One of the great problems I find with clerics is that they’re largely all the same. A lot of the sameness comes from the way that Dungeons and Dragons presents the class. Little wonder too, as they’re trying to provide a class that will be appealing to the greatest number of people across the largest swath of play styles.
So how do we fix that sameness feel?
For me it all starts with how we present the gods and what they expect of our players. That means that as Dungeon Masters we have a bit of work to do up front.
We don’t need to have 50, 60, or a 100 gods for the game world to feel alive (though having a varity of gods can help create a sense of verisimilitude in your games). Instead I pick 10 or 12 gods for the players to pick from. These gods get fleshed out a bit. I describe the core tennents of their faith, how their priests act, their holiest days, and how their faith is treated in the world at large.
The goal is to do all that in a single page. I want it to be easily digestible for my players and to provide them with inspiration for how they play. On this single page I also provide a list of spells that the god provides their clerics.
The was exceedingly easy with 3.5e D&D as there were hundreds of officially publisted spells across dozens of books; and as a DM I could make unique spell lists with little crossover. 5e complicates this slightly as there are less spells overall by comparison; however, it’s still possible to accomplish this task. You just have a bit more crossover.
What about you all? How do you make your clerics feel special?