What Should Clerics Be Doing?



  • @thorkm:

    @Azathoth:

    More religious based items. Currently there are vestiments to each faith available, but only in a few shrines and temples are actual religious items found. Instead of adding new shop items that are none descript, make them religion based. Amulet of icy armor (fivestar) could have been Amulet of Auril.

    While I like this idea, please be careful. I was checking some of the merchants selling items and 90% of them were unsuitable for a wizard and mainly aiming at warriors and priests. Finding anything useful for sale for a wizard, besides tons of armors, shields, weapons .. class only, alignment only, race only, … is already difficult enough and somewhat dampens player economy.

    I remember finding a nice scythe once and carrying it around for weeks without a chance to sell it to anyone because it was class and weapon skill specific. Not even merchants were willing to buy it cheapest. Right now I carry another item on my current character that is race and weapon skill specific. Finding someone who could use it and is willing to pay for it .. difficult. Luckily it is light enough, so I wont have to trash it like the scythe i once carried on another character.

    I wasnt talking about class restrictions.. just in name.. Im sure your wizard would be happy wearing an Amulet or Auril.. but a Cleric of Malar may find the item distasteful.
    Maybe try advertising that scythe (ive a char who would buy it)

    Caek,

    Yes ive known someone trying to convert to a different faith for months, with no success, sorry if im incorrect on this and its a quick 20min process then i appologise.

    Would a cleric of bane openly admit to it? It was an example, chosen because they seek power..

    Good point, right never tried getting a trading coster to sell religious items. Kinda didnt think we had any say or input into that kinda thing.

    goes back to his dark little mushroom spot



  • Converting a priest takes a lengthy process. Converting a non-divine caster takes about as long as it takes to convince them to convert.

    Priests who are upholding and familiar with their dogma should probably know that their deity is pleased with them.

    Priests who have a major religion in Arabel may find they have superiors who warn them they are straying. I know some druids who recently strayed were warned by their druid superiors. I've seen priests of Tyr warn paladins of Tyr who were straying.

    But if you're following some off-the-wall deity with few followers in the city–then you may not get warned. That's the danger of being an unaligned priest.

    And frankly, I find the idea that DMs need to warn everyone in advance and give them constant feedback to be presumptuous. We have lives. We like to live them. We don't like to spend them hunting down people to give them feedback which they may be resistant to. If you want feedback, you can ask us instead please.



  • @Mr.Moloch:

    Converting a priest takes a lengthy process. Converting a non-divine caster takes about as long as it takes to convince them to convert.

    Yep i spent a few months with my lathanderite trying to convert a priest of velsharoon..

    How about, adding religion similarly like the crafting/language picking system. A one only shot something that can only be done once at say level 1-3. This would encourage higher level clerics to actively seek out new adventures and pursuade them on following a certain patron.



  • @Mr.Moloch:

    And frankly, I find the idea that DMs need to warn everyone in advance and give them constant feedback to be presumptuous. We have lives. We like to live them. We don't like to spend them hunting down people to give them feedback which they may be resistant to. If you want feedback, you can ask us instead please.

    I can only confirm that from personal experience. It may sometimes be painful to ask for feedback but DMs do take the time to provide open and honest feedback. I would recommend especially Paladins, Priests and Druids who are all "sponsered" by a divine deity to ask for feedback once in a while. What you receive may be painful to digest but if you really sit back, take a deep breath and think about it then you will find not only truth in what you receive but also great opportunities to become a better roleplayer and a higher contributor to the fun called CoA.

    Edit: What I can additionally recommend is running a small NWN server with just a small dungeon crawl group. Once you start realizing what amount of work 5 people can generate for 1 dedicated DM, the amount of messages coming through the channel, the amount of questions, issues, time required to setup stuff, etc. … you really start to appreciate what our CoA DMs are doing for us for so many years. Trust me, I did it 3 weeks ago after having a bit of a "clash" with some DMs. It does change your perspective.



  • I just read the new topic on How to Play Clerics and, for the most part, I entirely agreed with it. There was only one bit I found myself vastily dissagreeing with.

    Ask people to pray to your god before you buff them on a quest, don't heal someone who is laying dying if they've insulted your god or refused to pray before the quest

    The former part of this (buffs) is fine, but the latter not so much.

    Firstly it seems fairly lame. A step away from Murder in the IC sense, and only a scant step away from PVP in the OOC sense. It's a fairly crappy thing to do, really. To just ignore a character who's slowly bleeding out because they refused to say a prayor at the beginning of a job.

    Don't mistake me, if it was a character who was vastly apposed to your faith and had outright mocked your god, and if the priest in question was not of a Good or Lawful alignment then perhaps. (e.g. a goodly Tyrran priest might well still heal a man bleading out, for not to would be both cruel and in a technical sense make him culpable of murder, surely?). But in all other situations it seems a bit harsh. Granted, feel free to refuse to heal characters in general who refuse to give thanks to god XXX but when a characer lies dying, I'd still heal them from OOC courtesy unless an act was entirely OOC of my character.

    Appart from anything, viewed in a more imaginative manner, you can then lord it over the victim in question.



  • without giving out too many details about my character, I usually only give out heals to people who are literally on the ground, about to die(partly for the OOC courtesy, party for my characters dogma).

    Otherwise, some things have to happen first to get heals.

    Its amazing the amount of spells you get reserved for yourself when people dont give a damn about your god despite your best efforts :twisted:



  • There are a couple of things I have done rather poorly regarding conversions. I doubt my mistakes have been unique, but here are a few…

    • When my sorceress was level 6 or 7, someone made an attempt to convert her to a faith extremely different from her original one. There were only 3 or 4 sessions and encounters between them, totalling no more than perhaps 7 or 8 hours real time. I later learned that this was vastly too little time to make it plausible to DMs why she converted - which caused all sorts of headaches later on. Therefore, if your character is the target of a conversion attempt - even if you think your character might fundamentally change his views of things as a result - take the time and think again if it really is plausible that the character is convinced that easily/quickly when there is basically a life-time of contrary experience on the other side of balance-scale.

    • When your priest (or lay-zealot) wants to convert someone, keep in mind that the FR are polytheistic. I haven't even counted how often I barely even thought of that when trying to convert someone. That is, yes - there is this thing called a patron deity, and that's of great importance to clerics in order to get their spells etc. But apart from that it really isn't a black and white thing. You do not really convert anyone to a new faith and force them to abandon their old one - that is mono-theistic thinking. I mean - the focus could much more be on lip service, worship, tasks performed in the name of a faith, etc., than that overrated (in the polytheistic FR) thing called "conversion".



  • Actually, I could care less if a sorceress converted after ten minutes. The only characters DMs watch for conversion are clerics. That's because they are the only characters with a direct link to their god.



  • @Mr.Moloch:

    Actually, I could care less if a sorceress converted after ten minutes. The only characters DMs watch for conversion are clerics. That's because they are the only characters with a direct link to their god.

    Does this mean, that once a non cleric… Non paladin perhaps also, feels he or she has been converted, he or she should simply ask a dm IG to change the deity?

    Or does it have an effect on say... ranger spellcasting or druids?



  • Honestly, its not really worth a DM or a player's time to worry over what is in the deity field of your non-divine caster PC. It only takes DMs about a minute to change a deity field, but it has no affect on anything at all.



  • I don't think you get deity saves if your field is blank, however. Not that they ever come into account.



  • There are a -few- benefits to turning to certain religions… Or... maybe its just Tymoran... Either way. Doesn't really matter too much. You should be praying to every diety weather you are a cleric or not.

    As far as I have seen in Forgotten Realms, Sharrans are invited to every funeral. Weddings usually hold out an invitation for both a priest of Tymora AND a priest of Beshaba. Obviously it is a bit different in Arabel but patron diety really isn't important.



  • @Mr.Moloch:

    Just to update the ideas that have come out of this discussion that have been, to me, extremely on point.

    Master Nystagmus Wrote:

    1. Spread dogmatic knowledge.

    2. Increase faith & belief that their particular god has real power.

    3. Increase in personal faith by living the dogma.

    These are the general things a cleric should be doing.

    I'd break these down to specific ways to consider how any specific cleric can do these things through their dogma by perhaps considering these points:

    First and Foremost, really know your deity's dogma if you expect to roleplay a good cleric. Then consider how you can do the following within the dictates of that deity's dogma. This should by no means be exhaustive, its just a list I've come up with from the conversation thus far–so I'm sure we can add more ideas!

    1. Spread dogmatic knowledge.

    Consider writing your character's interpretation of his faith, or his response to another character's interpretation of the faith. Consider the doctrinal debates and discussions of real world religions. How does a LE Helmite justify his view of Helm compared to a LG one?

    Consider ways to make sermons more than standing and preaching. What can your character do to make "interactive sermons" as B-rock suggested? Malarites would do hunts, Helmites vigils or patrols, priests of Tymora may lead people into dangerous locations like the EW Cemetery, Cormyrian Mountain Bear Hunting, or exploring the Underdark all the while telling stories about famous adventurers.

    1. Increase faith & belief that their particular god has real power.

    Several people raised the fact people don't view a cleric's power as anything more than "buff bot", so don't encourage that. Ask people to pray to your god before you buff them on a quest, don't heal someone who is laying dying if they've insulted your god or refused to pray before the quest (assuming it won't violate your god's dogma).

    Ensure people know who your deity is. At least mention them during quests or discussions.

    Consider what big projects your god would want you to work on, and work toward them. Oghman priests should seek to write books on history and lore, priests of Mystra should monitor magical artifacts of great power and their locations and bearers, priests of Velsharoon should seek the path to becoming a lich.

    Keep in mind the difficulty of portraying some gods in CoA. DMs aren't likely to want to build refugee camps, hospitals, orphanages (many goodly gods may want this-we want to focus on playing adventurers), we aren't looking to pay attention to weather patterns and how they affect harvests and crops, there aren't going to be many tsunamis or deep undersea explorations.

    Seek out lay worshipers and do ensure they get funerals when they die or that you demonstrate some care, concern, or at least tyrannical interest in their lives. Banites may even seek to regiment the faithful, enforcing dress codes, personal relationships, and celebrating every death as one more soldier in Bane's army.

    1. Increase in personal faith by living the dogma.

    Don't pick spells based on what seems mechanically best, but rather consider spells that fit the flavor of your deity as drklameth suggested. Priests of Lathander should have lots of light spells, priests of Shar should consider Darkness over Bull's Strength once in awhile. Domain spells are something clerics should often have prepared as part of living the dogma of the deity.

    Consider the role an adventuring priest of your faith should fulfill. Tempus is likely to have "battle priests", Lurue and Eldath will have "healers", and Tyr is more likely to have priests who present sermons and resolve disputes, Tymora's priests will be risk takers and gamblers. That shouldn't link every priest to specific hard-coded roles---but a "battle priest of Eldath" is ridiculous and ignores the entire dogma of his deity. Likewise, a priest of Garagos who isn't the first to rush into combat isn't fulfilling his deity's dogma. Every priest should be seeking to mimic their deity's dogma to the best of their ability every day, while still obviously suffering from mortal flaws.

    I find this post extremely helpful. It makes me want to try my very first priest of Velsharoon - I bet the DMs can't wait to say Velsharoon cleric #4589409896038690!


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