Unearthed Arcana 2022: The Cleric and Revised Species Analysis

The third installment of Unearthed Arcana for One D&D is out.

In the third playtest document we get the Cleric class and some previous content that has been revised. Of course, it also comes with a video about it. I like these videos because they give some insight regarding the design choices we see in each document.

But let’s get to the content itself. As I said, first we get the Cleric and the Life Domain. Then, we get to see races again that have been revised. And while I said races now, I will be using the term Species from now on because this is the official term in One D&D. From what I saw online there has been quite the discussion about this change, though calling it a discussion is way too polite. I don’t want to say more about this except just one thing:

Listen more to what someone else says before drawing a conclusion. Think more about what someone else says before drawing a conclusion. And for the love of what you hold dear, just be kind to others. I don’t want to see stuff like that again. Yeah, keep dreaming Chris. Anyway, let’s check out the Cleric.

Cleric

The “lore” about the Cleric is pretty much the same.

  • Class Group. Priest
  • Primary Ability. Wisdom
  • Hit Dice. d8
  • Saving Throws. Wisdom, Charisma
  • Skills. You can choose two among History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion, but the suggested ones are Persuasion and Religion
  • Weapons. Simple Weapons
  • Tools. None
  • Armor Training. Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields.

So far we don’t really see any changes.

1st Level. Channel Divinity

The first change is that we get this at level 1 instead of level 2. Moreover, the two options you start with are Turn Undead and Divine Spark. The number of uses is equal to your Proficiency Bonus now, which means you get more uses I believe. They refresh with a Long Rest.

Turn Undead now gives the Dazed condition and the Dazed undead now can either choose to Dash or do nothing. Now I am going to miss pretending my undead are running away from the Cleric screaming.

Divine Spark is a new thing. You roll a number of d8s equal to your Proficiency Bonus and add them up. Now that little number can do two things for you. You either heal an ally with that amount or have an opponent roll a Constitution Saving Throw. If they fail they take the full amount as Radiant Damage. On a success they take half. Healing will probably be the main use. It looks nice and you get it at level 1.

1st Level. Spellcasting

This works the same way we have seen it in the Bard.

2nd Level. Holy Order

This feels like Fighting Style but for Clerics. You get to choose what your sacred role is, whether it is something you have decided for yourself or it is the way of your Order. You also get to pick another Holy Order at level 9.

Protector. You gain Martial Weapon Proficiency and Heavy Armor Training. This is what you choose if you want to be a fighty Cleric.

Scholar. Choose two skills among Arcana, History, Nature, Persuasion, and Religion. You gain Proficiency in them and whenever you make an Ability Check, you can add your Wisdom Modifier to the roll as well. This is for the scholarly Clerics.

Thaumaturge. You get to choose an extra cantrip (level 0 spell) to prepare from the Divine List. Moreover, which is the interesting part, Short Rests now give you back an expended use of your Channel Divinity. Nice. This is for the shooty Clerics.

The Cleric is a really strong class. The reason is that it has so many options and a strong core. This feature lets you shape your Cleric the way you want to play. That’s not bad in my eyes.

3rd Level. Cleric Subclass

The major change is that it has gone up a level. I am suspecting that One D&D wants to have all classes follow a similar level breakdown of their subclasses. So far, all four classes we have seen get their subclass at level 3. Anyway, Subclass Features are given at levels 6, 10, and 14.

4th Level. Feat

Feats at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19.

5th Level. Smite Undead

This is an upgrade to Turn Undead and a replacement to Destroy Undead. Whenever you use Turn Undead you get to deal Radiant Damage to the undead that fail their Saving Throw. The amount of damage works like with Divine Spark, you roll d8s equal to your Proficiency Bonus. I never really got anything from Destroy Undead. This feels like a really nice replacement.

7th Level. Blessed Strikes

This is a nice combination of Potent Spellcasting and Divine Strike. Instead of getting one of the two depending on your subclass, you just get both, sort of. Once per turn you can add an extra 1d8 Radiant Damage a Cantrip or a Weapon Attack. It’s not bad at all. It combines both features but also the once-per-turn rule keeps it in check.

11th Level. Divine Intervention

This is pretty much the same. The major change is that it has gone up a level. Minor changes are that DMs now get a suggestion to use Divine Spells as the result of Divine Intervention and the “cooldown” of the feature is 2d6 days instead of just a number, which was 7 days.

18th Level. Greater Divine Intervention

Again, the upgrade is pretty much the same. Divine Intervention succeeds automatically and the cooldown is 2d4 days.

20th Level. Epic Boon.

Pretty much the same. The suggested Epic Boon is the Epic Boon of Fate. We will check it out later.

While the changes don’t seem huge, we don’t really know how they will work. A 1% change can lead to quite a different outcome. But, at least, I can say the Cleric doesn’t feel worse with these changes. But let’s check out the subclass, shall we? I also don’t really mind the suggested spell list, to be honest. It helps new players and it helps me when helping new players.

Life Domain

Let’s have a look at the Life Domain now. There is some sort of a lore change, even though I don’t really call it that. The Life Domain is connected with existence itself, making it a Domain accessible no matter which deity you follow.

3rd Level. Domain Spells

A serious change here is that we get Domain Spells at level 3 instead of level 1, and because of that, the list doesn’t contain 1st level spells. Couldn’t they add some 1st level ones anyway? Moreover, the list is much more healing focused than the previous one.

3rd Level. Disciple of Life

This one has also been moved from level 1 to level 3. The idea is the same. When casting healing spells that require a Spell Slot, the targets gain extra healing equal to the spell slot’s level plus 2. An addition to the wording here is that this extra healing is applied only on the turn the spell was cast. This has been added to cover multiple-turn spells.

6th Level. Preserve Life

This is more or less the same. The part about not healing Undead and Constructs is gone. Moreover, there is a clarification that you can target yourself as well. These clarifications are things I like.

10th Level. Blessed Healer

This used to be a feature at level 6. Other than that it works pretty much the same, as in whenever you cast a healing spell that requires a Spell Slot you also get healed by an amount equal to the spell’s level plus 2. Just like in Disciple of Life, there is the extra wording about getting the extra healing only on the turn the spell was cast.

14th Level. Supreme Healing

This stays the same but it has been moved down from level 17. Your healing rolls are automatically maxed out. Just a note that this feature works for healing done on turns different than the one you cast a healing spell.

Overall, I am fine with the Life Domain. The change in the levels of the features causes some weirdness, for example not getting level 1 Domain Spells. Finally, I am curious about how the lore will change to allow healing Undead and Constructs. Therefore, I won’t complain about this change yet and wait to see if there is a cool reason for it.

Character Species

Let’s get to the species now. We have already seen a version of the Ardling and the Dragonborn but we also get the Goliath this time.

Ardling

The nature of the Ardlings has somewhat changed. They now come from the Beastlands instead of the Upper Planes. The traits about size, age, etc haven’t changed. However, the heading has changed from Ardling Traits to Ardling Adventurer Traits. This is a minor thing, in my opinion, but it notes something we take for granted and that is that adventurers are probably more powerful than regular people of their species.

Animal Ancestry. This one has replaced Celestial Legacy but it works similarly. You choose form which celestial animal you descend and gain benefits.

  • Climber (Bear, Cat, Lizard, Squirrel). Your Climbing Speed is equal to your Speed. Moreover, once per turn, you can add your Proficiency Bonus to your damage with your Unarmed Strike. Characters who use Unarmed Strikes can benefit from it.
  • Flyer (Bat, Eagle, Owl, Raven). You get wings that give you some mobility and safety. When you fall more than 10 feet, you can use your Reaction to fall down slowly to safety. Moreover, you get Advantage when taking the Jump Action. I like this more than giving a character actual flight capabilities at level 1.
  • Racer (Deer, Dog, Horse, Triceratops). When you take the Dash Action, your Speed increases for the turn by 10 times your Proficiency Bonus. This allows you to cover a ton of distance and many classes will benefit from it. Plus, Triceratops!
  • Swimmer (Crocodile, Dolphin, Frog, Shark). You can hold your breath for 1 hour, your Swim Speed is equal to your Speed, and you get Resistance to Cold Damage. I wonder how often we will see Cold Damage in this edition. As for the Swim Speed and breath, I am not sure how often they may come up. It all depends on player shenanigans.

Divine Magic. You get the Thaumaturgy cantrip. You can choose which Spellcasting Ability you can use for it and you can also change the cantrip after a Long Rest.

Keen Senses. You get Proficiency in Perception.

This time, the Ardling gets fewer spells but it’s also a bit more straightforward. It kinda reminds me a bit of the Shifters from Eberron but I don’t think it is an issue.

Dragonborn

I think the main change here is the way the Breath Weapon is handled and the addition of flight.

Breath Weapon. Now you get to choose the shape of your breath weapon. It can either be either a 15-foot cone or a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide. I like that you can choose between the two instead of having just one option. The damage scaling has been added back as well. This feels like something between the PHB version and the Fizban version. An important change is that the Breath Weapon now replaces just one Attack from your Attack Action. This definitely helps classes that get multiple Attacks with their Attack Action.

Damage Resistance and Darkvision remain the same.

Draconic Flight. This is new. You get to fly a bit at level 5 and onwards. Once per Long Rest and as a Bonus Action you get spectral wings that last for 10 minutes and give you a Fly Speed equal to your Speed. You can retract them sooner using a Bonus Action and they go away if you become Incapacitated. I don’t mind this. It isn’t available at level 1 and it is not infinite nor free.

Why do I think we will see another version of the Breath Weapon? Also, I liked the part about the Draconic Language that has been removed now and I don’t know why they decided to remove it.

Goliath

This is a new addition to the One D&D playtest. Does this mean the Goliath could be one of the PHB species?

  • Creature Type. Humanoid.
  • Size. Medium.
  • Speed. 35 feet speed, for both sizes.
  • Life Span: That’s an average of 80 years.

Giant Ancestry. You get to choose your Ancestry from Giants. Each Giant type gives a different boon. You can use your boon a number of times equal to your Proficiency Bonus that refresh with a Long Rest.

  • Cloud’s Jaunt (Cloud Giant). You can teleport up to 30 feet as a Bonus Action. That’s a lot of mobility at level 1.
  • Fire’s Burn (Fire Giant). When you hit with an Attack Roll, you can add an extra 1d10 Fire Damage.
  • Frost’s Chill (Frost Giant). When you hit with an Attack Roll, you can deal an extra 1d6 Cold Damage and reduce the target’s speed by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. This one deals less damage than Fire’s Burn but it also hinders the movement of the opponent.
  • Hill’s Tumble (Hill Giant). When you successfully hit a Large or smaller creature with an Attack Roll, you can knock it Prone.
  • Stone’s Endurance (Stone Giant). When taking damage, you can use your Reaction to roll a d12 (I love d12 so that’s a plus). You add your Constitution modifier to that number and then reduce the damage taken by that much. Yeah, I’m not really sure about this one.
  • Storm’s Thunder (Storm Giant). You can use your Reaction to deal 1d8 Thunder Damage to a creature within 60 feet of you that just dealt damage to you. Personally, I’d rather have a way to avoid the damage but that’s a nice second option.

Large Form. You gain this at 5th level. You can turn Large for 10 minutes as a Bonus Action. However, there needs to be enough space for you to do that. While you are Large, you have Advantage on Strength Checks, and your Speed increases by 10 feet. At first, this feels fun and strong. But then I got the feeling it’s mostly fun. At least, you don’t get to be Large all the time and inconvenience you and the rest of the party.

Powerful Build. You have Advantage on Saving Throws you make to end the Grappled condition on yourself. Plus, you count a size larger when trying to carry stuff.

The Goliath has gotten a buff, I believe. Giant Ancestry looks interesting and Large Form looks fun. I know a few people who will enjoy this version of the Goliath.

Feats

This time we get some Epic Boon that target the Cleric, given we have gotten a glimpse of the Class.

Epic Boon of Fate. Requires your class to be a Mage or a Priest. This is a bit similar to the Epic Boon of Luck. The difference is that you can use the d10 to you or someone within 60 feet of you and you can apply it as a bonus or as a penalty. I like it because it gives you more options.

Epic Boon of Spell Recall. Requires your class to be a Mage or a Priest. It allows you to cast a 5th-level (or lower) spell that you have prepared without expending a Spell Slot. It kinda feels a bit underwhelming but it’s still a 5th-level spell.

Epic Boon of Truesight. Requires your class to be a Priest. You get 60 feet of Truesight. No duration. No requirements. That’s a nice Epic Boon.

Rules Glossary

And finally, we reach the glossary. But before going to the terms themselves, I would like to say thank you to the brains that decided a change log is needed here. It makes my job here much easier.

Aid. The idea is the same but with small changes that can have big effects. First of all, the targets of the spell don’t get an increase in their maximum Hit Points but Temporary Hit Points instead. Moreover, the number of targets has gone up from 3 to 6 and the duration is instantaneous. If I remember correctly, Temporary Hit Points do NOT stack, therefore this can’t be used along with other spells or features that give Temporary Hit Points. It feels like a downgrade.

Attack Action. This is such a small change that I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if there wasn’t a change log. The change is about changing weapons and now it allows you to equip or unequip a weapon before or after ANY attack you make with this Action. This will allow a lot more versatility during combat, I believe.

Banishment. Lots of changes here. First of all, the range has been cut down to half and is now 30 feet. Moreover, the target now gets a Saving Throw each round to return where they were. Also, it’s not as easy to send creatures away for good and now it only works for Aberrations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey, or Fiends that fail all Saving Throws during the 1 minute they are banished. This is definitely a downgrade.

Grappled. Another tiny change that clarifies things. In the Moveable part of the condition, it is now stated that you can move the creature you are grappling only when you take the Move action.

Guidance has been updated as well. The Range has been reduced to 10 feet but now there is no restriction how many times a character can benefit from the spell.

Influence. This has had a few changes as well but the most important is how the DC is set. It now is the highest between 15 and the creature’s Intelligence score.

Light Weapon Property. This has been changed, as in more words have been added. At least that’s what I think because I didn’t really find any actual changes. Let me know if you have found something.

Long Rest. It has been added that Long Rests remove 1 level of Exhaustion. Moreover, now you have to wait 16 hours between Long Rests. Finally, if you are interrupted during a Long Rest, you can resume it after the interruption has been dealt with.

Magic. The change here is that it now mentions features as the reason you may have to take the Magic Action.

Prayer of Healing. The number of affected creatures is now equal to your Spellcasting Ability Modifier (minimum of 1), instead of 6. Moreover, the creatures affected also get the benefits of a Short Rest apart from the healing, which has also been changed to just be 2d8. Finally, affected creatures can’t gain the benefits of the spell again unless they take a Long Rest. So, this can be called a Shorter Rest. Moreover, there isn’t anything about Undead and Constructs not being affected by the healing.

Priest’s Pack. It’s a new adventuring gear option. The special about it is that it has Holy Water and a Robe.

Resistance. It now costs a Reaction and doesn’t require Concentration because the effect takes place instantly.

Spiritual Weapon. It now requires Concentration and I am feeling quite annoyed about it. I was recently playing a Cleric and Spiritual Weapon was such a nice spell to use alongside other spells. It has now dropped a usefulness tier.

Truesight. I think this hasn’t changed, but I also think this wasn’t in the PHB either.

And I am finally done. Even if this was a shorter document, it took me longer to finish it due to work. Clerics are really hard to ruin so this version seems fine. I like Goliaths and Dragonborn. Ardlings aren’t something I’d play but it’s fine as well. From the Rules Glossary, the Spiritual Weapon change is what annoys me the most, but that’s probably biased because I like my Dragonborn Cleric to have a mace friend while also casting Bless.

You can find the document here. Oh, and look at that. The survey opens tomorrow!

And until next time, have fun!

One thought on “Unearthed Arcana 2022: The Cleric and Revised Species Analysis

  1. I like most of it though I wish being large had some more clarity. As is, it seems dramatic but doesn’t seem to do anything. Or does it? That kind of ambiguity is not good. Especially with questions like ‘do my weapons do more damage?’.

    As to the cleric, I’d prefer channel divinity and holy orders swapped places. I don’t think channel or turn undead are the cleric’s ‘signature ability’ – they are situational. Cleric’s signature is casting spells while in armor. Also weird to go from med armor to heavy armor at lvl 2, considering lvl 1 often only lasts a session.

    I’m also not a fan of the new guidance and resistance. They are too good now and the constant +d4 to checks and resistances as a reaction will just bog the game down, especially when you mix in bardic and heroic inspiration. Better (IMO) for them to just affect the cleric only.

    I really like spiritual weapon. I find it is a real character/fluff opportunity for players. I think it should changed from a spell to a class feature and remove the concentration. Maybe even have it granted by subclass as their domain could shape their spiritual weapon. Heck, you could even make manifesting it the rite of passage that reveals your domain/subclass. Kind of like a violent, spectral sorting hat 😛

    Interesting note with goliaths and ardlings it looks like this playtest has been stretched to include planescape and the rumored giantlands books. I don’t think these are PHB races after all.

    Like

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