Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pimping the Cleric Part 2 (REVERSE THEM ALL)

Just an idea about pimping the cleric further (here is Part 1) that occurred to me yesterday: why not make it possible for a cleric to reverse all his spells?
Seems to be a famous meme. It's kind of funny, too...
(source: here)


He basic impulse came from thinking about making a witch class (well, just a thought experiment) and my first thought was to give witches an option to do it either the good way or the bad way*. A comparison to cleric spells was imminent and unavoidable.


Pretty much writes itself. I took a look at the Rules Cyclopedia list of cleric spells and it seems very possible with some interesting spells as a result. Let's see some of those results**:

  • Vulnerable to Cold could be the reverse effect of Resist Cold (freezing temperatures do hurt people as if they were naked, just reverse the rest).
  • Spoil Food and Water is an easy enough reverse to Purify Food and Water. And it wouldn't be that powerful, because it would be obvious to see that the food and the water are spoiled and to be avoided. Useful, though.
  • Hide Traps instead of Find Traps could mean a tactical advantage for the cleric. It could, to give but one example, hide a pit trap in front of him when Monsters/Adventurers are charging him. Again, not to powerful, because directly connected to the clerics position.
  • Don't need to explain Vulnerable to Fire as a reverse of Resist Fire, I guess.
  • Snake Taunt (as a reverse to Snake Charm) leaves you with a very pissed off snake, who attacks the closest target (not necessarily the cleric).
  • A reverse to Speak with Animal could be a bit more difficult. My take would be to reverse it to Irritate Communication with Animal, which would lead to the animal having a -2 to reaction rolls and understands every command given to it as it's opposite. Now imagine a knight charging an evil cleric and the cleric casts Irritation. The horse would come to an abrupt stop, because the knight wants it to gallop, etc.. So there is  value in it.
  • Cause Blindness is treated like a curse and not to be healed by its opposite Cure Blindness. It's a bit redundant, but Cure Blindness itself isn't exactly the greatest idea ever.
  • To reverse Speak with the Dead seems a bit difficult at first. But what does the spell do? A cleric is allowed to ask a spirit up to 3 questions, which are to answered to their best knowledge and, as a worst case, it might be in riddles. Murderers would be caught quite fast with such a spell. I'd suggest to reverse it to Erase Memories of the Dead, allowing a cleric to erase up to 3 memories of a spirit (which should be as useful as speaking with them...).
  • Slay Undead could be the reverse to Animate Undead. Seems a bit redundant, too, but at least it allows for a fast destruction of undead.
  • Dispel Magic is a hard one. Revive Magic might be a good reverse of it. Yes, I'd go with that. Same difficulties as destroying it, as the spell suggests. Might be useful, too.
  • I suggest Disconnect instead of Commune. It allows a cleric to disconnect another cleric from his god for 3 turns (target needs to hear the caster hear praying for the presence of his deity, no save to avoid).
  • Create Hunger (instead Create Food) make for 12 very hungry persons. All the effects of starvation apply for 24 hours, regardless of what they're eating and drinking (no save, because it's a level 5 spell?). If there is more than enough food, this could lead to some serious damage as soon as the spell wears of (drowning because of too much water, internal damage because of too much food. Here are some very creative results possible (what if the only food source left is other people...). 

I could go on (and maybe I should at some point in the future...), but this was supposed to be a short post and I think I made my point. There are some difficult decisions with the spells on higher levels, but that shouldn't be a problem for a creative DM.

It gives the cleric a few more options and variety with just a little bit of work.

Any further suggestions? Alternatives?

*As a side note: I think witches could work using the cleric as is. I mean, Satan could be the petty god of lies or something. Need to think a bit more about it...
**Interesting note: Detect Evil is reversible in the German version of the Rules Cyclopedia (Detect Good would be the reversed version). This need's to be explored further in the future, too.


  1. I've always seen Clerical spells as being dependent upon the Faith/Religion/Deity of the character, not so much being reversible or inverted for 'bad guys,' but that each spell would be modified to reflect the particular entity/power source being called upon. This requires some sort of preparation, in terms of determining the basic effects one can expect from each temple, but it is worth it and my players have usually enjoyed it a good bit.

    Just another 2cents from another old fart.

  2. It's not so much for the bad guys only. After trying this for a few of the spells, I realized it had some potential for all of them. It doesn't work every time (and I have to try a decent write up as soon as I have a bit spare time...), but Revive Magic has some potential, Vulnerabilities could have nice effects, etc.. What you propose definitely has merit, though. A little bit more down that road and you got "potential" instead of "spells". I think a system in which believe and level of a cleric defines his options and effects, instead of a strict spell system.

    And your 2 cents are really appreciated. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


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