|A wise guy, huh?|
This is why Wisdom constantly has to be reinterpreted as a character, not player, attribute. One approach (let's call it "Piety") is to just say it's whatever it takes to be a cleric/priest/paladin and tie it exclusively to divine magic. This is similar to what I do with Intelligence, renaming it Intellect, and treating it as "head for book learning." The problem here is that really no other character class has any reason to have a high Wisdom.
There are two other very different things Wisdom's asked to do, especially in 3rd edition D&D, with its design pressure to make all game elements meaningful. One is "Will" or ability to resist mental influence: 3rd edition has Wisdom modifying Will saves. The other is "Perception" or awareness of one's surroundings: 3rd edition also has Wisdom modifying a variety of skills like Spot, Listen, Sense Motive and Survival.
Well... Will and Piety perhaps go together, if you make the long assumption that contact with divine forces is the only way to resist influences on your mind. But Will and Piety are definitely at odds with Wisdom as Perception. The static, supportive role of cleric in the original game is right opposite the scouting, mobile role of the thief. It doesn't seem right that both classes draw on the same stat, when AD&D explicitly stated that their roles were opposite, and each one's prime requisite was the ability score the other could ignore completely.
How to resolve this mess? I recently had the insight that if Wisdom = Awareness it could mean different things for divine and profane classes. Simply put, have priest-types (or prophets) not get the Wisdom bonuses for earthly things like listening. Their awareness is attuned to a different sphere.
To sum up, in my game going forward, high Wisdom has the following benefits for a prophet:
- Qualifies for the class
- Stronger miracles, healing and abjuring evil.
- Stronger Mind saves (similar to 3rd edition's Will)
- 13+ Wisdom gives +1 on d6 perception skills; 8- Wisdom gives -1..
- Bonuses in Wisdom gives 10/15/20% bonus to experience, but no penalty for low Wisdom - the logic here being similar to awareness, that a prophet's Wisdom is too tied up in higher things to help learn pragmatically from experience.
- Stronger Mind saves.
Another thing to think about - if and when I introduce a Druid class to the game, their nature-bound spirituality would let them get both divine and mundane benefits of Wisdom.