Fantasy Archetypes for M&M: Part four, The Cleric

We’ve had the Fighter, Rogue and Wizard, and for the final part of this series it’s the turn of the Cleric to take centre stage and get some Mutants & Masterminds treatment. Often seen in the same light as the last guy to get picked for sports at school, he’s actually one of my favourite classes. The Cleric brings a heady mix of combat, team-building and assistance to a party, and should be considered as the glue that holds the whole group together. If you think the Cleric is nothing more than a walking First Aid kit, read on……

More than any other class, the Cleric is arguably the most flexible. While a Fighter is defined by his choice of weapons and armour, the Wizard by the colour of his robes and the Rogue by….. uhhhh… the length of his knives, a Cleric’s choice of deity can affect everything about the role. A Cleric of the Raven Queen and Cleric of Pelor might both be the same class, but their outlook, appearance, mannerisms and attitudes are going to be very different. Rather than limit Clerics to only blunt weapons, I prefer to allow Clerics to use one of their deity’s Favoured Weapons, granting them free Weapon Proficiency (if we’re playing D&D) at 1st level. In my campaigns, a Pelorian Cleric will most likely be found with a Shortsword in his hands, while a Cleric of Corellon will heft a Longbow.

While not so combat-oriented as a Fighter, the Cleric should still pack a decent wallop and be a formidable combatant against the forces of Evil. As he’s driven primarily by the strength of his beliefs, the Cleric should act as prime motivator in the party, acting as it’s conscience and driving force. In 4e D&D that role has been given to the Warlord, though as we’re looking at the Four Core Classes here, I’ll keep that element as a part of the Cleric’s shtick.

The two other classic Cleric abilities are Turn Undead and Healing. This can all fall under the Life Control power in Mutants & Masterminds, with all of his special abilities coming out as low-cost Alternate Powers. Healing itself is a pretty flexible power in M&M with the basic power allowing the character to heal damage, stabilize a dying character or grant a (boosted) saving throw versus poison or disease. Extras and Feats take Healing to another level, allowing regrowth of damaged limbs and organs, healing Incurable damage and Resurrection. Healing could also be taken with the Empathic flaw, meaning the Cleric takes the damage onto himself. I’ve skipped that for this archetype, though it’s a viable option if you want your Cleric to be completely self-sacrificing. A half-way house is the Energizing Extra which allows the Cleric to recover exhausted and fatigued effects as well as physical damage – taking the fatigued/exhausted condition onto himself. That’s great if you want a Cleric who can take a Soldier’s tiredness onto himself so restore the fighter to combat readiness. As I’ve kept this archetype simple, I’ve left that option out though it can be added through customization.

In Mutants & Masterminds the simple route to take with Turn Undead is to make it a straight Blast effect which is Limited:affects Undead only. Make it Area:Cone, and you’re done. Against low-powered Undead (and especially Undead Minions) this is a great save-or-die (again) effect, but more powerful Undead should be able to shrug it off or (at most) be weakened (ie, Bruised or Staggered) by the Turn Undead attempt. As the Cleric gains experience he could beef up the Blast or add Alternate Powers to make his Turn Undead effect more useful. An anti-Undead damaging Aura would be pretty cool. Life Control also includes a Nauseate effect which can leave a foe sickened or helpless; interpret that as another side to Turn Undead, making foes feel the weight of their guilt and sin, or whatever else fits your concept. As with anything else in Mutants & Masterminds, the choice is yours.

Not your wimpy Cleric. DAZ Studio, no postwork. Click to enlarge

Human Cleric Archetype, PL4, 60pp

STR 14, DEX 10, CON 13, INT 12, WIS 16, CHA 15
Touch +1/+4 (Chainmail), Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +5
Attack (Melee) +3, (Ranged) +1, Grapple +5, Defense +2, Init +0

Concentration +7, Diplomacy +6, KS:Religion +5, Notice +7, Sense Motive +7
Attack Focus (Melee) 2, Benefit 1 (Ordained Priest), Favoured Opponent 1 (Undead), Inspire 1, Ritualist, Teamwork 1, Equipment 2

Life Control 3 (DC 13)
– AP:Blast 6 (60′, DC 21, Area:Cone, Limited 1:Affects Undead only)
– AP:Healing 6

Heavy Mace (+3, DC 20)

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