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Are there rules for giving a sidekick spellcaster with a clerical flavour a class and class abilities, like more known and prepared (list of which can be changed) spells, closer to those of a PC in D&D 5th edition?

Сan Acolyte or the same Spellcaster Sidekick with clerical flavour know more spells than they do according to the "known spells" in Unearthed Arcana (UA) description? As much as Cleric: knows a lot prepares a little.

In particular, Acolyte has a class of Spellcaster, at the start he has a list of known spells (3 of the 1st level) and slots (3 of the 1st level), but the Cleric with the same abilities (Wis 14) and with the 2nd level (according to UA) must have 4 prepared spells and 3 1st level slots.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Discussion about clarifying the question has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jun 24 '20 at 21:29
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Unearthed Arcana vs. Published Rules

A bit of a frame challenge here... Trying to compare UA rules to officially published rules is going to give you nothing but headaches. As the UA article itself says:

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your D&D campaign but not refined by final design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game and aren’t permitted in D&D Adventurers League events.

If we decide to make this material official, it will be refined based on your feedback, and then it will appear in a D&D book.

To put it another way, the fact that the UA Sidekick rules are problematic is something the developers realized, so they rewrote them for publication.

In the published version, your question is moot because the Sidekick rules cannot be bolted on any old statblock. There are four specific statblocks - Warrior, Expert, and Spellcaster - Mage, and Spellcaster - Healer.

The advancement tables don't even appear in the same place.

To reduce the load on both players (when used in the single-player/single-DM option) and the DM, Sidekicks have drastically simplified advancement. They have very few choices on leveling up - ASIs are predetermined, Spells are predetermined, they don't get feats, and so on.

I realize many of these links may not work for people who don't actually own the content on D&D Beyond, but that doesn't have any bearing on the statements made in the answer.

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Yes, there is a section on this in the DMG, but it's really the same as creating a PC

Chapter 4 of the DMG is all about creating NPCs, and it has a section for adding class levels. The summary of that section is "you can give the NPC a class, just like you would a PC". This works well with another section in chapter 4, Low-Level Followers.

If you're adding class levels, you can simply add levels of Cleric, and then there you go: instant Cleric. If you want the NPC to be a sidekick (rather than a character roughly as powerful as the PCs), then you grant the NPC fewer levels than the party (or relevant PC).

You can add these features onto an existing stat block or simply roll an entire character from scratch. It is important to bear in mind that an NPC with class levels is likely to be a lot more powerful than one without-- after all, what makes most PCs more capable than average people in the D&D setting is largely a combination of above-average stats and class levels. Granting an NPC levels in Cleric will do more for them than simply giving them more spells to work with.


It's also worth mentioning that adding such an NPC will materially increase the workload the DM has to handle. A persistent character needs to be played out, at least sometimes, and class levels come with lots of options to manage both in combat and out of it; spell preparation is one of the most labor-intensive features to handle, though you can mitigate that in various ways. A more powerful party means combats are harder to balance well, especially if the DM has to run the sidekick or if the party chooses to use the sidekicks in a disposable way.

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