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Cleric Theory (2018)

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2018
Primary Name
Cleric Theory
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PDF version
Publisher: Dancing Lights Press
Year: 2018
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
Product Code: RWR 1008
86 pages
Size: Letter
English
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From publisher blurb:

Any System! Any Setting!
Using Clerics in Worldbuilding and Adventure Design

Clerics bring a sense of mythology to a fantasy world. They validate the existence of deities. Their beliefs reflect the morals and ethics of their religion, if not the broader cultures of the setting. The magic they utilize is different because it is divinely bestowed for faithfulness to a dogma, doctrine, or code of behavior, rather than learned. There can be a lot of spells to keep track of, but the irony is that clerics are often only used for casting one sort of spell: healing. This reflects a greater opportunity that is often overlooked because of the nature of most tabletop fantasy campaigns. A cleric is often the one character that’s not all about killing, and upon occasion a character that’s not about killing at all. They are a chance to explore not only religion, but political values and the overall cultural traditions of the setting that are shaped by beliefs and relationships with higher powers. These elements of the setting have the power to shape other classes, storylines, and the overall direction your fantasy worldbuilding takes.

Because the Class Theory supplements are system-agnostic, this volume will delve more into the perceptions and archetypal personalities of the cleric rather than specific abilities. In places, some broad generalizations will be made. You should adapt the concepts to what best fits the mechanics, setting, and character that you’re working with inside the context of your campaign. As an example, while not all systems have classes, the word class will be used generically to represent the actual character element of that name, character archetypes and templates, and other conceptual details that fit the general spirit of the cleric. Because if we’re going to be intellectually honest, we need to just admit that everything in tabletop roleplaying, no matter how innovative, unique, and transcendent it may be, with always be compared to the baseline created by the game that started the hobby.

For the Player
This book is not about new abilities, optimizing your character build, or exploiting game mechanics for maximum effect. The intention of this volume is to help you tell your character’s story. By the end of this book, you’ll see the cleric in relation to the Three Pillars of Fantasy Storytelling, and use the unique features of the archetype to create unique characters, enhance your worldbuilding, and tell unique stories tailored to their roles and abilities.

For the Gamemaster
By taking a look at the specific strengths and opportunities of the cleric class, you will be able to create truly balanced encounters. You will gain a fresh perspective on how the cleric fits into the Three Pillars of Fantasy Storytelling, so you can work with the player to create a character that fits seamlessly with the setting and your campaign. The way cleric characters can be leveraged to expand your worldbuilding efforts, and can be mined for story hooks, will allow you to have a richer creative experience, and an overall better roleplaying experience for everyone at your table.

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