2012-08-15, 12:10 AM (ISO 8601)
Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant
Never mind the fact that they couldn't wear medium or heavy armor and get the AC bonus from Charisma, if they're willing to sacrifice two caster levels, I say let them go for it. Plus, the sorcerer's already effectively one behind.
Originally Posted by bobthe6th
Being three caster levels ahead is much, much better than a small bonus to AC, saves and movement speed, by a long sight. There are spells to increase all of those things.
As for the class itself, let's compare it to the standard cleric and the cloistered cleric.
Hit Dice - the cloistered cleric is the clear loser here, having a d6. Edge to standard & celebrant.
BAB - edge to the standard cleric, though spells like Divine Power make this often a non-issue.
Skills - edge to the cloistered cleric, celebrant comes in second. Both get extra skills, but Knowledge skills are much more useful than Use Rope in most situations. The standard cleric gets the shaft here. All three can improve their lot further with the right domain picks, though.
Armor: Edge to the standard cleric, at least at first. The celebrant gets a small consideration for his Charisma bonus, but unless you're playing in a particularly high point-buy game, this isn't going to net you much more than a +2 to start, with leather armor you're at +4 (slightly higher with better Dexterity). At level 20, with a +6 Charisma item, that's +9. You're also probably less likely to dump Dexterity, so let's call it +11 (+15 if you waste a feat on Light Armor Proficiency and throw on a mithril shirt, a terrible idea for the already-feat-starved cleric). A standard cleric in full plate (assuming 12 Dexterity, reasonable with items) gets +9. Both of these examples assume unenchanted equipment - if we factor in a reasonable +2 enhancement bonus, the race is a dead heat because the celebrant is less likely to wear armor. But all of this is of arguable relevance, because armor class becomes obsolete, fast. A balor is hitting both clerics on anything but a one.
Miscellaneous: The cloistered cleric gets an extra domain (which he can immediately switch out for Knowledge Devotion), extra spells, and bardic lore. Edge definitely to cloistered.
End result: The celebrant is roughly on par with a standard cleric, though not as adept in combat in the long-term due to decreased BAB. While it's a flavorful idea, the differences between the celebrant and the standard cleric effectively boil down to a slightly faster land speed, a few points of AC (only if a feat is spent), a handful of skill points, and a slightly smaller BAB. Out of these things, few of them are relevant to high or even mid-level play, as the cleric's spells and domains are basically the only class features that matter, and this variant does nothing with either.
I'd like to see more substantial differences in the class, honestly. Perhaps you could add a few charm-related spells to its list, or some kind of enthrall ability? A scaling armor bonus (albeit one based on a secondary ability) is A.) not very enticing and B.) not all that effective. As it is, the variant leaves me kind of cold. Playing one as a party face with the Trickery and Charm domains might be kind of fun, though.
Last edited by Gnorman; 2012-08-15 at 12:50 AM.