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I understand that Clerics are bound by their ethos to "never shed blood", and I understand that clerics were based on tropes from the 70's, but does that rule still apply to cleric/thieves?

From what I understand, the only weapons a cleric/thief can use to back-stab is with a club (or a stave, I think?). Was this their intention? I can't imagine, for example, a cleric/thief of an evil god limiting himself/herself from using edge weapons to set an example. I imagine they are not too worried about keeping up appearances.

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Welcome to the site, Chase. It seems you're curious about if cleric/thieves are proficient/allowed to use edged weapons. Do I have that correct? Either that or the nature of evil clerics... There just seems to be more going on here than one objectively answerable question. – LitheOhm May 29 '13 at 7:42
I removed the AD&D tag since that's for 1st edition. – SevenSidedDie May 29 '13 at 22:34
@LitheOhm Yes, you are correct. Sorry that my reply was so late. I was wondering about this because the idea of a cleric/thief sounded like something that could be fun, and possible, considering the different and varied pantheons. Especially in Forgotten Realms; gods like Mask and Shar would likely have a few cleric/thieves as their priests. But I needed clarification before I could decide on anything about it. – Chase May 30 '13 at 8:40
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Your example sans thief is answered on page 34: “Not all mythoi are opposed to the shedding of blood. Indeed, some require their priests to use swords, spears, or other specific weapons. A war deity might allow his priests to fight with spears or swords.”

It then gives a list of suggested deities (by “mythoi”, by which they mean things like “death”, “hunt” and so on).

In stock AD&D 2e, there is no multi-class cleric/thief. However, there are other cleric combinations, and “Regardless of his other classes, a multi-classed priest must abide by the weapon restrictions of his mythos. Thus, a fighter/cleric can use only bludgeoning weapons (but he uses the warrior combat value).” (p. 45)

So it isn’t also being a thief that would alter a cleric’s weapon choices, but their deity.

Dual-class is more restrictive, but the basic rule is that “the character must still abide by the restrictions of whichever class he is using at the moment.” The example is, almost fortuitously, a cleric who changes to fighter, but the example does not mention weapon choice.

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So, cleric weapons are dependent in their god? What about favored weapons? I know that Shar uses a chakram (which I guess, is a kind of dart). – Chase May 29 '13 at 5:44
@Chase If you're in the Forgotten Realms (which I'm guessing based on "Shar"), this stuff is detailed in Faiths & Avatars. – SevenSidedDie May 29 '13 at 5:54
Correction: in the Multi-Class Combinations List in the stock AD&D 2e PHB(p.44), Cleric/Thief is listed under Gnome. – Zimul8r May 29 '13 at 21:35
That’s interesting, Zimul8r. My 2e PHP lists only Fighter/Illusionist, Illusionist/Thief, and Fighter/Thief for Gnomes (on page 44). – Jerry Stratton May 30 '13 at 13:49

There are Clerics who may shed blood.

There are examples given in the PHB of clerics from specific mythoi, and the different weapons they can use. One example is a follower of a god of the hunt, and this Cleric can use, for example, spears, bows and javelins. A cleric of the god of the sea can use a trident. The list is about 8-10 examples long, as far as I remember. These clerics are mechanically identical to the 'base' cleric who may not shed blood, except for weapon choice.

In the Complete Priest's Handbook, there's a lot more detail given for alternate Mythoi, including special abilities like Turn Undead, different Spheres, Weapons allowed, and various duties to do with their religion and caring for the general populace (like marriage ceremonies). It's well worth a look - I think there's even a God of Thieving in there, who may be a better fit for your character than a multi-class that (strictly speaking) isn't allowed. However, these characters are no longer clerics but other priests instead (much like Druids are different Priests too).

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Actually, if you read the 2e PHB carefully, you'll find that "Clerics" are "reluctant to shed blood" and "allowed to use only blunt, bludgeoning weapons". However, Clerics are only an example of one sub-class of "Priest", which is the more comprehensive class under which you can construct priests who are allowed to use the edged/piercing weapons of their chosen mythos. – Zimul8r May 29 '13 at 21:40
Sorry, I keep conflating 'Cleric' and 'Priest', due to the spheres system and the various options/changes available. However, I'm sure you can be a normal cleric and have, as a God, someone who allows non-blunt weapons. – Dakeyras May 29 '13 at 21:46

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