D&D 5E Twilight Cleric, a play report (DM's perspective)

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
You guys are all aware that Temp HP dont stack right?

When you get a new set, you either keep the ones you have or ditch them and take the new ones.

Still a little OP, but personally I think if you simply added a concentration requirement, it would be fine.
Yes, we are aware. It’s still non-concentration Heroism for the ENTIRE party, multiple combats per day, starting at level 2. Oh and it ends charm effects as well.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
...5e Clerics have been consistently top top tier in terms of power - yet there is still a lack of enthusiasm re: players playing them.
I've both made clerics and seen clerics played....and while they are "fine"....top tier? Nah, I think plenty of other classes bring more to the table. Now this twilight cleric....now that's a battle cleric for sure, but a regular cleric is just nice to me.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Surely you aren't speaking of clerical spells? Bless and Spirit Guardian are both outstanding...
Congrats, you found the two worthy of casting. What else you got? :)

I hear about clerics casting bless, spiritual weapon, and spirit guardians so much that its becoming like eldritch blast for warlocks....maybe we just make them class features at this point.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Yes, we are aware. It’s still non-concentration Heroism for the ENTIRE party, multiple combats per day, starting at level 2. Oh and it ends charm effects as well.
Yes, not only is it a "high level" heroism spell (you have to upcast heroism to get multiple targets, plus it's concentration) It also functions similar to a Devotion paladins 7th level aura (granted it's not quite as good but it also extends out to a 30ft radius, which the paladin doesn't get until 18th level). So at 2nd level it combines 2 decent effects that only a much higher level character could mimic with another class.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I've both made clerics and seen clerics played....and while they are "fine"....top tier? Nah, I think plenty of other classes bring more to the table. Now this twilight cleric....now that's a battle cleric for sure, but a regular cleric is just nice to me.

Light clerics also bring plenty to the table, so do life clerics and order clerics - and they get their big stuff at levels 1-2 so you actually get to see it in play - so yeah top tier, at least early (there are some dull levels at mid-high levels).

But I was also commenting about past editions. 3e clerics tended to be powerhouses, but they didn't seem to be that popular.
 

Both in 3e and now 5e Clerics have been consistently top top tier in terms of power - yet there is still a lack of enthusiasm re: players playing them.

Because they're boring. It's boring to play a cleric. Offensive debuffs have been nerfed into the Challenger Deep. That's why everyone decides to cast Spiritual Weapon and Spirit Guardians or Bless. They're the only above rate spells. Anything else you take is either so narrow that it's probably never going to come up on any given day, or is an under par damage spell, or is a healing spell, or is something with both concentration and saving throws. Oh, and Guidance. How compelling! Nobody finds the bag of infinite d4s annoying!

Other classes get cool things to do other than cast spells, or they're a Wizard and just have a better spell list. Not cleric. Cleric is boring. The spell list is overall narrow. The class abilities are overall narrow. The subclasses are interesting, but your 2nd level ability is always tied to turn undead, which you spend like 4 class levels upgrading to be better against chaff but the subclass alternative never improves. Your 8th level ability means you can spam cantrips better or just look really sad compared to Extra Attack. And divine intervention is so unreliable, and has such a high cooldown, and has such a nebulous benefit that it doesn't really count as an ability at all.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Surely you aren't speaking of clerical spells? Bless and Spirit Guardian are both outstanding...
I am definitely not talking about Bless and Spirit Guardians, but there are other cleric spells that aren't too great. I guess my point is, there's spells like those and then there's... others.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I think our two clerics mostly cast a handful of spells.

Guidance
Toll the Dead/Sacred flame
Bless
Healing Word
Spiritual Weapon
Spiritual Guardians

And the occasional heal. That's pretty much it. The MC Sorcerer also uses shield, absorb elements and booming/green Flame Blade.
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think our two clerics mostly cast a handful of spells.

Guidance
Toll the Dead/Sacred flame
Bless
Healing Word
Spiritual Weapon
Spiritual Guardians

And the occasional heal. That's pretty much it. The MC Sorcerer also uses shield, absorb elements and boom/green Flame Blade.

That's pretty much the only options worth using.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Because they're boring. It's boring to play a cleric. Offensive debuffs have been nerfed into the Challenger Deep. That's why everyone decides to cast Spiritual Weapon and Spirit Guardians or Bless. They're the only above rate spells. Anything else you take is either so narrow that it's probably never going to come up on any given day, or is an under par damage spell, or is a healing spell, or is something with both concentration and saving throws. Oh, and Guidance. How compelling! Nobody finds the bag of infinite d4s annoying!

Other classes get cool things to do other than cast spells, or they're a Wizard and just have a better spell list. Not cleric. Cleric is boring. The spell list is overall narrow. The class abilities are overall narrow. The subclasses are interesting, but your 2nd level ability is always tied to turn undead, which you spend like 4 class levels upgrading to be better against chaff but the subclass alternative never improves. Your 8th level ability means you can spam cantrips better or just look really sad compared to Extra Attack. And divine intervention is so unreliable, and has such a high cooldown, and has such a nebulous benefit that it doesn't really count as an ability at all.
That's the perception yes.

But if you look at the various abilities in 3e and now in 5e the developers try hard to overcompensate. Clerics get some seriously beefy abilities and they get them early. But the preception persists.
 


Undrave

Hero
Because they're boring. It's boring to play a cleric. Offensive debuffs have been nerfed into the Challenger Deep. That's why everyone decides to cast Spiritual Weapon and Spirit Guardians or Bless. They're the only above rate spells. Anything else you take is either so narrow that it's probably never going to come up on any given day, or is an under par damage spell, or is a healing spell, or is something with both concentration and saving throws. Oh, and Guidance. How compelling! Nobody finds the bag of infinite d4s annoying!

Other classes get cool things to do other than cast spells, or they're a Wizard and just have a better spell list. Not cleric. Cleric is boring. The spell list is overall narrow. The class abilities are overall narrow. The subclasses are interesting, but your 2nd level ability is always tied to turn undead, which you spend like 4 class levels upgrading to be better against chaff but the subclass alternative never improves. Your 8th level ability means you can spam cantrips better or just look really sad compared to Extra Attack. And divine intervention is so unreliable, and has such a high cooldown, and has such a nebulous benefit that it doesn't really count as an ability at all.

They're not even a fun support character. Abilities are either selfish, or boring damage, or fire and forget. There's no interesting problem solving involved in Cleric spells. I LIKE to support my allies! I like to make them better... how do you do that as a Cleric? Oh, I'll cast ONE spell in this one encounter, and they'll get the Bless bonus. And that's it. That's how I support, by taking one action. Maybe things will get dicey and I'll get to cast a healing spell! Ooooh... and I can't get cute: my team NEED those Bless and healing so I can't just waste my spell slot on experimenting with the chaff of the spell list. Meanwhile, on my turn, I guess I'll attack? Or maybe use Sacred Flame, the ONLY attacking cantrip for clerics in the PHB.

5e Clerics are BORING.
 

They're not even a fun support character. Abilities are either selfish, or boring damage, or fire and forget. There's no interesting problem solving involved in Cleric spells. I LIKE to support my allies! I like to make them better... how do you do that as a Cleric? Oh, I'll cast ONE spell in this one encounter, and they'll get the Bless bonus. And that's it.

Huh?

War clerics are tossing out +10's to hit. Life clerics are spamming healing. Warding Bond gets a lot of use as well. Heroism. Guidance. Aid. Plus of course Bless Etc.

Unsure I would call that poor support.
 

Ogre Mage

Adventurer
I think our two clerics mostly cast a handful of spells.

Guidance
Toll the Dead/Sacred flame
Bless
Healing Word
Spiritual Weapon
Spiritual Guardians

And the occasional heal. That's pretty much it.
Besides these, I have also gotten good mileage out of guiding bolt. There are times when you want to hit an enemy with something harder than a cantrip and you either don't have spirit guardians yet or the enemy is out of range. 4d6 radiant with 120 ft. range is good for a 1st level spell. The fact it causes the next attack on the creature to be at advantage can set up some good coordination with other party members.

Once you get 4th level spells death ward is a great insurance policy. Banishment is also good, but most casters get access to it.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Crunching it out. Next level our Sorcerer1/Twilight 8 deals.

1d8+5 gauntlets ogre power, +1 flail.
+2d8 GFB/BB
+1d8 tashas variant divine strike ability.

Base damage 4d8+5

Spiritual Guardians adds an extra 3d8-5d8 damage.

No wonder the sorcerer has been feeling a bit down. Throw in a spiritual weapon for another 1d8+4.

That's around 10d8+9 potential damage a round.
 

Crunching it out. Next level our Sorcerer1/Twilight 8 deals.

1d8+5 gauntlets ogre power, +1 flail.
+2d8 GFB/BB
+1d8 tashas variant divine strike ability.

Base damage 4d8+5

Spiritual Guardians adds an extra 3d8-5d8 damage.

No wonder the sorcerer has been feeling a bit down. Throw in a spiritual weapon for another 1d8+4.

That's around 10d8+9 potential damage a round.
Everything fine and good, a powerful combination. The sorcerer still can find something useful to do, which is ranged support.
I hope they got some magic items too. Gauntlets of ogre power and a magic flail on top is quite useful.
Another Idea is giving tasha style divine strike only to single class characters. I know that is only a little of that damage, but it might help encouraging staying in one class to not combine too OP combinations.

But yeah, that cleric rocks.
 

Undrave

Hero
Huh?

War clerics are tossing out +10's to hit. Life clerics are spamming healing. Warding Bond gets a lot of use as well. Heroism. Guidance. Aid. Plus of course Bless Etc.

Unsure I would call that poor support.

It's not BAD support, it's BORING support. Most of these require very little input from the Cleric once cast and a lot of them include concentration so you can't really do anything else very fancy once you've used your ONE spell for the encounter.

At 2nd level you got 3 spell slot. There's a lot of pressure to keep at least one of them in reserve for healing, then you cast Bless or Shield of Faith or whatever and you're down to 1 spell slot available. Do you keep it for another fight to use Bless or do you try to try another one of your spell you've never used before? Anything else sucks compared to bless.

Sure, you get more spell slots as you go on but the pressure of being THE healer (in a game with no healing surges) and that your best spells are not only great (but boring) but monopolize your concentration, means you just don't get as much freedom with them as you would think.

And again, you only feel like a support character when you spend a spell slot. The Cleric has no Cantrip similar to Vicious Mockery or Frostbite. A Mastermind Rogue can spend a bonus action to Help Another AT RANGE and grant them Advantage on their next attack... Why isn't that a cantrip a Cleric can do?!
 

It's not BAD support, it's BORING support. Most of these require very little input from the Cleric once cast and a lot of them include concentration so you can't really do anything else very fancy once you've used your ONE spell for the encounter.
What input do other support classes have? Paladins just have a save aura. Bards just use bonus actions to toss out inspiration.

And why only one spell for the encounter? A 6th level War Cleric can grant +10 to his allies attacks 2/ short rest, while having Bless running on a party he's previously cast Aid on to buff. After the battle he can bring any allies who died back to life, heal them and remove conditions from them.

That doesn't exactly fit my definition of 'poor support character'.
At 2nd level you got 3 spell slot.
Second level lasts for a maximum of 5.33 encounters of CR 2, or half of an adventuring day. Your average 1st level party hits 3rd level after two adventuring days max.

It's not exactly fair to look at 2nd level PCs as an example of what a class can do. They dont come into their own till 5th onwards.
 


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