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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Howdy GitP. Someone earlier asked me for some ideas for Life Cleric character concepts that defy the "typical healer stereotypes," so I threw together some. I thought others might find them helpful too, so here you go!

    ___

    Here are a few possible avenues to explore for RP that doesn't fit into the stereotypical mold for a Life Domain cleric:

    • You don't just maintain life, you celebrate it. You're an exuberant, fun-loving, thrill-seeking type that seeks to live life to the fullest, and advises others to do the same. Seize every day! Indulge yourself! You actively encourage others to take risks and live a little... after all, you can always fix it if something goes wrong, right?
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    • Perhaps you fought in a bloody war, perhaps you made a terrible mistake, or perhaps you were even a villain. Whatever the case, you have taken many lives. You had an epiphany, changed your ways, and came into the service of the god of Life. Now, you have sworn to save as many lives as you have taken, as penance for your past.
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    • You speak with divine authority over all life, which must rightfully obey your god's commands (or, as the case may be, Commands). This is a common theme in many ancient myths and religions, so there's a lot to draw inspiration from. Diseases flee the body because you tell the demons they have to move out, and you're relaying a message from the boss. Heck, you might even order someone's blood cells to get back in their body as they're bleeding out.

    • There is only so much divine magic to go around in the world; not everyone gets a Raise Dead. In your culture, clerics of Life are legally empowered as the chosen arbiters of who lives and who dies.
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    • You are a master strategist; your allies are soldiers who have placed their lives in your hands, willful pieces on your chess board. You are an intelligent, practical, rational, and effective commander. You inspire your allies to get up and keep fighting, and your audacious and devious plans ensure that their bravery is not wasted. Take a look at magnificent bastards in support class roles, such as Shiroe from Log Horizon.
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    • You are the complete physician: You seek to cure ailments of the mind as well as the body, and have a broad definition of ailments. Perhaps anger is resolved by justice. Perhaps arrogance is cured by a dose of humility. Perhaps truth is the antidote of lies.

    • As above, but extended to a cultural scale, with memes being seen similarly to diseases. The evil empire has to fall in order to create a healthier world.
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    • Life comes in many forms, and goes through many cycles. Death, undeath... these things are just another transition in life, and you are wise in the way of these cycles. After all, nothing stops Life clerics from using Animate Dead or Speak With Dead, and heck, they have many Necromancy spells on their domain list.

    • Healing goes against the natural order of the world. When you bring someone back from injury or death, you must collect that debt to balance the cosmic scales. You, those you heal, or both must seek to make up for the divine cost of restoration, entering into a karmic pact with the being responsible for doling out salvation.
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    • Death is the greatest tragedy, and mortality is the greatest villain. Your grand calling is to defeat this ultimate foe, or at the very least die trying, for the benefit all. You seek to fight against this great evil at the source... using any and all ways to extend life (including, of course, necromancy), as well as seeking to research or discover any possible ways to extend life... such as tracking down unique kinds of undead to study the way their lives are maintained, or delving into the forgotten secrets of lost civilizations. You will fight against the cosmic cruelties of Time until your bones are ground to dust!
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    • You are a noble, and the lives of your subjects are your sacred charge, by mandate of the nation's chief god. Perhaps it is tradition for the second or third child to enter the priesthood, while the older sibling is prepared to rule (as is the case in some real cultures).
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    • You are a professional! You believe healers deserve to be compensated for their work just like anyone else, and hire out your services like a shrewd mercenary.
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    • You are a champion of sacred mortality, and will defend the life of the material plane from all invasive species... be it angel, demon, aberration, undead, whatever. You are the gatekeeper of humanity. Root out these meddlers out to allow this young form of life to find its own way. Such a character might be an inquisitor, a guardian of an ancient seal, or a champion against a planar invasion.
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    • Since wounds are far more fixable for you, you have far less compunctions about receiving or inflicting them. It really is just a flesh wound. In some fantasy worlds, even death merely leads to the afterlife. Your ideas of how harmful an action is are rearranged accordingly (inhibitions, taboos, ideals, etc). Maybe you're even a bit reckless as a result. The evils that really get you riled up, then, are more than purely physical. Sticks and stones only break bones, but words can destroy a person's future. Your enemy is agony, slavery, violation, abuse, deception, and anything else that robs life of its dignity.
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    • You have no mercy for those who threaten the sanctity of Life. In violating these sacred laws, evildoers remove themselves from the protection of those very laws. To preserve sapient life as a whole, justice demands retribution. A murderer must be destroyed, whether it is an infectious disease, a parasite, or a man.
      Spoiler
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    • There is an uncanny vibrance of life about you. Sometimes, after immense disasters and cataclysms (such as a great volcanic eruption), life energy becomes significantly more powerful amongst the surviving population. Some sages believe this is because there is less competition over supply. You believe that this is because of a divine calling: The goddess of life seeking to restore the balance, and calling you as her champion. As a survivor, you are mandated to go out into the world and save a life for each that was lost.
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    • Your divine mission is to strengthen life, in preparation for the inevitable coming of extinction events. The world has gone through several such cycles already, and another is only a matter of time (or perhaps even prophecy). The factions of this world must be toughened and tested to survive extreme conditions, for the greater good of long term survival. Depending on methodology, this could easily be motivation for an anti-villain.

    • You utilize your awesome divine might to establish dominance. Pretty straightforward; you have a ton of potential for social leverage as a Life cleric, especially in hard times (such as plague / drought / etc).
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    • You are... ah, jaded by your long experience as an adventurer.
      Spoiler
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    ____

    Anyways, hope someone found these helpful, and let me know what you think! And feel free to post your own ideas!
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2018-08-27 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Improved formatting

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I actually was pretty proud of the list of Life domain gods I came up with for my own setting. (Which I had to flesh out a bit when I had a Life cleric in my party this summer.) It wound up looking something like this...
    • Perdif: The goddess of healing, love, and death. The standard healer-goddess, but also the administrator in charge of maintaining the proper order of life and death, and of caring for the dead. Also has the Grave domain.
    • Morvion: Perdif's lover, the god of war, protection, and camaraderie. He represented Life as mutual support, soldiers fighting for each other and their homes on the battlefield, and he defied death to become a god. Also has the War domain.
    • Verhusaf: The goddess of wine, joy, and festivity. The goddess of Life in the way an Ancients paladin would define it: "life to the fullest," enjoying the world and everything about it. Also has the Light domain.
    • Beskif: Perdif's mother, the goddess of farmers, community, and fertility. She represents Life as growth, nourishment, and cooperation. Also has the Nature domain.
    • Irendif (formerly Iridis): Beskif's mother, the goddess of sages, insight, and understanding. She is a healer, like Perdif, but she focuses on healing minds. I've referred to her as "the goddess of psychologists" before. Also has the Knowledge domains.

    In general, I found one thing helpful in designing this: forced myself to assign two domains to every god - creating overlap. The Life domain wound up stuck to gods which already had personalities, like Irendif, and had to take on new forms, and it shared a space with other domains.

    What this means for players is that the Life cleric has a lot of roles to fill. A cleric of Morvion is Life domain, but his calling still reflects the fact that his god is also a god of War. So he's different from a Life cleric of Perdif (a healer and shepherd) or a War cleric of Akatias (the goddess of honor and nobility, who also has Light).

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    You covered a whole spectrum here, and I've really enjoyed reading through. The different perspectives a cleric might take toward their healing abilities- or even from them- is a fun thing to think about. I might actually have to give cleric a try next campaign!

    And maybe even resist the urge to become storm cleric 2 sorcerer X chain lightning taser of justice.

    For all the unique entries, I think my favorite here still has to be that last one. Combat medic takes none of your crap, team. Better get your act together, 'cause the next round is gonna decide whether I'm hitting you with cure wounds or turn undead.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by dragoeniex View Post
    You covered a whole spectrum here, and I've really enjoyed reading through.
    Thanks! I am glad you liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by AureusFulgens View Post
    I actually was pretty proud of the list of Life domain gods I came up with for my own setting. (Which I had to flesh out a bit when I had a Life cleric in my party this summer.) It wound up looking something like this...
    • Perdif: The goddess of healing, love, and death. The standard healer-goddess, but also the administrator in charge of maintaining the proper order of life and death, and of caring for the dead. Also has the Grave domain.
    • Morvion: Perdif's lover, the god of war, protection, and camaraderie. He represented Life as mutual support, soldiers fighting for each other and their homes on the battlefield, and he defied death to become a god. Also has the War domain.
    • Verhusaf: The goddess of wine, joy, and festivity. The goddess of Life in the way an Ancients paladin would define it: "life to the fullest," enjoying the world and everything about it. Also has the Light domain.
    • Beskif: Perdif's mother, the goddess of farmers, community, and fertility. She represents Life as growth, nourishment, and cooperation. Also has the Nature domain.
    • Irendif (formerly Iridis): Beskif's mother, the goddess of sages, insight, and understanding. She is a healer, like Perdif, but she focuses on healing minds. I've referred to her as "the goddess of psychologists" before. Also has the Knowledge domains.

    In general, I found one thing helpful in designing this: forced myself to assign two domains to every god - creating overlap. The Life domain wound up stuck to gods which already had personalities, like Irendif, and had to take on new forms, and it shared a space with other domains.

    What this means for players is that the Life cleric has a lot of roles to fill. A cleric of Morvion is Life domain, but his calling still reflects the fact that his god is also a god of War. So he's different from a Life cleric of Perdif (a healer and shepherd) or a War cleric of Akatias (the goddess of honor and nobility, who also has Light).
    These are really cool. I'm particularly curious about Irendif.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I really like this list. That's a lot of variation on the theme. It's a very complete list. I have become motivated to make a life cleric again!

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Anyone have some more of their own to add?

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Anyone have some more of their own to add?
    Your alignment is LE. You want to make money, and what will everyone pay top dollar for? You will heal and rez them for a price, and that'll be cash in advance, thanks.
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah cain't abide no murderin' scoundrel."

    Tactical Precepts: 1) Cause chaos, then exploit it; 2) No plan survives contact with...(sigh)...my subordinates.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Next time I get to play and not be a DM. I have a idea of a necromancer like life cleric. She tried to trick a death God into resurrecting her. After dying thanks to a failed necromancy ritual that would make her Immortal. Finding it funny and wanting to she what she'll with her life. The God saw it Entertaining to resurrect her and and make her a reaper of lifes. He gave her the life domain because of there desire to never age or die. But she make it hard cause she loves fighting and is bat **** crazy. But she is happy go lucky girl that loves to tease people shes also a peppy girl.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    What about the "imposter" who doesn't believe in any God, but is still able to heal with general prayers. They lay their hands on someone, say "please be healed" and it works. Every time they do it's a surprise to themselves, they can't explain how, or why, it works and they honestly aren't sure they believe it's even happening. They're afraid to try and use their powers because they're not sure they'll even work.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Anyone have some more of their own to add?
    I think I have one to add. I知 playing a Wood-Elf Life Cleric of Mask named Rilis. *1

    Spoiler: Brief backstory
    Show
    A member of a band of smugglers, his actions inadvertently caused his group to be targeting and killed in ambush. A member of the group was Theron, a cleric well favored by Mask.

    Rilis and Mask struck a deal for mutual revenge.

    Determined to NEVER see anyone he cares about die again (and Mask holding Rilis in contempt for his part in the loss of a favored cleric) caused Rilis to choose the Life Domain instead of the typical Trickery.


    Life Cleric attitude: Selfish Bastard.

    I知 not here to heal every poor sap I come across.

    There is a small group which I now consider family. I will do anything to keep them alive. I値l give my own life gladly before I see any of them die.

    But outside that circle? You better believe that I知 considering if healing you will cause me to run out of spells for them. I値l let you die to keep them safe. *2

    And if you are actively threatening my family? No 鉄anctity of all Life nonsense will cause me the slightest hesitation before I kill you.



    *1 Keep in mind that unlike most domains, Any non evil deity can include Life Clerics among their followers.

    *2 Not that Rilis advertises this. He値l play at altruism if he thinks it will benefit the group by making a good impression. And hey, if he has some extra points that would be lost when using Preserve Life or someone happens to be in range of a Mass Heal spell, no reason to be stingy. Besides, the more friendly people up, the more chances that the next incoming arrow or axe blow will be aimed away from
    family.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by XmonkTad View Post
    What about the "imposter" who doesn't believe in any God, but is still able to heal with general prayers. They lay their hands on someone, say "please be healed" and it works. Every time they do it's a surprise to themselves, they can't explain how, or why, it works and they honestly aren't sure they believe it's even happening. They're afraid to try and use their powers because they're not sure they'll even work.
    Another variation on this could be a Cleric who's afraid that they're not on good terms with their deity and fears that their prayers won't be answered when they need them.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I have been playing a Gloom Stalker/Life Cleric MC build using crossbows.

    Story: a man on his own in nature and enjoying the simpler sides of life along with his wife and only son. When a zealous cult kidnapped his family for the purposes of making a deal with their evil diety. Unfortunately he was unable to defend and save his family in time and the sight of his dead family and the loss of all that he knew, commited suicide to end the pain.

    Clerics of Tyr were able to bring him back, and after rehabilitation and time he was able to regain his strength. It was then he realized his purpose from the shadows he would bring light to those that would bring darkness to others.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    - You are an intimidating giant of a half-orc (or similar race), seemingly out of place in the robes of a humble healer, with hands that seem like they would sooner break a man than mend him. To one whose injuries aren't quite worth a spell slot, you might bodily pick them up off the ground and laughingly tell them to walk it off, for no orc warrior would admit pain from such a little scratch. For more serious matters, you'll leap into a burning building, lift that fallen pillar off a victim yourself, drag them out as if they weighed as much as a child, and snap their broken bones back into place with your bare hands.
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    - You are an intimidating giant of a half-orc (or similar race), seemingly out of place in the robes of a humble healer, with hands that seem like they would sooner break a man than mend him. To one whose injuries aren't quite worth a spell slot, you might bodily pick them up off the ground and laughingly tell them to walk it off, for no orc warrior would admit pain from such a little scratch. For more serious matters, you'll leap into a burning building, lift that fallen pillar off a victim yourself, drag them out as if they weighed as much as a child, and snap their broken bones back into place with your bare hands.
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    Well, you've managed to make a D&D character who's a storming firefighter. Kurt Vonnegut would call that the perfect Life Cleric.

    (*For those unaware, the Kurt Vonnegut character Mr. Rosewater believed firefighters represented the pinnacle of human nobility.*)

    Quote Originally Posted by XmonkTad View Post
    What about the "imposter" who doesn't believe in any God, but is still able to heal with general prayers. They lay their hands on someone, say "please be healed" and it works. Every time they do it's a surprise to themselves, they can't explain how, or why, it works and they honestly aren't sure they believe it's even happening. They're afraid to try and use their powers because they're not sure they'll even work.
    I'd totally use this in a comedic campaign. Especially if I have a DM who's on board and has an idea about why my magic keeps working. Plot hooks are on the menu tonight, folks.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    These are really cool. I'm particularly curious about Irendif.
    Irendif is one I've had some fun ideas for. She's currently going through a bit of an identity crisis since I shrank the pantheon a bit and merged her with the god Rendasun, but her general ethos is understanding and peace. Things she advocates:
    • Personal understanding, of yourself and others. Morality and good decision-making both begin with seeking to better understand people. She subscribes to Ender Wiggin's motto, that the moment you understand someone, you love them (without the part where he then blows them up). And seeking to sort out your own mind can only help you think more clearly. All of this also gives her an association with names, and she and her priests both have the title Namer.
    • Redemption. Since she believes everyone's essential being is good, she also believes no one is beyond the reach of redemption, if the right person were to talk sense into them.
    • Patience. She teaches that everyone could stand to stop and think before acting. Other philosophies accuse hers of promoting inaction, and there may be some truth to this, but her intended point is more that one should only act after being sure one is making the right choice. (She is thus an important foil to her children Verhusaf and Telmadion, who can both be impulsive and rash.)
    Spreading noble, cheerful insanity since [BIRTH DATE REDACTED]. Responds to Aureus, Mr. Fulgens, Brightlord Radiant, and That Nut Over There.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by BoringInfoGuy View Post
    I think I have one to add. I知 playing a Wood-Elf Life Cleric of Mask named Rilis. *1

    Spoiler: Brief backstory
    Show
    A member of a band of smugglers, his actions inadvertently caused his group to be targeting and killed in ambush. A member of the group was Theron, a cleric well favored by Mask.

    Rilis and Mask struck a deal for mutual revenge.

    Determined to NEVER see anyone he cares about die again (and Mask holding Rilis in contempt for his part in the loss of a favored cleric) caused Rilis to choose the Life Domain instead of the typical Trickery.


    Life Cleric attitude: Selfish Bastard.

    I知 not here to heal every poor sap I come across.

    There is a small group which I now consider family. I will do anything to keep them alive. I値l give my own life gladly before I see any of them die.

    But outside that circle? You better believe that I知 considering if healing you will cause me to run out of spells for them. I値l let you die to keep them safe. *2

    And if you are actively threatening my family? No 鉄anctity of all Life nonsense will cause me the slightest hesitation before I kill you.



    *1 Keep in mind that unlike most domains, Any non evil deity can include Life Clerics among their followers.

    *2 Not that Rilis advertises this. He値l play at altruism if he thinks it will benefit the group by making a good impression. And hey, if he has some extra points that would be lost when using Preserve Life or someone happens to be in range of a Mass Heal spell, no reason to be stingy. Besides, the more friendly people up, the more chances that the next incoming arrow or axe blow will be aimed away from
    family.
    True Neutral Life Clerics, coming up. :D

    But seriously, I think a lot of people tend to associate Life with Good hard. (Heck, all five of the gods of Life I mentioned earlier are Good-aligned.) So it's interesting to see it tied to a different alignment. Though, on the other hand, the flavor text attached to the Life domain is pretty Good-aligned, despite saying "non-Evil"...
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB p. 60
    The Life domain focuses on the vibrant positive energy - one of the fundamental forces of the universe - that sustains all life. The gods of life promote vitality and health through healing the sick and wounded, caring for those in need, and driving away the forces of death and undeath.
    ... so I don't think that it's wrong that the norm is Good. The variation is still neat, though.
    Last edited by AureusFulgens; 2018-09-02 at 12:31 AM.
    Spreading noble, cheerful insanity since [BIRTH DATE REDACTED]. Responds to Aureus, Mr. Fulgens, Brightlord Radiant, and That Nut Over There.

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    Comprehensive DPR Calculator v2.0 (with LudicSavant)

    My expansive and highly professional homebrew portfolio currently contains:
    Art Cleric
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Another variation on this could be a Cleric who's afraid that they're not on good terms with their deity and fears that their prayers won't be answered when they need them.
    Que the tragic backstory where when they really needed it, their power failed because they gambled/ate meat/didn't pray that day. I like that idea, someone who believes their karma isnt good enough without a certain fastidiousness. A real zealot driven by fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by AureusFulgens View Post
    I'd totally use this in a comedic campaign. Especially if I have a DM who's on board and has an idea about why my magic keeps working. Plot hooks are on the menu tonight, folks.
    God forgot to turn off your powers. Trickster God true source of your power. God doesn't like you, but has a crush on one of your companions. One of your companions is God, but is travelling incognito, and needs to use you as an excuse for why they seem unkillable. God setting you up for success because they need a pawn and you'll do. You have the same name as a powerful cleric who died on your birthday.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by XmonkTad View Post
    Que the tragic backstory where when they really needed it, their power failed because they gambled/ate meat/didn't pray that day. I like that idea, someone who believes their karma isnt good enough without a certain fastidiousness. A real zealot driven by fear.



    God forgot to turn off your powers. Trickster God true source of your power. God doesn't like you, but has a crush on one of your companions. One of your companions is God, but is travelling incognito, and needs to use you as an excuse for why they seem unkillable. God setting you up for success because they need a pawn and you'll do. You have the same name as a powerful cleric who died on your birthday.
    A cleric that gets their powers due to clerical error, that's hilarious

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Anyone have some more of their own to add?
    A lizardfolk cleric is weirdly adept at curing disease. They can only cast the lowest of spells, yet the people report they have cured entire towns all on their own! How do they accomplish such a feat?

    Well lizardfolk see people as food, so if someone promises that the lizardfolk can eat them when they die, the lizardfolk can cure them with a ritual casting of Purify Food and Drink. Sure there are other benefits to containing disease and making the land-dwellers respected the scaled ones, but an entire catacomb full of food in a few years is a great bonus! Life for the humans! Life for the lizards! Everyone wins! Everyone feels weird about it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    And this is why I love D&D

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    In a HB campaign I was part of, I played a lore bard with 2 levels of life cleric, in order to get that sweet, sweet boost to healing. In order to justify why my character would take two levels of cleric, I created a god whose portfolio was the representation of flowers that trick animals into carrying pollen, creatures that disguised themselves as rocks, the moths that have similar colours to wasps and/or actual poisonous creatives without being dangerous themselves.

    Basically, she loved how these creatures survived through deception, and her patron god was one that represented that.
    Gnome Wizard by DarkCorax

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by AureusFulgens View Post
    Irendif is one I've had some fun ideas for. She's currently going through a bit of an identity crisis since I shrank the pantheon a bit and merged her with the god Rendasun, but her general ethos is understanding and peace. Things she advocates:
    • Personal understanding, of yourself and others. Morality and good decision-making both begin with seeking to better understand people. She subscribes to Ender Wiggin's motto, that the moment you understand someone, you love them (without the part where he then blows them up). And seeking to sort out your own mind can only help you think more clearly. All of this also gives her an association with names, and she and her priests both have the title Namer.
    • Redemption. Since she believes everyone's essential being is good, she also believes no one is beyond the reach of redemption, if the right person were to talk sense into them.
    • Patience. She teaches that everyone could stand to stop and think before acting. Other philosophies accuse hers of promoting inaction, and there may be some truth to this, but her intended point is more that one should only act after being sure one is making the right choice. (She is thus an important foil to her children Verhusaf and Telmadion, who can both be impulsive and rash.)
    This is really neat. How does her clergy go about healing damaged minds in particular?

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Anyone have some more of their own to add?
    - A cleric of the god(or godess) of diseases and plague. As such he's not here to cure the sick but to prolong the life of mortals until they fall sick. What would be the point of his god(ess) gifting those incredible plague if the men could easily evade them when dying of injuries ? But he's not heartless, see : young people and children still have a long life before them, many opportunity to contract many more diseases, and if they become sick he may well cure* them if they show proper respect and devotion for his god. Note that he is not spreading disease himself, that's not his job, that his god's. He, he is just here to make sure that there is people to be sick.
    * Any spell he cast to remove a disease, instead make the patient into a healthy carrier.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by XmonkTad View Post
    God forgot to turn off your powers. Trickster God true source of your power. God doesn't like you, but has a crush on one of your companions. One of your companions is God, but is travelling incognito, and needs to use you as an excuse for why they seem unkillable. God setting you up for success because they need a pawn and you'll do. You have the same name as a powerful cleric who died on your birthday.
    Beautiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    A lizardfolk cleric is weirdly adept at curing disease. They can only cast the lowest of spells, yet the people report they have cured entire towns all on their own! How do they accomplish such a feat?

    Well lizardfolk see people as food, so if someone promises that the lizardfolk can eat them when they die, the lizardfolk can cure them with a ritual casting of Purify Food and Drink. Sure there are other benefits to containing disease and making the land-dwellers respected the scaled ones, but an entire catacomb full of food in a few years is a great bonus! Life for the humans! Life for the lizards! Everyone wins! Everyone feels weird about it...
    I don't think I'd actually allow this to work, but it's a hilarious idea. (Or hey, maybe it's okay for humans to be able to cure cattle of disease with PF&D. Why not. Again, maybe in a comedic campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myan View Post
    - A cleric of the god(or godess) of diseases and plague. As such he's not here to cure the sick but to prolong the life of mortals until they fall sick. What would be the point of his god(ess) gifting those incredible plague if the men could easily evade them when dying of injuries ? But he's not heartless, see : young people and children still have a long life before them, many opportunity to contract many more diseases, and if they become sick he may well cure* them if they show proper respect and devotion for his god. Note that he is not spreading disease himself, that's not his job, that his god's. He, he is just here to make sure that there is people to be sick.
    * Any spell he cast to remove a disease, instead make the patient into a healthy carrier.
    This is... delightfully perverse. The god of life doesn't really care about you, except that you're a good incubator for his actual creatures, which are microbes. And he thinks you should find infectious microbes as wicked cool as he does. Heck, he probably wants you to survive the diseases he inflicts you with so you can catch more diseases! It'll be great, guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    This is really neat. How does her clergy go about healing damaged minds in particular?
    I figure that it's a combination of factors (though I admit it's not something I've fully fleshed out, half of this is being worldbuilt on the spot). And I could approach this from two sides, treating damaged minds in the "real-world" sense of mental illnesses or brain damage, or treating them as issues with a soul/mind that has an empirically demonstrable metaphysical existence and definable properties in a fantasy universe. Given the hodge-podge nature of the D&Dverse, it's probably a bit of both.

    MEDICAL

    On the mundane side, they're highly proficient counselors, and possibly psychiatrists. Minor problems don't even require them to burn a spell slot. (In the same way that a more traditional healer is probably proficient in mundane Medicine in addition to being able to cast Cure Wounds - Irendif is associated with Insight instead, and maybe Persuasion.) Depending on how grim and gritty I want to be about premodern understanding of psychology, there's probably a decent mixture of folk medicine and stuff in there that dubiously works, but I don't generally go for too much anthropological accuracy in my stories (too much of an idealist). I figure they're pretty good at this aspect of their job.

    But the aid of magic opens up a world of possibilities that aren't available to real-world therapists.
    • With consent and careful use, detect thoughts could make a cleric of Irendif preternaturally good at identifying a patient's actual issues and figuring out treatment for them, complementing a mundane skill for insight and understanding.
    • Greater restoration is standard treatment for serious madness in adventures like Out of the Abyss, and they're probably even able to use lesser restoration to heal minor disturbances or delusions.
    • Modify memories could be used to take the edge off of the traumatic memories of war veterans, for which reason an army classically wants at least one around - the temple probably objects to removing memories entirely, for reasons of doctrine, but they don't mind altering them to have a softer impact.
    • Calm emotions could probably stop an acute panic attack, though magic isn't available in great enough quantities to make this a viable treatment for prolonged anxiety issues (the spell only lasts like 10 minutes).
    • Traumatic brain injury might even be curable by classical healing, but if not Irendif definitely has it covered.

    In general, I figure that if magic can heal damage to the rest of the body, it can probably help re-balance one's brain chemistry and heal brain injuries as well - and Irendif's followers would specialize in it.

    (The fact that Irendif's doctrine is unambiguously Good-aligned, affirming the value of individuals and their power of choice, is something the rest of the world should be grateful for. These guys would be flipping terrifying if they were evil.)

    METAPHYSICAL/NARRATIVE

    Critically, Irendif is the Namer, and her priests share this title and ability. This means that they are capable of recognizing a person's "true name" (how literal this is is a matter of some ambiguity) and thus gaining an understanding of their identity. In minor cases, this merely makes them capable of recognizing aspects of the patient's character to help guide them. In extreme cases, however, this means they are capable of breaking memory loss on the spot: I once wrote a short piece in which the high priest of Iridis (her name at the time) is able to discern the name of an amnesiac Singit, the god of magic, and restore him to godhood. She also regularly reminds the hunter-god Orhansin of his name to stabilize the wild shifts of identity and temperament that come with his nature as a fey lord: her influence keeps him centered and focused, something that most of the fey are not generally capable of.

    They also have an important narrative role in classic Inraget stories. Telmadion and Verhusaf often sought their mother's counsel before making decisions, and she was an important linchpin in keeping the gods from succumbing to despair in the darkest moments of their war with the Wild Lords. Priests of Irendif make appearances in certain stories from the Western epics, serving a similar role for mortal heroes: to encourage them, clear their minds, and send them on their way more ready to face their adventures.

    In a couple of stories centering on Namers, they are even known for redeeming villainous characters. The climactic moments of the LEGO movie, Return of the Jedi, and the original Percy Jackson series would all be classical Namer moves - recognizing someone's true nature and respecting them enough to steer them toward the light. This came into play in one of my recent campaigns, where the characters turned over a delusional vandal who'd been working for the BBEG to the temple of Irendif for treatment, and he later reappeared with a stronger grip on reality as an important informant for them in the last stages of the campaign. (That party had a thing for redeeming villains in general. It didn't always work.)

    And when that fails - well, the advice of a Namer can also be a big help in bringing an unredeemable villain to ruin. But many of them will refuse such aid on general principles.

    SO...
    One part psychiatrist-plus-brain-surgeon with magical aid, one part adviser and guide, one part Knower of Names, and one part wise old man archetype.

    Aaaaaand there were other things I had planned to do tonight, but I wrote a lot more than I planned to, so yeah.
    Last edited by AureusFulgens; 2018-09-12 at 10:57 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Since 鼎leric was my first several OD&D class selections I am really jazzed by the varieties of 鏑ife Clerics shown here. Great work!
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Not really approproate for a PC so much as a villain, but how about a cleric of the elder evil Ragnorra, the Mother of Monsters, a primordial entity of positive energy driven to grotesque extremes. This unknowably ancient entity travels through the astral plane to visit worlds of the prime material, growing and twisting the life of that world into grotesque beings of her own design, covering the surface of the world itself with a living layer of 都kin that unites all life with its new Mother, achieving the ultimate state of growth and evolution by uniting the world into a single super-organism. When her work is complete, Ragnorra detaches herself from her completed world and sets off back into the astral, only to someday return to a new world in need of her gifts.

    As she approaches the world, some may hear the call of her song, and may resonate with its message of unity, togetherness, and love. They feel the need to prepare themselves and the world to recieve the gifts they will soon recieve, to preach to the masses that soon there will be an end to all suffering, all strife, all war, all loneliness. Soon, all will be held in their Mother痴 embrace and be made whole, part of the greatest undertaking that can be achieved by life itself. And they recieve gifts from their Mother, the ability to regrow missing flesh, to cure the sick, to make whole the broken. Though the new flesh may not be *exactly* the same as the old... but who are you to question the gifts of the Mother? You are made whole again, and stronger! Faster! You can hear her song too now, can稚 you? That sweet lullaby, promising endless love for all who listen and embrace their sweet, loving Mother.
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by AureusFulgens View Post
    I don't think I'd actually allow this to work, but it's a hilarious idea. (Or hey, maybe it's okay for humans to be able to cure cattle of disease with PF&D. Why not. Again, maybe in a comedic campaign.
    The more I think about it, the more this idea may genuinely be too powerful to allow to work. It's not just a matter of 'clever PCs having a nice thing', it's a matter of completely ruining any plots that may involve plagues, blights, famines, or other serious catastrophes that are motivating threats to the players. This exploit would supersede the inventions of refrigeration, antibiotics, and vaccines in a medieval setting. When the ability to just eat (nutritious) dirt becomes a viable option, the people don't really need brave heroes to slay the jerk who wants to destroy the world, does it?

    I guess the easiest patch is to define 'food' as non-creature biomass. That way it can still work on meat and vegetables, but not on 'food' that is still alive and susceptible to tampering.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    We once had a PC life cleric named Casanova who worshiped a of a fertility goddess and believed it was his divine duty seduce and impregnate as many female NPCs as spiritually possible in the hope of bringing the Chosen One into existence. Lots of laughs. Probably a bit offensive. Good times all around.
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I love making intriguing characters by giving them non-standard motives, backgrounds, and personalities. These were a pleasure to read and some were so good I wanted to have thought them up myself. ;)

    For Pathfinder I made a Half-Orc Cleric who started out as a capo in the organised crime, but who was left to drown (the all-too familiar weighted feet) by his enemies. The Goddess Pharasma (Birth, Death, Fate) offered him a deal: his life for his loyalty. With his last breath escaping his lungs he agreed and became her Cleric. His domains were water and repose - the latter for want of a life domain in this system. His alignment shifted from Lawful Evil to True Neutral - he had foregone his own judgement and fully trusted that of his deity. He killed whoever she wanted dead, he healed whoever she wanted to live.

    For a one-shot session in 5e I really wanted to make a Kender; I kept reading negative remarks about Kender, downright hateful, and I wanted to make one who could defy that attitude. Perhaps even prove them wrong. So I made this lovely little girl, who was a Cleric of the Goddess Lliira (Joy), with the sole aim of encouraging the people she'd meet to enjoy life more and have fun. She loved life and wanted to celebrate it. I had her pegged for the Life domain, but when I found out another player had also made a Cleric I decided to change it into Trickery instead - to emphasise the fun part and the joy of innocent pranks. She was a pacifist and wouldn't attack unless she or her friends were struck first, and she always chose healing over striking. Dying is no fun, after all.
    Just remember... if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I think somehow Oliver, from Fire Emblem games, fits there.

    He is an obese, bald, mustachioed, stuck up noble with an inflated ego, who fancies himself as some kind of paragon of beauty.

    As such, he is more than willing to use his holy power to protect those things who are actually beautiful, be they objects of art, places or people, while also berating his opponent for daring to raising a hand against his "beautiful nose".

    He will also commission several pieces of art, immortalizing his protegees and his own "beauty". One of the most hilarious and memorable takes on Clerics I've seem, actual power be damned.

    Behold, true beauty:

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    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/331/300/ef8.png
    Last edited by Slayn82; 2018-09-15 at 05:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    Quote Originally Posted by AureusFulgens View Post
    True Neutral Life Clerics, coming up. :D

    But seriously, I think a lot of people tend to associate Life with Good hard. (Heck, all five of the gods of Life I mentioned earlier are Good-aligned.) So it's interesting to see it tied to a different alignment. Though, on the other hand, the flavor text attached to the Life domain is pretty Good-aligned, despite saying "non-Evil"...

    ... so I don't think that it's wrong that the norm is Good. The variation is still neat, though.
    Chaotic Neutral actually, but the idea was definitely to be a 哲ot Good Life Cleric.

    I agree, Life Domain is strongly tied to Good, and is definitely the norm.

    But one of the things 5e did well was to repeatedly point out that characters don稚 have to follow the norms. Adventures are extraordinarily people, after all.

    Another unusual trait of Rilis is that he and Mask do not get along. Rilis curses Mask痴 name every time Sacred Flame misses. When Rilis casts Spiritual Weapon, it appears as a crude club, instead Mask痴 favored weapon, a graceful Longsword.

    Definitely not the normal diety cleric relationship. But inspired by this text from Creating a Cleric:

    徹nce you致e chosen a deity, consider your cleric痴
    relationship to that god. Did you enter this service willingly? Or did the god choose you, impelling you into service with no regard for your wishes? How do the temple priests of your faith regard you: as a champion or a troublemaker?

    Spoiler: Tangent
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    Being told that your character can be outside the norm is not new to 5th edition. But with the addition of backgrounds, I致e found players can fall into the trap of thinking that certain backgrounds can only fit certain classes. Soldier background = Fighter. Acolyte = Cleric. Criminal or Urchin = Rogue. Sage = Wizard. I致e seen posters reject the idea that you can play an Urchin Barbarian.

    I like how well 5th edition shows that things like creating Unusual Life Cleric character concepts is both expected and encouraged.


    Have you thought about this? In your pantheon, how do Life Domain Clerics that do NOT follow one of the 5 Good deities of Life fit. How rare are they? Do all non evil deities like having an In-Temple Life cleric on staff? Is it so uncommon that the common folk can稚 grasp that there can be a Life Cleric who does not follow one of the five of Life?

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unusual Life Cleric Character Concepts!

    I just gone weird, Macros the Black, retired pirate, Life Cleric.

    Spiritual Hammer is an Anchor !!

    But seriously, looking at Animate Dead as lot, as well as Spirit Guardians.

    What kind of Chaotic God works well for him ?

    Tymora most likely, maybe Spiritual Hammer should actually be a Giant Coin then :)

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