Monday, May 5, 2014

ACKS: Variant Clerics

The other day Beedo was talking on the ACKS forum about cleric variants.  This is a topic which is relevant to my interests, but Beedo and I didn't quite agree on what was desirable in a variant cleric.  While most of mine have been modified primarily in weapons, armor, and proficiencies with small tweaks to the spell lists, Beedo was looking mainly for spell list rebuilds with small or no variation in the cleric core, and he was curious why few divine classes of this form exist in the ACKS blogosphere.  I believe that this is because the divine spell list for ACKS, even with the Player's Companion, is remains confined to two main themes: the traditional sunlight-healing-fire Old Testament cleric list (including most Priestess and Bladedancer exclusive spells), and the more woodsy spells brought in for the Shaman and Witch.  The reason we're not seeing significantly different divine spell lists is that divine spells outside of those areas don't exist.

...  yet.

(Also, because balancing divine spell lists is a tricky and sometimes contentious thing)

So!  If I were to build some cleric variants, complete with heavy spell list modification, what would I build?  My players have shown some affection for knowledge-focused deities (Thoth, Volgrim, Odin?), which is unsurprising given that most of my players are engineers of some sort.  Thor is a perennial favorite of gamers, and also offers a nice selection of well-known miracles to provide as spells (really the problem with custom spell lists is the high-level stuff; low-level clerics are liable to look somewhat similar across faiths, but it's the mid-high level Insect Plagues and Snakes to Sticks and Flame Strikes and whatnot that get a bit dubious).  He's also reasonably close to the default cleric thematically, though.  My father tends to strongly favor travel clerics whenever such an option is available (Ffarlaghn, Yaris, Hermes?).  I for one would also like to see a deity of death and chaos or two, for use as opposition.

...  and there I just lost half an hour reading wikipedia on the Greek pantheon, narrowing down to Hephaestus, the Kabeiroi, and Kothar-wa-Kasis.  Spells another night.

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