17 thoughts on “I’m working on my personal take of the #DungeonWorld Cleric class.”

  1. I will be posting a link to a hack of dungeon world that will contain a revised Cleric. Give us a few days and check this community – maybe we can steal ideas from each other.

  2. Here are some things I think are worth pontificating about in regards to clerics. Clerics only have one way to heal someone that is different than anyone else. They get a heal spell at lvl 3,5, and 7. Thats it. In that regard, they have about as many avenues to heal someone as a Bard does; except a cleric can forget a spell and a bard can’t forget it’s healing ability. So, that being said it might be worth thinking about doing something like ‘when a cleric learns a new healing spell, that new spell subsumes all previous healing spells’. It doesn’t make sense for a cleric to have cure minor wounds and cure slightly more words AND cure some more wounds, right?

    Also, if a person is healing way too much and it is nerfing the game, I will ask the players if its ok that I choose a 7-9 or -6 be that they lose the healing spell until they atone to their god.

    Also, if you want to make the cleric different, let them have a ritual spell like the wizard, but limit what things they might achieve with ritual. Make the components and costs be related to their god and tenants.

    Also, the Turn Undead is pretty boring. I think I have had 1 player, like, once over the 3 or 4 years I have GM’ed games ever use it. Allow players to use it against anti-aligned monsters and NPC’s. Or, against something that specific opposes their religion, etc.

    Last, if a cleric is able to heal a bunch, its ok to get into intelligent monster’s heads and have them think ‘Ok, we won’t win this fight against these adventurers unless we kill that healer’. Its a pretty widely used tactic in PVP games for good reason. Exploit that with goblins, humans, bandits or any one else who plausibly could conceive of that in your game world.

    I don’t want discourage you from revamping the Cleric, but if you are doing it because mechanically it isn’t working out, we can discuss more about in game tweaks that may be more equitable. That being said, J-Strand’s classes are awesome. As your lawyer, I advice you to read them.

  3. Good stuff! 🙂

    My concern is not mechanical balance though.

    Rather, thematic expression…

    The standard Cleric is presented as a chosen worshipper of an X god, which could be… like… the Rat-God of Holes … and still mechanically the playbook obviously assumes (and dedicates a bunch of Moves to this end) that it will be the “healer” of the team.

    Also, there are A LOT of moves that do exactly nothing for the fiction, and just add +Armor or +Damage or +SpellEffect.

    Of course, as usual, the Player can fill this void with their own descriptions … but that’s just colour for show and in my PbtA project I’m trying to seriously move away from this way of doing things.

    And then obviously I need to adapt stuff to my Fictional Harm System, as mentioned in this other thread here in the tavern plus.google.com – FICTIONAL HARM SYSTEM I’ve posted on the Story-Games forum a piece of a large…

    So I have to change things no matter what 😛

    Also, I’m less and less happy with the classic vancian system.

    So before pouring lots of time and effort into reinventing the class from scratch like I did with the Bard I’m looking to see if anyone else came up with good alternatives to the classic Band-Aid Cleric 😉

  4. Jeremy Strandberg the Stonetop stuff is awesome as usual 😀

    But too different from the classic, more “neutral” idea of Cleric I’m going for.

    But they will be great inspiration for a future project I have in store, with its own unique setting, rather than the current generic fantasy.

  5. The easiest way to get a different feel for the cleric while still retaining core functionality is to replace any instances of [undead] with [_________] and let the player fill in the blanks.

    Here’s an example:


    Deity: You worship Crom, the God of Bloody Conquest. This religion believes in Trial by Combat.

    Divine Guidance: When you petition your deity through personal victory, you are granted some useful knowledge or boon related to Bloody Conquest. The GM will tell you what.

    Turn Erocuwo: When you hold your bloodstained weapon aloft and call on Crom for protection, roll +WIS. On a 7+, so long as you continue to pray and brandish your bloodstained weapon, no Erocuwo may come within reach of you. *On a 10+, you also momentarily daze intelligent Erocuwo and cause mindless Erocuwo to flee. Attacking breaks the effects and the Erocuwo may act as normal. Intelligent Erocuwo may still find ways to harry you from afar. They’re clever like that.

    Your holy symbol is your Bloodstained Sword. No amount of cleaning will ever remove the stains from the sword. Trial by Combat is only valid in the eyes of Crom when the Bloodstained Sword is used.

    Erocuwo are the enemies of your faith. Ero means “Peace”, and cuwo means “League”. Using honeyed lies, they lure the unsuspecting into mindless, dispassionate servitude.


    If the player still treats the cleric as nothing but a healbot, then the problem is not in the class itself.

  6. Andrew Huffaker the link is full of interesting stuff, thanks!

    But which one is the content you mentioned?

    The one about magic?

    The one about “Berlin, Freebooters 2E, Seattle in the 90’s, Stonetop, and magic in role playing games” ?

  7. Yeah Jason Lutes. Fee free to skip over like the first quarter to half of it. The main topic is magic, but I’d direct you to the parts where we talk about Freebooters magic.

  8. I’m not sure if this is useful for your conversation but one way to look at a cleric might be more social in nature. I think clerics could potentially be every bit as connected to charismatic interactions as the bard. You could build the playbook with “community leader”, “inspirational speaker” and “sought after wisdom giver” at the conceptual heart of the class. I always thought it would be cool to have a cleric character that performs miracles (very open ended like Andrew Huffaker suggested with rituals) and commands others through a combination of devotion and terror. No simple buffs but intense speeches supported by strange occurrences that reflect the nature of their deity.

  9. Much like what Logan Howard said, I think there is a lot of room to change cleric if we highlight how they get powers and how they are a conduit for that power.

    Outside of the healing, when I read all of the moves and spells, I think the cleric in DW sounds a lot like Dr. Strange. I love that connection with the ‘other’, whatever the ‘other’ may mean in a game.

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