Introducing D&D’s Cleric Forge Domain In Xanathar’s Guide To Everything
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Introducing D&D’s Cleric Forge Domain In Xanathar’s Guide To Everything

– Every once in a while,
a new type of subclass feels like it fits into the
D&D multiverse perfectly. I talked to Mike Mearls about the forge domain for the cleric in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. – Forge domain is one of those ones where it’s like, “Why wasn’t
this in the Player’s Handbook?” Right? Like it’s the dwarf cleric. (laughs) Dwarf clerics have become
so iconic to the game, and it’s funny ’cause they
weren’t technically really like, second edition let you play dwarf cleric but I think people just naturally always. I don’t know what it is about dwarves. Dwarves and clerics just goes together, and I think part of it is
because you have the story of Moradin forging the dwarves. He literally makes them, right? And I think that’s
mythically very interesting, this idea that you have
a craftsman who is a god, who basically challenged
himself like can I make a folk, the dwarves, my children. I’m gonna forge them out of
iron, in metal and ingots, whatever it is, you know? And that, to me, is really interesting, and I think that would have
such profound implications for that society where like
you’re god physically made you out of iron, out of metal,
and breathed life into you. And then you have that association in dwarves of crafting things. Of course, creation would
be sacred to dwarves ’cause that’s what their deity does. It’s what their deity did to create them. And again, this is where I
think it’s interesting in D&D, when you have the divine,
the divine is knowable like Moradin’s day-to-day desires might be unknowable or cryptic
but Moradin is a person. That is like what happened. People know. There is not a question of faith. It’s just a question
of which team you pick. And so the idea of the dwarf cleric is essentially to my, when
we were working and it, what I was thinking 100%
was the dwarf cleric, and the dwarf cleric who decides I am going to emulate Moradin, I want to be a great smith, that the deity who created
me was a great smith, and I will follow those footsteps because creation is sacred to our folk, and then (laughs) since it’s a cleric, you have to ask yourself,
how do you use creation to beat down orcs and goblins, (laughs) and then it’s just like
make magic weapons. That’s it. You get to imbue a weapon
and make it magical, and that just felt very
sensible, very obvious, and the great thing is that in our system, it’s not game-breaking. It’s powerful but it’s not over the top. This is one of those subclasses
I think really encapsulates when we’re doing things really right. The initial playtest feedback
was through the roof positive. I think we need to tweak a
few things here and there but it hit that note I think of. I was joking when I said
this should have been in the Player’s Handbook but really it should have been in the Player’s Handbook (laughs) because it’s so iconic, right? As soon as we showed it to people, they were just like yes, this makes sense. This fits. The mechanics make sense. Mechanics are easy. There is nothing in those mechanics that’s tricky or strange or clever. It’s just obvious. I make things magical. I make my armor better. I make my weapons better. I make things. That’s it. But it just hits such a resonant tone, and that’s always what we’re shooting for when we do these new subclasses. We want to hit that resonant tone. You can go for the thing
that’s very experimental that people haven’t seen before, and that’s part of the approach. You need to do some of that but when you’re doing things where people just look at it
and go, “Yeah, that’s D&D.” Like yes, you feel really good
about yourself as a designer ’cause I filled the gap
that everyone wanted to play but they couldn’t play. Maybe they didn’t know the gap was empty until you gave them this, and then suddenly everyone is playing it, and I think that’s how we are
really truly growing the game when we do that, when you could imagine oh if you could go back in time and give Xanathar’s to the
Player’s Handbook team, this is one of the
domains, one of the options they would just be yes, of course, let’s put this right in
the Player’s Handbook. That always feels good as a
designer to do that. (laughs) At least for this type of design, it’s not the exotic new wacky thing, it’s the thing that’s just like, “You’ve invented baked
potatoes,” right? (laughs) Now that you’ve invented it, everyone will have these
with their steak forever. (laughing) You just feel like.
– Yeah, right, right. – “Wow, that’s kinda cool.”
– It did, it does. (Jeremy laughs) – [Man] It has that weird feeling. It has a feeling like
this should have been in first edition. – Yeah, yeah because like I said, it fits, and that’s when we know
as designers, as creators we’re connecting with the audience, we’re hitting on things that people want, we’re hitting on things that
just makes sense to people. I love that feeling as a designer on a game like Dungeons and Dragons. It has a history that has
a big active user base. It means we, as designers,
are in touch with players, that we’re on the same page. I love that feeling. – The cleric forge domain appears in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. You can purchase that
book on, and also earn free order bonuses as well. I’m Todd Kenreck. Thanks for watching.


  • animewisher

    Literally was trying to roll up a Fire Genasi fighter who was a blacksmith. This now 100% fits his backstory of everything else now.

    I tried so many classes with this, and now I have an easy way to choose the for sure one.

  • dbretton

    This is a cool subclass. But I don't understand some of the priorities WotC has. For example, why do we see subclasses like the artificer – a subclass which, I would argue, really doesn't fit into the adventuring archetype, when we still don't have some basic archetypes?
    What about a witch? Why don't we have witches?
    Or priests? How about demonologists? Or a chronomancer? Or an Ophios domain (snake worship) cleric? Or an antipaladin? Or Way of the Drunken Master monk? Stuff like that.

  • fmacanadaguy

    I hope they made good tweaks. The first level power of imbuing an item is good but once you start getting magic items at later levels, it really becomes useless unlike the first level power of all other domains. And then there is the 6th level ability mixed with having access to the Shield spell. Imagine this. Full plate armor and shield for a 20 AC. Add in +1 for the 6th level power. Either you or someone else cast Shield of Faith on you. That is another +2 for a total of 23. A creature attacks you. The chances of it hitting you just went down drastically and assuming it somehow does, you cast shield to make your AC 28. And you are only level 6. Also, seeing as this is something dwarves love, you also have a nice chunky HP barrier to fall back on with a high CON plus +1 HP extra per level if Hill Dwarf.

    Now all the same can be said for the Eldritch Knight but that will burn out of spell slots way faster than a cleric would.

    To put this in some perspective. An ancient dragon with a CR of 23 has a +17 to hit. If you can make your AC 28, it now needs to roll higher than a 10. And you are able to pull that off with a 6th level character. That is worth thinking about in terms of balance.

    While true that a cleric would probably be burning slots fast this way between using shield and healing, I would totally take this class to use as a martial class. I can self heal, I can use spiritual weapon as my second attack which scales depending on the slot used, and I get extra damage from the 8th ability level later too which is handy. There is nothing not to like about this domain if it keeps Shield. Now imagine going back to back with a Life Cleric that casts Warding Bond. Not only will you now have a 29 AC, you now take half damage and the Life Cleric's heals also affect himself to keep you both up. And again, this is just 6th level. Let the Life Cleric heal while burning your slots on Shield like the way a Paladin burns his slots on the smite ability.

  • Kyle Ellis

    I love that theirs a forge domain but i wish their was one for general crafting since this excludes my players elven wood carver, and gnome glassblower

  • J

    C'mon, I just spent 5 minutes watching this video and I still have no idea what this sub-class does besides "dwarf cleric" and "makes magical things", whatever that means.

  • Matt Briddell

    So happy to see this subclass officially make it into XGTE. It was pretty much perfect when they initially released it, so I'm eager to see what adjustments (if any) they're making.

  • MetaKaios

    This is not an introduction, it's just background. I only know marginally more about the subclass than I did before the video.

  • Jared Hite

    I'd be interested in seeing one of these videos for the Favored Soul. So far, they haven't acknowledged the very first fifth edition Favored Soul, but that one was a bit overpowered compared to other sorcerers. I'm guessing the most recent one is the one we'll get.

  • cakeoryx

    I love talking flavor, but I do wish we got at least a general gist of what the subclasses do mechanically. The Horizon Walker and Circle of Dreams videos did a really good mixture of mechanics and flavor, so I hope we can expect more of that ;—;

  • mooxim

    I had a dwarf runepriest in 4th edition called Bertund Bronzhead. I was disappointed that they didn't have runepriest in 5th, life, war and knowledge domains just didn't cut it. They weren't quite Moradin. The Forge Domain from UA gave me what I had always wanted. It's even better than the Runepriest. I feel like Bertund has finally become what he was always supposed to be.

  • William B

    one thing i hope they fixed, and honestly, should be fixed for ALL cleric domains is that most of the domains have a level ebility that is a weapon based melee ability, of which is useless for someone who is going full caster cleric, where as other domains have ones that are caster based, but no melee one.

    why not allow each domain, at level 8 to select which one they want? they can choose whether they want the weapon damage or cantrip damage bonus. this would make SO MUCH mroe sense then the way it is now, and opens up a lot more in terms of what kind of cleric a player might want to play.

  • MrHighlySensitive

    For those wondering, if the forge cleric is similar to its UA counter part at level 6 you can easily get an AC of 25. That's without using any magic items.

  • ZhinZhaw Gourneau

    Does it need to be dwarven though? I wanted to base my character around the idea of a Craft knight from the old GBA games. Human Cleric, Forge domain with the Magic Initiate feat and Guild Artisan background. Basically enchant things, cast when need to and summon a familiar.

  • Uncanny Owlbear

    Elemental domains plez I really want an Earth Domain, I have a Dwarf Cleric that worships the mountain as the shield and provider of his people

  • Xochitl Bronisława Angelo-Pilar, HIE

    I’m gonna make this a Tech-Priest, definitely.
    “Cleric! My crossbow hasn’t been working lately!”
    “Have you tried prayer?”

  • Zansi

    "Why do dwarves and clerics go together?"
    Maybe because you gave them bonuses to constitution and wisdom (as a hill dwarf) which are among the most important attributes for a cleric, and then you gave them warhammer proficiency, which is one of the starting weapons for the cleric if you have proficiency with it.

    So basically you designed them that way, is the answer.

  • rhinox0110

    I have a question about different versions "Beyond" Moradin / Dwarves as forge clerics.
    So in as far i'm understanding they have to be a deity of creation, so If you were a Dragonborn and a cleric of IO
    who is (in some of my research) a god of creation ( and destruction, left eye creates / right eye destroys) and IO
    is also connected to Moradin. Would it be a stretch to be a Forge domain cleric of IO?

    I ask this as I am trying to create a new character and I want to play something different than the classic races
    and I have played halfling, dwarf, half-orc, and human also I do not like playing elves. Dragonborn are very appealing
    for their racials, rich history / lore that I've come across, and they just look cool but most of all I want to try something
    different and helpful opinions are welcome even though I know it really comes down too the DM's decision.

  • Gabriel Rockman

    It seems like going 1 level in Fighter at the very start for the proficiency in Con saves, the fighting style (defense), and the Second Wind ability is the best way to start off a Forge Cleric.

  • Hahhahahahawhha Ajsnshshhs

    me a dwarf forge cleric: MURDER METAL ROCKS OF FLAME
    party:well it works so i won't complan

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