dnd 5e – How does anyone ever die with a Cleric

The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Clerics

With apologies to Dick the Butcher, if you want your characters to feel the heat in combat and stop taking clerical healing for granted… kill the cleric. Or more properly, take out or somehow occupy the cleric early in the combat, so they can’t easily dispense healing at the earliest opportunity in a combat.

On the one hand, intelligent adversaries who can recognize clerics and want to actually win the fight would do this as a matter of course. Assassins certainly qualify, here, and ought to be well-briefed on who they’re trying to kill.

On the other hand, one expects this to work maybe once or twice before the group starts stocking up on healing potions or otherwise taking protective countermeasures. (And if the opponents are focusing fire on the cleric, that means they’re probably not focusing fire on the wizard, the barbarian, or whoever the biggest and most reliable damage-dealer in the party is.)

A Frame Challenge Or Two

But remember, there’s a natural narrative tension running through most D&D games: Most D&D games have a lot of combats, and most D&D games aren’t grimdark enough to be killing characters on a regular basis. And if you run through enough combats where everyone survives, eventually the player are going to figure out that maybe– just maybe, whether it’s because of the existence of healing potions, or clerics, or because of the way the whole game world is structured– they’re not quite treated the same way as the minor NPCs.

That’s why clerics and healing potions exist. They are meant to be used to rescue the characters.

But not all tension in a game comes from the immediate threat of death in any given combat. Another way to look at things (both at the level of an individual combat, or a series of related combats before the group can rest, regroup, and recover their resources) is as an exercise in resource management.

At the level of an individual combat, every time the cleric has to go over and heal someone (and remember, those healing spells have a range of touch, meaning the cleric has to go over there consuming multiple actions on a round) means that he or she can’t be doing anything else that might be useful, like buffing other characters or casting damage-dealing spells against their opponents.

And at the level of a series of combats, every healing spell cast now is a healing spell that cannot be cast in the next combat, or the next after that… until the players shut down and take a long rest. This is critically important to the way 5e and related systems work. Your PCs can feel like demigods if they blow through scarce resources in the early (probably less challenging) combats of a sequence, only to be left high and dry when fighting the Big Bad at the end.

If that’s what’s happening, they’ll eventually feel the pinch.

If you’re following this school of thought, then one of your jobs as GM (which is not necessarily easy) is putting the characters in situations where they can’t come at each combat at full strength like a sledge hammer, but rather where they’ll have to run through a gauntlet with some real uncertainty on their part of where they should be spending those resources.

A natural result of this– and I think a good one– is that not every combat will feel like a mortal threat, but some of them toward the end of those sequences, surely will.

dnd 5e – Can you know the damage before teleporting with Cleric Peace Domain Lvl6 Protective Bond?

The reaction is taken immediately after its trigger. But sometimes it’s complicated.

The trigger for the Protective Bond reaction is:

When a creature affected by your Emboldening Bond feature is about to take damage

Therefore, the Protective Bond reaction is available immediately after the rules of the game have decided that the creature affected by Emboldening Bond is to take damage. There are actually several cases we must consider here.

Hit by an Attack

The rules for attack rolls state:

To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add the appropriate modifiers. If the total of the roll plus modifiers equals or exceeds the target’s Armor Class (AC), the attack hits.

The rules for resolving attacks state:

On a hit, you roll damage.

So when the affected creature is hit with an attack, this is the reaction trigger. It is at this point, once the attack has been determined to hit, that we know the creature is about to take damage, and this is before we have rolled the damage – the trigger occurs before damage is rolled.

Now, if there is a possibility that the attack could deal 0 damage the DM does have to roll the damage to be sure that the affected creature is about to take damage, but the reaction still occurs immediately after the trigger, which is before the damage is applied. In this situation the DM would tell you, “The damage is more than 0”, and give you an opportunity to make the choice, but the DM shouldn’t tell you what the damage is.

Saving throw (half damage on success)

Saving throw damage is complicated, as there are two cases which need to be handled differently. In the first case, suppose the affected creature is in the area of effect of a fireball spell. They take 8d6 damage on a succesful save, and half on a failed save. In this instance, the rules have established that they are about to take damage before the saving throw is even made. In this case, the saving throw is not determining if they take damage, it is determining how much damage to roll. So you would make the choice to use your reaction before the creature even attempts the saving throw.

Saving throw (no damage on success)

In this case, such as in cantrips which deal no damage on a successful save, the saving throw is determining if the creature is about to take damage. Therefore, your reaction would only be available to you after the saving throw has been attempted and failed, but again, before the damage is actually rolled. It is only after the saving throw has been attempted that the rules of the game have determined if the creature is about to take damage or not.

Fall Damage

This one will just require a ruling form the DM. Protective Bond just teleports you to a space near the creature, which seems to me wouldn’t actually affect fall damage at all. RAW, it can cancel fall damage, but it seems reasonable to rule that this feature doesn’t help with fall damage, or allows you to quickly utilize Tasha’s optional Falling onto a Creaure rule:

If a creature falls into the space of a second creature and neither of them is Tiny, the second creature must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be impacted by the falling creature, and any damage resulting from the fall is divided evenly between them. The impacted creature is also knocked prone, unless it is two or more sizes larger than the falling creature.

There is room to rule differently.

What I gave above is a pretty strict reading, I think, of the feature and the relevant rules, but the trigger “about to take damage” is still somewhat ambiguous, so there’s room to rule differently. To me it just seems a bit cheesy to be able to be this selective with using the feature, but there’s nothing wrong with taking it in a different direction. In particular, ruling that you can make the choice after you know what the damage would be makes it far less complicated than what I presented above.

dnd 5e – Does a Javelin of Lightning allow a cleric to use Thunderous Strike?

To quote Naut Arch’s answer

It’s going to be up to the situation and up to the DM

There are no rules that specify who does what when it’s not a directly related cause and effect that can easily be traced back to a creature. Heck, it’s not even always cut and dry to trace back to a creature.

Because of that, the situations will matter and it will end up being a DM decision as to if the warlock is the source or something/someone else.

Personally, clearly the thrower of the Javelin is dealing damage

This specific case does not give any truly explicit indication of who/what is dealing the damage. That said, the weapon does state the following:

(…) Make a ranged weapon attack against the target. (…)

Where you, the attacker, the one using the Javelin, are making the attack. However, this is, technically, not 100% utterly and entirely explicitly stating that you are also the one dealing the damage. In fact, the same weapon later states (emphasis mine):

(…) the target takes damage from the javelin plus 4d6 lightning damage. (…)

I believe “from the Javelin” here is merely meant to convey that the target takes the regular damage as well as 4d6 lightning damage instead of just 4d6 damage, but this could still be construed as meaning the Javelin itself is dealing its normal damage and then also the 4d6 lightning damage.

The weapon’s description is not perfectly clear, but I would rule, in a heartbeat, that the one using the Javelin is dealing damage with said Javelin and thus they are the one dealing the damage. Perhaps the Javelin is also dealing the damage (after all, damage need not be caused by only one thing), but until a scenario arises where that call is required, I do not know how I would rule. I almost can’t imagine anybody even claiming the attacker isn’t the one dealing damage because it would be like arguing somebody swinging a sword isn’t dealing damage when they very much are.

What about the saving throw damage?

It is, of course, also ultimately up to the GM. That said, I would similarly, personally rule that this damage is also caused by the one attacking with the Javelin. They are the one who is dictating its path and choosing where the Javelin is sent, they have a great enough amount of agency in this scenario, they can, to me, meaningfully be said to be the causer or the damage, that I would conclude the damage can be considered to be being done by them as well.

Can a cleric "multi class" between domains? [duplicate]

I have a player asking me if there is a mechanic that would allow them to take on a second domain, much in the same way a player can multi class. My gut here is no and I am contemplating instead finding out which 2 domains they wish to combine and then forming my own homebrew deity and domain that takes aspects of each, but not everything. But is there a RAW way that a player could take on multiple domains as a cleric?

dnd 5e – Can a twilight domain cleric see colors in dim light?

Or to clarify further — the Twilight cleric has darkvision out to 300′, that works exactly like anyone’s darkvision (e.g. racial darkvision to 60′).

With any of these versions of darkvision, if the ambient light level is dim, then you see as if you are in bright light, including colors, out to your range of darkvision. If the ambient light level is normal darkness, you see as if you are in dim light, no colors — only shades of gray, out to your range of darkvision. If the ambient light level is magical darkness, you cannot see.

dnd 3.5e – Prestige classes that grant domains – Effective cleric level

For a prestige class that grants domains and increases caster level for a previous class, if it grants an extra domain, what is the effective cleric level for that domain? For example, if you are a sorcerer, and you take four levels of Rainbow Servant, you gain access to the Air domain. What is your effective cleric level when you turn/rebuke Air/Earth creatures? Is it your level in Rainbow Servant only? Or is it your effective Sorcerer caster level? Or is it your total character level?

Edit: this came up when the Rainbow Servant came across a wyrmling Green dragon, and she remembered she had access to the Air domain, so she turned Air creatures. She is Sorcerer 6/Rainbow Servant 4. If the effective cleric level is 4, she can roll to turn the 5 HD Air creature. If the effective cleric level is Sorcerer Caster Level, then it is 8. If it is Sorcerer + Rainbow Servant levels, then it is 10, and in the last one, it is possible that the little dragon goes pop (I said it was 4 = Rainbow Servant level).

dnd 5e – Does a UA Dhampir Cleric Turn Itself? What does that look like?

Dhampir have two types tags in the new Unearth Arcana, they are both humanoid and undead. There is even a nice rules reminder in D&D Beyond that points out:

If an effect works on at least one of a creature’s types, that effect can work on that creature. For example, if you are both a Humanoid and an Undead, cure wounds works on you, since the spell works on a Humanoid.

Everything so far is peachy keen. I was going to introduce an NPC that is a Dhampir Cleric, but ran across an odd edge case. If the cleric uses Channel Divinity: Turn Undead I’m not sure what happens:

Channel Divinity: Turn Undead
As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring the undead. Each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a WIS saving throw (DC 14). If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

I know it is play test material and will have weird edge cases like this not hammered out. I also know at my table I will have to make a call if it comes up. However, as it stands, the NPC is an undead within 30 feet who can see and hear itself, so RAW would have to make the roll, right? And what would it mean if you failed it and became turned and had to move away from itself? What would that look like?

dnd 5e – When sharing the Eyes of Night darkvision, does a creature needs to always be 10 feet close to the cleric to be granted the benefits?

The Eyes of Night feature from the Twilight Domain Cleric, introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything pg. 34, grants darkvision to the cleric:

You can see through the deepest gloom. You have darkvision out to a range of 300 feet.

It also allows the cleric to share this darkvision with willing creatures:

As an action, you can magically share the darkvision of this feature with willing creatures you can see within 10 feet of you, up to a number of creatures equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of one creature). The shared darkvision lasts for 1 hour. (…)

It’s clear that the creature needs to be within 10 feet of the cleric for him to use an action to share the darkvision. But once shared, does that creature needs to be within 10 feet of the cleric to be granted the benefits of the darkvision from Eyes of Night? Since the sharing has a duration 1 hour I’m wondering what if a creature that wandered far away from the cleric would still be granted this benefit.

dnd 5e – What happen if a Twilight Domain Cleric that shared his darkvision becomes unconscious or die?

The Eyes of Night feature from the Twilight Domain Cleric, introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything pg. 34, grants darkvision to the cleric:

You can see through the deepest gloom. You have darkvision out to a range of 300 feet.

It also allows the cleric to share this darkvision with willing creatures:

As an action, you can magically share the darkvision of this feature with willing creatures you can see within 10 feet of you, up to a number of creatures equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of one creature). The shared darkvision lasts for 1 hour. (…)

But the description of the feature does not state what would happen if the cleric becomes unconcious or die, only state that it last for 1 hour.
I can think of some interpretations for those cenarios:

  1. The cleric already used his action to share his darkvision, so he does not need to do anything and the sharing will last for the duration, regardless of what happen to the cleric.
  2. Since it is your (the cleric) darkvision, if the cleric goes unconscious that cleric still have the darkvision and the feature, so it’s still shared. But if it died, a corpse does not have such a feature, so the sharing it’s cutted off.
  3. An unconcious creature cannot use it’s features, so, even though the cleric shared when he was conscious, once he becomes unconscious the sharing is canceled. Naturally, the same goes in the case if he dies.

Personally I think the second scenario it’s the more appropriate, but I’m not absolutely sure.

Is there any official rule that could help to determine what would happen in this cases?

dnd 5e – Is this homebrew Sea Domain Cleric balanced compared to the other subclasses?

I am making a compendium of homebrew Cleric subclasses, spells and feats, but I want to make sure it is actually balanced and there are no glaring loopholes or broken combos with existing feats, spells, and subclasses before I release it. Is this homebrew Sea Domain balanced compared to the other cleric subclasses?

The landlubber cultures see the sea as an unconquerable force, so why not harness it to your advantage? The gods of the sea include Umberlee, Posiedon, Habbakuk, and Njord.

Domain Spells

Level Spells
1st Create or Destroy Water, Earth Tremor
3nd Find Steed, Protection from Poison
5th Tidal Wave, Wall of Water
7th Control Water, Watery Sphere
9th Commune with Nature, Steel Wind Strike

Bonus Proficiencies

You gain proficiency in Aquan, martial weapons, and Vehicles(sea).

Sea Master

You become more adapted to life in the water. You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed, you can breath underwater, and you know the Shape Water cantrip and can cast it as a bonus action. You add twice your proficiency bonus to any check to navigate at sea.

Channel Divinity: Heart of the Sea

At 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to bolster yourself with the strength of the sea. As an action while you are fully submersed in water, you can spend a use of Channel Divinity to make yourself resistant to all nonmagical damage for one minute. This resistance ends if you begin a turn not fully submersed in water. At 16th level, this ability conveys resistance to magical damage as well.

Channel Divinity: Grace of the Dolphin

At level 6, you can meditate for 10 minutes and use your channel divinity to gain the following benefits until you take a long rest:

  • Your jump distance is tripled while you are swimming.
  • When you are piloting a sea vessel, it moves at twice its normal speed.
  • You can communicate with aquatic beasts, and you have advantage on Charisma checks involving them.
  • You can dash as a bonus action while swimming.

Divine Strike

At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with the divine energy of a crashing wave. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 bludgeoning damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, a creature hit by the attack must also make a strength saving throw or fall prone.

Wrath of Poseidon

At 17th level, as an action, you can summon a whirlpool of watery whips around you. The whirlpool is a sphere centered on you that is 20 feet in radius. It counts as difficult terrain for all creatures except you. Ranged weapon attacks made from outside the cylinder automatically miss any target inside the cylinder. Any creature other than you who starts their turn inside your whirlpool must make a dexterity saving throw, taking 1d10 bludgeoning damage and being pushed 20 feet away on a failed save or take half as much damage and not be pushed on a successful one. You cannot concentrate on spells while your whirlpool is summoned. You can dismiss your whirlwind as a bonus action. Additionally, you learn the Tsunami and Earthquake spells and always have them prepared.