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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Dudu's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Nice guide, helped me a lot. After reading this, I decided to roll a Tempest Cleric and I can decidely say: it's fun.

    Just wanted to share a couple of my own experience after playing from 1 to 7 in this domain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post

    Tempest

    Domain Spells: An odd mix of utility and blasting. Certainly works thematically.
    I also like the mix. Never understood the Insect Plague, though. I think it's worth trying to discuss with the DM for a substitute. Maybe COnjure Elementals (for Wind Elemental only) or Control Winds...

    Bonus Proficiencies: Here we go. This is what makes Tempest and War distinct from the other Domains- full proficiencies. Opens up a lot of options in terms of equipment.
    Love it. Although that a Nature cleric could Shilleilagh his quartestaff and end up doing roughly the same damage as the tempest or the war cleric. Like many features, this depends a lot on how the DM is handling magic items. If it's ramdomized, them whoever get proficiency with everything gets the upper hand.
    The way my DM is handling, every now or then we are able to purchase a magic item from the shop. It's not guaranteed that the shop will have it, so it's not exactly like the 3.5 magic shop economy.

    Wrath of the Storm: Reactive damage is always nice, and half damage on save damage is the best way to do it. You might find better uses for your reaction- but this ensures you don't have to.
    Agreed. Early on it's pretty huge. You will get hit eventually, and being able to deliver 2d8 for the offense is quite nice, not rarely killing the attacker. The option to simply call it 16 damage with the channel divinity just make it even sweeter.

    Destructive Wrath: Using Channel Divinity to maximize your blasting? Sure, that works for me. Your nova rounds are going to be pretty shocking (sorry, I couldn't resist at least one pun...).
    Now, this one I could give light blue. Again, depends how magic items are being handed. How easily can you acquire a Wand of Lighting Bolts? Or a Staff of Thunder and Lighting? Because if they aren't so out of the reach, this use of channel divinity makes them silly. The way it says, all thunder or lighting damage you make can be maximized, not only those of spells casted from your own spellslots. A maximized lighting bolt equals to 48 damage. In a line. That's some serious blasting.

    Thunderbolt Strike: I keep trying to think of a way to get Shocking Grasp based on Wis, but until such a time as that this remains fun but limited in use. Your best bet is to combine it with your Wrath of the Storm.
    There's always Call Lighting.
    But, as far as cheap lighting damage goes, I think there's only shocking grasp... bound to INT or CHA.

    Divine Strike: Thunder damage isn't resisted a whole lot, so this is good. Would have been better as lightning, if only because of the abuse with Thunderbolt Strike.
    This is nice if you went to the battle route instead of the blasting one. But I think the blasting focused tempest cleric is the optimized one.

    Stormborn: What a capstone! Unlike previous editions, access to flight is very limited in 5e. Even moreso the ability to fly AND concentrate on another spell. Have fun raining down death.
    Damn, my campaign is being a dungeon crawl... I don't think I'll be able to use that feature even if I manage to hit the lvl 17.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudu View Post
    Nice guide, helped me a lot. After reading this, I decided to roll a Tempest Cleric and I can decidely say: it's fun.

    Just wanted to share a couple of my own experience after playing from 1 to 7 in this domain.
    Thanks for sharing your experience! After giving it some thought I've become convinced that Tempest is one of the stronger domains overall, along with Nature, War, Death and Arcana. And now that I've typed that out, that's like half the domains... so there's lots of good options. That's nice at least.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    Thanks for sharing your experience! After giving it some thought I've become convinced that Tempest is one of the stronger domains overall, along with Nature, War, Death and Arcana. And now that I've typed that out, that's like half the domains... so there's lots of good options. That's nice at least.
    And life... Heavy armour is good, great domain spells and really good healing abilities (freeing you up to use more of your spells aggressively).

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    And life... Heavy armour is good, great domain spells and really good healing abilities (freeing you up to use more of your spells aggressively).
    Yeah.. dangit, why do Clerics have to be so good?

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I'm somewhat not convinced with Life and War.

    I think the top domains are Tempest, Light and Arcana. The others have their usefulness more dependent on the campaign or just are not that powerful, imo.

    War can make you a competent frontliner, but no acess to legit 2 attacks per action bugs me. They have to use bonus action, which could perfectly be used by a Spiritual Weapon. In the end, I think War Cleric doesn't get close to classes dedicated to fighting (meanwhile, Light and Tempest clerics do get pretty close to classes that have access to blasting spells).

    Life makes you the best combat healer, but the options of healing out of combat are so diverse that I'd rather have someone to beat the enemies down faster rather than have a strong combat healer. That said, they fill a niche and fill it superbly, I just don't believe said niche is really necessary.

    If the campaign involves a lot of investigation, Knowledge is crazy good. Not so great if it's just battles, but by no means garbage.

    The Light domain is also pretty blasty. But their chanel divinity gets old rather fast. I actually think they are less blasty than Tempest.

    Tempest is amazing, but if there's already someone doing competent blasting, then you'd better with another archetype. The thing is, I find blasting much more of a viable option in this edition than in 3.5, which is why I rate Tempest pretty high.

    The only domain I find lackluster is Trickery (and it was such a powerful domain in 3.5...)
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I have been running a campaign with a couple of hostile Trickster clerics in an encounter. So far they have been pretty brutal for the PCs to deal with. They can do some pretty mean things - the PCs wasted a number of spell slots shooting at illusory versions of the clerics, getting separated and generally running low on resources.

    These guys are no slouches in close combat either - blink, mirror image and duplicity for advantage means they are difficult to touch and can hit back pretty hard.

    Finally they get polymorph. After they soften up enemies through guerilla warfare they can turn into something big and nasty and take on the depleted party.

    I realise this is a bit different to playing one as a PC but in a party with people who are stealthy (or want to be) you will be very powerful - giving others advantage on stealth, pass without trace, domination etc.. With rogue levels to benefit from Invoke duplicity you can even dish out substantial melee damage. I think you have to play one of these a little differently to other clerics but I think that there is power there.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    The problem with Trickery Clerics is less that they're outright bad, and more that they're just wildly anti-synergetic. They have a neat feature that allows them to get easy advantage on melee attacks...but have basically the worst melee damage scaling in the game. They can grant allies advantage on stealth checks...but aren't proficient in stealth themselves. They have to rely on a high dex score to reliably sneak (unless they take the criminal background, which a lot probably will), but they need to be using strength as their melee attack stat if they want to be dealing more than d4 damage in melee.

    Their features also don't compare well to other domains on a level to level basis. Cloak of Shadows is the benefit of a second level spell with a shorter duration. Seems fine, you don't want to go around giving out a bunch of additional second level spells, except the Knowledge Cleric's Read Mind literally just lets them cast Suggestion and adds a bunch of juicy mind reading riders on top of it. It doesn't stack up well. They also suffer thematically when the new domain spells give out at 10th level and they're suddenly staring seven levels of entirely generic healy-buffy cleric full in the face.

    So it's less that they're bad, and more that they're clearly written as a multiclass option for rogues. They do definitely have one of the best domain lists going though.
    Last edited by Flashy; 2015-12-16 at 03:01 PM.
    My homebrew: A list of 5e homebrew magitech augments found here, a homebrew race of devil-toads here, and the Professional, an all mundane support class. Criticism is much appreciated!

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I find trickery clerics to be somewhat similar to bladelocks. In a sense that they can work as a single class build, but you are probably better off if you start as a rogue for a couple of levels, much like a bladelock would be better if he started as a fighter or a paladin. Still, they are not unplayble w/o multiclass, but then I guess nothing is in this edition.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I've found playing clerics, that they fall under the 'schrodinger's caster' fallacy just as much as any wizard. They have the benefit of being able to prepare any spell on their list - but that doesn't mean they'll always have the right spell for the situation.

    A lot of cleric talk tends to focus on three spells: Bless, Spiritual Weapon and Guardian Spirits. But using these spells blows through your spell slots quite quickly. So you either play conservative and wait to use your best spells for the BBEG and LTs - while using lame cantrips (Sacred Flame is so meh as to nearly not be worth it) and going melee (especially when you have a heavy armor domain)... Or you blow your load on popcorn and minions only to have bare reserves for the boss.

    I get that resource management is part of the game - but it's one I no longer care about. Attack cantrips have really helped in that regard, and the warlock in particular is probably the closest to my desired playstyle as a caster - unfortunately, there isn't a warlock-like divine caster... so, I stick with non-casters these days. Less an indictment against the system and more against me, sure, I'll take that. But when all discussion is on the theoretical power of a class and doesn't discuss real-game consequences of actions, it gets tedious.

    What do you do, by the third combat of the day, you've propped up your meatshields twice, everyone is out of HD for short rest healing, you know you need to go big or go home, but have vapors in the gastank... chalk it up to bad luck? lack of metagame knowledge (or just using that knowledge)? Just go for the TPK and reroll a more synergistic team?

    Maybe I've cut my teeth too long on MMOs, with unlimited mana and per encounter resources rather than per day ones. But I think the Vancian system has run its course and needs to die on the scrapheap of history.

    Sorry for the rant... I used to love casters, I really did...
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    These guys are no slouches in close combat either - blink, mirror image and duplicity for advantage means they are difficult to touch and can hit back pretty hard.

    Finally they get polymorph. After they soften up enemies through guerilla warfare they can turn into something big and nasty and take on the depleted party.
    Emphasis mine. I have been working on a build that employs this strategy (use all kind of trickery spells to avoid being targeted and when low on hp cast polymorph as a last resort option). It is a very reasonable strategy, it makes sense, and it has impressive written all over it. However, it runs into some obvious problems, as casting poly on yourself is probably the worst option (cause you can lose concentration), that is why I tend to think that this tactics (although pretty impressive) are better suited to a boss enemy the players are facing, and they are not that well suited for teamplay, as polymorph has many flaws when used as a panic button.
    Last edited by Corran; 2015-12-16 at 03:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Emphasis mine. I have been working on a build that employs this strategy (use all kind of trickery spells to avoid being targeted and when low on hp cast polymorph as a last resort option). It is a very reasonable strategy, it makes sense, and it has impressive written all over it. However, it runs into some obvious problems, as casting poly on yourself is probably the worst option (cause you can lose concentration), that is why I tend to think that this tactics (although pretty impressive) are better suited to a boss enemy the players are facing, and they are not that well suited for teamplay.
    Agreed on all counts. Using Invoke Duplicity to Sacred Flame people while you stand comfortably behind a thick wall is one of the domain's better tricks.
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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    as casting poly on yourself is probably the worst option (cause you can lose concentration), that is why I tend to think that this tactics (although pretty impressive)........ as polymorph has many flaws when used as a panic button.
    Actually, if you are careful about you're choices of form concentration checks aren't that bad. Unless you're getting hit for 30+ damage per turn. I'm playing in a party that has seen two polymorphed stone giants and their +7 Con Save laughs in the face of almost every con save thrown their way. (Most of the time it seems to be a DC10 save anyway. At lvl 8)

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudsonian View Post
    I'm playing in a party that has seen two polymorphed stone giants and their +7 Con Save laughs in the face of almost every con save thrown their way.
    That's technically a houserule. The text of Polymorph only allows you to transform the target into a beast. By RAW you cannot use it to turn into a stone giant.
    Last edited by Flashy; 2015-12-16 at 04:03 PM.
    My homebrew: A list of 5e homebrew magitech augments found here, a homebrew race of devil-toads here, and the Professional, an all mundane support class. Criticism is much appreciated!

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashy View Post
    That's technically a houserule. The text of Polymorph only allows you to transform the target into a beast. By RAW you cannot use it to turn into a stone giant.
    yeah... I'm new to the group and I don't feel like being the rules lawyer in a group that have all been playing D&D for way longer than me. Still, some of those other beasts have pretty sweet con saves as well.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I'm thinking of rolling a Tempest Cleric. Probably a Hill Dwarf with the sailor background.
    I don't think I saw it mentioned, but what's the consensus regarding the Alertness feat? +5 to initiative rolls and being hard to surprise seems pretty good especially since my Dex will be 'meh'. I wouldn't take it over Warcaster, but it seems like a good way to get some buffs off before **** hits the fan.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    So I've specifically avoided addressing Alertness because my opinion differs greatly from what I've seen on these forums and I didn't want the thread to devolve into an Alertness debate. Personally I think initiative is overrated. It only really matters who beats the enemies on the first turn, because after that everyone gets the exact same amount of turns, and I'd rather not have wasted a precious feat on something that only matters one turn out of every battle.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    And this is where it is DM dependant, not in terms of rules interpretation but in terms of the type of campaign.


    If your DM likes to have you exposed to enemy surprise rounds then it is golden for anyone. Most combats only last about three or four rounds, if you get an extra round in that combat that is 20% to 25% more power you can output and it gives you more resistance to being hurt in that time.

    Furthermore initiative order matters. Being the person that buffs others, it is quite useful to buff them before they do things rather than after. Going before enemies is a big deal but before friends is less of a big deal unless you are casting something like bless.

    Yes, your mileage may vary but I think there are few campaigns where it would be poor. Given that wisdom usually helps stop you being surprised anyway I would want to max wisdom before taking this (unless you were playing a campaign against an assassins guild or similar).

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    So I've specifically avoided addressing Alertness because my opinion differs greatly from what I've seen on these forums and I didn't want the thread to devolve into an Alertness debate. Personally I think initiative is overrated. It only really matters who beats the enemies on the first turn, because after that everyone gets the exact same amount of turns, and I'd rather not have wasted a precious feat on something that only matters one turn out of every battle.
    Some of the best Clerics I've seen played were built with the idea of going last, Clerics are a really really really good reaction class.

    In a 3e game I saw a guy with a -8 Initiative modifier and he plays a 5e Cleric is an 8 Dex.

    Initiative can be fantastic on other classes, taking out an enemy is a lot of HP and heartache saved. But I feel that the Cleric is the one class that works better when you react to the battle rather than take charge. Not that clerics can't doa good job at taking charge...

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Thanks for the feedback on Alertness, guys.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    Arcane Initiate: This is a big game changer. This makes you a top contender for best pure-Wis build, though with one of the SCAG weapon-based cantrips you could go with a solid Str build.
    Which cantrips would you recommend for a pure-Wis Arcana Cleric?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Which cantrips would you recommend for a pure-Wis Arcana Cleric?
    Lots of options here. I personally recommend one attack cantrip for range and one for melee. So Booming Blade + Ray of Frost, for example, gives you a lot of movement manipulation.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I'm finding this potent:
    Human variant, Standard Array:
    12 Str,
    14 Dex, - this gives +2 dex for maximum medium armour AC
    14 Con
    16 Wis, (pump this)
    10 Int,
    8 Cha


    10 hp @ level 1, +7hp/level, Medium Armour (breastplate or half plate when you can afford it) with shield and Dex = AC: 18 (hard to hit)


    Cleric Arcane domain, some good spells here.
    Pick up Ray of Frost (ROF) or Firebolt (FB) for ranged combat. and Booming Blade (BB) or Green Flame Blade (GFB) to cover melee combat.


    Feat: Magic Initiate Druid (Goodberry, Shillelagh, +1 other ) - With Shillelagh you now attack off of you Wis modifier - take a club that looks like something cool - does 1d8 damage, and is considered magical.


    First round of Melee goes:
    Bonus action: Shillelagh
    Move to attack range
    Action: Booming Blade, if they move away they take damage.




    Skills: Insight, Religion, Arcana, Athletics, Survival, Perception (Wis based skills will be high)
    Background: OUTLANDER - keep you and your friends fed, and you'll not get lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8wGremlin View Post
    I'm finding this potent:
    Human variant, Standard Array:
    12 Str,
    14 Dex, - this gives +2 dex for maximum medium armour AC
    14 Con
    16 Wis, (pump this)
    10 Int,
    8 Cha


    10 hp @ level 1, +7hp/level, Medium Armour (breastplate or half plate when you can afford it) with shield and Dex = AC: 18 (hard to hit)


    Cleric Arcane domain, some good spells here.
    Pick up Ray of Frost (ROF) or Firebolt (FB) for ranged combat. and Booming Blade (BB) or Green Flame Blade (GFB) to cover melee combat.


    Feat: Magic Initiate Druid (Goodberry, Shillelagh, +1 other ) - With Shillelagh you now attack off of you Wis modifier - take a club that looks like something cool - does 1d8 damage, and is considered magical.


    First round of Melee goes:
    Bonus action: Shillelagh
    Move to attack range
    Action: Booming Blade, if they move away they take damage.




    Skills: Insight, Religion, Arcana, Athletics, Survival, Perception (Wis based skills will be high)
    Background: OUTLANDER - keep you and your friends fed, and you'll not get lost.
    Do you find booming or green flame blade requires MADness? Or, why not go with something like shocking grasp that keys off wis and allows hit and run?

    Edit: along the same lines, why put str to 12? It seems you could get more out of leaving it at 10 and putting the 12 in int or cha for skills.
    Last edited by downlobot; 2016-01-20 at 01:52 PM.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by downlobot View Post
    Do you find booming or green flame blade requires MADness? Or, why not go with something like shocking grasp that keys off wis and allows hit and run?

    Edit: along the same lines, why put str to 12? It seems you could get more out of leaving it at 10 and putting the 12 in int or cha for skills.

    Shillelagh uses wisdom to attack and damage, and due to Arcane domain so do Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade are treated as Cleric spells, and thus are keyed off of Wis. The whole build uses Wis as it's attack stat.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    I'm a lvl 9 wizard and our party lost its healer, so I'm considering a dip in cleric of 1 level. My char is the shady type and is thinking of death domain.
    The DMG says you get martial weapon proficiency if taken at first level, does this mean character creation, or first cleric level?
    Also I'd be interested in your opinions on wiz with death1 dip.
    Thanks, Tony

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by 8wGremlin View Post
    Shillelagh uses wisdom to attack and damage, and due to Arcane domain so do Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade are treated as Cleric spells, and thus are keyed off of Wis. The whole build uses Wis as it's attack stat.
    Ah, apologies, I'm afb and may have misread booming/greenflame, but I was under the impressions that those cantrips used weapon attacks for delivery, not spell attacks, so keyed off str or dex. That makes them much more attractive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by downlobot View Post
    Ah, apologies, I'm afb and may have misread booming/greenflame, but I was under the impressions that those cantrips used weapon attacks for delivery, not spell attacks, so keyed off str or dex. That makes them much more attractive.
    They do, but Shillelagh makes your weapon attacks key off Wisdom.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Finieous View Post
    They do, but Shillelagh makes your weapon attacks key off Wisdom.
    I have a great big red splotch where I just face palmed. Sorry for being slow on the uptake :)

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    You're right, though, insofar as without Shillelagh it wouldn't be a pure-Wis build, and so you would want to go with something like shocking grasp. And the spending of the feat for Shillelagh is not a given in every build, though it is the highest melee DPS a Cleric can get, I think.

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    Default Re: The Devout and the Dead: a guide to Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrino View Post
    I'm a lvl 9 wizard and our party lost its healer, so I'm considering a dip in cleric of 1 level. My char is the shady type and is thinking of death domain.
    The DMG says you get martial weapon proficiency if taken at first level, does this mean character creation, or first cleric level?
    Also I'd be interested in your opinions on wiz with death1 dip.
    Thanks, Tony
    bonus proficiencies from cleric come from the Domain features, not from the class per se, so yes, you'll get martial weapon proficiency from Death domain once you take the first level, regardless of at which character level it was taken.

    As to opinions about Wizard with Death Cleric dip. That depends a lot of what is your wizard school. A necromancer would be a perfect match for Death Domain, although any school can manage.

    Also, it's worthwhile to note that you must have both wisdom and intelligence at least 13 to be able to multiclass between the two.

    To Yorrin:

    Could you add links to each section of the sub-posts into the original post. Would make it easier to navigate through the massive guide in the forums. Thanks! great work by the way!
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2016-01-21 at 01:04 AM.

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