Villain Month Cleric Domain – Marked Guardian

Hello, everyone! Today marks the start of Villain Month! For those who missed it last year, through October, I’ll be releasing subclasses based on different villains. As an added twist this year, though, instead of announcing which villain a subclass is based on right away, I’m giving non-Adventurers a chance to get a PDF copy of each subclass for the first 24 hours the post is public. All you have to do is comment, either here or on one of the TBM Games social media posts, with your guess as to which villain the PDF is based on, and I’ll send a direct message with a download code to those who guessed correctly.

Without further ado, here is the first of the Villain Month subclasses, the Marked Guardian Domain!

Marked Guardian

Clerics of the Marked Guardian Domain have been anointed and sworn to protect a history lost to the world. Forced to forsake the outside world either by birthright or by joining those who would guard these ancient secrets, you have had this history marked upon your body, either through ceremonial tattoos or bloodletting, and shared it only through oral tradition.

No deities openly claim Marked Guardian clerics due to their secretive custodianship, but their power is indisputably divine in nature. This power may come from evil gods who guard their secrets jealously, lawful gods hiding a secret from prying eyes, or well-intentioned good gods, but Marked Guardians are often not subject to any form of divine oversight, meaning that they may stray from their original purpose despite bearing a constant reminder of their orders’ purpose.

Marked Guardian Secrets

The secret history you carry with you will almost certainly influence the attitudes and approaches you take while you adventure. Below are a small list of potential secrets your marks may carry to serve as inspiration for you, but you can work with your GM to develop a backstory which better suits the campaign you play in.

Domain Spells

You gain domain spells at the cleric levels noted in the Marked Guardian Domain Spells table. These spells are always prepared, and do not count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. These domain spells are considered cleric spells for you if they are not already present on the cleric spell list.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with a gaming set of your choice and learn one additional language of your choice.

Shadow Athame

Also starting at 1st level, you may use a bonus action to transform a holy symbol you are holding into a dagger for up to 1 minute. While you wield this dagger, it deals 1d8 piercing damage. This dagger is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming resistances and immunities.

Additionally, if a creature resists any type of damage dealt by an attack using this weapon, you may ignore that resistance.

Channel Divinity: Telepathic Puppetry

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to take control of an unconscious creature.

As an action, you present your holy symbol to an unconscious creature within 60 feet of you. That creature heals 1 hit point and is charmed by you for the next hour. The creature takes no actions and does not move on its turn unless you telepathically command it to do so as a bonus action.

A creature can attempt to end this effect by making a Wisdom saving throw against your Spell Save DC at the end of each of its turns.

Channel Divinity: Anguishing Tether

Beginning at 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to place a curse on a creature, forcing it to suffer the pain of its allies. Choose one creature within 30 feet of you. For the next minute, if a creature friendly to that target takes damage, the target also takes psychic damage equal to half the damage taken.

A creature can attempt to end this effect by making a Charisma saving throw against your Spell Save DC as an action.

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 lightning damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Nihilist’s Gambit

At 17th level, you may channel dark energies to sacrifice a portion of yourself and deal more lethal strikes to your foes. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may reduce your hit point maximum by an amount less than or equal to your cleric level. If you do so, the attack deals additional necrotic damage equal to the damage you took.

This reduction lasts until you complete a long rest.

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