NOOB Cleric question

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jmsteadman
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NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:07 pm

Ok...

I read that a lvl 1 Cleric cannot cast spells while level 1... yet in part 3 of the rules it gives a list of first level cleric spells? I am lost...
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Dimirag
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:32 pm

Those are first level spells usable by clerics. A spell's level is not the same as a cleric's level. Starting at 2nd level (cleric level) the cleric can cast spells of first level (spell level).

The spells are divided or grouped by levels, then the class tells you what levels of spells he can cast at each experience level.
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jmsteadman
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:49 pm

So for example, my wife, who wants to play a cleric cannot cast ANY spell until she levels up. Once she is a level two cleric she can cast any of the first level clerical spells... there are 8 of them.
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LibraryLass
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:49 pm

Yes, that's right.

Honestly spell levels probably should have had some other name to avoid confusion, but it's tradition. This is what happens when an entire hobby grows out of a bunch of nerds in a basement in the midwest making it up as they go along. :D
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Dimirag
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:00 pm

Exactly, once she is 2nd level she can prepare one first level spell from the least of first level cleric spells. Each day she can prepare the same or another 1st level spell, once casted she must wait till the next day. As she gains more levels she can prepare more spells from different levels.

You can call it "spell circles" or "magnitude"
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Delver
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:47 pm

jmsteadman wrote:So for example, my wife, who wants to play a cleric cannot cast ANY spell until she levels up...
This is frustrating for new players I've found. I strongly suggest using the zero-level spells supplement as it will give your newbie clerics and magic-users something to do, and while not powerful, at least they won't have the feeling they are totally helpless either...

http://basicfantasy.org/download.cgi/BF ... ent-r1.pdf

I've also found that experienced players will use these basic spells with wonderful creativity and to great effect much later on.

I also allow a cleric to Pray at any time to ask for Divine aid. It happens rarely, but sometimes the wind will change or some such thing which is favorable to the character. As the cleric gains power, the Prayers become more effective. This is handled entirely through roleplay and I have no rules for it. I just wing it.
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Dimirag
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:03 pm

A first level cleric is by no means helpless due to not casting spells, he works exactly as the fighter but with a little less HP (unless he has crappy STR, CON and or DEX, in that case he still is not crappy)
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Hywaywolf
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:04 pm

I like playing with 0 level spells myself, but since this is advice for a newbie playing with a bunch of newbies its probably best to not use any of the supplemental rules yet. You could just write in that her temple gave her a potion of healing or two when she left her training to out to spread the good word among the heathens. Then she can still heal people while remaining true to the core rule.

Also, when you encounter the undead, if she doesn't remember that she can attempt to turn them give her a friendly reminder.
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Delver
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:59 pm

Dimirag wrote:A first level cleric is by no means helpless due to not casting spells, he works exactly as the fighter but with a little less HP (unless he has crappy STR, CON and or DEX, in that case he still is not crappy)
Yes, I don't mean to open up this classic discussion again, I'm just describing an observation. I play once every few months with groups of delinquent teens who've never played a game that didn't come with a controller. When they choose to play a cleric, they expect to be able to do something "cleric-y" at level 1! They are often disappointed when they discover that a cleric cannot even cast spells at level 1.

Of course we all understand it from a game balance point of view, history, etc. but in my experience as a GM, any new player that chooses cleric or magic-user expects to be able to do something besides fighting... after all, that's what fighters are for right?

Zero-level spells give them something non-melee-ish to do and it scratches the itch for why they chose to play a cleric or m-user to begin with.

I might suggest two things based on what you wrote. The first would be to start your characters at level 2, which would make them slightly more robust for newbs and grant clerics and m-users a spell or two. And/Or give them an innate "cast at will" Zero-level spell to play with. Maybe arcane/holy bolt as discussed in other threads.

I, personally, think that new players would appreciate this as it more easily distinguishes the classes. In my opinion magic users and clerics should be able to start out with at least a few parlour tricks for all the time they've devoted to their craft prior to reaching level 1.

That's just my two coppers however, and I agree that keeping it simple is best.
"...It's up to the players to make cool characters and a cool story, and work with you rather than against you to do that. If they can't or won't do that, they are not doing their job as players." - Longman
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Hywaywolf
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Re: NOOB Cleric question

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:12 pm

You described what to do for a problem that might not even exist yet. In the other thread where he asked for DM advice he is playing with his wife and kids. Most of whom aren't old enough to have a lot of game play experience in rpg or video games. And its his wide who wants to play a cleric. I would suggest that not having any spells would give her plenty of opportunity to learn to actually roleplay her character. She can still bind wounds to stop them from bleeding, or bleeding out if using the optional dead at -10 rule. She can tend to the wounded. She can pray over them asking her saint to preserve them. Just because there isn't a mechanism to reward such actions doesn't mean they are pointless in a storytelling sense.
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