D&D 5e: Half-Elf Cleric Guide
Clerics are wisdom-based spell casters and, as the name suggests, half-elves are the spawn of a human and an elf. Smaller in stature to a human but larger than an elf, they appear more elven to human onlookers but more human to elves. We’re going to roll ourselves a powerful defender who heals our warriors from the frontlines. We’re going to be a walking castle and hospital all in one.
How to Make a Half-Elf Cleric
Clerics make some of the best frontline warriors, and ours is going to be no exception. Because we want to be a bit more useful than a punching bag, we’re going to take the Life domain. This ensures that we can take all the hits we need to, but also keeps our party alive to deal the bulk of the damage. Not to say we won’t be dealing some hits ourselves! Divine Strike (8th level) gives us a bit more damage to deal with, but we’re a glorified bandage tank.
The life domain gives us heavy armor proficiency, so we’re straight into the tank role… And at 6th level, we get Blessed Healer, which heals us when we heal others! Combine that with our domain’s bonus healing (2 + caster level) at level 17 where we get automatic max rolls on healing spells, and we’re never going down! Neither are our mates!
Our spells rely on WIS, so we’ll naturally be prioritizing that over any other attributes. Because we’re the lifeline of our entire party if we are defeated the party is like to follow, so CON is probably the second most important as clerics only have a hit die of a d8. Since we’re going to be hybrid healer-tanks, we prioritize STR over DEX; but we don’t want to have negative DEX because of the checks that come up in gameplay.
Putting points into CHA isn’t too important either – our half-elven ancestry gives us 2 free points here – but our only truly useless skill is INT… Half-elf helps us out here because we automatically speak, read and write Common, Elvish, and another language of our choice. Our half-elven ancestry also lets us increase two other ability scores by one – WIS and CON, as stated above, are our best options.
We get proficiency for two skills of our choice – Religion makes the most sense both in and out of character, and insight is probably our second choice.
Our key feats as a frontline (healing) spellcaster are Resilient and War Caster.
How to Play a Half-Elf Cleric
One of the most simple builds to master;
Step 1: Run into combat.
Step 2: Laugh at the puny creatures trying to pierce your full plate mail.
Step 3: Heal your weaker party members and heal yourself at the same time.
Step 4: That’s it! All your enemies have died of exhaustion trying to bring you down.
The life domain gives us access to heavy armor and all the healing spells we need to support ourselves and the party. Our job is to survive and ensure the survival of the party.
We start with a mace and chain mail – this will suffice for our first few levels. After that, an upgrade to half or full plate should be made as soon as it can be afforded it. Grabbing a shield early on is also a helpful addition to our protection. We’re a walking castle so we may as well take all the defensive upgrades that we can.
Spiritual Weapon is a worthwhile sacrifice of some healing spell slots because it piles on some damage while we’re still free to attack or heal while it does so.
How to Roleplay as a Half-Elf Cleric
Our deity will depend on our setting, though Life domain clerics have a pretty free selection of gods because most non-evil deities can claim influence over the domain. Because healing is a massive focus of our character, a God of Healing or Endurance probably deserves our worship. Acolyte makes the most sense for our backstory.
Our God has granted us powers that keep us and others alive, and He’s given us a quest that begins our adventuring careers. Undeath is an abomination on the world, and our primary passion would be to eliminate the risen dead in all forms.
Image Source: Kim Van Deun https://eyesintheforest.artstation.com/projects/dqxKX