Class Acts: Clerics
By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Abandoned Arts is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
This pdf includes two different archetypes of the cleric-class, the first being the miracle worker, which replaces the cleric’s channel energy ability with the option to cast miracle spells. At low levels, the miracle worker gets spells like pyrotechnics and heroism added to their spell-lists. The interesting options start at higher levels, though: Whenever a miracle worker casts spells with the [fire] and[light] or [air] or [sound]-descriptors, he/she can add specific spells as swift actions to the cast, provided they’ve been prepared. For example, when casting an[air]- or [sound]-spell of 3rd level or lower, they may cast guidance as a swift action, while casting a [fire] or[light]-descriptor-spell enables the miracle worker to add dancing lights to the cast. Higher level swift-casts get available as well, enabling e.g. Generally, I enjoy this idea, as economy of actions is rather important and powerful, balanced by the fact that the options to cast only include a very limited selection of spells which additionally have to be prepared in advance. Mechanically rather interesting, though I wish, the archetype would have a tad bit more versatility. Still, an interesting and flavourful choice.
The second archetype herein is the Voodoo Priest, who gets access to intimidate and bluff as class-skills, a limited selection of proficiencies and channel loa spirits instead of positive energy, which is rather interesting: The loa priest channels negative energy and living beings are healed nevertheless – due to gaining the negative energy affinity special quality. Which also, of course, means that they are damaged by positive energy. Worse, being healed by a loa-spirit saps vitality, imposing the fatigued condition on the healed and making gaining luck bonuses impossible. Instead of domains, the voodoo priest also gets two loa patrons, each of which is associated at least 2 different domains. Spontaneous casting is replaced by my favourite ability herein, “Ruinous Belief” lets the voodoo priest prepare up to wis-mod spells with metamagic spells and reduce the spell-level adjustment by -1. However, the spells prepared like this need to target enemies frightened, shaken, panicked or demoralized by the priest. Cool idea! The priest can also create voodoo poppets to create focuses for scrying, better inflict curses and harms etc. and even create juju zombies.
The voodoo priest archetype is just awesome – cool innovative abilities make this one work very well – however, I would have loved to see the archetype expanded even further, perhaps with more poppet-options or some unique curses.
Editing and formatting are very good, though I would have enjoyed the descriptors include their brackets. Layout adheres to a no-frills, 2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The two archetypes are mechanically interesting and especially the voodoo-priest is a rather cool option that makes for a deadly debuffer and unconventional tactical options. The archetypes are sound, sufficiently cool to be considered valid options and add something to one’s game. However, they also can both be considered rather weak for their benefits – some additional options would have made this pdf truly stand out. As written, I’ll settle for a solid verdict of 4 stars – well done!
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