Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Snow Priest - (Variant Human Nature Theurgist)


One weakness of the cleric class is that it focuses entirely on warrior clerics. There are several faiths in the various settings where the idea that most of the clergy is trained in use of armor and weapons is rather silly. For example, the priesthood of Sune, Sharess, and Deneir are much less likely to be stout warriors in addition to their faith. Even Ilmater's and Lathander's priests would be primarily those untrained in military arts. The typical Cleric class of D&D is something that could possibly turn up in every faith, given the need for protecting the faithful, but would only be common in the worship of figures like Torm, Tyr, St. Cuthbert, or Bane.

Further, the majority of fictional priests are of the robed non-combatant variety. Most of the time that you find battle priests it shows up in pieces of fiction directly inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. Even in settings that are directly inspired by D&D, such as Record of Lodoss War, you primarily find that priests are lightly armored, if at all, and wielding staves and their faith.

This matter is somewhat addressed by the Unearthed Arcana wizard tradition of the Theurgist with some notable difficulties. First, the Theurgist will never get the Turn Undead, Destroy Undead, and Divine Intervention capabilities. Second, the majority of their spell list still ends up being arcane in nature. This is fine if you're dealing with a wizard who also serves a god or philosophy, but comes out weird if you're trying to portray a priest who focuses on their faith to the exclusion of military training. Another option is the Favored Soul which faces even more difficulties for matching this character type and is also not the focus of the current theoretical build.

As a note, I allow Theurgists to add extra cleric spells if they first get their Domain Spells they currently have access to. For example, if you are a 4th level theurgist and have already taken the Domain spells you'd get at levels 2 and 3, then you can take other spells now. I also allow them to scribe spells from cleric scrolls once they have met this requirement. I make similar considerations for Clerics of the Arcana Domain regarding wizard spells. I assume any such spell either way would be connected to the primary stat of the relevant class.


For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.

1st Level Variant Human Wizard
Str: 10
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 16
Wis: 14
Cha: 11

HP: 8
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor, 16 with Shield, 19 with Mage Armor and Shield)
Save DC: 13
Speed: 30ft

Proficiency Bonus: +2
Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: None
Weapons: Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Languages: Common, Draconic, Celestial, Elvish

Proficient Skills
History (Wizard) +5
Insight (Acolyte) +4
Medicine (Wizard) +4
Persuasion (Human) +2
Religion (Acolyte) +5

Background: Acolyte
Feat: Magic Initiate (Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds)

Spellcasting
Arcane Recovery

Cantrips: Light, Mending, Ray of Frost, Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying
Spell Slots: 2 (1st)

1st Level Spells: Cure Wounds, Find Familiar, Healing Elixir, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep

Prepared Spells: Cure Wounds, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep

Reasoning: There were a couple of different options I could have taken here, but I decided to opt for Ray of Frost and Sacred Fire for cold and radiant damage mostly because I recently wrote up a theoretical for a cleric heavily related to fire. The options for feat I considered also included Prodigy and Theologian, both of which are likely to come up later, but I opted for Magic Initiate in order to have quick access to Cure Wounds. I used to note spells gained from feats and racial abilities separately from spells gained from class until I noted a twitter response from WotC staff that such spells can be cast with spell slots in addition to using them as indicated by the feat or racial ability. A look through the stat blocks of certain NPCs, such as Vanifer from Princes of the Apocalypse, confirmed that such abilities were included in spell lists along with spells gained from the class. Find Familiar is there simply because I can't resist including a small pet when I get the option.

2nd to 5th Level


2nd Level - Arcane Tradition: Theurgy, Divine Inspiration: Nature, Channel Arcane (1/Rest), CA: Divine Arcana, CA: Charm Animals and Plants, +6 HP (14)
Spells: Animal Friendship, Speak with Animals

3rd Level - +6 HP (20)
Spells: Barkskin, Spike Growth

4th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Theologian, +6 HP (26)
Cantrip: Create Bonfire, Thaumaturgy
Spells: Ceremonies, Detect Evil and Good, Fog Cloud

5th Level - Proficiency Bonus: +3, +6 HP (32)
Spells: Plant Growth, Wind Wall

Reasoning: Most of the spell selections went toward taking Domain Spells. I'm viewing this character as a priestess of a deity related to snow and ice. Probably one with a dual aspect such as Holle who can be either gentle or harsh and also is prone to making mysterious appearances. I took the Ceremonies spell from the Starter Spells article at 4th level as a way of finally picking up the basic rituals of the priesthood. It took that long to do so because both 2nd and 3rd level needed to be spent on Domain spells in order to free up that ability. In all likelihood, however, she probably could get that spell scribed off of a scroll and spending a leveling slot on it is a bit of a waste. But I like to note its presence in this theoretical. Create Bonfire is there because, while it is a fire attack, benevolent snow deities often have the ability to ward off the cold as well as call it. Holle in particular occasional manifests as a woman living alone in a pleasant hut in the wild.

5th Level Statistics


5th Level Variant Human Nature Theurgist
Str: 10
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 17
Wis: 14
Cha: 11

HP: 32
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor, 16 with Shield, 19 with Mage Armor and Shield)
Save DC: 14
Speed: 30ft

Proficiency Bonus: +3
Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: None
Weapons: Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Languages: Common, Draconic, Celestial, Elvish

Proficient Skills
History (Wizard) +6
Insight (Acolyte) +5
Medicine (Wizard) +5
Persuasion (Human) +3
Religion (Acolyte) +9

Background: Acolyte
Feat: Magic Initiate (Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds), Theologian

Spellcasting
Arcane Recovery
Tradition: Theurgy: Nature
Divine Inspiration
Channel Arcana
CA: Divine Arcana
CA: Charm Animals and Plants

Cantrips: Create Bonfire, Light, Mending, Ray of Frost, Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Spell Slots: 4 (1st) 3 (2nd) 2 (3rd)

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Ceremonies, Cure Wounds, Detect Evil and Good, Find Familiar, Healing Elixir, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals
2nd Level Spells: Barkskin, Fog Cloud, Spike Growth
3rd Level Spells: Plant Growth, Wind Wall

Prepared Spells: Cure Wounds, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals, Spike Growth, Wind Wall


6th to 10th Level


6th Level - Arcane Acolyte, Acolyte of Nature: Survival, +6 HP (38)
Cantrip: Frostbite
Spells: Revivify, Sleet Storm

7th Level - +6 HP (44)
Spells: Dominate Beast, Grasping Vine

8th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Prodigy: Nature, Herbalism Kit, Sylvan, +6 HP (50)
Spells: Ice Storm, Leomund's Tiny Hut

9th Level - Proficiency Bonus +4, +6 HP (56)
Spells: Insect Plague, Tree Stride

10th Level - Arcane Priest, Dampen Elements, +6 HP (62)
Cantrip: Message
Spells: Hallow, Hallucinatory Terrain

Reasoning: I'm mostly hitting on the idea of the hidden hut out in the middle of nowhere, and also thinking I maybe should have taken Hermit as a background. Insect Plague doesn't really fit in as much here, but I suppose it could be obliquely connected to a deity of winter. It's a Domain Spell for nature, so it goes in to free up space. I considered both Greater Restoration and Raise Dead at tenth level but opted to hit theme first. Frostbite is a spell out of the Elemental Evil player's guide and Princes of the Apocalypse adventure set, I took it to further heighten the ice priest vibe.

10th Level Statistics


10th Level Variant Human Nature Theurgist
Str: 10
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 18
Wis: 14
Cha: 11

HP: 62
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor, 16 with Shield, 19 with Mage Armor and Shield)
Save DC: 16
Speed: 30ft

Proficiency Bonus: +4
Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: None
Weapons: Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
Tools: Herbalism Kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Languages: Common, Draconic, Celestial, Elvish, Sylvan

Proficient Skills
History (Wizard) +8
Insight (Acolyte) +6
Nature (Prodigy) +8
Medicine (Wizard) +6
Persuasion (Human) +4
Religion (Acolyte) +13
Survival (Nature Domain) +6

Background: Acolyte
Feat: Magic Initiate (Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds), Prodigy (Nature, Herbalism Kit, Sylvan), Theologian

Spellcasting
Arcane Recovery
Tradition: Theurgy: Nature
Divine Inspiration
Channel Arcana
CA: Divine Arcana
CA: Charm Animals and Plants
Arcane Acolyte: Acolyte of Nature (Frostbite, Survival)
Arcane Priest: Dampen Elements

Cantrips: Create Bonfire, Frostbite, Light, Mending, Message, Ray of Frost, Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Spell Slots: 4 (1st) 3 (2nd) 3 (3rd) 3 (4th) 2 (5th)

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Ceremonies, Cure Wounds, Detect Evil and Good, Find Familiar, Healing Elixir, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals
2nd Level Spells: Barkskin, Fog Cloud, Spike Growth
3rd Level Spells: Leomund's Tiny Hut, Plant Growth, Revivify, Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
4th Level Spells: Dominate Beast, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Grasping Vine
5th Level Spells: Hallow, Insect Plague, Tree Stride

Prepared Spells: Barkskin, Cure Wounds, Grasping Vine, Ice Knife, Ice Storm, Mage Armor, Revivfy, Shield, Sleep, Sleet Storm, Speak with Animals, Spike Growth, Tree Stride, Wind Wall

11th to 15th Level


11th Level - +6 HP (68)
Spells: Heroes' Feast, Raise Dead

12th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Naturalist, +6 HP (74)
Cantrip: Druidcraft
Spells: Detect Poison and Disease, Cone of Cold, Wall of Ice

13th Level - Proficiency Bonus +5, +6 HP (80)
Spells: Simulacrum, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion

14th Level - Arcane High Priest: Master of Nature, +6 HP (86)
Spells: Divine Word, Heal

15th Level - +6 HP (92)
Spells: Control Weather, Maze

Reasoning: Hitting on more of the mysterious host found in the snowy wield theme, I've grabbed up Heroes' Feast and Magnificient Mansion, I've also added in Raise Dead, Heal, and Divine Word. Cone of Cold, Wall of Ice, and Simulacrum hit the snow and ice theme. Maze is a good spell for recreating that idea of being lost in the snowy woods and Control Weather is very fitting to a priest of snow.

15th Level Statistics

15th Level Variant Human Nature Theurgist
Str: 10
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 19
Wis: 14
Cha: 11

HP: 92
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor, 16 with Shield, 19 with Mage Armor and Shield)
Save DC: 17
Speed: 30ft

Proficiency Bonus: +5
Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: None
Weapons: Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
Tools: Herbalism Kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Languages: Common, Draconic, Celestial, Elvish, Sylvan

Proficient Skills
History (Wizard) +9
Insight (Acolyte) +7
Nature (Prodigy) +14
Medicine (Wizard) +7
Persuasion (Human) +5
Religion (Acolyte) +14
Survival (Nature Domain) +7

Background: Acolyte
Feat: Magic Initiate (Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds), Naturalist, Prodigy (Nature, Herbalism Kit, Sylvan), Theologian

Spellcasting
Arcane Recovery
Tradition: Theurgy: Nature
Divine Inspiration
Channel Arcana
CA: Divine Arcana
CA: Charm Animals and Plants
Arcane Acolyte: Acolyte of Nature (Frostbite, Survival)
Arcane Priest: Dampen Elements
Arcane High Priest: Master of Nature

Cantrips: Create Bonfire, Druidcraft, Frostbite, Light, Mending, Message, Ray of Frost, Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Spell Slots: 4 (1st) 3 (2nd) 3 (3rd) 3 (4th) 2 (5th) 1 (6th) 1 (7th) 1 (8th)

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Ceremonies, Cure Wounds, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Poison and Disease, Find Familiar, Healing Elixir, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals
2nd Level Spells: Barkskin, Fog Cloud, Spike Growth
3rd Level Spells: Leomund's Tiny Hut, Plant Growth, Revivify, Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
4th Level Spells: Dominate Beast, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Grasping Vine
5th Level Spells: Cone of Cold, Hallow, Insect Plague, Tree Stride
6th Level Spells: Heal, Heroes' Feast, Wall of Ice
7th Level Spells: Divine Word, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, Simulacrum
8th Level Spells: Control Weather, Maze

Prepared Spells: Barkskin, Control Weather, Cure Wounds, Grasping Vine, Heal, Ice Knife, Ice Storm, Mage Armor, Mordenkainen's Magnificient Mansion, Maze, Revivfy, Shield, Sleep, Sleet Storm, Speak with Animals, Spike Growth, Tree Stride, Wall of Ice, Wind Wall

16th to 20th Level


16th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Historian, +6 HP (98)
Spells: Mass Cure Wounds, Commune

17th Level - Proficiency Bonus +6, + HP (104)
Spells: Mass Heal, Time Stop

18th Level - Spell Mastery, +6 HP (110)
Spells: Augury, Divination

19th Level - Ability Score Improvement: +2 Wis, +6 HP (116)
Spells: Lesser Restoration, Greater Restoration

20th Level - Signature Spell: Revivify, Sleet Storm, +6 HP (122)
Spells: Mirage Arcane, Wish

Reasoning: I originally took Cure Wounds as the Spell Mastery for 1st Level, but then I realized that should be excepted as it heavily impacts the need for a short rest. Granted, with unlimited cures, short rests might still be necessary to recover other resources, but it felt a bit too unbalancing. The second level spell selection didn't have too many options, but I settled on Spike Growth and imagined it as icicles. I originally had Lesser Restoration there, but removed it for the same reason I decided not to go with Cure Wounds. That said, it takes merely eight hours of study to change those up, so the loadout could change for different circumstances. For the Signature Spells, I took Revivify, because yes, and Sleet Storm to heighten the ice priest theme. A lot of the remaining spells were taken to round out the cleric's basic utility and actually rather represent spells I'd likely have taken by scribing them off scrolls much earlier than this. I considered taking War Caster or Constitution, but decided to opt for Wisdom to hit on theme a little and because the character is sort of a back-ranks character as designed.

20th Level Statistics

20th Level Variant Human Nature Theurgist
Str: 10
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 20
Wis: 16
Cha: 11

HP: 122
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor, 16 with Shield, 19 with Mage Armor and Shield)
Save DC: 19
Speed: 30ft

Proficiency Bonus: +6
Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: None
Weapons: Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows
Tools: Herbalism Kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Languages: Common, Draconic, Celestial, Elvish, Sylvan

Proficient Skills
History (Wizard) +17
Insight (Acolyte) +9
Nature (Prodigy) +17
Medicine (Wizard) +9
Persuasion (Human) +6
Religion (Acolyte) +17
Survival (Nature Domain) +9

Background: Acolyte
Feat: Historian, Magic Initiate (Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds), Naturalist, Prodigy (Nature, Herbalism Kit, Sylvan), Theologian

Spellcasting
Arcane Recovery
Tradition: Theurgy: Nature
Divine Inspiration
Channel Arcana
CA: Divine Arcana
CA: Charm Animals and Plants
Arcane Acolyte: Acolyte of Nature (Frostbite, Survival)
Arcane Priest: Dampen Elements
Arcane High Priest: Master of Nature
Spell Mastery: Cure Wounds, Spike Growth
Signature Spell: Revivify, Sleet Storm

Cantrips: Create Bonfire, Druidcraft, Frostbite, Light, Mending, Message, Ray of Frost, Sacred Fire, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
Spell Slots: 4 (1st) 3 (2nd) 3 (3rd) 3 (4th) 2 (5th) 2 (6th) 2 (7th) 1 (8th) 1 (9th)

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Ceremonies, Cure Wounds, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Poison and Disease, Find Familiar, Healing Elixir, Ice Knife, Mage Armor, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals
2nd Level Spells: Augury, Barkskin, Fog Cloud, Spike Growth
3rd Level Spells: Leomund's Tiny Hut, Plant Growth, Revivify, Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
4th Level Spells: Divination, Dominate Beast, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Grasping Vine
5th Level Spells: Commune, Cone of Cold, Greater Restoration, Hallow, Insect Plague, Mass Cure Wounds, Tree Stride
6th Level Spells: Heal, Heroes' Feast, Wall of Ice
7th Level Spells: Divine Word, Mirage Arcane, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, Simulacrum
8th Level Spells: Control Weather, Maze
9th Level: Mass Heal, Time Stop, Wish

Spell Mastery: Ice Knife, Spike Growth
Signature Spells: Revivify, Sleet Storm

Prepared Spells: Barkskin, Cure Wounds, Control Weather, Divine Word, Grasping Vine, Great Restoration, Heal, Ice Knife, Ice Storm, Lesser Restoration, Mage Armor, Mass Cure Wounds, Mass Heal, Mordenkainen's Magnificient Mansion, Maze, Revivfy, Shield, Sleep, Speak with Animals, Spike Growth, Time Stop, Tree Stride, Wall of Ice, Wind Wall, Wish



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