Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

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yell0w_lantern
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Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by yell0w_lantern » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:03 am

Picture it: Minnesota in the early 1970s and the characters in Mr. Arneson's game are talking to each other.

Fighting Man - "Well, I can fight but I can't use magic. I could be a samurai, barbarian, weapon master, knight or any other type of warrior."

Magic User - " I can't fight worth a darn but I can use magic better than anybody. I could be a necromancer, magician, conjuror, witch, elementalist or any other type of magic wielder."

Cleric - "I can fight a little bit and use some magic. I could be a priest or... a priest... um, or, um... maybe a priest. Y'know 'cause clerics are priests."

Fighting Man - "I don't think I get it."

Magic-User - "Yeah that's lame."

Cleric (crying) - "I'll tell my god on you!"

<several years of adventuring pass>

Party - "Hi, there. Who are you?"

Thief (looking around thiefily) - "I'm a thief!"

Party (guarding their money more closely) - "Um, okay. You just tell that to people, huh? What do you want?"

Thief - "I want to join the adventuring party, duh!"

Party - "Are you good at fighting?"

Thief - "Nope."

Party - "So you can cast spells then?"

Thief - "Uh-uh."

Party - "So what good are you? Aren't you just NPC material?"

Thief - "I can climb, check for traps, disarm traps, pick pockets, listen for noise and stab people in the back. Isn't that awesome!"

Party (fingering their weapons now) - "We've been doing that stuff for years."

Thief - "Ha! Not anymore though because we've got skills now, man! Soon, you guys won't be able to take a dump without rolling a d20 let alone search for traps or open locks. The future is specialization - niche markets, my friends! We'll have bards, illusionists, assassins, paladins, druids, rangers, and... well, you name it."

So I am looking at dialing it back to just three classes: Warrior, Wizard and Rogue. The Rogue could do some magic and some fighting but would rely mostly on luck.

I'm thinking hit dice, crits and attack progression as a cleric but only 1 spell known. Weapon selection and luck ability as per the thief.

Should I maybe ratchet down the hit die to d6 or substitute the halfling luck abilities (including luck charm)?

Oh, the player could decide whether the character would use divine magic and rules or the arcane magic and rules.

Galadrin
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by Galadrin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:26 pm

Why not just play the Thief as-is, and allow him a steady stream of scrolls to read? You could even allow him to burn luck on reading scrolls, making him a very competent magician (even without spell burn). Alternately, let him memorize one spell per day and cast with his Read Scroll die? There are a bunch of ways to do it without creating a whole new class.

bholmes4
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by bholmes4 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:02 pm

Please keep us updated as you progress with this as I am planning something similar.

I am considering removing the cleric as written and using the patron spells to simulate cultists. I want it left unclear if the gods even truly exist. Sure, supernatural patrons may offer you magical powers but are any of them actually gods? Anyway I could care less about the whole "Van Helsing" role for clerics but I worry about the potential lack of healing ability. I am not a fan of "second wind" type mechanics so I may have to grant healing spells through wizardly patron magic.

I want to change the thief as written as well. I love the luck die for thieves so I want to retain that mechanic but I am tired of their skill dominance and even the skill system itself.

viruswithshoes
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by viruswithshoes » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:39 am

This reminds me of the free Warrior, Rogue & Mage game. It's "classless" as the three major attributes are, naturally, Warrior, Rogue & Mage. How you divide your points among those three attributes defines your "class" as it were. Elegant system.

I almost adopted it but there is not enough "crunch" and it only uses D6s. For Shame! (Also the base game has firearms. :roll: )

GreyM
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by GreyM » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:01 pm

viruswithshoes wrote:This reminds me of the free Warrior, Rogue & Mage game. It's "classless" as the three major attributes are, naturally, Warrior, Rogue & Mage. How you divide your points among those three attributes defines your "class" as it were. Elegant system.

I almost adopted it but there is not enough "crunch" and it only uses D6s. For Shame! (Also the base game has firearms. :roll: )
I thought that WR&M used d4, d6 and d10 for each "class". If you wanted to be a warrior character, you put the d10 in the Warrior class, the d6 in the Rogue class and the d4 in the Mage class. If you went into battle, you used the d10 for resolutions. If you were trying to sneak around, you used the d6 and if you tried to read a scroll, you used the d4.

On the other hand, if you wanted to be a Mage, you put the d10 in the Mage class, the d6 in the Rogue, and the d4 in the Warrior class. You would then be able to cast spells using the d10, but were weak in combat.

I might be thinking about some other game though, but I am almost positive it was WR&M...maybe an early version of it?

GreyM
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by GreyM » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:15 pm

Had the itch to find out what I was thinking about....I went to WR&M's website and went back through the archives to July of 2010 where they still had one of the first versions (4 page). It used the same method as they do now.

So now, I'm wondering what I was thinking about it....and it dawned on me...Dungeon Squad --> http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/dungeon-squad

I was wrong on the dice though...it uses the d4, d8, and d12 :lol:

yell0w_lantern
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by yell0w_lantern » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:41 am

Galadrin wrote:Why not just play the Thief as-is, and allow him a steady stream of scrolls to read? You could even allow him to burn luck on reading scrolls, making him a very competent magician (even without spell burn). Alternately, let him memorize one spell per day and cast with his Read Scroll die? There are a bunch of ways to do it without creating a whole new class.
Because the Cleric and the Thief are departures from the combat/magic axis and force a character into a more specific profession. Ken St.Andre's gut reaction was correct: the cleric did not fit.

Anyway, I've also been thinking that the Rogue should have a spell level lmit of 3 or so.

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finarvyn
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:01 am

There's a thread or so on the Cleric in the Beta Archives somewhere. The discussion of whether or not a cleric fits in an "Appendix N" setting is a tricky one.
1. Not too many cleric examples in AppN literature.
2. Cleric one of the "big four" classes; there since '74.

Personally, I love the idea of moving the cleric to NPC status instead of PC. It makes Un-dead more scary. It makes healing more rare. In general, it makes the world a tougher place to adventure.
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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beermotor
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by beermotor » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:47 am

Warrior/Rogue/Mage is identical to UItima5, btw. It had "class" definitions/titles but basically boiled down to which of the three stats (Str/Dex/Int) was highest.

I kind of like the idea of removing clerics, and forcing magic-users into the healing role as necessary/appropriate. Some might be wizards, some might be herbalists/healers/doctors. Just like some fighters are Conan-types, some are knight-types, etc.

I think, though, if you address what "hit points" are and are not, you remove some of the issues with "healing." In my mind, a hit point is really more about stamina and endurance, your ability to dodge a blow and NOT get hit. Once you get hit, if you don't have armor, you're going to be taking wound(s). I mean, realistically, a guy whacks you with a sword really hard, and you're unarmored, he's going to take off a limb or at least cause a very serious, most likely fatal, bleeding wound.

Wearing some armor could absorb or block the blow. Maybe. Which was the whole reason people wore armor in the first place. Of course, there are other reasons to not wear armor (speed, weight, maneuverability).

jolt
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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by jolt » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:27 pm

Technically, the Cleric was introduced in 1975 in Supplement II: Blackmoor (along with the Monk). Later printings of OD&D included the Cleric in the base Men & Magic book.

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Re: Killing the Cleric (and a few others)

Post by jolt » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:32 pm

I take that back, my various printings have gotten mixed up and I looked at the wrong thing. I was never here...

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