• Justin Handlin

Class Analysis: Cleric Arcana Domain

Listen to Episode 40: Class Analysis: Cleric Arcana Domain




Crit Academy breaks down the Dungeons and Dragons Cleric Arcana Domain found in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.


"Magic is an energy that suffuses the multiverse and that fuels both destruction and creation. Gods of the Arcana domain know the secrets and potential of magic intimately. For some of these gods, magical knowledge is a great responsibility that comes with a special understanding of the nature of reality. Other gods of Arcana see magic as pure power, to be used as its wielder sees fit.


The gods of this domain are often associated with knowledge, as learning and arcane power tend to go hand-in-hand. In the Realms, deities of this domain include Azuth and Mystra, as well as Corellon Larethian of the elven pantheon."


This cleric domain is chock full of fun and magical excitement. While the cleric has access to some pretty fantastic spells, notably missing is powerful damaging attack cantrips. With the new domain spell list giving access to the wizards wide range of offensive cantrips and two of my favorite spells at lvl 1, magic missile and detect magic. This domain really gets a pretty decent start.


One of my favorite features is the channel divinity Arcane Abjuration that not only keeps a creature at bay, but at higher levels banishes them! What a fantastic feature. Check out the episode for more of our thoughts on each of the cleric domain features and how we recommend getting the most out of your Arcane Domain cleric.


Segment 4: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)


Character Concept: Listener: Nathan Heard: The False Mage

This character claims to be a powerful wizard, but isn't actually able to use magic. Similar to the gun mage you mentioned in one episode, this character operates entirely through gimmicks and gear to replicate spells. However, this character tries to preserve his secret and goes out of his way to make it look like he's actually using magic. He might light a mortar and toss it at someone, then wave his hands as it explodes to make it look like it was a magical blast rather than just a bomb. Statistically I built this character as a Rogue/Wizard multiclass and put expertise in the Performance skill so that he has a better chance of fooling people, but this could make for some interesting roleplaying if another magic-user calls BS on him and casts detect magic. I haven't had a chance to actually use this character yet since I usually DM, but I think it's a fun concept.


Monster Variant: Listener: Michael Handley: Agonizing Crawler

Origin: Carrion Crawler


New Feature: Agonizing Gaze:

When a creature that can see the crawlers eyes starts its turn within 30 feet of the crawler, it must make a DC 13 Charisma saving throw, if the crawler isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. On a failed saving throw, the creature has its pain threshold reduced, so that it becomes vulnerable to all damage types until the end of its next turn. Unless it’s surprised, a creature can avoid the saving throw by averting its eyes at the start of its turn. A creature that averts its eyes can’t see the crawler for one full round, when it chooses anew, whether to avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at the crawler in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.


Encounter: Listener Jason Simmons:

Door of Souls!

Here's an encounter inspired by Dark Souls 2 you might be interested in. When a sealed door is approached by adventurers, suits of animated armor or a golem activate and attack. If defeated within a certain distance they transfer energy to a door and once all are defeated the door opens. If out of range, however, they reanimate and must be defeated again. This could be indicated by a glow on the door when within range to help the party discover the trick. It seems fun for an ancient vault or wizard tower.


Magic Item: Listener Josh Miller:

Befuddling Cloak

This black and purple adorned cloak was designed to allow the wearer to easily escape an enemy by confusing them during the attack.

Rare: Attunement Required

Once per dawn, when the wearer is hit with by an attack, they can use their reaction to shout the cloaks command word. If they do, the target is mind is assaulted and twisted, spawning delusions and provoking uncontrolled actions. The creature must succeed on a wisdom saving throw DC 14 or be affected by the cloak for 1 minute.

The affected target can’t take reactions and must roll a d10 at the start of each of its turns to determine its behavior for that turn. Table is on page 225 under the confusion spell.


D10 Behavior

1: The creature uses all its movement to move in a random direction. To determine the direction, roll a d8 and assign a direction to each die face. The creature doesn’t take an action this turn.

2-6: The creature doesn’t move or take actions this turn.

7-8: The creature uses its action to make a melee attack against a randomly determined creature within its reach. If there is no creature within its reach, the creature does nothing this turn.

9-10: The creature can act and move normally.


Dungeon Master Tip: Listener Chad Christie: VS

From a conversation we had.

One year we talked about splitting our 9 person party, 5 in one group and 4 in another. You could have both groups competing against each other. Either one team is villians and the other the heroes, or have them racing against themselves and other adventuring parties for the same goal.


Player Tip: Listener: Jonathan S

Clean up that mess!

Offer to help clean up after game. It's annoying to run a 6 hour game and then have an hour cleanup when everyone goes home.


If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on twitter and facebook @critacademy.

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