I know I'm late to the party by about 9 years to talk about Cleric's without spells, but I'm about to start running a new DCC game in a Sword and Sorcery type setting, and I really have never liked the spellcasting cleric.
Most people suggest removing the cleric altogether, but I do think there should be a class for champions/avatars of gods beyond the patron/agent system. Preferably one that has little to no spellcasting ability.
My literary basis for this type of character would be Tempus from the Thieves' World books. Game design wise I looked at numerous systems including RPG pundit's Lion & Dragon, Dominique Crouzet's Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, Green Ronin's Thieves' World and Black Company sourcebooks, AEG's Good Sourcebook, and Some Sanctum Secorum stuff.
The end result is a cleric that loses spellcasting, and divine aid. This means it just keeps Turn Unholy and Lay on Hands.
In trade for all it lost it gains Zealous Wrath and Boons.
Zealous Wrath: The cleric can enter into a state of holy mania, trading points of STA for Zeal dice each round, and gaining temporary immunity to any effect requiring a Will save. The cleric also counts as an outsider while affected by this mania. While in this state it must trade at least 1 point, but the max it can trade is equal to his PER bonus(again, min 1). These Zeal dice are based on level(same size as a Warrior's Deed die), and the cleric may spend them on the following each round:
- The cleric applies the Zeal die to attack, damage, and mighty deed rolls just as if he was a warrior. Each die applying to a different attack.
- The cleric applies the Zeal die as a bonus to a spell check for Turn Unholy, Lay on Hands, and Boons that require Spell Checks.
- The cleric applies the Zeal die to himself as healing. Any extra healing is wasted.
- The cleric uses the Zeal die as damage reduction.
The cleric can remain in this state for as long as he's willing to trade STA points, even into negative numbers. When he comes out however, if he's at 0 or lower stamina, he falls unconscious until his stamina heals enough to return him to 1 STA(1 pt/hour). Until his stamina completely recovers(1 pt/turn of rest) the cleric suffers a 1 die step penalty to all rolls, and may not enter the holy mania again unless he burns a permanent point of stamina.
Boons: I am building the deities for my campaign off of d20 cleric domains and the AEG Sourcebook 'Good'. These domains grant the followers and clerics certain, minor abilities as well as providing a framework for what counts as sins/transgressions and what kind of divine aid a cleric can reasonably expect to receive for various levels of disapproval. I'll start posting examples as I get write-ups done for the individual gods.