Priest (D&D Cleric variant)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Priests are members of a clerical hierarchy, completely focused on service to their patron and community. Unlike regular clerics, priests are not fighting men. Still, they need not be peaceful - they work towards their goals by inspiring and influencing the faithful or invoking miracles rather than by physical action.

All priests have a patron deity, even in worlds where clerics can choose to draw power form an ideal or alignment. They are closely tied to the domains of their patron and have access to all domain spells and powers. Finally, they are masters of metamagic, item creation, and divine invocation, gaining bonus feats that let them manipulate divine power in unforeseen ways.


A priest’s alignment must be within one step of his deity’s (that is, it may be one step away on either the lawful-chaotic axis or the good-evil axis, but not both). A priest may not be neutral unless his deity’s alignment is also neutral. Chaotic religions rarely have priests, but they are not impossible.

Hit Die


Class Skills

The priest’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight Of Hand (Dex), Speak Language, and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ×4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Domains and Class Skills

A priest who chooses the Animal or Plant domain adds Knowledge (nature) (Int) to the priest class skills listed above. A priest who chooses the Knowledge domain adds all Knowledge (Int) skills to the list. A priest who chooses the Travel domain adds Survival (Wis) to the list. A priest who chooses the Trickery domain adds Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), and Hide (Dex) to the list. See Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells, for more information.

Table: The Priest

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Turn or rebuke undead, domain powers 3 1+1 — — — — — — — —
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 2+2 — — — — — — — —
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 4 2+3 1+1 — — — — — — —
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Bonus feat 5 3+3 2+2 — — — — — — —
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 5 3+3 2+2 1+1 — — — — — —
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 5 3+3 3+3 2+2 — — — — — —
7th +4 +2 +2 +5 6 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1 — — — — —
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Bonus feat 6 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2 — — — — —
9th +5 +3 +3 +6 6 4+4 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1 — — — —
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 6 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2 — — — —
11th +6/+1 +3 +3 +7 6 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1 — — —
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Bonus feat 6 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2 — — —
13th +7/+2 +4 +4 +8 6 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1 — —
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 6 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2 — —
15th +8/+3 +5 +5 +9 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1 —
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Bonus feat 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2 —
17th +9/+4 +5 +5 +10 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 2+2 1+1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3 2+2
19th +10/+5 +6 +6 +11 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 3+3 3+3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Bonus feat 6 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 5+5 4+4 4+4 4+4 4+4

In addition to the stated number of spells per day for 1st- through 9th-level spells, a priest gets an equal number of domain spells for each spell level, starting at 1st. The "X+X" in the entries on this table represents these extra spells. Bonus spells the priest may receive for having a high Wisdom score apply to both regular spells and domain spells separately.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the priest.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Priests are proficient with simple weapons and with light armor, but not with any type of shield. Priests rarely wear armor openly, but may wear concealed armor under their robes in times of danger.

A priest who chooses the War domain receives proficiency in their deity's favored weapon and the Weapon Focus feat related to his deity’s weapon as a bonus feat.

Aura (Ex)

A priest of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity’s alignment (see the detect evil spell for details). Priests who don’t worship a specific deity but choose the Chaos, Evil, Good, or Law domain have a similarly powerful aura of the corresponding alignment.


A priest casts divine spells, which are drawn from the cleric spell list. However, his alignment may restrict him from casting certain spells opposed to his moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. A priest must choose and prepare his spells in advance (see below).

To prepare or cast a spell, a priest must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a priest’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the priest’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a priest can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Priest. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. A priest prepares this many cleric spells each day and this many domain spells each day; in effect, the priest has two sets of spells and receives Wisdom bonuses to both.

Example: A third level priest with a Wisdom of 14 can prepare three first-level spells and two second-level spells from the cleric list, and the same number of spells from among those gained from his domains.

Priests meditate or pray for their spells. Each priest must choose a time at which he must spend 1 hour each day in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain his daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a priest can prepare spells. A priest may prepare and cast any spell on the priest spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells

A priest’s deity influences his alignment, what magic he can perform, his values, and how others see him. A priest learns to use all the domains belonging to his deity. Some gods give more domains than others.

A priest who serves a monotheistic deity, a dualistic deity, or a pantheon can only receive five domains in this way, and the selection is not an individual matter; it is decided by the sect you are a part of or your position in the church. Decide upon which domains to take together with the DM.

Each domain gives the priest access to a domain spell at each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. The priest gets the granted powers of all domains he knows.

Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su)

Any priest, regardless of alignment, has the power to affect undead creatures by channeling the power of his faith through his holy (or unholy) symbol (see Turn or Rebuke Undead).

A good priest (or a neutral priest who worships a good deity) can turn or destroy undead creatures. An evil priest (or a neutral priest who worships an evil deity) instead rebukes or commands such creatures. A neutral priest of a neutral deity must choose whether his turning ability functions as that of a good priest or an evil priest. Some neutral deities specify whether their neutral clerics turn or rebuke undead. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed except by changing deity and/or alignment.

A priest may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. As a synergy, a priest with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Bonus Feats

Every four levels (at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level) a priest gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, or a divine feat. The priest must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The priest is not limited to the categories of item creation feats, metamagic feats, or divine feats when choosing these feats.

Bonus Languages

A priest’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal (the languages of good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil outsiders, respectively). These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.


A priest who grossly violates the code of conduct required by his god loses all spells and class features, except for weapon and armor proficiency. He cannot thereafter gain levels as a priest of that god until he atones (see the atonement spell description).

Notes and Options

Druidic Priest Option

Certain druidic faiths in advanced societies might have priests. These would cast spells from the druid spell list rather than the cleric spell list. Domain spells are not affected. In order to use this option, the druidic priest must have a patron that grants domains.

Note on Prestige Classes

Many prestige classes geared for clerics become too powerful in the hands of priests. Prestige classes that grant +1 level of spell ability with divine spells only have only a limited effect on the priest's ability to cast domain spells. The spells per day for domain spells does not improve, except that when you gain a new level of spells, you also gain a single spell per day for domain spells of that level, with no bonus spells for high wisdom score. Prestige classes that advance spellcasting abilities of any kind work normally for priests.

Note on Recharge Magic

If using the Recharge Magic option, domain spells and cleric spells are considered two different classes for the priest, and each recharges separately.