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Actually, I don't hate them, I just mildly dislike them, but you don't get any comments if you simply state you mildly dislike something. :-) From a mechanical perspective, their lack of DPS tends to drag out combats (which is already a problem in 4e).
However, my bigger problem with them is from an RP perspective. Since at least 2nd edition, pacifist clerics get some sort of penalty when they directly cause damage. The idea, I assume, is that injuring another creature is physically or morally repugnant to them or they have made some sort of vow to their god. Interestingly enough, at least with the people with whom I've played, this has never actually translated into the way they play their characters (Granted, my data sample is two characters played by different people).
I mean, the pacifist clerics I've seen have never had any problem with the typical adventurer activity of heading into a dungeon, killing whatever is there and taking their stuff. They have never suggested disabling opponents rather than killing them. Generally speaking (though obviously there are exceptions), it doesn't seem that a pacifist cleric would be particular good fit as an adventurer.
So, is my experience atypical? Are there people out there who play pacifist clerics who give more than lip service to their vows? Am I misinterpreting how being a pacifist cleric impacts RP?
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