Many cleric domains specify that you get the abilit to perform some action “as a supernatural ability,” but many don’t say that at all. Are these domains’ granted powers supernatural, or otherwise magical? Are they suppressed, say, by antimagic field? I can’t find anything that says they are, but that surprises me and I suspect that perhaps I’m just missing the place where it says that.

I only want official rules text; I do not want your opinion, how you would rule or have ruled in the past, or anything like that. Only text published by Wizards of the Coast, for D&D 3.5e, is desired here. And if the source is non-core, particularly if it’s not a proper rules source at all (like the FAQ or Rules of the Game articles), I expect answers to appropriately analyze the authority of the source in question (even if it’s just linking to our existing Q&As on the lack of authority for the FAQ or Rules of the Game articles).

Answers that claim that no source explicitly rules on this question should cover where they have checked/how sure they are of that answer, and ideally, what that absence indicates.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin-freeMonica A lot of the granted powers in the PHB aren't given a type. If you want a strange example, try Sun's or Evil's. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin-freeMonica What about the cases that give you new skills or feats? \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 15:45

3 Answers 3


There appears to be no default, and therefore we're stuck.

I've found the following quote on page 171 of the PHB, emphasis mine

In the event that a class feature, domain granted power, or other special ability provides an adjustment to your caster level

and I have also found the following in the PHB's glossary, emphasis mine again

granted power: The special ability a cleric gain from each of his selected domains.

What does this tell us? As the DMG rules that there are only three types of special abilities: Extraordinary, Spell-like, and Supernatural, we know that granted powers must be one of these three. However, if we look at the Spell Compendium, we find several granted powers that are explicitly marked as either Ex, Su, or Sp, and many more that are not marked at all. This forces us to conclude that there is no default answer. If there was, they would not have found the need to use all three labels and leave some unlabelled.

So what can we do now that we know that there is no default? Personally, I think we're stuck. We have several granted powers that are not labeled as being anything, but must be either Ex, Su, or Sp, but I know of no rules text that tells us what to do in this case. In fact, I know of none that acknowledge this problem and I found nothing in the PHB, DMG, Complete Divine, or Spell Compendium that helps. Because we cannot say what type of ability these unmarked powers are, we cannot rule on if they are inherently magical or not.

That being said, some of the untyped domains in Complete Divine, namely Dream and Madness, give us fluff reasons for the granted power:

  • (Dream Domain) Because you have long delved into dreams and nightmares, you are immune to fear effects.

  • (Madness Domain) Your insanity gives you insight. You subtract 1 from all Wisdom-based skill checks...

which may give us reasons to suspect that the default is Ex, but this is clearly not a good hill to stand on. A safer hill would be to treat them like you would a class feature that isn't marked as Ex, Su, or Sp, but that would contradict the PHB's claim that they're special abilities and the DMG's claim that special abilities can only be one of those three types.

On the bright side, we don't need any special rules for the abilities that are marked as being something.

Or maybe they're natural?

Hey I Can Chan's comment helpfully points out a contradiction between the PHB and the DMG. I can't remember this fact being acknowledged by any of the domains, but page 180 of the PHB clearly lists natural abilities as being special abilities and says

Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like.

If you take the PHB's approach over the DMG's, then the answer follows easily from here. If a granted power is marked as being something, then it's that. Otherwise, absurdly, the god-given power is natural. If you instead agree with the DMG, then we're back to not knowing what to do (as above).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 23:50

Based on the Spell: Divine Interdiction in the Spell Compendium:

Divine Interdiction

This spell can be cast at a point in space, but the effect is stationary unless cast on a mobile object. The spell can be cast on a creature, and the effect then radiates from the creature and moves as it moves. A creature can attempt a Will save to negate the spell, and spell resistance, if any, applies if the spell is cast on a creature.

Divine interdiction interferes with a cleric's connection to her divine source of power, resulting in a temporary loss of the ability to turn or rebuke creatures and loss of granted domain powers. Paladins, blackguards, and other classes capable of rebuking and turning also suffer a temporary loss of this ability. This affects the subject's ability to channel energy through the use of a turn or rebuke attempt, and so also interferes with the use of many divine feats.

It would seem that it is supernatural if it can be taken away so easily. The ability to use Turn and Spells in General are supernatural in nature. The only thing EX about cleric is the aura.

Given the previous answer about assuming a misprint, I would guess that the aura being EX would be a misprint. Every creature that has HD and the alignments of Chaotic, Evil, Good or Lawful can be detected by Detect Evil, or the appropriate term. The fact that Clerics and Paladins have a bigger aura is that they have that divine connection.

Now, going based on logic, and the Aura is EX by misprint, everything that a Cleric gets, besides Weapon Prof and Extra Languages is SU, then it is safe to assume that Domain Powers are also SU by default, unless otherwise specified within their descriptions. Or, that having Granted Powers is SU and the abilities they grant are based on their descriptions.

I did look in the Complete Divine, the Rules Compendium, and the Spell Compendium, and nowhere does it state what type that Domain Powers are.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This could work, but it appears to be contradicted by the existence of explicitly Extraordinary granted powers. e.g. those from Luck or Competition. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I don’t find this very compelling, sorry. We know there can be Ex granted powers, the fluff behind several other powers suggests a mundane source, and in any event, yes, the aura is Ex and that’s correct and as it should be. I don’t buy that it’s a misprint at all—they have had a lot of time to fix that if it were. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 23:27


Many of the granted powers //are// magical, but nothing about being a granted power makes them so. For example, many granted powers are supernatural, but the Luck domain power is explicitly extraordinary. After reviewing the SRD granted powers, I am not able to find any which are ambiguous (though see War):

  • Air Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Animal Domain - split (speak with animals is spell-like; adding a class skill is a class feature, not an ability type)
  • Chaos Domain - not an ability; changes how spellcasting works
  • Death Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Destruction Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Earth Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Evil Domain - not an ability; changes how spellcasting works
  • Fire Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Good Domain - not an ability; changes how spellcasting works
  • Healing Domain - not an ability; changes how spellcasting works
  • Knowledge Domain split, but neither are abilities.
  • Law Domain - not an ability; changes how spellcasting works
  • Luck Domain - extraordinary (explicit)
  • Magic Domain - not an ability itself, allows you to natively use spell completion items (which are usually supernatural?)
  • Plant Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Protection Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Strength Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Sun Domain - supernatural (“as turning”, no change to ability type)
  • Travel Domain - supernatural (explicit)
  • Trickery Domain - not an ability
  • War Domain - ambiguous. Gives at least one feat, and it is unclear to me whether feats have an ability type. The ambiguity is on the feat side though, not from the granted ability.
  • Water Domain - supernatural (explicit)

It is possible that other domains are ambiguous, but I would consider those individual examples of poor writing, not a deficiency of the overall granted-power construct.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The only part of this that addresses the question is “nothing about being a granted power makes them [magical],” and that is a bald assertion. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan there are clear counter examples and no rule saying they are magical. When I asked for clarification about why you thought it was questionable, you didn’t respond. It’s bald assertion because it’s clear-cut, and I’m honestly unclear what is ambiguous: they are what they say they are. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 1:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have no desire to argue with you. This does not answer my question. I disagree with your analysis of some of the domains here (“adding a class skill is a class feature, not an ability type,” explains nothing to me), and I am also interested in domains well beyond just those that happen to be found on the SRD, so only analyzing those domains doesn’t help me in the slightest. There is only one statement in the answer that would help, and it isn’t backed up. That makes the answer unhelpful. I don’t want you to focus on any one domain; I want you to tell me what the default is. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 1:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you've sold yourself short on this answer. The idea of "they're not marked as being anything, because they don't need to be" might have some value. For example, I've got no idea if adding a skill to a class list is any sort of special ability, but that could be because the game believes that it is typeless. Does that contradict what I've quoted in my answer about these being special abilities and therefore typed? Yes, but we don't expect good writing from 3.5e. Check the Spell Compendium if you want more evidence for or against your point. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's some more untyped domains: Balance, Cavern, Celerity, Charm, Community, Craft, Creation, Darkness, Deathbound, Domination, Dragon, Dream, Drow, Dwarf, Elf, Envy, Glory, Gluttony, Gnome, Greed, Halfling, Hunger(?), Illusion, Inquisition, Madness, Metal, Mind, Moon, Oracle, Pact, Pestilence, Planning, Portal, Pride, Purification, Rune, Scalykind, Slime, Sloth, Spell, Spider, Storm, Summoner, Time, Tyranny, Undeath, Wealth, Windstorm, and Wrath. You're in for a hard time. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 17:45

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