This will be my last blog about clerics for awhile, so let’s end on a broad question that doesn’t require too much set-up: What does the iconic D&D cleric look like?
A lot of people would say that a cleric is an armor-wearing mace-wielder who can heal allies, cast divine spells, and, of course, turn undead. This was true for many editions, and I’ve seen many clerics that fit this archetype.
Things changed in 2nd Edition with the introduction of the priest. It then became possible to choose a robe-wearing holy person who was less concerned about wearing armor and swinging a mace than with calling down holy fire on the foes of his or her deity. This style of holy character fills a somewhat similar role as the armored cleric, but trades melee for whiz-bang divine abilities.
The priest opened up the archetype to a much wider interpretation of what it meant to be a cleric. Is the concept of the cleric wide enough to include both, or should the iconic cleric focus on just one of these archetypes. If the latter is the case, which archetype?
What does the iconic D&D cleric look like?Option 1: The cleric is an armor-wearing mace-wielder who can heal allies, cast divine spells, and turn undead.
Option 2: The cleric is a robe-wearing “prophet” who focuses on divine spells, has special deity-granted powers, can heal, and can potentially turn undead.
Option 3: The cleric concept is wide enough to encompass both choice one and choice two.
Option 4: We’re talking about two classes here: a cleric and a priest. Do them both!
Option 5: None of the above.