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PnP ad&d clerics: how to play them well?

Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 93
So, some friends of mine and I just started a pnp game and one of my buddies is new to it and decided to play a cleric. I'm wondering about good spells and tactics for such a character. The characters are 3rd level and the cleric is having less fun, it's less effective, and is earning far less xp than the rest of the group. I just want my friend to have a good time.


  • OneAngryMushroomOneAngryMushroom Member Posts: 564
    edited May 2014
    Some Questions first.
    What edition?
    How is he currently playing the cleric?
    How is he having less fun?
    Ineffective how? In combat, outside of combat, as a utility?
    How are you awarding EXP?
    How does your friend like to play normally?

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 93
    He usually plays rogues, but its ad&d dark sun so this is one of the other characters in his tree. He's used to being a damage dealer but takes support roles in stride. He doesn't want to just heal. He wants to be helpful in combat and out, but right now he's a bandage box and that's really it. Bless is useful, and sanctuary helps him, but he's not sure what else to do. He's getting far less xp due to ad&d bonus xp rules (ranger kills well and saves us in the desert often. party thief/psionicist does... Well, alot). The trouble is he's a fire priest. Their spells are limited but I figured some good cosmos sphere spells would help. And ad&d cleric info/experience would help. He's having less fun because he feels useless and goes down a lot (metal armor in dark sun is bad for you so he's in hide).

  • OneAngryMushroomOneAngryMushroom Member Posts: 564
    Not to familiar with dark sun, but I can give you some general advise.
    To avoid him just being Mr. Bandaid you can give out more healing potions of various levels, any player can use them and its often a great tension builder if the players only have 1 healing potion left and has to choose how and who to use it on in the middle of battle.
    As a prepared caster his usefulness is in well preparing but also in how creative and inventive he is with is spells. One of my best plays in DnD is when I cast Destroy Water on a hoard of oozes and killed them all in one fell swoop.
    I'll give some basic tips on how to play a class if someone is new or has never used it before. General stuff, but stuff that will help him think outside the box.
    As for the EXP problem, I have never used the official rules for exp. Unless a character solos an encounter I'll award the party as a whole EXP. I also reward those who really held up the party during a battle even if they didn't get any kills, like Mr. Bandaid clerics. I give out massive exp bonuses if someone creates a really clever solution to a problem.
    Like in my pathfinder game that I'm running right now. I had the party go up against a Sanguineous Drinker. Its blood spray ability had incapacitated everyone in the party save the 2nd level cleric. He used a dagger to cut into the Drinker and then cast Purify Food/Water on its blood, Killing it instantly. (Nightmare fuel if you think about it too much). I sat there stunned for a few moments and gave him a bounus 150exp for the inventive kill.
    As a DM I've learned that you need to know the players well to make sure that they all have fun, and when planning out the dungeons and encounters to always make sure that any player can be useful in it. Thats what makes DMing so danged hard, and so danged rewarding too.

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 93
    Dark sun armor/heat penalties only apply to metal, so hide is the best base armor. So, the dm has already hinted that clerics are great against undead, that being said, I'm not the dm so most of the suggestions I can't apply. The dm is also very by the book, so changing how xp is handled won't likely happen. Clerics still get xp per spell cast, but it's just less overall than other players bonus xp.

    It probably wouldn't have been as bad if he hadn't gone down in the introductory encounter... The on deaths door rules state that he then loses all prepared spells and had to rest one whole day before healing and new spell prep can take place. He loves fire characters so a fire priest seemed perfect, but flame blade is an awful spell unless you're fighting trolls (near non-existent on Athas) and other fire spells for clerics are just plain not good. He's basically stuck in his secondary cosmos sphere.

  • Ploughed_JesterPloughed_Jester Member Posts: 93
    Appreciate the help folks. Keep the hits coming! The shield thing was taken into consideration as was using ranged weaponry. Fire priests have weird weapon limitations... I.e. anything on fire is ok. Anything not on fire results in no xp for combat. He's got an obsidian morning star and a short bow. We're going to buy him some flaming arrows and get some grease soaked rags to wrap the morning star in. He's also picking up a buckler. Not the best shield but he won't have the swap issues since he's got a bow. Fire clerics have it rough. He's also required to have a source of flame to prep spells. One thing that can be said for ad&d is that it isn't always fair...

  • AlmateriaAlmateria Member Posts: 257
    Make him pray before every meal for that sweet roleplaying XP.

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