The handiwork of the gods is everywhere, in the places of natural beauty and in mighty crusades, in the soaring temples, and in the hearts of worshipers. Like people, gods run the gamut from benevolent to malicious, reserved to intrusive, simple to inscrutable. The gods, however, work mostly through intermediaries—their clerics.


Clerics are masters of divine magic, which is especially good at healing. Even an inexperienced cleric can bring people back from the brink of death, and an experienced cleric can bring back people who have crossed over that brink.
As channelers of divine energy, clerics can affect undead creatures. A good cleric can turn away or even destroy undead; an evil cleric can bring undead under his control.
Clerics have some combat training. They can use simple weapons, and they are trained in the use of armor, since armor does not interfere with divine spells the way it does with arcane spells.


A cleric’s alignment must be within one step of his deity’s (that is, it may be one step away on either the lawful–chaotic axis or the good–evil axis, but not both). A cleric may not be neutral unless his deity’s alignment is also neutral.


Every reasonably well-known deity has clerics devoted to him or her, so clerics can be of any religion. The deity most common worshiped by human clerics in civilized lands is Pelor (god of the sun). The majority of nonhuman clerics are devoted to the chief god of the appropriate racial pantheon. Most clerics are officially ordained members of religious organizations, commonly called churches. Each has sworn to uphold the ideals of his church.


Most clerics join their churches as young adults, though some are devoted to a god’s service from a young age, and a few feel the call later in life. While some clerics are tightly bound to their churches’ activities on a daily basis, others have more freedom to conduct their lives as they please, as long as they do so in accordance with their gods’ wishes.
Clerics of a given religion are all supposed to get along, though schisms within a church are often more bitter than conflicts between religions. Clerics who share some basic ideals, such as goodness or lawfulness, may find common cause with each other and see themselves as part of an order or body that supersedes any given religion. Clerics of opposed goals, however, are sworn enemies. In civilized lands, open warfare between religions occurs only during civil wars and similar social upheavals, but vicious politicking between opposed churches is common.


All the common races are represented in this class, since the need for religion and divine magic is universal. The clerics of most races, however, are too focused on their religious duties to undertake an adventurer’s life. Crusading, adventuring clerics most often come from the human and dwarf races.
Among the savage humanoids, clerics are less common. The exception is troglodytes, who take well to divine magic and are often led by priests, who make a practice of sacrificing and devouring captives.

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