Second edition introduced the idea of "specialty priests," and fabulous supplements (like Faiths & Avatars) offered scores of very interesting cleric variations, each with powers and spells tailored to their specific god. Third edition employed "domains" to create a similar effect.
The 5e Player's Handbook likewise uses a "domain" mechanic. And I think it works very well. But the PHB only includes six domains (knowledge, life, light, trickery, tempest, and war).
So, let's fix that with some new domains that I put together for use in my home game.
WARNING: I tend not to give much care to "game balance." These are not, and not intended to be, "balanced" against one another. And they are not direct translations of the powers described in the old Faiths & Avatars book, although that is certainly a source of inspiration for these.
AURIL, the Frostmaiden, the Icedawn, the Cold Goddess, Lady Frostkiss.
· Clergy Titles – Generally, “Hand of Auril,” “Icepriest,” or “Icepriestess.” Formal Ranks: Postulant, Icewind*, Storm Sister/Brother, Frosttouch, Lady/Lord Cold, Lady/Lord Winter, High Hand of Ice.
· Clerics of Auril – Per standard cleric with the Winter Domain, per below:
· Armor & Weapon Proficiencies – Light and Medium Armors, Shields, Simple Weapons, all Martial Axes.
· Bonus Proficiencies – At first level, you gain proficiency in the Survival skill and with Constitution saving throws.
· Cold Resistance – At first level, you gain resistance to all cold damage. At 6th level, you gain immunity to all cold damage.
· Frosty Cantrips – One of your initial cantrips learned must be Ray of Frost. You gain Advantage when attacking with Ray of Frost, and deal +1d8 cold damage when using this cantrip.
· Frozen Magicks – Any spell cast by you that would normally deal acid, fire, lightning, necrotic, poison, radiant, or thunder damage (but not bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing) instead deals cold damage. The spell otherwise functions the same. For example, Sacred Flame becomes “Sacred Frost,” and deals 1d8 cold damage on a failed save.
· Channel Divinity: Aura of Cold – Beginning at 2nd level, as a bonus action, you may expend one use of your Channel Divinity to radiate a freezing aura for 1 minute. Any creature that starts its turn within 5’ of you takes 3d6 cold damage (Constitution save for half). Creatures you are grappling have Disadvantage on their save. At 8th level, this damage increases to 5d6.
· Channel Divinity: Command Undead – You can turn or command undead. Beginning at 2nd level, as an action, you may expend one use of Channel Divinity and force all undead within 30’ that you can see to make a Charisma saving throw vs. your spell save DC or become friendly and obey commands. Intelligent undead (8 or higher) receive Advantage on the saving throw and, if it has Intelligence 12 or higher, it receives a new save after each hour of control. If more than one cleric is vying for control over the same undead, a contested Spell Attack roll (Wisdom modifier + Proficiency bonus) determines who maintains or gains control. The maximum number of undead you may have under your command at any time is 2 x your level.
· Channel Divinity: Ice Axe – Beginning at 6th level, as a bonus action, you may expend one use of your Channel Divinity to create an axe (hand axe, battle axe, or greataxe) of unholy ice. This functions as a +2 magic weapon, and deals +2d6 cold damage in addition to the normal weapon damage. It lasts for 10 minutes.
· Frozen in Ice – Beginning at 8th level, when you damage a foe with cold magic, you may expend one use of your Channel Divinity as a bonus action to coat one target damaged in ice. The target is restrained (covered in a sheen of thick ice). It can attempt a Strength saving throw against your spell DC at the end of each of its turns to shatter the ice and end the effect.
· Frozen Juggernaut – At 17th level, once per long rest, as an action, you may summon an Ice Elemental (treat as Earth Elemental with immunity to cold and no Earth Glide power).
Winter Domain Spells:
1st Level: Ice (treat as Grease spell), Icy Blast (below).
3rd Level: Cloud of Ice Daggers (treast as Cloud of Daggers), Magic Weapon.
5th Level: Icy Touch (treat as Vampiric Touch), Sleet Storm
7th Level: Ice Storm, Iceskin (treat as Stoneskin)
9th Level: Cone of Cold, Wall of Ice.
Icy Blast – Level 1 Evocation, Casting Time: 1 action, Range 90’, Components (V,S,M) (piece of ice or snow lion's tooth). A flurry of ice and snow erupts from a point you choose in range. Each creature in a 5 foot radius must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. At higher levels: When you cast this using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.
AZUTH, the High One, Patron of Wizards, the Lord of Spells, the Hand of Mystra, Lord of Spellcraft.
· Portfolio: Wizards, Mages, Spellcasters.
· Clergy Titles – Generally, “Magistrati.”
· Clerics of Azuth – Per standard cleric with the Wizardry Domain, per below:
· Armor & Weapon Proficiencies – You are not proficient in any armor or shields, and only the weapons on the Wizard class list.
· Arcane Initiate – At first level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill. You may also opt to select your starting cantrips from the wizard spell list, instead of the cleric list.
· Intellect Over Wisdom – Clerics of Azuth use Intelligence, rather than Wisdom, for their spell attacks and saving throw DCs. They are also proficient in Intelligence saving throws.
· Arcane Spell Preparation – Clerics of Azuth get Domain spells for the Wizardry Domain, in the table below. Additionally, clerics of Azuth with access to an arcane spellbook may prepare one or more spells from that book, instead of from the cleric spell list. Arcane spells prepared in this way use the cleric’s Intelligence modifier and full proficiency bonus. You do not automatically gain a spellbook or learn any arcane spells when you advance in level – you must acquire them in the course of your adventures.
· Arcane Item Use – You may use any magic item that wizards can use.
· Channel Divinity: Arcane Power – Beginning at 2nd level, as an action, you may expend one use of Channel Divinity as a bonus action to recover a single spell slot of any level you can cast.
· Channel Divinity: Swift Magics – Beginning at 6th level, as a free action, you can expend one use of your Channel Divinity to allow you to cast any spell with the duration of 1 action as a bonus action (allowing you to cast two spells in a turn).
· Potent Cantrips – Starting at 8th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to the damage you deal with any cantrip.
· Arcane Mastery – At 17th level, you gain Advantage on all saving throws against magic or magical effects.
Wizardry Domain Spells:
1st Level: Identify, Mage Armor
3rd Level: Nystul's Magic Aura, See Invisibility
5th Level: Counterspell, Dispel Magic
7th Level: Arcane Eye, Banishment
9th Level: Legend Lore, Planar Binding