OneDnD Cleric Playtest Summary

aco175

Legend
I see a lot of the lower-end features are bumped a few levels up and the 17th level feature is dropped to 14. I know most of my campaigns tend to get to level 4-5 rather fast and then proceed to levels 10-12 before ending. I thought tis was the case for a lot of campaigns in general where the 'sweet spot' of gaming was levels 5-9. Need to see more on the other classes before I rant too much.
 

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
My general problem with Holy Order at level 2 is the narrative consequence. We assume level 1 is the starting level. (I think most experienced groups will probably start at 3+, but we're talking about shaping the game for relative novices.)

Level 1 goes really fast! Generally, you hit level 2 before you even get your 1st long rest in, assuming a "normal" amount of encounters. You might not even make it back to town before hitting level 2, or even level 3, depending on the exact adventure structure. Let's ignore the fact that being a member of a Holy Order implies a certain background event, not something that happens while after you've killed your first couple kobolds and woodland creatures (after all, class features are easy to reskin). Taking the martial holy order then puts the character in a weird situation of gaining a "training wheels" feature they can't benefit from until they arrive back in town, and then have to sell their 1st level granted equipment and buy new stuff they may or may not be able to afford.

I think a very simple guideline for 5e is that armor proficiencies should not change on account of class features gained by leveling. One can always opt into new armor via multiclassing or feat if desired. Armor granted by class should be either none, light, or all 3. If there's a desire to keep the class from using heavy armor but medium armor is OK, just disincentivize the heavy armor via class feature, much like barbarians. Just give clerics heavy armor by default. Characters who don't want heavy armor will just prioritize Dex over Str, just like Dex fighters and paladins do already. Have the martial Holy Order give martial weapons and shield proficiencies; shields are the actual proficiency to gate if you want to keep characters from having overly high AC.
 

Taking the martial holy order then puts the character in a weird situation of gaining a "training wheels" feature they can't benefit from until they arrive back in town, and then have to sell their 1st level granted equipment and buy new stuff they may or may not be able to afford.
It's definitely weird. In quite a few published adventures and campaigns, they're just not going to get the benefit of their class feature for a while after they've leveled up because there just isn't an opportunity to go shopping.

I don't find the "new player" arguments especially persuasive, but if I did, I wouldn't find this new requirement to change weapons and armor after session one a very good solution. I can hear it now: "Oh cool, so I get a better weapon and armor if I choose this order?" "No, you'd be able to use better weapons and armor, but you'd have to go buy some." "But I don't have any money?" "Well, your other problem is that you're not strong enough to use the armor without penalty because the rules 'protected' you from having to make those decisions when you made your character..." "Can I re-roll?"

I feel like it's obviously just a kludgy fix for cleric dips, but there's a lot of collateral damage.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
It's definitely weird. In quite a few published adventures and campaigns, they're just not going to get the benefit of their class feature for a while after they've leveled up because there just isn't an opportunity to go shopping.

I don't find the "new player" arguments especially persuasive, but if I did, I wouldn't find this new requirement to change weapons and armor after session one a very good solution. I can hear it now: "Oh cool, so I get a better weapon and armor if I choose this order?" "No, you'd be able to use better weapons and armor, but you'd have to go buy some." "But I don't have any money?" "Well, your other problem is that you're not strong enough to use the armor without penalty because the rules 'protected' you from having to make those decisions when you made your character..." "Can I re-roll?"

I feel like it's obviously just a kludgy fix for cleric dips, but there's a lot of collateral damage.
Exactly right. This is a change that's actually the most awkward for new players, who aren't aware of the ins and outs of how armor and weapon proficiencies work.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Honestly, I do not think this is a problem. The strongest of three options isn't as strong as it might be.
If players don't want it, they can choose something else.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Overall, I really like these changes. Making subclasses uniformly a level 3 decision is great; this was on my wish list for OneD&D but I didn't think it likely. Most of my DMing is with beginner groups through my D&D Club at school and at summer camps, and this will make character creation simpler and more consistent. I don't think having to pick up armour at level 2 is a significant issue; the worst case scenario is the character doesn't have immediate access to it, which the DM can easily fix or, you know, they don't just have instant access to it. I really like that 1 level cleric dips will be less of a thing [ cough Twilight Clerics cough].

I have mixed feelings about the changes to turn/destroy undead, but need to try them out in game. The spell changes...some good, some not so sure about, mostly "meh." Divine Spark seems really good and fun to have.
 

renbot

Explorer
I like it a lot at a glance but I would prefer to give holy order at level 1 and divine spark at level 2.
This 100%.

Reading through the rest of the thread, this fixes both the narrative (what is a cleric without a Holy Order?) and the practical (what equipment do I need?) complaints people are airing.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Random thought: All these level 1 armor issues go away if they make chain mail medium armor. Stealth character get chain shirt at level 1, character who have dumped Strength take scale mail, and characters with low Dex take chain mail. Then heavy armor proficiency opens up the splint/plate upgrade path for later progression, and medium armor characters can get breastplate later.
 


Arilyn

Hero
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.
I really dislike these suggested lists too. I'm not sure they are even that helpful, even if WoTC chose better spells. Reading through the list and choosing the spell that appeals to you will help cement how a spell works, making it more likely new players will remember the details.

I know that choices can be overwhelming but experienced players or the GM should be able to assist. New players need support, for sure, but just copying down suggested choices from the book does little in the way of internalizing information. My advice to new players? Poke around. Read the ability and spell descriptions, ask questions. Choose a class and species that appeals and just hone in on the choices there. If you like wizards, don't feel you need more game experience first. Go for what excites you. I'll be here to make sure you get something you'll love.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Exactly right. This is a change that's actually the most awkward for new players, who aren't aware of the ins and outs of how armor and weapon proficiencies work.
Completely agree. I would much rather just ask a new player:

DM: "Ok for this cleric your thinking of, do you want to be a more warrior type, do you want to use your holy magic a lot, or do you want to be more of a priest, scholarly guy?"

Player: "um, warrior guy".

DM: "ok, so you are going to pick this holy order. And your going to have this heavy armor, so you'll be really defensive and hard to hit."

Player: "oh cool"


The game does assume a DM for a reason, lets be honest, most new players aren;'t just making characters for a game without oversight, they have a DM to help them. When I have new players, I don't even explain their options (as frankly that is a recipe for them to lose the spirit of the game). You don't ask new players, "what do you want to build", you ask them "what kind of character do you want to play?" and then the DM walks them through a few ways to do that, and let them pick.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Completely agree. I would much rather just ask a new player:

DM: "Ok for this cleric your thinking of, do you want to be a more warrior type, do you want to use your holy magic a lot, or do you want to be more of a priest, scholarly guy?"

Player: "um, warrior guy".

DM: "ok, so you are going to pick this holy order. And your going to have this heavy armor, so you'll be really defensive and hard to hit."

Player: "oh cool"


The game does assume a DM for a reason, lets be honest, most new players aren;'t just making characters for a game without oversight, they have a DM to help them. When I have new players, I don't even explain their options (as frankly that is a recipe for them to lose the spirit of the game). You don't ask new players, "what do you want to build", you ask them "what kind of character do you want to play?" and then the DM walks them through a few ways to do that, and let them pick.
Yeah - this is why I like subclasses at 3. For a first character, I am just trying to get the gist of what they want, whereas if I am also leading them to a subclass it feels too much like its my character and not theirs. But keep in mind that I don't have that much time - I am frequently helping 5-6 kids at once during the last part of lunch. So that experience obviously affects my preferences.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
My general problem with Holy Order at level 2 is the narrative consequence. We assume level 1 is the starting level. (I think most experienced groups will probably start at 3+, but we're talking about shaping the game for relative novices.)

Level 1 goes really fast! Generally, you hit level 2 before you even get your 1st long rest in, assuming a "normal" amount of encounters. You might not even make it back to town before hitting level 2, or even level 3, depending on the exact adventure structure. Let's ignore the fact that being a member of a Holy Order implies a certain background event, not something that happens while after you've killed your first couple kobolds and woodland creatures (after all, class features are easy to reskin). Taking the martial holy order then puts the character in a weird situation of gaining a "training wheels" feature they can't benefit from until they arrive back in town, and then have to sell their 1st level granted equipment and buy new stuff they may or may not be able to afford.

I think a very simple guideline for 5e is that armor proficiencies should not change on account of class features gained by leveling. One can always opt into new armor via multiclassing or feat if desired. Armor granted by class should be either none, light, or all 3. If there's a desire to keep the class from using heavy armor but medium armor is OK, just disincentivize the heavy armor via class feature, much like barbarians. Just give clerics heavy armor by default. Characters who don't want heavy armor will just prioritize Dex over Str, just like Dex fighters and paladins do already. Have the martial Holy Order give martial weapons and shield proficiencies; shields are the actual proficiency to gate if you want to keep characters from having overly high AC.
I agree

Holy Order and Channel Divinity should be swapped in order. Then Thaumaturge changed. Choosing Protector andgetting heavy armor at level 1 is fine. It's a bit off at level 2.

Crusader: Give martial weapons and Dueling Fighting style.
Hierophant: Give one bonus Arcane cantrip and one bonus Primal cantrip
Protector: Gives heavy armor training and Defense Fighting style.
Scholar: Give 2 skill proficiencies and add WIS mod to those checks
Thaumaturge: Give one bonus Divine cantrip and one bonus Divine spell prepared.
 

I agree

Holy Order and Channel Divinity should be swapped in order. Then Thaumaturge changed. Choosing Protector andgetting heavy armor at level 1 is fine. It's a bit off at level 2.

Crusader: Give martial weapons and Dueling Fighting style.
Hierophant: Give one bonus Arcane cantrip and one bonus Primal cantrip
Protector: Gives heavy armor training and Defense Fighting style.
Scholar: Give 2 skill proficiencies and add WIS mod to those checks
Thaumaturge: Give one bonus Divine cantrip and one bonus Divine spell prepared.

And maybe, as a multiclass cleric, just not give that ability.
Maybe each class having an ability you only gain when you start with that class would be a great idea.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
For Orders, I'd go with level 1 and an improvement of the order at 9th.

Protector:
1 -> gain training with martial weapons and heavy armors,
9 -> pick a Fighting Style feat

Thaumaturge:
1 -> one extra 0-level spell, Arcane Divine Recovery ala wizard/land druid
9 -> regain 1 CD on short rest.

Scholar:
1 -> Training in Int or Cha 2 skill, add Wisdom to the
9 -> Improved Ritual Casting ala Wizard (dont need to be prepped)
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
And maybe, as a multiclass cleric, just not give that ability.
Maybe each class having an ability you only gain when you start with that class would be a great idea.
Or make Holy Order First level and move only Divine Spark to 2nd.

  1. Channel Divinity (Turn Undead), Holy Order, Spellcasting
  2. Channel Divinity (Divine Spark)
  3. Cleric Sunclass
  4. Feat
  5. Smite Undead
  6. Cleric Subclass
  7. Blessed Strikes
  8. Feat
  9. Holy Order Improvement
  10. Divine Intervention
 

The big difference in the cleric is that they've reshuffled the early levels:
  • Channel Divinity is now level 1 and you get a heal (or harm) out of it as well as Turn Undead - Prof times per long rest
  • New feature at 2 - the Holy Order. This is a semi- mirror of the Warlock's Pact Boon where you get to decide between heavy armour and martial weapons, an extra cantrip plus an extra channel on short rest, or two knowledge skills with quasi-expertise
  • Domain at 3. It's been reshuffled a bit but the total of the Life Cleric is little different (other than they get their big healing channel divinity option at 6
  • The extra d8 damage is now part of the class and automatically works on both weapons and cantrips - you get it at 7
Other than that there's reshuffling and spell changes (resistance now works like new guidance, aid gets to cover a normal sized party (6 targets), spiritual weapon is now concentration, banishment's less fun and interesting).

Overall? I'm a huge fan of the class changes. I think that every one of the changes to the class is a good one and overall little has changed. It's no longer an amazing dip, there's more variety thanks to the Holy Order, and a less overwhelming level 1.
I like it too except I think it's really wack to keep domains the way they are AND make them level 3. I'd have much preferred an approach that made domains something rather different.
 

Or make Holy Order First level and move only Divine Spark to 2nd.

  1. Channel Divinity (Turn Undead), Holy Order, Spellcasting
  2. Channel Divinity (Divine Spark)
  3. Cleric Sunclass
  4. Feat
  5. Smite Undead
  6. Cleric Subclass
  7. Blessed Strikes
  8. Feat
  9. Holy Order Improvement
  10. Divine Intervention

Ok. No problem with that.
;)
Maybe you quoted the wrong person?

My suggestion was having an exclusive ability you only gain at character level 0.

Holy Order (at level 1) would be a perfect kind of such an ability. Why should someone who picked up a level of cleric suddenly gain all the abilities of a holy order?
I could see the same for a wizard, and a bard (school or collage) or the fighter and paladin (knightly order) or a ranger or druid (conclave) or a rogue (guild).
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I understand the design decision.... But I hate that channel divinity requires undead be used. I wish, and again, I understand why it isn't, that channel divinity was much more tied to your god or purpose, with like ten options.

I like most of the changes here, actually
 

I understand the design decision.... But I hate that channel divinity requires undead be used. I wish, and again, I understand why it isn't, that channel divinity was much more tied to your god or purpose, with like ten options.

I like most of the changes here, actually
Channel divinity doesn't require undead to be used. Turn Undead requires Undead - but you also get Divine Spark. You also get a third Channel Divinity option from your domain as your level 6 subclass feature (in the Life Cleric's case Preserve Life) so your major channel divinity option is tied to your god/purpose in the form of your domain.
 

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