Want to know if Priests are right for you? Priests have some initial overhead at the start of an adventure to work out the party's alignments to their god and thus how their abilities will best be applied, but afterwards they're not as bad as they may first look.
Priests are generally about forming a Congregation with party members to provide buffs to them. By default this is fixed for the adventure, so work it out at the start and then you'll know who you can easily buff.
1. Your abilities as a priest depend on the alignments of your allies to the leading element of the your god. At the start of an adventure you should check what these are, which may come from how they answer the little quiz at character generation or from their own views of their character. As you go along and you get to know them, you can revise your view on what their alignment should be treated as, just go with whatever seems appropriate. Whilst it is fixed you can adjust it after a Vision Quest or Milestone if it turns out their alignments are not what you thought they were. Or have changed. My advice? Proselytise hard and fast until you've convinced everybody in the party to be strongly aligned! Then you can help everybody.
For the sake of example, consider this Priest of the God of Not Stabbing a Guy (leading element Peace). Lesser and opposing elements make no difference here, and are mainly for flavour. In the party there's a Spirit Guide who's loosely aligned, an indifferent Doctor and an anti-aligned Warrior.
2. Let's go ahead and form a Congregation for this party. This has to start with yourself, so it's in your best interests to keep yourself aligned to your own god. Strongly aligned people are free, so you can go ahead and just add all of them. In this case, that's just our Priest here. Beyond that, you can have up to 4 loosely aligned people in your Congregation. The Spirit Guide is one. The Doctor here is indifferent, and so counts as two people for this count. So that's 3/4. Without any special skills saying otherwise, the Warrior, being anti-aligned, can't be brought into the Congregation at all. Whoops, sucks to be her. Oh well, on with the adventure!
3. We're in an encounter now. The Priest decides it's time to call upon the blessings of his god, and spends 1 maximum Spirit hit. This immediately grants him access to the set of buffs he has per Spirit hit spent, for the sake of example let's call this 1 call of PUSH and 1 VOID to physical (shown here by their old names “REPEL” and “RESIST”), which he can use any time from now until he next spends a Spirit hit in this manner, so long as it's still the same encounter. He also gets a pool of buffs to give to the rest of his Congregation. In this case, that's 3 each of PUSH and VOID to physical.
4. Let's try using some of those buffs. Since the buffs can go to any member of the Congregation besides the Priest, he doesn't need to evenly distribute the buffs between the Spirit Guide and Doctor (although is welcome to do so if it's easier that way), and can choose to give the majority of the buffs to the Spirit Guide. Here we see he's buffed them a few times, and the Doctor only once, but he still has a one of each to throw out. Once those are gone, the full potential of this pool of blessings will be used up, and the Priest will need to spend a Spirit hit again to make another one. Or, he could just spend a Spirit hit sooner, in which case he's basically throwing those leftover buffs on the floor. How wasteful.
Because the Congregation is fixed for the adventure, you may wish to look into options to fall back on in emergencies. For this there are skills to allow you to adjust your Congregation on the fly if you feel up to it, or to apply your skills to those outside your Congregation in a variety of ways.
At low level, a Priest will only have a couple of buffs to throw out per Congregation, and more limits to whom they can add to it. So long as you're not dabbling with the more tricksy parts of the Flexibility skill, playing a Priest generally involves having to remember which set of people you can buff, and a set of GAIN calls that can be used on them. And is otherwise about preaching at people a lot.
At high level, a Priest will have a lot more buffs to grant, so there is a larger set of GAIN calls which may be used. Preaching at people can now have a mechanical benefit too, although this along with several other skills around making it easier to form Congregations just means that the default Congregation one settles on is more encompassing. Ultimately, compared to lower levels being a high level Priest just involves having a few more calls to remember to give out in terms of relative complexity.
A possible basic build for a Priest is:
This starting build uses only a basic weapon, but makes the most of a Priest's ability to buff - with a couple of buffs which may be granted and the ability to heal a downed Congregation member for additional support. Visions are thematic to the character's god and in addition to some vague guidance on adventures provide an extra Spirit hit, allowing for an extra Congregation between refreshes.
Ready to try creating a Priest? The full description along with class skill tree and descriptions can be found here - you get Combat Proficiency from the Weapon Skills tree for free, and you'll need to pick 5 other level 1 skills (plus more for any additional XP you're adding) from these sets of skills:
For a Priest, it's recommended that in addition to class skills you pay attention to the General Skills, as a number of them provide additional Spirit hits which function as your Resource.
Armed with this information, you can then complete the remaining steps of Character Creation.