One of the players in my 5e game is playing a Cleric, but was unhappy with the selection of domains. His cleric has a seafaring/pirate background. While Tempest is close to what he wants, it just isn’t quite right. So we have been going back and forth creating a new domain for him. I’ll post some of the details (likely to change) at the end, but wanted to post a few thoughts about the process and a (mostly) complete first draft of a Death domain.
There aren’t enough domains (duh). It feels like a forthcoming source book on Clerics (again – duh) is on the way for next year. Too long to wait.
Many of the domains seem similar in their Channel Divinity powers. For example 8th level is damage boosting for Light, War, Trickery, Tempest and more I’m sure. I wanted a little more variety, mostly so that I had more options to see when I created my own domains, but also so players could differentiate their characters.
There are a lot of spells. Maybe Wizards is waiting for the electronic tools, but having one list that is only sorted alphabetically makes it hard to group and categorize them. Plenty of people have done this work – internet for the win – but it would have been easy to include a couple of lists as an appendix instead of including owls, mules and lions (oh my). List from the intertubes.
You have to know the spells. It’s not the most important thing for a Domain, but picking spells from other class lists is a great way to add variety.
Just like some of the Channel Divinity powers, much of the language is the same. Since these are rules, that is good. Since it is description to make your character stand out, it can be bad. However, I found a nice balance between in the PHB.
Taking things apart and putting them back together is a great way to learn about a thing. It’s very similar to having to teach something. There is no faster way to find out what you don’t know about a subject than to have people ask you questions about it. I feel like I have abetter understanding of the system than just reading and playing (even if it’s wrong!)
Lastly, writing is hard and I don’t do it enough.
Here is the beginnings of the Seafaring Pirate Domain:
Pirate Domain Spells
1st – fog cloud, thunderwave
3rd – gust of wind, misty step
5th – water breathing, water walk
Proficient with Martial Weapons
Bonus Skill Proficiency – Athletics
Locate the Booty
Concentrate for 1 minute and you are able to locate hidden treasure with 120 feet. You get direction and a brief vision of the treasure. Use this power once per long rest.
Live Another Day
Starting at Second Level use Channel Divinity when you are down to your level or less in Hit Points to take a free movement that does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity. You can take this movement as a reaction.
Here are some more options for low level abilities – still working through:
The Devil To Pay and No Hot Pitch – Divine interference makes a task seem impossible. As a reaction you may impose a disadvantage on an opponent’s ability check, saving throw, or attack roll. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Know the Ropes – Divine inspiration provides insight. You gain advantage on an ability check, a saving throw, or an attack roll. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Raise the Sails – As a move, you may double your speed (dash) as though the wind is at your back. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Sailor’s Grace – When you would be knocked down, as a reaction you remain on your feet instead. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
A Shot Across the Bow – A thunderclap and flash of light distract a creature from its purpose. As an action you may gain the attention of a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see. The creature stops and focuses on you instead. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
And now for Death…
My first character in 3.0/3.5 was a cleric and I chose the Death domain for him. I had so much fun both role playing and rules wise that I was inspired to create my own – even though there may be one coming in the DMG.
Attached is the Moved to DMs Guild.