Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Limiting Clerics

Last response: in Video Games
Share
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 11:00:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
just seems that deities would be more focused. The Spontaneous
Divine Caster rules from UA help but I suspect some players will
find that too limited, especially those who prefer Wizards to Sorcerers.

So I'm considering a Wizard like Cleric.

Starts with all 0-level from PHB "known".
Starts with 3 + Wis bonus spells.
Gains 2 spells per level thereafter for free.

Now the hard part is deciding how the mechanism for spells beyond
that can be acquired.

First draft:
Must learn from a scroll or be taught by someone who knows the spells.
OR
Must just commune with deity/ethos.

Time:
Same as for Wizard translating and scribing new spell.

Cost:
Divide Wizard's GP cost by 5 and spend XP equal to that ammount.
OR
Donate GP equal to Wizard's cost to church/cause.
(Either might include cost of scroll or of other casters time.
Charged as casting that spell 1/day?)

Comments? Suggestions?

More about : limiting clerics

Anonymous
March 24, 2005 1:14:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

It's not like clerics are casting every spell every day. A lot of
those spells are never cast or maybe once in a whole campaign. Sure
enough, though, declare a spell no longer available and it *will* be
needed.

That being said, it is logical for deities to be focused. This has
been discussed before. A god of peace, love, and granola would give
their clerics Divine Power while a god war would not give Calm
Emotions. 2E tried this idea with their Spheres but failed miserably
with Priest's Handbook. 3E uses Domains to reflect portfolios.

My idea is to give deities more domains, with 0 level spells, and their
clerics get all the spells in all the domains only. Two domains are
picked for their special ability. Either new domains should be created
to encompass cleric spells currently not in a domain or change existing
domains to have two spells for each level and add on speels to the
apporpriate domain. Keep the spontaneous curing because that is the
primo #1 all-time hallelujah best rule change 3E made for clerics.
Change Healing Domain ability to Lay On Hands or now that it exists and
would be better for the cleric and not step on paladin toes, free
Augment Healing feat.

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 11:48:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ophidian wrote:

> I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
> just seems that deities would be more focused. The Spontaneous
> Divine Caster rules from UA help but I suspect some players will
> find that too limited, especially those who prefer Wizards to Sorcerers.
>
> So I'm considering a Wizard like Cleric.
>
> Starts with all 0-level from PHB "known".
> Starts with 3 + Wis bonus spells.
> Gains 2 spells per level thereafter for free.
>
> Now the hard part is deciding how the mechanism for spells beyond
> that can be acquired.
>
> First draft:
> Must learn from a scroll or be taught by someone who knows the spells.
> OR
> Must just commune with deity/ethos.
>
> Time:
> Same as for Wizard translating and scribing new spell.
>
> Cost:
> Divide Wizard's GP cost by 5 and spend XP equal to that ammount.
> OR
> Donate GP equal to Wizard's cost to church/cause.
> (Either might include cost of scroll or of other casters time.
> Charged as casting that spell 1/day?)
>
> Comments? Suggestions?

Add in all Cure spells for free, including things like Restoration and
Raise Dead. These really are "must haves" for an adventure party. The
caster should also automagically gain his domain spells. Other than
that, I think it's workable.

CH
Related resources
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 3:24:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ophidian <oNpEhMiOdian23@cox.net> writes
>I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>just seems that deities would be more focused. The Spontaneous
>Divine Caster rules from UA help but I suspect some players will
>find that too limited, especially those who prefer Wizards to Sorcerers.

<Snip>

>Comments? Suggestions?

You could transpose cleric spheres from 2nd Ed. Spheres were just lists
of spells related to a given heading. A deity's clerics were limited by
their choice of deity to which spheres they could choose spells from.
Sort of like cutting the entire cleric spell list into chunks, then
allowing clerics access only to those chunks pertinent to their deity.

Back in ye olde days, I created individual spell lists for clerics of
each of the deities IMC. Spheres, while not as specific as my original
lists, made the whole process a lot more manageable. And, since they
are only lists of spells (unlike domains, spheres had no associated
special power), you'd only have to deal with spell name changes and
level shifts to use them as written. Primary sources for 2nd Ed.
spheres are the 2nd Ed. PHB and the Tome of Magic.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 10:12:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ophidian wrote:
> I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
> just seems that deities would be more focused ....

Because ...?
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 4:51:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In message <slrnd48ol7.m0e.bradd+news@szonye.com>, Bradd W. Szonye
<bradd+news@szonye.com> writes
>Ophidian wrote:
>> I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>> just seems that deities would be more focused ....
>
>Because ...?

If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God would
grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?

The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
preparing a flame strike spell. That's out of focus under the remit of
a solely water-based portfolio. The current system does prevent a good
cleric from casting an evil spell, so why not a water cleric from
casting a fire spell?

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 10:37:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Ophidian wrote:
>>I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>>just seems that deities would be more focused ....
>
> Because ...?

Characters aren't sufficiently different from each other.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
March 27, 2005 1:39:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ophidian wrote:
>>> I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>>> just seems that deities would be more focused ....

Bradd wrote:
>> Because ...?

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
> If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God would
> grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?

D&D has a "Hammer of Thor" spell?

It does have a /spiritual weapon/ spell for that kind of thing. It also
has an aligned /chaos hammer/ spell for clerics who qualify. It looks
like the game already handles this particular "problem."

In case you're thinking that some clerics shouldn't have these
weapon-spells at all, keep in mind that the cleric class is and has
always been a martial priest. If a god is strongly anti-martial, his
mortal representatives should use something other than the cleric class.

> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
> preparing a flame strike spell.

So what?

> That's out of focus under the remit of a solely water-based portfolio.

Again, if a god truly does have a narrow focus, then the cleric class is
wholly inappropriate for his followers. It's not just the spell list;
there's also the martial abilities, the undead turning, and the special
healing abilities.

If you want these narrowly-focused priests, you need a whole new class.

> The current system does prevent a good cleric from casting an evil
> spell, so why not a water cleric from casting a fire spell?

Because the cleric class is not a generic class.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 27, 2005 1:40:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
> Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> Ophidian wrote:
>>>I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>>>just seems that deities would be more focused ....
>>
>> Because ...?
>
> Characters aren't sufficiently different from each other.

Have you ever even played a cleric, Peter? We've seen many, and they're
all significantly different from each other.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 2:01:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> writes
>Ophidian wrote:
>>>> I hate that Clerics get the whole spell list to choose from. It
>>>> just seems that deities would be more focused ....
>
>Bradd wrote:
>>> Because ...?
>
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>> If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God would
>> grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>
>D&D has a "Hammer of Thor" spell?

It doesn't have a Judeo-Christian deity model, either. I would have
thought you, of all people, would understand a hypothetical model
without it being spelled out.

>It does have a /spiritual weapon/ spell for that kind of thing. It also
>has an aligned /chaos hammer/ spell for clerics who qualify. It looks
>like the game already handles this particular "problem."
>
>In case you're thinking that some clerics shouldn't have these
>weapon-spells at all, keep in mind that the cleric class is and has
>always been a martial priest. If a god is strongly anti-martial, his
>mortal representatives should use something other than the cleric class.

This has *nothing* to do with weapon-spells.

>> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
>> preparing a flame strike spell.
>
>So what?

So some of us think that clerics should be more focused to their
deities' province.

>> That's out of focus under the remit of a solely water-based portfolio.
>
>Again, if a god truly does have a narrow focus, then the cleric class is
>wholly inappropriate for his followers. It's not just the spell list;
>there's also the martial abilities, the undead turning, and the special
>healing abilities.

Which could also be subject to a more focused approach to the
cleric/deity relationship.

>If you want these narrowly-focused priests, you need a whole new class.

Or a modification to the cleric class.

If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
modify the cleric class to accommodate that? I'm not - and I don't
think Ophidian is, either - advocating an official revamp to clerics as
far as the generic D&D game goes.

>> The current system does prevent a good cleric from casting an evil
>> spell, so why not a water cleric from casting a fire spell?
>
>Because the cleric class is not a generic class.

Now this statement is somewhat confused. Go further...

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 2:14:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
> In message <slrnd48ol7.m0e.bradd+news@szonye.com>, Bradd W. Szonye
> If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God would
> grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?

Sure, but it would be "The Carpenters Hammer" or something like that. The
titles are generic, while the deity and practicioner give it the flavour.

> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
> preparing a flame strike spell. That's out of focus under the remit of
> a solely water-based portfolio. The current system does prevent a good
> cleric from casting an evil spell, so why not a water cleric from
> casting a fire spell?

This part, I can understand, and could use some tweaking to make it more
appropriate. Instead of say Flame Strike, it's Steam Strike, where it
doesn't burn something, but is still hot enough to melt it or to have the
heat remain still piping hot as if it was on fire. Something like that.

I think it's more something the DM and the PC can muck about with.
--
"... respect, all good works are not done by only good folk ..."
-till next time, Jameson Stalanthas Yu, consul de designers
consul@INVALIDdolphins-cove.com -x- <<poetry.dolphins-cove.com>>
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 4:45:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>>> If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God
>>> would grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?

Bradd wrote:
>> D&D has a "Hammer of Thor" spell?

> It doesn't have a Judeo-Christian deity model, either. I would have
> thought you, of all people, would understand a hypothetical model
> without it being spelled out.

You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.

>>> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
>>> preparing a flame strike spell.

>> So what?

> So some of us think that clerics should be more focused to their
> deities' province.

Again, why? Furthermore, /how/? The game can't possibly anticipate every
possible combination of portfolios. This is something much better left
to setting rules for the few cosmologies that need it.

>> Again, if a god truly does have a narrow focus, then the cleric class
>> is wholly inappropriate for his followers. It's not just the spell
>> list; there's also the martial abilities, the undead turning, and the
>> special healing abilities.

> Which could also be subject to a more focused approach to the
> cleric/deity relationship .... [A] modification to the cleric class.

If you knock out the martial skills, the turning, and the healing, and
you re-write the spell rules, you're not talking about modifying the
class. You're starting over from scratch.

The cleric class, while clearly not generic, serves a useful role in the
game. Why fudge it up when a whole new class would serve your needs
better, without eliminating the existing, useful class?

> If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
> modify the cleric class to accommodate that?

Not really.

> I'm not - and I don't think Ophidian is, either - advocating an
> official revamp to clerics as far as the generic D&D game goes.

So create new setting rules, based on the current alignment descriptor
rules. (Also, I think you may be incorrect here. Either that or Ophidian
was exaggerating when he claimed to hate the current rules.)

>>> The current system does prevent a good cleric from casting an evil
>>> spell, so why not a water cleric from casting a fire spell?

>> Because the cleric class is not a generic class.

> Now this statement is somewhat confused ....

Not at all. The cleric class has certain assumptions about good, evil,
etc built in. It is not generic. It is not designed to handle all
possible cosmological conflicts, nor could it, nor /should/ it.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 4:45:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

> Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>
>>>>If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God
>>>>would grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>
> Bradd wrote:
>
>>>D&D has a "Hammer of Thor" spell?
>
>>It doesn't have a Judeo-Christian deity model, either. I would have
>>thought you, of all people, would understand a hypothetical model
>>without it being spelled out.
>
> You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
> written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
> sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
> had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.

As written, even the most pacifistic deity should have a favored
weapon and some of the examples are downright silly.

>>>>The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
>>>>preparing a flame strike spell.
>
>>>So what?
>
>>So some of us think that clerics should be more focused to their
>>deities' province.
>
> Again, why? Furthermore, /how/? The game can't possibly anticipate every
> possible combination of portfolios.

I proposed a solution for that already.
It involves the player and DM agreeing on the characters spells
known, rather than just handing the character "spells knowm: all".

>>>Again, if a god truly does have a narrow focus, then the cleric class
>>>is wholly inappropriate for his followers. It's not just the spell
>>>list; there's also the martial abilities, the undead turning, and the
>>>special healing abilities.
>
>>Which could also be subject to a more focused approach to the
>>cleric/deity relationship .... [A] modification to the cleric class.
>
> If you knock out the martial skills, the turning, and the healing, and
> you re-write the spell rules, you're not talking about modifying the
> class. You're starting over from scratch.

Nah, we're talking adding options.
See UA and Planar Handbook for good starts.

> The cleric class, while clearly not generic, serves a useful role in the
> game. Why fudge it up when a whole new class would serve your needs
> better, without eliminating the existing, useful class?

Why do fighters have built in customizability?

>>If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
>>modify the cleric class to accommodate that?
>
> Not really.

ATD.

>>I'm not - and I don't think Ophidian is, either - advocating an
>>official revamp to clerics as far as the generic D&D game goes.

Exactly.

> So create new setting rules, based on the current alignment descriptor
> rules. (Also, I think you may be incorrect here. Either that or Ophidian
> was exaggerating when he claimed to hate the current rules.)

Hate was an exaggeration.
But I do hate the strong tendency to cookie cutter clerics when
the other classes have opened up so much in this edition.
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 7:09:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> writes
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>>>> If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God
>>>> would grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>
>Bradd wrote:
>>> D&D has a "Hammer of Thor" spell?
>
>> It doesn't have a Judeo-Christian deity model, either. I would have
>> thought you, of all people, would understand a hypothetical model
>> without it being spelled out.
>
>You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.

And I was making no assumptions as to whether or not the "spell" related
to a weapon or not. That's entirely of your own invention. The
hypothetical model, FYI since you do seem to need it spelled out, is
"would deity X [in this case, the Judeo-Christian god] grant its clerics
a spell or power outside its general domain [in this case, one
associated with a non-Christian deity]". Don't get all het up about
weapon-esque spells - it's an irrelevant translation on your part.

>>>> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
>>>> preparing a flame strike spell.
>
>>> So what?
>
>> So some of us think that clerics should be more focused to their
>> deities' province.
>
>Again, why? Furthermore, /how/? The game can't possibly anticipate every
>possible combination of portfolios. This is something much better left
>to setting rules for the few cosmologies that need it.

*Exactly*. A modular class, modified from the cleric, setting-specific,
to accommodate a world model where clerics are more deity-focused than
they are presented in the core rules. Plug'n'play cleric class features
by deity (or perhaps by portfolio element).

>>> Again, if a god truly does have a narrow focus, then the cleric class
>>> is wholly inappropriate for his followers. It's not just the spell
>>> list; there's also the martial abilities, the undead turning, and the
>>> special healing abilities.
>
>> Which could also be subject to a more focused approach to the
>> cleric/deity relationship .... [A] modification to the cleric class.
>
>If you knock out the martial skills, the turning, and the healing, and
>you re-write the spell rules, you're not talking about modifying the
>class. You're starting over from scratch.

Depending on how far you went with it. But yes, that is a possible
route.

>The cleric class, while clearly not generic, serves a useful role in the
>game. Why fudge it up when a whole new class would serve your needs
>better, without eliminating the existing, useful class?

That entirely depends on the route taken. Personally, IMC, I do this:

* Spells: Spell lists by deity. Domains remain as-is.
* Turning: Treating turning as a form of energy channelling (a concept
divine feats have at their core), translating that energy channelling
into deity-specific class features (which may or may not be along the
lines of turn/rebuke undead)
* HD: For noncombative clerics, HD type drops. For combative clerics,
HD remains at d8. Drop in HD is coupled with some class feature to
compensate (e.g., my healing-deity clerics have d6 HD, and +1 caster
level to healing-type spells which stacks with the Healing domain power)
* BAB and BSB are similarly adjusted and compensated as necessary.

Yes, this is effectively creating a new, "menu-driven" class concept.
But each "class" it produces still traces class lineage back to the
cleric.

>> If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
>> modify the cleric class to accommodate that?
>
>Not really.

Well, be happy playing non-setting-driven games. Nothing wrong with
that. Perhaps you can see that there is also nothing wrong with playing
games where the setting does drive the game, and adjustments need to be
made to the rules accordingly.

>> I'm not - and I don't think Ophidian is, either - advocating an
>> official revamp to clerics as far as the generic D&D game goes.
>
>So create new setting rules, based on the current alignment descriptor
>rules. (Also, I think you may be incorrect here. Either that or Ophidian
>was exaggerating when he claimed to hate the current rules.)

I'm not going to pretend to be able to read Ophidian's mind over his
intent. The way it came across to me was that he was exploring house
rule options to satisfy an element of the core rules that did not fit
with his game and/or setting concept. I may be wrong, of course, and if
I am then don't take anything I've written here as defence of a position
that advocates the modification of the *core* away from a generic
warrior-priest class (i.e., the cleric) that works just fine in a basic,
standard D&D game.

>>>> The current system does prevent a good cleric from casting an evil
>>>> spell, so why not a water cleric from casting a fire spell?
>
>>> Because the cleric class is not a generic class.
>
>> Now this statement is somewhat confused ....
>
>Not at all. The cleric class has certain assumptions about good, evil,
>etc built in. It is not generic. It is not designed to handle all
>possible cosmological conflicts, nor could it, nor /should/ it.

Agreed. Okay, so my comment was based on an assumed definition of
"generic class" that you weren't using.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 7:09:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:

> Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> writes
>
> I'm not going to pretend to be able to read Ophidian's mind over his
> intent. The way it came across to me was that he was exploring house
> rule options to satisfy an element of the core rules that did not fit
> with his game and/or setting concept. I may be wrong, of course, and if
> I am then don't take anything I've written here as defence of a position
> that advocates the modification of the *core* away from a generic
> warrior-priest class (i.e., the cleric) that works just fine in a basic,
> standard D&D game.

OK, FTR, yes, I'm looking at house rules to make Clerics work in a
more focused manner with less baggage from the combatant
healer stereotype.

I do advocate changing core to include more variety.
I'm not advocating that the current way is per se "wrong".
It does force world assumptions on the game and I prefer that the
world make its own assumptions. ;) 
The game is playable as is.
It would be more playable if deity driven characters had more variety.
IMO.
There's little reason why Cleric, Healer, and Favored Soul couldn't
have been one class with different selections of class features
(ala Fighters taking different feats or the dialable settings
for Ranger, Monk, and Rogue.)
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 5:19:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

~consul wrote:
> Ian R Malcomson wrote:
> > In message <slrnd48ol7.m0e.bradd+news@szonye.com>, Bradd W. Szonye
> > If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God
would
> > grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>
> Sure, but it would be "The Carpenters Hammer" or something like that.
The
> titles are generic, while the deity and practicioner give it the
flavour.

Hammer of God works fine as a name for this hypothetical spell.

The generic cleric spell list (limited by alignment) works reasonably
well for a generic militant servant of a diety. For non-militant
servants you need to do a lot more than revamp the spell list.

DougL
Anonymous
March 28, 2005 7:12:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> DougL wrote:
> > The generic cleric spell list (limited by alignment) works
reasonably
> > well for a generic militant servant of a diety. For non-militant
> > servants you need to do a lot more than revamp the spell list.
>
> Bingo! (If only I could be so succinct.)

Actually I had meant to put something like "as Bradd says" in
front of that. So the reason it is succint is that it represents
a third party trying to summarize your argument.

I will point out that since PC class balance in D&D is almost
purely based on combat ability such a new class will either
end up as an NPC class, or you need to MASSIVELY upgrade the
non-combat abilities to be worth the dead weight in combat to a
D&D3.x style party.

Personally I'd go with the NPC class (and I have PLAYED
pacifists in several combat heavy games, so it isn't that I
don't think it can be done, I just don't think it should be
done in the context of D&D style gaming), to be "ballanced"
with no combat ability would require too much ability
outside of combat; you end up with a class that says either
"I'm helpless" or "I win" to effectively everything that is
a reasonable challenge for a group without that class present.

DougL
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 12:14:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>> written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>> sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>> had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
> And I was making no assumptions as to whether or not the "spell"
> related to a weapon or not. That's entirely of your own invention.

Just like this fictional "hammer of Thor" spell is entirely of your
invention. Come up with an actual example from the game, or admit that
you had to invent your counterexample from whole cloth -- i.e., you beat
up a straw man.

> The hypothetical model, FYI since you do seem to need it spelled out,
> is "would deity X [in this case, the Judeo-Christian god] grant its
> clerics a spell or power outside its general domain [in this case, one
> associated with a non-Christian deity]".

I get it. However, until you post an actual example, instead of a straw
man, your point is weak at best.

>>> If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
>>> modify the cleric class to accommodate that?

>> Not really.

> Well, be happy playing non-setting-driven games.

I play setting-driven games all the time. You greatly misinterpret my
meaning here. A new class might be a good idea. Tweaking the cleric
class is /not/ a good idea, because it takes a significant overhaul to
make the martial cleric into something suitable for all faiths.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 12:15:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>> written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>> sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>> had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.

Ophidian wrote:
> As written, even the most pacifistic deity should have a favored
> weapon and some of the examples are downright silly.

If you're looking for a pacifist god, why start with the cleric? It's
wholly inappropriate for that use, with all of its battle-oriented class
features.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 1:30:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

DougL wrote:
> The generic cleric spell list (limited by alignment) works reasonably
> well for a generic militant servant of a diety. For non-militant
> servants you need to do a lot more than revamp the spell list.

Bingo! (If only I could be so succinct.)
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 6:21:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@szonye.com> writes
>Bradd wrote:
>>> You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>>> written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>>> sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>>> had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.
>
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>> And I was making no assumptions as to whether or not the "spell"
>> related to a weapon or not. That's entirely of your own invention.
>
>Just like this fictional "hammer of Thor" spell is entirely of your
>invention. Come up with an actual example from the game, or admit that
>you had to invent your counterexample from whole cloth -- i.e., you beat
>up a straw man.

It was an *out of game* example to illustrate why an *in game* system
might be relevant to certain settings. That's all. You do have a
tendency to pick up on minor elements of a case and warp them to try and
provoke a confrontational-type argument. It's all rather a waste of
energy.

The entire hypothetical case was fictional. The D&D game is fictional
in scope. Making something up in order to illustrate one possible route
of reasoning taken to make something else up is entirely plausible when
the whole is made up in the first place. If you have some odd viewpoint
whereby you believe D&D *isn't* made up, then you really should seek
professional help. Literals are not a good thing to argue against when
the point being made called for lateral thinking in the first place.

>> The hypothetical model, FYI since you do seem to need it spelled out,
>> is "would deity X [in this case, the Judeo-Christian god] grant its
>> clerics a spell or power outside its general domain [in this case, one
>> associated with a non-Christian deity]".
>
>I get it.

Finally.

>However, until you post an actual example, instead of a straw
>man, your point is weak at best.

Actual how? No actual basis exists from which to draw upon for such an
example (spells are not real, whether they are in the PHB or simply
invented on the spot for illustrative purposes). Neither does a basis
exist within the core rules from which to draw upon for an example,
since we're talking about a possible house rule modification. Thus any
example will be made up, de facto, and thus, apparently, invalid.

>>>> If a setting has more focused religions, would it not make sense to
>>>> modify the cleric class to accommodate that?
>
>>> Not really.
>
>> Well, be happy playing non-setting-driven games.
>
>I play setting-driven games all the time. You greatly misinterpret my
>meaning here. A new class might be a good idea. Tweaking the cleric
>class is /not/ a good idea, because it takes a significant overhaul to
>make the martial cleric into something suitable for all faiths.

Depending on how you went about it.

No comments on my actual sketch-outline on a modular class based on the
core cleric class, just rhetoric apparently intended to provoke
confrontation. See, you are one of those selective snippers that do not
even note where you've snipped in order to skip over points you either
cannot, or otherwise choose not, to address while clinging onto the one
or two points you feel you can drag a fight from. I've played that game
with you once, and it was a waste of time then.

So, anything *constructive* to add to this thread? Comments on the
possible systems that have been posted here to model the more focused
cleric-types I and Ophidian like to see? Ideas of your own as to how
such things might be modelled in a single class to replace the cleric,
since you've advocated such an idea without suggesting possibilities for
it? If not, you should just accept that anything we discuss regarding
possible methods of modelling clerics (or, if you like, a replacement
class for the cleric) to suit the way we wish to fit them into the games
we play isn't for you, and in no way will impact the games you play, and
stop editing and selectively interpreting posts just to satisfy whatever
need it is you're satisfying.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 6:49:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

DougL <doug.lampert@tdytsi.com> writes
>~consul wrote:
>> Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>> > In message <slrnd48ol7.m0e.bradd+news@szonye.com>, Bradd W. Szonye
>> > If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God
>would
>> > grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>>
>> Sure, but it would be "The Carpenters Hammer" or something like that.
>The
>> titles are generic, while the deity and practicioner give it the
>flavour.
>
>Hammer of God works fine as a name for this hypothetical spell.

The "Thor" bit was the important bit, not the "Hammer" bit. It could
have been "Hare of Eostre", "Toenail of Pheidippides", or "Flaming
Arsehole of Ra". The point was about deity X granting spells or
abilities more properly within the remit of deity Y.

>The generic cleric spell list (limited by alignment) works reasonably
>well for a generic militant servant of a diety. For non-militant
>servants you need to do a lot more than revamp the spell list.

Agreed, which is why I posted a sketch of the modular cleric I've
developed for my game. Call it a new class if you wish, but it uses the
cleric as the core basis which the modular units modify, depending on
the nature of the deity/faith in question.

IMC, there are philosophy-faith, pantheist, monotheist, and polytheist
religions, all of which have cleric variants produced via my modular
system. The system (although, admittedly, not honed to a point I'm
completely happy with, and certainly not applied to the entire range of
faiths extant IMC) does not simply stick to revamping spell lists.

Modelling clerics to deities and/or specific faiths is something I've
done since reading "clerics can only use blunt weapons" and thinking
"well, that's bullshit". 3E is much easier to customise to setting than
D&D was back in *those* days. A modular cleric is not so far removed
from the core fighter class - instead of bonus feats, I'm talking
interchangeable Lego-esque class features. Yes, it does stretch the
cleric beyond the martial priest it represents in the core game. But
that core cleric is the foundation upon which my Lego blocks are
founded.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 6:49:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>
> The "Thor" bit was the important bit, not the "Hammer" bit.
> It could have been "Hare of Eostre", "Toenail of
> Pheidippides", or "Flaming Arsehole of Ra".

Those are poorly designed spell concepts, and not one spell like that
exists in D&D core, for good reason. Other settings may not have been
so circumspect, but that's just poor design. (As a note, Eberron,
which has one of the loosest pantheons of any RPG with deities, and in
fact has deities who are distant, uncaring, and apparently not the
source of divine magic, *also* has no spells like that.)

I think that's why people are claiming you're strawmanning, and asking
you for concrete examples.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 7:12:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

~consul <consul@INVALIDdolphins-cove.com> writes
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>> In message <slrnd48ol7.m0e.bradd+news@szonye.com>, Bradd W. Szonye
>>If RL religious types could cast spells, the Judeo-Christian God would
>>grant its clerics a Hammer of Thor spell?
>
>Sure, but it would be "The Carpenters Hammer" or something like that.
>The titles are generic, while the deity and practicioner give it the
>flavour.
>
>> The current open spell list doesn't prevent a water-god cleric from
>>preparing a flame strike spell. That's out of focus under the remit
>>of a solely water-based portfolio. The current system does prevent a
>>cleric from casting an evil spell, so why not a water cleric from
>>casting a fire spell?
>
>This part, I can understand, and could use some tweaking to make it
>more appropriate.

It's the same as the first part, excepting the taking of the
hypothetical "Hammer" spell as the literal point.

>Instead of say Flame Strike, it's Steam Strike, where it doesn't burn
>something, but is still hot enough to melt it or to have the heat
>remain still piping hot as if it was on fire. Something like that.

It's a possibility that works with some spells under certain portfolios.
Others require significantly more than this to operate under this model.
For example, flame strike could become "frost strike" when used by a
cleric of a cold deity, but the model would go beyond a simple rename to
modify the damage from fire to cold. When you start having to modify a
spell's actual game effects, rather than retaining game effects and
altering the imagined special effects, you have to start considering the
other possible ramifications of such changes. Some changes in game
effect could feasibly call for modifications to the resultant spell's
level.

No, I can't provide specific examples for spells that would be affected
so, because I haven't (and am not going to) go through the spell lists
with such modifications in mind. Take it as I've seen the "warning:
cliff ahead" sign on this one, have taken a different road, and am not
going to waste time on exploring what might have happened if I'd chosen
to drive off the cliff instead.

For spell list manipulation, it's far easier to, for example, drop flame
strike etc. from a cold deity's list, and add in such spells as ice
storm.

>I think it's more something the DM and the PC can muck about with.

That depends how established the setting is, and how open to
modifications of this kind the DM is. My campaign setting is
approaching 30 years of age, and is (I'd like to think) consistent in
its approach to most things. If a PC cleric of Ajir can do X, Y, and Z,
so can the NPC clerics of Ajir; DM/PC mucking about throws somewhat of a
spanner into the workings of this kind of established consistency.

Okay, so 20-odd years ago, this kind of DM/PC tweaking did happen a fair
bit. That was when my setting notes barely filled an exercise book, and
there was only one map (on hex paper, no less!). Now there's more notes
than a filing cabinet will hold and a heck of a lot of maps, its more a
crafted playground than an amorphous work-in-progress these days.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 8:38:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer <dacileva.flea@hotmail.com.tick> writes
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>>
>> The "Thor" bit was the important bit, not the "Hammer" bit.
>> It could have been "Hare of Eostre", "Toenail of
>> Pheidippides", or "Flaming Arsehole of Ra".
>
>Those are poorly designed spell concepts,

They're not even attempts at spell concepts. This is the point everyone
seems to be missing by several leagues.

>and not one spell like that
>exists in D&D core, for good reason.

Absolutely.

>Other settings may not have been
>so circumspect, but that's just poor design. (As a note, Eberron,
>which has one of the loosest pantheons of any RPG with deities, and in
>fact has deities who are distant, uncaring, and apparently not the
>source of divine magic, *also* has no spells like that.)

Marvellous. I don't care what Eberron may or may not include.

>I think that's why people are claiming you're strawmanning, and asking
>you for concrete examples.

They're doing so because they're missing the entire point of that
comment. It wasn't to say anything about specific spells, or even
necessarily spells *at all*. Some people just seem to be unable to
apply lateral thinking to a hypothetical model. Particularly annoying,
since the context of the rest of the post should have made things
clearer, in game terms.

A case of people taking *one* paragraph in isolation, and getting their
knickers all twisted up about it. I just thank grief I didn't involve
sarcasm or irony in there, too, or we'd be here until Earth's end.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 9:33:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Hadsil wrote:
> It's not like clerics are casting every spell every day. A lot of
> those spells are never cast or maybe once in a whole campaign. Sure
> enough, though, declare a spell no longer available and it *will* be
> needed.
>
> That being said, it is logical for deities to be focused. This has
> been discussed before. A god of peace, love, and granola would give
> their clerics Divine Power while a god war would not give Calm
> Emotions. 2E tried this idea with their Spheres but failed miserably
> with Priest's Handbook. 3E uses Domains to reflect portfolios.

I have a similar setup. I make clerics (the players of them at least)
keep a prayer book. This is half IC and half OOC. Clerical magic, IMC,
is easy enough, but clerics don't have divine access to all spells. So
they have to learn as they go. they're really easy to learn, but what
the book allows me to do it to start them with spells that their church
approves of and when they go back to their church laters on they get
higher level spells that their church likes. if they want spellls that
their church dislikes or forbids (some churches won't allow
resurrection while others won't teach animate dead, etc) you have to
make a deal with a church that will teach that spell. Adds some nice
politics and the spells are easy enough to learn (I think I just said
you can learn 1/night of study though I'm considering 1/level/night of
study) that I'm not making the focus learning the spell, just getting
at it.
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 10:21:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> Okay, so 20-odd years ago, this kind of DM/PC tweaking did happen a fair
> bit. That was when my setting notes barely filled an exercise book, and
> there was only one map (on hex paper, no less!). Now there's more notes
> than a filing cabinet will hold and a heck of a lot of maps, its more a
> crafted playground than an amorphous work-in-progress these days.

Ooh! Ooh! Online anywhere? Electronic files you could mail? I think
it'd be fascinating to see.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "English is not a language. English is a
keith.davies@kjdavies.org bad habit shared between Norman invaders
keith.davies@gmail.com and Saxon barmaids!"
http://www.kjdavies.org/ -- Frog, IRC, 2005/01/13
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 2:22:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

> Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>
>>>You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>>>written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>>>sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>>>had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.
>
> Ophidian wrote:
>
>>As written, even the most pacifistic deity should have a favored
>>weapon and some of the examples are downright silly.
>
> If you're looking for a pacifist god, why start with the cleric? It's
> wholly inappropriate for that use, with all of its battle-oriented class
> features.

Um, because Core doesn't present other options?
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 4:10:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>> The "Thor" bit was the important bit, not the "Hammer" bit.
>> It could have been "Hare of Eostre", "Toenail of
>> Pheidippides", or "Flaming Arsehole of Ra".

Nikolas Landauer <dacileva.flea@hotmail.com.tick> wrote:
> Those are poorly designed spell concepts, and not one spell like that
> exists in D&D core, for good reason. Other settings may not have been
> so circumspect, but that's just poor design. (As a note, Eberron,
> which has one of the loosest pantheons of any RPG with deities, and in
> fact has deities who are distant, uncaring, and apparently not the
> source of divine magic, *also* has no spells like that.)
>
> I think that's why people are claiming you're strawmanning, and asking
> you for concrete examples.

Bingo!
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 6:10:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> writes
>Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>> Okay, so 20-odd years ago, this kind of DM/PC tweaking did happen a fair
>> bit. That was when my setting notes barely filled an exercise book, and
>> there was only one map (on hex paper, no less!). Now there's more notes
>> than a filing cabinet will hold and a heck of a lot of maps, its more a
>> crafted playground than an amorphous work-in-progress these days.
>
>Ooh! Ooh! Online anywhere? Electronic files you could mail? I think
>it'd be fascinating to see.

I used to keep bits and pieces of it online, before I fell for ye olde
"take down website to re-do...oh look, I haven't got the time for that
re-do now" trap (if you hit the root of the URLs below, you'll see - a
homepage with lots of headings and very little content).

Anyway, I've uploaded a couple of JPEG maps. They're around the Mb
mark, so be warned if that's an issue. They're the main world map, and
an amalgamated group of submaps for a section of that.

http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/A01_Z16.jpg
http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/H01_Q07.jpg

If you want to drop me an email privately, I'll see what I can dig up
textually if you're still interested after seeing the cartography
slices.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 7:35:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

> Bradd wrote:
>
> Any such exploration should begin with questions like "Is this worth
> investigating?" and "Is the existing cleric class a viable starting
> point for this kind of priest?" Answering those questions requires
> argument, if only an internal dialogue. However, some fools just jump in
> without ever conducting even basic reality checks.
>

Is it Brad's way or the highway? You are some fool if you think that
there is one way to explore. Play need have no purpose other than being
play. As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's
all a game of pretend. Chill out already. The game is big enough for
everyone.

CH
Anonymous
March 29, 2005 10:47:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> If you're looking for a pacifist god, why start with the cleric? It's
>> wholly inappropriate for that use, with all of its battle-oriented class
>> features.

Ophidian wrote:
> Um, because Core doesn't present other options?

So start from the healer class in the MiniHB, or the preacher class on
my own website, or start from scratch (like I did with the preacher).
It's not that difficult, will produce something closer to what you want,
and is no more risky than a major overhaul to cleric spellcasting.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 1:00:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> Any such exploration should begin with questions like "Is this worth
>> investigating?" and "Is the existing cleric class a viable starting
>> point for this kind of priest?" Answering those questions requires
>> argument, if only an internal dialogue. However, some fools just jump in
>> without ever conducting even basic reality checks.

Clawhound wrote:
> Is it Brad's way or the highway? You are some fool if you think that
> there is one way to explore ....

There's more than one way to explore, but some are clearly better than
others, in my opinion. In particular, if you want to fiddle with
something, you'd better know why you're doing it, even if it's only to
practice fiddling. You should also be able to explain that goal to
others, if you want constructive input.

> As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's all a
> game of pretend ....

No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy game,
but the game design itself is not.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 1:00:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

> Bradd wrote:
>
>>>Any such exploration should begin with questions like "Is this worth
>>>investigating?" and "Is the existing cleric class a viable starting
>>>point for this kind of priest?" Answering those questions requires
>>>argument, if only an internal dialogue. However, some fools just jump in
>>>without ever conducting even basic reality checks.
>
>
> Clawhound wrote:
>
>>Is it Brad's way or the highway? You are some fool if you think that
>>there is one way to explore ....
>
>
> There's more than one way to explore, but some are clearly better than
> others, in my opinion. In particular, if you want to fiddle with
> something, you'd better know why you're doing it, even if it's only to
> practice fiddling. You should also be able to explain that goal to
> others, if you want constructive input.
>

He did explain himself well. I found his post quite interesting. He
quite purposefully left goals open ended, as he wanted innovative input.
Your input left him quite exhasperated and he quite rightly stood up to
you on these things. Is that what you wanted? Was that your goal? You
should know your own goals before responding to others.

>
>>As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's all a
>>game of pretend ....
>
>
> No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy game,
> but the game design itself is not.

The game isn't a fantasy game? Or is it not a game? What kind of games
do you play where the players don't mess with the rules?

People play games. People change rules. Some changes work. Some don't.
That's what happens. All is right with the world.

CH
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 3:24:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> writes
>>Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>> Okay, so 20-odd years ago, this kind of DM/PC tweaking did happen a fair
>>> bit. That was when my setting notes barely filled an exercise book, and
>>> there was only one map (on hex paper, no less!). Now there's more notes
>>> than a filing cabinet will hold and a heck of a lot of maps, its more a
>>> crafted playground than an amorphous work-in-progress these days.
>>
>>Ooh! Ooh! Online anywhere? Electronic files you could mail? I think
>>it'd be fascinating to see.
>
> I used to keep bits and pieces of it online, before I fell for ye olde
> "take down website to re-do...oh look, I haven't got the time for that
> re-do now" trap (if you hit the root of the URLs below, you'll see - a
> homepage with lots of headings and very little content).

Oh, I know *all* about that. I've got a couple of websites that need
work right now, one of which I've started on.

> Anyway, I've uploaded a couple of JPEG maps. They're around the Mb
> mark, so be warned if that's an issue. They're the main world map, and
> an amalgamated group of submaps for a section of that.
>
> http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/A01_Z16.jpg
> http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/H01_Q07.jpg

Nice maps.

Yes, I'm still envious of your CC skills. I haven't had the patience
(or time) to get that good with it.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "English is not a language. English is a
keith.davies@kjdavies.org bad habit shared between Norman invaders
keith.davies@gmail.com and Saxon barmaids!"
http://www.kjdavies.org/ -- Frog, IRC, 2005/01/13
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 3:29:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound wrote:
> Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>
> >
> >>As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's
all a
> >>game of pretend ....
> >
> >
> > No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy
game,
> > but the game design itself is not.
>
> The game isn't a fantasy game? Or is it not a game? What kind of
games
> do you play where the players don't mess with the rules?
>
> People play games. People change rules. Some changes work. Some
don't.
> That's what happens. All is right with the world.
>
> CH

"Monopoly"

<ducks>

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 3:32:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Bradd wrote:
> >> No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy
> >> game, but the game design itself is not.
>
> > The game isn't a fantasy game? Or is it not a game?
>
> What is so difficult to understand? "Fantasy game" does not mean
> "anything goes." Novels are also make-believe entertainment; despite
> that, novelists tend to take their craft seriously.
>
> > What kind of games do you play where the players don't mess with
the
> > rules?
>
> Bradd W. Szonye
> http://www.szonye.com/bradd

You know not of Cosmic Encounter? How unfortunate. Come with me my
apprentice to the wonderful world of rec.games.board.ce :) 

Gerald Katz
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 4:16:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound wrote:
>>> As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's all
>>> a game of pretend ....

Bradd wrote:
>> No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy
>> game, but the game design itself is not.

> The game isn't a fantasy game? Or is it not a game?

What is so difficult to understand? "Fantasy game" does not mean
"anything goes." Novels are also make-believe entertainment; despite
that, novelists tend to take their craft seriously.

> What kind of games do you play where the players don't mess with the
> rules?

Outside of RPGs, what games /do/ encourage the players to fiddle with
the rules? Some games, like Monopoly and Euchre, have a lot of house
rules, but those are just handed down from one player to another, with
little new game design.

> People play games. People change rules ....

In my experience, very few people change rules except by accident, even
in the unusually fiddle-friendly RPG category.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 5:27:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 20:15:01 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com>
wrote:

>Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>>> You call it a "hypothetical model"; I call it a "straw man." The game as
>>> written has a spell that can represent either a hammer of Thor or a
>>> sword of Michael. The game already handles your example just fine; you
>>> had to twist it to make your point. That's beating up a straw man.
>
>Ophidian wrote:
>> As written, even the most pacifistic deity should have a favored
>> weapon and some of the examples are downright silly.
>
>If you're looking for a pacifist god, why start with the cleric? It's
>wholly inappropriate for that use, with all of its battle-oriented class
>features.

Two words: Pacifist CRUSH!


Hong "only Sea Wasp will get this joke" Ooi
--
Hong Ooi | "COUNTERSRTIKE IS AN REAL-TIME
hong@zipworld.com.au | STRATEGY GAME!!!"
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~hong/dnd/ | -- RR
Sydney, Australia |
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 5:27:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> If you're looking for a pacifist god, why start with the cleric? It's
>> wholly inappropriate for that use, with all of its battle-oriented
>> class features.

Hong Ooi wrote:
> Two words: Pacifist CRUSH!

Hey, they don't count!

> Hong "only Sea Wasp will get this joke" Ooi

Thbbpt! Be kind to all creatures KICK!
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 5:27:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Hong Ooi wrote:

>
> Two words: Pacifist CRUSH!
>
>
> Hong "only Sea Wasp will get this joke" Ooi

"Father-Daughter Love and Beauty STRIKE!!!!!"

Now THERE was a Paladin!


--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 7:20:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> writes
>Ian R Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> I used to keep bits and pieces of it online, before I fell for ye olde
>> "take down website to re-do...oh look, I haven't got the time for that
>> re-do now" trap (if you hit the root of the URLs below, you'll see - a
>> homepage with lots of headings and very little content).
>
>Oh, I know *all* about that. I've got a couple of websites that need
>work right now, one of which I've started on.

Sometimes I think I need a good five years sitting on my arse being
unemployed to actually finish all the things I want to finish. Then
again, actually finishing something means I'd probably start revising
and expanding it. Maybe 20 years...

>> Anyway, I've uploaded a couple of JPEG maps. They're around the Mb
>> mark, so be warned if that's an issue. They're the main world map, and
>> an amalgamated group of submaps for a section of that.
>>
>> http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/A01_Z16.jpg
>> http://www.domicus.demon.co.uk/files/H01_Q07.jpg
>
>Nice maps.

Thanks :) 

>Yes, I'm still envious of your CC skills. I haven't had the patience
>(or time) to get that good with it.

You know, I say the same thing about maps some other folk knock out with
it. I mean, my excuse is having a highly concentrated period of CC-use
working for PF and otherwise working in GIS development. Some others
seem to just take to it like ducks to H2O - two weeks, and they're
kicking out works of art that I'd die for. I guess some people are just
natural born cartographers :|

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 12:41:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

> Clawhound wrote:
>
>>>>As for reality checks, we are talking about a fantasy game. It's all
>>>>a game of pretend ....
>
>
> Bradd wrote:
>
>>>No, we're talking about rule fiddling. The end result is a fantasy
>>>game, but the game design itself is not.
>
>
>>The game isn't a fantasy game? Or is it not a game?
>
>
> What is so difficult to understand? "Fantasy game" does not mean
> "anything goes." Novels are also make-believe entertainment; despite
> that, novelists tend to take their craft seriously.
>
>
>>What kind of games do you play where the players don't mess with the
>>rules?
>
>
> Outside of RPGs, what games /do/ encourage the players to fiddle with
> the rules? Some games, like Monopoly and Euchre, have a lot of house
> rules, but those are just handed down from one player to another, with
> little new game design.
>
>
>>People play games. People change rules ....
>
>
> In my experience, very few people change rules except by accident, even
> in the unusually fiddle-friendly RPG category.

My experience has been exactly the opposite. There's a large subsection
of the RPG genre who play games because they enjoy creating worlds,
genres, rules, and such. For them, and me, fiddling and designing *is*
the game more than actually playing it.

CH
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 12:49:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

This would be easy for a DM to implement, just let the water based
cleric use energy substitution (cold?) for every fire based spell.
Perhaps this could even be mandatory.

this would 1) give the water cleric some firepower and 2) keep life
simple and equitable (otherwise the air clerics might be short on
spells ...for example.

Most elemental based spells could be substituted in this way, with a
little descriptive text.

Rich
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 12:31:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:

>
>
> I didn't. Clearly, you utterly failed to understand my point in the
> original response. Once again, you chose a lousy example that supported
> your argument poorly, because it attacked a non-problem -- a straw man.

I see his problem with the cleric more as a campaign problem. Clerics,
as written, do not fit into his designed world. Compare this to Monte
Cook, who redesigned classes altogether for his Arcana
Unearthed/Expanded books. His redesign came from the same fundamental
problem: mechanically, the classes work, but to get the correct feel to
his campaign, he had to redesign the classes a great deal.

The way that magic and magic characters work greatly effects the tenor
and tone of a game. For him, clerics are a tone-breaker. They no longer
fit.

In most customizations of D20 that I see, the basic fighting rules and
skill rules remain mostly the same, but magic gets an overhaul.

CH
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 1:41:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound wrote:
> Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>>
>> I didn't. Clearly, you utterly failed to understand my point in the
>> original response. Once again, you chose a lousy example that supported
>> your argument poorly, because it attacked a non-problem -- a straw man.
>
> I see his problem with the cleric more as a campaign problem.

If you're speaking about me, then yes, it doesn't fit my campaign
for Clerics to be mainly martial or to have access to all Cleric spells.

> Clerics,
> as written, do not fit into his designed world. Compare this to Monte
> Cook, who redesigned classes altogether for his Arcana
> Unearthed/Expanded books. His redesign came from the same fundamental
> problem: mechanically, the classes work, but to get the correct feel to
> his campaign, he had to redesign the classes a great deal.

Agreed, the class works for the _game_, but not my implementation of
it. OTOH, even for the game I don't like Clerics having access to
all Cleric spells. I have implemented Cloistered Cleric (from UA)
as the default NPC Cleric but allowed Martial Cleric (from the PHB)
for special cases (War gods, etc.) and players who wnat them.
I've currently altered the spell system to UA's spontaneous
divine caster system which works for teh most part, but I'd like to
keep a Wizard style analog for Clerics also. That was my
original question. How to implement that, _not_ how to rewrite the
class or force feed people "sphere" lists. I'm not sure why the
thread got off track to the point where Bradd thinks we want a
total rewrite.

> The way that magic and magic characters work greatly effects the tenor
> and tone of a game. For him, clerics are a tone-breaker. They no longer
> fit.

Exactly.

> In most customizations of D20 that I see, the basic fighting rules and
> skill rules remain mostly the same, but magic gets an overhaul.

I don't see that done often, but I do see it toyed with ofte, esp,
spell point systems. I stopped toying with that when I realized
that core already is a spell points system <g>.
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 8:53:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> writes

>I see his problem with the cleric more as a campaign problem. Clerics,
>as written, do not fit into his designed world.

<Snip>

Exactly!

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 8:53:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:

> Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> writes
>
>> I see his problem with the cleric more as a campaign problem. Clerics,
>> as written, do not fit into his designed world.
>
>
> <Snip>
>
> Exactly!
>

Have you looked at any of Monte Cook's work, such as Arcana Expanded?
His totem warrior is a modular fighter based on the animal spirit
chosen. He made it modular so that DMs and players could make new
templates to fit their games. In fact, he rather enjoys seeing people
fiddle with his alternate player's handbook. He has no clerics in that
world, yet the game still works. There might be useful ideas there for
you. (And it's from one of the 3.0 designers. That's as legit as it gets.)

As I see it, you want to set a minimum BAB, HD, armor, weapons, and
skills for a cleric, then apply a more specific template over that based
on the deity.

Brad is accurate on one count: this is a martial game, and you must keep
that in mind when designing a class. Healing and fighting are no
brainers, but how is farming going to work with an adventure company?
Inherently, some clerics will work better as NPCs and others will be
more attractive to players in hostile situtations. Those who are not
combat oriented must supply something pretty terrific to overcome the
50% part of the game where there is fighting and he feels useless.

One thing that you do need with any cleric is a well developed
worldview. A character needs a clear sense of mission, and of
limitation. That can be harder than it looks.

CH
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 11:11:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> writes
>Ian R Malcomson wrote:
>
>> Clawhound <none@nowhere.com> writes
>>
>>> I see his problem with the cleric more as a campaign problem.
>>>Clerics, as written, do not fit into his designed world.
>> <Snip>
>> Exactly!
>>
>
>Have you looked at any of Monte Cook's work, such as Arcana Expanded?
>His totem warrior is a modular fighter based on the animal spirit
>chosen. He made it modular so that DMs and players could make new
>templates to fit their games. In fact, he rather enjoys seeing people
>fiddle with his alternate player's handbook. He has no clerics in that
>world, yet the game still works. There might be useful ideas there for
>you. (And it's from one of the 3.0 designers. That's as legit as it gets.)

I'm aware of it, and I've read Monte's website which gives some info on
it. Can you give a brief overview of how its modularity works? It might
be along the lines I'm looking for.

>As I see it, you want to set a minimum BAB, HD, armor, weapons, and
>skills for a cleric, then apply a more specific template over that
>based on the deity.

Exactly so. A core, bare-bones "cleric" which a player can identify as
being a cleric (as in "I want to play a cleric..."), that is then
"upgraded" (so to speak) by their choice of deity. I don't see the base
as being a viable class to play without the deity-specific bits, but I
do have half an idea of it being a viable NPC "general clergy" class
(IMO, the adept doesn't pass my world's test as being such a thing).

>Brad is accurate on one count: this is a martial game, and you must
>keep that in mind when designing a class.

Certainly. I wouldn't want a PC class to hamstring a player in terms of
the usual activities undertaken by a bunch of adventurers.

>Healing and fighting are no brainers, but how is farming going to work
>with an adventure company? Inherently, some clerics will work better as
>NPCs and others will be more attractive to players in hostile
>situtations.

>Those who are not combat oriented must supply something pretty terrific
>to overcome the 50% part of the game where there is fighting and he
>feels useless.

Exactly so. The usual deities chosen by player clerics reflect this.
This isn't to say I don't want "effectively ineffectual as PCs" clerics
in there (as you say, farming types and others), since their presence
rounds out the world. But they are inherently non-heroic, and my
campaign *play* is definitely of the heroic type. PC clerics therefore
should belong to one of the religions that espouses such heroism.

However, I don't believe in limiting PCs either, within the scope of the
world. As well as being heroic, my games also promote interaction of
types that don't involve swords. If a player wants a combat-weak,
socially-strong character, fair enough. My games are roughly 50%
fighting, 50% interaction, so such characters are not wholly sidelined.
Methods of setting CRs for such encounters also operate to broaden the
scope of things characters gain XP from, and make for a more interesting
game (IMO). Viz, I grew out of dungeon crawls a loooooong time ago.

Fortunately, no-one has ever wanted to play a farmer-cleric as yet, so
I've not had to fluff my way through working out a CR for harvest-time.

>One thing that you do need with any cleric is a well developed
>worldview. A character needs a clear sense of mission, and of
>limitation. That can be harder than it looks.

It's not an issue. The literary cogs of my world are pretty much all
there, having gradually been fashioned and put in place over time since
around 1978. Five years of 3E, without the same sort of time I had to
invest with 1st and 2nd Ed. in hammering the game into my world's shape,
hasn't been enough to get it house-ruled to a point I'm happy the two -
game and world - mesh. 3E works just fine - it just isn't quite that
right shape yet.

--
Ian R Malcomson
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 11:11:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ian R Malcomson wrote:


>
> I'm aware of it, and I've read Monte's website which gives some info on
> it. Can you give a brief overview of how its modularity works? It might
> be along the lines I'm looking for.
>

It works roughtly like the cleric idea works. You pick your Totem
Warrior type. The feats that you gain are directly related to the totem
that you pick, and are balanced for that totem. This seems exactly like
your cleric idea. The class represents a shell to a mechanism. A choice
by the PC defines the exact effects.

I think that you are on the right path. You certainly know what you
want, which is the most important part.

Here's how I would approach the problem:

- Define an "everyone" spell list. This is what you get for being a cleric.
- Define a series of domain spell lists. They may or may not match the
current domain spell lists. These are spells that fit a domain's
"theme." Some lists may be larger than others.
- Picking a cleric type gets you the basic spell list, the narrowed down
spell lists listed under your deity type, and maybe a freely chosen
spell list to give your character a bit of uniqueness. That should give
a wide variety of spells without being too wide, like the currrent
cleric. Maybe add forbidden spell lists to prevent gaming the system.
- Avoid "I win spells" like hold person, or ones that work better than
they should, like "spider climb" or "invisibilty." "I win" spells are no
fun for both the GM and the player. Spells that work too good, like
fireball, become cliched and are no-brainer, which is a sure sign of
too-good. Finally, some spells totally replace skills and need no rolls
to succeed, which is also not good for a game. (That's opinion, not a fact.)
- Make it clear that "cleric" are more like "special agents," rather
than rank-in-file priests.
- Offer perks at certain levels and avoid front loading. For instance,
at 4th level, clerics of Thor use warhammers at one die higher (d4
becomes d6, d6 to d8, etc). Clerics of Dionysos gain Rage while under
the influence of wine. Clerics of Agricultural Goddess can perform
ceremonies, and detect for miles what others can detect in feet. "If it
walks the earth, I can see it."
- Make sure that each has a viable social component. The people should
know the role of each cleric and need them to perform it, whether it be
blessing their crops, protecting their house from lighting, or resolving
an issue of law.

Making a spell list for each deity is lots of work. Making sub-spell
lists is still lots of work, but then you get a payoff when you start
associating sub-spell lists with your gods. Turning the whole thing into
a modular system has a good payoff in the long run. This also allows you
to make a simple change in one spell list, and that updates all the gods
who use that sub-spelllist.

CH
!