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

Ahnehnois

First Post
Very, very generic.

A cleric should not be assumed to be: a heavily armored melee combatant, a healer, an expert in turning undead, strong-willed, wise, or better than every other class.

When you take all that away, you're left with a very simple concept: A character who can have a choice of whether to focus on attack, defense, or skills, and is defined by the ideals he chooses to follow.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
If every cleric plays utterly different in their mechanics dependent on what god(s) they worship, then what's the value of a single cleric class?
 


Ahnehnois

First Post
If every cleric plays utterly different in their mechanics dependent on what god(s) they worship, then what's the value of a single cleric class?
This is an issue for all the classes. What is the point of a fighter class if some of them are orcs using axes and some of them are elves using bows? What is the point of a wizard class if some of them are illusionists are some of them are evokers? What is the point of a rogue class if some of them are street thieves and some of them are military scouts?

All those examples should have different saves, attacks, class abilities and such, but all are subsumed into one D&D class. To cover the variety, you either need really flexible classes, or a lot of classes. I'm for flexible.
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
At this point I'd almost rather they'd just get rid of the class---give healing spells to Wizards and give Divine Kick-Ass powers to Paladins/Holy Warriors.

They never would, of course. But I can't think of a reason for the cleric class to even exist that doesn't begin with "because someone has to heal".
 

Aldarc

Legend
This is an issue for all the classes. What is the point of a fighter class if some of them are orcs using axes and some of them are elves using bows? What is the point of a wizard class if some of them are illusionists are some of them are evokers? What is the point of a rogue class if some of them are street thieves and some of them are military scouts?

All those examples should have different saves, attacks, class abilities and such, but all are subsumed into one D&D class. To cover the variety, you either need really flexible classes, or a lot of classes. I'm for flexible.
If this thread is anything to judge by, then picking a deity produces a vastly different spread of clerics than weapons do for fighters, especially when one then extends the reality that clerics will also have similar issues with weapons dictating playstyle as well.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
If this thread is anything to judge by, then picking a deity produces a vastly different spread of clerics than weapons do for fighters, especially when one then extends the reality that clerics will also have similar issues with weapons dictating playstyle as well.
Cleric is probably the most diverse class, followed closely by wizard/mage.

That being said, look at it from the other side. If two clerics of different faiths worship different things, have different goals, and get their power from different sources, why should their class abilities be fundamentally the same?

To use specific 3.X examples, it's easy to see why a cleric of Hextor needs that heavy armor proficiency, but when is a cleric of Olidammara (sp?) going to use it? A cleric of Heironious should be able to turn undead, but why would a cleric of Ehlonna have that as his main class ability? A cleric of Gruumsh probably needs some base attack and weapon proficiencies, but when is a cleric of Vecna going to be tanking? A cleric of Kord should probably have a decent hit die and fortitude save, but why should a cleric of Boccob be any tougher than a wizard? And, perhaps most fundamentally, a cleric of Pelor should have all kinds of healing spells, but what does a cleric of St. Cuthbert have to do with healing?

3.X let you fix some of these things if you messed with the rules enough, but I'd rather see it handled straight up. I'm not saying it's easy, but if you're going to have clerics, their faith should really define them.
 

Kaodi

Hero
I would like for the 5e Cleric to either: embrace the role of the warpriest, becoming the divine equivalent of a swordmage or magus (if I may include Pathfinder classes), or to become more complex variant of a basic Invoker class (basically meaning anyone who has their magical power bestowed upon them, and joined by the Sorcerer, who is the most basic example of a spellcaster whose power comes from within, and the Mage, who is the basic magic anyone can learn caster; not to be confused with the 4E Invoker).
 

Aldarc

Legend
Cleric is probably the most diverse class, followed closely by wizard/mage.

That being said, look at it from the other side. If two clerics of different faiths worship different things, have different goals, and get their power from different sources, why should their class abilities be fundamentally the same?
And the bold is an exceptionally large setting-dependent presumption. ;) That's certainly not true, for example, in Eberron.

To use specific 3.X examples, it's easy to see why a cleric of Hextor needs that heavy armor proficiency, but when is a cleric of Olidammara (sp?) going to use it? A cleric of Heironious should be able to turn undead, but why would a cleric of Ehlonna have that as his main class ability? A cleric of Gruumsh probably needs some base attack and weapon proficiencies, but when is a cleric of Vecna going to be tanking? A cleric of Kord should probably have a decent hit die and fortitude save, but why should a cleric of Boccob be any tougher than a wizard? And, perhaps most fundamentally, a cleric of Pelor should have all kinds of healing spells, but what does a cleric of St. Cuthbert have to do with healing?

3.X let you fix some of these things if you messed with the rules enough, but I'd rather see it handled straight up. I'm not saying it's easy, but if you're going to have clerics, their faith should really define them.
But couldn't this be accomplished by saying that the class composition for clergy of these gods differs? Such that there would be paladins, wizards, or invokers (4E) and the like instead of just clerics? There's not question that their faith should define them, but the question is to what extent does it define them.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
And the bold is an exceptionally large setting-dependent presumption. ;) That's certainly not true, for example, in Eberron.
This is true. However, 3e included an option that clerics could gain power either from a specific deity or by worshipping some vague ideal. There's definitely different ways for clerics to gain power some of the time, if not in every setting.[/quote]
But couldn't this be accomplished by saying that the class composition for clergy of these gods differs? Such that there would be paladins, wizards, or invokers (4E) and the like instead of just clerics? There's not question that their faith should define them, but the question is to what extent does it define them.
Like I said, you could cover the different types of what we think of as clerics through multiple classes. But then you need several distinct base classes tied to divine power. I'd rather see one flexible cleric than several different clerics, but it's certainly not the only way to go.
 

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