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5E Cloistered Cleric Variant

Einlanzer0

Explorer
http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/rkXty4cBG

This is my attempt at making a cloistered cleric variant that turns the cleric into more of a wizard analogue. I originally wanted to go with a "prophet" flavor, but upon further reflection, I decided that was more appropriate as a domain option for either type of cleric, so I instead went with a more generalized scholarly cleric theme.

There are a number of relatively minor changes, including to most domains, though I've only included Life since it's the only one in the basic rules.

A few notes:
Cloistered clerics are intended to be more utility-focused as opposed to DPR-focused, so they get neither Divine Strike nor Potent Spellcasting, and instead get a new defensive class feature (not domain feature) at 8th level. Potent Spellcasting has been incorporated into domain features in a few cases to replace bonus proficiencies and make those domains more appropriate for a back-row cleric (i.e. Touch of Death and War Priest).

My biggest balance concern, and something I'd like feedback on specifically, is giving them their choice of two new spells at each level, vs. simply expanding their spell lists with a handful of thematically appropriate spells. I'm leaning toward the former just to add a layer of customization (and because it keeps me from having to manage a separate spell list from the standard cleric), but I have some concerns about it being overpowered, since it would allow clerics to take spells like Fireball and Meteor Swarm. Still, clerics would not have the sheer breadth of spell access that wizards have, so maybe it's an unfounded concern.
 
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Satyrn

Villager
I think I'd be a little irritated if my Tempest cleric's call lightning was outshone by a cloistered cleric of Trickery who took lightning bolt. So I'm gonna vote against giving them their choice of any spell.

Is there some strong reason you don't want to give the cloistered cleric the same domain spells the standard cleric gets? That'd be no extra work for you.

Edit - Doh. Just realized you were talking about esoteric knowledge.
 
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Satyrn

Villager
Oh, and Priest's Rebuke seems oddly named. Divine Shield or something like that makes more sense to me. And I think you should word it like the monk and barbarian's unarmored defenses so it's clear it won't stack with them or the dragon sorcerer's. Unless you want it to, although I'd suggest not.
 

gyor

Explorer
Well organized, but I can help, but compare it too the Divine Soul. Esoteric Learning is over powered.



Priests Rebuke vs. Extended Mage Armour, Channel Divinity vs. Chosen of the Gods, Divine Intervention vs. Wish Spell, Esoteric Learning vs. Both the Sorcerer and Cleric Spell lists to choose known spells from.

They are mostly balanced, the Divine Soul has more raw power, but the Cloistered Cleric has more versatility in spell choice, too much.

There is a reason why the cleric spell list is smaller then the Wizards and why unlike most other spell casters it's received very little increase, it's ability to access EVERY SINGLE SPELL on it's list period, unlike the wizard it doesn't need to go searching for obscure spells, it just decides to pick whatever cleric spell it wants that day, plus bonus domain spells on top of that. On top of that you basically allowed it to cherry pick the best spells (2x level) from Wizard, Bard, and Druid spell lists.

Wow. Even the Divine Soul picks from the two smallest lists for full casters, and that ability is midiagated by it's 15 + 1 affinity known spells.

Otherwise it seems reasonably balanced.
 

gyor

Explorer
For Estoric casting have it change the casting stat to intelligence, and with Divine Recovery (a cleric version of Arcane Recovery).
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
For Estoric casting have it change the casting stat to intelligence, and with Divine Recovery (a cleric version of Arcane Recovery).
I incorporated the concept of divine recovery into the new channel divinity - faith renewal. I wanted clerics have that, but I didn't want it to be a copy/paste of the wizard's with just a name change. Plus, I like the idea of using CD with it to give cloistered clerics something different from turn undead (note that CD is somewhat nerfed in this writeup - you can only regain one use of it on a short rest).

With Esoteric learning, the idea was that the cleric would be pressured to have high Int in addition to high wisdom if they wanted to take full advantage of it, which might have to mean foregoing high Charisma. It's essentially an attempt at forcing choices with tradeoffs through MAD the same way that the official cleric does with Str/Con/Wis/Cha.

But, I'm inclined to agree with the above posters that Esoteric Learning is overpowered and am brainstorming ways to address it. I might just drop it altogether and instead do a modest expansion of the cleric spell list for cloistered clerics to give them a handful of fixed spells that are mostly utilitarian in nature the standard cleric doesn't get access to.
 
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Einlanzer0

Explorer
Well organized, but I can help, but compare it too the Divine Soul. Esoteric Learning is over powered.



Priests Rebuke vs. Extended Mage Armour, Channel Divinity vs. Chosen of the Gods, Divine Intervention vs. Wish Spell, Esoteric Learning vs. Both the Sorcerer and Cleric Spell lists to choose known spells from.

They are mostly balanced, the Divine Soul has more raw power, but the Cloistered Cleric has more versatility in spell choice, too much.

There is a reason why the cleric spell list is smaller then the Wizards and why unlike most other spell casters it's received very little increase, it's ability to access EVERY SINGLE SPELL on it's list period, unlike the wizard it doesn't need to go searching for obscure spells, it just decides to pick whatever cleric spell it wants that day, plus bonus domain spells on top of that. On top of that you basically allowed it to cherry pick the best spells (2x level) from Wizard, Bard, and Druid spell lists.

Wow. Even the Divine Soul picks from the two smallest lists for full casters, and that ability is midiagated by it's 15 + 1 affinity known spells.

Otherwise it seems reasonably balanced.
Yes, but the sorcerer also doesn't have to prepare spells the way the cleric and wizard do. That's the limiting factor. Also, druid spellcasting works the same way, and their list was hugely expanded in XG for some reason while the Cleric's wasn't.

With that said, I am inclined to get rid of Esoteric learning in favor of just padding their spell list with a few more utility options drawn from the bard and wizard lists.
 
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Using this archtype for 2 lvl 1 npc nuns supporting a town with many injured and a water/ food shortage, spells like prestidigitation, mending, identify, and floating disk greatly help them support the town, this class was perfect for them. Thanks!
 
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Einlanzer0

Explorer
Using this archtype for 2 lvl 1 npc nuns supporting a town with many injured and a water/ food shortage, spells like prestidigitation, mending, identify, and floating disk greatly help them support the town, this class was perfect for them. Thanks!
Thanks! I need to revisit this and make some updates to it.
 
Thanks! I need to revisit this and make some updates to it.

Cool! I just started running my game about a month ago and the party haven't met the nuns yet (they still have a day or so travel through a severe blizzard in a forest infested with undead and insane fungus controled beasts.) Wait till they see the state of the town and what has become of their clergy.. (Selune and Lethander 2 nuns remain from the selune commune, Lethanders clergy have been slaughtered..one of my part members turns out picked lethander for his diety, should be interesting. )
 

gyor

Explorer
It occurs to me that a multiclass between Lore Bard and Divine Soul could make a good cloistered cleric.
 

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