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    Default Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Just as gods of knowledge and learning may have studious Cloistered clerics (Unearthed Arcana) rather than holy warriors, the gods of love, peace, joy and pleasure have their own devotees, empowered to spread the influence of the church and bring contentment and harmony to the populace...or to keep the people too mired in debauchery to question the deeds of their superiors.

    Most celebrants are chaotic or neutral, as they believe in passion and free expression rather than rigorous discipline. Many are very social-minded, but they seldom have a conservative attitude, believing that life should be an ever-changing and energetic thing, not constrained by tradition or obligation.

    Hit die: D8 as the standard cleric. While not typically combative, celebrants typically maintain healthy lifestyles, getting a lot of exercise (as well as "exercise"), eating well, and generally treating their body as a masterwork tool for the practice of their personal craft.

    Base Attack Bonus: Poor. While recognizing that conflict is sometimes inevitable, celebrants are usually hesitant to inflict pain, injury, or disfiguring scars, and they prefer to use their spells to pacify foes or render them tractable, falling back on weapons only as a last resort.

    Class Skills: Add Sense Motive, Gather Information, Knowledge (Local), and Speak Language to the list of class skills for all Celebrants; they are encouraged to reach out to other creatures and establish good relations (to whatever extent they feel comfortable with). Also add Use Rope and Escape Artist; more than a few celebrants have a kinky side, and while they value freedom and don't like restraining the recalcitrant against their will, they like killing them even less. Finally, add Perform; Celebrants often use dance, song or other entertainments as a way of further enlivening the daily routine of those around them. Celebrant clerics gain 4+INTMOD skill points at each level (4x this number at first level), and nearly always devote maximum skill ranks to Diplomacy, Heal, and often some of the gentler Professions.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Celebrant clerics are proficient with the dagger, club, quarterstaff, sap, whip, net, and light and heavy crossbows. They are not proficient with shields or armor (a few wear padding or leather armor, but in general even leather garments they wear are designed to be ornamental rather than protective, and do not count as armor for the purposes of the celebrant's abilities).

    Air of Vitality: Devotion to a deity of pleasure, passion, simple contentment, or "the good life" brings either a tranquil serenity or an intense, smolderingly vibrant energy to celebrants; by projecting their benevolent, empowered feelings like an aura, they can fascinate, allure, or overawe those who threaten them. Even a creature which is not capable of being attracted to the celebrant may be intimidated by her seeming physical and interpersonal perfection, cowed by his self-confidence, or otherwise affected by the cleric's personal magnetism. This effect is represented by a bonus to the celebrant's AC, equal to her Charisma bonus, plus an additional +1 for every five celebrant levels. These bonuses apply even to touch attacks (though often very receptive to being touched, the celebrant still draws the line at a Shocking Grasp or a needle dripping with poison). These bonuses do not apply if the cleric is encumbered past light, wears any armor or a shield, or when struck by an attacker of which she is unaware; they DO however apply when she is immobilized or helpless, as even an unconscious celebrant retains such a charismatic presence that her foes may hesitate to harm her (though they may have other uses in mind).

    Deity: Most celebrants are associated with Good or Chaotic deities who emphasize the enjoyability of life, although a few lawful-aligned celebrants dedicated to the preservation of beauty or the perfection of the physical form do exist (some of these multiclass to monk in order to further master their bodies), and likewise a few Evil clerics use the Celebrant's preachings as a deceptive tool to manipulate and enslave others (these may dabble in the Beguiler class from Player's Handbook 2 and eventually become Mystic Theurges or similar hybrids both of divine and arcane enchantment). Appropriate Greyhawk deities include Olidammara, Ehlonna, Fharlangn (the Player's Handbook), Lastai, Rao, Chaav, (Book of Exalted Deeds), Geshtai, Liir and Trithereon (Complete Divine); fitting examples in the Forgotten Realms include Sharess, Sune, Tymora and Eilistraee, along with perhaps occasionally Selune, Lathander, Waukeen, or even Uthgar and Chauntea.

    For now I'll leave it at this; adding some spells or domains might be fitting, but I don't want to undertake such a big job without some advice from the better-read.

    EDIT: Not ready to actually pick spells yet, but here's the framework the Cloistered uses for reference:
    0th - +1
    1st - +3
    2nd - Cat's Grace
    3rd - +2, Tongues (reduced from 4th)
    4th - +1
    6th - +1
    7th - +1
    9th - +1
    It is not certain that the Celebrant will use this exact structure but I will probably eyeball it using this as a starting point. I'm 99% sure Eagle's Splendor Cat's Grace and Tongues are appropriate here, just as Fox's Cunning and Tongues are for the Cloistered; beyond that I'll need to think about it.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-09-10 at 09:02 AM.

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    Post Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    You may want to format this properly. People are apt to not reply without a proper table and such. If you're one of the people who hates the giantitp tabling system, use this and change the "format" to "GIANT" and it'll make a table for you.
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    So, they're the Charismatic Faces of the Cleric World?
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Vilpich View Post
    You may want to format this properly. People are apt to not reply without a proper table and such. If you're one of the people who hates the giantitp tabling system, use this and change the "format" to "GIANT" and it'll make a table for you.
    It's an Unearthed Arcana-style variant of a base class, so I don't think it especially needs a full table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    So, they're the Charismatic Faces of the Cleric World?
    Pretty much, yeah. Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that the classic cleric doesn't get Sense Motive? I fixed that with this variant since it's more social.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    heh, now there is a hipymancer class.

    the profs seem nice and flavorfull... trading a higher AC for better touch AC and movment speed. Though I fear some might dip this and paladin, then go sorcerer... +cha mod to save and AC, then add armor...

    Just some musings.
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    heh, now there is a hipymancer class.

    the profs seem nice and flavorfull... trading a higher AC for better touch AC and movment speed. Though I fear some might dip this and paladin, then go sorcerer... +cha mod to save and AC, then add armor...

    Just some musings.
    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.

    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.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    As I wrote it, it's actually....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnorman View Post
    Never mind the fact that they couldn't wear medium or heavy armor and get the AC bonus from Charisma
    I may change that for the sake of leather (or a chainmail bikini which would probably qualify as a chain shirt under the laws of D&D female-armor logic), but I tend to frown on that trope and so I'm currently assuming it's the same deal as the Monk (I've debated importing a few more Monk class features to keep with the "unarmed and unarmored" thing, though they don't need unarmed strike since they have spells). You have to be *completely* armorless, plus not carrying more than a light load.

    The standard cleric gets the shaft here.
    True, but armor proficiency and 3/4 bab might be worth more than skills, depending on game. All I'm sure of is that I like skills better because they allow customization; that might matter less to some players.

    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.
    I haven't ruled out an extra domain for the celebrant, but there isn't an obvious answer like Knowledge. Healing is redundant with sponcasting, Pleasure is not from core, and I can't think of any other reasonable options offhand. Things like Luck and Protection fit, but not as something ALL members of the class get.

    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.
    This is not of great concern to me. The point of the class is to provide a flavorful option for those who want to play a certain style of character; making it as powerful as an existing Tier 1 class is at *best* a low priority. You might as well tell WOTCO to fix the Beguiler so it can do BFC and such as well as the Wizard.

    I'd like to see more substantial differences in the class, honestly. Perhaps you could add a few charm-related spells to its list
    A distinct possibility since the Cloistered also gets more spells. I'm not good at shopping the spell list though. Got any core-only suggestions, spells currently exclusive to non-cleric classes (save for the occasional domain) which fit well with a free-lovey Beguiler-esque class?

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    This is not of great concern to me. The point of the class is to provide a flavorful option for those who want to play a certain style of character; making it as powerful as an existing Tier 1 class is at *best* a low priority. You might as well tell WOTCO to fix the Beguiler so it can do BFC and such as well as the Wizard.
    I'm just saying that I don't think it is substantially different enough from the standard cleric. A standard cleric can wear light armor and take the Celerity domain to do basically the exact same thing here.

    As for spells:

    Anything from the Charm domain might be relevant (it might also work as an extra domain - it's not core, but it is in the SRD). Charm spells, Hold spells (Dominate seems less in character for this kind of cleric), Glibness, Heroism, Sleep, all of the more pacifistic enchantment spells, really.

    Irresistible Dance, definitely.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnorman View Post
    I'm just saying that I don't think it is substantially different enough from the standard cleric. A standard cleric can wear light armor and take the Celerity domain to do basically the exact same thing here.
    A standard cleric has very little reason to wear light armor, given that medium and heavy armor are available options to them. If you cared about Armor Check Penalty you'd probably play a rogue or a sorcerer or something. The idea here is to have a cleric who gets something for not wearing armor; throwing on monk AC, only based on Charisma, seemed like the least invasive solution (short of just gestalting with the Monk to avoid MAD).

    Anything from the Charm domain might be relevant (it might also work as an extra domain - it's not core, but it is in the SRD).
    Er...it is? (looks) Well now that is rather weird and slightly annoying, hiding those domains in the divine rules when they're not actually limited to deities. Better than not publishing them at all, I s'pose, but still weird.

    Charm spells, Hold spells (Dominate seems less in character for this kind of cleric), Glibness, Heroism, Sleep, all of the more pacifistic enchantment spells, really.

    Irresistible Dance, definitely.
    Dominate is pretty no, yeah. I could see an argument for Dance, but not sure. Hideous Laughter might also work apart from the name. Glibness is just about a for-sure. Heroism is probably a little martial for these guys, and Sleep is kinda a mixed message, will have to think about it.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    I'd remove the suggestion of taking Light Armor Proficiency and wearing padded or leather armor in the Proficiencies description:
    1) Wearing any armor makes you lose your Charisma-based AC bonus.
    2) Padded and Leather armor have ACPs of 0, and thus apply no penalties for wearing them without proficiency.
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl View Post
    2) Padded and Leather armor have ACPs of 0, and thus apply no penalties for wearing them without proficiency.
    Huh. Somehow I never noticed that before. Well I'll leave in a mention of the armors since some rare Celebrants might have crappy Charisma and be safer wearing leather, but I'll drop any reference to taking a feat for it.

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    Post Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    These guys look like they should have d6 HD. That's still like "generally fit," like a rogue, whereas d8 is usually reserved for gishes and such. To counterbalance that, consider making their spellcasting keyed off of charisma?

    Also, you were right about the table. My mistake.
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    I am very married to the d8; it fits them much as it fits a monk, rather than as a standard cleric (where, really, there's no especial reason why it does fit other than the fact that they fight a lot, which really isn't a reason why you would be healthier, just a reason you'd be glad if you were). Going Charisma for casting would resemble the Favored Soul too much, plus it would imply that they're kinda superficial if they're no longer required to be Wise, and that's an impression that's too easy to get from them as-is. They may come across as being lovey-dovey, but they're serious business; I can live with them being a little Mary Sueish rather than even the slightest risk of them coming across as shallow, vapid, or a joke.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    To me it looks more like an ACF than a new base class.

    Trade armor proficiency for CHA to AC? Hmm, can have its use.
    Trade BAB for extra skill and skill points? Ok, not bad. Consider if you're playing low lvl (choose BAB) or high level (choose skills).

    Flavoring wise you left a fine joke, label him the Party Face, which hints at the joyful event and the group.

    I wouldn't play one, except when spellcasting would be keyed of CHA.
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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by Garwain View Post
    To me it looks more like an ACF than a new base class.
    Depends on which you count the Cloistered Cleric as, really. This is the same deal.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    I debated adding the skills Balance, Ride, Climb, and maybe even Move Silently or Sleight of Hand to this variant, but ultimately decided that if I was going to include any skill relating to agility and good health, this class would quickly grow to resemble Rogue and Monk more than I intended, to say nothing of the jokes. So for now there are no changes, but I'm still planning to come back to this project. I'm building a test character to see how it plays and will adjust based on these findings if need be.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I am very married to the d8; it fits them much as it fits a monk, rather than as a standard cleric (where, really, there's no especial reason why it does fit other than the fact that they fight a lot, which really isn't a reason why you would be healthier, just a reason you'd be glad if you were). Going Charisma for casting would resemble the Favored Soul too much, plus it would imply that they're kinda superficial if they're no longer required to be Wise, and that's an impression that's too easy to get from them as-is. They may come across as being lovey-dovey, but they're serious business; I can live with them being a little Mary Sueish rather than even the slightest risk of them coming across as shallow, vapid, or a joke.
    Actually, fighting is physical exercise and thus would make you physically healthier. Or dead... but as long as you don't get your head cut off or get any severe injuries it would make you healthier.

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    Default Re: Cleric Variant: The Celebrant

    Well, anyway.

    Was just looking at my example Celebrant today, wondering if they need to get a third Domain like the Cloistered does. The Celerity domain has a very nice granted power which, interestingly enough, gives exactly what I wanted when I first started making this variant: a reason not to wear armor.

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