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bloodyhellman
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(1/14/03 9:07:26 am)
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Help with Clerics request
Hi guys,
Call me unimaginative but I have never found cleric spells much fun. Now that I am running this adventure I am afraid I am not doing the many clerics of the CRM justice. Can anyone give me some ideas for spell strategies for these clerics backing up their men.

Currently I am thinking of mostly prayer, sanctuary, bless, and healing with if they are of decent level rage.

Dragon Mage 1E
Here for a while
(1/14/03 10:05:23 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
At low level it can be tough to be creative with them. If they have allies with them, they can cast sanctuary then help others with healing, bless, and aid. Prayer and Recitation (from DoTF) are good.

At higher levels determine if they are combat types and then they can really buff themselves with Divine Power, Divine Agility (DoTF), Rightous Might then Rage!

"What the curtains?"

maddman75 
Here for a while
(1/14/03 1:33:42 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
DOn't overlook the power of the buff. IMC, the characters faced Terryngit, the trog cleric. His zombies kept them busy, and after his Bull's Strength, Endurance, and Shield of Faith they had a rough time with him.

Lots of priestly goodness in the BoVD. I may post my notes tonight. I went through the entire CRM, noting for each spellcaster what spells they would prefer. Easier to think about it ahead of time, rather than in the heat of the moment. I also included the errata and BoVD changes, though these last ones are easy enough to ignore if you don't have the book.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -- Buddha

"Nothing's a cliche when it's happening to you." -- Max Payne

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/14/03 2:07:55 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Summon early, summon often. Cleric saving throws are hard to beat if your effective Wisdom is in the lower 20s against a mid-level party. You can cast a summon spell while being under a Sanctuary without breaking the spell.

Also, Andorax thought of using an air elemental with a silence 15' radius on it. That's a mage killer.

Remember that all the evil clerics can cast inflict spells spontaneously. And it only requires a touch attack :evil

The BoVD angle's good. Use that book as well as the splatbooks.

Short pieces of advice. Hope it helps.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

madfox
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(1/14/03 2:25:49 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Another very viable tactic is to focus on spells like hold person, command and bestow curse. In case of bestow curse, remember that 50% chance of doing nothing each round is a lot more painful then a -4 penalty on all rolls. I remember a fight during which the main PC fighter did hardly anything the whole fight. He was kept being hit by will save spells that disabled him for a round or two. When there are undead, do not forget to bolster them. But I agree with the consensus, buff spells are their speciality and my players dread the fully buffed cleric like nothing. One thing: do something against the possibility of being grappled. A lone cleric with an AC like the trogolodyte is bound to be grappled...

Tristan DArque
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(1/14/03 4:10:12 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Quote:
In case of bestow curse, remember that 50% chance of doing nothing each round is a lot more painful then a -4 penalty on all rolls.


... and for spellcasters, -6 to their spell-linked ability can be a real pain: limit that 18 Int mage to second level spells and he's a lot less useful than he used to be...

Kelashein
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(1/14/03 10:49:11 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
And Silence! Another trick is to have one cast Detect Magic and then Dispel whoever has the most active auras.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/15/03 12:11:12 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
If you really want some plain ol' damage dealing priest spells, Knife Spray and Sword Spray (both DotF) are pretty good. If you download Bob Fitch's Spreadsheets (Find them here), you'll get all the DotF spells included.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Zenon
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(1/15/03 5:43:46 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Quote:
One thing: do something against the possibility of being grappled. A lone cleric with an AC like the trogolodyte is bound to be grappled...


Remember that you can still cast spells with a Verbal only component while grappled. (and even with Material components if they are in hand).

From the SRD (and this is in the PHB too):
Quote:
Grappling or Pinned: The only spells the character can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) the character has in hand. Even so, the character must make a Concentration check (DC 20 + the level of the spell the character is casting) or lose the spell.


My one players barbarian tried grappling Hedrack (and was able to because his touch AC wasn't the greatest), but Hedrack was able to cast a Greater Command (V only) of "Flee!". With Hedrack's +21 or so Concentration check, it wasn't hard to pull off against a DC of 28, along with Casting Defensively so he didn't provoke an AoO and lose the spell. Greater Command also works against multiple opponents within a certain range, so all those other pesky do-gooders running up for the CDG got nailed with it too.

I believe the 1st level Command is a V only also, always a good one to keep memorized for those low Will save Fighter types.

Edited by: Zenon at: 1/15/03 5:45:14 am
bloodyhellman
Looking around
(1/15/03 6:42:09 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Thanks for the help guys! I intend to use all recommendations, there are just that many priests. I am using the spells from DofF so the water spells are a go.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(1/15/03 7:51:29 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
I've mentioned it in past, but I'll toss it out there again.

If you're doing a "summoner" style of Priest, then you might want to consider using the Tome & Blood (or Manual of the Planes) "Pseudonatural" template, rather than the Celestial or Fiendish one, for summoned creatures.

By the rules, it's a privildge reserved to Alienists. However, depending on your take on Tharizdun, I feel it's a privlidge that it's fair to extend to worshipers of "Big T", especially those with the Madness domain.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Kelashein
Here for a while
(1/15/03 4:46:55 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Another good one came from AEG's "Undead".

Bone Staff. It's a +2 weapon that does 2d6 damage and a 2nd lv spell. Not bad at all.

It lasts for a while, too. The main drawback is that if you put it down or use another weapon, it's dust.

Freethinker
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(1/21/03 9:35:57 am)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
I've just recently run my first few encounters involving low-level clerics, and I had similar troubles. What I noticed was that the clerics burned through their spells pretty quickly, especially when they had time to prepare. It didn't really help that the party's fighter was making his will saves EVERY DARN TIME!

We stopped last session with the party in a showdown with Ysslansh, who was proving to be a bit difficult while hiding in obscuring mist taunting the PCs. I want to make the upcoming encounter with the Hommlet cultists memorable as well, and I think some of these alternative spell ideas will help to give each cleric a unique flavor and personality.

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(1/21/03 12:42:32 pm)
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Re: Help with Clerics request
Quote:
I've just recently run my first few encounters involving low-level clerics, and I had similar troubles. What I noticed was that the clerics burned through their spells pretty quickly, especially when they had time to prepare. It didn't really help that the party's fighter was making his will saves EVERY DARN TIME!


Yeah, same here. IMC, there is a paladin with pretty high Wis and Cha. Plus, she is the tank making it more likely she will be on the front lines closer to the foes (and causing more trouble in general), so she gets hit with a good number of Will saves--and trashes them. I think part of this will even out as the DCs get higher and her stat bonus(es) drop away a bit relative to level progression.

I think the other thing to keep in mind is that they are not mages and they can kick some serious melee booty when pressed. Keep looking for good tactical openings to slide them into real battle for a few swipes and do some more guaranteed damage. The low-level clerics early in the module especially have pretty good armor compared to the party usually. I've made the mistake a few times of having them hang back until their minions are all gone and it's one vs. five :) As you get to more mid-level, I think you'll find that the spell lists tend toward buffing (when they have time) and then they can wade into battle pretty nicely more often.



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