A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Dec 2020

    Default Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    The other day I had an Idea for a more aggressive cleric which morphed into a darker cleric which in turn morphed into this which I wouldn't call aggressive but might call scary. I think what I ended up with is a little thematically inspired by the Twilight and Trickery domains but I feel that it has its own identity and shouldn't really step on their toes. Anyway, any thoughts on balance and theming would be welcomed and if you don't have thoughts I hope you at least enjoy looking over it. I'm not dead set on the domain name or the ability names either so... Thoughts?

    Shadow Domain
    You follow a god of shadow, darkness, obfuscation, or dream and know that most who know of your deity would not think highly of you for pledging yourself to them. However, you know what most pretend not to. It is what people say and do in the shadows that reveals who they truly are. The darkness does not make one bad or breed evil, it makes people feel safe enough to do and be what they desire without fear of reproach. The darkness is an ally to all but it seems that the most dangerous people and creatures are the ones who embrace it most.

    Bonus Proficiencies
    When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons and the Stealth skill.

    Shadow Domain Spells
    Cleric Level Domain Spells
    1 Bane, Sleep
    3 Darkness, Suggestion
    5 Fear, Slow
    7 Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer
    9 Dream, Modify Memory
    Shaded Acclimation
    You are accustomed to the dark and your deity has given abilities to protect you against the dangers of the night. Beginning at 1st level you gain blindsight with a range of 10 feet and have advantage on saving throws against the charmed and frightened conditions.
    The range of your blindsight increases to 20 feet when you reach 11th level and 30 feet when you reach 17th level in this class.
    Spoiler: Original
    Show

    Shadewalker
    Beginning at 1st level you gain blindsight with a range of 15 feet and have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition. Also, as an acolyte of shadow, you can attempt to hide as a bonus action while within darkness.
    When you reach level 17 in this class the range of your blindsight increases to 30 feet.

    Spoiler: Reason
    Show
    I swapped the names of the 1st and 17th level abilities because I felt that they were more fitting after the changes. I ended up agreeing with Acromage that a BA Hide was stepping on the Rogue's toes too much so I replaced it with advantage against charm effects. I also cut the Blindsight down to 1 feet with increases at 11 and 17. Considering that there is a fighting style available to Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers that give the same thing it didn't seem like too much after cutting the BA Hide.

    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    As an action you can enhance the shadow around you. For one minute, everything within 30 feet of you darkens slightly going from bright light to dim light, or from dim light to darkness. When you activate this ability and as an action on following turns while it is active, you can bring about a tiredness within your shadows range. All creatures within this area find themselves drowsy and creatures that have fewer hit points than your cleric level fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep until awakened or for the duration of the shroud.
    You can designate any creatures that cannot be put to sleep with this ability, these creatures treat the entirety of the shroud as though it were all dim light.
    Spoiler: Original
    Show

    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. On a failure they subtract your Wisdom modifier from all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. A creature that fails their saving throw can make this saving throw as an action on their turn to end the effect as long as they are conscious.
    Additionally, if a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep.

    Spoiler: Reason
    Show
    I cut way down on the complexity of the feature and tied its effectiveness to your cleric level to make it slightly less enticing as a dip. It is also more of a help than a hindrance for your allies who can get a muted version of the darkness/devil's sight combo against creatures without darkvission. After looking at the darkness spell again I realized that the spell itself says that darkvission doesn't work in it, not a feature of all magical darkness.

    Essence of Night
    For better or for worse, you have become more emblematic of the nature of the shadows. Beginning at level 6, you can add your Wisdom modifier to all ability checks made with the deception, intimidation, and stealth skills.
    Spoiler: Original
    Show

    Twilit Candor
    For better or for worse, you inspire the level of confidence usually reserved for a close friend at the end of the night. While in dim light or darkness you have advantage on charisma checks
    Additionally, as a bonus action you can dim the light within 15 feet of you from bright light to dim light for one minute. You cannot use this bonus action again until you complete a short or long rest.

    Spoiler: reason
    Show
    It was pointed out to me that because of their weapon proficiency Shadow clerics would be even less likely to have a decent charisma score so advantage wasn't as valuable and that yet another way to manipulate light wasn't all that exciting and could be confusing so I cut that and added Wis. to the skills that I felt fit the concept. I decided to change the name of the feature after the changes to better fit what it does.

    Divine Strike
    At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with shadow energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

    Shade Walker
    By the time that you reach 17th level your devotion to the darkness has granted you advantages against what may stake an unworthy claim over it.
    You are immune to the frightened and charmed conditions and all allies within your Shroud of Stupor become invisible while in the area. They become visible if they attack or cast a spell but can become invisible again by hiding.
    Spoiler: Original
    Show

    Shaded Acclimation
    By the time that you reach 17th level your devotion to the darkness has granted you advantages against what may stake an unworthy claim over it.
    You are immune to the frightened condition, you have resistance to necrotic damage, magic cannot put you to sleep, and the time you require for a long rest is halved.

    Spoiler: reason
    Show
    The only change in divine strike was to change it for divine energy to shadow energy.
    For the capstone I added Charm immunity to match the changes to the 1st level ability and decided to go with the suggestion to make allies invisible while in the radius. That felt too powerful to me so I made it function like the invisibility spell with the option to become invisible again by hiding. Making it really helpful for setting up ambushes but much more situational in combat. I'm still nut sure about the balance of this feature, it seems pretty lackluster to me but I would love to see what y'all think.



    Spoiler: Full Original
    Show

    Shadow Domain
    You follow a god of shadow, darkness, obfuscation, or dream and know that most who know of your deity would not think highly of you for pledging yourself to them. However, you know what most pretend not to. It is what people say and do in the shadows that reveals who they truly are. The darkness does not make one bad or breed evil, it makes people feel safe enough to do and be what they desire without fear of reproach. The darkness is an ally to all but it seems that the most dangerous people and creatures are the ones who embrace it most.

    Bonus Proficiencies
    When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons and the Stealth skill.

    Shadow Domain Spells
    Cleric Level Domain Spells
    1 Bane, Sleep
    3 Darkness, Suggestion
    5 Fear, Slow
    7 Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer
    9 Dream, Modify Memory
    Shadewalker
    Beginning at 1st level you gain blindsight with a range of 15 feet and have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition. Also, as an acolyte of shadow, you can attempt to hide as a bonus action while within darkness.
    When you reach level 17 in this class the range of your blindsight increases to 30 feet

    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. On a failure they subtract your Wisdom modifier from all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. A creature that fails their saving throw can make this saving throw as an action on their turn to end the effect as long as they are conscious.
    Additionally, if a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep.

    Twilit Candor
    For better or for worse, you inspire the level of confidence usually reserved for a close friend at the end of the night. While in dim light or darkness you have advantage on charisma checks
    Additionally, as a bonus action you can dim the light within 15 feet of you from bright light to dim light for one minute. You cannot use this bonus action again until you complete a short or long rest.

    Divine Strike
    At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

    Shaded Acclimation
    By the time that you reach 17th level your devotion to the darkness has granted you advantages against what may stake an unworthy claim over it.
    You are immune to the frightened condition, you have resistance to necrotic damage, magic cannot put you to sleep, and the time you require for a long rest is halved.
    Last edited by Saelethil; 2021-12-31 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Updated from feedback

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2021

    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post

    Bonus Proficiencies
    When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons and the Stealth skill.

    Shadow Domain Spells
    Cleric Level Domain Spells
    1 Bane, Sleep
    3 Darkness, Suggestion
    5 Fear, Slow
    7 Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer
    9 Dream, Modify Memory
    Shadewalker
    Beginning at 1st level you gain blindsight with a range of 15 feet and have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition. Also, as an acolyte of shadow, you can attempt to hide as a bonus action while within darkness.
    When you reach level 17 in this class the range of your blindsight increases to 30 feet
    The Domain spells seem solid enough. I'd maybe swap out Modify Memory for Commune, or Synaptic Static for that just-woke-up feeling, but that's purely personal preference. The level 1 feature seems strong in general - Blindsight is very powerful, advantage vs. Frightened is solid but situational, and hiding as a bonus action kind of steps on the toes of the Rogue. Combined with martial weapon proficiency, Shadow Domain Clerics are likely to be ranged combatants, using primarily bows to strike from the shadows. If that's what you were going for, great! Many Cleric subclasses are kind of easy to dip in, and this one I feel is better than most. Blindsight really is that good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. On a failure they subtract your Wisdom modifier from all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. A creature that fails their saving throw can make this saving throw as an action on their turn to end the effect as long as they are conscious.
    Additionally, if a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep.

    Twilit Candor
    For better or for worse, you inspire the level of confidence usually reserved for a close friend at the end of the night. While in dim light or darkness you have advantage on charisma checks
    Additionally, as a bonus action you can dim the light within 15 feet of you from bright light to dim light for one minute. You cannot use this bonus action again until you complete a short or long rest.
    These I don't like as much. Shroud of Stupor does three separate things - it's a low-powered Darkness, a low-powered Sleep and also a very powerful debuff / control tool. I feel it'd be better if it did only one of those things - probably the Darkness effect to synergize with your hide-in-shadows bonus action. Note also that the darkness > magical darkness step generally isn't a thing in the game - magical darkness is defined by the source of the effect, not as a thing in and of itself. Adding up to a -5 penalty to all attack rolls for a creature that's already likely taking Disadvantage for being in magical darkness is kind of brutal and save penalties are potent wherever they pop up. Finally, the ability doesn't say what kind of action you need to activate it, and it's notably ally-unfriendly - your party presumably can't see through the darkness, 30 feet is a long range for a melee combatant (so this can usually cover the entire frontline) and if any of them fail their save against the debuff effect (which is likely, in a dark area) they're going to hate you for that combat.

    Twilit Candor is interesting, but seems to go against the rest of the design here. Is the Shadow Cleric supposed to be a melee controller, a ranged supporter or a social manipulator? There's shades of all three in the design, but I don't think they mesh super well. I get that it's the class's primary trick, but between Darkness, Shroud of Stupor and Twilit Candor you now have three entirely separate abilities to make things dark around you - that seems a bit much. I'd much rather that this one was replaced by a general ability to see in magical darkness instead (or maybe one to let your allies see in magical darkness), especially since your Blindsight doesn't actually let you see through your own Shroud of Stupor at the mid-range. Finally, I'm assuming you get it at level 6, but the ability doesn't say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Divine Strike
    At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

    Shaded Acclimation
    By the time that you reach 17th level your devotion to the darkness has granted you advantages against what may stake an unworthy claim over it.
    You are immune to the frightened condition, you have resistance to necrotic damage, magic cannot put you to sleep, and the time you require for a long rest is halved.
    Not much to comment on for Divine Strike. Necrotic isn't the best damage type, but it's not the worst either and as a Cleric you have plenty of good options against the undead who usually resist it. Shaded Acclimation is a bit of a ribbon feature, unfortunately. Immunity to a condition is nice but you've been resistant to that since level 1, resistance to necrotic damage is likewise nice but kind of minor in the grand scheme of things, Sleep is mostly irrelevant by this point unless you're specifically fighting Drow or Beholders and halving the time for a long rest means very little when the rest of the party doesn't get that benefit.

    Overall, most of my complaints are with Shroud of Stupor. The mechanics for it are not intuitive, it does too much and it's incredibly hostile to any ally that wants to be near you. The scaling for it is also completely independent of your Cleric level, so it's easy to dip for on, say, a Ranger.
    I also think the subclass is oddly selfish for a Cleric. Nothing here helps your allies in any way, and Shroud of Stupor is actively harmful to them. Baking some ally-friendliness and general support ability would go a long way towards helping it, I think - maybe some kind of ability to make long/short rests more restful a la Song of Rest, or removing a second level of Exhaustion on a long rest as a ribbon ability somewhere?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Thanks for your input, its been really helpful in tightening up the concept!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcomage View Post
    The Domain spells seem solid enough. I'd maybe swap out Modify Memory for Commune, or Synaptic Static for that just-woke-up feeling, but that's purely personal preference. The level 1 feature seems strong in general - Blindsight is very powerful, advantage vs. Frightened is solid but situational, and hiding as a bonus action kind of steps on the toes of the Rogue. Combined with martial weapon proficiency, Shadow Domain Clerics are likely to be ranged combatants, using primarily bows to strike from the shadows. If that's what you were going for, great! Many Cleric subclasses are kind of easy to dip in, and this one I feel is better than most. Blindsight really is that good.
    I was on the fence about the BA hide in darkness. I figured that requiring darkness might be enough to balance it out but on second thought it probably isn't. Might as well cut it, it doesn't add a ton and isn't necessary.
    With the blindsight I wanted something akin to the Twilight domains feature but wanted enough of a distinction to make it something more than Twilight Cleric(But Worse!). I didn't give them heavy armor proficiency because I knew the other features would be strong and it didn't fit the theme. Would reducing the blindsight to 10 feet with an increase to 20 at 11 and 30 at 17 be more reasonable? I would like to keep the idea of being able to see that which doesn't want to be seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcomage View Post
    These I don't like as much. Shroud of Stupor does three separate things - it's a low-powered Darkness, a low-powered Sleep and also a very powerful debuff / control tool. I feel it'd be better if it did only one of those things - probably the Darkness effect to synergize with your hide-in-shadows bonus action. Note also that the darkness > magical darkness step generally isn't a thing in the game - magical darkness is defined by the source of the effect, not as a thing in and of itself. Adding up to a -5 penalty to all attack rolls for a creature that's already likely taking Disadvantage for being in magical darkness is kind of brutal and save penalties are potent wherever they pop up. Finally, the ability doesn't say what kind of action you need to activate it, and it's notably ally-unfriendly - your party presumably can't see through the darkness, 30 feet is a long range for a melee combatant (so this can usually cover the entire frontline) and if any of them fail their save against the debuff effect (which is likely, in a dark area) they're going to hate you for that combat.
    And this is why we get second opinions folks, I meant for it to be an action to activate and I hadn't considered the darkness as a debuff to allies but I really should have. With the darkness/magical darkness thing, I wanted to differentiate the two because they matter for dark vision and since the Darkvision spell doesn't cover magical darkness (which it probably should but that a different topic for another day) I wanted to be clear that regular darkvission would still function if the space wasn't dark before Shroud of Stupor was activated. I was thinking of the -Wis mod to attacks and saving throws as a Super Bane but it probably is too much. What if I allowed allies to see through the Shroud and got rid of the Super Bane?

    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    As an action you can augment the shadow around you. For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. If a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep. Any ally within the radius does not need to make the saving throw and can see through it as though it were all dim light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcomage View Post
    Twilit Candor is interesting, but seems to go against the rest of the design here. Is the Shadow Cleric supposed to be a melee controller, a ranged supporter or a social manipulator? There's shades of all three in the design, but I don't think they mesh super well. I get that it's the class's primary trick, but between Darkness, Shroud of Stupor and Twilit Candor you now have three entirely separate abilities to make things dark around you - that seems a bit much. I'd much rather that this one was replaced by a general ability to see in magical darkness instead (or maybe one to let your allies see in magical darkness), especially since your Blindsight doesn't actually let you see through your own Shroud of Stupor at the mid-range. Finally, I'm assuming you get it at level 6, but the ability doesn't say.
    Can't believe I forgot to put the level in this one. Yes, it comes in at level 6. I was shooting for a controller/manipulator. Which parts do you think don't mesh well? I'll also clarify that Twilit Candor doesn't create darkness, it can only create dim light for a minute which. With the rest of the ability it gives them advantage on charisma checks and others disadvantage on perception checks which I thought fit the theme pretty well of manipulating the shadows to benefit yourself and your allies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcomage View Post
    Not much to comment on for Divine Strike. Necrotic isn't the best damage type, but it's not the worst either and as a Cleric you have plenty of good options against the undead who usually resist it. Shaded Acclimation is a bit of a ribbon feature, unfortunately. Immunity to a condition is nice but you've been resistant to that since level 1, resistance to necrotic damage is likewise nice but kind of minor in the grand scheme of things, Sleep is mostly irrelevant by this point unless you're specifically fighting Drow or Beholders and halving the time for a long rest means very little when the rest of the party doesn't get that benefit.

    Overall, most of my complaints are with Shroud of Stupor. The mechanics for it are not intuitive, it does too much and it's incredibly hostile to any ally that wants to be near you. The scaling for it is also completely independent of your Cleric level, so it's easy to dip for on, say, a Ranger.
    I also think the subclass is oddly selfish for a Cleric. Nothing here helps your allies in any way, and Shroud of Stupor is actively harmful to them. Baking some ally-friendliness and general support ability would go a long way towards helping it, I think - maybe some kind of ability to make long/short rests more restful a la Song of Rest, or removing a second level of Exhaustion on a long rest as a ribbon ability somewhere?
    Most of Shade Walker came from my original version of Shaded Acclimation but but it really just looked like a list of moderately useful abilities so I chopped off some bits for earlier features. Initially it had advantage against Charmed and Frightened but when I moved resistance to level 1 I cut it down to just Frightened and improved it to immunity to Frightened in Shaded Acclimation. Would adding advantage against Charmed and halving the long rest for allies within 30 feet be a suitable capstone? My concern was that I don't want it to become a random list of moderately useful abilities again.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Thanks for your input, its been really helpful in tightening up the concept!



    I was on the fence about the BA hide in darkness. I figured that requiring darkness might be enough to balance it out but on second thought it probably isn't. Might as well cut it, it doesn't add a ton and isn't necessary.
    With the blindsight I wanted something akin to the Twilight domains feature but wanted enough of a distinction to make it something more than Twilight Cleric(But Worse!). I didn't give them heavy armor proficiency because I knew the other features would be strong and it didn't fit the theme. Would reducing the blindsight to 10 feet with an increase to 20 at 11 and 30 at 17 be more reasonable? I would like to keep the idea of being able to see that which doesn't want to be seen.
    I'm not entirely sure what to do about it, to be honest. As I said, Blindsight is very powerful and the subclass as a whole seems kind of pigeon-holed to go into the sorts of parties that can abuse it with Devil's Sight and/or Blind Fighting fighting styles. It's very strong if the group is set up to take advantage of it and kind of mediocre if they aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    And this is why we get second opinions folks, I meant for it to be an action to activate and I hadn't considered the darkness as a debuff to allies but I really should have. With the darkness/magical darkness thing, I wanted to differentiate the two because they matter for dark vision and since the Darkvision spell doesn't cover magical darkness (which it probably should but that a different topic for another day) I wanted to be clear that regular darkvission would still function if the space wasn't dark before Shroud of Stupor was activated. I was thinking of the -Wis mod to attacks and saving throws as a Super Bane but it probably is too much. What if I allowed allies to see through the Shroud and got rid of the Super Bane?

    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    As an action you can augment the shadow around you. For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. If a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep. Any ally within the radius does not need to make the saving throw and can see through it as though it were all dim light.
    Looks much better. I'd still advise you to remove the Sleep component and maybe tighten up the wording on the Darkness bit - there's still a lot going on in that paragraph and it doesn't really communicate the idea that the Cleric makes everything around them a bit darker very concisely. Also because the scaling on the Sleep effect is kind of bad - that's a lot of words dedicated to an ability that will rarely work at all (In tier 1, that's 4-6 HP and since enemy HP scales rather faster than your proficiency bonus, it only gets relatively worse from there) and it still isn't very clear on how the effect works - does the saving throw happen when you use the ability as an action? Does it happen whenever an opponent enters the aura for the entire duration? Does it happen when they end their turn in the aura? And why do they need to make the saving throw anyway if their HP total is too high to be affected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Can't believe I forgot to put the level in this one. Yes, it comes in at level 6. I was shooting for a controller/manipulator. Which parts do you think don't mesh well? I'll also clarify that Twilit Candor doesn't create darkness, it can only create dim light for a minute which. With the rest of the ability it gives them advantage on charisma checks and others disadvantage on perception checks which I thought fit the theme pretty well of manipulating the shadows to benefit yourself and your allies.
    In my experience, the Cleric can't really afford to invest in Charisma (so even with Advantage, your checks are kind of unreliable). If you really want to lean into the social aspect, I'd suggest giving out the Cleric's Wisdom modifier on Charisma checks instead and maybe handing out a free Charisma skill proficiency with it (a la the Fey Wanderer Ranger). Or maybe saying that the dim light of Twilight Candor causes anyone (except your allies) to take Disadvantage on Insight checks as well as Perception - the shadows don't make you supernaturally good at lying, but they do make you very hard to read.

    Between Twilit Candor, Darkness and Shroud of Stupor you have three separate abilities that say your Cleric radiates an aura of darkness. There's some potential for combos there (Twilit Candor combos fairly well with Shroud of Stupor for a guaranteed full darkness aura in a single turn) but I can also see it getting confusing for the other players because each of those auras will have similar in-game descriptions for what the Cleric is doing, but each has its own entirely separate ruleset to apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Most of Shade Walker came from my original version of Shaded Acclimation but but it really just looked like a list of moderately useful abilities so I chopped off some bits for earlier features. Initially it had advantage against Charmed and Frightened but when I moved resistance to level 1 I cut it down to just Frightened and improved it to immunity to Frightened in Shaded Acclimation. Would adding advantage against Charmed and halving the long rest for allies within 30 feet be a suitable capstone? My concern was that I don't want it to become a random list of moderately useful abilities again.
    At level 17, I think it's better to put in a single big rule-changer than a bunch of generally useful effects, to reward people for sticking with the subclass. The Twilight Cleric's 'your allies have cover in the radius of your Channel Divinity' (Shroud of Stupor in this case) is a solid starting point, but if you want to lean into the obscurement aspect you could also go with something like 'your allies are invisible as long as they're within the radius of your Shroud of Stupor'.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    The other day I had an Idea for a more aggressive cleric which morphed into a darker cleric which in turn morphed into this which I wouldn't call aggressive but might call scary. I think what I ended up with is a little thematically inspired by the Twilight and Trickery domains but I feel that it has its own identity and shouldn't really step on their toes. Anyway, any thoughts on balance and theming would be welcomed and if you don't have thoughts I hope you at least enjoy looking over it. I'm not dead set on the domain name or the ability names either so... Thoughts?

    Shadow Domain
    You follow a god of shadow, darkness, obfuscation, or dream and know that most who know of your deity would not think highly of you for pledging yourself to them. However, you know what most pretend not to. It is what people say and do in the shadows that reveals who they truly are. The darkness does not make one bad or breed evil, it makes people feel safe enough to do and be what they desire without fear of reproach. The darkness is an ally to all but it seems that the most dangerous people and creatures are the ones who embrace it most.

    Bonus Proficiencies
    When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons and the Stealth skill.
    I would be tempted to make the stealth proficiency expertise or at least something that stacks. I think that taking an example from the Fey Ranger might be good - you can add Wis modifier to stealth checks. The reason for this is that whilst it isn't as powerful as for the rogue that can do things like sneak attack with it, it does become a bit of a small but distinct USP for the class.

    Martial weapons seems to fit with the stealth/striking from the shadows and I won't disagree, but just throwing out that giving access to an attack roll cantrip (like say, chill touch) would serve a similar purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Shadow Domain Spells
    Cleric Level Domain Spells
    1 Bane, Sleep
    3 Darkness, Suggestion
    5 Fear, Slow
    7 Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer
    9 Dream, Modify Memory
    I am guessing a big thing here is that you are going for spells in the PHB? If not, there are other good spells that might be worth noting. Shadow of Moil, Hunger of Hadar could also be a good fit. Hunger of Hadar in particular might work as I am not getting the role of slow here.

    This is a pretty strong domain list (mostly through fear) without being overwhelming. I think it has a good balance to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Shadewalker
    Beginning at 1st level you gain blindsight with a range of 15 feet and have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition. Also, as an acolyte of shadow, you can attempt to hide as a bonus action while within darkness.
    When you reach level 17 in this class the range of your blindsight increases to 30 feet
    So I think I like this, but it makes the cleric very, very easy to dip. A bit too front loaded I think. I think if you were to swap this with the level 6 ability it would be more in line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Channel Divinity: Shroud of Stupor
    For one minute, you emit an aura of anti-light. Everything within 30 feet of you darkens by one degree going from bright light to dim light, to darkness, to magical darkness. All creatures in darkness or magical darkness within this area find themselves drowsy and must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, those within magical darkness make the saving throw with disadvantage. On a success they shake it off and are immune to this ability for the next hour. On a failure they subtract your Wisdom modifier from all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. A creature that fails their saving throw can make this saving throw as an action on their turn to end the effect as long as they are conscious.
    Additionally, if a creature that fails their saving throw has fewer hit points than 2 x your PB they fall unconscious and into a dream filled sleep.
    Quite powerful and quite complicated and kind of feels like it overlaps with things like your darkness spell. I think with the bookkeeping and tracking light levels etc. I would be tempted to rewrite this.

    I might be tempted by something like: use as bonus action, for the next minute, whenever you deal damage to a creature in magical darkness created by you, you can add your proficiency bonus to the damage roll, especially if you can add more spells that create darkness.



    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Twilit Candor
    For better or for worse, you inspire the level of confidence usually reserved for a close friend at the end of the night. While in dim light or darkness you have advantage on charisma checks
    Additionally, as a bonus action you can dim the light within 15 feet of you from bright light to dim light for one minute. You cannot use this bonus action again until you complete a short or long rest.
    This feels a bit wierd. I get that you have drawn from the twilight cleric but this really feels like it is stepping onto their patch as the cuddly nice nightime cleric. Some kind of weird pillow-talk ability seems an odd fit for the class and it is a bit fiddly as well. Also needing charisma on a class that is using weapons is going to be extra MAD.



    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Divine Strike
    At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
    Yeah, sure. Normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Shaded Acclimation
    By the time that you reach 17th level your devotion to the darkness has granted you advantages against what may stake an unworthy claim over it.
    You are immune to the frightened condition, you have resistance to necrotic damage, magic cannot put you to sleep, and the time you require for a long rest is halved.
    Looks like a pretty solid capstone.


    I think this is a really nice concept and it kind of works, but I think it suffers from some of the same things that the Trickery cleric does. It has a bundle of cool abilities, but nust no sure they come together in play. Benefiting from stealth and wanting a high dex to make the most of it, but wanting to be in 15ft of enemies in darkness is tough. Bonus action hiding is nice but without extra tools to take advantage of it it seems like there would be a real temptation to jump out of the class (as a 1 level dip for a fighter or ranger archer this would be very tempting). I think this is a shame as it feels like if all the pieces worked together just a little better it could be a really rewarding class that would feel like it played a bit differently to others. Personally I would like to see the class get just a little bit more combat boosts to make attacking seem good - not enough to make them as good as a martial, but enough to make it seem rewarding. Maybe replace the level 6 ability with a "when you take the attack action" ability.

    That said, for level 6 I like abiliies like the Shepherd druid ability. Take a thematic spell and make you better at casting it. Not just Shepherd Druids but also draconic sorcerers, conjuration wizards/necromancers/abjuration wizards, celestial warlocks... they all take a spelltype and make it better and build a strong theme. Something that adds an extra bonus to the darkness spells would certainly help it be distinctive and exciting. Maybe any spell that creates darkness can be cast as a bonus action? Or even better when you do, you make two weapon attacks as part of the action of casting the spell?

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Thanks for all the input, I really do appreciate it. Im pretty busy with work and family right now so I dont have time to do a rewrite at the moment but I should be able to sometime next week.
    There have been a lot of good suggestions and a lot of valid criticisms and concerns so it looks like there will be quite a few changes when I have the time.
    Anyway, I hope yall are well and if anyone has any more thoughts on this Id love to see them.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Alright, I made some substantial changes to the subclass with the original versions and explanations for changes. I'm sure that there are things I didn't explain fully as I've been pecking away at it with my free time over the last couple weeks so if you have any questions please let me know.
    Last edited by Saelethil; 2021-12-31 at 12:43 PM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelethil View Post
    Alright, I made some substantial changes to the subclass with the original versions and explanations for changes. I'm sure that there are things I didn't explain fully as I've been pecking away at it with my free time over the last couple weeks so if you have any questions please let me know.
    So revised views... I love the content, but mechanically I think it could afford to be buffed just a little. I will try and make the case that it is on the weaker side.

    1) Shaded Acclimation. This is basically like the fighting style (as you point out), which whilst good at lower levels will be less good than on martial characters when they get more attacks. I.e. on how many turns will you be making the attack action and how many attacks will this help you get advantage. Possibly useful for having disadvantage on rolls to attack you though. Worth noting that as you go up to higher levels darkvison will become more common on your enemies as well. I did like the bonus action hide as it enabled things like hit and run spellcasting - a niche that I don't feel is well occupied at present.

    2) Shroud of stupor. I really like the ability... but I think it isn't that strong. Firstly, you have sleep on your domain list so it isn't adding much there. From a level 1 spell slot sleep does 5d8 worth of creatures. If there were say, 3 creatures in the fight and if you want the same amount of "sleepyness" as the level 1 spell does on average you would need to be a level 7 cleric. Sure you det darkness thrown in as well which is all nice and thematic and synergistic and stuff. Again this is an ability that will vary from cool and useful at lower levels to almost totally uselss at higher levels of play. Also - fear is probably your best domain spell and this can screw with it.

    3) Essence of night. Again, I love the ability (and it is a good ability) but given the absence of a stand out combat ability so far, I think that there is a gap here (honestly, I like the ability here but think the cumulative effect is a little underwhelming.

    4) Divine strike:Extra attack damage - again its normal, but this extra damage is almost always worse than boosting the damage on cantrips (though not by enough to really care about)

    5) Shade walker: You get immunity to charm and Fear, which is great but as a Wisdom focussed class with proficiency in the save you would be expecting to pass any saves against this anyway with decent frequency. Allies within shroud of stupor being invisible is nice, and it gets round darkvison effects of enemies... although ti doesn't mean your allies can see through the darkness though.

    It is also worth stressing that this is on a level 17 cleric. If we assume 8 encounters per day then a cleric should be able to knock out a spell of at least 4th level in every fight if they want to. In reality it means that this ability is probably relagated to mopping up smaller fights as a use of an action at this level or will only be useful against some specific enemies.



    I just feel there is a bit of a gap in the mid-levels where there is just nothing really inspiring to make me say "I want to play this class to do X". Its hard to really explain but some examples:

    Nature cleric at 6 gets to use a reaction to half elemental damage to themselves of an ally. This gives the cleric a new support function and a cool new use of their reaction as well as acually being quite powerful. If you want a support cleric, its a good use for one. Forge cleric lets you play with a sky high AC, has some awesome damage spells, and at high levels some increadable resistances.

    That said, I really don't think it is far off being excellent. If it were me, I might look at some of the domain spells again. Wrathful smite over Bane in the spell list - firstly its a good spell for a broad span of levels, just powering up the subclass slightly. It works well with hiding/darkness and sources of advantage. It also ties in with the fear and the melee subthemes that seem to be running in the class.

    I would also be tempted to go down the path of the Trickery and Knowledge clerics and give an additional option for channel divinity at 6th level. Not just something good, but something that will scale really well to help keep the cleric having something to do that feels special though into higher levels.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Shadow Domain Cleric (PEACH)

    Thanks again, I really appreciate the input!
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    So revised views... I love the content, but mechanically I think it could afford to be buffed just a little. I will try and make the case that it is on the weaker side.
    1) Shaded Acclimation. This is basically like the fighting style (as you point out), which whilst good at lower levels will be less good than on martial characters when they get more attacks. I.e. on how many turns will you be making the attack action and how many attacks will this help you get advantage. Possibly useful for having disadvantage on rolls to attack you though. Worth noting that as you go up to higher levels darkvison will become more common on your enemies as well. I did like the bonus action hide as it enabled things like hit and run spellcasting - a niche that I don't feel is well occupied at present.
    For this character I agree that blindsight isn't as good as it would be on a martial, however, this is on top of everything else a 1st level cleric gets and unlike the fighting style, it scales with level.
    I'm still torn about the BA Hide. On the one hand, it's fun and (as you said) opens up a new playstyle. On the other hand, I like that Wis. bonus to stealth at 6 so this character is already 1 feat away from having a higher stealth mod (Skill Expert) than Rogues so to give the action economy benefit on top of that feels like too much. As I said though, still torn. I'll keep thinking on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    2) Shroud of stupor. I really like the ability... but I think it isn't that strong. Firstly, you have sleep on your domain list so it isn't adding much there. From a level 1 spell slot sleep does 5d8 worth of creatures. If there were say, 3 creatures in the fight and if you want the same amount of "sleepyness" as the level 1 spell does on average you would need to be a level 7 cleric. Sure you get darkness thrown in as well which is all nice and thematic and synergistic and stuff. Again this is an ability that will vary from cool and useful at lower levels to almost totally useless at higher levels of play. Also - fear is probably your best domain spell and this can screw with it.
    I see the sleep portion being most beneficial against hordes which I know is pretty campaign dependent but after my update the darkness created by this can give the whole party a muted version of the Devil's Sight/Darkness trick. "You can designate any creatures that cannot be put to sleep with this ability, these creatures treat the entirety of the shroud as though it were all dim light." It could probably still use a boost but Ill get to my thought on that in a second.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    3) Essence of night. Again, I love the ability (and it is a good ability) but given the absence of a stand out combat ability so far, I think that there is a gap here (honestly, I like the ability here but think the cumulative effect is a little underwhelming.
    4) {snipped}
    I'm glad you like the ability. I do have a thought for a more combat centric ability but I'm not sure if it would be too much in addition to this. Anyway here's what I'm thinking:

    Essence of Night
    For better or for worse, you have become more emblematic of the nature of the shadows. Beginning at level 6, you can add your Wisdom modifier to all ability checks made with the deception, intimidation, and stealth skills.
    Additionally, once per turn, when a creature within your Shroud of Stupor or Darkness cast by you makes an attack against another creature within the same effect, they deal an additional 1d8 Necrotic damage.

    This would stack with Divine Strike 2 levels later which does lean a little closer into Rogue/Paladin territory but it's also a party buff which seems like something this subclass is a little thin on. I considered Wis. mod. and d4/d6 but I thought it would just be cleaner (and not much more damage) to go with 1d8.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    5) {snipped} it gets round dark vison effects of enemies... although it doesn't mean your allies can see through the darkness though.
    I did address that in the revision (there were a lot of changes and this was a smaller one), you can designate any number of creatures to see through the darkness as if it were dim light.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    It is also worth stressing that this is on a level 17 cleric. If we assume 8 encounters per day then a cleric should be able to knock out a spell of at least 4th level in every fight if they want to. In reality it means that this ability is probably relegated to mopping up smaller fights as a use of an action at this level or will only be useful against some specific enemies.



    I just feel there is a bit of a gap in the mid-levels where there is just nothing really inspiring to make me say "I want to play this class to do X". Its hard to really explain but some examples:

    Nature cleric at 6 gets to use a reaction to half elemental damage to themselves of an ally. This gives the cleric a new support function and a cool new use of their reaction as well as actually being quite powerful. If you want a support cleric, its a good use for one. Forge cleric lets you play with a sky high AC, has some awesome damage spells, and at high levels some incredible resistances.

    That said, I really don't think it is far off being excellent. If it were me, I might look at some of the domain spells again. Wrathful smite over Bane in the spell list - firstly its a good spell for a broad span of levels, just powering up the subclass slightly. It works well with hiding/darkness and sources of advantage. It also ties in with the fear and the melee subthemes that seem to be running in the class.

    I would also be tempted to go down the path of the Trickery and Knowledge clerics and give an additional option for channel divinity at 6th level. Not just something good, but something that will scale really well to help keep the cleric having something to do that feels special though into higher levels.
    Wrathful Smite could fit, I'm just personally not a huge fan of the smite spells in general. If they didn't require concentration they would be fine but I just think there are so many better spells for Clerics (and Paladins for that matter) to concentrate on but you do make some good arguments for it belonging on this class.

    Another thought I had was to give advantage on saving throws against charmed and frightened to allies within the range of Shroud of Stupor as a part of Shade Walker. Do you think that this plus my addition to Essence of Night would bring it up to snuff?

    Thanks again for all your input and looking forward to further feedback.

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