D&D 5E How on earth is this balanced?! Twilight cleric, more in-play evidence


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A while ago, I had a reasonably successful thread here about the value of damage prevention vs damage infliction for the psi warrior (briefly, the psi warrior can spend a psi point as a reaction to block 1d8+int (at level 6, the dice scales a bit) points of damage inflicted to you or an ally within 30 feet of you.

I recently was playing in a session where this came into play big time. 3 PCs (martials) on a side quest (we were missing some players), we get ambushed, vicious fight follows. My character was very effective because this damage prevention, notably stopping both the paladin and the ranger from going down. I had to spend every psi point I had available to me, but we made it. I thought to myself "well done, the PC is fun to play and impactful!". It didn't feel super OP, just good.

But later I was thinking - temp hit points are essentially damage prevention "pre-loaded". It's "fake" HP that will take the hit for you, and you can have them in advance, ready to be used when needed. No reaction needed! And who gives out tons of temp HP? The twilight cleric!

The Twilight cleric can use an action to channel divinity to raise the aura of twilight. Everyone you want, at the end of their turns, gets 1d6+level temp HP, which is almost equivalent to the 1d8+int mod at tier 2. So yes, an action is a bigger "cost" than a reaction... but you only need to do it once! Then every turn, everyone gets the temp HP. You didn't get hit last round? Well here are temp HP again, maybe the roll will be better this time!

So let us make up an "ordinary" fight - party size is 4, the battle is going to last 4 rounds, and each PCs will get hit three times during the battle.

The Psi warrior will spend 4 reaction to "block" 4 times, using 4 of his 6 psi hitpoints (he can regain 1 per short rest, so that's not a lot). He cannot block more than one hit a round. This means that most of his psi points are devoted to defense. Total damage blocked 4d8+ intX4, which can be quite impactful if they prevent people from going down. However, 8 attacks will "go through" with no mitigation whatsoever.

The twilight cleric, on the other hand, uses one action to activate her power (action channel divinity, probably using a bonus action to activate spiritual weapon on the same round). Unless someone gets hit more than once in a round (this could happen to the psi warrior too so it's not a bit concern IMO), the twilight cleric will block (up to) 12d6+72 hp points of damage.

The difference is stark. (oh and the aura can also remove fear/charm)

Oh, and the twilight aura continues for a minute, ie probably after the fight is ended - and as mentioned, you'll probably get a few rolls so a decent chance that next fight, everyone starts with 10-12 temp HP already there - so the power will impact 2 battles, not one. Basically, this "leftover effect" will be as good, if not better, than the psi warrior's protection. (40-48 hp leftover). Now the cleric only gets 2 channel divinity at level 6, but they are regained on a short rest.

Now you might say "surely, a cleric should be expected to be more "defensive/protective" than a fighter?" Yeah, that's fair. But this good?!? And it scales with party size! So if you have a large party, or god forbid some kind of summoner in your party, that 12d6+72 could become much greater.

I can only conclude that the twilight cleric is soo good to be effectively OP. I will not allow one in my games again...
I’m not seeing the imbalance. They prevent damage well, great, they’re a cleric. I’d happily give the same thing to a bard subclass costing one or two bardic inspiration Dice. The cleric should better at damage prevention than a subclass that isn’t even focused on being a protector and was instead primarily built to be Darth Vader.

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Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah . . . I have a Drow Twilight Cleric in my Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign right now. It is remarkably overpowered, not just because of the crazy amounts of THP that it can get and give to its allies, but also because it can stack with so many other things. Heavy Armor and a Shield, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, Twilight Sanctuary, and Aid can all be stacked on top of each other. That gives the Twilight Domain Cleric a crazy amount of survivability at lower levels, and they can share almost all of those things with allies.
I don’t actually value “hard to kill” that highly when most of it costs spell slots, tbh. It’s got a fair cost, and stacking that much of it is wild overkill that has diminishing returns.
The Artillerist has to expend an Action to create an Eldritch Cannon, and then a bonus action every round in order to grant allies within 10 feet of it 1d8 + INT mod THP, and Eldritch Cannon recharges each long rest. Twilight Sanctuary is just one action to activate, automatic THP/ending charmed/frightened on every ally within 30 feet when they start their turn there, it recharges on a short rest, they get even more Channel Divinities each short rest when they level up, and the THP granted scales way better (1d6 + cleric level, instead of 1d8 + INT mod).
Yeah it’s one of the better channel divinities.
That's just . . . plain broken. I know that clerics are supposed to be good protectors/healers/supporters, but there is such a thing as being too good at those things. It makes it harder to balance encounters, and it makes the other players feel like they're not accomplishing their in-game niche as effectively as the Twilight Domain Cleric is.
How does it take anything away from any other player?


@Ancalagon I didn't get to read beyond the first page of the thread, but would a house rule that the Aura of Twilight requires concentration balance it out in your mind?
That would make her Aura a lot weaker. It would not really balance the though becaase it is just overloaded with 1st level abilities:

Heavy Armor
Martial Weapons
300 ft Darkvision and ability to give it to other party members for an hour
Advantage on initiative
Full caster slots

IMO this stuff is a bigger issue in play than Aura of Twilight is. AOT is good, probably the best cleric CD, but it has not been gamebreaking on any of the 5 Twilight Clerics I have seen played since it came out, either as a DM or player.
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