D&D General The Not-Cleric Class for the Other Powers

Voadam

Legend
A bunch of full caster and powered/partial caster champion model classes in D&D could be appropriate for not-gods.

Druids and Rangers for nature/primal spirits/Titans/Fey/Spirits/Shub-Niggurath.

Warlocks and Hexblades for Great Old Ones/Fiends/Fey/other beings (genies, vestiges, etc.).

I am not super familiar with the 4e psionics classes and their being an antibody reaction of the world spirits dealing with non-worldly threats but to use 3e concepts you have psions/wilders and psychic warriors/soulknives.

Another popular model would be necromancer and death knight from Everquest RPG for underworld types like champions of Hel.

Shadowrun has shaman/mage and adept.
 

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I mean...Isn't that what a warlock is for? A warlock gets their powers from from non-gods, just beings with extremely high levels of power. I'm confused by this because you just described what a warlock does, and what a druid does to be fair, without the Gods. The Warlock doesn't heal as far as I know, so that answers your question on what they would have, and Druids have heals, but mainly for themselves, which again answeres the question on whether or not they would be able to heal others or not. In honest, I'm not sure what you are looking for here, as the warlock is a thing that does what you are describing. If you want a better example of Non-divine religions, look at Buddhism or Confucianism. Buddhism worships a person who was human and still is considered human. Confusianis, and Taoism now that I think about it, worship teachings and knowledge; and "worship" in a sense Confucius. Taoists view their texts and knowledge as their gods, so even there they are separated. Buddhists worship a man that found Godhood through worship of another God, in turn the monks and nuns they have today come from his original religion. Buddhism is a little different because of it's mixed lineage in terms of religion and divinity VS non divine beings, so that's why you have monks and nuns that worship the man.

In any case, if you really wanted to compare non-divine vs divine, then the people that practice Confusianism and Taoism are warlocks and don't do healing and divine intervention (which they don't I don't believe they claim to...it's been WAY too long since I've actually read about them in fairness), they would be purely for damage and possibly self healing; and Catholicism and Christianity follow a divine being and would be considered clerics and paladins that can smite the undead. Warlocks and Druids in DnD don't follow divine beings, they follow a patron and nature specifically which are not divine beings, so they really don't get healing powers unless it's to heal themselves. Warlocs or Druids wouldn't be called anything else really, they wouldn't be clerics or paladins, because there is no divine backing to them, they would be called something else which they are: Warlocks and Druids.

I mean, I'm just basing this on what I think you are after, because your post is a little confusing on what you are asking for, because you are asking for something that already exists in the game, at least to me anyways. Take my post how you see fit in that regard lol.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I mean...Isn't that what a warlock is for? A warlock gets their powers from from non-gods, just beings with extremely high levels of power. I'm confused by this because you just described what a warlock does, and what a druid does to be fair, without the Gods. The Warlock doesn't heal as far as I know, so that answers your question on what they would have, and Druids have heals, but mainly for themselves, which again answeres the question on whether or not they would be able to heal others or not. In honest, I'm not sure what you are looking for here, as the warlock is a thing that does what you are describing. If you want a better example of Non-divine religions, look at Buddhism or Confucianism. Buddhism worships a person who was human and still is considered human. Confusianis, and Taoism now that I think about it, worship teachings and knowledge; and "worship" in a sense Confucius. Taoists view their texts and knowledge as their gods, so even there they are separated. Buddhists worship a man that found Godhood through worship of another God, in turn the monks and nuns they have today come from his original religion. Buddhism is a little different because of it's mixed lineage in terms of religion and divinity VS non divine beings, so that's why you have monks and nuns that worship the man.

In any case, if you really wanted to compare non-divine vs divine, then the people that practice Confusianism and Taoism are warlocks and don't do healing and divine intervention (which they don't I don't believe they claim to...it's been WAY too long since I've actually read about them in fairness), they would be purely for damage and possibly self healing; and Catholicism and Christianity follow a divine being and would be considered clerics and paladins that can smite the undead. Warlocks and Druids in DnD don't follow divine beings, they follow a patron and nature specifically which are not divine beings, so they really don't get healing powers unless it's to heal themselves. Warlocs or Druids wouldn't be called anything else really, they wouldn't be clerics or paladins, because there is no divine backing to them, they would be called something else which they are: Warlocks and Druids.

I mean, I'm just basing this on what I think you are after, because your post is a little confusing on what you are asking for, because you are asking for something that already exists in the game, at least to me anyways. Take my post how you see fit in that regard lol.
Warlock patrons are weaker than deities.

Many religions have powerful being of the same strength or magic as a deity but are so different they wouldn't be deities themselves.
 

Voadam

Legend
Warlock patrons are weaker than deities.
Varies heavily depending on the cosmology.

In a couple Asmodeus is both a god and an archdevil and has both clerics and warlocks.

In some cosmologies Great Old Ones are beyond the gods.

In some cosmologies little gods or household gods are a thing down to the power level of a house fairy. In Greek mythology nymphs and dryads and such are gods.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I guess my problem with the thread premise is that I don't think there should be a "Not-Cleric and Not-Paladin of a Not-Divine-God," because I don't think there should be "Not-Divine-Gods." Divine = deities, deities = divine. Other kinds of powers would not use a devotion-based method of interacting with us.

And, I take it rather the opposite way. The game is broadly agnostic to metaphysics. The game rules do not really care what "divine" is. So, if a particular GM says that, because they have followers, Taylor Swift (and the Beatles and Elvis before her) counts as "divine," that works just fine.

And, as written in 5e, paladins get their powers from their Oath, not a deity.
- "Whether sworn before a god’s altar and the witness of a priest, in a sacred glade before nature spirits and fey beings, or in a moment of desperation and grief with the dead as the only witness, a paladin’s oath is a powerful bond. It is a source of power that turns a devout warrior into a blessed champion."

So, really, choose whatever class gives the desired abilities, and don't worry about it too much.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Varies heavily depending on the cosmology.

In a couple Asmodeus is both a god and an archdevil and has both clerics and warlocks.

In some cosmologies Great Old Ones are beyond the gods.

In some cosmologies little gods or household gods are a thing down to the power level of a house fairy. In Greek mythology nymphs and dryads and such are gods.
Well the GOOs are always imprisoned or dormant so we never see how they grant power when awake.

And little gods have the same divinity as the big gods.

The question is of those as or more powerful as gods but not divine.
 

So what if you are a DM and decide to include living, not-asleep, not-imprisoned Primordials, Elder Gods, or Jotunn in your world.
What would be their agents? It wouldn't be clerics, right?
Why not?
As a cleric, you can gain your powers through beings or forces that don't follow the same characteristics as FR's hellenistic-style gods.
The Silver Flame in Eberron for example isn't a god - its a gestalt of souls that grants power to those willing to protect the innocent. Is it a "god"? No. Is the power it grants "divine"? That word doesn't really mean anything in 5e.

How is an active Primordial different practically from a god? Similar level of power, able to grant power to mortals etc.
Its quibbling over definitions, and likely the reason that Clerics are generally described as being granted power by "deities" which can be anything from gods to philosophies.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
How is an active Primordial different practically from a god? Similar level of power, able to grant power to mortals etc.
Its quibbling over definitions, and likely the reason that Clerics are generally described as being granted power by "deities" which can be anything from gods to philosophies.
Well that's the question I am posing.

Would a massive primordial being of raw elemental earth and fire grant you the ability to cure wounds and raise the dead and summon angels?

Or would you get magma blast, death pyre, lava leap, and Channel Elements: Heat Vision?

Would a horror from another warped reality with otherworldly mind powers give you memory hole and id insinuation or guiding bolt and bless?

Would ritualistically consuming the scales of a primeval monster who are the first god of snakes let you breath its frost, grow its wings onto others, and regenerate your skin like the swallowed scale? Or do you become a light cleric?

D&D settings and many nonD&D settings have beings as powerful as the gods but with completely different natures and philosophy than the gods. The question is if they are that different, would they have a different class or power source based on their different connection to mortals.
 

Voadam

Legend
Well that's the question I am posing.

Would a massive primordial being of raw elemental earth and fire grant you the ability to cure wounds and raise the dead and summon angels?

Or would you get magma blast, death pyre, lava leap, and Channel Elements: Heat Vision?

Would a horror from another warped reality with otherworldly mind powers give you memory hole and id insinuation or guiding bolt and bless?

Would ritualistically consuming the scales of a primeval monster who are the first god of snakes let you breath its frost, grow its wings onto others, and regenerate your skin like the swallowed scale? Or do you become a light cleric?

D&D settings and many nonD&D settings have beings as powerful as the gods but with completely different natures and philosophy than the gods. The question is if they are that different, would they have a different class or power source based on their different connection to mortals.
Gods are flexible in concept so all of these could be framed for gods as well.
Would a massive primordial being of raw elemental earth and fire the God of Volcanoes Vulcan grant you the ability to cure wounds and raise the dead and summon angels? Or would you get magma blast, death pyre, lava leap, and Channel Elements: Heat Vision?

Would a horror from another warped reality with otherworldly mind powers, the Illithid god Illsensene, give you memory hole and id insinuation or guiding bolt and bless?

Would ritualistically consuming the scales of a primeval monster who are the first god of snakes let you breath its frost, grow its wings onto others, and regenerate your skin like the swallowed scale? Or do you become a light cleric?

In 1e Deities and Demigods the Cthulhu Mythos and the Norse Jotun leaders were statted as gods for (NPC) clerics to worship. Similarly for the Melnibonean Animal Lords and Elemental powers.
 

Well that's the question I am posing.

Would a massive primordial being of raw elemental earth and fire grant you the ability to cure wounds and raise the dead and summon angels?

Or would you get magma blast, death pyre, lava leap, and Channel Elements: Heat Vision?

Would a horror from another warped reality with otherworldly mind powers give you memory hole and id insinuation or guiding bolt and bless?

Would ritualistically consuming the scales of a primeval monster who are the first god of snakes let you breath its frost, grow its wings onto others, and regenerate your skin like the swallowed scale? Or do you become a light cleric?

D&D settings and many nonD&D settings have beings as powerful as the gods but with completely different natures and philosophy than the gods. The question is if they are that different, would they have a different class or power source based on their different connection to mortals.
Why do gods devoted to Life grant the ability to inflict wounds and channel undeath?
Why is the player of the Snake god picking Life domain rather than a subclass that fits the concept of their deity? In several cultures Snakes are wise, and represent healers.

Representing how your cleric's deity differs from the baseline is the point of the subclasses - They grant spells and other abilities that represent aspects special to their deity.
Even normal spells can be flavoured: The cthuloid entity grants a bolt of pure star-stuff , and whoever gazes upon its target is granted visions of its future position. It blesses the minds of its servant's allies, opening them to discern patterns of fate usually barred to the sane!

If you prefer a different class structure to represent your character being empowered by a powerful being, you could look at Warlock, Druid or Sorceror perhaps?
 

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