D&D 5E What Should The 5E Cleric Look Like?

Post here anything you would like to see included or not included in regards to the 5E Cleric.

So what would I like to see? I haven't really played much 4E, so I can't really comment there, but one thing that has always bugged me about 3E Clerics is that, other than a couple of minor mechanics, there isn't much to differentiate Clerics according to the god that they worship.

A Cleric of Pelor and a Cleric of Hextor are basically the same, apart from different holy symbols, control vs turn undead and spontaneously casting cure vs inflict spells.

What I would like to see is someting like 2E's spell spheres (or a similar mechanic). In 2E all Cleric spells related to a specific sphere, much like arcane spells and the various schools of magic. Depending on which god they worship, a Cleric gets either Major, Minor or no access to spells in that sphere.

Major access means you can cast all spells in that sphere (once you reach the appropriate level). Minor access means you can cast spells 3rd level or below in that sphere and no access means that you can't cast any spells in that sphere.

This creates a system similar to specialist Wizards and helps make Clerics of various gods different from each other.

I'm not suggesting that the 2E system be adopted wholesale, but at least some consideration be given to making your choice of god more meaningful a decision than what weapon your Cleric uses.

So what things would you like or not like to see part of the 5E Cleric?

Olaf the Stout
 

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DonTadow

First Post
Post here anything you would like to see included or not included in regards to the 5E Cleric.

So what would I like to see? I haven't really played much 4E, so I can't really comment there, but one thing that has always bugged me about 3E Clerics is that, other than a couple of minor mechanics, there isn't much to differentiate Clerics according to the god that they worship.

A Cleric of Pelor and a Cleric of Hextor are basically the same, apart from different holy symbols, control vs turn undead and spontaneously casting cure vs inflict spells.

What I would like to see is someting like 2E's spell spheres (or a similar mechanic). In 2E all Cleric spells related to a specific sphere, much like arcane spells and the various schools of magic. Depending on which god they worship, a Cleric gets either Major, Minor or no access to spells in that sphere.

Major access means you can cast all spells in that sphere (once you reach the appropriate level). Minor access means you can cast spells 3rd level or below in that sphere and no access means that you can't cast any spells in that sphere.

This creates a system similar to specialist Wizards and helps make Clerics of various gods different from each other.

I'm not suggesting that the 2E system be adopted wholesale, but at least some consideration be given to making your choice of god more meaningful a decision than what weapon your Cleric uses.

So what things would you like or not like to see part of the 5E Cleric?

Olaf the Stout
I like it, my idea of choosing spells would be, you choose a spell block, grouped together, wit hspells related to one another.

So far, oddly enough, a lot of ideas are coming from 2nd edition. Which was a decent system that needed a ton of fine tuning and simplification.

Your idea has one thing that really stands out. Uniformity. I want a new player to finally play a cleric, or wizard and not be intimidated. 9 times out of 10, especially female players, new players want to play a wizard or priestess.
 

2E also had a generic default "Cleric" which had major access to some spheres, minor access to others and no access to a couple of spheres.

This could still be used if a player just wanted to play a basic Cleric without having to think about spheres. That would also make things easier for new players (one less decision to worry about).

This system would also help new players in a less explicit way, by minimising the amount of spells that they had access to. The 3E Cleric, with its ability to prepare any Cleric spell that they had the ability to cast, could be quite daunting for new (and experienced) players.

Olaf the Stout
 

I want armored warpriests who can pray their hammer deeper into the dragon's skull.

I want cloth-wearing miracle workers whom the gods protect from harm and whose words carry the force of the divine.

I want -- not necessarily via the 'cleric class,' but somehow -- to be able to recreate the travel & trickery domain cleric one of my players had in Eberron in 3e, who'd fly invisibly through Sharn casting healing spells on the rest of the party and never getting hurt.

Options, man! I want options!
 

the Jester

Legend
2e had the best priest system, but the one that was hardest to keep balanced and most prone to option overload.

I think the basic 5e cleric ought to represent a set of choices- say, 4 spheres or domains: War, Healing, Sun and Protection (or something). They'll have good armor (because they have the War domain) and medium weapon skills. A cleric without War will have medium armor and weapons.
 

thedungeondelver

Adventurer

I think it should be wholly incumbent on what the DM sets the dials to for his or her version of D&D: Original D&D or AD&D? Like "the Cleric". 2e? Specialty priests. etc.

I think the default should be a definition of what it is, what they can do, the basics of how they're created in each system, and a bank of switches and dials to make them fit the game you're gonna run them in.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
Agree with the OP. Preach on brother!

It always got me that in 4th ed a cleric had to pay a feat to get their religion defining power.

I hope the option of religion defining powers has both combat and social/skill aspects.

I also hope there is support for the idea that clerics can worship multiple gods (ala Invoker)

Mechanically, I must say that I really liked the 4th ed practice of healing word with minor actions - that worked really well.
 

FireLance

Legend
I think the critical question is what clerics in 5e should have in common, otherwise what would be there to distinguish a cloth-wearing miracle worker from a wizard, or an armored warpriest from a paladin or a fighter-mage?

What do you see as the iconic cleric powers and abilities? I'm starting to think that any divinely-empowered character ought to have access to powers such as cure light wounds, bless and turn undead.

So maybe there shouldn't be a core cleric in 5e. Maybe there should just be a package of divine abilities that any character can gain access to through spending some character customization option (feats or a theme). After obtaining this basic package, the character may pursue further customization, gaining access to a specific domain or deity-specific special abilities.
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I think the unbundling of divine powers is an interesting idea. The line between paladin and warpriest is pretty fine
 

Aldarc

Legend
Clerics regardless of deity should share the same basic playstyle. This is not to say that clerics cannot be distinguished between deities or personalized to a particular playstyle, but that the cleric as a whole needs a clear vision for what it does well as a class.

The 5E cleric should be less about healing and more damage prevention. Their spells should be less reactive and more proactive. They should be given control and support options that allows the cleric to positively contribute to the flow of the fight and the well-being of allies in a way that amounts to more than simply restoring hit points.

Clerics should be also optional for parties, but not required. Clerics are too frequently used as a crutch mechanic for the rest of the party. The absence of a cleric or dedicated healer should not cripple parties any more than the absence of a fighter, wizard, or rogue.

Most importantly, the 5E Cleric should be fun to play!
 
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