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D&D 5E As a DM cleric spells to watch out for in 5e?

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Another important part of balance is concentration. Yes, the Spirit Guardians spell is powerful, but it requires concentration--which means that they cannot cast other good Cleric spells like Bless, Shield of Faith, Silence, Hold Person, Protection from Energy, etc. Certain magic items might also require concentration to use.
 

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Shiroiken

Legend
In combat, the cleric isn't something that going to be a major encounter breaker. There's a few tricks they've got going for them, but having both played and DMed them, this isn't a class you need to worry about.

Outside of combat they can be a pain in the #@^ if the player decides to spam divination. Augury is primarily useful to let them know if they're going down the wrong path, but Divination and then Communion can be repeatedly used to try and get more information than the DM is ready to give out. I've found it's best to work with the player to have the spells provide the necessary information, but have their deity not appreciate constant "phone calls."

Oh, and be careful with Zone of Truth, which is can be a nightmare if you're not prepared. Make sure your mooks don't know everything, and the leaders be willing to die before giving up certain information. Otherwise, the players might simply hold someone captive until they fail the save, then tell them to answer or die, once again putting more information available than you're ready. Oh, and one loophole to the spell is that it's based on what the target believes, so they can "lie" if they think the lie is true.

Another important part of balance is concentration. Yes, the Spirit Guardians spell is powerful, but it requires concentration--which means that they cannot cast other good Cleric spells like Bless, Shield of Faith, Silence, Hold Person, Protection from Energy, etc. Certain magic items might also require concentration to use.
IME, Spirit Guardians ends due to a failed concentration save most combats. The cleric is going to be fairly close, almost certainly in melee range, and this spell draws aggro like crazy. My dwarf cleric took Resilient (Con) with an 18 Con to make sure this didn't happen very often, but even with Plate armor I still took the Dodge action quite a bit!
 

aco175

Legend
Do you let the players take spells from anywhere, or just core, or just PHB? I limit the the choice to PHB and then I fill in from there. I use it a bit like wizards and spellbooks where a cleric could find a book with prayers in it. Some may be new spells that are in another source that they can study and now choose from when they pray in the morning. The counter argument is that god knows all these spells already, so why would he hold them back from his faithful doing his business. I like to think that spells get passed down and some fall out of use and others become more prevalent. There is also research into new spells that may not have spread out from the source. I also may restrict spells to certain gods and only followers of that god may get it.

This may help control any power spells in your game to some degree.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Moonbeam was the all-star cleric combat spell in the 5e game I've been running (currently at 5th level). Essentially no targeting problems.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
You don’t need to worry that much about speak with dead, divination, or the like. Information is the fuel of investigation. It keeps the engine running. Interpreting the information properly is where things get sticky.

 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Honestly I think what DMs need to prepare for isn't anything Clerics do in combat, but all the divination and exploration oriented spells. You've got to be prepared for them to Zone of Truth npcs, speak with corpses, scry on people, send 25 word messages across the multiverse. Any of those things have a lot more potential to mess up a DMs plans or force them to make important story decisions on the spot than cheesing a combat ever will.
I am more of a mind that "surveillance technologies" exist, and the DM needs to accept that as the reality of how the world works. And do adventures accordingly.

By the way, I created a cheap equipment item called "holy salt" to pour a sealed circle of salt that has planar blocking effect (compare Magic Circle) and that also blocks divination within the salt barrier. I use it if I need to block out a room for whatever reason. But in fact, I rarely ever need it.
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
I am more of a mind that "surveillance technologies" exist, and the DM needs to accept that as the reality of how the world works. And do adventures accordingly.

By the way, I created a cheap equipment item called "holy salt" to pour a sealed circle of salt that has planar blocking effect (compare Magic Circle) and that also blocks divination within the salt barrier. I use it if I need to block out a room for whatever reason. But in fact, I rarely ever need it.

Agreed. Too many adventures take the step of nerfing divination as "too easy" where they should just be rolling with it.
 

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