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D&D: Xanathar’s Guide Subclass Previews – Samurai & Forge Clerics

3 Minute Read
Oct 4 2017

Check out the latest two subclasses that will be appearing in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

I just want to make it clear that we’ve got two distinct subclasses in this update. As cool as a “Samurai and Forge” Cleric would be (which, now that I’ve typed it out is all I want to play) or as a less cool interpretation, Samurai Cleric and Forge Cleric (both still kinda cool though), sound, in the interests of never ever not even once being wrong or even slightly mistaken on the internet, I just want to clarify for the record that 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons was a fantastic addition to the game; if you’re enjoying RPGs in this day and age, even Pathfinder’s recent material, you owe a lot to the little edition that could right up until it couldn’t, and you should rethink your life choices if you hate it because you’re objectively wrong.

But also the Samurai is a Fighter subclass and the Forge Domain is a Cleric Subclass. Both are going to be in the upcoming Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Let’s take a look.

The Samurai

Of all the subclasses that have been announced for Xanathar’s Guide, I’m the most excited about this one. I really liked the feel and function of the Samurai when it was first released in Unearthed Arcana. And in the video above, Mike Mearls comes out and says the class is trying to recreate the idea of a cinematic Samurai, drawing inspiration from the works of Kurosawa to give us a class that is all about an indomitable fighting spirit, and enduring when the rest of the party is downed.

And by and large, the Samurai as it appeared in Unearthed Arcana had a pretty decent means of doing that. They could grant themselves advantage on all attack rolls until the end of your next turn, as well as making you resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage–and that’s just a bonus action, so you can still use your action surge to keep fighting on. And the subclass just gets better as you level up, giving you proficiency in Wisdom saves and letting you trade in advantage for even more attacks. They’re like a more active/offense-oriented version of the Champion–I’m curious to see how they’ve changed it, if at all.


Moving on:

The Forge Domain

The Forge Domain is another class that seemed fairly solid in its initial release, and from the sound of it, this one is also largely unchanged. It adds a nice mix of both offensive and defensive abilities and spells to the Cleric. It grants you bonuses to your AC while wearing heavy armor, gives you resistance to fire damage, and lets you smite for extra damage without needing your Channel Divinity. You can also imbue normal mundane items with magic, granting a +1 bonus to attack and damage or AC, depending on the item.

It’s just a real solid subclass. Everything about it signifies Cleric, and listening to Mearls talk about it, that is exactly what they were going for. It’s pretty streamlined, and it adds a little more breadth without adding too much complexity, I’m not surprised that it has changed very little between the last version we saw and its final form.

So to bring us up to speed–we’ve got the Inquisitive Rogue and Horizon Walker Ranger, the Druid Circle of Dreams, the Cavalier, and the Bardic College of Glamour, and now the Samurai and the Forge Domain. Stay tuned–we’ll keep more Xanathar’s Guide to Everything news coming as it happens.

I’m holding out hope they add some kind of Xanathar related subclass to the guide.


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