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54857574 No.54857574 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Gentlemen, I think it's about time we addressed the issue we have so long ignored: Clerics are FUCKING BORING. They always either get reduced to being a healbot keeping a bunch of morons alive or become a horrible broken CoDzilla that can wipe the entire battlefield completely alone.
Now, gentlemen, how do we fix clerics?

>> No.54857610

Stop with the Battle Cleric bullshit, make that an other class (mostly physical, with minor magic), now the standard Cleric is more like 4e's Laser Cleric or 5e's Light Cleric.
He's a spellcaster, lives and dies by his spells.
There's still design space for odd abilities or domains, but those depend on which system we're designing for.

>> No.54857614

Oh look, it's yet another
>i don't know how to role play and my DM is a murdohobo facilitator
thread... just like the 3,000 other ones we have every day.
It's as simple as that OP

>> No.54857629

>playing class based systems

Found your problem

>> No.54857664

Hey, I enjoy playing priests and religious people in games other than DnD

>> No.54857677
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Here's the thing: you WANT Clerics to be healbots or at least support type classes. Or at least that to be their focus. That's their defined purpose.

"But that's boring-" then play a different class.

"What if I want to be a war cleric-" then play a different class.

"What if I want to be a cleric of death who poisons-" PLAY A DIFFERENT CLASS.


(also being a support class need not be boring or a problem it's just one that relies on well, good teammates and strategic play)

>> No.54857757

That's not their defined purpose, though. From day fucking one it was supposed to be an anti-undead class because someone wanted some Van Helsing action to counter a dickhead vampire PC.

>> No.54857777

That's a simplification. They filled multiple roles including anti-undead but also healing from the start.

>> No.54857836
File: 28 KB, 1200x872, latest[1].png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

This is how I cleric.

>> No.54858628

The cleric in my game is interesting enough without any class jiggery pokery mainly just because she's a fucking terrifying individual.

She's a jaded wae-survivor who gave up on giving a shit after the Nth person she healed used their new lease on life to get themselves hurt in combat again so she gave up on helping people due to their perceived selfishness. She's been dragged back into active duty by the party but resents them for it and has so far executed someone, squared off with a mobile mini-fort out of anger and has an apprentice she emotionally abuses.

The cleric class isn't boring, it's a player problem.

>> No.54858874

Call of Duty-zilla?

>> No.54859127

>Now, gentlemen, how do we fix clerics?

Play 4e.

>> No.54859154

You can't fix a healing wizard

>> No.54859245

No, healing was tacked on later when they realized they didn't have a healer class.

Van Helsing was the original cleric type.

>> No.54859346


That's a ranger you miserable pile of secrets

>> No.54859370



>> No.54859397

You're a retard.

>> No.54859415

You mean paladins..?

>> No.54859469
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>> No.54859609
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Overhaul the entire system, use Carolingian legends as the basis rather than jacking off Tolkien's sloppy seconds over and over.

Clerics are effectively the "wizards" of the setting. They worship God (capital G) and channel miracles, which can both heal and rebuke evil. Wizards, druids, shamans? They're all the cleric counterparts of the pagans, and have a lot more focus on flashy things like summoning the favored creatures of their heathen gods or summoning fire. Through extensive study clerics also become masters of non-physical skills like the knowledge skills and sometimes even survival and charisma-related checks. If you're upset about upsetting American creationists or whatever, replace capital God G with some generic monotheistic being.

There, clerics are now neither healsluts nor CoDzilla. Because if you want to go CoDzilla, you go paladin (especially in a Carolingian setting).

>> No.54859612

Came into the thread to say this.

>> No.54859632
File: 74 KB, 600x600, duck.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Play Mythras instead. Deity-based Magic is as strong or as weak and as flavorful as you like depending on how you, as the GM, build it using the Cult System.

>> No.54859691


>> No.54859702

>4rries invading

Well, threads over. Any chance of reasonable discussion is basically done for.

>> No.54859757

Crusaderfags, please go. I just want to play a game with my friends, I don't want to retake the Holy Land from the Saracens.

>> No.54859881

>the person that posted that is now banned
>from a google search they permabanned him for saying he'd come back to the forums after his ban expired
I-is this the power of rpg.net?

>> No.54859964

"Cleric-or-Druid"-Zilla aka the class that does casting and through buffs and/or wildshapes can fight in the thick of it more effective than any martial class.

>> No.54859973

What, specifically are you trying to address? Boring is a broad term.

Anyway, probably prestige classes that don't interrupt spell casting.

>> No.54860008

>As the rough specs were drawn up, comments about the need for healing and for curing disease came up. Ta da, the "priest" was born. Changed later to 'cleric'.

Do you realize this contradicts your post? The healing aspect was worked in at the outset. Cleric filled the need both for an anti-undead character and a healer.

>> No.54860021
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>I don't want to retake the Holy Land from the Saracens
1. What are you, an infidel?
2. Faux!Francia makes for an awesome campaign setting though. An age of darkness, a once vast and civilized empire has collapsed, the Good Guys try to build their own legacy from its ashes, a faint light shines from Rome and across the Rhine, in the dark and ancient forests of Germania and beyond, there's naught but barbarism.

>> No.54860043

That's it, now I want to play a begrudging healbot.

Taken in as an orphan by a monastery, knows nothing other than the clerical arts. Gets sent of with a party to see the world in exchange for some service, and sees all he's missed out on. Every night at the tavern he sees the barbarian get jolly wasted, the bard sing songs of the warrior's bravery while both get to know the local ladies, the rogue doubling her earnings on gambling, all while sitting quiet with a jug of water. He tries to get in on the action, to take par in the fame. But flailing at a bugbear with a stick doesn't do him any good; the party tells him to stay back for his own safety. They want him to make it safely back home, after all. Besides, he does far more good from the back line. Slowly he begins to settle into his role as the party healer, staying as virtuous as he's been raised.

If only there were some other aspect of clergyhood he could explore.

>> No.54860099

Have you tried NOT playing D&D?

>> No.54860105

This is terrible advice. Especially if you're playing 5e. Clerics are one of the most adaptable classes in a system that's very flexible already.

>> No.54860167
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But that's just wrong, friendo.

>> No.54860176

I want to see this dude in a campaign but just as an NPC supporting a group of players who all decided they weren't going to play a heal bot.

At the end of level 5, his soul is accidentally bound into a magic rod and he has to heal more interesting adventurers for all eternity (4/day).

>> No.54860503

Or play 4e.

Deal with it.

>> No.54860543

>If only there were some other aspect of clergyhood he could explore.
He can be the only sane / reasonable man on the crew. Face of sorts.

>> No.54860572

Or a child molester!

>> No.54860611

>At the end of level 5, his soul is accidentally bound into a magic rod and he has to heal more interesting adventurers for all eternity (4/day).

I like it. The barbarian dunking him in a tankard of wine. Him being stuffed in a bag of who knows what. The party joking about throwing him to a dog. Assuming, of course, he becomes an intelligent item.

>> No.54860627

inb4 it's in line with what he learned at the monastery.

>> No.54860654

As usual, the answer is 4e.

Seriously 4e did Clerics perfectly.

>> No.54860726

I'll keep that in mind if I ever want to play a board game about clerics.

>> No.54860741
File: 1.31 MB, 800x1067, forest_elf_by_thiaminatenn-d76q419.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Clerics have access to a very small group of universal Cleric spells, plus either (a) two narrow Domains chosen from their God's listed Domains, or (b) one slightly broader list of spells that's specific to their deity. Clerics know and can cast all of these spells at any time using spell slots / sorcery points / AEDU / whatever your casters use in your homebrew.

All Clerics have the ability to heal and bolster their allies, because they fit into the Leader role in your party, and yes, characters still fit into roles even if you're not playing 4E, that edition just made them more explicit. However, a Cleric's God or Domains lets them specialize into different roles while keeping at least some Leader aspects. A Cleric of Storms is a powerful blaster, a Cleric or Death is a debilitating crowd controller, a Cleric of War is a physical tank and defender, a Cleric of Archery might be a single-target damage dealer, and a Cleric of Life would double-down on the support aspects of being a Cleric.

This really isn't any different from how other classes operate. A Fighter is always at least partially a Defender, but can specialize in dueling a single target, broad slashes against many foes, weakening or hampering enemies, rallying and inspiring the front line, or being a bodyguard and defending an ally. A Rogue will always have Striker qualities, and a Wizard will always have Controller qualities, but they can specialize in any other role or double-down on their Class' niche.

Classes are a starting point, a mixture of flavour and baseline mechanics to get you going. Where you go from there is what defines who your character is and what they can do.

>> No.54860773

We prefer the term "sex educator".

>> No.54860799

Sounds like 3.x but more restrictive.

I mean that in a good sense.

>> No.54861876

>Sounds like 3.x but more restrictive.
>I mean that in a good sense.

That's what I think D&D should look like, classes as starting point and specializations letting you branch out from there. That said, here comes the blog post.

Your Class makes you initially competent at one Role, and as you level up you can specialize in that Role, or focus on a different one but still be competent at your initial Role. A Fighter who decides to become a blender of sharp pointy death is still going to be fairly durable and be able to 'draw aggro'. A Rogue who specializes in disabling enemies with ropes and blinds them with alchemical blasts is still going to deal decent damage. A Wizard who goes full Abjuration shielding and protecting still has some crowd control and disruption.

In 4E terms, you'd get something like this:
>Fighters have additional hit points, healing surges, and better armour. They mark enemies they fight near and penalize ones that move away from them or attack their allies.
>Rogues deal more damage
>Clerics get a use or two of Healing Word every encounter
>Wizards get a use or two of a Crowd Control ability every encounter

Then your specialization gives you some special moves and powers. Characters might be able to focus on one specialization or split themselves between two at a reduced effect. For example, you could get a Bard by taking a Wizard (Controller) and letting them learn some healing spells (Leader) and some tricky finesse attacks (Striker); such a character would be less effective at each role than a specialist but have a greater variety of options. I'm not saying MORE options; a Defender specialist with 9 'powers' would be incredibly versatile at defending their allies, whereas our Bard might have 3 powers in each category, meaning they can cover different roles but only to a limited extent.

>> No.54861994

Continuing, you could have each class' specialization achieve their ends differently as well. A Fighter who goes for area of effect damage would wield a Great weapon, dealing powerful blows to two or three enemies adjacent to him, and perhaps have abilities that pull in enemies into that threat range. A Wizard who wants area of effect damage would have fireballs and ice storms, able to hit a dozen foes at once but for less individual damage than the Fighter, and the Wizard might be able to create zones of ongoing damage with these effects. A Rogue with area of effect damage might be dashing and attacking several nearby enemies at once, letting them reposition themselves on the battlefield as part of their attacks. A Cleric inflicting area of effect damage might be projecting blinding light that also gives their allies morale bonuses or sends lesser foes running in terror.

With four classes (Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric) and five Roles (Striker, Blaster, Defender, Leader, Controller) plus an assortment of special Powers for each combination you end up with a lot of versatility and potential for customization. It's even better in that you boil the game back down to four base classes and all your splats can just include new specializations and more powers for them to choose from. So, basically, 4E D&D done better.

>> No.54862027

fuck i just want wardens to come back.

>> No.54862066

Gotta say I like this idea. Especially if you reduce the number of classes but make the branching options more of a pool of feats/improvements with more general prerequisites but without class requirements. Then just letting class leveling govern basic stats, perhaps with optional developmental paths available. Classes building a solid ground to stand on and made well balanced for their most archetypal role, but with any specialization and actual development other than basic stat increments kept separate and more open.

>> No.54862115

I think that would be grounds for loosing your casting ability.

>> No.54863010
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Literally what 4e did. Make it so that Healing is something you do that doesn't take up your main action, and can be done without eating up your other resources. The Cleric vomits out heals no matter what else he's doing.

Then, you can have the Cleric do actual interesting things to help the party on top of that.

But of course, 4e is 'le mmo' so nobody actually wants to hear that their problem has been fixed by it.

>> No.54863771

Depends on the tastes of the deity. In some cases passing up such opportunities could be considered blasphemy.

>> No.54863926
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>> No.54864505

5E tried with the Oath of the Ancients Paladin, if that doesn't appeal to you then you could probably make them a Druid, Ranger, or Barbarian subclass/path, or just make a whole new class for them.

Agreed. It might look something like this:

Fighter: STR-based, high hit points, heavy armour and martial weapons.
>Unique Power: Taunt. When a Fighter makes an attack, all adjacent enemies have disadvantage to attack rolls against the Fighter's allies until the end of the Fighter's next turn, unless that ally also Taunted them. In addition, they provoke an Opportunity Attack when they try to move out or through a Fighter's reach.

Rogue: DEX-based, medium hit points, light armour and martial weapons.
>Unique Power: Sneak Attack. Rogues deal additional damage to enemies they have advantage against, or when specified by their Specialization.

Cleric: WIS-based, medium hit points, heavy armour and simple weapons.
>Unique Power: Channel Divinity. Clerics can spend a bonus action twice per battle to either heal and buff a nearby ally, or to unleash a specific power associated with their God.

Wizard: INT-based, low hit points, light armour and simple weapons.
>Unique Power: Metamagic. Wizards can spend a bonus action twice per battle to either apply a crowd control ability to a cantrip/at will attack, or to empower the crowd control effect on a spell they cast.

All classes require Constitution, as it determines your hit points and healing surges / hit dice. All classes require Charisma as it determines the number of magic items you can attune to at once. In addition, each Specialization may require a secondary attribute based on the type:
- Defender specializations require Strength
- Striker specializations require Dexterity
- Controller specializations require Intelligence
- Leader specializations require Wisdom

Therefore a Defender-oriented Fighter could focus on Strength alone, whereas a Striker-oriented Fighter would appreciate a high STR and DEX

>> No.54864530


>> No.54864570

Are you fucking high, or have you never played DnD? Clerics were never healbots, they were anti-undead characters that evolved into being basically divine wizards in heavy armor. There's a reason they're considered one of the most OP classes in 3.pf. They have the variety of a wizard, the HP of a ranger, the AC of a fighter, and plenty of SoD spells. All that and they NEVER HAVE TO PACK HEALING SPELLS BECAUSE THEY CAN JUST CONVERT OTHER SPELLS INTO HEALING.

Do your fucking research.

>> No.54864640

My game lets PCs take two actions per turn from a short list. They can't take the same action twice.
- Attack, that's anything that deals damage
- Move, which lets you get into and around cover among other things
- Disrupt, any kind of crowd control or inflicting status effects
- Support, any kind of healing or rallying allies including yourself
- Stunt, a grab bag for flashy moves that don't fit anywhere else
- Focus, basically taking a moment to recover your limited-use powers. Can't be done on the same turn you used such a power.

Our Warlord loves to jab enemies with his spear (Attack) while shouting reprimands at his party (Support), restoring HP and letting them make saving throws. Our Wizard is fond of shackling enemies with lightning (Disrupt) and shocking them constantly until they break out (Attack). Both love that they can attack AND do something cool on their turn. It also helps that attacking isn't always the best action to take every round so people never feel pressured to perform an Attack + X every turn.

>> No.54866515

Could you elaborate? I've read Fantasycraft but aside from ridiculous complexity I don't see how it 'fixes' Clerics. Or anything for that matter. The book has a ton of heart and soul poured into it, don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing that. If you liked all the feats and Unearthed Arcana extra rules that were part of D&D 3E, Fantasycraft has you covered. Unfortunately, the Ivory Tower complexity of 3E is what turned me off of it, so Fantasycraft by its very nature doesn't appeal to me.

>> No.54866740

Some 3e class (Dragon Shaman?) had heal auras that let them heal passively and cast/attack actively. More of that shit would be great.

Although it isn't /tg/, Ana Amari from Overwatch (or Crusader's Crossbow Medic) is one of my fave healers in vidya because of the active, skill-based component to their healing. Popping allies with healing bolts is actually hard and uses a similar skillset to playing DPS. Idk how to translate it to ttrpg though.

>Health vampirism/lifesteal
>Custom spell composition mechanics
>Different injuries need different healing

>> No.54869529

Play 4e

>> No.54869541

They made a UA ranger that sort of works like it, more than the OoA pally anyway

>> No.54870824

>skill-based component to their healing
Yes, that can be a problem. Most pass/fail rolls in D&D are d20 + bonuses vs difficulty, but deciding what that Difficulty should be is the hard part. It can't be Armour Class or any kind of saving throw / NAD, because that would mean that tougher characters become harder to heal, and that's not what we want at all. It could be based on the distance between the healer and the target, which would make it very easy to hit adjacent allies but much harder to hit ones across the room. Still, that feels awkward to use.

In my opinion, the best skill-based healing mechanics revolve around two ideas - Timing and Selection First, having the timing to predict when a boss is going to attack a character. This can be done well if your game has monsters telegraph their attacks. Second, having additional bonuses you can grant your ally when you heal them, not just more hit points. For example, your heal could let your ally move 10 feet to avoid an incoming giant's club, or grant them resistance to physical damage until your next turn to whether that strike, or could give them a bonus to AC to avoid it entirely. Knowing which bonus to give, and when, could make all the difference. It would also reward people who specialize in Support abilities, because they'd have lots of tricks and options up their sleeves and not just feel like they're walking crates of bandages or health packs.

Some good inspiration for a versatile Support character would be the Vestal from Darkest Dungeon. Your loadout can contain, if you want, a low-powered full party heal, a high-powered single target heal, an attack that damages an enemy and heals the Vestal, and a fourth move of your choice.

>> No.54871130

I like the idea of embedding buffs into heals, especially if you have different cleric builds specializing in different buffs.

Alternatively, I imagine one way to go about things would be to have specialization for healing different types of damage. Something like magic/burn-, cursed/spectral-, slashing-, bludgeoning-, penetrating-, disease/poison - damage being treated sepparately or to different effectiveness. Only problem is without digital aid or damage tokens, this would be horrible to track in game, and markers would probably be unfit for something where you might say, heal x damage y % better.

Or perhaps more reasonably, if a knowledge healing check could be done to increase effectiveness of healing, making "blind" healing, say of someone moving around in combat, less effective.

>> No.54871575

>I like the idea of embedding buffs into heals
In my game there are currently a small number of 'healing' effects, each of which restores hit points and gives one of several extra benefits:
>Protection against physical damage
>Protection against magical damage
>Immediate movement
>Extra healing on badly wounded characters
>Immediate Save Ends check
>Bonus to Teamwork actions for one round
>Bonus to AC against ranged attacks (physical and magical)

People who specialize in supporting have a lot of versatility when aiding their allies. Sometimes you need a magic barrier that'll deflect elemental energy, sometimes you need to help them overcome a status effect. Currently my party is speading themselves out so everyone has at least one 'healing' ability and they're all different, so when they're fighting wizards the sorcerer is on anti-magic duty and when they're getting poisoned and weakened the paladin is all about rallying them through the pain.

Tracking specific types of damage, as in "You have 13 Fire damage, 20 Physical damage, and 4 Poison damage.", that's really complicated. That might only work if character had a very small number of hits they could take, say five or so, and each 'line' of your damage tracker had you write in what was causing that wound on your character. Healing wouldn't so much be slapping someone with a blanket Cure spell as it would be diagnosing the injury, identifying how to fix the problem, and then having the right spell or ability to do so (and rolling dice). I've seen that work in some games, but it's not without its own share of problems.

>> No.54871993

I hate to sound like a broken record, but you're describing 4e leader classes

>> No.54874036

Exactly. 4E's change to support classes was one of the best changes it made. The problem is with a lot of the rest of 4E; the feat taxes, magic item treadmill, and general unnecessary complexity. If you can take those design concepts and bring them to a simpler edition like 5E, D&D could become something crazy good.

>> No.54874330

I don't think there's any real way to fix clerics within the constraints of (particularly 3rd/5th/PF-style) D&D. I think the issues are basically really deeply baked into the assumptions of that system, in terms of the functions of magic and healing and resource management and stuff like that. I don't know if there's anything you can really do about it.

>> No.54874430

We have to make them more religious

>> No.54874539

People really think clerics are boring?

I can't speak for most things, but in 5e they're very versatile and you have lots of options for RP.

The prepared spells is very nice too, it gives you the chance to experiment and find what you like, or adapt to situations.

>> No.54874611

I'm getting flashbacks to assholes walking out of my line of sight, dying, and then yelling at me.

>> No.54874693

Sadly actually true. I've had players spurge out at me for making fighters with higher knowledge of religion than their clerics. The funniest thing ever.

>> No.54874706

Every vidya game ever.

>> No.54874761

>deciding what that Difficulty should be is the hard part
The amount of HP you want to restore, obviously.

>> No.54874833

but they said leaders don't fit 5e's game design so you should be happy with battlemasters

>> No.54874898
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>Clerics are FUCKING BORING.
How are clerics boring? They're an extremely versatile class in most systems, especially with the different domains that come with being a cleric.

>They always either get reduced to being a healbot keeping a bunch of morons alive
I mean, have you actually played D&D?
It's almost always better for you to spend your action doing anything other than healing, unless someone is literally about to die. Damage usually outpaces any healing you can do.

>or become a horrible broken CoDzilla that can wipe the entire battlefield completely alone.
I mean, this is true for 3.pf, but you can't really CoDzilla in 4e or 5e. You really can't buff up in 5e like you can 3.pf because of concentration and shit, so you can usually only have one major buff at a time.

I'm also going to hop on the 4e train and say that 4e clerics are fun as fuck. Especially with laser clerics. You feel like you're a fucking Monk or Bishop from Fire Emblem.

>> No.54874912

I hadn't thought of that. That's genius.

They're the same people that threw out Superiority Dice as a base mechanic for all non-spellcasters. They clearly do not make good decisions.

>> No.54875040
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It's the system you wanted though. Don't you see the sales? 5e is the best edition ever and 4e was awful in every conceivable way.

>> No.54876065

I know you're being sarcastic, but sales don't indicate quality, and it's not the system the playtesters wanted. Those threads were filled to the brim with people praising Superiority Dice, and when they removed them the playtesters hated it.

Remember when Sorcerers used just Sorcery Points instead of spell slots? Remember when Draconic Sorcerers started to get passive abilities and bonuses when they ran low on points? Remember when D&D Next looked cool while feeling fresh and interesting, unlike D&D 5E which looks lame and plays like someone's 2.5E homebrew?

>> No.54878266
File: 136 KB, 528x741, 1425576011700.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Give them otherworldly feat at level 1 from the start.
If you want to play a holy knight, take lawful and good domains.

>Fuck Paladins.
>Fuck Em

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