Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Way of Peace: A Cleric Variant

Since I'm trying to keep to the "basic four" character classes, I'm also working on "variant" rules for each; basically, small changes in each class that can be taken to give them each their own twist, or even take on the characteristics of the sub-classes in AD&D. I've started with backgrounds and skills that can, for example, let a fighting-man take on the role of a ranger. Here are my rules for a non-combat oriented cleric:

The Way of Peace: A Cleric can choose to forego shields and metal armor and weapons (i.e. restricting themselves to leather and hide armor and clubs, staves, and slings) in return for increased magical ability. This option may be taken at any time, but once chosen cannot be reversed unless the Cleric falls into the Dark path. The Cleric undertaking the Way of Peace receives the following benefits:
  • Casts spells at one level higher than normal; i.e. a 1st level Cleric who follows the Way can cast one 1st level spell per day.
  • Receives his Wisdom modifier to his armor class in addition to his Dexterity modifier.
  • Can do 1d4 + Sm subdual damage with an unarmed strike, and does not cede initiative to an armed opponent when using an unarmed strike. (Dark Clerics who once followed the Way can do normal damage instead of subdual damage when fighting bare-handed.)
"The Way of Peace" may not be the best name for this variant, since it also gives the cleric some martial arts ability--perhaps "Mystic" would be the better name.

Next up, a shaman variant.

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