Cleric's Weapon Selection

So, what are everyone’s thoughts on tweaking weapon lists to fit the deity in question. Say you have Lawrence, God of Chivalry - So his clerics would be given access to Swords, Maces, Hammers, and lances and they get the Weapon & Shield and Two-Handed Fighting Styles. Then you might also have The God of the Questing Hunt whose followers are naturists and hunters by nature, so they end up being limited to leather armor or studded leather but gain access to bows, spears, and axes as their preferred weapons.

Given that most weapons deal 1d6 damage, I think the biggest possible issue is the frequency of magic items the cleric can use coming up.

Just curious what everyone else thinks on this notion in ACKS.

I’m all for it. Clerics in my campaign are specifically crusading knights who wield swords, lances, etc. If you don’t have it already, get the Companion and use the class creation rules to mod your clerics.

NECRO’ed (partially because my last new thread arrived late, was invisible, then disappeared mysteriously)

I think that clerics of different specific gods should have the potential of being VERY different. Pantheons can be very diverse and having a cleric of Ares, a cleric of Hades, and a cleric of Dionysus having the same training and powers seems odd.

Something I find more significant than weapon proficiency, however are spell lists. Do you often tweak or restrict a cleric PC’s spell list? It seems like this would strongly encourage certain god choices over others. Furthermore, if pushed to an extreme, specialty clerics might start having to compete with other classes for their roles (which can be bad no matter which side “wins”, especially since there were specific design choices made in ACKS to keep fighters competitive when compared to casters in later levels).

I think we’re finally starting to see a shift in the community’s class design philosophy from “being within the class-building rules is necessary and sufficient for balance” to “being within the class-building rules is a good start, but we need to consider things in the context of the whole class ecosystem,” particularly with regards to divine casters.

I’m wondering if we should have a new class for every flavor of cleric or if there should instead be a super-class cleric which has various options for advancement depending on specific deity choice (think the acks barbarian, the acks shaman totems, the acks witch, or the 3.x cleric domain selection). Basically we have a bare-bones cleric that has a significant chunk of powers (such as weapon types and a portion of the spell list) decided by a deity-choice template. It wouldn’t completely obliviate the need for specialty-cleric classes like the blade-dancer, but it might help model the difference between fire-deity worshipers, city-deity worshipers, and harvest-god worshipers without re-inventing the wheel each time.

I like the idea of tweaking spell lists and weapon choices to fit the gods in question. To me it really helps develop the feel of the campaign world.

I also think that while it is cool and fun to come up with specialty priests, we can also fit the broad classes to our needs well too. Take the standard cleric, tweak weapon selection, adjust spell list, assign rituals or requirements to meet the demands of the deity and you are good to go. Have a god of peace whose followers wouldn’t wear heavy armor? Use the priest class from the companion or optionally limit them to chain or even leather armor and give them a bonus to saves and armor class to show they are wrapped in divine protection because of their beliefs (basically reducing armor from all to narrow and gaining 2 custom powers spent in that specific way for the deity). Its a simple change that can be noted in the cleric/priesthood notation for a deity with no need for any additional class write-up. I love doing this sort of thing.

I’m actually working on writing up the major pantheons for my own homebrew at the moment. Hope to have the first small batch this weekend. When I’m done I will happily share them with everyone if you like. They will definitely be on my group’s blog too.


Our Group’s Blog:

Yeah, my thought was to drop 2-3 spells from the cleric list at each spell level, and have those slots be filled on a per-deity basis, much like 3.x domains. Could do the same with Turning; make it not the default, and give other cleric flavors two appropriate proficiencies in its place. For example, my assassin-priests of the death god traded turning for Ambushing and Explorer Hiding, and swapped cleric fighting value (full armor, restricted weapons) for thief fighting with restricted armor and broad weapons.