The Cleric Handbook

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I. Introduction, Table of Contents, Overview of Clerics and Clerical Magic

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A carnivore & PhoenixInferno production

Introduction
Welcome to the Cleric Handbook! As you can tell, this is a work in progress, but we will be trying to fill it up as best as we can.

We would also ask that you not post questions about a particular Cleric build - we would like to limit discussion to how the handbook itself can be improved.


1: Introduction and Basic Overview of Clerics and Divine Magic
2: Strengths and Weaknesses
3: Role in a Party
4: Races
5: Domains and Alternate Class Features
6: Feats and Skills
7: Primary Divine Spell Caster
8: Secondary Divine Spell Caster
9: Equipment
10: Spells
11: Epic Levels
12: Additional Systems

1: Introduction and Basic Overview of Clerics and Divine Magic
When making an optimized cleric, many think of simply using Divine Metamagic and creating a combat MONSTER. However when you start at 1st level, the reality is quite different. Only in some builds does DMM affect levels earlier than 7th lvl. Generally, the party looks to the Cleric...not as a source of combat strength, but for healing, restoration, neutralizing poision, turning undead, etc... Thus we were thinking of what a party REALLY needs from a Cleric.

At first glance, the Cleric may seem a bit lackluster - a mere healing machine whose medicinal spells provide vital party support, but not much excitement. First impressions often prove false, however, and dismissing the Cleric as the character someone has to play is a big mistake. A well-constructed Cleric, played with fervor and understanding is not only an asset to the party, but an immensely satisfying character as well.

Divine magic that the Cleric wields is tied to his spiritual link to the power he has dedicated himself to, whether that be a specific deity, a pantheon of deities, or a philosophy. Always remember that you are a representative of your power at all times and are a servant to that power.
2: Strengths and Weaknesses

The cleric has a bit of everything -- decent combat skills, a wide range of spells, the ability to wear armor, and a few special powers. As such, clerics can play many roles in an adventuring group.

Cleric Strengths

When you chose a cleric, you gain access to the all-important healing spells, but the class offers other potent spells and some useful powers as well. Below are several assets you have going for you when you play a cleric.

Power over the Undead: A good cleric can drive off or destroy undead creatures, and an evil cleric can make them stop in their tracks, or even obey his orders. A neutral cleric gets to choose between these effects - but once that choice is made, he can't change his mind. [Thread=415717]Comprehensive Guide to Turning[/thread] is a good resource to improve your turning ability.

Good Fortitude and Will Saves: A cleric uses the best save progression in the game for Fortitude and Will saves (see Table 3-1 in the Player's Handbook). This natural mental and physical strength helps him resist most effects that fool his mind, assault his spirit, or attack his body -- including charms, compulsions, illusions, fear,polymorphing, poisons, and even disintegration. Furthermore, the high Wisdom score that a cleric needs for his spellcasting also gives his Will save a hefty boost. Few other classes can match a cleric's saving throw bonuses.

Good Spell Selection: The cleric spell list is packed with lifesaving spells such as slow poison, neutralize poison, remove disease, and the ever-popular cure spells. He also has access to potent attack spells such as spiritual weapon, searing light, and flame strike, as well as excellent defensive and utilitarian spells. Better yet, he has access to the whole clerical spell list, not just those that he can place in a spellbook or master for a personal spell list.

Spontaneous Spells: A cleric with a good alignment can spontaneously convert any spell he has prepared into a cure spell. This ability allows him to load up on flashier spells and then convert them to healing as his party needs it. Likewise, a cleric with an evil alignment can spontaneously convert any spell he has prepared into an inflict spell, so he always has a nasty surprise in store for his foes.

Domains: Your cleric can make two choices from a wide variety of clerical domains, each of which gives him a special ability and access to extra spells. Domains are a great tool for customizing your cleric.

Good Armor Class: A cleric has access to defensive spells that improve his Armor Class (such as shield of faith), as well as spells that can cause foes to miss him (such as entropic shield). Such spells combined with the fact that he can wear any kind of armor and use any kind of shield (except a tower shield) mean a cleric usually has quite an impressive Armor Class.

Good Hit Points: The cleric's 8-sided Hit Dice give him a fairly impressive hit point total.

Good Attack Bonus: A cleric's base attack bonus - +3 per four levels - is second only to that of the more martial classes, such as the fighter. So if your cleric decides to enter combat, he can make a pretty good showing.


Cleric Weaknesses
The cleric's many advantages come at a price. Here are a few of the disadvantages you should keep in mind if you're considering a cleric character.

Low Skill Points: At a mere two skill points per level, most clerics don't accumulate many skill ranks, even with quadruple skill points at 1st level.

Mediocre Weapon Selection: The cleric is proficient only with simple weapons. Most of the weapons in this category are fairly decent, but they're not the most deadly ones available.

Low Mobility: A cleric's reliance on heavy armor makes him a slow mover on the battlefield.

Poor Reflex Saving Throws: Clerics have the worst progression for Reflex saves in the game (see Table 3-1 in the Player's Handbook). Thus, they aren't so great at getting out of the way when things get rough.
3: Role in a Party


During the Early Levels: 1st- 6th
To stay alive, parties rely on Clerics casting Cure spells. In addition to other mundane spells for protection, the cleric usually does not cast very many direct damage Spells.

During the Mid Levels: 7th-15th
You're still healing, but starting to become a stronger combat force because of feats (Divine Metamagic, etc) and spells (Divine Power)

During the High Levels: 16th-20th+
Now you're a respectable tank with the ability to cast direct damage spells, buff your allies, and cast important spells like Restoration, Remove Curse, Dispel Magic, Greater Dispel, and Heal. At these levels, gamplay changes dramatically.

Great clerics usually use the following techniques. So if you're playing a cleric, try to build your strategy around these concepts.
  • Thinking Ahead
    As a cleric, you have to make many of your most important decisions before an adventure begins. Your daily spell preparation has a big effect on how you play your character and what your party can expect to accomplish on any given day. Thanks to the wide selection of spells available to you, you can function as a detective (by loading up on divination spells), a medic (by loading up on healing spells), a combatant (by loading up on spells that enhance your fighting abilities), a ranged attacker (by loading up on combat spells), or a force multiplier (by loading up on spells that make your allies stronger). At higher levels, you may have enough spells available to fill two or more of these roles simultaneously.

    When you choose spells, it pays to know what your party expects from you. You are among your party's most versatile members, and quite possibly the only one who can stand between a fellow party member and an untimely death. If your party expects you to play the role of combat medic and you're not prepared to do so, be sure to let the rest of the players know so that they can plan accordingly.

    In any case, plan to stay close to the action so that you can intervene with a spell or physical attack when necessary. You're fairly hardy compared with other characters, and your group can easily go down to defeat if you're timid when the going gets tough. On the other hand, your healing ability makes you invaluable to the others, so don't be the first one to rush into danger, or even into potential danger.


  • Your Friends are Your Best Weapons
    You can have a big impact on the game by working through others, so be prepared to lend your support whenever you can.


    • The Party's Main Fighter: Whoever has to stand in the front line and handle most of the fighting will look to you for healing and other kinds of cures from time to time. If you're stingy with your healing spells, the adventure could be over more quickly than you think. A single cure light wounds or cure moderate wounds spell can keep a fighting character going, ultimately dealing more damage to the enemy than any of your other spells can.


    • The Party's Scout: Stealthy characters such as rogues, rangers, and monks often get in over their heads, so plan to be part of the rescue party that moves in to save them. You're also the one who must piece the scout back together after a mishap involving a trap or some other unseen danger.


    • Other Spellcasters: You probably have more hit points and a better Armor Class than the other spellcasters in your group, so try to stay close to them so that you can protect them if a foe breaks through the front line.


    Whenever possible, try to coordinate your daily spell choices with the other spellcasters in your group. Your spell selection is almost certainly broader than theirs, so be ready to fill any gaps. Useful spells such as detect magic and water breathing are probably best provided by you, especially if you're a good cleric, since you can swap them out for healing spells if they're not needed.


  • Be Your Own Best Friend
    Your support functions make you useful to any group, but the game can become a drag if you always put others first. So don't let the other players push you around -- always insist on making decisions for yourself. Like any other character, you do need to put the group's survival first, but don't let the others dictate how you should do it.
4: Races and Patrons

Races
Humans
With their bonus feat and extra skill points, Humans make excellent Clerics.

Dwarves
The stereotypical Dwarf does well as a Cleric, not hindered by wearing heavy armor. Their CON bonus helps them fight their enemies in close quarters. Dwarven Clerics have substitution levels available to them.

Elves
While their CON penalty is generally frowned upon, their proficiency with Longbows and Composite Longbows, Elven Clerics usually take up the bow and rain death on the infidel.

Gnomes
Their CON bonus makes them has hardy as Dwarves, and their natural affinity for Illusion magic can serve to mask their small stature.

Half-Elf
Gifted with "people skills", Half-Elven Clerics might be found prostelyzing, seeking to convert others to his way of thinking.

Half-Orc
The Half-Orc's STR bonus tends to lead them to the worship of more martial deities - whether they be the savage gods of the Orcs, or a more civilized deity.

Halfling
Clerical magic can be used to aid the Halfling with their larcenous streak, or to protect their communities.

Raptoran (Races of the Wild)
Take to the skies! Natural flight is a tremendous advantage - you shed your heavy armor and gain 3D mobility.

Dragonborn (Races of the Dragon)
By devoting yourself to Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, you become reborn in a sturdy new body.

Patrons

Pelor
Ehlonna (Complete Divine) NG celerity/good/animal/plant/Sun
Lathander (Player's Guide to Faerun) NG good/nobility/protection/renewal/strength/Sun
Horus Re
Obad Hai
Amaunator (Lost Empires of Faerun) LN law/nobility/planning/sun/time
Pholtus (Complete Divine)LG good/inquisition/knowledge/law/Sun
Taiia (Deities & Demigods)N Air,earth,fire,water,sun,etc…….
Artemis (Deities & Demigods) NG celerity/good/animal/plant/Sun
Apollo (Deities & Demigods) CG good/healing/knowledge/magic/Sun
Frey (Deities & Demigods) NG air/good/plant/Sun
Odur (Deities & Demigods) CG chaos/fire/Sun
Ayailla (Book of Exalted Deeds)
EleBrin Liothiel (Races of the Wild) Elf CG, chaos/good/plant/sun
Naki-Uthai (Races of Stone)Goliath N earth/strength/sun
Syeret (Races of Destiny)Illumian CG chaos/sun/travel
Nilthina (Races of the Wild) Raptorian N air/animal/plant/sun
Dol Arrah(Eberron) LG Glory/Good/Law/Sun/War....Wpn: Halberd

heres a very nice link of FR Deity & Domain list...... thanks to Dielzen

FR Deity & Domain list
5: Domains and Alternate Class Features

Domains
Domains are used to represent a deity's specific interests in the world of mortals. They also provide useful abilities for their Clerics. Some domains' spells or abilities are very useful for optimization. The basic rules guiding the selection of domains are:

1) Gaining new abilities through your domain powers that aren't Cleric-level-related (like Pride or Luck).
2) Adding non-Cleric spells to your spells known (like Spell or Animal).
3) Granting feats that are worth something (like Planning or Undeath).
4) Adding Skills to Class Skill list (like Trickery or Kobold)
  • War - The War domain grants Martial Weapon Proficiency for those martial minded Clerics
  • Sun - The spells and unique power of the Sun domain give the Cleric an even greater advantage over the undead.
  • Trickery - For trickster gods, the Trickery domain gives their Clerics additional powers of stealth and deception.

  • Planning (Complete Warrior, Player's Guide to Faerun, Spell Compendium) - Gods who reward foresight provide the Planning domain to their Clerics, giving them Extend Spell and powerful magic (Haste, Time Stop). Note that the Planning domain published in the Player's Guide to Faerun is different from the ones published in Complete Warrior and the Spell Compendium.

  • Undeath - (Player's Guide to Faerun, Libris Mortis, Spell Compendium) Clerics fascinated with the undead turn to the Undeath domain to find ways to control (Extra Turning) and create (Create Undead) the objects of their obsession. Note that the Undeath domain published in the Player's Guide to Faerun is different from the ones published in Libris Mortis and the Spell Compendium.

  • Animal - Clerics interested in the natural world take up the Animal domain and are eventually able to become one with the animal world (Shapechange).
  • Time - Improved mastery of the past (Legend Lore), the future (Improved Initiative, and the transition between them (Time Stop) are granted to these Clerics.
  • Celerity (Complete Divine, Spell Compendium) - Motion in space (Haste) and motion through time (Time Stop) are yours to control.
  • Luck - Clerics with the Luck domain are masters of their own destiny, and can refuse the whim of chance.
  • Travel
  • Strength
  • Elf (Player's Guide to Faerun, Spell Compendium) - Gives the Cleric improved prowess with the bow.
  • Spell (PLayer's Guide to Faerun, Spell Compendium)- Blur the lines between Arcane and Divine magic (Anyspell, Greater Anyspell)
  • Shadow (Eberron Campaign Setting) - Gain mastery over the darkness (Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Evocation and Shades)
  • Pride (Spell Compendium) - Refuse to give in to your weakness! (reroll natural 1s on saves)
  • Destiny (Races of Destiny) - Gain access to an interesting and an otherwise unavailable spell list. (Warp Destiny, Choose Destiny)
  • Artifice (Eberron Campaign Setting) - Use your powers to create...stuff. (True Creation, +4 to Craft checks, +1 CL to Conjuration(Creation))
  • Kobold (WotC Web Enhancement) - Kurtulmak demands his Clerics be good at finding and disabling the traps his people are known for

Gnome + Illusion and Domain Spontaneity make for interesting lead-ins to Shadowcraft Mage.

Evil Domain+ Malign Spell is a neat little trick for boosting CL, but I think its not that great of a domain.
Transformation
Force has some nice spells

Glory has some nice things also

Kobold (web enhancement).....the Kobold domain. Combined with Trickery (or, perhaps there is one that gives Hide AND Move Silently) you can effectively replace the party Rogue.

Air domain ... not only gives extra types of Turning, it has some very effective tactical Combat spells

Fire has a lot of combat oriented spells and even a summoning spell


Madness has some nice Spells and the granted power really boosts the Spells you cast(quantity and Power)


Water is usually Under-rated ...but it has some excellent Combat Spells and give Elemental Turning






Domains that add class skills

Animal
Arborea
Baator
Celestia
City
Dragon
Envy
Gem Dragon
Herald
Knowledge
Pact
Plant
Sky
The Abyss
Trickery
Travel
Wealth

[size=5]Alternate Class Features[/size]
Some books have alternate class features for Clerics, in case you want something slightly different.

Races of Stone - Dwarven Cleric
  • 1st - Turn Undead -> Smite Giants, powered by CON instead of CHA.
  • 4th - 2nd level spell slot -> Martial Weapon Proficiency (Warhammer), +2 damage with Warhammers
  • 4th level spell slot -> +1 caster level to [Earth] spells and spells from the Earth domain
Planar Handbook
  • 4th - 3 effective Cleric levels for Turn Undead -> Planar Turning
  • 7th - both domains -> Planar domain
[size=3]Races of the Wild[/size] - Raptoran Cleric
  • 1st - Heavy Armor proficiency -> Air Mastery, bonuses to interacting with Air creatures, bonuses to bolstering Air creatures
  • 3rd - cast [Earth] spells -> summon more powerful [Air] creatures through Summon Monster
  • 7th - add limitations to your Planar Ally spell -> call more powerful Air Elementals
Races of the Dragon - Dragonblood Cleric
  • 1st - Turn Undead -> grant energy resistance in a 30ft burst
  • 5th - 3rd level spell slot -> expend a Turn Energy (from 1st level) use to create a wall of energy
  • 9th - 5th level spell slot -> expend a Turn Energy to gain energy healing.
[b]Dragon Magic[/b]
  • Heavy Armor proficiency -> natural armor and energy resistances
  • Turn Undead -> Rebuke Dragons
Complete Mage
  • Turn Undead -> Divine Counterspell (gain the ability to counterspell by channeling divine energies)
  • 1 domain -> Divine Magician (make up your own domain from the Abjuration, Divination, or Necromancy spells on the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list)
Dungeonscape
  • one Domain power -> spontaneously cast Lesser Restoration, Restoration, Greater Restoration
6: Feats and Skills

Feats
In no particular order, here are some feats that a Cleric might be interested in:

Mastery of Day and Night (Player's Guide to Eberron) Req: Knowledge(the Planes) 2 , Spellcraft 6, Maximize Spell, membership in manifest spellshapers
Spontaneously Maximize any Cure or Inflict spell you cast with NO spell level increase adjustment.

Light of Aurifar (Sandstorm) Req: Turn or Rebuke Undead, access to the Fire or Sun domain:
Undead turned also take 2d6 fire damage

Bane Magic (Heroes of Horror)
Damaging spells do extra 2d6 vs. specific creature types...with NO level increase....hmmm Undead bane and Evil Outsider Bane look very good to me.

Arctic Priest (Frostburn) Req: Cold or Winter domain:
Spontaneously cast: Control Weather, Create Food & Water, Endure Elements, Heroes' Feast, Hibernate, Protection from Energy, Resist Energy

Priest of the Waste (Sandstorm) Req: Access to one Fire, Summer, Sun, Travel, or Water domain
Spontaneously cast: Cloak of Shade, Control Weather, Create Food & Water, Endure Elements, Heroes' Feast, Hydrate, Protection from Energy, Protection from Dessication, Resist Energy

Judged by Aurifar (Sandstorm) Req: Aurifar Patron
+2 Sacred bonus to Concentration checks vs Thirst, +2 Sacred bonus to AC vs Undead affected by light, Cleric is an additional favored class

Sacred Healing (Complete Divine) Req: Heal 8, Turn Undead
Fast Healing 3 for 1+CHA rounds to all living creatures in a 60ft burst.

Augment Healing (Complete Divine) Req: Heal 4
Add +2 HP/spell level to every Conjuration [Healing] spell you cast

Divine Spell Power (Complete Divine) Req: Turn or Rebuke Undead, ability to cast 1st level Divine spells
Modify your caster level based on your turning check.

Domain Spontaneity (Complete Divine) Req: Turn or Rebuke Undead, domain access
Spend a turn attempt and spontaneously cast a spell from a domain

Elder Giant Magic (Secrets of Xen'drik) Req: Spellcraft 9, or Giant type
Increase casting time to gain +1 CL for each additional round spent casting the spell (max +3 CL)

Chosen of the Deathless (Magic of Eberron) Req: Aerenal Elf, Turn Undead
+2 to your Turn Check and Turn Damage, add +1 HP/spell level to every Conjuration [Healing] spell you cast

Initiate of Mystra (Player's Guide to Faerun)
The Faerunian goddess of magic grants to her most devout followers the ability to use their magic in anti-magic zones where all others could not.

Knowledge Devotion (Complete Champion)
Finally put those skill points to work! Use your Knowledge checks to gain combat bonuses against your opponents.

Holy Warrior (Complete Champion)
If you hold your War domain spells in reserve, you can gain +1 damage/level of the highest War domain spell you have currently prepared.

Touch of Healing (Complete Champion)
Heal all your allies up to half their HP! Never buy a Wand of Cure Light Wounds again!

Skills
Skills should never be overlooked since a large portion of time will be spent out of combat. The skills that a Cleric has can be quite powerful, even if simply used by themselves. The Diplomacy skill (Charisma Based) is very effective, and is a good match for the Cleric; who can be an effective party "face".

The Cleric is a Wisdom/Charisma driven character, so it is usually a good idea to maximize skills that use those attributes. Always remember to make the most out of skill synergies.

In particular, there are several skills that should always be considered:
  • Balance- if at all possible, take 5 ranks in this skill
  • Bluff - a good choice for a cleric with the Trickery Domain, but even if you don't have it, 5 ranks give you a synergy bonus to Diplomacy
  • Concentration - always take some ranks in this - 10+ is usually good
  • Diplomacy - great skill, always max this out if possible
  • Heal - great skill, can help your party stay alive in the early levels
  • Knowledge: - max out Religion, 5 ranks to get the synergy bonuses, and 1 rank in as many of the others as you can
  • Listen - great, works well with your high Wisdom
  • Search - always useful, even if you are only using the aid another action
  • Sense Motive - always get 5 ranks for the synergy
  • Spellcraft - as a spellcaster, you should max this out
  • Spot - see Listen
  • Use Magic Device - always get at least 1 rank, but as many as you can fit will work even better


Of particular interest is the Knowledge Skills:
from the SRD

Check: Answering a question within your field of study has a DC of 10 (for really easy questions), 15 (for basic questions), or 20 to 30 (for really tough questions).

In many cases, you can use this skill to identify monsters and their special powers or vulnerabilities. In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster’s HD. A successful check allows you to remember a bit of useful information about that monster. For every 5 points by which your check result exceeds the DC, you recall another piece of useful information.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Knowledge check doesn’t take an action—you simply know the answer or you don’t.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn’t let you know something that you never learned in the first place.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (arcana), you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering), you get a +2 bonus on Search checks made to find secret doors or hidden compartments.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (geography), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made to keep from getting lost or to avoid natural hazards.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), you get a +2 bonus on bardic knowledge checks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (local), you get a +2 bonus on Gather Information checks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nature), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made in aboveground natural environments (aquatic, desert, forest, hill, marsh, mountains, or plains).

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility and royalty), you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion), you get a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (the planes), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while on other planes.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), you get a +2 bonus on Survival checks made while underground.

If you have 5 or more ranks in Survival, you get a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) checks.


[size=5]Divine Metamagic[/size]
This series of feats has become crucial to the design of most Clerics by allowing you to bypass the normal restrictions on what spells you can apply metamagic feats to. Some of the more popular ones include:

Persistent - the 500-pound gorilla. By trading 7 turn attempts, you can Persist such useful spells as Divine Power, Righteous Might and Shapechange. This version of the feat alone has given DMs cause to ban Divine Metamagic in its entirety.
Quicken - a lesser evil, instead of having the spell's effect available all day, you can call on a spell's power at a moment's notice.
Reach - the Cleric spell list has many nice touch range spells, but not all Clerics are willing to wade into melee to deliver them.
Since this is the Character Optimization boards, this should go without saying, but you want to keep the number of lost caster levels as close to zero as possible.
[b]7: The Primary Divine Spellcaster[/b]
Sample Builds:
Combat Medic/Celestial Mystic
Human Cloistered Cleric 5/ Combat Medic 5/ Celestial Mystic 10

Feats:
Dodge
Combat Casting
Servant of Heavens
Sacred Vow
Vow of Abstinance
Extend Spell
Persistant Spell
Divine Metamagic(Persistent)

Unearthed Arcana: Cloistered Cleric
Book of Exalted Deeds: Servant of the Heavens, Sacred Vow, Vow of Abstinence, Celestial Mystic
Complete Divine: Divine Metamagic
Complete Arcane: Persistent Spell
Sunmaster/Church Inquisitor
Human Cleric 3/Church Inquisitor 2/Sunmaster 7/Divine Disciple 5/Church Inquisitor 3-5

Servant of the Fallen (Amaunator)

Lost Empires of Faerun: Sunmaster, Servant of the Fallen
Complete Divine: Church Inquisitor
Sovereign Speaker
Cleric 11/Sovereign Speaker 9

Worldly Focus

Faiths of Eberron: Worldly Focus, Sovereign Speaker
8: The Secondary Divine Spell Caster
The Secondary Divine caster has given up some spell power in order to get abilities he wouldn't normally have been able to acquire.

Sample Builds
Strifeleader/Black Flame Zealot

Human
Cleric of Cyric 3/Human Paragon 3/Strifeleader 10/Black Flame Zealot 4

Feats:
Iron Will
Weapon Focus (Longsword)
Spell Focus (Illusion)
EWP (Kukri)
Divine Spell Power
Greater Spell Focus (Illusion)
Domain Spontaneity (Trickery)
Ability Focus (Death Attack)

Faiths & Pantheons: Strifeleader
Complete Divine: Black Flame Zealot, Divine Spell Power, Domain Spontaneity
Unearthed Arcana: Human Paragon
Prestige Paladin/Fist of Raziel
Cleric 3/Church Inquisitor 4/Prestige Paladin 3/Fist of Raziel 10

Feats:
Power Attack
Mounted Combat
Servant of the Heavens
Divine Might
3 free feats

Unearthed Arcana: Prestige Paladin
Book of Exalted Deeds: Servant of the Heavens, Fist of Raziel
Complete Warrior: Divine Might
Complete Divine: Church Inquisitor
Eldritch Disciple/Knight of the Raven

Illumian (NaenKrau)
Warlock 1 / Cloistered Cleric of Lirr 4/Eldritch Disciple 8/Knight of the Raven 7

Feats:
(none required)
Knowledge Devotion

Why It's Cool - +16 BAB, cast as a 17th level Cleric, use invocations as a 9th level Warlock, Healing Blast, Eldritch Glaive

Complete Mage: Eldritch Disciple
Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Knight of the Raven
Races of Destiny: Illumian
Complete Divine: Lirr
Complete Champion: Knowledge Devotion
Dragon Magic: Eldritch Glaive
9. Equipment

A cleric's gear is nearly as important to him as his spells, so don't neglect it. Below are some essential pieces to pack.

Armor: Plan to buy the best armor you can afford, and carry a heavy shield as well -- you'll never regret having a formidable Armor Class. And don't overlook other defensive items you can wear, such as rings of protection and amulets of natural armor. Several lesser items whose benefits stack give you better protection, and at a cheaper price, than one big item.

If you do a lot of wilderness adventuring, consider some backup armor, such as a suit of studded leather (or a mithral chain shirt if you can afford it) to wear at night. If you try to sleep in heavy armor, you'll have penalties the next day. But if you sleep in your skivvies, you'll be in trouble if you're attacked during the night.

Melee Weapon: You're pretty good in combat, so be prepared to fight. A heavy mace or morningstar packs the most punch. Alternatively, if you have the War domain and the right deity, you can get access to a martial weapon, which may be much better than any of the simple ones.

Ranged Weapon: A light crossbow can prove as effective as a low-level attack spell against some opponents. Use it when the opposition isn't threatening enough to merit the use of your spells. You might also consider a heavy crossbow -- a deadly weapon, even though reloading it is a slow process. That reload time might not bother you too much, though, because you might find that casting a spell or entering melee is more worthwhile than taking a second shot.

Backup Spells: You never know when you'll run out of spells. Furthermore, you never know when you'll need a particular spell -- and need it very badly. So it pays to keep some spellcasting power in reserve via a collection of scrolls, wands, or both. Scrolls are a great way to carry along useful spells (such as remove blindness/deafness, dispel magic, or remove disease) that you might not use in every adventure. Best of all, if you have the Scribe Scroll feat, you can make scrolls yourself, though doing so uses up time, money, and experience points. Wands are useful for bread-and-butter spells that you use often, especially healing spells such as cure light wounds.

Important Equipment for any Cleric

Nightstick (Libris Mortis)
The Nightstick is a potent item that grants its owner additional turning attempts. It is typically used to fuel Divine Metamagic. It is unclear whether multiple Nightsticks grant multiple attempts.

Strand of Prayer Beads
Of particular note is the Bead of Karma that boosts your caster level. Its a powerful effect that is hard to duplicate.

Ankh of Ascension (Races of Faerun)
This gives +4 to your caster level for all numeric aspects related to Caster level when you cast a spell

Ring of Sustenance
This ring continually provides its wearer with life-sustaining nourishment. The ring also refreshes the body and mind, so that its wearer needs only sleep 2 hours per day to gain the benefit of 8 hours of sleep. The ring must be worn for a full week before it begins to work. If it is removed, the owner must wear it for another week to reattune it to himself.

Metamagic Rods
These awesome rods duplicate the effect of certain metamagic feats. There are additional rods in Complete Arcane.

Useful Equipment for Some Clerics

Monk's Belt
If for some reason you forgo the use of your heavy armor, you'll want to pick this up for WIS to AC.
10: Spells

[thread=343040]Szatany's Ultimate Spell List[/thread] has a very complete list of Divine Spells and in what book it was published.
1st Level
Blessed Aim (Spell Compendium)
Conviction (Spell Compendium)
Divine Favor
Foundation of Stone (Spell Compendium)
Inhibit (Spell Compendium)
Lantern Light (Spell Compendium)....1 Ray/2 CL...ranged touch, 1d6 damage, No Save/SR yes
Resurgance (Spell Compendium)
Sign (Miniatures Handbook) shows foes initiative results of all foes in your line of sight ...and gives you a 20 roll IIRC
Vigor, Lesser (Spell Compendium)
2nd Level
Aid
Align Weapon
Bull's Strength
Close Wounds (Spell Compendium) 1d4 +1/CL damage healed as an immediate action - can be Chained!
Dark Way (Spell Compendium)
Divine Insight (Spell Compendium)
Light of Mercuria (Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium)
Substitute Domain (Complete Champion) - need one of your deity's other domains for a while? Swap the spell lists!
Sun Bolt (Shining South) 2d6 damage, x2 vs undead, x3 vs undead damaged by sun
3rd Level
Aid, Mass
Align Weapon, Mass (Spell Compendium)
Blindsight (Spell Compendium)
Clutch of Orcus (Spell Compendium)
Conviction (Spell Compendium)
Darkfire (Spell Compendium)
Downdraft (Spell Compendium)
Divine Retaliation (Player's Handbook II) No Save/ No SR....make a force weapon attacks anyone who Hits you with a Melee attack each time you are hit(unlimited number of times/round),BAB= CL+(Str or Wis bonus), Damage = Dieties Fav weapon + 1.5x(Str or Wis bonus)Size = your Current size
Irians Light (Races of Eberron) 1-3 rays...ranged touch Healing or damage, no save / SR yes
Knight's Move (Spell Compendium)
Know Vulnerabilities (Spell Compendium)
Light of Venya (Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium) 3d6 vs undead, ranged healing (1d4+1/cl)
Mantle of Good/Evil/Law/Chaos (Spell Compendium)
Magic Vestment
Resurgance, Mass (Spell Compendium)
Sonorous Hum (Spell Compendium)
Spikes (Spell Compendium)
Vigor, Mass Lesser (Spell Compendium)
4th Level
Assay Spell Resistance (Spell Compendium)
Aura of the Sun (Lost Empires of Faerun) No save/ No SR,..10' Emanation, persistable.....1d6 positive energy damage to undead each round in area
Blindsight, Greater (Spell Compendium)
Celestial Brilliance (Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium) Duration..1DAY/CL, NO Save/ NO SR, 60' Rad undead(damaged by light) and Evil Outsiders..take 2d6/Round, other undead take 1d6/round
Consumptive Field (Spell Compendium)
Contingent Energy Resistance (Spell Compendium)
Delay Death (Spell Compendium)
Divine Power
Doomtide
Magic Weapon, Greater
Moon Bolt (Spell Compendium)
Panacea (Spell Compendium)
Resistance, Greater (Spell Compendium)
Revenance (Spell Compendium)
Shield of Faith, Mass
Spell Vulnerabilitiy
5th Level
Aura of Evasion (Spell Compendium)
Divine Agility (Spell Compendium)
Divine Retribution (Complete Champion)
Dragon Breath (Spell Compendium)
Light of Xymor (Dragons of Faerun)....object radiates light that is considered Daylight to creatures harmed by it..otherwise:same as daylight spell(also damages dragons and dragon type 2d6/round)
Revivify (Spell Compendium)
Righteous Might
Righteous Wrath of the Faithful (Spell Compendium)
Stone Shape, Greater (Spell Compendium)
Surge of Fortune (Complete Champion) - persistable!
Triadspell (Spell Compendium) Triplicate a spell you've prepared or 3rd level or lower - good to get lots of single-target buffs like Magic Vestment
6th Level
Crown Of Brilliance (Book of Exalted Deeds) 20' Rad Emanation, 1rnd/CL, undead take 1d6/rnd in area
Energy Immunity (Spell Compendium)
Fiery Vision (Shining South) ,Short ranged,2 rays/ round for 1 rnd/CL No Save/ SR yes,...FREE Action to target and fire rays, ranged touch attack,4d6 damage each
Heal
Resistance, Superior (Spell Compendium)
Sunscepter (Lost Empires of Faerun)personal,1 rnd/cl.....form a mace of light, does 2d6 damage as a melee touch attack, with Axiomatic, Disruption, and Flaming Burst attributes!!!!!!!....persistable (but if you put it down the spell is lost....so don't drop it!)
7th Level
Brilliant Blade (Spell Compendium)
Bestow Curse, Greater (Spell Compendium)
Consumptive Field, Greater (Spell Compendium)
Holy Star (Spell Compendium)
Holy Word/Blasphemy/Dictum/Word of Chaos
Spell Resistance, Mass (Spell Compendium)
Withering Palm (Spell Compendium)
8th Level
Antimagic Field
Brilliant Aura (Spell Compendium)
Death Ward, Mass (Spell Compendium)
Stormrage (Spell Compendium)
Visions of the Future (Player's Handbook II) 1hr/CL..+2 Sacred to all saves, +2 Dodge to AC
9th Level
Miracle
Visage of the Deity, Greater (Spell Compendium)


Sanctified Spells
Sanctified spells, introduced in the Book of Exalted Deeds and expanded upon in Champions of Valor, are spells that have powerful effects but require the caster to be devoted to the cause of Good. These spells are of particular use to Clerics because they can spontaneously cast them, just as Clerics can spontaneously cast Cure/Inflict spells.
XI. Epic Levels
Alternate Systems
Psionics
Incarnum
Vestiges & Binding
Shadow Magic
Truenaming

Martial Adepts
Tome of Battle has given melee combatants a breath of fresh air. It also introduced the Ruby Knight Vindicator - a 8/10 divine spellcaster and a full initiator levels. See here and here for more optimization ideas

Human Crusader 1/Cleric 4/Ruby Knight Vindicator 10/Church Inquisitor 5

Tome of Battle: Crusader, Ruby Knight Vindicator
Complete Divine: Church Inquisitor
Build Links:


PrC based Builds:
Looking forward to this. I'd like to make the request that you guys cover non-DMM clerics as well as the usual Divine Metamagic (Persistent) stuff, since many, many people don't play with DMM(Persist), either because it's banned or because it's just too broken.
I plan to devote an entire section on Divine Metamagic and of its potential uses. I would imagine most of the feat section would be dominated by it.
Oh, I figured there'd be a whole lot of DMM stuff in there; I'm just asking for the non-DMM clerics to get equal time. Hard to find cleric builds without DMM.
And, thus, Damien was brought to life...
Ok, so i'll start by adding my absolute favorite:

"Strand of Prayer Beads" from DMG

it costs 25800gp but when you remove the bead of smiting you pay 15800 gp less so a "bead of healing" plus the ever-powerful "bead of karma" costs you 9000gp.

1 word: unbeatable!

My suggestion is that every cleric (even paladins, druids, rangers, etc.) should get at leats 1 of these. Each one of these can boost your caster level by a whopping 4 levels! An 8th lvl cleric could get 3 of those and could for example cast greater magic weapon and magic vestment to get +5 armor and weapon for 20 hours. Dispelling these also is quite hard with a caster lvl check of 31. So basically all your long lasting buffs are going to be undispellable except for very high lvl casters...but then you'll have other problems ;)

just my 2cp...
Multiple beads of karma don't stack. Same effect from the same source.
They don't stack? I always thought unnamed bonuses (boni?) stack. And i really haven't found any name for the bonus they give.

from the d20 srd:
Bead of karma: Wearer casts his spells at +4 caster level. Effect lasts 10 minutes.

Each special bead can be used once per day, except for the bead of summons, which works only once and then becomes nonmagical. The beads of blessing, smiting, and wind walking function as spell trigger items; the beads of karma and summons can be activated by any character capable of casting divine spells. The owner need not hold or wear the strand of prayer beads in any specific location, as long as he carries it somewhere on his person.

I know it's extreme and most people i know just don't allow more than 1 (some don't allow these at all *g*) but i don't see any official limit.

If there is any, please enlighten me.
In most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession).

Underline is mine, but bold is not. I love not having to translate the SRD for reference...

k.
oh...*g*
well at least our gaming group can sleep a little better now that i know this ;)

haven'nt noticed that little part at all in the past , neither had any of my friends.

but thanks anyway for clarifiying.

(i still think prayer beads are awesome )

br marcus
oh...*g*
well at least our gaming group can sleep a little better now that i know this ;)

haven'nt noticed that little part at all in the past , neither had any of my friends.

but thanks anyway for clarifiying.

(i still think prayer beads are awesome )

br marcus

They are; they're ridiculously good. Same with the Divine Power spell. Sometimes I want to think that WotC didn't really *mean* for clerics to be as uber as they are, and then I realize, oh, wait.
The Karma bead just says it boosts your caster level... it doesn't say what kind of caster level. So technically, any caster can use it, as long as they can activate it (which can be done via Use Magic Device).

Erm... I guess that's off-topic, isn't it? :P
The Strand of Prayer Beads should cost 45,800 gp (i.e., 20,000 gp for the Bead of Karma). It's just one of those things that has never been included in errata (though it has made into Living Greyhawk). The cost of all the other various strand components are strictly additive (add up ther lesser and greater strands).
With so many domains out there, I would think domains would warrant a post of their own. You know, to explain their worth and which spells within them are especially worthy of note. Hopefully that will be part of the finished project, which I suspect will be an A+ production.

You know what, you probably know exactly what you're doing so you don't need someone's advice for the layout or content. I was just confused how you could fit the domain section and the feat section in the same post. But what do I know? Liberal use of the Spoiler: boxes, I would assume. Actually, posts can be pretty big normally...

Anyway, I look forward to the masterpiece. Tonight.
will continue to add stuff....

Links to Cleric builds will also be included...but will get to them later

:D
The advice to "carry a heavy shield" in part IX seems quite poor considering that a cleric wielding a weapon and using a heavy shield can't cast spells with a somatic component (and possibly can't turn undead, depending on your DM's interpretation of what "present your holy symbol" means). I usually go with a buckler so that it's absolutely clear that I have a hand free.
The Karma bead just says it boosts your caster level... it doesn't say what kind of caster level. So technically, any caster can use it, as long as they can activate it (which can be done via Use Magic Device).

A party loaded up with Karma Beads can benefit from the cleric providing Imbue With Spell Ability spells on his partymates (via items, PoPs, or traditional spell slots).

By the precise wording, anybody can now *cast* cleric spells to benefit from the Karma Bead. Which can be a nice boon to wizards, warmages, bards, etc.
The advice to "carry a heavy shield" in part IX seems quite poor considering that a cleric wielding a weapon and using a heavy shield can't cast spells with a somatic component (and possibly can't turn undead, depending on your DM's interpretation of what "present your holy symbol" means). I usually go with a buckler so that it's absolutely clear that I have a hand free.

Write in a rope holder that goes around your wrist for your weapon. You can drop it as you want and free up the hand.
Or simply bear your holy symbol on your armor or shield.
The advice to "carry a heavy shield" in part IX seems quite poor considering that a cleric wielding a weapon and using a heavy shield can't cast spells with a somatic component (and possibly can't turn undead, depending on your DM's interpretation of what "present your holy symbol" means). I usually go with a buckler so that it's absolutely clear that I have a hand free.

Hell, just get your holy symbol tattooed all over you. Palms of hands, biceps, eyelids, get it drawn on your heavy mace. That way you can present your holy symbol in stereotypical fashion by shoving your hand in the air...or by flexing...or by blinking...or by smashing somebody. Get it on your shield too...as a pattern of spikes...nothing like a good shield bash.
Get it on your shield too...as a pattern of spikes...nothing like a good shield bash.

I just had a sudden vision of a cleric who adds ink and goes around "tattooing" his enemies :P
More stuff
Or why not just buy a shield gauntlet from Races of stone so that you can still use your shield hand?

ps. Looking good so far, waiting for more to come!
Or simply bear your holy symbol on your armor or shield.

That's why I said "depending on your DM's interpretation". Since a "[wooden/silver] holy symbol" is a separate item in the equipment list, I'd rule that it's an actual thing you have to hold in your hand. YMMV. Nevertheless, you still can't cast somatic spells with weapon + heavy shield.
In the Race section, you should include the racial substution level overviews. This is especially important for Dwarven clerics who get Hammer Specialization in their 4th sub level.
great ideas....will continue to add things


:D
A Section with some Low Level Optimization would also be useful. For example, the following two level 1 clerics are fun

Race: Human
Cleric 1
Domains: Undeath, DeathBound
Feats: Fell Animate, Divine Metamagic:Fell Animate

At level one, you can control up to 6 HD of Zombies that you create. Very Fun

Race: Human
Cleric 1
Domains: Planning, *Undeath*
Feats: Persistent Spell, Divine Metamagic: Persistent Spell

At level one, you can persist the spell Blessed Aim, from Spell Compendium. Every Party Member within 50 ft. including yourself gets a +2 morale bonus to ranged attacks.
* If allowed in conjunction
You don't seem to have the travel domain listed. With auto-freedom of movement, as well as having teleport spells on the list (among others) it's a very strong domain choice.