D&D 5E Cleric 8th level options

cbwjm

Legend
Something I've been thinking about is the 8th level ability for clerics and what other options there could be. Currently we have 3 options for level 8:
  1. Divine Strike (+1d8/+2d8 at 14th level)
  2. Potent Spellcasting (+ wisdom bonus to cantrip damage)
  3. Blessed Strikes (+1d8 to either weapon or cantrip damage)
The 8th level ability is meant to be there as a way to help the cleric's damage keep up, but what about some other options, perhaps not combat related. I've had a thought and have come up with a couple more that could make things more interesting for the new 8th level Matriarch/Patriarch.
  1. Crusader (choose a fighting style from the fighter list)
  2. Divine Knowledge (choose 2 skills, then gain expertise in 2 skills)
  3. Divine Word (you have advantage on deception, intimidation, or persuasion checks)
  4. Unshakeable Faith (you have advantage when making an intelligence, wisdom, or charisma saving throw)
So not all of these are combat focused which might make the cleric lag behind a little bit, but the options would allow a cleric to branch out a bit. They could become skilled, they could act as the face of the party, or they could have defensive bonuses against hostile magic.

Part of why I'm thinking of this is that I'm not too keen on the current implementation of the cleric and feel like it should have had a couple of points of customisation, the domain being a relatively minor choice over an archetype like crusader, mystic, shaman, or avenger.
 

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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Part of why I'm thinking of this is that I'm not too keen on the current implementation of the cleric and feel like it should have had a couple of points of customisation, the domain being a relatively minor choice over an archetype like crusader, mystic, shaman, or avenger.
Yeah, I still working on a rewrite of the cleric where Domain are pick at level 1 and only give the extra spells list and the appropriate Channel Divinity.

Then at 3rd, you gain your archetype (Warpriest, Invoker, Avenger, Oracle etc).

I think it would also work well for Warlocks: pick a Patron at 1st level who gives you a boon and extra spells, then at 3rd, pick an archetype (Hexblade, Scholar, Binder etc)
 

Extra Attack for War clerics could easily be slotted in.

Bladesinger Wizards get it before 8th. Valor bards get it before 8th. Warlocks get it before 8th.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Part of why I'm thinking of this is that I'm not too keen on the current implementation of the cleric and feel like it should have had a couple of points of customisation
I like the ideas, if not precisely the implementation.

I agree many classes could use more points for customization. Imagine if each class had roughly 10 decision points with 3 options at each point throughout the 20 levels: you would end up with nearly 60000 possible combinations for each class on those decision points alone.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Yeah, I still working on a rewrite of the cleric where Domain are pick at level 1 and only give the extra spells list and the appropriate Channel Divinity.

Then at 3rd, you gain your archetype (Warpriest, Invoker, Avenger, Oracle etc).

I think it would also work well for Warlocks: pick a Patron at 1st level who gives you a boon and extra spells, then at 3rd, pick an archetype (Hexblade, Scholar, Binder etc)
That sounds like my current rework of the cleric, except I place the archetype at level 1 as well so you get first couple of domain spells and then your main archetype. I'm one of those people who prefers archetypes at level 1 and I figured a couple of spells known wasn't too big of a boost to delay it.

I've also removed the divine intervention at 10th and 20th levels which allows me to add more domain flavour instead.
Extra Attack for War clerics could easily be slotted in.

Bladesinger Wizards get it before 8th. Valor bards get it before 8th. Warlocks get it before 8th.
That's actually a good point, which I hadn't considered.
I like the ideas, if not precisely the implementation.

I agree many classes could use more points for customization. Imagine if each class had roughly 10 decision points with 3 options at each point throughout the 20 levels: you would end up with nearly 60000 possible combinations for each class on those decision points alone.
Yeah, more customisation would be good, even if there was something that provided small bonuses every few levels, kind of like the old 3e feats but not to the same degree where you have feat chains and things. I chose the 8th level cleric ability just because it sort of already does provide a customisation point, I've even made alternate domains on DnDbeyond so that you can choose to play a life cleric as a caster, gaining a bonus cantrip and the potent spellcasting ability instead of heavy armour and divine strike.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I've also removed the divine intervention at 10th and 20th levels which allows me to add more domain flavour instead.
Yeah, I'm at the same place with this non-feature.

I think at this point I'll just give both Wizard (who lack class features) and Clerics bonus when crafting magic items and performing specific Downtime activities at higher level.
 

I like the ideas, if not precisely the implementation.

I agree many classes could use more points for customization. Imagine if each class had roughly 10 decision points with 3 options at each point throughout the 20 levels: you would end up with nearly 60000 possible combinations for each class on those decision points alone.
Level Up does this for every class.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Something I've been thinking about is the 8th level ability for clerics and what other options there could be. Currently we have 3 options for level 8:
  1. Divine Strike (+1d8/+2d8 at 14th level)
  2. Potent Spellcasting (+ wisdom bonus to cantrip damage)
  3. Blessed Strikes (+1d8 to either weapon or cantrip damage)
The 8th level ability is meant to be there as a way to help the cleric's damage keep up, but what about some other options, perhaps not combat related. I've had a thought and have come up with a couple more that could make things more interesting for the new 8th level Matriarch/Patriarch.
  1. Crusader (choose a fighting style from the fighter list)
  2. Divine Knowledge (choose 2 skills, then gain expertise in 2 skills)
  3. Divine Word (you have advantage on deception, intimidation, or persuasion checks)
  4. Unshakeable Faith (you have advantage when making an intelligence, wisdom, or charisma saving throw)
So not all of these are combat focused which might make the cleric lag behind a little bit, but the options would allow a cleric to branch out a bit. They could become skilled, they could act as the face of the party, or they could have defensive bonuses against hostile magic.

Part of why I'm thinking of this is that I'm not too keen on the current implementation of the cleric and feel like it should have had a couple of points of customisation, the domain being a relatively minor choice over an archetype like crusader, mystic, shaman, or avenger.
Gain a channel divinity from another cleric subclass.
 


cbwjm

Legend
Gain a channel divinity from another cleric subclass.
That's a great idea, especially if you have gods that have a couple of domains allowing the cleric to gain an even greater connection to their god (though I'd allow any channel divinity to be chosen regardless of the god's domains).
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Just spitballing here. Some may be imbalanced.

Gain the benfits of the bless spell on yourself as a permanent buff.
Gain the benefits of the guidance cantrip on yourself as a permanent buff.
Healing Spells can be used as a reaction to prevent damage instead of healing.
Gain 2 cantrips from another class list with wisdom as the modifier they use.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Just spitballing here. Some may be imbalanced.

Gain the benfits of the bless spell on yourself as a permanent buff.
Gain the benefits of the guidance cantrip on yourself as a permanent buff.
Healing Spells can be used as a reaction to prevent damage instead of healing.
Gain 2 cantrips from another class list with wisdom as the modifier they use.
Bless spell might be imbalanced, but guidance, if limited to a couple skills, might be a good option. Already have something like that with the eberron dragonmarks.

I think the healing spells as a reaction is good and like the cantrip option as well. That would be great, similar to the 2nd channel divinity, it would let cleric players customise their cantrips to suit their domain if they wanted to, like a light domain cleric getting some fire spells or a nature domain cleric picking up a couple more druid spells.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I think the healing spells as a reaction is good and like the cantrip option as well. That would be great, similar to the 2nd channel divinity, it would let cleric players customise their cantrips to suit their domain if they wanted to, like a light domain cleric getting some fire spells or a nature domain cleric picking up a couple more druid spells.

I have adjusted my clerics to gain one or two domain cantrips at 1st level. Given the limited number of cleric cantrips compared to other spellcasting classes, it seems like a no brainer.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I have adjusted my clerics to gain one or two domain cantrips at 1st level. Given the limited number of cleric cantrips compared to other spellcasting classes, it seems like a no brainer.
Cleric is actually kind of a weird class when it comes to spells. 4th level spells in the PHB have a grand total of 8, and you're right about the cantrips, those are quite limited as well, even with the additional cantrips that have come out they don't have a heck of a lot of choice.

I added in lance of faith from 4e, same damage as fire bolt but I think shorter range. They could probably have some cleric focused weapon cantrips as well for all of the crusading clerics out there.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Cleric is actually kind of a weird class when it comes to spells. 4th level spells in the PHB have a grand total of 8, and you're right about the cantrips, those are quite limited as well, even with the additional cantrips that have come out they don't have a heck of a lot of choice.

I added in lance of faith from 4e, same damage as fire bolt but I think shorter range. They could probably have some cleric focused weapon cantrips as well for all of the crusading clerics out there.

Yea, I have a cleric version of firebolt that is just dealing radiant damage, and also a radiant damage version of sword burst. It's still more limited than what other spellcasting classes get, but at least it provides options for cleric who are fighting things that have good Dex saves (which is a lot).
 

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