Making Characters Weird: Clerics

Moebius the Time Streamer
by JLazarusEB is licensed by
What do I mean by "making clerics weird"? When I say "weird," I'm using that as a catch-all term to mean something unconventional and unexpected, outside the realm of traditional vanilla fantasy. But, it's something that can easily be used in a traditional fantasy setting, because that's what makes it "weird" - it stands out because it's not standard. To paraphrase Syndrome from the Incredibles... "If everything's weird, then nothing is."

That's the premise behind this series of posts I'm doing on different character classes; adding little quirks to the standard classes to make them different and a bit unexpected. My hope is that these tables inspire you to create your own quirks. The goal isn't to make the classes more powerful or even to provide mechanical benefits. This isn't about optimization and builds, it's about flavor and role-playing. 

These are, in spirit, system-neutral. While there are some references below to things like "a penalty to Reaction Roll modifiers," that's easily changed. Maybe you're playing 5th Edition and you don't use the B/X style Reaction Roll. That's fine. Instead, change it to "Disadvantage on Persuasion checks." In other editions, it might be a penalty to Diplomacy checks. My point is, don't get caught up on a mechanic you don't use; take the spirit of what's below and adapt it for the system you prefer. 

Players might use these ideas for inspirations for their characters, and DM's might roll randomly to create a quick NPC personality or quirk. Unlike my "Make Your Fighters Weird" post that only included one table, in this case I've provided a few different tables for clerics: 

  • 1D20 Weird Cleric Traits. This is like the Fighter table, with some unexpected and strange personality quirks that a cleric might have. 
  • Faith Random Generator. Three 1D20 tables to randomly generate an Adjective, Priesthood Name, and Faith Name. The idea here is that a player or DM could conceivable create splinter groups by rolling the same faith name, but different adjective and priesthood names. Some of the adjective, priesthood names, and faith names might be first seem contradictory, but that's part of the fun and creativity: seeing if you can come up with a reason how and why the Honorable Cult of the Empress of Ruin came about. 
  • Random Superstitions. One thing I like to do with my clerics is ask the player to pick the following: 
    • One day of the week they won't adventure (due to it being a holy day of prayer, worship, meditation, etc.)
    • One food they won't eat (because it's considered blasphemy or offensive to the faith, or maybe in remembrance of a holy story or myth, etc.)
    • 1D4 Superstitions the cleric has that are unique to the cleric's faith; to help with this, I created a short table of some examples. The idea isn't to be prescriptive, but rather to help inspire the player to come up with new ideas in addition to the ones on the table. 
    • To use the Random Superstitions table: 
      • Roll 1D4 to determine the number of Superstitions
      • Then roll 1D6 for each one: 1-4 is a "standard" superstition; 5 is a Ritual, and 6 is an Omen
      • For the standard superstitions, there's a 50% chance the thing in question is considered "good luck" and a 50% chance it's considered "bad luck."
    • On the Superstitions table, I use the word "specific" to indicate that the player and/or DM can pick a specific type of thing (an animal, a color, a number, a day of the week, etc.) or they can determine is randomly. So, "Saying a specific word in a specific location" and having determined that this superstition is considered "bad luck" might be "Saying the name of your child while in a graveyard" 
As with my Making Fighters Weird table, I'd love to hear your ideas for new things to add. Once I get a bunch, my plan is to re-post them and include all the new ideas, along with giving credit to the people who thought of the new ideas. Remember, the goal shouldn't be mechanics-based; don't start with mechanics. Start with an idea that's strange and out of the ordinary, and only then decide if you need a mechanical rule to demonstrate it. 

Here are the tables: 


Roll 1D20 or pick:


Weird Trait


PREHISTORIC GOD. You are the last member of a forgotten cult to an ancient prehistoric god. Your goal is to find an apprentice to pass on the cult’s secret rituals.


CURE SPELLS. Cure spells from every deity leave a mark on the recipient. You seek out and attack those with a mark from a different deity and have a special hatred of people bearing cure marks from deities from more than one faith/pantheon.


MISTAKE. You worship a deity known as the Great Shaggy Horse. Unbeknownst to followers of the deity, it was actually a small children’s toy accidentally exposed to an enlargement spell gone horribly wrong by a wizard in training. You may or may not know the truth.


PROPHET. You were raised from birth in a secret monastery to be the prophet of a marginalized faith.


DESTROYER. You were raised from birth in a secret convent to be the destroyer of the world, but you left the faith and now seek to spread the word of the danger of the cult.


MYSTERY CULT. You belong to a mystery cult that is considered heretical by the main faith. Execution is the punishment.


DEAD GOD. You belong to a religious institution dedicated to a dead god. One of the main mysteries you explore is the source of the power that answers your prayers (spells). Others may or may not know the god is dead.


SPEAKING IN TONGUES. When casting spells (prayers), you speak in a nonsense, “holy” language. +1 Reaction Roll to people of your faith, but -2 Reaction Roll penalty to those of other faiths (they just think you’re weird).


REFORMER. You are on a quest to reform your church, and things are getting violent over your protestations. Fanatical assassins of the main faith follow you around to kill you.


DISEASED WORSHIPPERS. You preach to, and will only heal, the critically diseased. You gain +4 on saving throws versus disease, but a -2 Reaction Roll penalty because people are afraid they might catch something from you. Inns who allow you to stay are non-existent; you’re probably spending the night in a barn or, if you’re lucky, a draughty waystation for your church.


VISIONS. Your deity sends you visions that you must interpret and announce with signs and loud preaching. You might be crazy. People certainly think so.


APOCALYPSE. You are one of four special mystics with knowledge of a potential future apocalypse. You’ve never met the other three mystics.


TRANCE. You can only pray for spells when you are in a waking trance triggered by (roll 1D8): 1) Chanting/Singing; 2) Reading signs/portents in tea leaves/blood/ flight patterns of birds/Etc.; 3) Ritualistic flagellation; 4) Being pierced with a sharp object; 5) Being exposed to a hot poker 5) Mind-altering flora; 6) Ritualistic dancing; 7) Reading passages from a holy tome; 8) Speaking to your dead ancestors


ANIMAL COMPANION. Your deity speaks to you through your pet (bear, donkey, pigeon, monkey, etc.). It only sounds like grunts and squawks to everyone else. No one else in your faith does this.


REINCARNATION. You’re convinced you are definitely the reincarnation of your deity come to earth. You sell off your nail clippings and braids of your hair as “relics.” A group of overenthusiastic devotees follows you around eagerly asking for you to sell off your fingers.


CONFLICTED. You are conflicted about the cosmic forces affecting your deity. Each day, roll D6: 1-3, you cannot cast reversed versions of your “prayers” (spells). 4-6: you can only cast reversed versions of spells.


SYNCRETISM. Your deity is the result of a very recent syncretic combination with another deity. Many followers are still getting used to the new combined deity. 


CANDLES. All candles are holy to you and you must always keep one lit with you. If your candle ever blows out, you suffer a -1 penalty to saving throws until you atone (24-hour uninterrupted ceremony). While you carry your lit candle, you can reroll one die roll once per day, but you must keep the second roll. You’re probably a little to close to the candle you carry and whisper to it when you think no one is looking.


SEVERED HEAD. You carry the severed head of the previous leader of your religious order. The head speaks to you and gives advice on faith. Others can’t hear it speaking to you. One day, a disciple of yours will carry your head in the same manner.


SACRIFICE. Your family belongs to a mysterious cult the demands the sacrifice of the fifth child. You were the fifth child but somehow saved from being sacrificed. The fate of your younger sibling (the sixth-born) is unknown. The other members of your cult may or may not know your secret.



Roll 1D20 or pick one for each column:



Priesthood Name

Faith Name



Believers of

The Architect of the Cosmos



Brothers of

The Burning Mother



Children of

The Blessed Seven-Eyed Maiden



Cult of

The Crone, Mother and Maid



Custodians of

The Divine Engineer



Disciples of

The Dying Sun



Faithful of

The Empress of Ruin



Fists of

The Endless



Followers of

The Eternal Sea of All Creation



Guardians of

The God Emperor of the Known Universe



Heralds of

The Infinite Spirits



Holders of

The Mother of Unborn Souls



Judges of

The Natural Trinity



Keepers of

The Poison Moon



Messengers of

The Queen of Blood Winter



Prophets of

The Scarlet King



Protectors of

The Sealed Books



Servants of

Those Beneath



Sisters of

The Thousand Idols



Soldiers of

The Thrice Great Priest-King

 As you use these, cross them out and replace them if you need:

  • Adjectives: Holy, Strict, etc.
  • Priesthood Names: Adherents of...; Crusaders of...; etc.


  • Roll 1D4 to determine the number of superstitions
  • Roll 1D6 to determine the type:
    • 1-4 = "Standard" Superstition (Column 1)
      • 50% = "Lucky", 50% = "Unlucky"
    • 5 = Ritual
    • 6 = Omen
  • Roll in the appropriate column
    • 1D12: Superstition
    • 1D6: Ritual
    • 1D6: Omen
  • If an entry says "specific," the player or DM picks the thing in question (or can determine it randomly) 


Superstitions (1D12)
50% Chance of Being Lucky or Unlucky

Rituals (1D6)

Omens (1D6)


Specific number

Offering specific food(s) to specific types of guests

An eclipse


Specific day

Offering food/wine to ancestors

A comet


Specific type and color of animal doing something (crossing your path, flying a specific direction, etc.)

Bury bodies of criminals or non-religious people only at crossroads

Specific birds (represent the spirits of loved ones visiting their relatives)


Saying a specific word in a specific location

Don’t return directly home after a funeral

A double rainbow


Spilling a specific food or drink in a specific location

Don’t sleep with your head facing a specific direction

A specific cloud formation


Entering a building with a specific foot first

Use bells to ward off evil spirits

A specific pattern of smoke


Guest with specific hair color arrives at your door (1D4: 1 = Black, 2 = Brown, 3 = Red, 4 = Blonde)




Whistling in specific circumstances




Wearing specific clothes indoors (usually shoes)




Cutting hair on a specific day




Wearing a specific color under specific circumstances (1D10: 1 = Black, 2 = White, 3 = Gray, 4 = Brown, 5 = Red, 6 = Blue, 7 = Yellow, 8 = Purple, 9 = Orange, 10 = Green)




Stepping in specific animal feces with a specific foot




Making Your Characters Weird © 2021 Martin R. Thomas

Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: Tap water
Listening: "Good Gosh - Homero Espinosa Give Me a Break Moulton Dub" by King Kooba and Simone "Flash" Gordon, from the Single "Good Gosh (Remixes)"


  1. Another great post that was enjoyable to read. The severed head and a few other traits made me chuckle. When my partner asked about the chuckling, she gave me a strange look after I eagerly shared the source of my enjoyment. Ah, the wonderfulness of this hobby.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed them, and hopefully can incorporate some of them into your game.

      One thing I tried to go for when writing this is give little hooks that a DM can follow-up on if wanted. So, I tend to use language like "others can't hear the head speaking to you" or "You are (or believe yourself to be) the reincarnation of a famous (or infamous, or forgotten, or mythical) warrior from the past (or the future)."

      The writing on that last one was a little clunky, but hopefully you get the idea - many of these things might just be in the head of the PC, but the DM might decide that these traits are wholly, or partially, true. Who knows? Maybe he PC doesn't even know if they're real or not. Maybe the severed head really is speaking to the cleric. Or is it?

  2. I also did a shout-out on my blog since I think my players will enjoy these tables as well.

    1. Thank you so much - I really appreciate that! I hope your followers/readers enjoy them.

      I've been enjoying your blog as well - here's a link for my readers to check it out: The Rambling Cleric


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