Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Revelations! Epiphanies!

Yesterday on a forum I frequent someone was asking some questions about Pathfnder system wise and I tossed off the comment that clerics are still basically just armored heal/buff/turn bots who bop things with a mace. This garnered some other comments about clerics being awesome engines of divine doom and while that might be true, unless your party has other means of healing, you're IT. Playing a cleric for me has often been like being the priest in a WoW raiding party, that's pretty much all you do and if you try to break out of that mold and do something else, the party bitches about it. I realized yesterday while driving back from the other station and onward to bed that I don't want those archetypes in my game. I want holy people to do crazy stuff like turn sticks into snakes, make rivers run with blood and part the very seas. There will be some healing in there too since in most religions that's a common theme of miracles. But I want priests or whatever to do the miraculous and leave the wizarding to wizards. This means I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and go over some of my domains, but I think it will be interesting to hand the players descriptions of miracles they could perform that don't have a bunch of dice rolls attached. I'm thinking some of the lesser stuff will be more straight forward but the more pious and fanatical you are, the bigger and wackier the bang where Miracles are pretty much just descriptive and STUFF HAPPENS and the DM makes it up as they go along. So wizards or whatever they call themselves will still be doing eldritch weirdness like turning people's hair colors or levitating and whatnot. And clerics will be making it rain frogs.

Hell, maybe I will get rid of the Miracle descriptions altogether and just have the player pray for a Miracle and then make it up as I go along based on the Power's domains. Radical.


  1. Hi Amanda! great to find this blog. Love the spaceballs pic too.

    I like your ideas about rethinking clerics, all that crazy old testament stuff. Other than this I find the only way to make them interesting and fun is to just really get into an archetype: the witchfinder, the saviour, the born-again etc.

  2. I'm hoping that the players will go kind of crazy and pick weird archetypes for themselves: weirdo voodoo guys, animal shamans, exorcists, spirit mediums...they've all got a place in this game I think. I think what I am going to do is make a small list for each domain of predictable powers but then let the players call for deity intervention the same way they do when they call on their divine connection to cast a spell. Then the help can take whatever form fits the moment and could end up being any sort of funny/weird/dramatic.