The "Complete Book of Paladins" gives a clear picture what a holy knight must consider when tithing to the church...in fact, practically EVERYTHING is calculated. This includes magic items, any and all monies (gems and jewels too), and any rewards or gifts. 10% of the sum total of the value is to be tithed (in the case of magic items, that can be A LOT!).
The "Complete Book of Priests" is a much earlier tome in this series, and is quite lacking in detail on the subject. Thusly, I offer the following inquiry:
1) Do priests only tithe 10% of monies accumulated (including, I imagine, gems and jewels) to their church?
2) Or, like paladins, must they include magic items in the sum total, too?!
3) Would there be a distinction between a rank-an-file cleric as opposed to a specialty priest in terms of tithing?
Ex: Would specialty priests have to tithe more (either in percentage, or perhaps a more inclusive list, as with paladins)?
Doesn't the Priest's Handbook mention tithes but in relation to the laiety? I didn't think there was a specific stupulation PC priests had to tithe their loot like a paladin should. I mean, it does make sense that they do I suppose.
Personally I've never enforced it as long as the PCs are still focused on their priestly duties. All of my current priest players have saved their loot to build shrines and churches, consecrate altars etc which I consider a suitably pious contribution to the faith.
Two other factors could be to do with the specific deity and with the specific circumstances of the priest PC. Some faiths such as those of or Xerbo Zilchus might demand a tithe from all their priests, others might demand a portion of the priest's loot be spent on charitable causes. Others may not care.
A priest PC who is closely tied to an existing church hierarchy might be expected to contribute to the faith to as recompense for lodging etc. A wandering specialist priest who is seperate from an existing hierarchy might not have such obligations.
Interestingly enough, there is no mention of clerical tithing in either the DMG or PHB that I can find, but there IS mention of tithing for paladins.
However, in the "Complete Book for Priests" it mentions tithing, usually between 5 and 15%, with the norm being 10%. The book makes no mention about what is 'tithable' unlike the exhaustive list in the "Complete Book of Paladins." I will look at some other sources to see what I discover on this topic.
My understanding is that priests tithe to their religious institution, just as paladins do, and this money becomes the property of that institution to be used however the church feels it should be utilized. The PC (or NPC) cleric has no direct involvement thereafter (though perhaps they can voice their opinion, especially if they are of sufficient level to have one) how the funds will be allocated.
I would think that ALL religious institutions have some type of tithing appropriate to their ethos in order to raise capital, resources, and the like to promote their goals. Priests of Zilchus undoubtedly want to boast financial largesse and amass wealth (and perhaps display this openly in their churches with the finest décor possible), the clergy of Heironeous would have a fully stocked armory, and the clergy of Pelor collect food, provisions, clothing, and basic needs to dispense to their followers. I think you get the point.
Clergy do not tithe. Non-clergy tithe, and a paladin is non-clergy. For the most part, what clergy own belongs to the church. One would assume that clergy will use most of their acquired wealth to benefit the faith when possible, even if it is often through the bolstering a particular champion of the faith (i.e. themselves). Any level of ostentation will no doubt vary by deity. Clerics (and mages) have enough expenses due to spell components - the more powerful they get, the worse that hits them. Plus, they gotta save up for when they will build their own church! :D _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:08 am; edited 1 time in total
Where does it mention tithing from clerics to their own church? The section I read in the Complete Priest's Handbook mentions clerics collecting tithes for the church, not tithing to the church themselves.
"Player-character priests don't get to see that money [tithes]; it is recorded by church accountants, stored in church treasures, and distributed or spent by superior priests."
Also read the section on Hierarchy of the Faith, and you will note how clergy are supported by the church via the tithes of followers.
I think your key misconception may regard the term "followers" in the book. The clergy administer to the followers. The followers support "the church," and so the clergy as well. The clergy do not support themselves. The clergy's only "tithe" is taking holy orders. In effect, they have "tithed" their life to the faith. Later in their careers, these same PC clergy attract *followers* who tithes can be collected from (the book suggests not developing some money scheme for this, and instead spend time doing something more interesting, like adventuring). So, best to think of clergy not as followers of the deity, but as servants of the deity. Do this and the book will make a lot more sense. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Yes, the cleric keeps it all, but any cleric worth his holy symbol should be using most of any extraneous funds to bolster the faith directly/indirectly. I've had clerics in my campaign sell holy water, potions, and spell services and use the added revenue to support other endeavors. These would include providing all manner of goods/services to the poor, providing revenue for building/enhancing church property (including their own, if of sufficiently high level or are fortunate to have acquired property during their adventuring career), funding war efforts, etc. Non-church folks are often not aware of what the money is used for, so sometimes clerics can get a "money grubbing" reputation. A good example I like to use as a model are the clerics at the temple of St. Cuthbert in Hommlet (see T1-4), those being Terjon and Calmert. They seem to be very zealous about collecting donations/money for services, but most don't know what the money is really going towards. Calmert in particular has a slightly seedy reputation in my campaign among a few players, but he is actually a very pious and hard working cleric who merely seeks to get all he can to bolster the servants of good.
Some clerics are more pious than others, but I wouldn't penalize a cleric unless they were doing something questionable (i.e. skirting the edge of requiring atonement, but not quite there...yet). What that might be is up to you, but turnabout is always fair play - even the "holy" can experience misfortune from natural/unnatural causes. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:24 am; edited 4 times in total
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