Before diving into the priest kits, I forgot an important part of the Warrior kits. Namely, that with specialization in the bow, you have an effective Archer kit. Not only does he gets +1 to hit, +2 to damage with a bow, he gains the point blank range allowing him to use the bow in melee range combat. Barring the use of metal armor is up to the GM.
When it comes to priest kits in 2e, you have to talk about spheres. All the priest spells are divided into 18 spheres. Unlike a Wizard, it isn't feasible to specialize in one sphere, so the Priest's Handbook talked about combat ability and spheres working as a balancing factor. Essentially, a priest with good weapons has weaker magic, a priest with weaker weapons has good magic. Ultimately, I think this is a good way to work it out.
Now for the confusing bit. Sphere is not an OGL term. In an earlier post, I talked about how the priests would be differentiated by domain. In order to comply with the OGL, I feel like I need to use the OGL terms domain instead. This creates a bit of a disconnect as OGL domains add bonus spells instead of acting like schools of priestly magic. I apologize for that. Maybe I am too concerned about the OGL in this instance, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.
So how do the priest kits work?
Clerics are redefined to have the same weapons choices, but access to only five domains (new usage, not OGL usage). Three domains can access levels 1 to 7. Two domains can access only spells level 1 to 3. There is one domain that all priests can access, the General domain. It is available to all priests from level 1 to level 7. Outside of this domain, the player has his/her choice of the other four.
It is not too different from an OGL cleric in one sense. The OGL cleric chooses two domains within the domains controlled by the specific deity the cleric serves. The difference is the number of spells held in common by all clerics. Instead of over a hundred, there are only a handful. The trick is going to be to make most or all of the available options valid choices for a PC.
I've heard of cloistered clerics - they do not "do combat" so they have more powerful spellcasting abilities. One advantage of the system I am proposing is that a cloistered cleric becomes a kit of the Priest class. Since the weapons and armor a cloistered cleric would have are awful at best, they would have access to 13 domains, The General domain plus six from levels 1 to 7 and six from levels 1 to 3.
The other advantage is that a battle priest, one trained by the religious order for combat, will have good weapon choices (swords, metal armors, etc) plus some spellcasting ability. at first level. What is the difference between a battle priest and a paladin? In terms of mechanics, a paladin has warrior abilities, including weapon specialization. A battle priest would have priest abilities and restrictions. Specifically, a battle priest would have access to the General domain plus one other for spells between level 1 and 7. He/She could also access one other domain for spells between level 1 and 3. Limited magic, but at a Priest's spell progression table.
It's tempting to provide alternate powers to Turn Undead that has been a staple of the cleric since the beginning. I believe that should reside at the level of a class (like Cleric or Druid) instead of a kit (battle priest, cloistered cleric). Maybe a different type of priest would have the power to incite fear instead of Turn Undead. Depending on your campaign, there could be a type of anti-wizard priest with an immunity to certain types (or schools) of wizard spells. Along those lines, I almost always have an anti-psionic priest class that has certain immunities to psionics/mind-altering spells instead of the turn undead power. As fun as these ideas are, it is still a separate class, not a kit.
Will the priest kits require a generic pantheon? Maybe it will - the srd has one. At this point, I think I will have names of deities and domains, but I'm hoping to come up with something somehow that will not require a pantheon.
Next up, the wizard kits.