Priest (3.5e Class)
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Note: From the AEG book Good
Though rarely adventurers themselves, priests fill the upper hierarchies of most formal religions, and represent the formal face of the religion itself. Where clerics act as agents of the religion, priest direct dogma and church law, and lead the faith's adherents in celebrations.
Adventures: Priests have little or no combat training, and typically hold higher positions in their religion than clerics. Still, while many priests are content to lead their followers from a pulpit, some lead by example, and personally take up quests.
Alignment: Unlike clerics, priests must match their alignment to their god's precisely. The gods scrutinize priests more carefully than they do clerics, so priests face more stringent restrictions.
Religion: Priests, like clerics and paladins, are the agents of the gods in the world, and connot divorce religion from their daily routines. The primary difference between priests and other divine spellcasters is that of responsibility; while clerics act as direct agents and paladin as noble laymen, priests lead their god's people. While most priests demonstrate their devotion in the temples, some venture forth to prove their worth not only to their gods, but to their community and themselves. Priests who server no gods are tiny in minority. Such priests speak of achieving personal enlightenment through corectness in thought and action. Such priests attract followers based on personal merit, as opposed to gaining them by appointment. Such priests frequently have access to the Knowledge, Law, and Protection domains, though elemental variations are not uncommon, particularly among samurai cultures. In some settings, religious leaders who would otherwise be priests have a special class instead.
Background: Priests have a surprisingly wide array of members, from devout men of low birth who receive divine visions, to the younger sons of nobles who can expect no inheritance. While some would-be priests lack the devotion to join the class(becoming clerics or, more often, adherants or experts), those with a pure faith and a sharp mind can expect great futures. Compared to clerics and paladins, priests enjoy an almost secular lifestyle in their early years, fulfilling periphereal duties within the church. Their early life is rather like an apprenticeship, as the junior priest toils at minor duties while learning the basics of his craft - in this case, historical and religious training. During this time, he learns the basics methods of channeling divine will, both casting and turning or rebuking, and suffers the traditional initiation rituals.
Races: Priestly origins, as mentioned above, usually have more to do with geography and society than race, though some races are more likely to have large settlements and therefore many priests. Humans and dwarves unsurprisingly boast the largest priestly population. Among other humanoids, priests are a rare commodity indeed. Certain ilithid cultists bear strong resemblances to priests, though their gods defy normal mindsets. Dark elves have a tiny population of priests, as clerics are pre-eminent in their societies.
Other Classes: Priests know that they are not combat-ready, and prefer an entourage of fighters, paladins, and clerics, though some clerics find priests too haughty to tolerate for long. Priests of trickery enjoy working with bards and rogues, though priests of all stripes find sorcerers and wizards faintly distasteful, partially due to these classes' greater offensive ability.
Game Rule Information
Priests have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Wisdom is clearly the main attribute of the priest class as it provides them with their spell base. Charisma is useful for turning or rebuking undead and also for leading congregations. As with any non-combat class, Dexterity and Constitution help ensure a priest's survival. Because priests have access to healing spells, this is less an issue for them than it is for most. Alignment: Any deity.
Starting Age: advanced
Hit Die: d6
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; x4 at first level)
All of the following are class features of the priest.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A priest is proficient the club, dagger, quarterstaff and both the heavy and light crossbow. The priest isn't proficient with any armor or shields and incur spell failure if used.
Spells: Casts divine spells prepared as a cleric does. Gains three domains and 2 bonus spells per spell level, otherwise progression as cleric.