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ramza

Are DnD clerics overpowered?

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I have been having this discussion a lot on PW servers for NWN 1. Many people tend to believe that clerics make a one-man-army on many occasions and that they are too powerful.

 

Why is that? Is their argument true? How can this be remedied? Is this argument valid only for NWN or for DnD in general?

 

My main concern about clerics is that they can cast spells while wearing heavy armor and carrying shields, and that they have too many HPs. Their Hitdie should be reduced to d6 and they should only be able to cast spells in light armor at best. IMHO, clerics should be less combat-oriented than they are in the PhB. I can't imagine a "priest" being better in combat than a rogue or a bard (who should be more akin to fighting and survival). I thus believe that the latter class should have a Hitdie of d8 instead.

 

Moreover, the cleric's spell list is far from negligible. Making the cleric a full-armored spellcaster is way too much to my eyes....

 

PS: All the above-mentioned remarks apply to the druid class.


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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I do think that the cleric is over powered as it is, but the cleric should represent his or her deity well. After all I doubt a Cleric of a War God will be worse in fighting than a bard or rogue, while a priest of a God of Magic would even know which end of a sword to hold.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Except that their skills suck, they lack feats and they have to spread their ability points across more skills than either a fighter or a wizard.

 

A cleric has spells, sure, but they're outdamaged by a wizard (and their reflex save sucks to boot) and outstabbed by a warrior.

 

Frankly I can't see the complaint against pure clerics being overpowered in NWN.

 

In DnD it can be a slightly different issue, espessally with evil clerics commanding undead hordes.


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There's a reason that I make clerics when playing out of the box rules and want an easy time of it in NWN* ;) NWN1 is 30 point buy, NWN2 is 32...there's little reason not to get a little bump in int plus there's the Trickery domain power to cover that you have less skill points than anything else. The fighter gets uppity about his feats, Hold Person him and coup de grace him with a sling ;)

 

You don't get Grasping Hand which is the win button in NWN* for some dumb reason (Bigby hands are underpowered if anything in PnP, there's many counters and weaknesses to them). You don't get the horribly OP Isaac's. Otherwise you get a huge and versatile spell list plus more spell slots than any other casting class.

 

PnP like NWN1 depends on what books you use, how the world is set up, how you interpret rules and house rules. Outside of the divine metamagic + Nightsticks cheese (like spell metamagic except it burns turn undead uses, Nightsticks are a cheap source of turn undead so in a fight you quicken righteous might, divine power and divine favor as your swift action if not a quickened empowered flame strike or something then melee like the fighter--outside Tome of Battle I don't think there's anything a fighter can do as a swift action) I'd say don't go nuts and you shouldn't be Clericzilla. Druidzilla on the other hand :thumbsup:

 

In general, I'm not quite as sure of the supreme power of magic as say Frank magic >>> everything Trollman (note that when discussing PnP as it's written you'll normally see a lot of agreement that direct damage is usually the poorest option for what a caster should do with his time).

Edited by Lokey

Just what I needed, another forum to keep up with.

Neversummer PW

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Except that their skills suck, they lack feats and they have to spread their ability points across more skills than either a fighter or a wizard.

 

A cleric has spells, sure, but they're outdamaged by a wizard (and their reflex save sucks to boot) and outstabbed by a warrior.

 

Frankly I can't see the complaint against pure clerics being overpowered in NWN.

 

In DnD it can be a slightly different issue, espessally with evil clerics commanding undead hordes.

 

I have to disagree with you on a few points:

 

- Wizards have to spend points in DEX, CON and INT while clerics have to only spend points in WIS and CHA.

- Clerics have a high progression for two saving throws while most classes only have one favorite save.

- Clerics have a non-negligible BAB progression and Hitdie which makes them decent warriors nonetheless.

 

- Clerics have a spell progression that takes them all the way to 9th level and have more spell uses than any other class (except maybe the sorcerer).

- And being able to wear full plate mails and carry tower shields doesn't arrange things either...

 

 

I don't know how clerics work in p&p but they look pretty balanced to me. It may be the way they are designed in NWN that is faulty. I am just trying to find what is wrong here....


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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Yes, clerics in PnP are definitely overpowered (along with druids). So much so, that I have sometimes been known to refer to Wizards of the Coast as Clerics of the Coast (or Druids of the Coast).

 

Clerics have 5 spells per day per level plus a 6th spell (the domain spell), when Wizards get 4 (yes, you see correctly, Clerics can cast 50% more spells per day than Wizards

Clerics have full access to their entire spell list, whereas Wizards have to learn spells

Clerics can spontaneous cast (healing spells) and Wizards cannot

Clerics have d8 hit dice, while Wizards have d4 hit dice

Clerics get medium BAB, althought Wizards get poor BAB

Clerics get two good saves, even though Wizards get only one good save

Clerics can cast in armor, but Wizards suffer chance of spell failure if they try to do the same

Clerics are proficient with better weapons & armor than Wizards

 

I rest my case.

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Clerics' power are dictated by the whim of their gods. They must adhere to dogma otherwise loose all abilities. Wizards don't have that restriction.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Clerics' power are dictated by the whim of their gods. They must adhere to dogma otherwise loose all abilities. Wizards don't have that restriction.

 

still, it depend on how the dogma thing is implemented... It is non-existent in NWN. I liked the 2E rule according to which clerics could only use bludgeoning and blunt weapons (we could also add their deity's favored weapon). I don't understand why such restrictions were removed in 3E when Druids still cannot wear metallic armor and are proficient with a very specific set of weapons.

 

What do you guys think of the changes I have suggested?


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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Clerics' power are dictated by the whim of their gods. They must adhere to dogma otherwise loose all abilities. Wizards don't have that restriction.

 

still, it depend on how the dogma thing is implemented... It is non-existent in NWN. I liked the 2E rule according to which clerics could only use bludgeoning and blunt weapons (we could also add their deity's favored weapon). I don't understand why such restrictions were removed in 3E when Druids still cannot wear metallic armor and are proficient with a very specific set of weapons.

 

What do you guys think of the changes I have suggested?

That's the point I would have made. Wizards are inconvenienced by a few things like anti-magic field (inconvenienced, not helpless), and I'll wager clerics have looser restrictions than Paladin in most games...

 

As for your suggestions, everything in NWN1 is determined by the power of items available. If you have immunity to all spell schools and potions of heal and Greater Restoration and +20 weapons, there is no point to playing a cleric except to have 5 fewer BAB. On a server that uses items with comparable power to stock items, I'd address stacking effects of certain spells (especially AB increasers) and things that are outright ridiculous like Holy Word probably before tinkering with what feats they get by default and things like hitdie. In core PnP, it's things like Divine Power and Righteous Might that take clers over the top...either fix the range: personal part or rework those spells to be in line with other buff spells.


Just what I needed, another forum to keep up with.

Neversummer PW

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The changes you propose would be good for priesthoods that aren't militant in nature. Clerics of agriculture, knowledge, and magic and the like would fit what you propose while clerics who follow gods of war, strategy, tyranny, and so forth would be more for the base line cleric.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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The changes you propose would be good for priesthoods that aren't militant in nature. Clerics of agriculture, knowledge, and magic and the like would fit what you propose while clerics who follow gods of war, strategy, tyranny, and so forth would be more for the base line cleric.

I don't see what you're saying. To me it reads nerf clerics except those who follow a militant religion?

 

Anyway, here's one variant.


Just what I needed, another forum to keep up with.

Neversummer PW

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That is a good variant.

 

Anyway, I don't use baseline DnD. Ramza, my suggestion to you is to forget about changing the baseline rules and pick up Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved. It is better balanced and better designed than baseline DnD 3e/3.5e.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Yes, clerics in PnP are definitely overpowered (along with druids). So much so, that I have sometimes been known to refer to Wizards of the Coast as Clerics of the Coast (or Druids of the Coast).

 

Clerics have 5 spells per day per level plus a 6th spell (the domain spell), when Wizards get 4 (yes, you see correctly, Clerics can cast 50% more spells per day than Wizards

 

Clerics spend half their spells healing other party members. Many times out of combat. Being a walking, talking potion of cure (insert wounds here) is not fun. 3.5 Designer's recognized this and responded accordingly giving them more spells per day.

 

 

 

 

Clerics have full access to their entire spell list, whereas Wizards have to learn spells

 

Many of the cleric' s spells are mandatory to counter many monster abilities. How many players would pick every spell correctly. "Hey Jozan I'm poisoned"....."Sorry Regdar I uh forgot to learn that one." "Aak, that vampire drained a level, can I get a cleric?" ....."You better make your fort save tommorow Regdar or that will be permanent, I can't help you"

 

 

 

 

Clerics can spontaneous cast (healing spells) and Wizards cannot

 

Once again clerics spend half their spells healing other players. Without spontaneous casting clerics would be a boring class like they used to be.

 

 

 

 

Clerics have d8 hit dice, while Wizards have d4 hit dice

 

In order to survive on the front lines, healing party members, buffing party members, fighting, The cleric needs higher HPs. If the wizard is constantly taking attacks, he is doing something wrong.

 

 

 

 

Clerics get medium BAB, althought Wizards get poor BAB

 

Clerics rely on melee ability. They are considered secondary fighters, that's always been the case.

 

 

 

 

Clerics get two good saves, even though Wizards get only one good save

 

Clerics need two good saves. If the wizard goes down, the cleric can heal/raise him. When the cleric goes down, TPKs tend to happen.

 

 

 

 

Clerics can cast in armor, but Wizards suffer chance of spell failure if they try to do the same

 

Once again....D&D is a roleplaying game. A Cleric's role is to be a front line combatant/healer, the wizards role is the exact opposite. Plus wizards in heavy armor are just kinda lame IMHO.

 

 

 

 

Clerics are proficient with better weapons & armor than Wizards

 

Wizards are proficient with better SPELLS & FEATS than clerics. A wizard that uses a weapon on a regular basis (past like level 4 or 5) is doing something wrong.

 

 

I've played and DMd PnP clerics, druids and wizards for years. Wizards are far more powerful than clerics at high levels. Clerics are good from level 1 however, where as a wizard's power takes time. Plus playing a wizard really well, is much harder than playing a cleric. The cleric's power is obvious and easily used by even beginer players. The wizard takes some experience and creativity to truly shine.

 

Druids can be tough though, depending on what the DM allows for feats and PRCs, but that is the case with just about any class. In the end though, D&D isn't about character balance, at least not the first 3 editions (who knows with 4E) It is about party balance and knowing your role...and making it fun.

Edited by BobbyN

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I agree with Sand on this one. The roleplaying should counterbalance their advantages. The fact that this isn't implemented mechanically doesn't prevent you constraining yourself.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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whatever advantages you give the cleric, still not many want to play them

 

in a current campaign i am GM-ing i have a paladin and 3 druids but noone ever wants to play as a cleric,

i think all of them have too much the idea about a classic european monk before them if they talk about a cleric, and old habits are hard to change

Edited by Jorian Drake

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whatever advantages you give the cleric, still not many want to play them

 

in a current campaign i am GM-ing i have a paladin and 3 druids but noone ever wants to play as a cleric,

i think all of them have too much the idea about a classic european monk before them if they talk about a cleric, and old habits are hard to change

 

I do not totally agree with your claim. If you happen to play on NWN1 PWs, you will notice that many players tend to pick cleric levels.

 

I am just wondering what makes Clerics so strong in NWN. I am repeating myself but many people call them "one-man armies". Such a claim is not insignificant. Upon closer look, clerics can overcome almost any situation in the game. They are good in melee combat (I even wonder if they can get stronger than warrior classes when they are properly buffed).

 

Now, NWN clerics don't have any of the restrictions that PnP games may have (like dogma restrictions, etc) but there has to be something more than that. Is there a flaw in this class' design? Or is it just that there is a strong advantage given to warrior classes, and an even bigger advantage given to classes that combine melee and spellcasting, due to NWN's combat oriented gameplay (there isn't much rp to be frank) ?


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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I think it is probably best to just ignore NWN1's representation of DnD. Its not exactly 100% accurate.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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And the fact that playing NWN in a PW means that you're probably going to be on your own most of the time.

 

A fighter can out fight them and a wizard can outspell them, but Clerics have somthing for just about every situation which makes them more versitile when solo.


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(Approved by Fio, so feel free to use it)

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And the fact that playing NWN in a PW means that you're probably going to be on your own most of the time.

 

A fighter can out fight them and a wizard can outspell them, but Clerics have somthing for just about every situation which makes them more versitile when solo.

if i want to solo then i use my 'ultimate dragon' class combo: 4 lvl paladin/1 lvl sorcerer/ 1+ lvl dragon disciple/ 1+ lvl Weapon Master

 

it can cast both arcane and divine spells but is majorly a warrior, and you can always get some healing scrolls or wands just like fireballs or lightning bolts

 

 

i never use a spellcaster only char, maybe exceptions are elven wizards but i usualy put on them full plate's and let them make their own armament anyway

 

 

clerics are a nice 'in between' option but that doesn't make it overpowered, one or two levels of it doesnt give any real bonus except the ability to memorize some spells and use items, but replace cleric levels with either paladin or druid levels and you already have some nice new persistent auras or abilities what don't lose of their importance as your multiclass char levels up

 

 

of course in NWN or any other game a HEALER might seem to be overpowered, but that is the case in any non pnp game as far i know, people just envy their ability to heal, thats all


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Well I don't play NWN 2 on any PW or online for that matter. But I could see where the wizard gets the short end of the stick as far as power versus the Cleric, in NWN2. In P&P the wizard has alot more spells that just don't translate into NWN2.

 

1) Dimension Door - Arguably the best wizard survivial spell of them all. A wizard without DD is a wizard that will assuredly die a horrible death.

 

2) Fly - Another combat avoidance spell.

 

3) Timestop - At high levels this one is huge.

 

4) Long range spells in P&P can be devastating. NWN 2 has much smaller levels for the most part.

 

5) Round by round combat is arguably more important for a wizard than any other class. Being able to accuratley place spells in real time can be tough. Choosing the right spell for the situation in P&P is an art. For the single player game where the player can pause the game, the NWN 2 system is fine. For PW real time combat, I could see where it could get tough.

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