Cleric

Ability Requirement:
Wisdom 9
Prime Requisite:
Wisdom
Races Allowed:
All

The most common type of priest is the cleric. The cleric may be an adherent of any religion (though if the DM designs a specific mythos, the cleric's abilities and spells may be changed--see following). Clerics are generally good, but are not restricted to good; they can have any alignment acceptable to their order. A cleric must have a Wisdom score of 9 or more. High constitution and Charisma are also particularly useful.

A cleric who has a Wisdom of 16 or more gains a 10% bonus to the experience points he earns.

The cleric class is similar to certain religious orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages: the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Templars, and Hospitalers. These orders combined military and religious training with a code of protection and service. Memberswere trained as knights and devoted themselves to the service of the church. These orders were frequently found on the outer edges of the Christian world, either on the fringe of the wilderness or in war-torn lands. Archbishop Turpin (of The Song of Roland) is an example of such a cleric. Similar orders can also be found in other lands, such as the sohei of Japan.

Clerics are sturdy soldiers, although their selection of weapons is limited. They can wear any type of armor and use any shield. Standard clerics, being reluctant to shed blood or spread violence, are allowed to use only blunt, bludgeoning weapons. They can use a fair number of magical items including priest scrolls, most potions and rings, some wands and rods, staves, armor, shields, and magical versions of any weapons allowed by their order.

Spells are the main tools of the cleric, however, helping him to serve, fortify, protect, and revitalize those under his care. He has a wide variety of spells to choose from, suitable to many different purposes and needs. (A priest of a specific mythos probably has a more restricted range of spells.) A cleric has major access to every sphere of influence except the plant, animal, weather, and elemental spheres (he has minor access to the elemental sphere and cannot cast spells of the other three spheres).

The cleric receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells the cleric prays for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment.

The cleric is also granted power over undead -- evil creatures that exist in a form of non-life, neither dead nor alive. The cleric is charged with defeating these mockeries of life. His ability to turn undead (see
Turning Undead in Chapter 9: Combat) enables him to drive away these creatures or destroy them utterly (though a cleric of evil alignment can bind the creatures to his will). Some of the more common undead creatures are ghosts, zombies, skeletons, ghouls, and mummies. Vampires and liches (undead sorcerers) are two of the most powerful undead.

As a cleric advances in level, he gains additional spells, better combat skills, and a stronger turning ability. Upon reaching 8th level, the cleric automatically attracts a fanatically loyal group of believers, provided the character has established a place of worship of significant size. The cleric can build this place of worship at any time during his career, but he does not attract believers until he reaches 8th level. These followers are normal warriors, 0-level soldiers, ready to fight for the cleric's cause. The cleric attracts 20 to 200 of these followers; they arrive over a period of several weeks. After the initial followers assemble, no new followers trickle in to fill the ranks of those who have fallen in service. The DM decides the exact number and types of followers attracted by the cleric. The character can hire other troops as needed, but these are not as loyal as his followers.

At 9th level, the cleric may receive official approval to establish a religious stronghold, be it a fortified abbey or a secluded convent. Obviously, the stronghold must contain all the trappings of a place of worship and must be dedicated to the service of the cleric's cause. However, the construction cost of the stronghold is half the normal price, since the work has official sanction and much of the labor is donated. The cleric can hold property and build a stronghold any time before reaching 9th level, but this is done without church sanction and does not receive the benefits described above.

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