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I'm creating a character for a D&D 5e game. The setting is home-brewed, but the rules are not. One limitation imposed by the setting is that wizard is not an allowed option at character creation.

I'd like to play a character focused on divination. That's not necessarily the divination school of magic, but I'm looking for a character with non-mundane abilities to know things. That could be knowing the future, the past, mind reading, or understanding and interpreting the present.

A wizard focused on the divination school is the most obvious choice, but not available to me. What class or other character options provide me with the most, and most diverse, number of divination options?

Details:

  • All Wizards of the Coast options allowed, including Unearthed Arcana and optional rules.
  • Initial level is 1 and will progress to 20.
  • Initial stats are all very good: >= 16.
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2 Answers 2

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Bard, College of Lore

The Bard has the ability to free-pick any spell from any spell list with Magical Secrets. A college of Lore Bard gets to pick two each at level 6, 10, 14 and 18.

The Bard core spell list already covers a good number of Divination spells, across both arcane and divine spell lists:

  • Comprehend Languages
  • Detect Magic
  • Identify
  • Detect Thoughts
  • Locate Animals or Plants
  • Locate Object
  • See Invisibility
  • Zone of Truth
  • Clairvoyance
  • Speak with Dead
  • Speak with Plants
  • Legend Lore
  • Scrying
  • Find the Path
  • True Seeing
  • Etherealness (not technically divination, but allows you to scout the layout of buildings and dungeons easily)
  • Foresight

With 8 additional picks they can get the missing ones such as

  • Detect Evil & Good
  • Augury
  • Arcane Eye
  • Divination
  • Commune
  • Contact Other Plane
  • Wish (arguably, the most powerful divination spell in the game, even if technically a conjuration)

It really leaves nothing to be desired, and may be a better divination build than a divination wizard, able to combine divination effects from both the arcane and divine spell lists.

For additional good options, see Thomas's answer. Both Cleric of Knoweldege Domain and Druid can work well.

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In summary, the base druid and cleric classes offer a good selection of thematic spells, with each class having one subclass in particular that is more on-brand than the others.

Druid, with Circle of Stars being the most thematic subclass.

The Druid class offers several divinatory spells:

  • locate animals or plants
  • locate object
  • find traps
  • detect magic
  • detect poison or disease
  • locate creature
  • commune with nature
  • scrying
  • find the path

Additionally, the expanded spell list from Tasha's Cauldron has a couple more:

  • augury
  • divination

This makes for a pretty complete selection of spells with the theming you are looking for. As for subclass, the most on-brand is probably going to be the Circle of Stars:

The Circle of Stars allows druids to draw on the power of starlight. These druids have tracked heavenly patterns since time immemorial, discovering secrets hidden amid the constellations. By revealing and understanding these secrets, the Circle of the Stars seeks to harness the powers of the cosmos.

Many druids of this circle keep records of the constellations and the stars’ effects on the world. Some groups document these observations at megalithic sites, which serve as enigmatic libraries of lore. These repositories might take the form of stone circles, pyramids, petroglyphs, and underground temples— any construction durable enough to protect the circle’s sacred knowledge even against a great cataclysm.

None of the class features do much in the way of divining information, but the 6th level feature functions similar to the Divination Wizard's Portent, giving a reaction that either helps or hurts an attack rolls, saving throw, or ability check based on dice rolled at the end of a long rest.

Cleric, with Knowledge Domain being the most thematic subclass.

Like the Druid class, the Cleric spell list has good options for your idea:

  • locate object
  • find traps
  • detect magic
  • detect poison or disease
  • detect evil and good
  • locate creature
  • clairvoyance
  • divination
  • commune
  • legend lore
  • scrying
  • find the path

The Knowledge domain further adds the spell augury, and offers some on-brand subclass features, with the 6th level feature offering a thought detection Channel Divinity option, and the 17th level feature, Visions of the Past, allowing you to divine recent events happening to an object or area.

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