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Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
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Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/17/2017 04:55:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This expansion pdf for the cleric-class clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After a brief introduction to the subject matter at hand, we start off with the Blood Domain...and at one glance, we can see that the spells in the domain's list are not italicized, in a pretty obvious formatting hiccup. However, wait for a second - the spells themselves make sense, so how do the features fare? Well, at 1st level, you gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons that deal slashing or piercing damage and when you fall below 1/2 maximum hit points, you receive temporary hit points equal to twice your cleric level, but only once per short-rest-interval. If your current hit points are below half of the maximum, you gain temporary hit points of the same amount when rolling initiative...which could be interpreted in two ways: One, it is an additional effect or two, this counts towards the limit. Option one makes more sense to me, but presentation-wise, this could be slightly more elegant. One more note: Since most ranged weapons are piercing, I'd suggest caution in case you're using a lot of 3pp piercing weapons and firearms - in that case, I'd strongly suggest limiting the proficiency to slashing weapons, though that just as an aside that will not influence the final verdict.

Channel Divinity's version for the domain also makes use of the 1/2 maximum hit points threshold - allies within 60 ft. may use their reaction to attack with a slashing or piercing weapon and if these attacks hit, they add your Wisdom modifier to damage. At 11th level and 17th level, such attacks also inflict +1d8 damage or +2d8 damage, respectively. At 6th level, any 1 or 2 you roll on healing effects or damaging effects/attacks is treated as a 3 instead, which is powerful and rewards risky play. 8th level adds +1d8 damage to piercing and slashing weapons, +2d8 at 1th level. You also get to add Wisdom modifier to cleric cantrip damage. At 17th level, things become hardcore - when you reduce a creature to 0 hp, you regain channel divinity or an expanded spell slot, with the spell slot equal to half the CR of the creature damaged or 5. Thankfully, I can put away my bag of fluffy kittens - the feature can only be used twice in a long-rest-interval. All in all an interesting domain that rewards risky playstyle - you basically are at your best when at below half hit points and the same holds true for your allies. In such, this feels like an heir of 4e's bloodied mechanic, of which I never was a big fan. Still, from a neutral position, I can appreciate it.

The second domain herein would be the exorcism domain, which yields your choice of proficiency in Arcana, Insight or Intimidation at 1st level and also proficiency in Abyssal, infernal, Celestial, Sylvan or Primordial as well as heavy armor. Finally, you get the censure cantrip -bingo, not italicized. Channel Divinity allows you to turn fiends and fey and reveals their true form if they fail their Wisdom save. At 6th level, channel divinity can be used as a reaction to grant an ally within 30 ft. a reroll of a save resulting in possession or the charmed/frightened conditions - nice!! Even betetr - if said save is successful, you deal radiant damage to the creature that prompted the save - 2d8 + Cha-mod, which increases to 3d8 and 4d8 at 11th and 17th level, respectively. At 8th level, your weapon attack once per turn gains +1d8 radiant damage, +2d8 at 14th level, and you add Wisdom modifier to any cleric cantrip's damage. The 17th level feature adds a temporary banishment effect to unearthly creatures (precise list includes undead, fey, elementals, etc.) when they roll a 1 on saves versus you - including the option to potentially drop concentration in favor of the banishment. VERY cool! I love this domain. It's a specialist, sure, but it has some seriously cool mechanics!

The spirit domain nets proficiency with the herbalism kit and the spirit claw cantrip as well as proficiency in your choice of Animal Handling, Nature or Survival. You also get a totemic companion of either bear, eagle, snake or wolf - and the mechanics are amazing: You can direct this spirit as part of any other action to move and it is impervious to all but force damage and regenerates all damage after one round; however, 10 points of damage disperse it. Here's the cool thing: When you do not cast a spell (excluding curing spells) or attack, said companion gets to attack! This basically allows the player to contribute in otherwise dead/healing rounds or when concentrating. Big, big kudos!

At 2nd level, channel divinity allows for some seriously cool tricks - depending on totem spirit chosen, the activation can range from reaction to action...and they include damage resistance for yourself or an ally versus one effect, spirit companion short-range teleport (which takes an ally along, in the eagle's case or heals a target close to the destination of the snake totem!) or knock foes prone. Very, very cool - and at 6th level we get even more of these variable options. Absolutely amazing. 8th level allows the spirit companion to gain free attacks versus creatures you damage and 17th level nets resistance against cold, acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison and thunder damage, which may be a bit overkill, particularly since you may also, once per long-rest interval, grant yourself proficiency in a language, save, skill or tool. Know what this domain made me think: Ironically, it is a better, cooler representation of the shamanic concept than tribality's shaman class. It's amazing. It's the coolest domain I have read so far for 5e.

The pdf also includes, surprise, 8 new spells for the cleric, with a handy sidebar guiding the GM regarding their use/whether they're appropriate for other classes - kudos for going the extra mile there! Angelic Boon can be used as either a healing spell for allies or as a radiant damage inflicting melee spell attack. Clarion Call can rouse sleepers and end one condition like charmed, frightened or confused. Harrow deals minor psychic damage, but also adds a debuff to the creature's next roll before the end of its turn. Righteous Accusation can be upgraded with a proper and costly scroll containing a target's sins -and inflicts serious psychic damage and can cause the creature to be frightened. If the more costly version is used, the creature also receives two vulnerabilities...which is very powerful, yes...but also rewards proper legwork...and I'm pretty okay with it, in spite of the spell's damage type being pretty potent. Song of Battle is a cantrip that deals psychic damage and also adds radiant damage to a nearby ally's attack. Aforementioned Spirit Claw is basically a spell-command for the spirit companion to attack and thus does nothing without one. Spirit Wind, at 8th level inflicts selective radiant or necrotic damage to a type of creature or race and bolsters you or an ally with temporary hit points, healing or better damage, though only one benefit may be gained thus - so no, can't be kitten'd and explicitly states that deities do not look kindly upon the spell's misuse. Word of Censure, finally, would be another psychic damage-causing cantrip, but one with an interesting mechanic - if a creature affected moves closer to you, it'll take the damage a second time.

Conclusion:

Editing is top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. On the formatting side, the lack of italicization is a bit jarring. Layout adheres to Tribality Publishing's crisp and very unique 2-column full-color standard and the pdf includes the thematically-fitting, kind of photography-like artworks we've come to expect by now. The pdf has no bookmarks, which represents a minor comfort detriment at this length.

All right, while I am not sold 100% on the cantrips and the pretty potent utility they exhibit herein and while I really dislike the bloodied-style mechanics of the Blood domain, this pdf is still amazing. The exorcism domain is extremely flavorful...but it is the spirit domain that makes me smile from ear to ear. The spirit companion mechanics is a stroke of genius and allows you to actually act and do something active, even while healing allies and doing less exciting cleric stuff. Add the tactical options via the channel divinity tricks and we have a full-blown winner that is worth the low asking price all on its own. The spells similarly provide some absolutely evocative visuals. To sum up - one domain is very much a matter of taste, one is very good, one is pure amazing and the spells also should be considered to be among the better examples of their craft. In short: Brandes Stoddard's pdf is an amazing deal for any 5e-cleric (Seriously: Spirit domain. Never look back.) and deserves a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5. Excellent job!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Emmanouil T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2016 07:56:33

Fire and steel. All he could see was fire and steel. Fire and steel and war, a maelstrom of blades and blood, so much blood. Father will be pleased. But it is never enough, never enough to clench the thirst of a God. Shouting his name out to the sky he rushed to his brothers for one final stand. Father will be pleased.

Rinse and rub, the breastplate was almost ready. She always wanted to do it herself, despised magic for such mundane tasks. She focused now on the most difficult parts, the edges near the collar or the hinges at the shoulders. This was her favourite; there were scratches and dents that escaped the armorers that repaired it. This scratch here must be from that devil’s claws, that dent over there from the heretic’s maul. All of them made to cleanse this world. Just like her breastplate. Satisfied, she stood up, the sun just appearing from the window of her cell. Maybe with haste she’ll be on time for the morning prayer.

Running like the wind, she made good time on the glade. She could feel Yal’thearas pouncing at some distance on her left. Leaves and branches rushed by her, some brushing her tanned skin, others giving way with loud cracks as she rushed on her way in the forest. Now it is not time for caution, just speed. With a big leap she found herself amidst the younglings, as they are surrounded by the wraiths. She pulled out her horn and let loose a piercing cry that made birds fly away and the shaken younglings were able to stand firm again. As for the wraiths, Yal’thearas was already upon them.

Tribality and Brandes Stoddard bring us the Mysteries of The Gods-New Cleric Domains and Spells. As expected, the publication is broken down in two major parts, the new Cleric Domains and then the spells.

The Cleric Domains are three:

Blood Domain, where your Cleric becomes more Fighter-y gaining proficiency to more armor and weapons, increased ability to keep on fighting plus the ability to help others do the same. At bigger levels you’ll be able to inflict more damage too. They can take up the mantle of the party heavy-hitter and combined with another such character can really pose a hard-braking line. I can see this a must-have options for battle-heavy campaigns.

Exorcism Domain, where your Cleric becomes able to turn Fey and Fiends as well, clear your allies’ minds (thematically this ability is not only great, but also so much theatrical) and at bigger levels you are an even much bigger threat against Fey and Fiends. Thus, they have tremendous RP potential. The mechanics are there for sure, but you can build upon the idea behind this Domain for really memorable characters. My only concern is that generally I dislike player options that narrow down powers and abilities against certain creature types, making these options redundant if the DM has something else in store.

Spirit Domain, where your Cleric becomes effectively a Tribal Shaman, gaining a ghostly animal companion (restricted to four specific animals). Pretty much all the special abilities you gain through this Domain play around the use of your animal companion, except the last one that makes the Spirit Cleric more resilient and potent. Spirit Clerics (aka Shamans) are a cleverly executed “Pet Class”.The options available of the said animal companion are limited to four but these four are actually four different types of companions. So, easily one can alter the name of each option accordingly to the campaign setting and/or character background. Interestingly enough, this is not the first Shaman provided by a Tribality Publishing product; the “Shaman Class for Fifth Edition” by M. Long has the Spirit Shaman subclass that thematically is identical, but approaches the subject from a different angle (M. Long’s Shaman is a Spirit Warrior with a Spirit Companion focusing on completely different aspects than the Spirit Cleric).

The second part of the document provides eight new spells, half of which are cantrips. Some of them are given as extra spells in the new Domains of the first part, but pretty much all of them can be added to the spell lists of all the spellcasting classes. The author provides in a relative sidebar some ideas about that.

The cantrips in particular are really original. All of them are damaging cantrips, with damage that scales per level, plus some other minor effect. I’d prefer some different wording in Song of Battle though, because as is seems a bit too powerful.

The rest of the spells are relative to the themes already discussed. My personal favourite is Righteous Accusation that really embodies all of the idea behind the Exorcist.

All in all, Mysteries of the Gods looks like a really helpful supplement for 5e Clerics. You get fresh options build upon some classic ideas. For the price tag offered, it can be proven to be a fine purchase indeed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/11/2016 12:16:23

Mysteries of the Gods: New Cleric Domains and Spells for D&D 5e opens some interesting options for Clerics in 5e with both new Domains and new spells. Each of the new Domains suggests an interesting direct for faith in a world and the spells provide some solid support, if you are pondering what to do with clerics in your game it is well worth looking at.

Mysteries of the Gods: New Cleric Domains and Spells for D&D 5e by Brandes Stoddard and published by Tribality Publishing presents just that, three new domains and eight spells. The layout is clear with thematic color photographs for illustrations.

The Blood Domain draws on the idea of blood as potent force both of life and death, its tricks are mostly combat oriented enhancing both healing and offense. A nice balance and suitable for both heroes and villains.

The Exorcist Domain is much more focus and, as a helpful sidebar note, may not be suitable for all campaigns because of that. Its focus is on driving out possessors and denying the ability of otherworldly creatures to control others and it should be very effective in that role.

The third Domain, Spirit, slightly recasts the Cleric as shaman and mediator with the spirits (rather than a prestress of a god or gods), this domain gains a spirit guardian who protects and aid the Cleric and provides useful ability that are triggered by Channel Divinity. A interesting adaption of the clerical powers to a different aspect of spiritual belief.

Of the eight new spells, four are damaging cantrips, two of which are associated with the new domains (spirit claw for the Spirit Domain and word of censure for Exorcism) which are appropriately flavored, I would live to see a version of song of battle cantrip for the Paladin as it is so well themed. The remains four spells are 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th level and all are strongly in theme with the cleric, especially the Exorcist, righteous accusation which has the optional material component of a scroll detailing the target’s crimes is fantastic. While a few the spells might lean a bit too much towards a Christian vision of the divine for some, I think that framing has always been part of clerical magic in D&D and thus appropriate.

A solid addition to the options for cleric, I would have no problem with allowing any of these in my campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review. Also, Brandes is a friend of mine and one of the players in my original Sea of Stars campaign, but I like to think that did not influence this review.

Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Blake R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/31/2016 02:48:54

Great supplment for players-to add flavour and options for your Clerics. Great supplment for dungeon masters-fleshes out your gods and divine magic flavour/options for your campaigns. Highly recommended content at a bargain price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mysteries of the Gods (5E)
Publisher: Tribality Publishing
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2016 18:32:13

This is exactly the type of supplement I'd like to see more of in support of 5e. The cleric is such a versatile class, and Brandes Stoddard has really demonstrated this through these cool yet unusual domains. The spells are both flavorful and well balanced. This last point is crucial, as it's easy for a supplement like this to be forbidden at the table by DMs if the spells introduced are overpowered. I wouldn't have a problem allowing this supplement in my game. I also like that the new spells are explicitly mentioned as being appropriate for other classes (bard, druid, paladin, or warlock).

I'm happy to see Tribality continue to produce such great supplements, and look forward to future installments.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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