AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Light of Xaryxis, Part 6

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into.  Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.

The latest One D&D playtest document was released last week, and includes a new version of the Cleric and the Life Domain subclass, as well updated versions of the Dragonborn, Goliath, and Ardling races and a handful of changes spells, feats, and rules changes. Today, I’m just going to focus on the proposed changes to the Cleric.

There have been some pretty major changes, the biggest being the subclass progression. As we saw with the Expert Classes, your subclass comes online at 3rd level and gives abilities at level 3, 6, 10, and 14. Delaying subclass choice until 3rd level is meant to discourage multiclass dips for powerful abilities, and also to help new players (or those who are just new to cleric) get a feel for the base class before needing to make character-defining decisions.

Clerics are full spell casters with access to the entire Divine spell list. They also start with two Channel Divinity options at 1st level, Turn Undead and Divine Spark. Turn Undead works pretty much the same way as in 2014 Players Handbook, but it now imparts the new Dazed condition to creatures that fail their saving throw. Creatures who are Dazed, can move or take an Action on their turn (but not both), and cannot take bonus actions or reactions. Divine Spark allows the Cleric to heal an ally by 2d8 hit points, or deal 2d8 radiant damage to an enemy who fails a CON save. You can use Channel Divinity a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

At second level, you can choose a Holy Order. This isn’t your subclass, but rather a choice that defines the role your Cleric plays in the party. You can choose the Protector order and gain proficiency with heavy armor and martial weapons. Or you could be a Scholar, and gain a couple of extra skill proficiencies and also add your WIS modifier as a bonus to those roles. Finally, you can be a Thaumaturge, and gain an extra cantrip and the ability to regain one expended use of Channel Divinity on a short rest. You’ll also be able to choose a second Holy Order at 9th level.

At 5th level, Smite Undead makes creatures that fail their save against Turn Undead take radiant damage (started at 3d8 and increasing with your proficiency bonus). This replaces the Destroy Undead feature, which outright destroyed undead creatures below a certain CR threshold. At 7th level, you gain Blessed Strikes, allowing you to add 1d8 radiant damage to your weapon attacks and cantrips. This replaces Divine Strike or Potent Spellcasting and is no longer tied to your subclass choice.

Divine Intervention is pushed back to 11th level instead of 10th because of the adjustments to subclass progression, but it works mostly the same way. The only real difference is that instead of needing 7 days to refresh after it works, you get to roll 2d6 to determine the cooldown period. Finally, the capstone feature moves down 18th level, while reaching 20th level gives you an Epic Boon feat.

Apart from moving the features to align with the new standard progression, the Life Domain subclass is mostly untouched from the Players Handbook version. There are no longer any 1st level Domain Spells. Disciple of Life, which grants a bonus to your healing spells based on the spell’s level, now comes online at 3rd level instead of 1st, and the wording has been clarified to prevent an exploit that allowed it to effect spells like Goodberry. The Preserve Life Channel Divinity now appears at level 6, but functions the same as before, allowing you to distribute healing among your friends, capping out at half their max hit points. Blessed Healer at 10th level still lets you heal yourself when you heal someone else. And Supreme Healing, which let you take the maximum die rolls for all your healing spells, now comes online at 14th level.

Share your thoughts on the Cleric changes below!

Players and Characters

Our group started up a new adventure this past weekend. We’re starting in Eberron and running through the Light of Xaryxis module that was released as part of the recent Spelljammer set for D&D 5e. Josephus Brown is taking the reins as DM, and our new characters include:

  • The Wonderful Wizard AN (Plasmoid Divination Wizard) The Wasp 
  • Delilah Delethorn (Satyr Swashbuckler Rogue) TheHayesCode
  • Geenie Crambits (Halfling Undying Light Warlock) Spiny Creature
  • Okassaath Ch’katroth d’Tharashk (Half-Orc [Mark of Finding] Arcane Archer Fighter/Stars Druid) CleverGuy 
  • Tekili-Li (Wildhunt Shifter Twilight Cleric) Otto 
  • Ximon (Fire Genasi Swords Bard) Wafflicious
A New Hope


There may be hope of saving you yet, even if you didn’t dragged into Wildspace like I did! These Astral Elves are planning to harvest the magic from Eberron to relight their dying sun, but the process will take weeks or even months to complete. We can find a way to stop it and save whole world! Of course, I’ll still have to find you afterwards, but at least the planet will still be there for me to search.

Let me start from the beginning, though. We met up with Commodore Krux aboard his ship, the Second Wind. Te ship itself is alive–or at least most of it is. There’s a living treant named Starbough rooted to the deck. I’ve been learning a lot about Wildspace from him as we travel. Anyway, we almost didn’t make out of the dock, because Krux had apparently already leased the ship to a Tiefling pirate. She demanded 2400 gold pieces, to recompensate her for missing her job if we took the ship. But Delilah and Geenie managed to talk her down to just 400, especially after Tekili called her bluff about how much that job was really worth.

With the ship secured and Ximon attuning himself to the helm as our “spelljammer” (that’s the person who pilots the ship with their mind), Krux told us that he’d heard rumors of a resistance movement against the Xarxian Empire. Those are the elves that are destroying our world, and this is not the first time they’re done something like this. The rumors said we could find this armada in a system called “Doomspace,” but Krux didn’t know where exactly that system is. So our first stop would be to cartographer he knows living in an isolated tower near the Rock of Braal.

It took about a day of sailing to the get to the tower, but as we approached, Krux suddenly shouted and pointed aft. We saw a bioluminescent jellyfish, with a flamboyantly dressed, sparkly, haloed person in a bubble on the top. We could tell from Krux’s reaction that this was bad news, AN and Delilah started getting the ship’s ballista ready, but before we could fire, the man suddenly disappeared from his bubble and appeared on the deck of the Second Wind. He very smuggly introduced himself as Hastain, and indicated that he had been one that pointed the Xarxians to Eberron in the first place. I don’t know that he had any motive, but once we heard him admit his part in this whole business we jumped right in to take him down. Despite being outnumbered, Hastain put up a fight. He moved so fast that it was hard for any of us to land a hit. Sometimes it seemed like my arrows were just glancing off the glitter that hung in air around him. As the jellyfish-vessel continued closing in, we heard a scream from the helm–the jellyfish was attacking Ximon telepathically, trying to disable the ship by hurting our spelljammer. To make matters worse Hastain somehow duplicated himself on the deck, so now there two of him!

Geenie had conjured up a Flaming Sphere, and I knew that Hastain was fast–I managed to slow him done by casting Entangle, which kept him from escaping the Flaming Sphere‘s radius. It also kept him from escaping Delilah, who finally killed him. The jellyfish seemed to shut down with Hastain’s death, but the duplicate kept fighting just as hard as before. Still, with just one enemy to focus on, we managed to destroy the clone without too much trouble.

The jullyfish just kinda shut down, and floated there looking sad in wildspace. Geenie and AN wanted to keep it, but Krux said that the Reigar (that’s the kind of creature Hastain was) would have had a special relationship with the jellyfish, almost symbiotic. Without him, it would eventually just pine away. Nothing we could really do about it.

We had to row down to the dock by the crooked tower, since it was was too small for the Second Wind. There, we finally met Krux’x cartographer friend, Topola, along with tons of birds that might have been pets? I’m not sure. They were everywhere though. Topola was peering through a telescope at Eberron when arrived, tracking the progress of the Xarxian’s process. She was very excited to meet us, when we told her we’d come from Eberron and wanted to try and stop it from being destroyed. Krux asked about Doomspace, and she said she didn’t have a map, but could at least give us an magical orrery that displayed a map of whatevr system it was in. But she wanted a favor first–there was something called a “void skavver” lurking around her tower somewhere–she’d give us te orrery if we could get rid of it. Topola let us rest in her tower first though, and was very excited to learn about our world. She especially loved my star map–the opportunity to study the stars from the perspective of Eberron itself was too intrigung to pass up. She even let AN copy a few spells out of her books in exchange for a copy of my map. It was Topola who told us that the process that the Elves were performing on Eberron would take months. I had thought that Eberron was already gone, but learning it could potentially be saved is a huge relief. I’m not sure if avenging ourselves on the Xarxains would have been enough, but if there’s hope that the Eberron could survive, we have to see it through.