In a campaign, which is gonna start at the end of the month, I got the idea that I wanted to play a cleric, but I didn't want to play a simple "God Worshipping Healer". I had the idea: what if my cleric is worshipping some kind of "Blood God", kind of more like a cultist in a way. My character doesn't focus on healing but rather on damage through a special curse that I came up with. Now I need some tips and tricks as to flesh this ability out and balance it as best as I can, as I want to show it to my soon to be DM before we start the session 0.

This ability, let's call it "Blood Curse," will let you bond with an enemy target. Because of that bond, all the damage you would do to yourself will be shared with the bonded enemy. Here's how I think it would work:

  • PC would need to attack a target, and get attacked by the same target to start the bond.
  • The "Blood Curse" can only bond the PC with a single enemy.
  • The Bond can only be broken if the target dies or if a cleric of some sorts, "cleanses" the "Blood Curse" from the target.
  • The PC will receive the normal damage from his attacks.
  • Only the damage the PC does to himself, gets shared with the enemy.
  • The bonded enemy receives the same damage, but it will always be necrotic damage. The damage won't ignore resistances.
  • All of the healing the PC receives will also be shared with the bonded enemy. This ability would not replace any other ability.
  • It would be available from the start of the campaign as I want to make this ability the focus of my damage output and backstory of the character.

I do not yet know what my DM is planning to run, other than 5E, but I think it's a homebrew world and adventure. Character creation did not happen yet.


closed as too broad by Purple Monkey, Miniman, Tiggerous, Ruse, illustro Mar 5 at 12:45

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    \$\begingroup\$ the only mechanism for adding an ability like this to a character is to either create a new class or a new subclass to an existing class. In order to evaluate something like that the users of the site need more detailed mechanics to evaluate how balanced (or not) this would be. Your question at the moment is effectively asking "give me some ideas for how I could create such an ability" which is too broad of a scope for this site. The question needs to be narrowed in scope, or change in focus to be a good fit for this website. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Mar 5 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ This might be better as a spell rather than as a class ability; if you would be happy to consider it a spell that you, as a cleric, could cast, then what level spell would you want it to be, and what damage do you think it should do (i.e. ?d? + ? damage)? With that scope, this might be a lot easier to answer. As a starting point, the warding bond spell sounds like the exact opposite of what you want, and is a 2nd level spell... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Mar 5 at 13:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Or sub in this ability, in final form, as a Channel Divinity feature for the life cleric instead of preserve life. Reito, you may be better of in brainstorming this at a forum \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 5 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I highly recommend reading the classes in the PHB as well as the chapters covering feats (chapter 6) and combat actions (chapter 9) - and getting some experience before trying to homebrew :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 5 at 15:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Reitô One important thing I want to note is that this concept might be upsetting to some players. The issue of self-harm as a mechanic might in fact be a serious turn-off or trigger for players at your table. If you continue with this idea please make sure first that it won't be an issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 5 at 17:26