping following the d20 rebirth project so i've only seen the current one.

    Though I'd really rather NOT giving everyone access to healing.
    Why not?

    It's a very useful skill to have, and one which many adventurers would take pains to acquire, assuming that they can manage it.

    The heal skill isn't in-class for everyone, and might not even be usable on one's self.

    If necessary, you could require two skills, or a skill and a feat, in order to be able to heal.

    IMO, the end result would be more sensible, more logical, and probably more fun as well.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Part of the reason I want to downplay a cleric's heal ability is that, for RP purposes, they should be priests, not medics (if you want to RP a medic, cool, but there should be a niche in which a player can play a priest and not have everyone expect to see a medic). And for scenario purposes, I want to be able to have situations where injuries matter, and not just have the healbot restore everyone before lunch.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2009-12-03 at 06:14 AM.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    That's basically the same thing I'm trying to achieve by altering the Heal skill. I'm not ignoring the possibility of praying to the goddess of healing to heal someone's wounds - that will be one of the possibilities covered in the heal skill.

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    Why not?

    It's a very useful skill to have, and one which many adventurers would take pains to acquire, assuming that they can manage it.

    The heal skill isn't in-class for everyone, and might not even be usable on one's self.

    If necessary, you could require two skills, or a skill and a feat, in order to be able to heal.

    IMO, the end result would be more sensible, more logical, and probably more fun as well.
    1) healing as divine is pretty much sacred cow in DnD. Once you start slaughtering that herd and can be quite easy to lose that DnD feel. Not that it's going too but it is a consideration. Ofc that doesn't mean that Cleric needs to be relegated to heal-bitch but if any tom(thief) ****(mage) or harry(fighter) can fill that role you are kinda taking away from those who normally have a mostly unique role. I am of the opinion that in a class-based system the classes do need mechanical abilities not available to anyone.

    2) on a seperate but related note, DnD is mostly S&S or high fantasy based games and with in old woman down the road can you heal you up for a favour it has a tendency to mess with immersion in the story, and IMO that's the most important part of a campaign.. the story and the players interaction with that story.

    3) availability of healing can mess with the challenge. When everyone in the party is capable of dealing with the majority of afflictions thrown at them... well I'm sure you can see how that can make something that was once a little challenging atleast during-encounter into little more than an incovenience.

    4) There are people who actually enjoy being a supporting and\or healing character, being able to take enough to get by yourself can cheapen that role and negatively effect those players enjoyment of the game.

    And well that's mostly it, I wouldn't wanna see a party of fighters and thieves running around picking up medpacks like it's an FPS.

    On 2nd thought bad example given potions and the like. But i know what i mean and i gotta cut this short because im not feelign overly well atm

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    Well, as far as the "making injuries important" thing is concerned, a Heal skill could require various ingredients that aren't all that easy to replace in, for example, an icy tundra.

    Noting that a skill might not be all that useful in very unfamiliar territory is a lot easier to do - and a lot less offensive - than putting someone into an area effect where all of his magical, divine, make-things-a-lot-easier superpowers don't work.

    Playing a healing/supporting character is still perfectly possible - be a cleric, take some party buffs. Max out the Heal skill, take any appropriate healer feats, use spells to augment healing (such spells will exist).

    Cure spells would allow you to make a heal check without the normal limitations on the use of the Heal skill, so they would still be worth bringing along.

    Healing wouldn't be particularly fast in any event - a healer using skills might need two minutes per person, if the person's injuries weren't too severe.

    For treating afflictions, the Heal skill would do exactly what it does at the moment - replace a saving throw. I can see magic coming into play there, somehow.


    I certainly agree with all of your points (except for the healing-as-divine sacred cow), but it would be possible to tie healing to the heal skill without breaking any of the others (note that I'm assuming that a touch of the supernatural gets involved, especially with the various ingredients needed to come up with a treatment).

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    So something more along the lines of alchemy in some games (elder scrolls springs to mind as a likely commonly known example)? Get this, care for patient, fix that?

    I suppose i can see that working.

    Though would cure type spells be an enhancement of that system or stand alone?

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    Default Re: Thinking About Clerics . . .

    They'd enhance it - either by giving a bonus or eliminating some of the restrictions.

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