In the forums of lotfp.com, some folks discuss how to improve the cleric class. While I cannot side with the “does not hits as good as fighter” argument (NO class in lotfp has a higher to-hit-bonus as the fighter, as all but the fighter have a flat THB of “+1”), I see the point that is made about the spells.
I would not say that they are less powerful. People tend to measure power in “opponents killed”, which is something that I happily leave to the fighters. To revive somebody from the dead is more powerful to me than to burn said somebody to crisps with the flick of a wrist (again, I fighters take more time, but do the job). But I agree that the clerics spells are in total less fancy as they are often defensive or “negating” in nature: the majority of magic-user spells create a certain effect of their own (which gives the player a moment to shine) as the PC does something. What the cleric does often negates something somebody else did: removing damage, disease, curses etc. is reactive instead of active, the kind of support role that those who want to hug the limelight like to avoid.
This is hard to change without mixing the two classes up into one and the same thing, which turns it into a question of flavor if your PC is “C or MU”. But what -could- be done for those that feel that their cleric is “underpowered” and “un-shiny” compared to a regular MU? Here are some suggestions of mine:
#Remove the need to prepare spells
The magic of a cleric is not a force that comes out of the cleric itself. It is the power of the character´s deity that is channeled through the faith that links the cleric something greater. Thereby, the cleric does not need to “prepare” spells, but may call upon a number of spells of this or that levels (according to the character´s level). As faith is the access element for what is godly, it is needed to express devotion through time spend in prayer and ritual. The maximum level of accessible spells is limited by the time spend in communion, prayer and praise spend during the last 24 hours.
For ease of accounting, the player and GM may decide to sum those up over the course of the day, and reset it every morning. Sacrifices (monetary, in the form of penance and self-humiliation or even self-flagellation for 1d4 points of damage) my result “bonus levels”, depending on the GM and the actual faith. This makes a cleric more flexible than a magic-user.
#Turn the “Touch” Requirement into “Range: 10 feet” for some spells
When a lack of “power” is the real turn down, one may just as well increase the power. Bless, Bestow Curse, Cause Diseases, Cause Light Wounds and Cause Serious Wounds become all a tad more dangerous when they may be cast from 10 feet away.
# Increase their to-hit-bonus against undead/demonic entities
If the to-hit-bonus really is the matter, why not increase it to “+1 per level” against anything that is undead and/or demonic in nature? It would, after all, make sense that the strength of faith weakens those foes defenses.