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D&D: Playtest The “Advanced” 5th Edition Cleric

4 Minute Read
Mar 22 2021
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Divine power, heavy armor, and enough faith to get through any adventure. Come check out the “Advanced” 5th Edition Cleric from Level Up.

Clerics are one of the most popular classes in 5th Edition and it’s not hard to see why. They come with built-in story connections to the world, power enough to heal your allies, deal plentiful damage, and can cast some of the most powerful spells in the game. You could run an all-cleric party and be phenomenally different, yet absolutely powerful. Come and take a look at “advanced” clerics in Level Up!

via Level Up

Welcome to the 13th Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of the game’s cleric class.
This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

Clerics have a special place in my heart, and in the new “advanced” rules it feels like that’s still going to be true. The faith aspect of the new cleric is really on display here, and in ways that go beyond just “you say some prayers.” There’s room to interpret your relationship to divinity through cool powers. Powers like a Defensive Blessing which determines what kind of cleric you are: you could be protected by Faith in which case you gain unarmored AC boosts (Dex + Wis) and Shield of Faith, you could gain medium armor and ranged martial weapons for sacred archery, or you could learn medium armor and shields.

You also get a Sacred Call which determines how you relate to the world. Are you a charismatic cleric who knows how to draw a crowd (with a performance check), are you called to support a community and conduct rites like weddings, funerals, and feasts? Then you become well connected and gain a free modest lifestyle. Or if you are all about turning the chair around and just rapping with the youth, you might be able to gain advantage on persuasion when invoking the name of your deity, movement, or faith with a pious person.

 

Those aren’t even the big new changes, but rather just an example of some of the subtle ways that your class story comes to life in the system. You get spells and a Divine Domain as well at 1st level, as well as access to a new Ceremony spell. No more getting married right before the final boss fight to improve your AC, it seems:

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You still have all the old familiar faces though. Channel Divinity is still here and works much the same, but you also gain another option to customize your character–you can take a Devoted Vow which grants you additional abilities in exchange for forgoing certain behaviors like taking a vow of poverty or secrecy or silence (except for spellcasting) in order to gain a divine boon.

At 3rd level you gain Cleric Exploration Knacks, and these are quite fun. A few choice examples let you make more effective intimidation checks, or give you a divine sense whenever certain creature types (fey, fiend, celestial, elemental, or undead) are near. And at 4th level you gain a Sacred Office which represents your place in the religious world. This is another choice that affects your skills and your role in the world. You might become an authority figure or have a good reputation with the commoners, or be an outcast.

Later you’ll gain empowered turning, which gives you different options with your Channel Divinity, allowing you to command and/or destroy undead, or even supernatural creatures. At 9th level your Sacred Presence makes you a powerhouse of faith and divinity in the world; it also gives you another suite of abilities to pick from that represent your relationship to the world and your spirituality. You might be a good judge of inner character and always know when someone is lying if their Charisma is equal or less than your spell save DC, you might help your allies stay in the world with a Spiritual Salve to give them rerolls on Constitution saving throws.

Finally (for now) at 10th level Providence gives you access to new options beyond Divine Intervention which many clerics will be familiar with. You might also pick from Imminent Turning which lets you turn undead up to 60 feet away, Master Ritualist which lets you always cast a ritual spell so long as its on your list (even if it’s not prepared), or Prayer of Protection which allows you to pick an energy type and gain resistance to that damage type after every long rest.

Of course that’s just one example of the “advanced” cleric. And it’s still in playtest. All in all, the direction the new class is headed looks exciting! Check it out for yourself below:

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Download the Cleric Playtest Today

Happy Adventuring!

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