Fighters solve problems with violence.
Thieves solve problems with trickery.
Magic-users solve problems by knowing things, or, depending on how you see it, breaking the rules.
Clerics tend to exist in this space between fighters and magic-users: they have okay spells and an okay capacity for violence. This is perfectly fine, but when I crunch clerics down to the aesthetic core that actually appeals to me, I get:
Clerics solve problems by getting someone else to do it for them.
Reading over the Original Dungeons and Dragons rules, the 2d6 reaction check was originally used to determine the outcome of transactions, rather than a more general way to figure out an NPC's attitude towards the players. This meshes well with the idea of clerics doing things by proxy, but I think there is a better, easier, and more satisfying way to do that then my old warlock class.
|From Monstress 1. written by Marjorie Liu,, art by Sana Takeda|
HP, XP, attack bonus, saving throws as Cleric. Equipment restrictions as magic-user.
You understand and can be understood by any monster, even if you do not share a language.
Influence a monster or band of allied monsters. You can do this to soothe hostile creatures or extract services from neutral to friendly ones. To Bargain, you must offer the monsters some form of payment and then make a reaction check. Mediums can only do this once per band of allied monsters per encounter.
2: The monster becomes hostile and attacks. If it was already hostile, it attacks the medium.
3-5: The monster refuses the offer, or continues its current course of action.
6-8: The monster refuses the offer, but will reconsider if the medium gives better terms.
9-11: The monster accepts the offer.
12: The monster accepts the offer and gives the medium its name.
|by Bertha Lum|
When you knows a monster's true name, you can call it forth whenever you wish. Chant its name, carve its name into the ground, burn a paper doll with its name on it, whatever. A Turn later, it shows up, stepping out of a shadow, welling up out of the earth, or scuttling down from the ceiling. You can then Bargain with it.
If a monster knows a spell, you can Bargain for the ability to cast it once.
|Mitsukuni Defying the Skeleton Spectre Invoked by Princess Takiyasha by Utagawa Kuniyoshi|
The way I use "monster" here presupposed a Princess Mononoke-esque animist universe where animals, gods, and monsters all sort of exist on the same spectrum. Mediums shouldn't be able to use Bargain on a bandit (though it would be fun to put otherwise human magic-users in the monster category, now that I think about it). If you're going for a more naturalist feel, you could limit Bargain to only explicitly supernatural critters (ghosts, djinni, elementals, etc).