The Complete Priest's Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Player's Handbook - Rules Supplement) Paperback – Jun 30 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on March 8 2003
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 morePublished on Sept. 30 1999
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 morePublished on July 14 1999
This book has been essential for me in designing and implementing numerous religions, parthenons, and plots pertaining to priest characters. Read morePublished on June 18 1999
I was pretty happy with almost all of the other Complete Handbooks but I was REALLY disappointed with this one. Read morePublished on June 29 1998
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 morePublished on June 15 1998 by Ross J. Cook
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 morePublished on April 20 1998