February 19, 2019

Abyssal Domain

Divine Domain
Notes from the Nails: evil death cults must still have clerics, right? The 'cult fanatic' stat block in the MM has cleric spells, after all.

Abyssal Domain

It is a common misconception that the members of demon-worshiping cults are all mindless slaves, crazed hedonists, or violent murderers. The truth is that many of them are perfectly sane, with dreams of enslaving demons for themselves, rather than the other way around. A select few are even strong enough to do so, rising through the ranks of their cult to become powerful priests and summoners, capable of calling upon armies of fiends and mortals alike to do their bidding.

Abyssal Domain Spells
Cleric Level  Spells
1stcommand, inflict wounds
3rdray of enfeeblement, scorching ray
5thlightning bolt, summon lesser demons
7thdominate beast, summon greater demon
9thenervation, planar binding

Blood Sacrifice
When you choose this domain at 1st level, you can use dark magic to siphon power from dying creatures. Whenever you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier. Furthermore, whenever you reduce a willing creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your cleric level plus twice your Wisdom modifier and have advantage on the first attack roll you make in the next minute. Creatures that you have summoned or dominated are always considered to be willing for the purposes of this ability.

Ruthless
Also at 1st level, the experience you have gained dealing with cunning fiends and treacherous cultists equips you well for future conflicts. Whenever you make a contested ability check against a creature, you can add twice your proficiency bonus to the roll.

Channel Divinity: Dust to Dust
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to augment your offensive spells, the better to unleash the infinite chaos of the Abyss on your foes.
     When you cast a spell that deals damage to one or more creatures, you can use your Channel Divinity to add your Wisdom modifier to the damage. Any creature reduced to 0 hit points by this spell is disintegrated into a fine grey dust, along with anything it is wearing or carrying (except for magic items). The creature can be restored to life only by means of a true resurrection or a wish spell.
     Any Large or smaller nonmagical object or a creation of magical force that would be hit by the spell is also disintegrated.

Channel Divinity: Binding of the Deep
At 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to chain demons to your will.
     When you cast a spell that summons demons, you present your holy symbol and use your Channel Divinity to bind them. Any demons bound in this way cannot break free from your control, and are never hostile towards you or your allies. The binding ends when you die.

Potent Spellcasting
At 8th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

Demonic Ascendancy
When you reach 17th level, you infuse your soul with demonic energy, gaining immense power. You have resistance to cold, fire and lightning damage, and gain telepathy with a range of 120 feet.


Changelog: 02/19/2019: Binding of the Deep lasts until you die.

37 comments:

  1. This seems neat. Interested to see what kind of builds I can come up with using it - first thought is the Familiar Keeper feat.

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    1. Feats for the Fearsome. Its a feat compendium that MFOV published as a PDF.

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    2. I can't find it on their website, could you possibly give me the link?

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    3. I do believe that's a Patreon book. I don't even think that one is in the store at the moment.

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    4. Ok, thank you. I guess I'll have to become a Patron eventually then *shrugs while pulling out my wallet*

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    5. For reference, Feats for the Fearsome was our January 2018 book. The link is here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/feats-for-16156471

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  2. Question: Does Binding of the Deep affect duration in any way, or is it just to stop them from making Charisma saving throws to break free?

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    1. No effect on duration was intended. Though some demon-summoning spells don't dismiss the demon after they end, right? So using this CD, they'd still be non-hostile towards you even after the spell ends, which is kind of a soft duration extension...

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  3. “Any Large or smaller nonmagical object or a creation of magical force that would be hit by the spell is also disintegrated.” Does this mean you don’t have to reduce them to 0 hit points for them to be disintegrated?

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    1. Yes. That's copied directly from the disintegrate spell.

      I'd point out, however that the CD doesn't let you disintegrate parts of objects (unlike the spell), so you can't use it to blow through a castle's walls, etc.

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    2. You could, however, use it to blow through a heavily-fortified set of doors, especially if you're using an area of effect spell to hit more than one object.

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    3. Absolutely, yeah. I feel like a lot of people in the comments are undervaluing the 'disintegrate object' utility, but it could be useful in a number of different scenarios.

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  4. This is AWESOME, one of the best domains I've seen. Definitely gonna use it for a char.

    Several questions:
    1) If you reduce yourself to 0 hp, do you get the temp? Do you stay conscious?
    2) Blood sacrifice is really nice if you multiclass/take feat for find familiar.
    3) Does Hardlight count as a "creation of magical force" for Dust to Dust? What about a Hardlight creature?
    4) Binding of the Deep should probably work only as long as the demon is under an effect of your spell (not if you happen to meet the same demon in the abyss or something). Or should it?

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    1. Thank you!

      1. See PHB 198. THP cannot restore you to consciousness (to confirm: you'd drop before the feature procs), but you can use them to protect against a coup de grace attempt.
      2. I guess it's kind of nice... the action economy isn't great though. And a feat/MC level is a lot to invest.
      3. The 'hardlight' spells were not my idea; I'll check with the other digits and get back to you. Personally, I'd be inclined to say they are creations of magical force that should be subject to the disintegration effect.
      4. Mhm, I kind of like the idea that the binding continues forever (or at least until you die). It's not the strongest ability to begin with and that would just be too funny if you coincidentally happened to run into a demon you'd bound years ago.

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    2. Yeah, I think we do consider hardlight constructs to be creations of magical force.

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    3. I myself enjoy the idea that you summon all these petty demons, bind them, then they go back. Cut to 17th level, Gate, and you have an army.... That is if you dont die, which is hard. Also, using summon greater demon, you can summon up to a 10th level demon, so that might be a little OP.

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    4. WAIIIIITT!!!! you should change the binding of the deep description because if i am not mistaken, RAW, Gate could be "A spell that summons demons"

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    5. I don't see the problem. Note that the 'cannot break free from your control' clause doesn't apply to gate, because gate doesn't give you any control in the first place.

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    6. "Look Sskrtghf'lktrgth! It's Greg! My favorite mortal!"

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    7. My only concern would be the cleric that kept tabs on all the demons they summoned, by 17th level, that would be alot. And then on a period of downtime summoning them all.
      DEMONIC OVERLORD!!!!

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    8. The control doesn't break, but when the spell ends they'll go back to the Abyss. Might work with a well-placed gate, maybe.

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  5. dust to dust seems underwhelming, or very situational at best, destroying cover and stuff.
    But +3/+4 dmg from a channel divinity (at the levels you get it)? I donno...

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    1. I kinda feel like CD options *should* be a bit situational. I mean, the prototype is Turn Undead, right? And the damage boost starts to look a bit juicier on AoE spells (lightning bolt is a domain spell here), which should count for something.

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    3. +4/+5 bonus (talking about level 5 here) to a base dmg of 8d6? Sorry, still cant see it.
      Yes, disintegrating cover in a straight line is good. And it is possible you dont need to add more dmg because of this additional effect.
      But the dmg boost itself is miniscule.

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    4. 8d6 is only 28 on average. A flat +4 on that is better than upcasting at 4th level, and more reliable. "Miniscule" is definitely underselling it.

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    5. isnt upcasting spells only rarely worth it tho?
      And if we are comparing it with draconic sorcerer's elemental dmg bonus, that is always on for certain spells and cantrips... my primary concern is that after level 6, CDs will be used to bind summons, and the previous function will be completely ignored.
      It may be a natural progression that always happens, or I may be in the wrong for comparing this to draconics, as they arent meant to fullfill the same role.

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    6. also a question: with spells that deal dmg in multiple blasts/beams, how would D2D work? If scorching ray targets 3 enemies, they each take their individual 2d6, plus the wisdommod? Or the bonus only goes to one? If the beams are only focused on a single enemy, he only gets the +dmg once, not per beam, right?

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    7. Scorching ray specifically says that any addition to damage for it is only to one ray (it's in sage advice or errata, not sure which).

      Not sure about DoT spells though.

      Anyway, Domain CDs tend to be always useful (War God's Blessing for example), and this one is not exactly comparable to Destructive Wrath of the tempest domain (which adds ~20 damage to a lightning bolt, if you had it, or 16.5 to call lightning).
      Dust to Dust is not great. Might be better if it'd add your level instead of wis mod.

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    8. I'd definitely allow it to apply every turn to damage-over-time spells.

      The idea was that the disintegration rider makes up for the fact that the damage bonus is smaller than Destructive Wrath. That could have all kinds of uses against objects and magical forces.

      Plus I've always considered Destructive Wrath to be OP, so I'm not aiming to match it exactly.

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    9. I did not know that scorching ray specifies that, Im glad I learned something.
      How about Touch of Death? Or is that even stronger that DW?

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    10. it was an honest question, because I dont know. But I really think something like cleric level + wismod would work here

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    11. Touch of Death... from the DMG Death domain? To be honest that's not even on my radar, since the DMG subclasses are a bit... different from the PHB ones.

      The thing that keeps Touch of Death within reason is that it rides on a melee attack. That means it can't hit multiple targets (as Destructive Wrath and Dust to Dust can), and it requires the commitment of going into melee, which a cleric doesn't always want to do. The burst damage from a cleric's melee attacks is going to be much less than their spells as well, so adding a big chunk with the CD is less of a problem there than it would be here.

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    12. Remember as well, Spirit Guardians is already considered a very powerful spell, and Dust to Dust would synergise with that very well. If you can hit two creatures every turn with that for three turns having a +4 Wisdom modifier, that's 24 extra damage points (plus potentially a load of objects getting disintegrated)... I can't really allow any more than that, you know?

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    13. I thought the natural cl.level*2 +wismod would be too stronk with too little risk, thats why I suggested a toned down version.
      I completely missed spirit guardians when looking for "damage over time" spells. My bad.
      I would still have other suggestions, but we have very different ideas about this domain, and how it should be /would be played. (like centering a playstyle around spirit guardians)
      It would quickly lead to a clash of different ideas.

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