A cleric is a champion of his/her deity, chosen to bring about the will of that deity on the material plane. More than just priests, clerics wield divine power to heal the wounded, smite their enemies and manifest other miracles. Clerics come in many forms: a heavily armoured, battle-scarred champion of Tyr striking down those who would oppose the course of justice; a wandering priestess of Sune bringing alms and comfort to the poor and sick; a devotee of Oghma poring over a cryptic tome in the depths of a dungeon.
One does not choose to become a cleric: clerics are chosen at the discretion of their deity. Some deities prefer to choose from those who have already shown signs of great devotion; others reward mortals whose actions align closely with their divine intentions. Regardless of who they were before being chosen, a cleric’s actions and alignments are representative of their deity, although the deity will usually grant their cleric a large degree of autonomy.
Clerics are the cornerstone of their party: providing healing, buffs and magical support to the players. A cleric’s specialisation is defined by their divine domain, granted to them by their deity (chosen from the Pantheon,) which defines the spells they can learn and the forms of their channel divinity feature.
Clerics are hybrid spell-casters and weapons users, with a great deal of variety afforded to them by their domain: for example, war clerics gain proficiency with heavy armour and martial weapons while light clerics gain access to more damaging spells and powerful casting.
Clerics use Wisdom to cast spells, making this their most important stat. A cleric prepares a number of spells equal to their WIS mod + cleric level from the cleric spell list each morning (midnight for worshippers of Mask). Spells granted to clerics by their choice of domain are always prepared and do not count against this number.
All clerics have the class feature Channel Divinity, which resets between rests. All clerics can use this feature as an action to cast Turn/Destroy Undead and a number of other effects related to their domain. At higher levels, a cleric can also call on their deity to directly intercede with the Divine Intervention feature.
Clerics have proficiency in Wisdom and Charisma saves; other important stats are Constitution and Strength, as many domains grant the ability to use heavier armour and martial weapons. By default clerics have proficiency with simple weapons, shields, light armour and medium armour.
There are eight domains: Death, Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery and War. A deity may have more than one domain but a cleric of that deity may only choose one. A domain defines the spells, skills and miracles available to a cleric as well as the nature of the worship a cleric performs for their deity – a tempest cleric honours his deity through destruction while a knowledge cleric gathers information through magical and mundane means.
The Death domain deals with the forces of mortality and the afterlife. Class features include proficiency with martial weapons, applying harmful effects to enemies and dealing necrotic damage.
The full specs of the death domain are outlined at the end of this page, as it is not found in the PHB.
The Knowledge domain deals with gaining and applying knowledge and divine inspiration. Domain features include gaining extra proficiency, learning enchantments and divinations and imporving spellcasting.
The Life domain focuses on healing, restorative energy. Domain features include an increased range of more powerful healing spells and greater presence in battle.
The Light domain harnesses the divine power of light to deal fire and radiant damage in battle, as well as blind enemies and dispel darkness.
While Druids revere all the nature spirits, Nature clerics are champions of a particular God. Features include natural magic, elemental control and additional proficiencies.
The Tempest domain is based around destruction and brute displays of power. Tempest clerics are proficient with heavy armour and martial weapons, and call upon the power of the storm in battle.
The Trickery domain encourages deceit, intrigue and pranks from its clerics: many clerics of Mask feel that Life is taken altogether too seriously. Trickery clerics use illusions and enchantments in the service of their deity.
The clerics of War honour their deity by triumph in battle. They gain proficiency in heavy armour and martial weapons, and their deity guides and empowers their strikes.
Death Domain Features
|Level 1||false life, ray of sickness|
|Level 3||blindness/deafness, ray of enfeeblement|
|Level 5||revivify, vampiric touch|
|Level 7||blight, death ward|
|Level 9||anti life shell, cloud kill|
When the cleric chooses this domain at 1st level, he or she gains proficiency with martial weapons.
At 1st level, the cleric learns one necromancy cantrip of his or her choice from any spell list. When the cleric casts a necromancy cantrip that normally targets only one creature, the spell can instead target two creatures within range and within 5 feet of each other.
CHANNEL DIVINITY: TOUCH OF DEATH
Starting at 2nd level, the cleric can use Channel Divinity to destroy another creature’s life force by touch. When the cleric hits a creature with a melee attack, the cleric can use Channel Divinity to deal extra necrotic damage to the target. The damage equals 5 + twice his or her cleric level.
Starting at 6th level, the cleric’s ability to channel negative energy becomes more potent. Necrotic damage dealt by the character’s cleric spells and Channel Divinity options ignores resistance to necrotic damage.
At 8th level, the cleric gains the ability to infuse his or her weapon strikes with necrotic energy. Once on each of the cleric’s turns when he or she hits a creature with a weapon attack, the cleric can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. When the cleric reaches 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
Starting at 17th level, when the cleric casts a necromancy spell of 1st through 5th level that targets only one creature, the spell can instead target two creatures within range and within 5 feet of each other. If the spell consumes its material components, the cleric must provide them for each target.