Priest characters are not required to take up arms and set out on adventures
to smite evil. No, their hierarchies require administrators, clerks, and devout
workers of all types. Thus, although there may be many clergymen and women at a
temple or monastery, only a few will have a character class and levels.
Not all monks at a monastery are 1st-level (or higher) clerics. Most are monks
or nuns, devout men and women working to serve their faith. Non-adventuring
clergy are no less devout than their adventuring brethren, nor do they receive
any less respect. Thus, it is possible to have leaders within a religious
hierarchy who show no signs of special clerical ability, only proper faith and piety.
Even more so than with military men, though, level is not a determiner of
rank. Wisdom and its use, not the application of firepower or the number of foemen
smitten, are the true pearls of the clergy. Indeed the goal of some beliefs is
to demonstrate the greatest wisdom by divesting oneself of all earthly
bonds--power, wealth, pride, and even level abilities--in an attempt to attain perfect
harmony with everything.
In the end, adventuring priests tend to form a small nucleus of crusaders for
the faith. They are the ones who demonstrate their faith by braving the dangers
that threaten their beliefs, the ones who set examples through trials and
hardships. From these, others may spiritually profit.
(See also Priest, Player’s Handbook)
Table of Contents