A Cleric’s Guide To D&D: Simple Things Every Gods-Fearing Cleric Should Know In Dungeons And Dragons

A Cleric’s Guide To D&D: Simple Things Every Gods-Fearing Cleric Should Know In Dungeons And Dragons
Credit: Wizards of the Coast via Youtube

Clerics have a reputation in Dungeons and Dragons for being the moral compass. There’s a misconception that clerics tend to be the goody-two-shoes of the party, but the truth of the matter is clerics are as diverse as the gods they worship, and no two are ever the same.

A cleric is considered a full caster and the main casting stat is Wisdom, so races that increase Wisdom, such as Wood-Elves, Aasimar, and Aarakocra are all choice decisions. No official class offers a +2 to Wisdom (however, with the new rules to be added by Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, this could soon be irrelevant.)

The second highest stat should either be Constitution or Strength, depending on your build. Melee clerics will probably want to prioritize Strength, maybe even above Wisdom, depending on your domain.

Clerics who are planning on casting more should prioritize Constitution over Strength, to be able to pass concentration checks easier. Medium armor and shields help to keep the cleric in the fight longer and heal their team.

Skills taken should be prioritized as Wisdom-based skills, like Medicine and Insight, but you might also want to take Athletics if you’re a melee-based class or even Acrobatics for Trickster Domain Clerics and the like.

A cleric’s main strength is in their ability to keep the team in the fight with healing and support spells. Cure Wounds and Healing Word are great for healing in a pinch, and Sanctuary can help you and your allies’ survivability. Lesser Restoration, Greater Restoration, and Remove Curse are all also essential to the cleric’s toolkit.

The great thing about prepared spellcasters like the Cleric is their tailorability. Clerics prepare their spells each dawn from their spell list, so if you know you’ll have a tough encounter coming, you’ll be able to prepare.

The base cleric’s Channel Divinity is great for staying on your toes against the undead, and Divine Intervention can come in clutch if you’re desperate to go asking for divine favors, as long as you’re prepared to potentially get nothing. At level 20, this ability is pretty bananas.

However, the cleric’s Domain makes the class, and there are 16 different options to choose from, representing different an aspect of their deity. For example, a cleric of Sune might take the Unity domain, whilst a cleric of Kelemvor may take the Death domain.

Each domain will provide the cleric with different abilities appropriate to their domain. Forge Domain clerics can create objects and weapons from thin air, while Life domain clerics gain abilities that provide extra healing.

Clerics can be a great way to support your party without having to sacrifice your fun, too!