Clerics are one of the four pure spell-casting professions in GemStone IV, and are arguably the masters of the spiritual realms. Drawing heavily upon the power of the Arkati or Greater Spirits that they serve, clerics in Gemstone are very versatile spellcasters with a variety of offensive, defensive, and utility spells at their disposal. Considering the differing natures of their patrons, clerics also have a wide variety of skills available to them at reasonable training costs.
Clerics joining battle in the name of their patrons do so in many ways, although the commonest methods are by use of warding and bolt spells. In the past, clerics were primarily physical combatants that used disabling spells to augment their combat abilities, but the addition of the Paladin class has turned this into a mutant path called the Melee Cleric. Now, the power and variety of attack spells available to the cleric allow for a pure-casting build, with the Warding Cleric as the extreme end that relies solely on extensive spell-training for a potent casting strength.
While not fulfilling the traditional role of healer (a role assumed by the Empaths), clerics are able to restore life by use of the Well of Life and Raise Dead spells. With this power, combined with the ability to find corpses (and other adventurers) by means of the Locate Person spell and then to ‘fog’ to them by the Transference spell, clerics are very helpful and useful rescuers. These four ‘core spells’ make up the initial training plan for the Rescuing Cleric archetype.
- 1 Stat Placement and Race Selection
- 2 General Training Suggestions
- 3 Spell and Ability Highlights
- 4 Cleric Guild
- 5 Cleric Statistic Growth Rates
- 6 Resources
Stat Placement and Race Selection
Considering the versatility of the class, there are many statistics that are important to a cleric, but the most important as far as training points are concerned are Wisdom and Intuition, as they yield double training points due to being primary stats for the cleric profession. Additionally, Wisdom is the statistic that affects casting strength for all three spheres of magic clerics have access to. Aura affects the amount of spirit points that a cleric has available when raising the dead.
While no statistic is unimportant, certain others have a more profound impact depending on training path. For a Melee Cleric, Strength is of vital importance, as it is used to calculate attack strength. Similarly, a cleric that uses bolt spells will want to have a high Dexterity. Strength and Constitution are used to determine how much a character can hold without becoming encumbered. Agility is used to determine defensive strength, which makes a character harder to hit in combat.
Choice of race is encouraged to be a decision based on roleplaying, but various races offer some mechanical advantage. Races with lower bonuses to Aura (such as dwarves and giants) have a slightly faster rate of spirit point return compared to those with larger bonuses (such as elves and dark elves), although this advantage is mitigated by the ability to use the MEDITATE verb to restore health, mana, and spirit points more quickly.
General Training Suggestions
Clerics are pure spellcasters, and such are encouraged to train in magic-related skills. It was for this reason that the concept of Runestaff defense, allowing a magical character to focus on magical skills without being entirely unable to defend themselves. While there are many other options for defense (Brawling, shields, among others), for a cleric that uses a runestaff, heavy training in magical skills (at least 8 ranks per level) is required.
These are the skills that are used when calculating Runestaff defense. In general, they are skills a cleric would want to train in anyhow, and thus perform a double service.
- Arcane Symbols
- Arcane Symbols is the skill used to read and invoke scrolls. It is not possible to read a spell of higher level than your number of ranks in Arcane Symbols, and further skill increases both your chance of successfully invoking the spell and the duration of a spell cast off a scroll. Additionally, the spell Living Spell uses the caster's Arcane Symbols skill when determining if the spell is successfully transferred. It is an inexpensive and useful skill, and frequently taken to aid Runestaff defense.
- Magic Item Use
- Similar in nature to Arcane Symbols, Magic Item Use allows the use of magic items. Increased skill allows greater success rates in activation, which is especially useful when using wands (particularly aquamarine wands that have been blessed) as a form of attack. It is often trained for the same reason as Arcane Symbols.
- Spell Aiming
- Spell Aiming is one of the attack methods available to clerics, by use of Holy Bolt, Fire Spirit, Web, or various wands. Conventional wisdom suggests that if one intends to train in Spell Aiming at all, double training is necessary to reap sufficient benefit. A useful skill, and also aids runestaff defense at a moderate cost.
- Harness Power
- The Harness Power skill determines the amount of mana available to a cleric. Every rank in Harness Power up to the current level of the character provides 3 mana, while additional ranks provide only 1. This is recalculated whenever a level is gained, so over-training at low-levels when mana is scarce for hunting can be recouped by less-frequent training later on.
- Spirit Mana Control
- Spiritual Mana Control has several impacts on clerics, the first of which is governing the efficiency of transferring mana to another that has trained in Spirit Mana Control. The second use of this spell is in determining whether a cast of Raise Dead will be effective, as a percentage chance based on skill (not ranks) of Spirit Mana Control. For this reason, Rescuing Clerics especially recommend having at least 24 ranks prior to attempting to cast Raise Dead, to prevent a failure resulting in the corpse dying again. Spirit Mana Control also aids a cleric in mana recovery, providing one additional mana point returned per 10 ranks of SMC.
- Spiritual Lore
- Considered a means of customizing a cleric, the Spiritual Lores of Blessings, Religion, and Spirit Summoning provide a cleric's spells with more power and versatility. Many clerics choose to single train in this skill due to the cost, although some make it a point to gain the required ranks for the fourth tier of Holy Receptacle to be able to make Chrism gems as quickly as possible.
- Weapon Skills
- For those that snear at those that hide behind "Twigs," the way of the holy warrior is not fully closed. Weapon skills provide a means of attack when out of mana, or in areas that magic will not work. Due to the pre-Paladin role of the cleric as a holy warrior (and enabling the Melee Cleric), the cleric spell Benediction and the Major Spiritual spells Bravery and Heroism bolster the sword arm of the cleric.
- Most clerics that train in weapon skills will do so 1x per level, every level.
- Shield Use
- An alternative to the Runestaff, a shield provides consistent defense which is increased with training in the Shield Use skill. Those that rely on a shield for defense generally train in it 1x per level. Shields provide more defense in an offensive stance than a weapon or runestaff does, although more defensive stances provide higher defense with a shield, as well.
- Armor Use
- Of all the pure classes, Clerics have the lowest costs for both training points and spell hindrance associated with heavy armor. At low levels, most clerics advocate the 8 ranks in Armor Use necessary to minimize the maneuver penalty for double leather. Later, however, some clerics recommend moving to heavier armor such as leather breastplate, brigandine, or even chain mail for the additional protection.
- Physical Training
- Physical Training determines amount of hit points a character has, up to racial maximum plus Constitution bonus. Most clerics will train this skill until health maxes out, although it does provide faster hitpoint regeneration.
While training in skills of combat and magic are a major part of skill training, they in no way encompass the entirety of a training plan. Secondary skills allow a character to navigate the world of Elanthia, and provide a mechanical basis for fleshing out a character beyond a mere hunting/raising automaton. There are many possible skills a cleric may choose to branch into (Thrown Weapons for a dart player, for example), and a few of the more common ones are detailed here.
- First Aid
- Training in First Aid is a skill of major import to Rescuing Clerics, who can use the skill to TEND the wounds of the fallen (or themselves) when an Empath is not at hand. Further, the skill is used to determine skill in skinning, foraging for herbs, and reduces roundtime when eating herbs.
- Climbing and Swimming
- The climbing and swimming skills allow a character to navigate safely some of the rougher terrain in Elanthia, from Climbing the Graveyard gate near Wehnimer's Landing to swimming into the Cavern of the Ages. In general, the difficulty for such a climb or swim is based on the difficulty of the creatures to be found past it. 5-10 ranks of each skill by level 20 is generally sufficient, depending on encumbrance, and 20-30 is normally enough for the higher level hunting grounds.
- The Perception skill is one with a myriad of uses, from spotting hidden paths to foraging to detecting thieves.
- Combat Maneuvers
- Primarily of use to the Melee Cleric, training in Combat Maneuvers provides a holy warrior with a few additional tricks to use in battle. It also gives the cleric a better chance to resist maneuver-based attacks, a notorious weakness for pures. An expensive skill, but worth it in some circumstances.
Available Combat Maneuvers
- Combat Movement
- Combat Mastery
- Cunning Defense
- Disarm Weapon
- Side by Side (prereq: Combat Movement at rank 2)
- Subdual Strike
- Unarmed Specialist
As pure spellcasters, the brunt of a cleric's power comes from spells, and spell power comes from training in Spell Research. Not only does this skill give a cleric access to new spells, it also increases the effectiveness of those they already possess (most often via increasing CS or spell duration). While a cleric has three different spell circles to choose from (Minor Spiritual, Major Spiritual, and Cleric Base), they all fall under the blanket of Spell Research for the purpose of determining training point cost. In general, most clerics will train between 2x and 3x per level in this skill.
All clerics need a way to defend themselves. The main choices for physical defense are shield alone, brawl with shield, runestaff and two-handed weapon. The cleric spells are the most important for magical defense and 1x in cleric spells should be regarded as core training.
The different defense choices provide substantially different amounts of defense. The comparison below splits this into two parts, the defense that is obtained from the configuration alone, and the defense that is added to that by training. The comparison assumes that the cleric has moderately good stats and that there is a contribution of 20 from stats to evade, 7 to block and 7 to parry DS. It assumes 4x equipment. Offensive and defensive stance values are given. The same training point cost is assumed for the comparison of shield without brawl (1x shield) and shield with brawl (5 ranks shield to every 13 ranks brawl). Armor is ignored so there is an additional +20 available to all defense from armor enchant and a small loss to be taken from the dodge DS if armor goes above soft leather. Runestaff defense assumes a spell heavy training plan, with the training points from not training brawl and shield used for magic ranks. A typical runestaff user would have less spells and up to 16 melee DS per 13 levels. Similarly the shield and brawl combination can gain increased defense at the cost of spending extra training points on it.
|Melee (Def)||Melee (Off)||Ranged (Def)||Ranged (Off)|
|Small shield without brawl||57||7||51||4||111||10||55||5|
|Tower shield without brawl||46||11||42||6||125||18||61||9|
|Small shield with brawl||114||12||51||5||61||4||55||2|
|Tower shield with brawl||103||13||42||6||75||7||61||4|
|Two handed weapon||86||13||17||4||29||0||21||0|
Spell and Ability Highlights
Because of the nature of the cleric, as a spiritual link between mortals and Arkati, clerics are empowered with certain abilities not given to most. While mostly of a mechanical nature, certain verbs have different or augmented usage for a cleric.
- By appraising a corpse, the cleric may determine:
- The amount of spirit the corpse has, which is a factor in how many spirit points will be taken away when using Well of Life or Raise Dead.
- Whether a corpse is currently preserved against decay, how long remains in the preservation, and if it is by the Preservation spell or by the Order of Voln's Symbol of Preservation
- If a corpse is currently linked to another cleric via Well of Life
- To provide a cleric (or empath) the ability to recover their vital forces more quickly, the gods grant them the ability to MEDITATE. Use of this power causes the cleric to kneel and enter a meditative trance during which regeneration of health, spirit points, mana, and stamina is accelerated. This trance is tenuous, and can be easily broken by most activities or the actions of outside parties.
- The SENSE verb is one used by several professions, with differing results. For a cleric, SENSE informs the cleric if an Arkati or Greater Spirit has a particularly strong presence in the area. This verb is most useful when used with the Prayer of Commune and Tier 5 of the Holy Receptacle spell, as well as the unlocked Iasha white ora weapons.
- Allows physical weapons to damage Undead. With 40 or more ranks in this spell circle, weapons blessed by this spell may cause random holy water flares.
- Permits the cleric to link to a corpse in preparation to cast Raise Dead, or to transfer spirit points. Either party can use UNLINK to terminate the link.
- High-powered CS-based attack spell. Does plasma-based damage, with additional flares based on the CONVERT status of the cleric. Causes frequent stuns and critical kills.
- Restores life to a fallen character, at the cost of the cleric's spirit points. The amount of spirit points drained is based on the maximum spirit of the corpse, as well as the number of ranks of this circle the cleric possesses.
- Blesses an orb-quality gem with the ability to hold either a certain number of charges of a spell or a special power, including chrisms. Higher valued stones can hold more charges of a given spell, or more powerful blessings.
- The cleric uses his or her connection to the gods to call upon them for an audience. In practice, it sends out a message to GameMasters that the cleric seeks audience, and it is at the discretion of the GameMasters to determine what response, if any, is appropriate. Clerics are reminded to use discretion when casting this spell, as the whims of the Gods are not always what one might expect.
- Offensive boost spell that allows a cleric to create a holy symbol that can be used to punish the unrepentant when activated using the CHANT (symbol) command.
- This spell allows a cleric to raise him or herself, using the BESEECH command. Without lores, it can only be used once every 24 hours.
Alchemy recipes exclusive to clerics include:
- lichbane talisman
- pure potion
- exorcism oil
- repelling oil
- enhancive spirit regeneration crystals
- enhancive spirit-well potions
- spiraled willow wand embedded with Holy Bolt
- holy water containing Neutralize Curse
Cleric Statistic Growth Rates
For more information see the page on Statistic growth rates.
Note: The table above is the baseline statistic growth rates. These values are actually modified for every race in GemStone IV, including humans.
- Main folder
- Developer's Corner
- Cleric Spells
- Guild Discussions
- So You Want to be a Cleric?
- Roleplaying a Cleric
- General Discussion
- Hunting Strategies
- A beginner's guide to playing a cleric (work-in-progress)
|Cleric Profession - edit|
|Spell Circles: Cleric Base Spells | Major Spiritual Spells | Minor Spiritual Spells|
|Professional Highlights: Warding spells | Raise Dead | Holy Blade | Meditation | Holy Receptacle|
|Popular Archetypes: Warding Cleric | Melee Cleric | Rescuing Cleric|
|Profession - edit|
|Squares: Rogue | Warrior | Monk|
|Semis: Bard | Paladin | Ranger|
|Pures: Cleric | Empath | Sorcerer | Wizard|