January 2, 2017

Famine Domain

Divine Domain
Comments from the Finger: This completes the Four Horsemen clerics: Death, War, Famine, and Pestilence.
     I'm not 100% happy with the capstone here, so I'm definitely open to new ideas for it.

Famine Domain

Fast for the god of Hunger and drink nothing the god of Thirst, and you shall hunger and thirst no longer. This is the philosophy of a priest of Famine, who venerates gods that seek to create scarcity across the globe. To spread this dogma, you must only spread famine and drought; if others shall only fast, they too can come to join the Starving Sect.

Famine Domain Spells
Cleric Level  Spells
1stfalse life, ray of sickness
3rdhold person, ray of enfeeblement
5thbestow curse, hunger of Hadar
7thblight, dominate beast
9thdominate person, insect plague

Bonus Cantrips
At 1st level, you learn the poison spray cantrip and one other cleric cantrip of your choice.

Starting at 1st level, as long as you fast, you never starve. You don't need to eat or drink, and don't suffer levels of exhaustion from starvation or dehydration. This ability is suppressed for 24 hours if you willingly eat or drink.

Channel Divinity: Wither
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to starve living things. For the next minute, you can use your action to choose one creature you can see within 60 feet to make a Constitution saving throw. Plants have disadvantage on this saving throw. On a failed save, a creature suffers a level of exhaustion and takes 1d10 necrotic damage for each point of your proficiency bonus. On a successful save, the creature takes half this amount of damage and does not become exhausted.

Draining Spell
Starting at 6th level, when you deal damage to one creature using a spell on your turn, that creature's speed is reduced by 10 feet for 1 minute. A creature's speed can only be reduced by this ability once at a time.

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

Salt the Fields 
Starting at 17th level, you can use your action to bring famine on the land. All nonmagical plants that aren't creatures within a 100-foot radius sphere wither and die. Each creature you choose in that area must make a Constitution saving throw or suffer two levels of exhaustion. Plants have disadvantage on this saving throw and take 8d10 necrotic damage on a failed save.
     Once you use this ability, you must complete a long rest before using it again.

Changelog: Fast: Immunity to exhaustion only applies to starvation and dehydration


  1. I quite like this: especially the mechanic of having to deal with the suffering of not eating for 24 hours if you ever eat. For the cap stone, I think it'd be interesting to have something built off of how many days you had been fasting. Like a level of exhaustion per day. I understand that easily becomes save or die... But the imagery of death by severe emaciation intrigued me.

  2. That's pretty awesome! I had my doubts as to the Famine cleric, but this does the concept really well.
    I think the capstone is reasonable, but since you (Finger) wrote you aren't satisfied with it, I have a few ideas.

    Greater Draining Spell (or some other name)- When a creature fails on a saving throw against a spell you cast, it gains one level of exhaustion.
    Invoke Cannibalism- All living creatures within 60 feet of you must make a wisdom saving throw or be wracked with a terrible hunger for the flesh of sentient creatures for 1 minute. A creature that fails this saving throw deals 1d6 additional necrotic damage with its bite attack, and must spend its action to bite another sentient creature other than you. If it fails to do so, it suffers one level of exhaustion at the end of its turn. A creature can make another saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it succeeds, the effect ends for it.

  3. So a Famine Cleric never suffers levels of exhaustion? From any source?

    1. I would imagine that a Famine Cleric would only be immune to levels of exhaustion from lack of food/water and/or lack of sleep. I don't see this immunity including magical levels of exhaustion or poisons/diseases.

    2. Actually, the intent is that you can't be exhausted at all, but I can see why my wording is ambiguous. I'll reword that soon

    3. The only problem I could see with this is Unlimited Frenzy Rage just by taking a level in Cleric, so a rewording to "You don't need to eat or drink, and don't suffer levels of exhaustion in relation to not eating or drinking or sleeping as long as you are fasting." might be good.

  4. Level 17 "Feast" as a bonus action when you deal damage with cantrip you gain temp HP = to the damage dealt

    1. Who the hell uses cantrips at that level? it would only be useful if you kill whole villagers of commoners before going to fight some BBEG.

    2. What I /do/ like about this is that it's more passive, since I'm not a big fan of burst-y cleric capstones that rely on a long recharge.

      I'll definitely consider this one.

    3. A warlock/sorcerer can turn warlock spell slots into sorcery points and points into sorcerer spell slots. By taking 8 short rests while the rest of the party takes a long rest, a warlock 14/sorcerer 5/cleric 1 can create 20 3rd level slots over this period of time. And since they are a famine cleric, they don't suffer exhaustion from not sleeping. This can come online as early as level 5, with 2 levels of sorcerer, 2 Warlock levels, and 1 cleric level. While less potent, it still creates 8 1st levels slots per "long" rest. Quite potent and broken at high levels.

    4. I replied to the wrong thread. See above for exhaustion concerns.

    5. Oh wow. That might almost be worth the exhaustion anyway.

    6. As mentioned, this domain also makes Frenzy barbs useful, but I'm not too concerned about that. It's still a subpar subclass. The ability to generate spell slots ad infinitum is rather concerning.

  5. What if instead of a one-time burst of exhaustion, the capstone was an action of some sort, like a Witch hex? Or perhaps a temporary effect where you use it, then can use it again and again for 1 minute,like an AoE Witch Bolt but for exhaustion and necrotic damage?

    Call it "Waste Away" or something, make it activated as a bonus action even. Same results as current, you'll probably get two levels of exhaustion out of the deal, but you might get more if you save it for a big fight.

  6. it's a minor problem, but a Famine Cleric 1 / Berseker Barbarian X becomes a very good option to Frenzy all the time ;)

  7. Hmmmm wither feels kind of powerful, but I suppose most monsters do well with constitution saves.

  8. I think the capstone is pretty good as is, but I'd make the main effect 2 levels of exhaustion + 4d10 necrotic, and plants have disadvantage on the save as well as double damage
    That being said, it's a huge range, strong, and very flavorful, just like the rest of the subclass. I applaud you!