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Playing D&D 5e. The Cleric (Tempest domain) in my players' 4th-level party (Cleric, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock) spotted Enlarge/Reduce and has taken a liking to it for hijinks of the Enormous Half-Orc or really tiny halfling.

However, Enlarge/Reduce isn't a Cleric spell. It's only on the Wizard and Sorcerer lists. Is there any balance reason Clerics shouldn't have it, or is it likely to just be flavour?

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2 Answers 2

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You can do this in a balanced way

A single level 2 spell is not going to break your game. But there is a reason why the spell lists for different classes differ, and it is not balance: it gives them distinction, so they play differently and fill different roles, and play is more interesting and encourages a team working together.

Cleric domains already weaken the distinction and provide access to other spell lists. For example the Light domain even gives access to fireball, a signature spell for wizards and sorcerers -- but domains do so to support a theme. The Tempest domain likewise gives access to a lot of classical wizard spells, such as lighting bolt and ice storm -- but all these are thematically related to storms and weather. Enlarge/Reduce is not. You'll not affect balance in a major way by swapping out gust of wind or shatter with it. Shatter is a pretty decent area damage spell at third caster level, and can take out multiple weak foes. Swapping it out for Enlarge/Reduce will not make the character stronger.

This is supported by the DMG, page 287:

Modifying a class's spell list usually has little effect on a character's power but can change the flavor of a class significantly. (...) Be cautious when changing the warlock spell list. Since warlocks regain their spell slots after a short rest, they have the potential to use certain spells more times in a day than other classes do.

So this is more a question of how gonzo and everything goes you like to play. If you and your player are happy with it, go ahead.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That thought had crossed my mind, actually. His "deity" is certainly non-standard (he hears a voice in his head; even I, as DM, am not sure what it represents yet - but it is the reason he took Abyssal language proficiency at chargen...) so mixing up the domain isn't too wonky. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chowlett
    Aug 4, 2023 at 21:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ A complete answer should quote the DMG where it says that there are typically no balance issues with doing this except sometimes for warlocks. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 4, 2023 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I personally wouldn't do this without a narrative justification. The player doesn't have to know the justification up front, but you should. Maybe it's a gift that will need to be reciprocated. Maybe it's to deal with a certain challenge important for their deity 3, 5, 10 levels later. Maybe it's something else altogether. Either way, this is a great opportunity to tie a story to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Aug 4, 2023 at 23:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is a balance concern not described here, but that is implied in the solution. Expanding the main Cleric spell list would be a minor balance concern because it would add flexibility to the class at no cost (unlike for a Wizard or any other class that must limit its spells known). It is a small net gain in power for the class, in that having more options when choosing spells memorised is beneficial. So it is not just a thematic choice. By swapping out the domain spells you avoid this issue, because the number of choices and amount of flexibility that the character has is not increased. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2023 at 11:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater Exactly! Hence the title \$\endgroup\$ Aug 5, 2023 at 12:45
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The correct Backgrounds can grant a Cleric this spell.

The Simic Scientist background from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and the Quadrix Student background from Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos both grant the Enlarge/Reduce spell to characters that have taken them.

Additionally, a Cleric can qualify to take the Adept of Red Robes feat at level 4 if they've taken the Mage of High Sorcery background, from Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen.

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