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Clerics: Cloth, Light, Medium, or Heavy Armor?

VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
edited October 2015 in Off-Topic
As title states, which armor type do you think fits the Cleric in general? In the Warcraft setting and Final Fantasy games the Priest/White Mage wears robes and is much like a Wizard in that regard. In 2e and 3e Clerics wear heavy armor but in Pathfinder and 5e they use medium armor (though there are ways to gain heavy armor such as through feats or domain choices).

Clerics: Cloth, Light, Medium, or Heavy Armor? 39 votes

Cloth (Robes)
10%
KamigoroshibrusdunbarSwerveDaddy 4 votes
Light Armor (Leather, Padded Armor, Chain Shirt, etc.)
5%
SethDavistypo_tilly 2 votes
Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
30%
DeeDemivrgvsBelgarathMTHFlashburnYupImMadBroDJKajuruSouthpawNonnahswriterTheElfjackjackNimranthejando 12 votes
Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
53%
GemHoundelminsterEnialusMeliamneTuthLadyRhianLosgornSCARY_WIZARDJuliusBorisoviKrivetkoMichailTeflonFinneousPJthe_spyderFardragonmeaglothAmmarYamchawubblesemiticgodSkatan 21 votes
dunbarlolienJuliusBorisovTeflon

Comments

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,472
    Cloth (Robes)
    This is an interesting one. I've voted for cloth on the basis that priests etc. are often referred to as "Men of the Cloth" (plus of course there's the Friar Tuck stereotype). On the other hand there were the Crusaders, nominally fighting to defend The Faith. So there is also an argument for a militant order or branch of the clergy. So my second vote would be for heavy armour.

  • LosgornLosgorn Member Posts: 5
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Selected heavy armour, but I believe it should be more based around the cleric diety.

    I wouldn't feel right with my cleric of Tempus wading into battle in robes. But I support the idea that gods of healing such as illmater would probably wear robes and priests of mask would more than likely wear leather.

    deltagoTeflon
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,323
    Cloth (Robes)
    Let's see... if I were a priest/cleric, my first choice would be clothes. Probably a toga or pallium, if the temperatures allow it. They're almost as comfortable as bathrobes after all. And thus easily make the best casual wear for day-to-day activities. Surely wouldn't want to get encumbered in a tin suit while strolling through the market. :p

    That being said, it ultimately comes down on the deity itself. Encountering a cleric of Eldath in Full Plate would be as unlikely as witnessing clerics of the Red Knight bashing heads on the battlefield while wearing nothing but a toga. AD&D differentiated between the various specialty priest of deities quite nicely with various arms and armor limitations in that regard.

    Of course, the location is also a factor which should be taken into account: clerics of Umberlee who wear heavy armor are more likely to drown than a colleague who wears light armor after all. Yup, I'm a fan of realism in games.

    Vallmyrlolienjackjack
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,039
    Tl; dr versio so far: It depends on your faith and the god that you worship.

    Vallmyr
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    A cleric would not wear armor at all while standing around in town or in a temple. When they go out questing, though, they would be much more likely to wear reasonable armor as a precaution: you may have faith in your deity, but that doesn't mean you should be stupid about it.

    Reasonable armor would probably be medium armor, sufficient to provide ample protection without restricting your movement. Really, any adventure who is thinking clearly should probably not wear more than medium armor; it's lighter and more comfortable to sleep in, and unless you're preparing for a specific battle, it's better to travel light.

    VallmyrelminsterlolienBelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,453
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    Going by tradition, medium armor for clerics is the longest-standing rpg tradition.

    In the Might and Magic series, one of the first computerized rpg's, we have clerics restricted to leather or medium armor. Of course, mages can wear leather in that franchise, which breaks tradition.

    In Baldur's Gate, when you face an enemy party, the different classes are easily identified by their weapons and armor. The mage will be in robes, the (higher level) fighters will be in plate, and the cleric will have medium armor, a blunt one-handed weapon, and a shield.

    I'm kind of glad the trend over time is to get away from some of these kinds of traditions, though, in order to give players more freedom to create the character they want. In Pillars of Eternity, for example, everyone can wear heavy armor, including mages (which was a cause of some complaints). It's up to the player to choose to restrict armor types or weapon types if they desire to do so.

    JuliusBorisov
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    When I think of clerics, I tend to think of the earlier crusade knights, who wore chainmail under their tunics bearing the cross. But in the case of Forgotten Realms clerics, it absolutely depends on the faith. Helm priests will strut around in full platemail, while Ilmater priests will usually wear cloth.

    BelgarathMTHelminsterJuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,982
    edited October 2015
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    It would entirely depend on what kind of cleric it is (the diety of the cleric). In the context of adventuring parties I think it would be either medium or heavy (and I chose heavy to balance things out vote wise) :)

    (if you look through Faith's and Avatars the clerics of different gods have all of their adventuring garbs discussed)

    JuliusBorisov
  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Plate because powergaming, duh.

    loliendeltagosemiticgod
  • NihilusNihilus Member Posts: 192
    I'll say either cloth or heavy armor. Light armor is for rogues, while medium armor is for low-tier fighters. Clerics should be either meek healers (hence wear cloth) or holy warriors not unlike paladins (hence wear heavy armor).

    iKrivetko
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    The original archetype (not to say that it still remains today, just saying the original concept) was Warrior Priests in full armor with HUGE maces. Being a child of Advanced and 2E, that is what I think of when I consider the class.

    After all, if you were going into battle (for whatever reason) and actually could wear heavy metal and weren't precluded from same due to the mechanics of your profession, WOULDN'T you wear the heaviest protection available? People be wielding Swords at your skull and crap. Armor up is what I say.

    BelgarathMTHJuliusBorisovTeflon
  • TheElfTheElf Member Posts: 798
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    Medium feels right to me, as heavy would make casting really tiring. Depends on the type though, as was said. I can see a Talassan or Helmite wading into battle like a fighter. Nerdy question, but maybe someone here knows, I always kind of wondered if there was a lore explanation for why clerics can cast in full plate while mages needed robes. Are their spells just supposed to be far less intricate?

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    There are actually a lot of different reasons (?).

    The one that I have heard bandied about most often is that Arcane magics do not play well with Iron. There's actually quite a bit of lore on the topic, particularly how "Magical beings" are often times slain only by cold iron. In any event, the mythology is that the more iron on or about your person, the more it interferes with your Arcane spells.

    Another is that Iron and Armor represent technology but Magic represents, well.. magic. The two are not supposed to intertwine. This is by far not the most popular mythology, but it is one that i've heard more than once.

    Divine magics are less 'intricate' and more just having the correct mind set and saying the appropriate chants. Therefore they would be easier to perform in full armor.

    And then there's balance issues (always assuming that you don't believe that balance is a unicorn). Since mages have more offensive spells than Clerics, they are made more squishy so as to be pretty much glass cannons. At least that was one theory as to how mages were originally thought of in 1E and 2E. 3E kind of brings up other issues.

    TheElfJuliusBorisov
  • NihilusNihilus Member Posts: 192
    I don't think the iron theory holds up; mages cannot wear leather armor either.

    semiticgod
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Nihilus said:

    I don't think the iron theory holds up; mages cannot wear leather armor either.

    So even leather has metal components, rivets and the like. But as for it "holding up", we aren't talking about 'Fact' here but mythology as spell casters on the order of what we see in game are not real.

    I was merely presenting what some have claimed as the 'reason'. If you want to take it to the next level, it is at least in part the iron, but also the restrictive nature of armor versus the gestures and complicated contortions needed to generate the magic. And the counter point of view is "Why not simply not wear sleeves"? It is endless, but then again it is make-believe so...

  • iKrivetkoiKrivetko Member Posts: 934
    edited October 2015
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    I believe it has to do with divine spells having less complicated somatic components.

    semiticgod
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,383
    Well, it would appear most people enjoy having their Clerics in heavier armors. I guess I should specify that in if it were up to me then each deity would have a different preference for the armor of their followers but I guess this is more for "generic cleric/priest" of a game.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Light Armor (Leather, Padded Armor, Chain Shirt, etc.)
    Don't want to get weighed down in the water! ^_^

    Kamigoroshi
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,955
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    I answered thinking about DnD, and chose heavy. But now that I re-read your question, I guess you mean more overall and not just based on DnD. In that case I would probably have chosen either none or medium.. I'm unsure. I like the idea of both clerics being "men of the cloth" as well as, being the tanks of a party.

    If not being restricted to DnD, and opening the possibility of having paladins as the divine damage dealers, I would actually prefer to have clerics more caster-oriented rather than tanky. But if that's not an option, and if I look more on DnD, then I like clerics to be the tanks with the best buffs and AC, but hitting seldom but doing huge damage per hit. Smiting their foes with the aid of their deity rather than by the strenght of their arm.

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    It depends on the cleric...remember that "cleric" is a generic title covering many types of people devoted to religion.

    Some might be peaceful non-violent robe wearing healer types, but others might be war clerics who don armour and go into battle (which is one of the many reasons I'm moving away from class-based systems like D&D and more towards things like Warhammer FRP or GURPS).

    D&D-wise: I would expect a cleric of Tempus (like Branwen, for example) to look, dress, and act, differently to a cleric of Lathander.

    semiticgod
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Vallmyr said:

    Well, it would appear most people enjoy having their Clerics in heavier armors.

    Except where this one is concerned.

    image

    VallmyrJuliusBorisovsemiticgodNonnahswriter
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,206
    edited November 2015
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    I chose medium, but this picture proves that the coolest clerics wear light armor:
    image

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    Medium Armor (Chainmail, Breastplate, Scale Mail, etc.)
    Scale and/or chain, usually.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    edited November 2015
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Squire said:

    (which is one of the many reasons I'm moving away from class-based systems like D&D and more towards things like Warhammer FRP or GURPS).

    My personal preference is to lean the opposite direction.

    "For me" I think that classes are professions and not in a small way. I personally envisage that learning spells, be they arcane or divine, is analogous to learning to speak a dead language like a native. In other words, years or decades in the making. I'm not a big fan of "Just anyone" being able to pick up spell casting as I think that cheapens the accomplishment of a true Wizard. The same goes with a monk's devotion or even learning a martial skill. Even learning to hide in shadows well enough to fool most normals takes years of practice, not simply 'A weekend annex'. And classes like Sorcerer are part of your DNA and need to be there from the beginning or not at all.

    In the same way that anyone can pick up a sword, not everyone can become proficient with them. Allowing for people to 'Dip into' any class or profession with little or no preparation just feels counter-intuitive (again) "To Me personally".

    BelgarathMTHDJKajuruJuliusBorisovAmmar
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,084
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Full plate. Because I don't want my healer getting murdalized by some kobold with a scorpion on a stick.

    JuliusBorisov
  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,429
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    Depends on the faith, role, environment.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)

    Full plate. Because I don't want my healer getting murdalized by some kobold with a scorpion on a stick.

    "Full plate and packing STEEL."

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,084
    Heavy (Full Plate, Half-Plate, Splint mail, etc.)
    To clarify my point:
    image
    Very old picture of a kobold, which I remember from the first D&D book I got.

    Skatan
  • HerrderGezeitenHerrderGezeiten Member Posts: 139
    edited November 2015
    Poor Clerics I would have multiple cloths at last.
    Bathrobe, nightdress, official attire, 1-2 normal clothes and most likely if needed, the best fight equip I can get /use/buy.

    I think my deity want me alive, a shield with the symbol of my deity looks nice too.

    Even as Cleric of Ilmater I would like some heavier protection. ( most likely cheap or donations )
    I don`t have to hit but alive you can heal for your deity.

    typo_tilly
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