Originally, there was only one caste of clerics. They were formed under the goddess of Tul-Sith. With her as their guide, clerics stretched far and wide healing the sick and wounded and protecting all from danger with their clerical spells. The prime requisite of Clerics is WISdom. They are specialists in healing hit points, creating protective spells, and many clerical enchantments. Unlike in the past, they can now worship any of the pantheon.
Clerics in General
Any race may be a cleric but some races are better suited for clericry than others. Although the prime requisite of clerics is Wisdom, it's not really important, since clerics of all races will have enough practice points. Since clerics are spellcasters, races which make good casters (mages for instance) will also make good clerics. Good creatable races are Centaurs, Gnomes, Elves and Drow. Lizardmen are also a good option for remorting into Tuataurs. Conversely, races with low intelligence, such as gargoyles, giants, and kobolds, tend to be poor clerics with high rates of spellcasting failure.
Some races with subhuman intelligence such as Dwarves and Duergar actually do make decent clerics and have bonuses to the spellcosts of divine spells, even if they do make poor mages and sometimes fail spells. Ents also have a casting bonus for divine spells.
Another factor which may influence the choice of race for cleric is how your race will react with the pantheon spells, whose effects range from damage resistance, to boosting group damage, to boosting one's own healing powers.
See also Wiseman's Avatar race comparison chart and/or Another Avatar MUD Site for some excellent comparative data to aid you in choosing your new cleric's race.
Clerics at Lowmort Tier
As with any new character, train Wisdom first, followed by Intelligence and Constitution. Since clerics have the most learnable skills out of all classes, it's especially important to make the most of your practices. Note that intelligence doesn't affect a cleric's healing or buffing spells, it will only affect mana gains and the number of practices needed to adept skills.
Each point of Strength will increase carry capacity, and add a point of Hit Roll and Damage Roll, but it won't do anything special for a cleric's skills or spells. Likewise, each point of Dexterity will increase inventory capacity and add -10 Armor Class, but will not affect a cleric in any other way.
Clerics learn a wide assortment of spells with a web of prerequisites, so it's easy to get sidetracked while practicing and end up without enough practice points to learn your important skills. Be sure to keep enough practice points to get the following skills:
- All of your healing spells Cure Light, Cure Serious, Cure Critical, Heal, Divinity
- The curative spells Cure Blindness, Cure Poison, and Cure Disease
- Sanctuary and its many prerequisites Detect Evil, Detect Alignment, Protection Good and Protection Evil
- Frenzy will be cast on hitters, and is used at all tiers
- Water Breathing you can do without until you can't do without it, and then you'll drown and die. So don't do without it.
- Arcane Knowledge will allow you to use wands and staves to cast spells without using your mana
- Calm allows you or your group to escape combat if needed.
- Remove Curse is always useful if you are cursed and can't recall, or if you are stuck holding cursed gear.
- Portal makes group travel quick and easy
Some spells you can forgo include:
- Flamestrike is a level 15 damage spell which doesn't have much use, since it isn't a prerequisite for anything else.
- Turn Undead and Turn Demon rarely work as well as you might like.
- Dispel Evil actually does good damage for its very small mana cost, but it's hardly important.
Other spells such as Pass Door, Locate Object, and Earthbind are useful if you have the practice points to spare, but are not critical. Debuffs like Blindness and Faerie Fire are useful at low levels, but lose their effectiveness (technically, they just get harder to apply to mobs) at higher levels, such as level 35 and onward.
To make the most of your abilities, practice healing spells such as Cure Light or Heal as soon as you are able. Cure Light heals 25 hit points, Cure Serious heals 50, Cure Critical heals 75, Heal heals 125, and Divinity heals 250. The most efficient uses of mana are cure light, heal, and divinity. Cure critical is slightly less efficient, and cure serious is the least efficient.
Mass healing spells are of a lower priority than single target healing spells. In general, if you need to heal the entire room, you should use Arcane Knowledge to brandish a healing staff such as the Shard Of Durrite or Gold Dragon Orb. Even though a cleric's own spells will heal more than a wand or staff, a mass spell costs about 3.5 times as much as a normal one, whereas brandishing costs nothing, and the lag is similar as well. Learn them as prerequisites for Mass Heal and Mass Divinity but don't feel required to learn them as soon as possible.
Attack spells such as Cause Light, Harm, and Earthquake are of questionable usefulness. They are good if you find yourself soloing, but in groups a cleric will never be called upon to stop healing and start casting damage spells.
Tul-Sith and Kra are the two most popular deities that clerics worship, while Gorn and Roixa are less popular alternatives. With the addition of Pantheon Spells, further options are available for clerics who wish to persue other choices for worship. Peruse the worship table for the full breakdown.
Kra versus Tul-Sith: Both of these goddesses improve the power of a cleric's healing spells, and the power of their Armor Class buffing spells. Tul-Sith has stronger healing spells, while Kra's protective spells are more potent. Kra will also improve melee damage (which is something to consider if your cleric is a strong race such as Dwarf, Centaur, or Ent) while Tul-Sith will worsen melee damage and make spells last a slightly shorter amount of time. Tul-Sith will vastly improve mana and hit point regeneration, while Kra will worsen regeneration slightly. Both Kra and Tul-Sith worsen spell damage.
Roixa: Roixa is typically only worshiped if a cleric wishes to become a Druid. She improves healing spells very slightly, but decreases Armor Class buffing spells significantly. Roixa also improves archery damage the most out of any god, but that only applies after a cleric has become a druid, so she offers very little for ordinary clerics.
Gorn: Gorn is usually worshiped by monks, but also offers some benefits to healers. He improves healing spells by about 10%, though their mana cost also increases. Gorn's most significant effect is his Armor Class buffing spells, which are the best available; however they are also the shortest lasting spells. Clerics who want a slightly more relaxed experience usually opt to worship Kra, though Gorn Frenzy is always a nice thing to have cast on oneself.
Like other classes, lowmort clerics should have little trouble soloing from level 1 to level 20 very quickly. Afterward, gaining experience alone will grow increasingly difficult and clerics should seriously consider grouping.
Soloing: Clerics are not well-suited for soloing and will likely find this terribly challenging. Get a mix of tank and hit gear, then use a combination of healing and attack spells. After level 30 or so, this will be difficult for a cleric.
Tanking: If a cleric tanks, they will need a set of tank gear. A tanking cleric can serve as their own healer, which opens up an extra group slot for another hitter, but avoid relying on brandishes for healing. They lag twice as much as casting healing spells, which will result in a slow paced run.
Hitting: Clerics aren't grouped for their hitting, simply put. Even if a god such as Kra improves melee damage, it won't make them good hitters at lowmort, and cleric damage spells have basically no use outside of soloing.
Healing: Clerics usually serve as healers in groups. Clerics should wear mana gear to maximize their available mana for healing. Clerics can also use staves to cast healing spells on the entire room without spending mana. This is generally preferable to casting a mass healing spell, because of their higher spell costs.
The three most efficient healing spells are Cure Light, Heal, and Divinity, followed by Cure Critical and trailed by Cure Serious. Wands and Staves heal less than if cast naturally, and lag twice as much, but don't carry any spell cost at all.
Clerics are usually responsible for keeping Sanctuary and Frenzy applied to the group, but since it costs so much to cast sanctuary repeatedly, the White Marble Cross is frequently used to sanc the entire room (and as such, sanctuary duty can fall to anyone with Arcane Knowledge, not just the healer).
Lastly, be sure to stick a monitor in your Prompt so that you can monitor a groupmate's hit points, for example %u: %w/%Whp might show up as SoAndSo: 655/700hp.
Cleric Prestige Options
Clerics at Hero Tier
At hero, your maximum Wisdom will increase by 5, while your other traits will increase by 2. Intelligence still has no effect on spells, outside of mana regeneration and mana gains at level, and Wisdom still has no effect outside of practice point gains at level.
The important skills to practice are roughly the same as any other hero caster:
- Rescue is one of those skills that you only realize you need after you're in trouble, so practice it and be done with it.
- Dodge, Parry, and Shield Block significantly increase your survivability
- Sneak and Move Hidden increase your survivability as well
- Second Attack, Third Attack, Enhanced Damage, and Bash won't make you a hitter, but they are always useful both for soloing and being the best you can be in a group
- Teleport is always useful
- Acumen boosts wisdom by 4! Don't miss it.
On the other hand, do not bother learning any out-of-class damage spells. Even if cleric attack spells are bad, out-of-class ones are bad and have extra lag to boot.
If you find yourself running low on move points as a low hero, consider practicing Endurance and casting it before leaving for a run.
Clerics at hero tier, as at lowmort tier, continue to be well-suited and oft-wanted to serve as group healers. Some hero clerics may wish to increase their versatility by learning to tank groups, as well, which becomes easier for clerics to do at this tier.
Soloing: Clerics are not well-suited for soloing and will likely find this terribly challenging.
Tanking: This will be much easier once you have learned Dodge, Parry, and Shield Block. A cleric makes a good tank because they are their own healer, though it might be wise to ask other groupmates to rescue and sanc the group, simply to keep the group leader out of lag as much as possible.
Hitting: Clerics are not grouped as hitters, end of story. Good hit gear as well as worshiping Kra will improve melee damage, but that is more of a pleasant side effect, rather than a reason for being grouped. By all means practice Second Attack, Third Attack, Enhanced Damage, and Bash to make the most of your melee abilities, though. Don't waste mana casting attack spells.
Healing: Heal and Divinity are the best tools a cleric can bring to a group. Remember they are the most efficient healing spells (along side Cure Light) so avoid cure critical and cure serious. Reserve Mass Divinity for emergencies, and keep a large number of healing staves on hand to conserve mana. Typhus Staves are the best for this, but Emerald Sceptres of Light, Sceptres of Growing Roots, and Gold Dragon Orbs are good alternatives. Also consider double-heal scrolls, such as the Crumbling Scroll. They are only single target, but are twice as potent as a brandish of a healing staff. Use White Marble Crosses and Pearl-Tipped Staves to cast sanctuary on the entire room, which saves quite a bit of mana when you have 4+ in a group.
Clerics at Lord Tier
Clerics get a lot more hp than mages but significantly worse mana at lord. Unlike at hero, the spell Comfort is affected by having high Wisdom, though not by a lot. Mass Comfort is more efficient when healing 4 or more group mates. (Pay attention to the messages "So-And-So's wounds are greatly healed" vs "So-And-So is completely healed" to keep track of how many people in the group actually need healing.) Also use Saving Grace to easily swap monitor targets.
To conserve mana, try to maintain a good pacing for heals (this can only be learned by experience unfortunately) and don't worry about keeping every tank at full or even 75% health unless you are in an extremely dangerous area. Assume that the group will stop to regen once during the run, but ask when in doubt. Light Of Hope is unfortunately a terrible mana-regenerating spell; cast it as soon as the group has taken appreciable damage, and after that as early and often as possible, but don't expect much from it.
Clerics also get Spiritlink which can be useful when running det gear.
If while spelling up for a run, you see a psion ask a mage or wizard for an air hammer, be a dear and cast Remove Curse on the mage. If you are grouped with a priest, pay extra attention to the health of evil characters like Sorcerers and Demonseeds, as priests can't heal them very well.
Cleric Remort Options
The remort options for cleric are Priest at Lord 100 and Paladin at Lord 150 (doubled to keep your current race). Priests have significantly more mana than clerics and excel at healing the entire room, while Paladins are their own thing that can't be summed up in a single sentence, so just read their page instead.