Cleric new player guide
This is a page for the Cleric specific page for the Newbie Help Guide. Whenever possible, overlap with the general guide should be minimized.
For details, rules, and the other pages involved, see Category:Newbie Guide Contest.
Be sure to read the General Newbie Help Guide, as it will provide most of the basic knowledge you will need to play Dragonrealms. This guide will expand on many things found there.
So You Want to Be a Cleric?
You've probably read the official Dragonrealms Cleric intro:
The Clerics of Elanthia are a vastly diverse group, as different in their beliefs as there are combinations of the dozens of Immortals that manifest in everyday life. Clerics span the spectrum from the benevolent worshipers of the Light gods to the malevolent minions of the Dark gods, as well as the Keepers of Balance in between. We are the Priests of War and the Patrons of Peace. We are the menders of the soul and the force that shears it like fresh meat. We are the most feared opponent of the Undead and the summoners of ancient spirits. All are accepted, for in the Cleric guild, there is but one solid doctrine -- You may worship any gods that you wish, as long as your devotion is genuine.
But might be wondering; what exactly does that mean for you, the player?
Mechanically, Clerics are Magic primary, Lore and Weapons secondary, Armor and Survival tertiary. This means they are first-class spellcasters who can still use weapons with authority. Without careful training their offenses can outpace their defenses, so attention must be paid to ensure this doesn't happen. Their suite of spells has unparalleled breadth - in addition to being masters of Augmentation and being able to self-boost 5 (out of 8) Attributes, they are also the masters of Debilitation and have the largest number of ways to hinder an opponent. They are the only guild that can inhibit the spellcasting ability of others - eventually a skilled Cleric can steal spells as they are being prepared and then use the stolen spell themselves. Clerics are the only guild that can inflict Spirit damage, and are one of two guilds that can effectively and easily hunt undead. Furthermore, they can Resurrect others and eventually themselves. By Aligning themselves with the specific aspect of a god, Clerics can even further enhance their magical abilities.
In Dragonrealms, there are no particular races that are 'better' than others. Clerics blend magical and physical attacks well, so a number of different races have attribute setups that work. You generally can't go wrong with Reflex and Stamina as those are important survival attributes. The main Cleric offensive spells use the attributes Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence, and Discipline - so races that excel in those attributes make popular choices. Strength and Agility are important for melee offenses, so a Cleric wishing to excel in that sphere could go with a race that suits those attributes. As you can see, there's a place for every stat, so there's no 'wrong' race. Read through the guide, figure out where you want to place emphasis, but for the most part - pick the race you want to play and go from there.
Racial attribute bonuses/penalties are balanced so that if you trained every single stat evenly, to say 20, 40 or even 80 points, each race will require the same TDP investment to do so.
Attributes, also known as 'Stats' contribute to almost every aspect of the the game. Each attribute is associated with various Skills, and plays a role in many Contested Abilities. For general and long-term Attribute training plans, be sure to read the guide in its entirety so you have a good idea of which Attributes contribute to what. Then you can train with a good idea of what you want your character's focus to be. For starting out, I *VERY* highly recommend training stats in the following order: (and remember DIRection will get you to each)
- Get equipped with the armor and weapon(s) you plan on training
- Train STAMINA to 14 (16 if you plan on doing a lot of combat)
- Train STRENGTH until you check ENCUMBRANCE and see Encumbrance : None
- Train REFLEX to 14-16 (depending on Racial modifier)
- Do whatever else you want
A good slightly longer-term training plan is just to train all attributes to 30. That will give you a goal to aim for while you work on understanding the game - from that point forward you should be equipped to make your own educated decisions on stat placement. Some general tips:
- Intelligence and Wisdom will increase your spell damage and are very important in speeding your learning rate
- Discipline will improve your accuracy with Targeted Magic spells.
- Charisma is the primary stat for Spirit Health, which is especially important for Clerics.
- Check the Debilitation section for stat information on our contested spells.
- Reflex and Stamina are the primary defensive stats for evading/enduring attacks.
- Strength and Agility govern melee offense and weapon roundtimes.
If you are following the General Newbie Guide, you will know how to exchange your gear at the Veteran or Robyn. I would recommend chain armor and either a scimitar or broadsword, though again the choice is yours. I started with a cloth robe and a quarterstaff. For more detailed information, check out the Weapons and Armor section further in this guide.
After following the Walkthrough and obtaining basic armor and a weapon, you should head to the local Cleric shop - Brother Durantine's (Crossing) or Riverhaven Cleric Shop (Riverhaven). These will be regular stops for you as a cleric, since here you will buy the tools needed for Clerical rites. here. For now, purchase Incense and Wine as they will come in handy for your first few rituals. At some point in the next few levels you will want to buy a Chalice as well, to use with Eluned's commune.
By now you should be able DIR GENERAL and head to the General Store, where you can buy flint with which to light your incense.
Starting Spell Choice
Hopefully you read the guide in it's entirety before choosing, but for those who want to jump the gun, here is my recommendation, it will be explained later:
- Minor Physical Protection
- Fists of Faenella
- Soul Sickness
This will allow you to train every Magic skill by 6th Circle. For more long-term spell choice advice, check out the Spell Choice section below.
General Notes on Roleplay and Choices
As you read through this guide, you'll notice I will often repeat things about character concept, roleplay, and doing what you want. I realize in today's gaming environment, many people are looking to just follow walkthroughs, min-max, and metagame. While I appreciate the sentiment, and will share best practices where appropriate, the game is balanced in a way that there is no clear 'best' anything. With finite resources (time, attribute training points) most choices end up being a calculated trade-off. Let's look at a couple case studies to illustrate my points (and keep in mind I'm making extremely broad generalizations to illustrate concepts):
- Case 1: A Gor'tog Cleric who maybe should have been a Paladin, but wanted better spells. She wields a massive 2-handed blunt, wears Plate armor, and spends most of her time in combat. She focuses on physical attributes to better smash undead with her oversized hammer.
Gor'togs are the strongest race in the game with great stamina as well, and less than stellar Intelligence and Wisdom. This Cleric will find it harder to excel with our debilitation spells, but might not even need them since every swing of her massive hammer that connects will likely knock things off balance. For physical defense, she will rely heavily on shield and heavy plate armor as her primary lines of defense and might be weaker vs.DFA attacks. Versus spells and abilities, she will have great resistance to vs.Fortitude type attacks. On the other side of that coin, she will be vulnerable to vs.Willpower type mental attacks. Targeted and Debilitation skills are their 2nd and 3rd magics.
- Case 2: A frail Elothean Cleric who wears robes and wields a quarterstaff, not because he wants to, but because the guild requires it. He only hunts as often as he has to to get the minimum combat requirements, but instead hangs out in town, resurrecting dead adventurers and working his non-combat magical skills. He focuses almost completely on mental attributes to learn faster.
Elotheans have above-average mental attributes and reflexes with less than average strength and poor stamina. This Cleric would normally excel at Debilitation due to attribute placement, but since he spends almost no time in combat, has very poor debilitation skill. He has excellent mental defenses but is susceptible to vs.Fortitude spells and Power attacks. His combat skills are at the minimum required by the guild, many of them being taught to him by other adventurers as he socializes. Debilitation and Targeted skills are not even used in his circling requirements at all. This Cleric would probably ignore my starting spell choices entirely because they didn't want to follow the Soul Sickness branch of the tree.
These are obviously very polarized and extreme examples that illustrate some of the gear/attribute/training choices you can make, and I suspect most Clerics will fall somewhere inbetween the two. The beauty of the skill system in DragonRealms is that you can bring almost any character concept to life.
Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the pantheon you plan on following. You would be a poor Cleric to not know the Immortals you purport to worship!
Training Your Cleric
Using the Cleric Circle Requirements as a Guide, I will roughly explain how the requirements work. First thing to know is that the DragonRealms skill system is set up to give the player as much control as possible over how you conceptualize and play your character. Where you see '1st Magic', the game will automatically use your highest Magic Skill. Where you see '3rd Magic', the game will automatically use your third highest magic skill...and so on. These 'Nth' skills are dictated by player's choice, and allow you to excel in areas that best fit your roleplay.
There are almost no restrictions on what skills you *can* train (learning another guild-only skill is impossible), the only 'restriction' if you will, are skills that the guild will not recognize when it comes time to advance. For Clerics those are Sorcery and Thievery. You may train them if you want, but do so for their own merit. Even if they are your highest skills, the guild will ignore them for circling purposes.
As the primary skill of the Cleric guild, we will start with some general concepts then delve deeper into each magic skill with tactics and training tips. Helpful reading materials are the article on Magic, and the more conceptual over-arching Magical Theory page. A detailed step-by-step guide on how to cast your first spells can be found in the General Newbie Help Guide, Magic Subsection.
As mentioned earlier, Clerics begin needing to train 3 of the Magic Skills until 10th circle. Eventually you will need to train 5 out of the 10 magic skills. Holy Magic, Sorcery, and Theurgy won't count for 'Nth Magic' circling requirements so you really only have 7 to choose from. Since we also have a separate Augmentation requirement you will still have to train it even if it is not one of your top skills. As a result, it is highly recommended that you select Augmentation as one of your top magic skills. If you don't select an Augmentation spell at first circle you will be forced to seek out and sit in an Augmentation class in order to progress. As I don't care for being at the mercy of others, so I recommend selecting Centering as your first spell. Most Clerics (myself included) end up training all of them; the real question is which ones you want to excel at. Debilitation and Targeted can both only be trained in combat, and tend to skew higher in 'Nth' requirements for more combat-oriented Clerics. A more scholarly type of Cleric could let them fall far behind, and progress in the guild without them completely, which is perfectly viable as well. It all comes down to how you want to roleplay your character.
The only way to train this skill specifically is by listening to another Holy Magic user teach it. You may also see this referred to as 'Ur Magic' or 'Primary Magic', and it trains organically as you cast spells from each of the following skills: Augmentation, Debilitation, Targeted Magic, Utility, and Warding.
Clerics have the largest selection of Debilitation spells out of all the guilds. While your skill in debilitation is still the largest factor in determining success, it is still important to understand which Attributes are being used if you want to excel at debilitating.
|Attack Type||Primary Attribute||Secondary Attribute||Tertiary Attribute||Description|
|Spirit||Wisdom||Charisma||Intelligence||The attacker is clashing their soul against their opponent's.|
|Mind||Intelligence||Discipline||Wisdom||The attacker is bringing the force of their own mind to bear on their opponent.|
|Magic||Wisdom||Intelligence||Discipline||The attacker is creating an effect that acts of its own accord on the opponent.|
- 5 Spirit attack spells: Soul Sickness, Soul Bonding, Sanyu Lyba, Malediction, Curse of Zachriedek (6 if you consider Hydra Hex)
- 2 Magic attack spells: Phelim's Sanction, Halo
- 2 Mind attack spells: Huldah's Pall, Meraud's Cry
Being an attack skill in our Primary skillset, TM has the potential to be a Cleric's best offense. it is trained by hitting a critter that falls in the skill range of your TM skill. The attributes that assist Targeted Magic are:
There are three main types of Targeted Magic Spell:
- Regular - TM spells can have a number of effects and damage types, and a regular/standard TM spell is most notable for not falling under one of the following classifications
- Multi-Strike - these TM spells will produce multiple 'hits' for a single cast. The trade-off is that they are generally less accurate than regular single-strike TM spells
- Area of Effect - AoE TM spells will hit everything in the room. Generally cost far more mana than single-target spells.
Another term that is important to cover here is Death From Above (DFA), which means the spell will bypass Shield defense.
Spells can be a combination of most of the above, and how many categories they fall under is reflected in the number of spell slots they cost, and how much mana they take to cast. For example: Fists of Faenella is a multi-shot targeted spell, which costs 1 spell slot and has a minimum prep of 5 mana. Harm Horde is an area-of-effect multi-shot DFA targeted spell, which costs 5 slots and has a minimum prep of 20 mana.
Cleric's undisputed specialty is combating evil and undead beings. Only us and Paladins can hunt them effectively, and many of our spells and abilities are even better against undead. Let's look again at the FF spell. It's a multi-strike TM spell that deals impact damage. Against undead, the spell has increased damage, and also adds fire to the impact.
Harm Evil is an example of one of our spells that *ONLY* works against undead/evil opponents (it is worth noting that it will also work against PC Necromancers who are Profane). However, it works spectacularly as it is DFA *and* ignores armor completely (which is a feature no other damaging spell has), for a comparatively very low mana cost.
In addition to spells that have extra/special effects vs. undead, Clerics can also use Tamsine's Commune to boost TM skill vs. Undead even further.
Utility is a general catch-all for spells that don't fit a better classification. Utility spells do 'stuff' but not really TO you or another target. Bless and Divine Radiance are two examples of this, and what you will primarily use to train the skill. Eventually you will be able to cast Osrel Meraud which will create a magic orb that will follow you around and keep up buffs indefinitely (as long as you keep putting mana into it).
The Warding skill governs spells that protect you, not by increasing your defensive skill, but by creating a magical barrier between the damage and you. The very basic of these is Minor Physical Protection (MPP) which provides a percentage damage reduction from any incoming attack.
Remember when I told you that Clerics were the undisputed masters of battling undead and evil beings? That didn't just apply to offenses. Protection from Evil (PFE) is a Warding spell that provides additional protection against damage from undead and evil sources. When paired with MPP, the effects are magnified and you will see special messaging to reflect this. Both of these are very early spells, so this is a tactic that can be used early in your life as a Cleric.
Arcana covers the use of magical items such as cambrinth, and is generally trained through the use of Cambrinth. As long as you are using (CHARGE/INVOKE) the cambrinth, every time it contributes mana to a spell you CAST, you will learn Arcana. As your skill grows, so will the size of cambrinth you can use, and how much mana you can put in it successfully.
Attunement is perhaps the most simple of all the magic skills. As noted in the General Guide, it is trained by checking POWer in rooms.
Clerics can PERCeive <item>, and tell if an item is blessed (and for how many strikes) or cursed. We also have the unique ability to PERCeive <player> to tell how many favors they have. Using it in this way does not train the skill, and PERCeiving living players for no reason is considered somewhat rude, and in some cases a hostile action. When used on the corpse of a player, it also shows the state of their memory loss.
This is a much more complicated type of magic and slightly out of scope for a newbie guide, but for the sake of completion it's going here anyway. Can't hurt to plan ahead!
Currently this skill is trained through the use of other magic realm's (Elemental, Life, Lunar) Runestones and Spell scrolls. To use the spell scrolls of other guilds you will need the Magic Theorist Feat. Be warned however, that training Sorcery is a dangerous endeavor that can put you at odds with local law enforcement, and even the gods. Tread carefully. A quick look at the Backlash Table will show that we have the least chance of backlash with Lunar spells, and a medium chance with Elemental, while the highest risk spells are Life.
*PLANNED* Eventually, as a Magic-Primary guild, Clerics will have our own personal brand of Sorcery, Antinomic Sorcery, though there is currently no ETA on implementation.
Theurgy isn't technically a 'magic' skill, but game design dictated that all guild-specific skills go in that guild's primary skillset. The discussion on training and using Theurgy can be found below.
ALIGN is a generic command with a separate use for each guild. For Clerics, it represents our mastery over metamagic and dedication to the gods by allowing us to boost our magic skills even further. By ALIGNing to a specific aspect, you will be able to boost two of your magic skills by 15%, while penalizing the other 3 by the same amount.
When you join the guild, you will be automatically ALIGNed to Faenella:
>align You are currently aligned to Faenella, the ebb and flow of your spirit in accord with her divinity. Your skill in Augmentation has fogged over. Your skill in Warding has fogged over. Your skill in Debilitation has fogged over. Your skill in Targeted Magic is at a zenith of enlightenment. Your skill in Utility is at a zenith of enlightenment. [See ALIGN HELP for more information.] Roundtime: 9 sec.
To change this is a small ritual. This is an excellent way to get an edge on contested spells (TM/Debilitation) or being able to reach spell difficulty thresholds sooner; for example casting Osrel Meraud (Esoteric difficulty) with slightly less than 200 Utility skill. Details and a table showing which Aspect boosts which skills can be found here: Alignment Table NOTE: You *MUST* be aligned to an aspect, and changing has a 6 hour timer.
We cannot consider the lesson on magic concluded without mentioning these two subjects.
Magical Feats are passive abilities that enhance a Spellcaster's magic abilities. Each one costs 1 spell slot, and Clerics receive Augmentation Mastery and Efficient Channeling for free at 2nd circle. You can learn all or none of them at your discretion, though I would advise to plan carefully, as you will have to balance obtaining new spells and feats with your limited spell slots.
- Deep Attunement - a must for all casters, and one feat I can recommend everyone learn as soon as possible.
- Raw Channeling - a must for Clerics after about 30th circle to make cyclical spells easier to use.
- Magic Theorist and Sorcerous Patterns - if you decide you want to train Sorcery, the former is a must and the latter is highly recommended
- Faster Targeting and Faster Battle Preparations - any Cleric that spends much time in combat will find these very beneficial
Ritual Spells (lore-wise) are incredibly complex spells that require more time and far more mana than traditional spells in addition to requiring foci. Mechanically they're spells with huge minimum preps that have; a long prep time, require a focus item, and an extra step. When the focus is used it reduces the mana required (seemingly on a percentage basis) which means they're not much more taxing than a regular spell, have a longer prep time, and can last 2-3 times as long as a normal spell. Important things to know about Ritual Spells:
- Harnessing extra mana into them is ineffective, because of how the foci reduces PREP <amount>
- PREPare your ritual spell (usually with what seems like an absurdly high number)
- INVOKE your focus item
- CAST after fully preparing
Let's break down what each of these skills does, then have a quick discussion of how they relate to Cleric life.
- Appraisal allows you to appraise the statistics of all manner of equipment, as well as critters and how you will fare against them in a fight.
- Crafting skills will allow you to eventually make your own equipment and other items.
- Alchemy governs the creation of various healing salves and unguents, and will eventually allow the creation of poisons.
- Engineering allows the carving of bone armor and stone weapons, and will eventually allow the creation of bows, crossbows and gadgets.
- Forging covers working a Forge: metal armor, weapons, and tools
- Enchanting will eventually let you enchant weapons, armor, and items. *NOTE:this skill is not yet active*
- Outfitting governs the creation of leather and cloth armor, as well as containers and many other roleplay garments.
- Performance represents how well you can sing or play an instrument.
- Scholarship will allow you to make the most out of TEACHing and LISTENing to classes
- Tactics is the only combat-oriented skill in the Lore skillset. It allows you to inflict a variety of non-magical debilitations on your opponents
- Mechanical Lore is mentioned last because it is a special case. This is currently a dead-end skill that will at some point in the future be wrapped up into the crafting skills outlined above. You as a player get to choose which.
As a starting Cleric you must train 3 Lore skills. Eventually you will need to train at least 4. Again, which of these you decide on is mostly a character concept/roleplay choice, but I'll give a few notes and suggestions anyhow.
Appraisal - good for just about anyone, as it will let you know whether one sword is better than another, or how whether or not that critter you're thinking of fighting will mop the floor with you. It is also incredibly easy to train, so I highly recommend using this for at least one of your Lore skills.
Crafting - Largely a roleplay choice, you can't go wrong with any of these. As a note, if you're planning to make your own gear (weapons/armor), it will take quite a bit of skill and time to accomplish this. For more short-term results, consider Alchemy or Outfitting. The skill checks to create non-combat related things are far more lenient.
Performance - There are a few rituals that require playing an instrument. Also, skillfully performed Hymns will increase spirit regeneration, both of which work well for a Cleric
Scholarship - very easy to train, it's done almost passively if you just be sure to teach or listen to a class anytime you're standing around with other people. If you're a very social player who enjoys talking with people, this is a great choice.
Tactics - as the only combat skill in the Lore skillset, I can't recommend this skill strongly enough especially for any Clerics focused on combat.
Mechanical Lore - Very useful for Clerics as this allows you to carve Prayer Beads that are used for Rituals and obtaining specific aspect favors.
There's honestly not much about Survival skills to discuss for Clerics. We have incredibly low and easy requirements, and none of them will make a significant impact on your character. A few minor notes:
- Evasion - will probably end up being one of yours as you work on required armor, parry, and weapons skills
- Outdoorsmanship - has some tie-ins with Cleric rituals; being able to forage dirt for Eluned's Commune, and wood limbs for Bead Carving
- Athletics - I would strongly recommend training this skill for general usefulness/travel, and also some Cleric guild quests will send you to places that have some difficult climbs and swims.
NOTE: While you can train Thievery if you wish, it will not count towards your circling requirements.
While these are separate skillsets, they both pretty much go together so I'll discuss both of them at once. Bare Minimums:
- One Armor skill
- Shield skill
- Two Weapon skills
- Parry skill
Worn Armor is broken up into 4 skills, each with 3 categories, listed here in order from least to most hindrance.
- Light Armor: Cloth, Leather, Bone
- Chain Armor: Ring, Chain, Mail
- Brigandine: Scale, Brigandine, Lamellar
- Plate Armor: Light Plate, Plate, Heavy Plate
If this weren't complicated enough Armor is one of those calculated trade-offs I mentioned. Any armor selection will require you weighing the Protection/Absorption of the armor against its Hindrance. The easiest way to explain hindrance is that it is a % reduction to your Evasion skill. Cloth armor is the lightest and least hindering of the armors, while Heavy Plate is the heaviest, most protecting, and most hindering of all the armors. To completely over-simplify things for the sake of a newbie guide, the difference is evading attacks completely, or having your armor reduce the severity of incoming blows to where they don't even effect you. Chain armor is a happy medium, and why I recommended it from the Veteran earlier.
The Shield Skill falls under the Armor skillset, and in addition to being a requirement will end up being one of your primary defenses, since with an arm-worn shield it can be 'always on'.
Weapons do three primary types of damge: Puncture, Slice, and Impact.
The Weapon Skillset has the largest number of skills to choose from, and the guild requires you to train two of them. You should make sure at least one of those is a melee weapon so that you can also train Parry. Which two you choose really doesn't matter, but let's go over a couple restrictions that may help you make your decision:
- 2-Handed weapons will receive a small penalty when used with an arm-worn shield
- Only Small-sized weapons can be wielded in the Offhand
- Crossbows and Slings are the only Ranged Weapons that can be used with a shield without penalty
- Light Thrown weapons and certain smaller Heavy Thrown weapons can be thrown in the offhand.
Specific Training Advice
Generally I recommend everyone train at least:
- One bladed weapon (Small Edge, Large Edge, 2-Handed Edge, Polearms)
- One blunt weapon (Small Blunt, Large Blunt, 2-Handed Blunt, Staves)
- Tactics (not technically a weapon skill, but trained with them)
- One ranged weapon (Light Thrown, Heavy Thrown, Bows, Crossbows)
- Two different types of armor (not including Shield)
Keep in mind, this is progressive. To get through your first few circles you'll only need one weapon and one armor. Expand as your desire and bank account grow.
Modify that by how much time you want to spend in combat, down to the Guild minimum, or upwards (sky is the limit!). Keep in mind one of the greatest things about DragonRealms' skill system is there is that the only limit on how many skills you train is time. Pick as many or as few skills fit your character concept and roleplay; my advice here is just to make sure you can reasonably handle anything at your level the game throws at you...is that monster parrying too much? Throw an axe at its face! Is your slicing weapon deflecting off that armored critter's hide? Use a blunt!
Min-Maxing/Metagaming note: Many people train as much as they can for the TDP benefit. This usually includes all armors because it is extremely easy to train each and every one of them. Fewer people train all weapons, as that is a LOT of extra work.
I'll use myself as an example: I wear a cloth robe (Light Armor), scale sleeves (Brigandine), and a ring balaclava (Chain Armor). For melee weapons, I use a Quarterstaff (Staves) and Iltesh (Small Edged) along with Tactics and Brawling - this way I have slice, puncture and impact damage covered. My Ranged weapons are Crossbows and Light Thrown in conjunction with Offhand Weapon - While I aim my crossbow, I throw daggers from my left hand.
Rituals, Devotion, Communes & Theurgy
Each of these has their own section on the main Cleric page, but it is more important to understand how they all tie together to effectively play and train a Cleric. The relationship between devotion, rituals, communes and theurgy is a bit overwhelming at first, but hopefully after reading this you will understand their interaction and how to use them to benefit your Cleric and train Theurgy effectively.
Devotion is the empirical measurement of your connection with the gods. It is raised through acts of piety (rituals), and used by our guild abilities (communes). Bluntly speaking, Rituals make devotion go up, Communes make it go down. Now, you might be asking yourself "Why would I ever want it to go down?!"...because my friend, that's how you train Theurgy.
Theurgy is the Cleric Guild's signature skill, and is trained through the use of Communes. The higher level the commune, the more experience it grants. Eventually you will be using Meraud's commune regularly, though for the near future you'll just use Eluned's to make a lot of water.
Using rituals to gain devotion while using communes to train Theurgy is supposed to be a constant, ongoing process indicating the Cleric's piety and service to the gods. Understanding this relationship between these guild abilities will allow you to understand Clerics from both a mechanical and RP perspective. Now that you've (somewhat) wrapped your head around that, on with the good news:
For the first several circles of your clerical life, you don't need to worry about it; the rituals themselves will teach Theurgy. However, this is a stopgap for younger players, so understanding the relationship is still important. The more time consuming and involved the ritual, the more devotion it grants.
Requires Holy Water
These will be your bread and butter devotion/theurgy tools for the first dozen circles. It's worth noting that the Sirese ritual grants the most devotion and experience out of those. Don't limit yourself to just these however. Visit the rituals page and try out whichever you like. Or better yet, ask another Cleric in game!
Putting it All Together, Advanced Stuff, Random Notes
So now that you (hopefully) understand everything you know about training a Cleric, lets go over your first few circles. After reading this guide and the General Newbie Help Guide, you should have:
- Obtained basic armor and a weapon
- Trained your Attributes
- Selected your first spell
- Understand how to cast a spell
- Understand the basics of combat
For your first few circles, there's not much more to it. Keep Minor Physical Protection up as you hunt, every little bit of damage reduction helps. Fists of Faenella is a great first TM spell, as the multi-strike will grant experience for each 'strike'. If you have trouble hitting enemies, consider using a debilitation spell such as Soul Sickness.
I would get in the habit of doing a devotion/ritual circuit every time you transition from hunting to non-hunting skills, and vice versa. Most rituals are on ~10 minute timer and capitalizing on that is the best way to keep Theurgy learning quickly and keep your devotion from falling too low. Elunded's Commune and the Sirese Ritual will be your best tools until Meraud's.
As you progress up the Spell Tree learning new spells, it will be important to note the difficulty. There are 4 levels of difficulty, each requiring progressively more ranks in the specific magic skill to cast. For example; at 30th circle you should have around 120 ranks in Utility, which is not enough to cast Osrel Meraud yet.
- Intro: 0 ranks
- Beginner: 10 ranks
- Advanced: 75 ranks
- Esoteric: 200 ranks
Spell Paths and Choices
As a magic prime guild member, you will ultimately want to train every magic skill. Fortunately Clerics have introductory spells that are ideally suited to training most skills. Most clerics will want to choose Bless, Centering, and Minor Physical protection as their first three spells. Bless is a Utility spell that will allow you to create holy water for your rituals/communes and allow you to learn a variety of more complicated spells in the Holy Evocations and Metamagic specllbooks. Centering helps keep you in balance when using larger weapons, is an excellent Augmentation training spell, and will allow access to more complicated spells in the Spirit Manipulation spellbook. Minor Physical Protection will provide additional defense in combat, train warding and allow access to more potent spells in the Holy Defense spellbook.
For combat spells, once you have learned Bless you will be able to choose between Horn of the Black Unicorn and Fists of Faenella as your first Targeted Magic spell. Most clerics choose one of these, but not both, depending on personal preference and play style. Soul Sickness will likely be the first Debilitation spell available to you and will, additionally, serve as a prerequisite for Soul Attrition, which is a potent offensive spell. Malediction is also an excellent Debilitation spell that it would be wise to include among one's options.
Most clerics will, as mention previously, choose Bless, Centering, Minor Physical Protection and Soul Sickness in addition to either Fists of Faenella or Horn of the Black Unicorn with their first six spell slots. After that there are so many options as far as selecting further spells go that it is impossible to cover them all.
A Cleric who focuses on physical combat, like the Gor'Tog cleric above, will likely select Augmentation and Warding spells. Major Physical Protection and Malediction are good early choices as the former will improve your defensive abilities and the latter can be used to hinder your opponents offensive abilities, defensive abilities, or both. You will need to select Uncurse in order to learn Malediction, however. A more powerful targeted magic spell, like Aesrela Everild (which requires Auspice as a prerequisite), will be an excellent addition to your arsenal. Divine Radiance will improve your effectiveness against cursed and evil beings and will allow access to Shield of Light, which is a popular combat spell.
For a more scholarly cleric, like the Elothean mentioned above, Utility spells are good choices. Sanctify Pattern will allow you to improve one of your magic abilities (except Targeted Magic) and, more importantly, will allow you to learn Persistence of Mana at 20th circle, which is a powerful spell that improves your Attunement and ability to effectively use mana. You might also consider spells that allow you to provide valuable clerical services such as Uncurse and Rejuvenation. Rejuvenation also happens to be a prerequisite the the Resurrection spell. Eylhaar's Feast (and it's prerequisite Auspice) is a spell that, once you have the ability to use it, will allow you to convert spirit into mana or vitality and relatively quickly recover your lost spirit. This could be used to improve your spell casting endurance or as a lifesaving ability in combat. You will eventually want to bolster your combat spell arsenal and might consider spells such as Malediction or Soul Attrition.
A "Hunter of the Dead" type cleric might instead focus on spells that will strengthen her against the undead. Protection from Evil will reduce incoming damage from undead and is highly recommended. As many undead cause spirit damage, you will find that Soul Shield will provide a barrier to reduce such damage and Auspice will speed your recovery. Undead are immune to Soul Sickness (and most other soul affecting spells), so you will need an alternate Debilitation for both training and protection. As long as the undead are not immune to stuns (many are), Phelim's Sanction costs one spell slot and is a powerful Debilitation spell that can potentially stun every undead near you. Malediction is excellent as both an offensive and defensive Debilitation and will allow you to train again stun-immune undead. Divine Radiance, when used as a targeted magic spell, will increase the damage of your weapons against any undead that you hit. Against undead who use a shield Harm Evil is perhaps the most powerful spell in the cleric's arsenal and, of course, it is a prerequisite for Harm Horde.
Hunting the Undead
Clerics have the ultimate toolkit for hunting the undead that plague Elanthia. While any adventurer can set fire to a zombie or bludgeon a ghoul to pieces, only a Cleric has the tools necessary to truly eradicate both corporeal and incorporeal monsters. While a Paladin has a few tools to aid in fighting the undead, they pale in comparison. Valid undead hunting choices exist as one progresses which may be a particularly prudent decision to stick with, as a Clerics arsenal against the undead will allow them to hunt above their skill range. While a Clerics tools are often just as effective against the living, many are particularly potent against the undead, or even only affect the undead.
To even hit an incorporeal creature, an adventurer must have a blessed weapon. Blessed weapons will do additional damage to corporeal undead. The warding spell Protection from Evil will reduce the amount of damage an undead enemy can do to you, while Phelim's Sanction is an AoE stun that only affects undead. Finally, Harm Evil and Harm Horde are particularly potent targeted spells against the undead.
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