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I was listening to the latest official D&D podcast - all about the Class Compendium's latest updates, especially to the Cleric and have become completely confused.

There's a cleric in the Player's Handbook, one in Essentials, and now one in something called the Class Compendium? Is that different from the Rules Compendium and the DDI Compendium? Where do I find that?

On the podcast they mentioned that there is supposed to be some kind of difference between the (upcoming) PHB errata and the compendium? Whaa? How many versions are there?

And that was just for one class - and there are hundreds.

So my question is: What are all the sources of 'truth' for a class (such as Cleric) and what trumps what? And how on earth is a DM supposed to keep up?

If someone could use the example of the Cleric I mention above it would really help me out For example, I'm trying to figure out why any new 'fixes' for Cleric wouldn't be to the Essentials version...


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I second your "Arrrgh!" Even knowing the answer to this question (I second Brian B-S's), I am getting burned out on 4E because of the constant additions and updates. –  rjbs May 31 '11 at 14:55
I'd separate a bit the errata and the update factors. That Essentials presents a new cleric build does not imply by itself that there's anything wrong with the original. If you are getting tired of updates to the PHB, there are three valid solutions: disregard, add manually, use the CB. I have a new player who just built a level 2 cleric. For now, I don't really care about the problem, and it will fix itself on the next levelup done with the CB. Or I'll talk with the player and sort out an agreement. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza May 31 '11 at 18:09
@adriano I'm not tired of anything (yet) with 4e. I'm just trying to understand. I've learned today that the Class Compendium was a cancelled publication, and that's a part of my confusion. –  F. Randall Farmer May 31 '11 at 20:09
Ok. It was a figure of speech, anyway, influenced by @rjbs's comment. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza May 31 '11 at 20:36
Whether it's update or errata, it's still annoying to print off the new level and find out that your powers have been whiffed while you weren't looking. :( –  Allen Gould Nov 10 '11 at 18:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The canonical "true/current" version of everything is found in the compendium, here (subscription required to use as more than an index).

There are, at present, three current "Cleric" classes you can play. I define a cleric class as anything that counts as a cleric for purposes of feats, beyond that of multi-class.

There is the "original" Templar Cleric. Recently renamed from "Cleric", the templar cleric is the cleric of healer's lore, lasers, and optional pacifism. A number of its powers have been errataed to reflect appropriate range and power. (Otherwise it was a rather superior controller.) The most important errata is the limitation on buffs to surgeless healing, and is the only critical errata to apply. (Basically the rule of thumb is: if you don't pay a surge for it, it doesn't get buffed by anything)

There is the essentials Warpriest. The warpriest is a simplified melee cleric featured in the essentials books. It uses domains and features the current domains of death, earth, storm, and sun. Death is debuffy, Earth is forced movement, storm is buffing, and sun is glowy (that's a shocker right there...) I am not aware of any major errata that must be applied to the class to correct game-breaking brokeneness. The warpriest shares few mechanics with the Templar, and should be considered a different class that shares feats, general role, and PPs.

There is the PH3 Hybrid Cleric that stinks. Avoid it. But it's there. There are no major updates for the hybrid cleric.

Sources of truth

The most important source is DDI. The second most is the Rules Updates. Everything that appears in a book is compiled and/or changed in those two. DDI is more authoritative than the rules updates because sometimes wizards engages in "stealth nerfs" (see Divine Oracle) that aren't loudly announced and may or may not be reflected in the rules updates.

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"…the templar cleric is the cleric of healer's lore, lasers, and optional pacifism." -- Lasers?? –  rjbs May 31 '11 at 14:54
@rjbs "tightly focused beams of radiant energy" just doesn't have the thrill and simplicity that "Lasers" gives off. –  wax eagle May 31 '11 at 16:49
Gotcha, thanks! –  rjbs May 31 '11 at 17:19
I've seen the term a few times, it'd be good to add it to the glossary. –  Adriano Varoli Piazza May 31 '11 at 18:23

The answer is quite simple, both versions of the cleric are valid and errata'd separately. If you have an interest in the errata for the PHB1 cleric, check the errata for the PHB1. If you have a DDI subscription, the characterbuilder allows you two build them as two sperate versions.

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Hi @Insanodag, welcome to the site! Take a look around, and read the FAQ if you haven't already. –  C. Ross May 31 '11 at 10:56

The class compendium is an update to the PHB1 version of the Cleric. The Cleric in Essentials (Warpriest), is a different build of the cleric.

The Class Compendium was a book that was scheduled to be released this year by Wizards. They cancelled the book and now the content is being released through Dragon magazine, one class at a time. They have now done the Warlord, Fighter, and are working on the Cleric. These are updates to the PHB1 classes which are truly due for an update.

The Rules Compendium is the most recent rules book publication, it has a lot of the latest errata and combines sections of the DMG and PHBs in one handy volume (a good size too).

The DDI compendium is the searchable database on the wizards website, its accessible to DDI subscribers. It is a treasure trove of information and has content from all published supplements.

As far as "Truth" for a class I would go with whatever is in the character builder. It includes the latest errata and has most (if not all) of the published builds and class features. Basically truth is pretty much whatever the latest publication is, I can't keep track so I pay for DDI so I don't have to.

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