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Gaider on clerics and divine magic

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Vault Dweller, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Tags: BioWare; David Gaider

    Well, it's a slow day, but then again, I always prefer these kinda news to reviews written by some morons at GameSomething. Since it's likely that <b>David Gaider</b>'s ideas would be reflected in <b>Dragon Age</b>, you might as well get an <a href=http://forums.bioware.com//viewpost.html?topic=363334&post=2989417&forum=84&highlight=> early warning</a>:
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    <blockquote>I find the D&D cleric kind of strange, myself, and it's put some funny notions in the minds of gamers.
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    For instance, why are religious spellcasters the only source of healing? I could see that if their god was one of mercy or healing specifically, but for most of our own history most major religions were renown for anything but mercy or healing.
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    I mean, not saying that this is what we do in DA, but if you were to give a generic "divine" magic to clerics so that they were able to do what they do better, we'd be talking about spells of charisma, mass influence and showy miracles, no?
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    I like the idea of clerics having magic to suit their individual god, but that does of course presume the existance of a pantheon.
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    At the very least, since religion exists as such a large part of any medieval-esque society, those that serve said religion should both reflect that power and have abilities that service the dogma and nature of that religion. Meaning they (and the religion) should exist in the context of the world and its history first and their place in an adventuring party second. But that's all I'm going to say about that.</blockquote>Tying clerics' powers and abilities to their deities and religions is definitely a good idea. Discuss!
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  2. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    Then it's a good thing that to a alarge degree D&D has accomplished this. In fact, 2nd edition this very well with clerical spheres which are much better than domains of 3rd edition.
     
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  3. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    Except the spheres were about 100 times less balanced than domains are, and domains are pretty unbalanced.

    Though I agree to a certain degree. If we removed domain special abilities and let every cleric cast spells from all his deity's domains without access to regular cleric spells, clerics would differ a lot more from each other. Of course, not all deities have an equal number of domains - but that could be compensated.
     
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  4. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    1. Balance? Per shaw. Sure, some domains are more pwoerful; but big whoopity do dah. to me, balance is something to stirve for if it makes sense. Some spheres/domains are more pwoerful than others as they should be. It's like the whining that 'bards are weaker than mages'. I say good. Since when should should a traveling enterianer be as powerful as a full fledge mage? R00fles!

    2. Not all dieties are created equal. A greater god should give their priests more power than lesser god. It only makes sense.
     
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  5. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    This is good. I totally agree with Gaider on this. I've never quite understood why so many fantasy settings associate the power of healing to any generic priest from any generic religion, regardless of whether the religion he followed were reknown for their healing abilities or not.

    It's entirely understandable for certain druids to possess the power of healing, in essence with the renewal of nature, but I never understood why a Priest of Helm would get those sorts of healing abilities considering that a Priest of Helm's main goals are to seek out injustice and return order to the world, just like a Priest of Torm is supposed to 'rid evil', or whatever he perceives as such.

    I wonder if some Christian will take offense to what Gaider said.
     
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  6. DamnElfGirl Liturgist

    DamnElfGirl
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    Heck, when we're talking single-player RPGs, I'd like to see mages be able to heal. In many real-world societies, both monks and secular scholars were very interested in anatomy and healing. Why not just stick it to D&D and give mage characters the opportunity to learn healing spells?
     
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  7. Psilon Erudite

    Psilon
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    Elder Scrolls games did this. Most of the "cleric" types were simply mages who specialized in Restoration magic and a big hammer. There was nothing stopping your mage/thief/swordsman from casting healing and fortification spells.

    That said, it didn't make too much sense that every temple had full services. I can understand Dibella, Goddess of Reasonably Priced Affection (among other things), offering disease cures... but Julianos and Stendarr?
     
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  8. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    ^The above post displays complete and utter ignorance of the principles behind D&D 3(.5)E and the d20 system.

    The entire system is based on the premise of balance. No, bards aren't as powerful as mages. Duh. But that's why they get 3 times as many skill points, 25 class skills, a larger hit die, armor and shield proficiency, better weapon proficiencies, and the bardic music ability.

    In the same way, clerics of a lesser deity might have access to only two or three domains, as opposed to five or six that greater deities may grant. In game terms, this means that lesser clerics would be greatly hindered - like rogues without sneak attacks or fighter without bonus feats. Thus, something must be given to balance out the lack of spell power.

    Since I know that you are well-versed in 3E rules, I can only presume you are trolling, as usual. It appears as if I took the bait, so please keep trolling.
     
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  9. MrBrown Liturgist

    MrBrown
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    I guess back in the 'old' days, classes and such were designed mostly from a game mechanical point of view where each class had it's specific purpose in the party. Today gamers seem to want more realism and consistency in world design, which leads to the problem Gaider talks about.

    I agree with him, btw. Dunno why this is news, though. :P
     
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  10. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Please. Spheres and domains suck(ed). Fast fixes to make clerics somewhat different. I'm talking about something else, and hopefully Gaider does too: power and abilities corresponding to power and abilities of deities served. Would be cool if you could pick a minor deity to serve, get some minor powers, and help your deity to grow in power (destroy a rival temple in some minor town, and establish your own, etc), and as your deity powers grow, so do those He grants you.

    Edit: I'm talking about different and deity-specific spells and powahz obviously, not different sets of the same stuff.
     
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  11. mr. lamat Liturgist

    mr. lamat
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    why? if you want to worship some pussy of a diety, you deserve what you get. it makes sense that your power has a chance to grow exponentially in the time of your service and how successful that is... but being given more goods from the start cuz your gawd still sits at the kid's table makes no sense.

    gaider makes more sense than you.
     
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  12. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    The idea that BECAUSE your deity is weaker, you have to work harder and be more self-reliant (i.e. have more non-magical abilities) than a cleric of a deity who force-feeds his cleric created food and water, mends his shoes, and smites his enemies for him doesn't make any sense to you?

    Fine. Remain dumb.
     
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  13. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    VD: Different dieties do exactly that. They gave ya access to different weapons (instea dof the boring, old fashion bludgeoin types), differnt powers, different responsibilities, etc., etc. In D&D - espicially 2E - priests of varying gods could be widely different. Some play more like fighters; others play more like mages, etc., etc.

    Sammael: The only one whining and trolling is you. Then again you are a known liar who claims that Arcanum sucked so really your opinion is full of holes. Please stopc rying because someone doesn't follow your whiny ways.

    And, if you honestly think 3E classes are balanced you better read those books for the 80th time 'cause it is not balanced. Period.

    Then your claiming that lesser gods' priests should have equal power to a greater god's priests is just so ludicrous it's plainly laughable. A joke really. Utterly pathetic with no basis in the D&D Diety cosmology where some gods are just factually more powerful than others. LMAO

    Yet you dare call Lamat dumb? R00fles!
     
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  14. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    Let's make an example. I'll keep it simple, for simple trolls like Volourn.

    Cleric 1 worships the major god of justice, war, and smiting evil (e.g. Tyr). This god offers Good, Knowledge, Law, Retribution, and War.

    Cleric 2 worships a minor tribal god of survival and hunt that grants access to Animal and Plant domains.

    Cleric 1 doesn't have to do anything by himself. His deity's spells allow him to boost himself and his companions for battle (War), protect people from evil and chaos (Good, Law), directly ask his deity for answers to difficult questions (Knowledge), and smite people (Retribution).

    Cleric 2 has minor powers over plants and animals. That's it. Because of this, he has to either depend on others for everything or develop his own abilities that do not rely on magic. Thus, he becomes a better combatant in natural surroundings, learns how to track foes, how to be sneaky and ambush prey, and, finally, how to protect his tribe by creating traps around his village. Sound familiar? Yes, it's the ranger. Because he isn't as good with the spells, he fights better, has more skills, and many more special abilities than the cleric.
     
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  15. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    Yes, I expect you know all the gods' stats by heart. How many months in advance did you preorder Deities and Demigods?

    For an extremely simple example of why you are wrong, read my previous post.
     
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  16. mr. lamat Liturgist

    mr. lamat
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    actually, the followers of diety b would sit around getting shmooked on ayahuasca and reading chicken bones. their knowledge of local plantlife and geography would excel the priests of other dieties, but beyond that? shamans were revered by their societies and rarely hunted for their own food and typically lived in smaller, almost hovel-like homes. they learned and recited the stories and histories of a tribe.

    none of those skills make them more effective in any capacity, save the use of flora.

    does it make for an interesting character to roleplay? very much so.

    does the shaman have a much harder road ahead if he does leave his/her village? even more so.

    you're placing effectiveness in combat and it's balance at the cost of story.
     
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  17. Gully Dwarf Novice

    Gully Dwarf
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    Some "Christians" may be a bit touchy about stupidity like this, particularly those that know even a little about religious history, but personally I think he's just an idiot who spouted off on something he knew little about. Plus, Christianity wasn't directly mentioned (although David better thank some merciless Christian next time he has to go to the hospital, considering Christianity had a lot to do with the creation of hospitals. Why do you think a lot of them are named after Catholic saints?). So he better hope some Talaban doesn't read these forums. :D
     
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  18. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    Sammael is still trolling? Sad, really. Come back when you actually know what you are talking about.

    P.S. Sad that had to be said consieirng that Sammael is a big D&D geek. Perhaps even bigger than me.

    I cry for him. :cry: :cry: :cry:
     
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  19. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    Catholic priests did not go around in full plate wielding heavy maces, curing wounds and turning undead during the Middle Ages, so I don't see how using a historical example makes your point more valid. D&D isn't based on history, but on mythology.
     
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  20. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Exactly. Clerics=Fighter/Mage, spheres and domains tweaked that mix a little bit without really adding anything new.
     
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  21. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    A Methodist hospital charged me $13,000 for the removal of my gullbladder while I was in the U.S. This can hardly be considered charity. It should also be considered that while some priests were working in the first hospitals (certainly commendable), others were burning witches at the stake, waging crusades on the unbelievers, pillaging cities, collecting tithes, and fathering dozens of children with whores.
     
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  22. mr. lamat Liturgist

    mr. lamat
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    the knights hospitilar did actually run around in plate mail, swinging all manner of weaponry. fully ordained catholic priests to boot. not to mention hospitlar is were the word hospital is derived from and there was also a fair amount of mysticism involved in the pre-battle rituals of crusaders.

    i'm saying it has to fit the setting. tree-swinging shaman ninjas doesn't fit. it's assigning character attributes because of a rulebook, not mythology or the practice of beliefs. it defines you character as combat-centric and devalues the use of knowledge and skills in a roleplaying capacity. it's not a historical example either, it's a societal one, the role they played in their society and the skills they needed to excel in that function.

    do i want a shaman who gets +8 to staff fighting because there were lots of sticks lying around the forrest? gawd no. that's pathetic

    do i want a shaman who can take any six plants and make the most mind-altering brew for himself or for others to share? yes, because how i use that really minor and underpowered skill could have more of an affect on the gameworld than a semi-thermonuclear spell of demonslaying.
     
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  23. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    The example has merit. But now we have a shaman who can divine the future (drug-induced visions), create powerful brews, and deal with plants and animals. Coupled with decent Charisma-based skills (shamans were worshiped as much as their gods, after all), we now have a class that has a whole lot more going on for it than before. The shaman is weaker in combat, but has more diverse abilities. That's fine (as I mentioned a few posts ago).

    However, you can't dismiss the "defender of forest" priest stereotype (which I didn't refer to as shaman, if nomenclature bothers you) because it doesn't fit historical societal concepts. And knights hospitaler, aside from being awfully rare, still did not cast spells or turn undead as D&D clerics do. The spell-less battlepriest archetype fits the paladin class better than the cleric.
     
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  24. Gully Dwarf Novice

    Gully Dwarf
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    I was referring to history in general, not the problems of the modern medical system. As for the Inquisition and other human atrocities, it bears little on what I said and could, in fact, start a whole discussion inappropriate to this thread. If you wish to discuss these things, I'll be happy to oblige. Let me know, and I'll give you my email.
     
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  25. mr. lamat Liturgist

    mr. lamat
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    your previous ideas on the issue sucked and i'll dismiss lame concepts as i see fit.

    the 'defender of the forrest' stereotype of a shaman/priest will get his or her ass handed to them on a regular basis and rightfully so. it lacks the adaptation necessary to survival, which is very much a part of nature itself. primative tribes don't hold out against modern war machines (modern related to the time period) and the onslaught of 'civilization'. they run and they hide. they adapt to the world as it changes, enough to survive or into full assimilation. those are the only choices they have on the issue. anything else makes for a poetic last stand but it also brings on your own genocide.

    you wanted a shadowstalking, trap-laying badass mo'fo of a shaman for the reasons of balance. i wanted one that made sense and fit his or her background. notice how my shaman is so much cooler in the end?

    as for the hospitalar and magic... twenty priest chanting to their god for divine favour may not have the fancy light show of d&d, but to the serf jaque shitshoveler from rural france, that was magic. i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that's where the early concepts of clerics in d&d probably originated from as well.
     
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