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D&D (2024) Cleric Playtest Summary


Prince of Dorkness
Currently you either get +1d8 on attacks or cantrips. Now it's both. And moving it to the base class means every subclass gets a new ability.

It's power creep on a class that doesn't need it.
For the Life domain . . .
  • Domain Spells and Disciple of Life went from 1st level to 3rd level (pushed back 2 levels)
  • Bonus Proficiency went from a 1st level subclass feature to a 2nd level class feature called Holy Order: Protector (pushed back 1 level and made a base feature, gaining Martial Weapon Proficiency)
  • Preserve life went from 2nd level to 6th level (pushed back 4 levels)
  • Blessed Healer went from 6th level to 10th level (pushed back 4 levels)
  • Divine Strike went from an 8th level subclass feature to a 7th level class feature called Blessed Strikes (moved up 1 level and made a base feature, gaining use on cantrip)
  • Supreme Healing went from 17th level to 14th level (moved up 3 levels)

I'm failing to see anything indicative of a "power creep."
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Honestly, I like it. I'm also glad that when it comes to Holy Orders, you can at least get 2 out of the 3 eventually.

Really looking forward to the Paladin/Warlock/Sorcerer now.


Also, Smite Undead replaces Destroy Undead. Instead of undead of a certain CR being automatically destroyed when they fail their saves against Turn Undead, Turn Undead just deals Prof bonus d8 damage to all undead who fail their saves. Not sure if that’s an
Huge nerf against low level undead, but on the other hand a huge improvement against tougher undead, because they still take damage.

For example, at level 5 your Smite Undead will do an average of 13.5 damage. That's barely enough to destroy a skeleton, and very little else, whereas right now you could nuke a LOT more creatures. The difference between the two gets worse as you go up levels. So it has become much worse at dealing with tons of weaker undead. But it's a much better option against a swarm of slightly tougher undead that would have just shrugged off the old Destroy Undead.

I know it's not an actual obligatory part of the class but I have to talk about their suggested spell list. Clearly things like this are a big part of WotC's accessibility plans for the new edition.

First off, while I like the idea of a suggested spell loadout for all levels, I'm once again going to say that WotC seems to think these things are way more of a panacea for confused newbies than they are going to be (most people don't want to feel like they're making "the man's" Cleric). They're good to have, but both WotC and some commenters seem to think they solve accessibility problems and they simply don't do that.

More importantly, what value it has is further compromised by making a pretty questionable list. They're not recommending Healing Word??? Why put off Guidance until level 4 and why, in particular take Shield of Faith before Bless? I'm sure Beacon of Hope is a fine spell, but why are they prioritizing something I don't think I have ever seen someone cast and had to look up just now over Mass Healing Word, Dispel Magic, and Revivify? The Cleric player's going to be real popular when they reveal to the player whose character just died that they didn't think they should prep Revivify that day because the list said Beacon of Hope was the money spell.

I know it seems nit-picky, but if they want to provide actual value with the ink spilled and paper filled on lists like this they should make actual, thoughtful recommendations for the best all-around package for the average Cleric the way people actually play the game, not try to use it as a way to engineer how people play the class or try to feature less popular spells. It's not like the suggested list is full of trap options or whatever, but they should just ask any of the people who do class guide's online to suggest a list. While the accepted online wisdom about the quality of various spells is not without major issues, regurgitating the average internet class guide's judgement about spell loadout would provide more value than what they are doing.

Still better than the Ranger list in the last playtest where they recommended prepping Hunters Mark despite giving that to all Rangers for free.


5e Freelancer
Currently you either get +1d8 on attacks or cantrips. Now it's both. And moving it to the base class means every subclass gets a new ability.

It's power creep on a class that doesn't need it.
And one of their best low-level spells was nerfed significantly (Spiritual Weapon now requires concentration).

OneD&D tweaks the level of power both ways. It nerfs some things and makes buffs to others. You're ignoring the nerfs in order to claim power creep.

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