Andrew’s Angle: Clerics are NOT Healbots

Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons! Lets
have the players introduce themselves…

‘Hail! I am the mighty Fighter! Through extensive training I have become the master of all forms of martial combat. My heavy armor absorbs the blows of my foes as I spin my weapons in a dazzling array of powerful techniques. I have the variety of skills to adjust to whatever may come against me. I can fire against ranged targets with my bow, use my great sword against many foes, or use my mace and shield should the situation require it…’

‘All are surprised by the cunning and resourceful Rogue! The shadows are my home and I fall upon unsuspecting prey as night falls upon the world. Backstabbing and sneak attacking, I tear through my opponents before they are even aware of my presence. But this is not all I am capable of. My prowess also extends to a vast array of technical skills. In addition to stealth I am able to open locks, locate and disarm traps, manipulate others and find all I need to know in order to achieve my goals.’

‘Do not forget the powerful Wizard! I call upon arcane energies and bend the world around me to my will. From one hand ferocious fire, lightning and ice burst forth, disintegrating all who oppose me. From the other I issue all manner of magics, useful and elaborate. Be it teleporting great distances, turning myself invisible, erecting stalwart wards, or summoning powerful creatures. I have the essence of the universe at my fingertips!’

‘I am a Cleric. I keep these guys healed so they can do all their awesome moves….wait…really? Is that my role? Let me look over my class abilities. Channel Energy. Sure, that has healing potential, but there are feats which can modify it to do all sorts of things. Channel Energy and my spell list. Well, if I’m a healer I guess my spell list should reflect that right? Just going to take a look here…Level 1 spells… umm, guys, there is only one spell on here which has a healing effect. Cure Light Wounds. There are 24 other spells here that aren’t healing at all. I’m not supposed to use these other 24?

What about this one… Bless? Increases resistances to fear and attack bonuses for the party. Wouldn’t aiding you in killing enemies more quickly help the party take less damage because the foes wouldn’t be up as long? Or how about this one – Doom… -2 to attack and damage to one foe. If the enemies can’t hit you, they can’t do damage right? I can also summon creatures like the Wizard does. I can use medium armor and shields and can while I can’t wield martial weapons, some of these simple weapons can do just as much damage and my attack bonus isn’t that far behind a fighter’s. I’ve got a wide array of knowledge skills which could also be useful as well as social skills.

Well, mentioning skills I am the only one of us with access to the Heal skill right? Oh, you can take ranks in it too? Well I guess my +3 class bonus must make the difference. That Heal skill must be pretty strong then….it does what?!

Ok, let me just sum up your points so far. You claim that my role as Cleric should be to provide healing to the party when only one class skill I have does this and 1 spell out of 25 does this. I have a +3 bonus to Heal checks which do almost nothing, and in fact every one of you has access to healing wands and potions. Not only this but you expect me to stand in the back lines waiting for one of you to get hurt in the midst of your displays of awesomeness and then I come and fix you so you can continue these displays?

Hmmm. I’ve changed my mind. I want to play the Fighter now…’

Editor’s Note: Andrew Armstrong is the latest contributor to Game Knight Reviews – a fellow Colorado Springs resident and gamer. Please give him a warm welcome!

For more from Andrew about Clerics, check out his video on the topic:

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