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D&D 3E
Long-Time Reader, First-Time Cleric 
6th-Jan-2004 08:24 am
Quote - Comfort the Distrubed
Hey, all. This feels really foolish, but I'm going to be playing a Cleric for the first time. We're playing a 3.5 game and I've decided to try the Cleric. I have a faith in real life and find it extremely interesting to play a kind of holy warrior/priest. The problem is, I've never rolled up a Cleric before. I know the basics, but what gets me is picking a deity and then the domain.

Our DM is limiting the gods we can choose from because of the world he's created. It's a pretty cool concept. The gods he's allowing are all from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. So, I've basically boiled it down to Kelemvor or Helm from the list he's given (only 6 on the list).

So, how do I do this now? Once I pick my alignment and my deity, what next?

Sorry to ask such a newb question, I've just never rolled up a cleric before and have never paid attention to the process when others have.
6th-Jan-2004 08:48 am (UTC)
Once you pick a deity you need to pick 2 of the domains s/he's associated with for your cleric. You should let those domains flavor how you roleplay your cleric or how you roleplay your cleric should flavor the choice of domains.

Once you've done that for every level above 0 you have to pick one or the other domain spell as your domain spell for your level. The domain spells cannot be converted to a heal or inflict spell while the others can.

If you go with Helm, I'd suggest taking the protection and strength domains and play up the strong protect the weak and innocent angle. I bet your DM could come up with some good hooks for that kind of a character.

If you go with Kelemvor I'd take the law and maybe fate domains and go the whole undead hunter route. However, if your DM isn't going to present the opportunity to hunt a lot of undead, then maybe go with the death and travel domains and be a kind of wandering undertaker kind of priest like Django.
6th-Jan-2004 09:28 am (UTC)
Wow, great feedback. I need to look into the different domain spells for those. The thing is, in our campaign, there won't be any undead, so I won't be an undead hunter. The essence of the campaign is that the only kind of magic acceptable is the divine magic practiced by Paladins and Clerics.

Anyway, I have a 5th level Cleric. That means I get to choose two domain spells for each level equaling 10 domain spells, correct?
6th-Jan-2004 09:30 am (UTC)
At each spell level above 0 you can pick either of your domain spells when you pray for your spells for that day. You can pick one one day and the other the next day. It's just an extra spell every level but you only get 2 choices of what it can be. The spells are usually on your normal list too, but these specifically cannot be converted to healing.
6th-Jan-2004 08:09 pm (UTC)
I totally get it now. In the PH it details that you can have some number of each level of spell +1 in each spell level - that refers to the domain spell of your choice and those domain spells can be chosen from one of the two domains you choose for your deity. It makes sense.

Now my biggest task is figuring out either Helm or Kelemvor. :) Lots of decided to to. LOL!
6th-Jan-2004 09:03 am (UTC) - Cleric, for the very first time...
Before you pick your alignment or deity, you must figure out what type of cleric you want to be.

TANK = Cleric wearing full plate, using a morining star two handed who wades into battle singing the praises of his god.
HEALER = Cleric wearing chain, using a mace who is a last resort fighter. but is quick and light to get in the mix and heal party members during the battle.
PLINKER = Cleric who stays back and uses a crossbow to support the fighters. This cleric usually stands next to the Wiz/Sor and heals him as needed during battle, while using the xbow to plink off straglers.

Why do I make these distinctions, well if you are going to be a tank you want a fighting god like St. Cuthbert/kord. A healer=pelor/lathander. A plinker=ehlonna.

Then you need your stats to reflect your choice. Always you want a wisdom above 13; however, a tank will want str to be highest. Healer will want con to be highest. And a Plinker will want dex to be highest.

Then for your feats: Tank = dodge/weapon focus, Healer = endurance/diehard, Plinker= point blank shot/precise shot

The Diehard feat is absolutely critical for a Healer. You gotta stay alive if you want to keep the party alive.

I have played a lot of clerics, and I use the forgotten realms campaign as the background for my current group.

If you want to bounce ideas email me at snsa@optonline.net
6th-Jan-2004 09:34 am (UTC) - Re: Cleric, for the very first time...
Another interesting bit is that there won't be a lot of technology so I won't be able to wear plate armor, but that's exactly what I would have chosen. My cleric will probably not have any hide skill, for example, or very little since he will not be afraid of standing up for right. I anticipate, since there are no other magic users except myself that I'll be a combination tank/healer. I'll dish out the pain, but won't necessarily rush into combat first thing. I'll fight valiantly and heal my friends when they get hurt.

My choices in gods was incredibly limited. The two I'm choosing between are Helm and Kelemvor based on the options presented me. They both have some fascinating elements to them that could lead to some really great role playing.

The feats you suggested are great. Are there any benefits to using Cleave or anything like that as a Cleric? Doesn't seem very "cleric-y".
6th-Jan-2004 09:40 am (UTC) - Re: Cleric, for the very first time...
For feats you need to take those that will help you stay alive or your party to stay alive. Dishing out dammage is for the fighters.
6th-Jan-2004 09:52 am (UTC) - Re: Cleric, for the very first time...
Keep in mind that with a cleric, theres a way that you can turn any spell you've got into the healing spell that goes with that level. I'm braindead right now, so I can't remember if its a feat you have to take or if its just a rule.. but yeah, you can. Because of that, with my cleric, I gave her a bunch of serious damage spells and one or two healing spells per level, then when I run out of healing spells, I just knock out a "Holy Smite" or something I don't use too often and say its a healing spell instead. We're doing our Harpers game tonight (Forgotten Realms ;)), so I'll check out my sheet and see.
6th-Jan-2004 11:51 am (UTC) - Re: Cleric, for the very first time...
It's a general class ability. A good cleric (or a neutral cleric who chooses to function like a good cleric) can always cast a healing spell instead of a selected spell, so there's really no reason to select healing spells.
6th-Jan-2004 09:48 am (UTC)
I seriously just started dancing in my seat when I read this one. Forgotten Realms is sooooo my game. Is he going to let you pick out a race from the Races of Faerun or Monsters of Faerun? They've got some seriously cool alternate races.

Personally, the only D&D Cleric I run is a Aasimar Cleric of Sune. Aasimars are awesome and get some cool domain spells (since they are apparently decendants of the celestrial beings), and clerics of Sune are just.. fun. Lots of fun.

Everyone else suggested what I would suggest.. so let me know how it goes!

6th-Jan-2004 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely post to everyone how it goes. It's not an FR campaign, actually. It's a campaign of his own design in his own world with some special limitations. For example, the only other race currently available besides human are halflings and those only in a sparse amount. I, personally, was hoping to play a Half-Ogre from the Savage Species book, but that wasn't allowed. In the way this world is set up, he'd be an EXTREME outcast to the point where he would probably be hunted by lynch mobs. : )

So, I chose a human. I rarely play humans and I'd like the extra feats for this game. Normally, I'd LOVE to play a halfling, but not in this particular group. Elves and dwarves will be introduced later, but there aren't any of the other races.

In the one FR campaign I DID play in, I was a tiefling monk - lawful neutral - with a fantastic background story. That campaign ended prematurely, unfortunately (poor DM'ing lead to an uninterested group).
6th-Jan-2004 11:57 am (UTC)
Take the following with a big cup of salt, since I've only played Clerics twice, and one only got to level three, and the other was a Rogue/Cleric, heavy on the Rogue.

Things to think about when playing a Cleric:

* You'll have a -lot- of spells to choose from each day. Make up pre-prepared lists. One when you expect a lot of combat, one for travelling, one for this, one for that. Selecting your spells each day just won't work once you get up in the levels.

* Don't forget the domain powers. IIRC, the Fate domain gives you Uncanny Dodge, for example.

* A Cleric can be a very respectable combat character, but if you're the only spell-caster and the only healer, you really should try to stay out of melee as much as possible.
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