Clerics are religious leaders, and therefore a part of whatever power structure the belief incorporates. Knowing this, players should be careful choosing which religion they'd like their cleric to follow. Obscure, scattered religions will have little oversight, but in turn will offer little support for the cleric's needs; on the other hand, widespread ruling religions will be demanding, but can also offer a great number of boons and benefits.
Major religions include Christianity (Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestant, etc.); Islam (Sufism, Shiism); Buddhism; Hinduism; Taoism; Shintoism; Judaism; Zoroastrianism; Celtic; Mayan and other American cultures; Greco-Roman; Babylonian/Sumerian; and so on. Each religion carries with it a variety of traditions and requirements, too many to list here; presumably, a character will choose a religion which they would like to research and play with interest.
A cleric's primary purpose in any religion is to "spread the word," while urging others to renounce their belief in "false" gods. Every belief system has a faction that believes this is best done through murder; another faction, through proselytisation; another through emotional competition; and finally, a fourth that believes there's no need to be concerned with non-believers. While other factions occur, these four are consistent and will be found nearly everywhere. The player should decide which sort of beliefs along these lines the character holds.
The player character is free to choose how best to carry forth his or her god’s wishes. Within a D&D setting, violence carries the day — so players wishing to do missionary work with a weapon in hand shouldn't be harshly restrained, but will likely find others like themselves.
For further detail about clerical religion, see religious philosophy.
To Become a Cleric
To become a cleric, a character must have these minimum ability stats:
|Level||Max. X.P.||HD||Level Title|
|1st||0||1||acolyte, almoner, cantor, missionary|
|2nd||1,501||2||adept, deacon, lector|
|3rd||3,001||3||brahmin, chaplain, curate, rector|
|4th||6,001||4||friar, imam, pastor, priest, rabbi|
|5th||13,001||5||abbey, archdeacon, prefect|
|6th||27,501||6||abbot, canon, exarch, mufti|
|9th||225,001||9||grand lama, high bishop, high priest|
|11th||675,001||9+4||lord high bishop|
Multi-classed clerics must have a minimum wisdom of 15. To gain a +10% experience bonus, the cleric must have a minimum wisdom of 16. The table shown describes the necessary experience to claim each level of the cleric, gaining hit dice and further abilities. Each level above 12th requires 225,000 additional experience. Clerics gain 2 hit points per level above 9th, but as this is not an increase in hit dice, further constitution bonuses are not accrued. Clerics cannot progress beyond 29th level.