What Happens When I Level Up – Cleric (D&D 5e)

This guide only presents the Traits, Feats, and additional Abilities that your character will acquire when they gain a level. The character progression is broken down per level to facilitate the tracking of changes that can be made for a character and avoid repeatedly jumping through different sections of the Player’s Handbook every time an additional level is gained.

Before using this guide, please take note of any and all applicable feats, racial traits or bonuses that your character might gain before choosing a class. Most of these are one time numerical bonuses to Ability Scores or are persistent abilities that your character can use all throughout their adventuring life.

The Cleric Class Advancement Table

Cleric Table
The power of prayers manifested

General rules for Clerics:

  • Clerics are not limited to being the designated party healers. With the right setup, they can have amazing mechanical flexibility in combat.
  • Domain spells can be learned at levels 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th.
  • Keep in mind the principles of the Domain you choose along with your Deity’s ideals. Some tables that enforce stricter rules on alignment and roleplaying may strip your Cleric of their abilities for straying from their god-given path. The most effective implementations of this will lead to interesting redemption or character transformation arcs. If you’d rather stay true to being a cleric instead of facing the possibility of an unintended multiclass path, keep in mind your character’s moral inclinations.

Divine Domains

Domains featured in Plane Shift: Amonkhet:

*These Domains are featured in expansions and Unearthed Arcana. Ask your DM for permission if they’ll allow the use of these Domains for your campaign. These options may have additional requirements or special features/bonuses.

Character Advancement – Gaining Levels

1st Level Cleric

  • Initial HP = 8 + Constitution (CON) Modifier
  • Armor Proficiency: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
  • Weapon Proficiency: All Simple Weapons
  • One (1) 1d8 Hit Die
  • +2 Proficiency Bonus
  • Proficiency Bonus added to WIS and CHA saving throws
  • Choice of Proficiency Bonus to History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion (Choose two)
  • Three (3) Cantrips from the Cleric spell list
  • Two (2) 1st level spell slots/access to 1st level Cleric spells
  • Spell Preparation. Only prepared spells can be used until the caster swaps them out with other spells after a long rest. Spells Prepared = Cleric Lvl + WIS Mod
  • Spellcasting Ability (WIS)
  • Divine Domain (Domain Feature + 1st access to Domain-specific spells)

2nd Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 1st level spell slot
  • Channel Divinity 1/long rest (Turn Undead + Divine Domain special channeling ability)

3rd Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 1st level spell slot
  • Two (2) new 2nd level spell slots/access to 2nd level Cleric spells
  • Expanded access to Domain-specific spells

4th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Cantrip from the Cleric spell list
  • One (1) additional 2nd level spell slot
  • Ability Score improvement (additional 2 points for one ability or 1 point for two abilities) OR a Feat of your choice

5th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • Two (2) new 3rd level spell slots/access to 3rd level Cleric spells
  • Destroy Undead (Improved Turn Undead)
  • Expanded access to Domain-specific spells
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

6th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 3rd level spell slot
  • Additional Channel Divinity use
  • New Divine Domain Feature

7th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) new 4th level spell slot/access to 4th level Cleric spells
  • Expanded access to Domain-specific spells

8th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 4th level spell slot
  • Improved Destroy Undead
  • New Divine Domain Feature
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

9th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 4th level spell slot
  • One (1) new 5th level spell slot/access to 5th level Cleric spells
  • Expanded access to Domain-specific spells
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

10th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 5th level spell slot
  • One (1) additional Cantrip from the Cleric spell list
  • Divine Intervention

11th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) new 6th level spell slot/access to 6th level Cleric spells
  • Improved Destroy Undead

12th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

13th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) new 7th level spell slot/access to 7th level Cleric spells
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

14th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • Improved Destroy Undead

15th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) new 8th level spell slot/access to 8th level Cleric spells

16th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

17th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) new 9th level spell slot/access to 9th level Cleric spells
  • Improved Destroy Undead
  • New Divine Domain Feature
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

18th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 5th level spell slot
  • Additional Channel Divinity use (can now be regained during short rests)

19th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 6th level spell slot
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

20th Level Cleric

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional 7th level spell slot
  • Improved Divine Intervention (automatic success)

Please take note of all ability score and bonus increases as your Cleric gains levels and experience. These changes must be properly reflected on your character sheet to reflect improvements for character statistics like skills and attack rolls. Make sure to update the character’s armor class, hit points, bonus initiative, passive perception and other skills that they are proficient with whenever any relevant changes allow you to do so.

Make sure to read more about the different Divine Domains and the features they can unlock as your Cleric gains levels. Refer to the resources like the Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything or expansion material like Plane Shift: Amonkhet for more information on Divine Domains.

– D

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