I am running a war cleric, but my DM and I have noticed a problem with the War domain.

The official War domain is as follows:


Free Martial Weapon Proficiency with deity’s favored weapon (if necessary) and Weapon Focus with the deity’s favored weapon.

  1. magic weapon
  2. spiritual weapon
  3. magic vestment
  4. divine power
  5. flame strike
  6. blade barrier
  7. power word: blind
  8. power word: stun
  9. power word: kill

The granted power and first four spells show a pretty distinct theme: armed combat. They improve the cleric’s ability to use weapons and armor. But the rest are just kind of random offensively-oriented spells, which don’t really fit with the theme.

I’d like to see a more thematically consistent War domain. Bonus points for a domain that grabs useful/powerful non-cleric spells, since that tends to be the most useful applications for a domain, but thematics is more important. For example, under the default half-theme that War has, that of improving clerics’ ability at armed combat, it would be hard to argue that any spell is more appropriate than divine power at 4th level, even if it is a cleric spell (but don’t let that stop you from trying, if you think you have a better one).

You do not need to maintain the default theme of the War domain as being about improving the cleric’s prowess at armed combat, but any other theme you choose, you have to justify as being more appropriate for War than the default. Regardless of theme, brief justifications for the granted power and each spell, even those you do not change, are necessary. In fact, if anyone wants to try their hand at it, keeping War as-is and justifying it as the best choices for War is also acceptable.

The granted ability can be changed, especially if you choose a different theme for War than the default, but if you create a wholly-new effect, you have to justify its balance (e.g. compare it to some existing domain’s granted power and show yours to be comparable) as well as its thematic appropriateness.

Any spell from any officially-published Wizards of the Coast product for 3rd edition or the 3.5 revision is acceptable. Spells from third-party products (including, for the purposes of this question, Paizo’s Pathfinder, and any other company’s Pathfinder supplements) are only acceptable with heavy justification for why there is no Wizards of the Coast spell that would fit as well.

All spells must have their source listed. Any spell that appears at a different level for your War domain than it does by default must point that out, and have the decision to do so justified.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Wibbs, SevenSidedDie, gatherer818, Zachiel, Miniman Nov 2 '14 at 22:28

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But you forget: War, War never changes... \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 2 '14 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wyrmwood Don’t answer in comments; I’m going to start up a meta thread on this when I get some time. I think this question has merit and feel it deserves at least a hearing. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 3 '14 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been thinking about this question for a while. If you decided on the domain replacements and asked for appropriate abilities for the domains to replace, based on their typical users, I think it'd be just fine. The problem as it stands is that war can split into 5-10 domains (listed by concept): Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, Commissioned Officer, Non-commissioned officer. (Nominal soldier can be left to extant domains), Logistics, Operations, etc.. So if you turn this around and give us a set of domains which are possible, it should be answerable. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 3 '14 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton No, I very much want to be surprised by people’s takes on this. This question is, I think, fairly compatible with the SE system in general, and is in fact very similar to the sorts of questions that other SEs handle as a matter of course. I asked the question the way I did very intentionally and with a lot of careful thought. The meta thread is being delayed because I want to make sure I have all the material I need to make my case solidly. This community might still reject it, but I don’t want it rejected from a mistaken belief that it does not fit SE. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 4 '14 at 0:08