D&D 5E What are there so few 4th level cleric spells?

Stalker0

Legend
My player was commenting about this, just having reached 7th level. He was like, "man there are just no options for cleric spells at the 4th level, what gives?"

Having never thought about it, I checked, and holy moly.... there are SO FEW spells at 4th level for clerics! 3rd level, great variety. 5th, solid. But 4th, its like someone literally forgot about that level.

And it seems unique to clerics, wizards, druids, sorcs, even bards all get a bigger variety than clerics.


Its frankly just a bit weird, why is there such a dearth of cleric spells at that level?
 

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jgsugden

Legend
They don't add a lot of 4th level spells because clerics get access to all of the spells on the list. It is one reason why their list is so contained. 4th is very contained, but there are good options.

Death Ward (as it does not require concentration), and Banishment are strong spells, as is upcasting Spiritual Weapon to 2d8+Wis each round and upcasting Spirit Guardians as that additional d8 is delivered every round as well.
 

FireLance

Legend
5e also saw the loss of a few iconic 4th-level cleric spells. Cure serious wounds (1e and 2e)/cure critical wounds (3e) got folded into upcast cure wounds, detect lie (1e and 2e)/discern lies (3e) and neutralize poison were probably deemed unnecessary due to zone of truth and protection from poison, sticks to snakes was last seen as a 4th-level spell in 2e, and imbue with spell ability just disappeared.
 

Smackpixi

Adventurer
Why are there so forking many cleric spells in general? Even if you’re just using the PHB spells, 8 new spells all of which you automatically know? That’s a problem? He’s only ever gonna use one or two. I get people like options but…I mean one of them is banishment…but whatever, get that Kobald Press magic book if you want, double spells. If you like or players like, i’m more into limited options so people learn to use and maximize them.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
@Stalker0 here is our revised Cleric spell list:

1659263402277.png

1659263442272.png


We've rebalanced all the class spell lists to balance out the numbers and removed concentration. There is MUCH less overlap between classes now, making each class spell list more distinct that RAW. If you want the others, I'll post a PDF of them all.

NOTE: Jinxes are what we call attack/damage cantrips. Otherwise, they are just cantrips.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
5e also saw the loss of a few iconic 4th-level cleric spells. Cure serious wounds (1e and 2e)/cure critical wounds (3e) got folded into upcast cure wounds, detect lie (1e and 2e)/discern lies (3e) and neutralize poison were probably deemed unnecessary due to zone of truth and protection from poison, sticks to snakes was last seen as a 4th-level spell in 2e, and imbue with spell ability just disappeared.
Without checking I bet there was a nonzero number of lower level noncleric spells that clerics got as 4th level spells ack when spells had different levels for different classes

edit: 3.5 had
  • discern lies clr4/pal3
  • magic weapon clr4 pal/sor/wiz3
  • neutralize poison brd4/dru3/pal4/rgr3
  • poison clr4/dru3
  • repel vermin clr4/dru4/rgr3
  • tongues clr4/ sor/wiz3 brd2
Some of those spells are replaced & others are gone but each class & higher/lower level cleric spells had similar overlap where X would get Y's lower level spell at a higher level so the result was pretty dramatic & made a big difference both if the other class was in the group & if the other class wasn't.
 
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dave2008

Legend
@Stalker0 here is our revised Cleric spell list:

View attachment 255853
View attachment 255854

We've rebalanced all the class spell lists to balance out the numbers and removed concentration. There is MUCH less overlap between classes now, making each class spell list more distinct that RAW. If you want the others, I'll post a PDF of them all.

NOTE: Jinxes are what we call attack/damage cantrips. Otherwise, they are just cantrips.
Nice work! I would like to see the rest of them.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Nice work! I would like to see the rest of them.
Here you go.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1. As I said, jinxes are just cantrips. We separated them out because in our MOD they are limited.
2. Bard is the arcane half-caster, like Paladins and Rangers.
3. Paladins and Rangers get cantrips (only) at level 1.
4. Paladins are known spell casters, not prepared casters. Only the full-casters (Cleric, Druid, Wizard) are prepared casters.
5. We don't use Artificers, so they aren't on our list. ;)
6. Concentration has been removed from many spells.
7. "High Magic" (6th+ level spells) are completely unique, there is absolutely NO overlap for full casters, making them very unique.

1659266321999.png


Finally, Wizards have drastically reduced spell lists! Also, some "iconic" spells might have been moved or limited, however, if you look at each list individually, hopefully you'll feel there are still plenty of options for each class and that they are well-represented.

If there is anything that screams out "WHAT THE HECK!?" let me know. ;)
 

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Redwizard007

Adventurer
Here you go.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1. As I said, jinxes are just cantrips. We separated them out because in our MOD they are limited.
2. Bard is the arcane half-caster, like Paladins and Rangers.
3. Paladins and Rangers get cantrips (only) at level 1.
4. Paladins are known spell casters, not prepared casters. Only the full-casters (Cleric, Druid, Wizard) are prepared casters.
5. We don't use Artificers, so they aren't on our list. ;)
6. Concentration has been removed from many spells.
7. "High Magic" (6th+ level spells) are completely unique, there is absolutely NO overlap for full casters, making them very unique.

View attachment 255858

Finally, Wizards have drastically reduced spell lists! Also, some "iconic" spells might have been moved or limited, however, if you look at each list individually, hopefully you'll feel there are still plenty of options for each class and that they are well-represented.

If there is anything that screams out "WHAT THE HECK!?" let me know. ;)
I'm curious. What did you give the bard to balance the loss of full casting?
 


The reason there are so few 4th level cleric spells is to punish players who chose to play clerics. One must punish such players so they never make such a sub-optimal choice again.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
I think there should be fewer and fewer spells each level. Weird that 5tg has more.

Classes that get all spells should have a smaller spell list too.

I like limiting the scope of Cleric spells and they do a pretty good job but it could be narrower.

Wizards should have a very broad selection but fewer in class powers and clerics on the opposite end of that. Which they do a fairly good job of but could be better.

If I remember right Warlocks have a poor 4th level spell list too relying on their subclass spells.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Here you go.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1. As I said, jinxes are just cantrips. We separated them out because in our MOD they are limited.
2. Bard is the arcane half-caster, like Paladins and Rangers.
3. Paladins and Rangers get cantrips (only) at level 1.
4. Paladins are known spell casters, not prepared casters. Only the full-casters (Cleric, Druid, Wizard) are prepared casters.
5. We don't use Artificers, so they aren't on our list. ;)
6. Concentration has been removed from many spells.
7. "High Magic" (6th+ level spells) are completely unique, there is absolutely NO overlap for full casters, making them very unique.

View attachment 255858

Finally, Wizards have drastically reduced spell lists! Also, some "iconic" spells might have been moved or limited, however, if you look at each list individually, hopefully you'll feel there are still plenty of options for each class and that they are well-represented.

If there is anything that screams out "WHAT THE HECK!?" let me know. ;)
I like what you did with High Magic. I couldn't find the High Magic list for warlocks though. Do warlocks not have access to High Magic? If so, did you replace their Mystic Arcanum with anything?
 

I'm curious. What did you give the bard to balance the loss of full casting?
not the person you asked, but you don't need to give anything really.

in Middle Earth 5e we get a spell less ranger with some minor expleration perks, and a spellless bard that is pretty much just as is remove all spells and they are not more or less powerful then fighter rogue and barbarian.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
not the person you asked, but you don't need to give anything really.

in Middle Earth 5e we get a spell less ranger with some minor expleration perks, and a spellless bard that is pretty much just as is remove all spells and they are not more or less powerful then fighter rogue and barbarian.
Normally, I'd call bards one of the stronger classes. Probably top 3. With that nerf, it sounds like bottom 3. Still better than rogue and monk, but I could see it struggling to keep up with fighter, ranger or barbarian, and crushed by the other casters.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
there's probably less 4th level spells because 3rd level is usually the prestige; the place where fireball goes despite being too powerful for that spot. It's the exciting level where you start getting to play with the fun toys.

So everyone designs to be the fun uncle giving out the big gifts for age 5, 10, Sweet Sixteen, 18 and 21 because they're the Important Numbers. So they give their all to those and the boring after-level of 4 kind of gets ignored.

I've found myself doing the same thing with 7th level rituals in my own game.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I'm curious. What did you give the bard to balance the loss of full casting?
Well, Bards were already too powerful in our opinions, but we still gave them two things when we made them half-casters:

1) Allowing you to grant inspiration with your bonus action (as normal) or your reaction.
1665007628142.png

and 2) an additional college feature:
1665007601425.png


@DND_Reborn , Well, now you've done it! I demand to see your bard class! (perhaps in PM not to derail this thread further?)
Other than the changes noted above, and they now follow half-caster progression, not much else has changed if you want to follow regular 5E. Now, our "MOD" has a LOT of general changes, some of which affect the Bard (as these changes affect each class though).

I like what you did with High Magic. I couldn't find the High Magic list for warlocks though. Do warlocks not have access to High Magic? If so, did you replace their Mystic Arcanum with anything?
In the "full" MOD, Warlocks are a subclass of cleric so use the Cleric Spell List.

In the hacked down MOD, Warlocks were restored to a class, but we felt the inclusion of Eldritch Invocations made them powerful enough that removing Mystic Arcanum was warranted. However, a couple enhancements were added: 1) You gain your first Invocation at 1st level instead of waiting until 2nd, 2) Your Patron spells are automatically known spells for you, you don't have to choose them.

Given that Warlocks are the only short-rest spell recovery (with our revised spell system), they benefit from that change as well.

Now, others might not find these sufficient, but these changes create a balance my group is happy with.

Honestly, I haven't worked on this stuff in a while and we have 3-4 variant versions of the MOD lol! The full MOD was over 150 pages and approaching the point of becoming its own 5E variant (like A5E), and for the moment other projects have taken priority. I debate often if I want to just go all out and make my own game... 🤷‍♂️
 

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