Winter Domain Conversion Help

4th Edition

I am working on a 5e char based of the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy fame. I am thinking of a priest of Ulric. I am wondering how you would do a winter domain? The moist obvious to me would be to start with the Tempest domain. The hard part of course changing the spells. So, any thoughts?


If there is already some winter domain that you can modify, I say do that, if the "Game that Shant be Named" (Pathfinder) has a winter domain, then modify it, or just make it up your self. You can either create spells for it, or re-skin existing spells. There are a ton of fire spells, change the energy to cold/snow/ice etc, rename it, and there you go. A winter domain.

It is hard for me to say I end up fiddling with the design a bit too much as I end up wanting to highlight differences between any new domain and the other domains. Still I think Tempest Domain would be a good base, but you probably could easily grab the spells from the Arctic Circle of the Land Druid, that would leave you needing just a couple 1st level spells.

I'm not sure what to suggest for 6th level, slowing people with cold feels appropriate, but many of the cold spells already do that. You could pull from the light domain and make it so your 1st level frost shield could be used to protect any ally near you.

I'm even less certain for 17th level, but that is so high up I'm not too worried about it.

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The big question to how do you envision the Winter domain cleric working. The Domain isn't just about 'have some cold-themed abilities', but really defines how the cleric functions. The War domain encourages a cleric to hit things really hard, the Knowledge domain is about utility features and casting support, the Light domain is about blasting and distracting enemies.

Tempest domain is a bit of a mix - it gets armor and weaponry and some abilities that help fight in melee, along with some blasty spells and ways to boost those spells. You could draw on that a bit - but, as noted, it would be nice to try and find ways to make the new domain feel distinct.

So, glancing a bit at the background for Ulric, one idea comes to mind: Toughness. What goes well with the image of a servant of winter? Someone hardy and used to the wilderness. So while the Tempest gets the tools to be something of an Armored Storm Knight, maybe we can steer the Winter domain towards more of a rugged, barbarian style character instead?

So, here's some ideas from me:

1: Jump, Longstrider
2: Calm Emotions, Silence
3: Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
4: Ice Storm, Locate Creature
5: Antilife Shell, Cone of Cold

Unarmored Defense
Starting at 1st level, while you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity m odifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Bonus Proficiencies
Also at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons, and also gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Animal Handling, Nature, or Survival.

Channel Divinity: Enervating Touch
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to drain the vitality from your foe.
As an action, you present your holy symbol and make a melee spell attack against an adjacent creature. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 cold damage and must make a Constitution saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it moves at half speed and deals half damage with weapon attacks until the end of your next turn.

Channel Divinity: Invigorating Touch
Starting at 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to bolster an ally's life force and spur them onwards.
As an action, you touch an adjacent willing creature and imbue them with vitality. For 10 minutes, the target gains advantage on Constitution saves and ability checks. They also gain temporary hit points equal to twice your cleric level, which are lost when the duration expires. In addition, if the target was suffering from exhaustion, you immediately reduce their exhaustion by 1 level. You must finish a long rest before you can use this ability on the same creature again.

Divine Strike
At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 cold damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Relentless Stride
At 17th level, you gain resistance to cold damage and immunity to exhaustion.

That is perfect! Thank you.

I really like Matthew's suggestions and it is a pretty rocking design.

I have a few suggestions or comments.

Why did you set up jump as one of the first level spells. Longstrider covers a lot of the movement issues. For this concept what would you think about granting goodberry instead? It is a very unique druid spell and I wouldn't want many other classes to get a hold of it, but it would be pretty effective for keeping groups alive traveling the wastes.

For Enervating Touch I really want to attach the poisoned condition in there since thematically, while everything might take cold damage, not everything will have vitality you could drain. From what I recall most things that would be immune to poisoned would be creatures I would picture being immune to this effect. Something like "If the creature fails its saving throw, it becomes poisoned until end of your next turn. It moves at half speed as long as it is poisoned."

Invigorating Touch's ability to remove exhaustion stands out to me as being very powerful compared to the other options I know of to reduce or remove exhaustion like that. The only one I know off hand is greater restoration. It consumes a small amount of material components (and has the option to do a few other things), but it is a 5th level spell. I like the ability but for what it does it seems a bit strong. (Which is relative since I can easily imagine many campaigns that don't ever deal with the effects of exhaustion.

Yeah, I could see going with Goodberry instead of Jump - and red winter berries is an iconic enough image that it seems like it could fit.

With enervating touch, I decided to mirror it after ray of enfeeblement, which seemed more thematic than poison - even if the mechanics work out, I feel that poisoned has some other implications that don't quite fit with the winter theme.

I did wrestle with the idea of how strong exhaustion reduction would be. (Especially since there are characters, like the frenzied barbarian, who can really benefit from being able to get rid of it.) But as noted, at level 9 you do get a way to clear it with greater restoration. Getting it 3 levels earlier, without a cost, is certainly nice, but didn't seem too overwhelming for a class feature, especially with not being able to use it again on the same person in the same day.

But yeah, I can see the concern, and it would probably be something to keep an eye on in case it ends up too strong in a particular campaign.

I'd like to point out, Ulric's portfolio is bigger than Winter - he's also very firmly established as the Empire's God of War. So a mixture of War and Winter related spells would be quite appropriate, in my opinion. Looking back at Storm of Chaos, Priests of Ulric got Prayers about boosting movement (Battle Howl), inflicting damage (Destruction), chilling enemies (Winter's Chill) and bolstering morale to grant immunity to fear/terror/panic (Fury of Ulric).

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