One D&D Cleric
A cleric from the 5e Player’s Handbook, p. 125

The One D&D UA for the Cleric class has just dropped! Here’s a link in case you want a peak for yourself. Here’s what’s different.

First things first, the cleric class follows the same level progression in D&D as did the previously released expert classes. Instead of getting an Ability Score Improvement every 4th level, you know get a feat. One of these feats is an ability score improvement, so it’s not all that different. However, the emphasis has shifted towards gaining new abilities over taking ASIs. The last ASI now comes at level 19. It was moved forward to accommodate an epic boon at level 20.

Here’s one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed: Clerics can now channel divinity a number of time equal to their proficiency bonus. That raises the maximum number of channelings from 3 at level 18 under the old rules to 5 at level 10 under One D&D rules.

One D&D Cleric Level Progression

It looks like spell slot progression is unchanged from 5e. Here’s what to expect in terms of features at each level:

  • At Level 1, clerics get Channel Divinity and Spellcasting. Divine Domain is gone, and appears to have been replaced by “sublcass” at level 3. I worry about this a little, as it seems like you should have chosen what you worship at the beginning.
  • Level 2 gets you a Holy Order: Protector, Scholar, or Thaumaturge. Protector gives you training with martial weapons and heavy armor, Scholar gives you extra skills and a wisdom bonus on top of the regular bonuses, and Thaumatruge gives you an additional 0-level spell, and lets you regain a use of Channel Divinity on a short rest.
  • Level 3 gives you a subclass. The only one in the UA is life Domain. I’ll review that in more depth if there is reason to.
  • Level 4 is a Feat
  • Level 5 you Smite Undead. When you use Channel Divinity to Turn Undead, you can roll a number of d8 equal to your divinity bonus, and deal that amount of radiant damage to any undead that fail their saving throw. Destroy Undead is gone.
  • Level 6 – Previously clerics got a second Channel Divinity, and a Divine Domain feature. Now they get a subclass features, which is pretty much the same thing as a Divine Domain feature.
  • Level 7, you get nothing! Don’t feel too sad though, it was the same before. Nothing except a fourth level spell prepared. These featureless levels typically correspond to gaining a higher level spell slot.
  • Level 8 previously gave you an ASI, an imrpovement of Destroy Undead, and a Divine Domain feature. Now you get a feat.
  • Level 9 give you another dip in that list of Holy Orders from level 2. I guess it’s better than the nothing you got previously.
  • Level 10 – Subclass feature, and Divine intervention was moved to….
  • Level 11 – …here. Divine Intervention is here now. Instead of a bump to destroy undead.
  • Level 12 – You guessed it, another Feat!
  • Level 13 – Unluck level, always gets nothing.
  • Level 14 – Subclass Feature, formerly a bump to Destroy Undead.
  • Level 15 – Nothing but an 8th level spell slot.
  • Level 16 – I hope you’re into Feat, because that’s what you get!
  • Level 17 – Previously you got a bump to destroy undead, and a Divine Domain feature, and your 9th level spell slot. Now it’s a Subclass Feature and that spell slot.
  • Level 18 – Previously you got another Channel Divinity, now you get Greater Divine Intervention, which works the same as the Divine Intervention improvement did previously
  • Level 19 is a Feat!
  • Level 20 is an Epic Boon.

Clerical Conclusions

Overall, this looks like a big boost for Clerics. More Channel Divinities will make players happy. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a player turn undead, or use destroy undead. I think having more channels and the ability to deal damage will be a much more attractive ability, and see a lot more use.

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Categories: One DnD


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