The Cleric Equipment Pack
The Cleric. I enjoy playing a support role and the first character I played in 5e was a War Domain Cleric (ok, not the best support role class, but I like to hit things too). Before I started DM’ing in 1e, I played a couple of clerics and enjoyed the role. Healing, hitting and dropping the wrath of your god down upon your enemies…what could be more fun?
One thing I didn’t do with my 5e cleric was take the priest’s pack. The name harkens back to 2nd edition where the cleric was called a priest, and it feels like the pack is stuck in 2e. As the game has evolved, the priest pack hasn’t and if anything has regressed to being useless. Let’s take a look at the 5th edition version of the priest pack and how the items in the cleric pack can be adjusted and made useful for our holy man.
The cleric starts with a priest pack that includes the following:
Priest’s Pack (19 gp). Includes a backpack, a blanket, a tinderbox, an alms box, 2 blocks of incense, a censer, vestments, 2 days of rations, and a waterskin.
This is the absolute worst starting pack in the game. Outside of the rations and waterskin, most everything else isn’t used in 5e. No bedroll for our adventurous cleric, just a blanket. When has a cleric in 5e ever felt the need to put on his vestments? (I’m sure someone will comment below.) I suppose they could steal from the alms box he/she never uses to raise money for the poor to buy a sleeping bag. I’m confident, however, that such a plan of action will not go over well with your deity.
The lack of useful items forces the cleric to purchase his needed items individually, and this ends up costs way more than it needs to. What I am proposing is that the cleric gets his or her’s starting pack “free” from the temple of the god they worship. As a representative of their god out in the world, I say that the priests in the temple where the cleric trained you provide the equipment to make is travels successful. That said, I expect that they would also expect some sort of donation to the temple, which brings the blessing of their god upon them. The listed price below is the average donation given to the temple but is no way required. Maybe the cleric will be able to bring glory to their god or give a large donation later in the campaign.
Here’s what I propose your fellow brothers of Hextor (or god of your choice) will give you on the way out the door.
For those that don’t care about the whys behind it:
All previous packs are included below the Cleric Equipment Pack
Backpack - Finally we get to have a class that starts with a backpack.
Holy Symbol - The symbol of your all-powerful god that the cleric has on them pretty much all the time. You need it to turn the undead, cast certain spells and feel the warm embrace of your almighty on cold nights in the forest. I know I always envisioned a small symbol of some sort my cleric would raise with a divine smugness as he tried to make the ghouls run away, but does that make sense? My old war cleric had his plate, a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. What was I going to drop to pull out my tiny little figurine of the all-powerful Tempus? I had it engraved on my shield at the 5th level, solving that issue. There are other options available to deal with this issue, and we address some of them in the pack description.
Prayer Book - Many religious types carry around a holy book to refer to in a time of need or use as part of their daily reflections. Our cleric has just such a book. This way they don’t have to memorize all the prayers they have to recite before going to bed.
Holy Water - It seems silly to me that a cleric doesn’t start with holy water. Sure, it costs 25 gp, which makes it a tough swallow for an entry point item, but that should not be the reason why they aren’t getting an important piece of their arsenal.
Holy water is a critical need if you are going to be fighting any amount of undead. You do not get turn undead until the second level and even then, if those pesky skeletons make their wisdom throw (and we all know that the DM’s dice are loaded), then a cleric should have a backup plan. The PHB states that you can splash it on within 5 feet of you or use it as an improvised weapon and throw it up to 20 feet. I get that somethings as a cleric you don’t get to swing your mace around a bunch, but 2d6 radiant damage is nothing to forget about
Healer’s Kit - Don’t want to take spare the dying as a level one cantrip? Now you have a healer’s kit that does the same thing. The cleric’s healers kit gets a little buff, just because we can. All those creepy undead are always crawling with diseases, so now your cleric can use their kit to help with that. Just remember to apply the cream directly on the rash twice a day.
Bedroll - No more flimsy blankets for our cleric. Now they can crawl into a sleeping bag lick all the other classes (except the crazy barbarian.
Waterskin (2 sp.) - Can hold cold fresh water for your travels, or wine for drinking after your glorious victory in the name of Kiri-Jolith. A small water skin will easily hang from a belt or could be stored in the backpack.
Journeybread (5 gp. each, 2 total in the pack. 4th edition PHB) -The Cleric’s journeybread varies slightly from that of the other classes. If you wish to use rations you are welcome to do so, just think about how many a player could carry if they only have a backpack. Journeybread is described as such: This magic bread fills the stomach and provides all necessary nutrients with only a few small bites, so you can carry food for a long journey without weighing yourself down. While still considered an item that would be created through the use of specialized cooking skills (A nice cooking system can be found here), the cleric has his journey bread ‘created’ via his god. Any food that the cleric can bring to the high priest of their god can have bestowed upon it the qualities of journeybread, but it can only be consumed by the cleric.
If you wish to use rations you are welcome to do so, just think about how many a player could carry if they only have a backpack.
The cleric does not start with any torches or other sources of light. With Light being available to them as a cantrip, a cleric has an easy solution if this is a concern. With the ability to use the healer’s kit (see above) the cleric is no longer required to always take Spare the Dying. So now the cleric can take light and sacred flame, cause what self-respecting cleric doesn’t take sacred flame? I know many people will hate the idea of the healer’s kit, feeling that it just perpetuates the old notions of the cleric only being good as a healer and nothing else. I get your concern, but when my cleric uses guidance on your fighter and he makes his athletics check because of it, I think you’ll be ok with it.
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