Ah, ok, I’m with you now. Not sure I agree, but that’s mostly because I don’t see the ‘Catholic’/Vampirehunter spell list the original cleric started with as being necessarily ‘sacred’, but I can see why in general many would.
That being said, there is a core of spells on the cleric list that I never drop, so maybe they are more sacred than I want to admit…
Cool, thanks! Yeah, I like the idea of a low/no magic (at least for humans) setting where the ‘supernaturals’ are really supernatural. Would be a very different take on D&D!
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I meet few people who are really interested in playing clerics, especially not in the B/X or 1E days. It wasn’t until Specialty Priests started giving them some color that I saw players more willing to try them out. And when I played/ran 3.X, I knew players that, as you said, knew how potent the class was and still thought they ‘sucked’. Even munchkins wouldn’t play them because of the perceived ‘heal bot’ status (even if it wasn’t true). So that’s a thing to consider as well.
My sense is that what you should do with the “elf” divine list is to pick out spells that are appropriate to the concept of elves, and keep that a constant. They are spells/powers that elves get for being elves. This should probably be something like the shaman list. From there, classes can buy more spells with the apostasy proficiency to represent specialized training. I think customizing the list by class gets away from the notion that they are “elf powers”.
I do like the concept, and the way you’ve implemented it otherwise, though
I think I’m a bit too attached to my vision of D&D to give Elves a monopoly on the cleric’s role (there is enough incentive to go elf already), but I would definitely be in favor of a divine-casting elf class to add to the game. I would lean more toward the shaman-type spell-casting to fit with the elf’s connection to nature, but I could also see a “high elf” type class with more cleric-type spells.
Divine elf concepts that I’ve had:
Arcane-priest: It is way too easy to make a wonder-worker-like elf with all the spellcasting but none of the huge ability requirements. I am reluctant, however, since this seems munchkin as hell. Maybe give only a smidge of arcane casting (elf 1 or 2) to give a taste of the elves arcane without going overboard?
Elf-Shaman: Basically the shaman with elf 0, and a few trade-offs and options to fit elves better. Might change the totem animal to something else.
3.5 ranger: Shoe-horn in some minor divine casting into an elven ranger/explorer-type class. I think you’d have to go elf 0, hd 1, fighter 1(thief), thief 1, divine 1. Not very powerful and requiring lots of trade-offs to get everything right, but essentially a sneaky-ranged-fighter-hunter with some nature-y abilities, and the smallest bit of shaman-magic.
I think that would very much depend on the nature of the divine in your setting and how elves are connected to it. If they are the first (or only) priests of the divines, and there are a multitude of divine forces, then I see the spell lists being different as no different than clerics of different gods currently having different lists. Now, if the world were monotheistic, then fair enough, there should be little deviation from a core set.
Remember, the Nobirin attribute requirements are purely a flavor limitation. You could build Nob-0 classes that were identical to human classes (with a few advantages) but still need the 11 in all stats. Attribute requirements (for races anyway) aren’t a direct part of the class creation mechanic as Alex has revealed it so far. From what has been said so far, I don’t think it has anything to do with how powerful divine magic is.
I see no reason the vanilla elf can’t have a version of the Wonderworker.
Elf-Shaman also good, though I’d leave in the shape-shifting personally. I think it totally fits.
The Elven Ranger with Divine magic would work quite well: Fighter 2, HD 1, Divine 1 (if you aren’t using divine elves). Trade down to leather (2), no melee damage bonus (1), broad weapons (1). Then either drop a couple of their abilities or have them show up at later levels and give them 5 spells per spell level and viola! Elven 3x ranger. Well, bow ranger anyway.
I think the solution is to introduce Divine Repertoire and to change repertoire the divine caster must be in good standing with his divine overlord (must petition trough prayer and sacrifices), divine elves (and druid) probably should commune with nature (the green) to change their repertoire
Got to read this thread again, and I can mention now that I’ve been playing a character who is basically a wonderworker in the Dark Sun campaign I’m in (a half-elf cleric/mage; end result is Arcane 4 Divine 2 no other points).
First level was rough. As a fire cleric I got to use any one-handed weapon made of obsidian and that gave me spear proficiency to stab from the back lines with. Without that, most combat encounters would have involved me standing around doing nothing, because with an AC of 1 and 4 HP it’s not worth going into melee to try to do a d4 damage at 10+ attack throw (and the spell I knew was Burning Hands, which is very difficult to line up properly. I need to get some fire-immune frontliners.)
As levels gained, though, the power starts rolling in. At level 6, I can cast 3rd-level arcane spells and 4th-level cleric spells, and there is a great deal of power to be had in my spell list. In addition, 12 total spells per day, most of which can completely change an encounter, is a lot.
My evaluation of the wonderworker overall is that it has the mage’s power curve, but amplified; that is, even weaker at low levels and even stronger at high levels. (Interesting side note, casting Growth on one of the party fighters is usually even more devastating than a 6d6+6 fireball [I’m a fire cleric, of course I have Elementalism]. It surprised the other players when I first cast it on one of them instead of just fireballing the thing.) Whether or not they’re overpowered largely depends on the levels the campaign wants to focus on and how much the Judge wants to punish them at low levels. I think at max level, they are definitely one of the most powerful (possibly the most powerful) classes, but they have a long journey to get there.
It does beg the question, does the extra power compensate for the weakness early on? I mean that is the old school paradigm. And WW do take a lot longer to level than even a straight mage so there is that… Do you feel like you earned it?
Not really (to the feeling of earning), but we’re playing a fast advancement type campaign to get to the domain game.
We didn’t want to just start at 9th level because it’s our first ACKS game and one of the things I found great and pointed out was that the game eases you into all of the domain rules with similar smaller rules as you gain levels. But the Judge is intentionally giving us extra treasure for faster advancement (although the plan is for that to stop soon, or might have stopped already). So this goes back to the campaign style thing I mentioned; I think they’re probably overpowered in a campaign that focuses on mid to high levels (which ours does), probably underpowered on one that focuses primarily on low levels, and probably balanced in one that focuses on the entire spread at a more standard advancement rate.