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    Default Divine Tomfoolery - A Guide to Trickery Clerics

    Stop for a moment and think. What comes to your mind when the Cleric class is mentioned? A stalwart hero? A warrior of the gods? A bringer of divine wrath? Do you think of the Life Domain, healers beyond par? The Tempest and War Domains, front-line fighters, bringer of the gods' power to mortal men? The Light and Arcana Domains, bringers of divine magical power upon the unfaithful?

    You know who you're not thinking of? What, Knowledge and Nature Domains? No, we're not talking about them! They have their own advantages that fit within the base Cleric already. I'm talking about the Trickster Domain! The domain you look at and go “meh” at best! The domain even I admit to not really caring about its existence for the longest time. Clerics are serious people, always doing their duty. They're not into all that foolishness and what-not.

    But as my time and experience with Dungeons & Dragons increased, I started enjoying more the characters you wouldn't take seriously. Halfings, mostly, still. So I looked into the Trickster Domain more and more, and here I am, drumming up a guide for something I am admittedly no expert in. But hey, guides can be fixed and updated. As I learn (and as the suggestions come,) I'll learn, and many others will as well. So let us begin!

    Color Chart
    Gold – Why the heck aren't you taking this?
    Light Blue – Very good choice to snag up.
    Blue – Good choice, not the best, but good.
    Black – Nothing really good or bad about this.
    Red – You probably shouldn't take this.

    Table of Contents
    1 – About the Trickery Domain
    2 – The Sneaky Trickster
    2a – Stats
    2b – Skills
    2c – Races
    2d – Backgrounds
    2e – Feats
    2f – Multi-classing
    3 – The Mind Changer
    3a – Stats
    3b – Skills
    3c – Races
    3d – Backgrounds
    3e – Feats
    3f – Multi-classing

    1 – About the Trickery Domain

    So just what is the Trickery Domain? It's a bit of an odd duck of all the Cleric domains. Most adjust or improve what a Cleric can already do, the Trickery Domain, on the other hand, adds something very unusual to the base Cleric.

    At the first level, you can give others advantage on their Dexterity (Stealth) rolls, which makes this a domain best suited to sneakier parties. But, at the eight level, they get Divine Strike, which adds an effect, in this case, poison damage, to your weapon attacks, but unlike the Life, Nature, Tempest and War Domains, you don't get any additional proficiencies, whether in the form of heavy armor or martial weapons. This leaves them in medium armor, admittedly not the most useful armor, and simple weapons. You'd need to amp up dexterity some to make the most of medium armor, but at that point, you might as well keep increasing dexterity and use light armor. But the only finesse weapon available to use is a dagger. At least you have light crossbows and shortbows available to you. If only you got access to other finesse weapons...

    2 – The Sneaky Trickster

    This particular style is based more on the ol' Cleric/Thief multiclass of yore, focusing more on sneaking about and doing damage with weaponry. It's probably easier to do as a single class than the other style, but it is a bit on the "one-trick pony" side.

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    2a – Stats
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    Strength – For the most part, we won't really be focusing on Strength, it doesn't add all that much to the Trickery Domain. There are SOME exceptions that I'll explain in the Races.

    Dexterity – This is your main stat of focus, the Trickery Domain, letting you get the most out of a certain key skill I'll list down below, as well as give you AC, damage and hit (with finesse and range weapons,) and give you a pretty decent initiative. Get in faster than any other cleric and do your business. Try to start at 16 if at all possible.

    Constitution – Hit Points are always nice, as is saving on your Concentration throws for certain spells. You don't have proficiency with Constitution saves, and you might not be able to snag it with the Resilient feat, or help it with the War Caster feat.

    Intelligence – Not really needed. I loathe making this one a “dump stat,” but really, it serves no purpose for your character.

    Wisdom – Wisdom is how you cast, affecting the Spell Save DC, your Spell Attack chance, and the number of spells you can prepare each day. While getting it to 20 is very nice, you may have to settle for 18. Dexterity is more important for this kin.

    Charisma – Also not really needed, and can be made as a “dump stat.” At least you're proficient with Charisma saves, so dumping it won't hurt you QUITE as much.



    2b – Skills

    Clerics chose two from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion and Religion. Persuasion and Insight can be handy in social situations, Religion is almost (ALMOST,) a requirement, you are a Cleric after all, but really, the key skills you really want and/or need need to come from your race or background. You should try to somehow get:

    Perception – Perhaps the “god” skill of this edition. Not having it can hurt a team.

    Stealth – Put that Dexterity of yours to work. And combine with Perception to hunt down potential party threats or targets for pranks.


    2c – Races
    Remember, this is just suggestions, play whatever you want. Heck, my first Trickster Cleric draw-up was a box-standard Tiefling, by far one of the worst choices. Also note, I base everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, by the Standard Array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. If you roll for stats, you may have better or worse stat layouts than what I base things on.

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    Dwarves (Hill, Mountain, Duergar [SCAG])
    -Serious race, serious class, why on earth would they ever be a trickster? Well, one thing that all Dwarves get is bonus weapons, which the Trickery Domain lacks, though their weapons are non-finesse, making them the only real race I would recommend for a Strength-based Trickery Cleric. I'd recommend Hill Dwarves the most, if simply because of their Wisdom bonus.

    Elves (High, Wood, Dark)
    -Elves are a particularly great race for a Trickery Cleric. You get great additional weapons, shortswords, and longbows for High and Wood Elves; rapiers, shortswords and hand crossbows for Dark Elves, along with the +2 to Dexterity to make the best use of them. And best of all, you get Perception for free! Wood Elves would be your best choice, having a perfect stat line up (+2 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom,) along with a nice hiding bonus if there's some natural cover or phenomena, but being a High Elf can let you snag Minor Illusion for free (even if its DC will be based on Intelligence, not Wisdom.) Useful? Maybe not, but definitely thematic. Being a Dark Elf will let you have a daily Darkness spell you can drop on a spot for a quick get-away, so it shouldn't be ignored.

    Halflings (Lightfoot, Stout, Ghostwise [SCAG])
    -Both get a nice +2 to Dexterity for you to work with, with Lucky allowing you to re-roll failed saving throws, Brave making you hard to scare away and Halfling Nimbleness allowing you to move through a Medium or larger creature's space making for a very thematic package. Lightfoot, despite the Charisma bonus, are probably your best bet because of their ability to hide when behind anyone bigger than them. However, you don't get any weapons for free.

    Humans (Normal, Variant)
    -Variant Humans may be one of your best choices, if not the best choice, for a Trickery Cleric. By themselves, they can get a +1 to both Dexterity and Wisdom, they can snag Perception (or Stealth) with their free skill, and their free feat can go towards Weapon Master, which not only lets you snag another +1 to your Dexterity, but also lets you chose four of the following weapons to gain proficiency in, rapiers, shortswords, scimitars, whips, heavy crossbows, hand crossbows and longbows. That's FOUR “free” weapons based of your Dexterity, unlike your standard elf's two (or a Dark Elf's three.) That really ups your offensive potential. Rapiers and heavy crossbows may be your best choices, as you don't have any extra attacks, and they're the strongest weapons based off of dexterity, with the rapier sitting at 1d8 and the crossbow at 1d10. Also, since Divine Strike only works once on each of your turns, you might as well make the most of it with the strongest weapons.

    Dragonborn
    -The Dragonborn don't REALLY have much going for a Trickery Cleric, they don't give you any extra tools that support the domain, and your stats don't really line up either.

    Gnome (Forest, Rock, Deep [EE/SCAG])
    -That +2 Intelligence is far from the greatest stat to have, though Gnome Cunning almost makes it worth it. Both Forest and Deep are worth something of a look, though. Both add +1 to Dexterity, the Forest Gnome adds the very thematic Minor Illusion, while the Deep Gnome adds advantage in Dexterity (Stealth) checks in rocky areas. Plus you can burn an ASI on getting Svirfneblin Magic, which gives you some very thematic spells, like Nondection at will, and Blindness/Deafness and Blur on long rests. Unfortunately, all innate gnome casting is based off of Intelligence, and there are no free weapons.

    Half-elf (Normal, [SCAG->] High, Wood, Dark, Aquatic)
    -The best advantage a normal Half-elf has is their ability to chose two free skills, which can VERY easily go to Perception and Stealth. The +2 to Charisma isn't OVERLY helpful, but at least you can still snag a +1 to both Dexterity and Wisdom. If you chose one of the SCAG variants, High or Wood would be your best choice to snag their bonus weapon proficiencies. You'll have to decide which you want more, the free skills or the free weapons. Weapons do seem to be needed most by the Trickery Domain.

    Half-orc
    -Like the Dragonborn, the Half-orc doesn't really have all that much going for it, at least not for the Trickery Domain. Great for the Tempest and War Domains, but that's another guide.

    Tiefling (Normal, Feral [SCAG])
    -The box-standard Tiefling is by far your worst choice for a Cleric of any stripe, really, but the Feral variant is at least a better choice, with a nice +2 to Dexterity. Infernal Legacy, Devil's Tongue and Hellfire are all flavorful enough for a Tiefling, but they rely on Charisma for casting, even for a Feral Tiefling, which doesn't get any Charisma bonus. Winged Tieflings is strictly on a per-DM basis, though it could be a fun way to harass people with your trickster ways. Again, no weapons.

    Aarakocra [EE]
    -The birdmen have a very good stat layout, with +2 to Dexterity and +1 to Wisdom, but all they really have going for them is their innate flight, which makes them a strict per-DM thing. You could make their stats work for you, but there is nothing that makes them jump out as a Trickery Cleric.

    Genasi (Air, Earth, Fire, Water) [EE]
    -All Genasi gain a +2 to Constitution and a spell or two they can cast with their Constitution score, so at least there's some unity here. Of particular note is the Air Genasi, who gain that ever-so-tasty +1 to Dexterity, and the ability to cast Levitate once a day. The ability to hold their breath indefinitely could be a good way to get a trick or two in, such as with horrible stenches or underwater. But none of them really have anything going for the Trickery Domain.

    Goliath [EE]
    -These big beefy mountain men (and women) are designed pretty much for anything BUT an agile trickster. Let them stay as such.


    Yes, I'm aware that I have a severe lack of Unearthed Arcana races. I figured it was best to get the “official” races up first before moving on. They'll be added in eventually, and when I find all the Unearthed Arcana articles.

    2d – Backgrounds

    Backgrounds are a very personal thing, just as much so as the physical design of a character. And you can (if your DM allows,) freely make a background into anything you so want, with whatever skills, tools, languages and equipment you want. But if you choose to go with what is available in printed format, there are two that provide really good benefits to your character.

    Criminal/Spy - You gain Deception and Stealth (yay,) and you also snag a gaming set (whoop-dee-doo,) and best of all, Thieves' Tools.

    Urchin - You gain Slight of Hand and Stealth (double yay,) along with Disguise Kits and Thieves' Tools. This is an all-around Trickery Domain dream right here.


    2e – Feats

    You may not have the ASIs needed for extra feats to customize your character, but there are definitely some key ones to try to get at almost all cost. Sacrifice Wisdom if you have to.

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    Alert - Gain even more initiative, and no longer being surprised, along with the defensive benefit against stealthy foes. Strike fast, and mess with a sneaky enemy's mind. (Priority Low)

    Defensive Duelist - Use your reaction with your finesse weapon in hand to gain a quick bonus to your AC for an attack, potentially saving your life. Not really useful against multiple enemies and/or ones with multiple attacks. Also burns your reaction. (Priority Low)

    Heavily Armored - Gain some Strength and heavy armor. Forget about really being a Trickery Cleric, though. (Dwarf only)

    Observant - Do you have an odd Wisdom score? This will even it out and will essentially (but not quite) give you proficiency with Perception, even though it only applies to Passive Perception checks, which is probably the most important part anyways. (Priority Medium)

    Resilient - Get it for Constitution, of course. Best if you have an odd Constitution score, and already have some more weapons from other sources. (Priority Medium-High)

    Skulker - This is probably best used on a Wood Elf, with their natural stealthy bonus, free weapons, and good stats. It improves upon your ability to hide already, and stops dim light from imposing a disadvantage on your Wisdom (Perception) checks. You can be a night-time scout now with very good ease. (Priority Medium-High)

    War Caster - If you have an even Constitution score, consider War Caster over Resilient. Sure, you don't actually gain proficiency with Constitution saves, but advantage is darn near good enough. Plus if you have a spell that lacks a material component, you can cast it without putting your weapon away or dropping your shield. (Priority Medium-High)

    Weapon Master - This can be taken early, best for odd Dexterity scores, and lets you snag all sorts of Dexterity-based weapons. (Priority High)



    2f – Multi-classing

    Now, I'll admit, I am by far one of the biggest “class purists” on the forums. I only rarely, if ever, consider multi-classing for my characters. However, I'll admit that the Trickery Cleric needs a bit of help (even if I still only draw-up single class ones.) As a Cleric needs a Wisdom of 13 to multi-class in or out of, and Dexterity works best with the Trickery Domain, you actually have a fair amount of leeway when deciding on your other class of choice.

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    Fighter (Strength 13 or Dexterity 13) - Fighter will give you all martial weapons, so it can be a good dip just for that alone, though you also get a Fighting Style at the first level (go for Dueling.) Two levels into Fighter gives you Action Surge, letting you have a second Action your turn, and five levels will give you an Extra Attack, making you better in regular combat. Remember, however, that Divine Strike only works once on your turn, so the extra hits aren't overly worth it, and I'm not entirely sure on the ruling of using one Action for an attack and a second Action to cast a spell. If you go at least three levels into Fighter, consider the Champion archetype, that will help your damage a bit by increasing your critical strike range.

    Ranger (Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13) - Rangers will give you martial weapons as well, and you can even snag a skill from their list (such as Perception or Stealth, whatever of the two you're missing.) You could also snag some free languages depending on your choice of Favored Enemies, and at the second level, you can get a Fighting Style. Dueling is good here, though Rangers have some spells that are particularly designed for Archery-based characters, and may be worth a look. Five levels in will give you an Extra Attack, just like a Fighter. If you dip in enough to hit the archetypes levels, it's really your choice as to which you want.

    Rouge (Dexterity 13) - Rogues give you a skill from their list (broken record warning: like Perception or Stealth,) and Thieves' Tools for free, but you do not gain any free weapons. You'd be best off starting as a Rogue, then going into the Trickery Cleric, for the better skill lists and weapon proficiencies at the start. Rogues give you Sneak Attack, a #d6 bonus to your damage when you stab someone from stealth or flanking, and Expertise at the first level, which can be put into well used skills, like (here I go again,) Perception, Stealth and Thieves' Tools. Six levels of rogue would net you another set of Expertise to snag. If you're in Rogue long enough for the archetypes, Thief or Assassin may be a better choice, since they both key-off of Dexterity, while Arcane Trickster keys off of Intelligence.



    3 – The Mind Changer

    Like how the old build was based more on the Cleric/Thief, this one takes more notes from the Cleric/Illusionist of yore. What? No, I haven't been playing too much Baldur's Gate. There's no such thing. Anyway, this makes more focus on the fact that yes, the Cleric is a full caster, one can cast spells quite nicely with them.

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    3a – Stats
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    Strength – Since we're focusing more on casting with this style of Trickery, Strength isn't that useful. You may want enough to wear your armor without encumbering yourself, but not much more than that.

    Dexterity – With the Cleric/Thief style, we focused on Dexterity and be a lot more rogue like. Dexterity is nice, it improves your AC and Initiative, but you do have shields to help out, and you can wear medium armor. That should help you live enough where you don't need to focus too much on this.

    Constitution – Hit Points are always nice, as is saving on your Concentration throws for certain spells. And since we're focusing more on spells, keeping your Concentration is a good thing.

    Intelligence – Intelligence MAY prove more useful, especially if you decide to multi-class into a Wizard, particularly an Illusionist or an Enchanter, you'll want a high DC for your arcane spells.

    Wisdom – Wisdom is how you cast, affecting the Spell Save DC, your Spell Attack chance, and the number of spells you can prepare each day, for your Cleric spells. Since we're focusing on casting, getting this high is a good idea.

    Charisma – Also not really needed, and can be made as a “dump stat.” At least you're proficient with Charisma saves, so dumping it won't hurt you QUITE as much. However, if you want to apply some social trickery with Deception at your side, it might help to have something in here. Or perhaps you'd like to multi-class into one of the Charisma-based casters. Having a high stat here really helps there.


    3b – Skills
    Clerics chose two from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion and Religion. Persuasion and Insight can be handy in social situations, Religion is almost (ALMOST,) a requirement, you are a Cleric after all, but really, the key skills you really want and/or need need to come from your race or background. You should try to somehow get:

    Perception – Perhaps the “god” skill of this edition. Not having it can hurt a team.

    An interesting idea might be grabbing Deception somehow, as it allows for you to save some of your precious spell slots and just bull-crap someone into believing what you want. It's a subtle art, but can be fun.

    3c – Races
    Remember, this is just suggestions, play whatever you want. Heck, my first Trickster Cleric draw-up was a box-standard Tiefling. Also note, I base everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, by the Standard Array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. If you roll for stats, you may have better or worse stat layouts than what I base things on.
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    Dwarves (Hill, Mountain, Duergar [SCAG])
    -Dwarves, oddly enough, are characters I would recommend more for the Cleric/Thief style, despite their lack of finesse. The Hill Dwarf does have a nice +1 bonus to Wisdom, though, which gives you some nice casting power boost. The bonus hit points and Concentration from that +2 Constitution is very handy as well.

    Elves (High, Wood, Dark)
    -Elves are a particularly great race for a Trickery Cleric. For starters, you get Perception for free, which is always GREAT to have. While Wood still maintain the nice +2 Dexterity and +1 Wisdom, a High Elf may be slightly better, with a +1 to Intelligence and the ability to snag a Wizard cantrip, like Minor Illusion, to get you started on the Cleric/Illusionist path. Dark elves +1 to Charisma will let them snag a Sorcerer or Warlock class level a bit easier, and they have some nice built-in spells for some spell-based trickery.

    Halflings (Lightfoot, Stout, Ghostwise [SCAG])
    -Get a nice +2 to Dexterity for you to work with, with Lucky allowing you to re-roll failed saving throws, Brave making you hard to scare away and Halfling Nimbleness allowing you to move through a Medium or larger creature's space making for a very thematic package. Lightfoot's +1 Charisma is great for those multi-classes, and a Ghostwise's +1 Wisdom is great for boosting up your innate Cleric spells. Plus talking into peoples minds is just deliciously creepy.

    Humans (Normal, Variant)
    -Humans are always good for multi-classing, and they have the flexibility to improve your character either way. The standard human package gives you a +1 to every stat, that certainly makes it easier to get a tasty Wisdom bonus as well as an Intelligence and Charisma bonus. The Variant can snag a +1 to Wisdom and something else, along with a free feat. You could snag Magic Initiate, if you plan on staying a pure Cleric. Or perhaps Resilient for Constitution, letting you make those sweet Concentration saves all the easier. Or maybe even Warcaster, protect yourself and still sling spells with the best of them. Very many tasty options.

    Dragonborn
    -The Dragonborn don't REALLY have much going for a Trickery Cleric, though that Charisma bonus could open up multi-classing opportunities. Resistances and the Breath Weapon could be fun, but possibly not needed.

    Gnome (Forest, Rock, Deep [EE/SCAG])
    -That +2 Intelligence pretty much opens you up to splitting into the Wizard class later on for all those tasty spells, and being an Illusionist too. Brings you back to old D&D, doesn't it? Your best bets would either be a Forest gnome for their free Minor Illusion spell, or the Deep Gnome for its Svirfneblin Magic feat. Everything a Gnome gives you runs off Intelligence, but you've got a bonus to that, and you'll probably be boosting it.

    Half-elf (Normal, [SCAG->] High, Wood, Dark, Aquatic)
    -The best advantage a normal Half-elf has is their ability to chose two free skills, which can VERY easily go to Perception and something else. Their +2 to Charisma while still allowing a +1 to Wisdom opens up an obvious multi-classing route, plus that extra Charisma could help you out in social situations. Snag Deception as your other free skill, and you're good to go with the mind-messing ability.

    Half-orc
    -The Half-orc is definitely NOT your first choice for a caster of any type, though they make pretty good Tempest or War Clerics. But for one focused more on casting, best look elsewhere. Sorry Half-orcs, I love you and all, but you're just not built up for this kind of thing.

    Tiefling (Normal, Feral [SCAG])
    -The box-standard Tiefling is by far your worst choice for a Cleric of any stripe, really, but at least those stats of theirs will open up some arcane multi-classing. The Feral variant from SCAG is better for more physical classes, and is definitely your preferred choice for the Cleric/Thief style, but for the caster, you'd want to be your standard PHB one.

    Aarakocra [EE]
    -The birdmen have a very good stat layout, with +2 to Dexterity and +1 to Wisdom, that certainly improves their casting and survivability a bit, but one of their main benefits, their flying, is a very strict per-DM thing. Still, messing with minds from above can be fun. Plus it makes for a quick escape if things go south.

    Genasi (Air, Earth, Fire, Water) [EE]
    -All Genasi gain a +2 to Constitution and a spell or two they can cast with their Constitution score, so at least there's some unity here. Of note for the Cleric/Illusionist style are Water Genasi, for their boost to Wisdom, and Fire Genasi, for their boost to Intelligence. The former boosting your natural casting abilities while the latter boosting things for a Wizard multi-class. Water also gets, obviously, natural aquatic abilities while Fire also gets you Darkvision and a resistance to a more common damage type.

    Goliath [EE]
    -These big beefy mountain men (and women) are designed pretty much for anything BUT a trickster of any stripe. Let them stay as such.

    Yes, I'm aware that I still have a severe lack of Unearthed Arcana races. One of these days, I'll find all the PDFs I have downloaded and actually update both sections.

    3d – Backgrounds
    Backgrounds are a very personal thing, just as much so as the physical design of a character. And you can (if your DM allows,) freely make a background into anything you so want, with whatever skills, tools, languages and equipment you want. But if you choose to go with what is available in printed format, you should look for Perception first of all, or something that has the same skills that you've already taken, so you can replace it with Perception. Deception is a good secondary focus. Backgrounds that come to mind are...

    Sailor/Pirate - Athletics and Perception is a pretty good combo. And a free club most certainly doesn't hurt, though you get plenty of free weapons with your class. The Pirate variant would be a bit more thematic, using your tricky ways for fun and profit (and rum,) plus it pretty much comes with a “get out of jail free” bonus. Just don't push it too much, or the guards won't care. The proficiency with water vehicles can be helpful if you expect your DM to have some sea adventures.

    Far Traveler [SCAG] - Insight to learn when others are lying or trying to trick you, and Perception because it's pretty much the god skill of this edition. The free instrument or gaming set is nice, but the free language can be a bit more helpful. And you can take advantage of its feature to get you access to people or places for your own tricky means.

    Charlatan - While certainly not as useful as the other two with the lack of Perception, you gain access to Deception and Sleight of Hand, and a whole slew of rather trickery-based abilities. You can have a whole other identity to play around with, and the use of the forgery kit, which can open up so many possibilities for profit and fun.

    3e – Feats
    You may not have the ASIs needed for extra feats to customize your character, but there are definitely some key ones to try to get at almost all cost. Sacrifice Wisdom if you have to.
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    Magic Initiate (Priority Low-Medium) - Do you plan on staying a pure class Cleric? Well, using this will let you snag a couple tasty cantrips from another class and a first level spell from their list for you to use daily. Getting Illusion or Enchantment spells is indeed your most obvious choices, though you could consider snagging some stuff from the Druids, like Shillelagh (which I still say is pronounced really funny,) to put your Wisdom score to work in melee combat.

    Observant (Priority Medium) - Do you have an odd Wisdom score? This will even it out and will essentially (but not quite) give you proficiency with Perception, even though it only applies to Passive Perception checks, which is probably the most important part anyways.

    Resilient (Priority Medium-High) - Get it for Constitution, of course. Best if you have an odd Constitution score, though really, gaining proficiency with Concentration throws is worth it anyways.

    War Caster (Priority Medium) - If you have an even Constitution score, consider War Caster over Resilient. Sure, you don't actually gain proficiency with Constitution saves, but advantage is darn near good enough. Plus if you have a spell that lacks a material component, you can cast it without putting your weapon away or dropping your shield. Or say, hold an arcane focus in one hand and a holy symbol in the other.


    3f – Multi-classing
    Unlike with the Cleric/Thief style, you're more prone to multi-classing when playing the Cleric/Illusionist style. Thankfully, there's a bit more choice for you to... well... chose from, letting you really customize how you want to play exactly. Remember, you need 13 Wisdom in order to multi-class OUT of a Cleric. Which really shouldn't be a problem. What kind of cleric doesn't have at least 13 Wisdom? Ha ha ha... ha...

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    Bard (13 Charisma) - Bards have a lot of spells that are more... subtle, focusing on enchantments and illusions rather than blasting power, which certainly fits the thematics of this build style. Plus you can get a lot of tasty things, like an extra skill, inspirations for your allies, expertise for some of your skills, and at level three, you can go Valor for more weapon proficiencies, or better yet, Lore for more skills, and if you stay long enough, some free spells from ANY class list!

    Sorcerer (13 Charisma) - Sorcerers are kind of light Wizards, though a Wild Magic Sorcerer could provide all sorts of fun things to play with when they happen randomly. One of your best bets is staying to build up a decent pool of sorcery points and the Heightening metamagic to really mess with your enemies saving throws. Carerful and Subtle metamagics could prove handy as well.

    Warlock (13 Charisma) - Warlocks have a different casting system than other classes, so it will mess up your spell slot progression some, but what they do get is a number of spells that regenerate on a short rest that are always cast at a certain spell level. This can be a boon, however, as long as your DM isn't stingy with short-rests. You'll probably want to go with the Fey pact for their nice control spells for a tricky feel, though the Great Old One would work as well. As we're focusing on casting, snagging the Tome pact boon can be really handy, especially if you hang around long enough to snag an Invocation that allows you to turn that into the greatest Ritual Book in the game. Speaking of Invocations, there are plenty of tasty ones, such as being able to see in the dark, even magical darkness, giving you some social skills, some spells, all sorts of things. NO! I see what you're thinking! No Eldritch Blast cheese! That's not what we're here for!

    Wizard (13 Intelligence) - Wizards have one advantage over the other three casters here, the ability to add to their spell list without leveling up, and to have an impressively sized one without too much trouble. And while a Sorcerer has its metamagic, the Wizard has school specialities. Of particular note would be the Enchanter and Illusionist focus. The former, naturally, works better with Enchantment spells, and is a bit more social-based, though being able to twin any single-target Enchantment spell later on is quite powerful. This may be the safer of the two bets. Illusionist is definitely a fun choice... if your DM isn't a jerk. Illusions can be a powerful tool for magical trickery, and as an Illusionist, you have more control over them than anyone else. You can even change them up without having to cast a spell again.




    That's it of the guide, for now, at least. I apologize in advance for any hair pulling that may have come from reading this. I will be checking for suggestions and notes from the topic, so do post things you have noticed while playing as/with a Trickery Cleric.
    Last edited by JumboWheat01; 2016-09-26 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Updating Guide
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    Default Re: Divine Tomfoolery - A Guide to Trickery Clerics

    You are missing a big one for multi-class with the Trickery Cleric and that's Monk. Monk 12/Trickery Cleric 8 goes together like ham and eggs, baby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fflewddur Fflam View Post
    You are missing a big one for multi-class with the Trickery Cleric and that's Monk. Monk 12/Trickery Cleric 8 goes together like ham and eggs, baby.
    You know... I've never actually had ham and eggs together...

    That is a true note there, but that's more a monk with a side of cleric, rather than a cleric with a side of monk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumboWheat01 View Post
    You know... I've never actually had ham and eggs together...

    That is a true note there, but that's more a monk with a side of cleric, rather than a cleric with a side of monk.
    Everything goes better with MORE MONK!!!!

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    You've been listening to "Kung Fu Fighting" on repeat again, haven't you? Not that your necessarily wrong...
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumboWheat01 View Post
    You've been listening to "Kung Fu Fighting" on repeat again, haven't you? Not that your necessarily wrong...
    Put Jackie Chan into Faerun and watch him take that place over.

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    Sentinel is by far the best feat for this Cleric. You will get opportunity attacks when enemies attack your illusion in melee. This is because Sentinel requires someone to attack a "target"

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    I really think you are putting a much higher emphasis on increasing weapon choices than you should be. Even the best Finesse weapon (1d8 Rapier) does on average only 2 DPR more than the worst (1d4 Dagger). Those 2 DPR might be noticeable at low levels, but they certainly aren't missed at the higher levels when everyone in your party is inflicting 30+ DPR. The odds are that the better weapon would amount to less than a 2% difference of the party's collective DPR.
    It certainly isn't worth spending a feat on, and I wouldn't consider it a deciding factor regarding race choices either. If you really want that extra 2 DPR, then you are better off getting Shillelagh via multiclassing or Magic Initiate - that way you get the damage as well as less MADness (the latter of which makes you feel a whole lot better about wasting such resources on 2 DPR).
    If damage is the goal, then the SCAG cantrips certainly need to be mentioned, as they contribute significantly more than a Rapier ever could. They add a lot of value to the High Elf (and Half-Elf that steals High-Elf abilities) racial options, as well as multiclassing and feat choices. Although, to make use of them you would need to use a Staff (not a finesse weapon, so you either need Shillelagh or to be Str-based), take the Warcaster feat, or not use a shield (not a real option imo - shields are amazing in 5e).
    What is really great about those Cantrips on a Trickery Cleric is the fact that you can have your illusion cast them for you. Your illusion will inflict great melee damage while also being the perfect tank due to its indestructibility. It is basically God mode.
    Last edited by Giant2005; 2016-07-02 at 07:03 PM.

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    yeah, magic initiate druid for shillelagh, a second druid cantrip (i'm partial to mold earth, and i think a trickster cleric can get excellent mileage from the spell as well), and a first level spell (goodberry is particularly useful, but you may prefer entangle, faerie fire, or fog cloud) sounds *way* better than four weapon proficiencies. now you can leave your dex at 14 (16 if you get moderate armour master for sneaking around in a breastplate) and focus on wisdom and constitution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    What is really great about those Cantrips on a Trickery Cleric is the fact that you can have your illusion cast them for you. Your illusion will inflict great melee damage while also being the perfect tank due to its indestructibility. It is basically God mode.
    I am not sure how useful this is, as part of the cantrip you need to make a melee weapon attack so you have to be within melee weapon range. The illusion is indestructible (except by breach of concentration) but you are not and you are right next to an enemy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    I am not sure how useful this is, as part of the cantrip you need to make a melee weapon attack so you have to be within melee weapon range. The illusion is indestructible (except by breach of concentration) but you are not and you are right next to an enemy.
    Yeah that would be a fair ruling. You are better off sticking to Sacred Flame and other spells in order to avoid the ambiguity.

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    The problem I see with Shillelagh and the Blade cantrips is that they are done better with other domains. A nature cleric can naturally make use of Shillelagh without burning a feat for it, and have the heavy armor to wade in to things like that and smack 'em with a big stick, with different elements attached at that! While Arcana can grab the Blade cantrips and turn them into cleric spells, feeding off Wisdom rather than Intelligence or Charisma.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    Yeah that would be a fair ruling. You are better off sticking to Sacred Flame and other spells in order to avoid the ambiguity.
    Inflict Wounds is a great one to cast from the duplicate. Do 3d10 necrotic on a melee spell attack from your duplicate while you are up 120 feet away, feeling safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    I am not sure how useful this is, as part of the cantrip you need to make a melee weapon attack so you have to be within melee weapon range. The illusion is indestructible (except by breach of concentration) but you are not and you are right next to an enemy.
    you might be able to use a whip, as the enemy will be in range for the melee attack and the spell will come from the double. maybe. i'm not really sure.

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    Will this ever be completed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    Yeah that would be a fair ruling. You are better off sticking to Sacred Flame and other spells in order to avoid the ambiguity.
    Or just take Ritual Caster (Wizard) and strafe the enemy up to 50' away with Booming Blade from the back of your Phantom Steed. 100' of movement plus a free Disengage should be plenty.
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krunchyfrogg View Post
    Will this ever be completed?
    I'm in the slow process of rejiggering it, and splitting it into two separate builds, the more "Cleric/Thief" style that I have here and the more "Cleric/Illusionist" style that's more casting focused. I don't actually work on these kind of things online, I type them out in OpenOffice long before I "finalize" them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumboWheat01 View Post
    I'm in the slow process of rejiggering it, and splitting it into two separate builds, the more "Cleric/Thief" style that I have here and the more "Cleric/Illusionist" style that's more casting focused. I don't actually work on these kind of things online, I type them out in OpenOffice long before I "finalize" them.
    sounds good. looking forward to it! these guys dont tend to get a lot of love. :)

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    I am very interested in this. I am currently starting off on my trickery Cleric (though she is only a rogue at the moment). I started as variant human rogue with the resilient (Wisdom) feat. I was actually looking at taking anywhere up to 7 levels in rogue by 20th as I actually am not very interested in 8th or 9th level spells. Others have warned me against taking so many, but you mentioned 6 in your guide there.

    I think the problem is Trickery Clerics (especially when multiclassed into Rogue) seem like they'll play an odd role in the party. They're not quite DPR, not really tank and also not as strong a buffer or healer as other cleric archetypes. I think if we could define what role they fill it could be better. I'll let people know how mine plays once I get a few levels into cleric.

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    And there we go, the Cleric/Illusionist style is up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmayaElls View Post
    I am very interested in this. I am currently starting off on my trickery Cleric (though she is only a rogue at the moment). I started as variant human rogue with the resilient (Wisdom) feat. I was actually looking at taking anywhere up to 7 levels in rogue by 20th as I actually am not very interested in 8th or 9th level spells. Others have warned me against taking so many, but you mentioned 6 in your guide there.

    I think the problem is Trickery Clerics (especially when multiclassed into Rogue) seem like they'll play an odd role in the party. They're not quite DPR, not really tank and also not as strong a buffer or healer as other cleric archetypes. I think if we could define what role they fill it could be better. I'll let people know how mine plays once I get a few levels into cleric.
    Once you have 3 levels into Trickery Cleric, you can effectively sneak your party into anywhere. You can even cancel out that disadvantage the plate wearer is getting on his stealth rolls! Pass without trace is an amazing thing to throw up on a party as well.

    When you're not running the channel divinity illusion, you should be running bless on the party. This is a spell that is appreciates at all levels of play, and can be up cast for even more effect.

    You're playing a Rogue/Cleric. You have a massive toolbox and that's how you should play the character. Be the Enabler for the group that opens up new creative options in pursuing objectives. And while in combat, don't be afraid to use your concentration on Bless, as your party will always thank you for the spell and feel like you're contributing when it's up.
    Be excellent to each other.

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    Default Re: Divine Tomfoolery - A Guide to Trickery Clerics

    It seems like you're trying to turn a Trickery Cleric into a Cleric/Thief. Instead of a defensively (via illusions etc) oriented Cleric. That's not unusual, but it's easy to trap yourself in that kind of thinking.

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    Should probably be rogue, not rouge.
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    Default Re: Divine Tomfoolery - A Guide to Trickery Clerics

    Good builds, but if that's a guide on a subclass there should be some description of class features and how to make the most of them. Like the whole illusion thing benefitting dudes with many attacks or rogues and etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    yeah, magic initiate druid for shillelagh, a second druid cantrip (i'm partial to mold earth, and i think a trickster cleric can get excellent mileage from the spell as well), and a first level spell (goodberry is particularly useful, but you may prefer entangle, faerie fire, or fog cloud) sounds *way* better than four weapon proficiencies. now you can leave your dex at 14 (16 if you get moderate armour master for sneaking around in a breastplate) and focus on wisdom and constitution.
    I would nominate thorn whip as the second druid cantrip. There is no reason the 10' pull of the whip couldn't pull a creature straight up if it is cast from directly above, and there is nothing stopping your illusionary duplicate from walking on ceilings or even flying. For most creatures, being pulled up 10' would result in an immediate 10' fall which causes an added automatic 1d6 bludgeoning damage and landing prone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    I am not sure how useful this is, as part of the cantrip you need to make a melee weapon attack so you have to be within melee weapon range. The illusion is indestructible (except by breach of concentration) but you are not and you are right next to an enemy.
    You are right, fortunately there are many other good cantrips/spells to cast from illusion.
    A single dip in Druid nets you Thorn Whip so you can help tailor the battlefield positioning, or Thunderwave / Earth Tremor to provoke mass prone/push.

    Also think about Spirit Guardians, cast on your duplicate while you stay safely hidden (not totally sure if RAW/RAI but don't see anything in Invoke Duplicity that would clearly forbid that.

    Or just apply the best low-level debuff, Bestow Curse, without risking your life as would a Bard.

    Provided you have high enough CHA for that, dipping into Warlock could also make some nasty combo with Vampiric Touch. ^^

    Who cares if he has low DEX / medium armor? The point of it is to make people forget he's even there! ^^

    Basically, I love Trickery Cleric and find it as extremely overlooked by people because, as some other few "misloved", it requires finesse and creativity to reveal its prowesses. ;)


    A Trickery Cleric with some Rogue or/and Druid added to it can be extremely fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    Also think about Spirit Guardians, cast on your duplicate while you stay safely hidden (not totally sure if RAW/RAI but don't see anything in Invoke Duplicity that would clearly forbid that.
    The dupe and Guardians are both concentration.

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    I'm currently playing a Trickery Cleric 2/Sorcerer 3(more of a Blaster-type than the Illusionist mentioned in the guide), and I just hit Sorcerer 3 for Metamagic. I have a questions as to how Subtle spell would interact with the Invoked Duplicate. If I am Hidden and I cast a Subtle spell through the Duplicate, do I get advantage on the attack roll for the spell? Does that same Subtle spell break my stealth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawhite37 View Post
    I'm currently playing a Trickery Cleric 2/Sorcerer 3(more of a Blaster-type than the Illusionist mentioned in the guide), and I just hit Sorcerer 3 for Metamagic. I have a questions as to how Subtle spell would interact with the Invoked Duplicate. If I am Hidden and I cast a Subtle spell through the Duplicate, do I get advantage on the attack roll for the spell? Does that same Subtle spell break my stealth?
    Hi, interesting character. ;)
    First question: sure, you have advantage, but not because of your Duplicate, because you are hidden (especially since Duplicate gives advantage only when you AND the duplicate are within 5 feet of the target creature.

    Second question: I'd say you don't break Stealth. While stupidly reading PHB would end in the conclusion "you break stealth" because you made an attack, obviously when you combine Subtle (no visual/audible indication from where you are) and Duplicate (overkill really, but gives the impression the attack comes from it) I'd totally rule that absolutely nothing gives away your location so you stay hidden. Check with your DM though, because it's my thinking about RAI, but still different from RAW (which obviously did not take this particular niche case into account when writing XD).
    Last edited by Citan; 2017-06-13 at 06:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Divine Tomfoolery - A Guide to Trickery Clerics

    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    Hi, interesting character. ;)
    First question: sure, you have advantage, but not because of your Duplicate, because you are hidden (especially since Duplicate gives advantage only when you AND the duplicate are within 5 feet of the target creature.

    Second question: I'd say you don't break Stealth. While stupidly reading PHB would end in the conclusion "you break stealth" because you made an attack, obviously when you combine Subtle (no visual/audible indication from where you are) and Duplicate (overkill really, but gives the impression the attack comes from it) I'd totally rule that absolutely nothing gives away your location so you stay hidden. Check with your DM though, because it's my thinking about RAI, but still different from RAW (which obviously did not take this particular niche case into account when writing XD).
    Thanks. It's been a fun character to run; worry free touch spells(Inflict Wounds FTW), don't have to worry about the DM rage-killing my familiar, rarely get targeted, when I do AC=18 with a breastplate, decent rogue substitute. I really wanted to make it a Wild Mage, and take the shenanigans to a whole new level, but with rotating DM's in AL, I went the safer route with Draconic.

    I was concerned that since the spell would appear to come from the Duplicate(even without V/S components), that I wouldn't get the advantage. And part two, yeah it seems like it would be common sense that it wouldn't break, but I think your RAI interpretation is reasonable enough that I should be able to fairly present my case to most DM's.

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