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The Complete Priest's Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Player's Handbook - Rules Supplement) [Paperback]

Aaron Allston
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 30 1990 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons/Phbr3
A new reference supplement to the smash bestseller, Player's Handbook. Includes fresh, useful informstion with magic and rules that make the priest a more interesting character class. SRP: $15.00S. Min.: 1.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Since the introduction to the 3rd edition D&D a year ago, some 2nd edition books were obsolete, while others were still useful. This very book, "the complete priest's handbook" fits into neither category, however, as it was never good to begin with.
It begins fine with relatively good ways to make up your own pantheons of gods. This is helpful to an inexperienced DM, but for a seasoned DM or any DM using campaign settings providing unique pantheons, this is very little help.
Things go downhill from there. The sample priesthoods are pretty weak. Not one of them comes close to having the spells of a cleric or granted powers of a druid. If you're using 2nd edition rules, you're better off creating priesthoods under the guidelines provided in the players handbook.
Almost everything else is kits and Role-playing personalities taken from other sources.
Uninspired and unimaginative are good words to use for this book.
Numerous superior 2nd edition products are out of print, yet this
one still exists. Go figure.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Whoever wrote this hated priests Jan. 10 2000
Where 2nd Edition AD&D endows fighters with the ability to (at first level) swing a longsword in each hand, potentially doing 28 points of damagae in a single round without counting Strength bonuses, the 2nd Edition Priests handbook cuts a Priest's power in half. I didn't find a single Priesthood that allowed it's followers to cast spells from all spheres, and many were reduced in combat ability. The special abilities added often come at the cost of the Priest's ability to Turn Undead creatures.

In short, ignore the sample priesthoods, or at least give them more spheres and/or abilities, if you want your players to still be your friends.

The rest of the book is good. It provides mythos creation guidelines, so if you don't wish to play in Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk, you can create your own pantheon and mythology using the guidelines in this book.

The kits are not all that great, one of them even relying on the heavily flawed Martial Arts system from the Player's Handbook. But with a little tinkering, you can use them. Just about everything in here needs a little work, but it's not unusable.

It's a good reference for DMs who are creating their game world. For players, they will probably get little use out of it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not half bad - or, for that matter, half good... July 10 1999
By A Customer
Discounting the uninteresting or unusable parts (which still take up about half the book), The Complete Priest's Handbook is a pretty useful source. The main problem is in the half the book that's taken up by flotsam and fluff.
The reader from Detroit was very right in saying that "the... specialty priests are vastly underpowered compared to the priests in any other AD&D work"; hence why it's necessary to tweak and add to them extensively. The powers are also so restricting that they're worth ignoring entirely; the only thing they'll do is make dozens of AD&D pantheons clones of each other.
The main purpose of this book is to give some ideas on what gods may exist and what their priesthoods are like. If you do buy this and use it in your campaign, however, DON'T USE ANY OF THE SPECIALTY PRIESTHOODS AS IS... It would be an insult to priests everywhere!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Why bother? It's all been duplicated elsewhere. June 25 1998
By A Customer
The Complete Priest's Handbook is one of those TSR works that is almost completely replaceable with other works.
First, the Faith creation system and specialty priests are vastly underpowered compared to the priests in any other AD&D work. You're better off using the class customization rules from Player's Option: Spells & Magic, or even raiding a world-specific work and tweaking the priests.
The kits are generally boring, and most are essentially identical to similarly-named fighter or wizard kits. The personalities are okay, but any experienced roleplayer won't need them, whereas an inexperienced player would be better off looking at potrayals of clergymen in general fiction for archtypes.
Finally, the equipment and combat rules are essentially identical to those in the Complete Fighter's Handbook.
In short, it isn't very useful.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could be better July 3 1997
By A Customer
I have been a gamer for many years across many worlds and more often than not I play a priest. This book, while providing one or two decent kits, does not have a lot of new information and is not as big a resource as some of the other PHB extensions such as the fighter's handbook, or others. If you are looking for variations on the typical cleric, I would recommend buying a book specific to the world that you would be playing in, such as "Faiths and Avatars of the Realms" written for the Forgotten Realms world (one of my personal favorites). If you are looking to complete a set then by all means buy it, but otherwise I would look elseware
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2.0 out of 5 stars hey it helps some, not much but some Sept. 17 1999
By A Customer
the book lacked most of what has made the other additions to this series great. As stated before you can probably find all the info included therein as well as some more useful stuff in the Faiths and Avatars as well as the Spells and Magic supplement. IT's ok if you just want to play a boring cleric( but then again wouldn't you just be better off taking the example from the players handbook). Take my word for it, save yourself the money to spend on something that would be really worth your while, but if you have to look at it just flip through it, you can get the important stuff outta there fairly quick.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good reference
I would have to agree with others that the Kit's in this book are a little weak. In playability as well as game terms. Read more
Published on March 8 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Best thing to do with this book...
Read it in the bookstore as a reference book when you are creating your world and putting Gods into it. But thats it...leave it there. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars get faiths and avatars instead
faiths and avatars and demihuman deities come up with better kits/specialty priests. personally, i prefer that the campaign filler stuff come at the end of the book instead of at... Read more
Published on July 14 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have gods, you NEED this book!
This book has been essential for me in designing and implementing numerous religions, parthenons, and plots pertaining to priest characters. Read more
Published on June 18 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I was pretty happy with almost all of the other Complete Handbooks but I was REALLY disappointed with this one. Read more
Published on June 29 1998
2.0 out of 5 stars Not at all useless, but not entirely useful either
This could have been a lot better. I don't own it. There's a reason for that. I am DMing 3 campaigns and playing in 4 right now. I play every character imaginable. Read more
Published on June 15 1998 by Ross J. Cook
3.0 out of 5 stars Priest's Handbook not half bad
The priest's handbook has quite a bit of useful information that is easy to expand into a system. The system for creating new priesthoods is interesting but quite limited in the... Read more
Published on April 20 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a must-have resource for any campaign run in a polytheistic setting. It's an especially good book for the DM to have, as the section on designing faiths to specific gods... Read more
Published on April 15 1998 by Amazon Customer
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