Animist Domain (5A)

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This is a Cleric domain for 5A.

Animism is not a matter of gods and great powers. Rather, the animist worships the little gods, spirits of nature, places, and even items. Things like a mountain have large and powerful spirits, but even the most humble rock or tool has a spirit the animist can cajole and work with. Animists are similar in outlook to druids, but most are firmly on the side of folk against the willfulness of spirits and nature. They guard the border between mundane lands and the world of the spirits.

This domain is for animists with a broad focus that deals with many and varied spirits. Not all animists follow the Animist domain. Some believe in the world-view of animism, but devote themselves to another domain, often through a particular spirit or group of spirits. For example, followers of sun and fire spirits might have the Light domain even tough their view of the cosmos is animistic.

Greyhawk In the Greyhawk setting, humans, dwarfs, giants, halflings, orcs, the various beastman races and intelligent animals are often animists. Gruumsh, Obad-Hai, and Oerth grant this domain, but many animists do not honor any one god.

Race Restriction

Animists need to be mundane creatures opening themselves up to the world of spirits. In most worlds, animists need to be humanoids—other creature types are not allowed. In very humanocentric settings, only humans can be animists. Even if exotic creatures can become animists, their abilities will be limited against creatures of their own type.

Animist Domain Spells

Animist Domain Spells
Cleric Level Spells
1 Faerie Fire, Identify
3 Healing Spirit, See Invisibility
5 Clairvoyance, Summon Fey
7 Arcane Eye, Banishment
9 Dream, Commune with Nature


At 1st level you select one taboo and gain the corresponding blessing from the Animist Taboos table. If you break this taboo you are unable to cast spells and lose the effect of your blessing until you have taken a long or short rest to perform a purification ritual.

Some animists routinely break their taboo, only purifying themselves before they fulfill their religious duties. They see this as respecting the spirits by not draining their power frivolously. Other animists disagree and seek to constantly uphold their taboo. Either way, there are no long-term consequences

Animist Taboos
Taboo Blessing
Taboo of Air: Also known as being skyclad. You must expose yourself to wind and weather and must be nude (or as nude as the genre allows) when casting or preparing spells. You may never wear armor or clothes except hats, boots, gloves, and shields. Add Mage Armor and Shield to your list of domain spells.
Taboo of Aliens: You cannot communicate with outsiders who are humanoids without losing power. You must not speak to or otherwise communicate with those not in your tribe or community. Listening is allowed, as is silent use of Intimidation. Adopted members of the tribe can be communicated with. Adventuring animists can communicate with their fellow party members, but not with strangers. Add Sanctuary to your list of domain spells.
Taboo of Death: Death is a barrier you should not come near. Touching a creature that is dying, died within the last day, is poisoned, or is diseased breaks this taboo. Such creatures can be healed, but doing so breaks the taboo after the healing spell or ability has been used. You can deal freely with undead. This taboo is from Shinto and common in Japan-inspired settings. You have resistance against poison damage, immune to the poisoned condition, and have advantage on saving throws against disease.
Taboo of Earth: You may not touch the ground; you must ride or be carried whenever you go outside. You can walk indoors and on floors and carpets. This taboo is common among mounted nomads. A mount carrying you adds 20 ft. to its land speed.
Taboo of Fire: Fire separates folk from nature, you gave up the use of fire as a concession to the spirits. You can't use any spells that do fire damage or summons creatures that can do fire damage. You may not ignite a fire or carry a burning object such as a torch or lantern. You may still use firelight provided by others and may stay in heated rooms as long as you are not tending the fire. You gain resistance to fire damage.
Taboo of Gender: You cannot communicate with members of one chosen without losing power. You must not speak to or otherwise communicate with that gender, tough listening to them is allowed, as is silent use of Intimidation to keep them at bay. You become proficient in the Intimidation skill. If you already are proficient in Intimidation, you may select another Charisma-based skill to get proficiency with.
Taboo of Life: Life is sacred. The you must not inflict damage on a living creature. Constructs, elementals, celestials, fiends, and undead are not considered living creatures for this limitation. Whenever you use a spell of 1st level or higher to restore hit points to a creature, the creature regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell's level.
Taboo of Metal: Metal is the manifestation of man’s dominion over nature and at odds with the natural order of the spirits. You may not wear metal armor (all armor except cloth, leather, and hide) or use metal weapons. These work normally when not made of metal: blowgun, club, dart, great club, javelin, short bow, sling, whip, and quarterstaff. You are allowed to use soft precious metals, such as copper, silver, and gold. You gain a +2 bonus to Armor Class and weapon damage rolls.
Taboo of Identity: You may not show naked skin on your head. You must constantly wear a cowl, be masked, or wear thick facial body paint. This gives disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks. You gain the constant effects of the Nondetection spell.
Taboo of Water: Water is a civilizing influence, and you can give this up to get closer to primeval nature. With this taboo you cannot touch water but drinks containing water, such as lemonade, milk, beer, and wine, are ok. You can use raincoats and umbrellas to keep water away from you. If you fail a Dexterity check when within 5 ft. of open water or within an hour after a heavy rain, you break this taboo. You cannot suffer the prone condition unless you willingly accept it.

Detect Spirits

Beginning at 1st level, you can cast Detect Evil and Good as often as you like. This version of the spell can also detect constructs, dragons, giants, goblinoids, monstrosities, oozes, and plants. That is, all creature types except beasts and humanoids.

Channel Divinity: Placate Spirits

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to make supernatural creatures temporarily friendly.

As an action you present your divine focus and cast Charm Monster. This version of the spell cannot affect beasts or humanoids.

Magic Circle Against Spirits

At 6th level, you learn the Magic Circle spell. This becomes a cleric spell for you. You gain advantages when casting this spell.

  • It works against all types of creatures except beasts and humanoids.
  • It is a ritual spell.

Blessed Strikes

When you reach 8th level, you are blessed with divine might in battle. When a creature takes damage from one of your cantrips or weapon attacks, you can also deal 1d8 radiant damage to that creature. Once you deal this damage, you can't use this feature again until the start of your next turn.

Protection from Spirits

At 17th level, you gain protection against all types of creatures except beasts and humanoids. All such creatures have disadvantage when attacking you or using ability checks to harm you or affect your behavior, and you have advantage on saving throws against any ability used by such a creature.

See Also