Cleric archetypes are pretty tricky things; after all, they have very few class features, which makes designing them challenging simply because there aren’t that many knobs to turn. As a result, you have to come up with some pretty exciting and long-reaching abilities that allow you to do a lot with a little. Today’s new archetype explores one of my favorite ideas: a cleric who does not serve a single deity, but rather a philosophical idea such as goodness, wickedness, lawfulness, etc. Eager to see what it looks like? Check out the devout idealist, a great new archetype that does a lot with a little.
New Cleric Archetype
Devout idealists are clerics devoted absolutely to a single alignment ideal and the perpetuation of the values closely tied to that ability. They aren’t champions of a deity or even a complex doctrine, but rather servants of a primal focus, a lifestyle, and a fundamental component of being. Viewing themselves as purists and devotees to a true path, they are often zealots: missionaries, crusaders, and philosophers looking to change the worded with their ideas. They draw their power from the very fabric of what it means to be good or evil, and their divine powers are a result of the collective belief in these values, common to all things.
Ideal Devotion: At 1st level, a devout idealist commits utterly to a single alignment component, to which she adheres strictly. The chosen component must be at least one component of her alignment, and once selected, cannot be changed (for example, a devout idealist of lawful good alignment could choose either lawful or good, while a true neutral devout idealist must choose neutral). If her alignment ever ceases to contain that component, she loses access to the ability granted by this class feature, as well as to her channel devotion abilities (see below) until she receives the benefits if an atonement spell and her alignment returns to the selected alignment. In addition, she gains a special benefit based on the chosen alignment, as outlined below.
Chaotic – Temporary Insanity (Su): As a standard action, the devout idealist can enter a state of temporary insanity. While in this state, she gains the confused condition and a +2 bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and to her caster level. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1d6 + the devout idealist’s Wisdom modifier and can be used once per day per level.
Evil – Unholy Power (Su): As a standard action, the devout idealist can gain a profane bonus to the ability score of her choice. The bonus granted by this effect can be of any amount not exceeding 1/2 her level (minimum 1). For every point of bonus she gains, she must suffer an equal profane penalty to another ability score (she may choose to spread these penalties over multiple ability scores). These benefits and penalties last for 1 minute, and she can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier.
Good – Holy Touch (Su): As a standard action, the devout idealist can touch a good creature to restore his health, healing 1d6 hit points per level. A devout idealist can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier.
Lawful – Impose Will (Sp): As a standard action, the devout idealist can command another creature to obey her. This functions as the spell command, except that the command grows more complex as the devout idealist gains experience. At 5th level, this ability replicates the effects of suggestion, instead; at 10th level, she may choose to replicate greater command, instead; and at 15th level, she can choose to replicate mass suggestion, instead. The target receives a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the devout idealist’s level + the devout idealist’s Wisdom modifier) to negate this effect. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier.
Neutral – Restore Balance (Su): As a free action, the devout idealist can attempt to restore balance to herself, returning to her natural state. She may make a new saving throw against any effect that is affecting her, gaining a bonus equal to 1/4 her level (minimum 1). She can use this ability a number of times each day equal to her Wisdom modifier.
This ability replaces the domains class feature.
Channel Devotion (Su): At 1st level, the devout idealist gains the channel energy ability as normal, except that the channeled energy always restores hit points to creatures of the devout idealist’s chosen alignment or deals damage to creatures of other alignments. A successful Will save halves the damage.
This ability modifies the channel energy class feature.
Improved Channel Devotion (Su): At 10th level, the devout idealist can gains the ability to cast spells of her chosen alignment component. As a standard action, the devout idealist can expend 2 uses of her channel devotion ability in order to cast a spell she has prepared with an alignment descriptor matching her chosen alignment without expending the spell slot.
If the devout idealist chose neutral as her alignment devotion, she must choose which alignment this ability applies to at the start of each day. She cannot select the same alignment in this way until she has selected each other alignment once.
Master Channel Devotion (Su): At 20th level, the devout idealist can channel her devotion to overcome the spell resistance of her enemies. As a free action made as a part of casting a spell, the devout idealist can expend 3 uses of her channel devotion ability. If she does, the spell she is casting automatically overcomes the target’s spell resistance (if any), so long as the target does not share an alignment component with the devout idealist’s chosen alignment.