I know that the Multiclassing Proficiencies are listed on p. 164 of the Player's Handbook:

When you gain a level in a class other than your first, you gain only some of that class's starting proficiencies, as shown in the Multiclassing Proficiencies table.

Multiclassing Proficiencies
[...] Cleric — Light armor, medium armor, shields [...]

Cleric proficiencies are listed as:

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: All simple weapons

So it's clear that simple weapons are not available to one multiclassing into Cleric.

However, Cleric's Tempest and War Domains both have the following Bonus Proficiency on p. 62 and p. 63 of the Player's Handbook, respectively:

Bonus Proficiency
At 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons and heavy armor.

And of course, specific rules beat general rules, as noted on p. 7 of the Player's Handbook, but it's not clear to me which of the two is more specific.

Do I get these Domain Bonus Proficiencies when I multiclass into Cleric and use the War or Tempest domain?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Josh, I've added a question to your question. (As a general rule, your question should almost never solely exist in the title.) Please make sure it's accurate. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2014 at 5:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thanks, that makes a lot of sense. Yes, that clarification is perfectly accurate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh Clark
    Aug 26, 2014 at 5:14

3 Answers 3


The bonus proficiency is a domain feature. Domains are a class feature. The multiclassing rules state that you gain the class features when you get a new level in the new class. It then lists exceptions to this with channel divinity, extra attack, spell casting and unarmored defense. Domains are not listed, so it seems that the bonus proficiency is the more specific rule and you gain the domain proficienices.



When you take levels of a new class, you get all of the benefits of their class features.

When you gain a new level in a class, you get its features for that level. A few features, however, have additional rules when you're multiclassing...

While channel divinity is one of the things that is listed as having a special rule surrounding it, Cleric domain features is not (the other ones are extra attacks, unarmored defenses and spell casting).

So yes, when you take a new level of Cleric, you get their L1 domain proficiency, when you take the second level, you get their Channel Divinity features etc. Specifically, because these items are not part of the main class proficiency, but classified with your domain features.


However, the Bonus Proficiency listed under Life, for instance states "When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor." Now, that sentence is a bit vague out of context, but in context, one must ask "Can you choose this domain at a level other than 1st?" That's quite important. There has to be a reason 'at 1st level' is added. Because yes, through multiclassing, you can choose that domain at a level other than 1 - but you always choose it at 1st level of cleric (whether that's your 1st, 5th, or 19th level).

So, contextually, it appears most accurate to state that you only get the Bonus Proficiency at the only time your Class level and Character level equal 1; and multiclassing into cleric doesn't provide this benefit.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This appears to be partly formulated as a reply to another answer, but answers need to be able to stand alone. Please edit a bit to clean that up and make sure your answer directly answers the question. (You can address misconceptions, possibly from other answers, as long as you state what those misconceptions are.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Dec 18, 2015 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is the case. Compare cleric domain features at (for example) 6th level. I think it's pretty clear that the text means "at 1st cleric level" \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 1, 2019 at 12:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .