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I've made this subclass for fun, and I wanted to make sure it was balanced without being too weak or too strong. I'm not too experienced with homebrewing subclasses, I took inspiration of some features from other subclasses, but overall I just wanted some input and whether or not it's balanced. I'm open to ideas and changes. It is in 5th edition

Curse Domain

Curse Domain Spells

Level 1: Bane, Hex
Level 3: Bestow Curse, Blindness/Deafness
Level 5: Remove Curse, Hypnotic Pattern
Level 7: Banishment, Confusion
Level 9: Destructive Wave, Contagion

These spells are revolved around giving enemies de-buffs. All of them are meant to fit in the theme of the class that is causing enemies to have disadvantage or have unpleasant effects

Bonus Proficiencies

You gain proficiency with heavy armour

The subclass is expected to be using spells most of the time, but I took the heavy armour idea from Twilight and Life Domain

Cursed Mutter

At level 1, you learn the guidance cantrip. It has been extended to a range of 30ft, and can be used as a bonus action. Due to your dark magic, you can curse guidance and cause it to do the opposite of it's intended effect. It now has the option to subtract a creature's roll for a skill check using a d4. This must be done before the roll

I have given the guidance cantrip the option to instead reduce a creature's roll in a skill check rather than adding it with a d4. I wanted to do this to make it appropriate to the subclass with it being about curses. To compensate for a decent effect, I gave it more range and the option to use it as a bonus action. I am however aware that guidance doesnt fit the theme of a more evil subclass, but the intention was to have it be a cursed guidance effect, so that it made the complete opposite effect

Misfortune

At level 1, you can now inflict a curse on a creature. Using a reaction to activate, you can cause a creature within 15 feet of you to gain disadvantage on their attack roll when they make one. This must be done before they roll for attack. This can only be used a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier per long rest (minimum of once).

This feature was created to give this subclass another curse ability. I felt like a feature that gives a creature disadvantage on an attack fits this subclass, however I am unsure if this is too strong or not, especially at this level. I figured that having it replenish only on a long rest was a good way to balance how many times you can use this. My initial thing was to have it give an option to give disadvantage on attack or saving throw, but I figured it was a bit too strong with the option. Should I make it a bonus action or keep it as a reaction?

Channel Divinity: Spiteful Wrath

Starting at second level, you can use your channel divinity to inflict dark magic on those around you

As an action, you present your holy symbol and release a mist of dark magic 30ft around you. Creatures of your choice within the radius must make a wisdom saving throw. If they fail, they take 1d8+cleric level necrotic damage and are now blinded or deafened (your choice) for a number of turns equal to your wisdom modifier. They can roll a constitution saving throw at the end of each of their turns or when they are attacked to remove this effect. If they succeed the wisdom saving throw, they take half damage and are not blinded or deafened. Additionally, when you roll for damage for Spiteful Wrath, you gain temporary hitpoints equal to that damage you rolled

This feature is somewhat similar to Light Domain in terms of dealing damage. It is weaker because of the other effects, such as being able to force creatures that failed the save to be blinded or deafened. The temporary HP gain is a nice benefit, but is that a bit too much for the divinity?

Crippling Resistances

At level 6, you can use an action to cause a creature that you can see to lose its resistance to one damage type (that isn't piercing, bludgeoning or slashing) for 1 minute. When you cast Cursed Mutter or Cursed Chant on a creature, you can see one resistance that it has. This can only be done once per long rest. Additionally, you gain resistance to necrotic damage at this level

I initially had it as a bonus action to activate and the number of uses was equal to your wisdom modifier, but I realise that at this point, I have way too many different bonus action features and had to change it up. It's 1 minute per long rest effect, removing a resistance. I was suggested to give the subclass resistance to necrotic since that is what it's based around, so I added that in here

Cursed Chant

The power of Cursed Mutter is increased

Whenever you use Cursed Mutter, you can now have the option to reduce an attack roll or saving throw with a d4. Additionally, they take 1d4 necrotic damage when the creature has their roll reduced.

Potent Spellcasting does not increase the damage for this feature

Hey, there we go, a better upgrade for Cursed Mutter. While it isn't the best upgrade, it now has the option to reduce an attack roll, skill check or saving throw. The minor 1d4 damage is weak, and can't be boosted by Potent Spellcasting that will be available later in this level, but it's a decent way to do damage along with reducing rolls. My problem with this is that Spiritual Weapon will be far superior compared to this feature for damage, and both won't be able to be used at the same time, but the reducing roll is helpful in it's own way, especially for saving throws. I considered having the damage be 1d4+1 but wasn't sure I wanted to give extra damage for something that's unlimited and reduces rolls

Potent Spellcasting

Starting at 8th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

I expect this class to rely on spells and cantrips due to being able to reduce saving throws now. And since other cleric subclasses can get this, I gave this subclass the Potent Spellcasting

Chaos Walking

At level 17, you gain immunity to curses, and creatures within 30ft of you lose resistance to necrotic damage. When you use Cursed Chant, you now use a 1d4+3 to reduce rolls and deal necrotic damage. Additionally, if the creature succeeds it's roll/save, it takes 2d4+3 necrotic damage instead of 1d4+3. When you use your channel divinity, you can choose one creature that succeeded it and force it to reroll it's save once.

Making this last subclass feature really made me think. I improved Cursed Chant/Mutter even further, but I at this moment I wasn't sure if this was balanced. Is this underwhelming for a capstone ability, or is the roll reducing too good? The extra 2d4+3 damage averages at least 7 damage if someone hits an attack, saving throw or skill. Because at first, when I thought it was pretty weak, I made it so that people lose necrotic resistance when they are close by. I thought this was situational, so I added one last thing, which was an ability to force a creature to reroll a save against Spiteful Wrath. I also added immunity to curses, so you no longer have to cast Remove Curse for anything that may affect you


To conclude, I really like the theme for this subclass, and I intend to keep the spells and the Cursed Mutter features. However, I wasn't too sure about some features, like Misfortune, and the range of the features, such as Cursed Mutter being 30ft. I am more concerned about the level 17 feature, Chaos Walking. This is because I am unsure if it's underwhelming or not, since the latest level I ever got to was level 15.
Is this cleric subclass balanced? If you have any suggestions on fixing anything up, I'm all ears
(If I messed up anything I needed to do for this post, this is my second time using this site, so I'll fix any errors if I made some)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Preemptively putting this here for you to read (not because I think it's a bad homebrew review question by the way): How can I ask a good homebrew review question? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am reminded of the Diablo II computer game Necromancer class, thematically, by the domain spells. Should be able to have a review / answer by the end of the day. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15 at 17:50
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Domain spells

Hex requires a bonus action and concentration. It's quite thematic, but will often conflict with Cursed Mutter.

Bestow curse is a 3rd-level spell, so it should be learned at 5th level, not 3rd.

Hypnotic pattern is probably overpowered as a cleric domain spell. Clerics don't get fear or hypnotic pattern, even as domain spells. That's probably intentional, as they are a big part of the power bump for bards, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards. I would recommend moving bestow curse to level 5 instead of hypnotic pattern.

Destructive wave stands out as an odd choice thematically, but it isn't overpowered.

Cursed Mutter

It's not clear how this is intended to work. The normal guidance cantrip doesn't automatically apply to the first ability check; instead, the target can choose to use it any one time during the duration. Who has the option to subtract a d4 from a creature's roll?

Assuming this can still only be used once per casting, this has interesting flavor, but is mechanically underpowered. The cleric still has to chant and wave their arms to cast the spell, making it hard to cast without initiating combat. Also, very few monsters make ability checks in combat, so the offensive part of Cursed Mutter will probably not see much use.

Misfortune

This seems moderately good at lower levels (when enemies only have one attack), and less good at higher levels (when enemies all have multiattack). Overall, reasonably balanced.

Spiteful Wrath

With three creatures in range, this is equivalent to a 4th level casting of blindness/deafness (that initially targets typically weaker Wisdom saves) plus damage and temporary hitpoints. Allowing a save when the target is attacked rescues this feature from being completely overpowered.

In order to better match existing 5e mechanics, I'd recommend allowing a saving throw whenever the target is hit by an attack (or possibly damaged in general). I'd also recommend using Constitution for both the initial and subsequent saves. The damage and temporary hitpoints probably aren't necessary to make this feature feel good, though it may be alright to keep them.

Crippling Resistances

Necrotic resistance works great. Removing a resistance is also interesting, though expending an action is a big cost. It's only really worth it if multiple party members deal primarily a single type of damage, and that damage type is resisted. That said, removing resistance is an uncommon ability, so this is probably balanced.

Cursed Chant

Using a bonus action to reduce an enemy's saving throw by 1d4 with no save to prevent it? And you can repeat that every turn forever? That's definitely powerful. However, it does require your concentration, and casting guidance will prevent you from casting non-cantrips as an action on the same turn. Figuring out the balance is a bit tricky here. It's certainly a feature to watch out for, but it's probably alright.

Potent Spellcasting

Makes sense for a curse-related cleric.

Chaos Walking

This upgrades a ton of abilities, so it feels a little busy.

Creatures near you losing resistance to necrotic damage seems balanced and interesting. Cursed Chant reducing saving throws by 1d4+3 is probably too powerful, even for a capstone. Many enemies have a 0% chance to pass a saving throw at minus 4, much less minus 7.

If you still want a powerful upgrade to Cursed Chant as a capstone, you might consider the following:

When a creature affected by your Cursed Chant is about to roll a saving throw with advantage, you can prevent the roll from being affected by advantage and disadvantage (no action required).

This is similar to the Clockwork Soul sorcerer's Restore Balance ability. It provides a powerful way to negate Magic Resistance, without making enemy success impossible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Cursed Mutter would be great if it was attacks for their turn. That single attack option is a bummer once monsters get multi. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jul 15 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Awesome, thanks for the review! I will fix up and modify the things that you mentioned, and I appreciate your input. And thanks for suggesting the alternative for Chaos Walking, I wasn't sure which direction to go. Balancing the saving throw side of Cursed Chant will be a challenge, but i agree, a free use of this is too powerful with access to strong spells. Thanks again \$\endgroup\$
    – Dylwolf
    Jul 16 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ My bad, was thinking of misfortune. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jul 16 at 15:55

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