Cleric: Twilight Domain in D&D’s Unearthed Arcana

Cleric: Twilight Domain in D&D’s Unearthed Arcana


– There’s another Unearthed Arcana for the Cleric that focuses
on a very different domain. What was the inspiration for this? – We have long wanted to have a Cleric, essentially, of shadow. In our early Fifth Edition work, that Cleric of Shadow actually turned into the Trickery Domain that’s
in the Player’s Handbook but this notion of shadow, or darkness, as the opposite of the Light Domain that is also in the Player’s Handbook, that notion has stuck with us and so we’ve been tinkering with this idea of sort of the Shadow Cleric and the more we tinkered with it, the more it evolved into what has become the Twilight Domain where
we wanted something, not about total darkness, partly because we feel that we’ve gone to that design well
several times elsewhere in our class design. – [Todd] Shadow Sorcerer, Monk. – Yeah, and so rather than
going all in on shadow again, which we’ve done before, we wanted to explore a
space sort of in between and that’s where we
ended up with Twilight. This is a Cleric who
might walk in darkness, but who also walks in light and who also walks in
the Border Territory. I also really wanted us to delve into an aspect of the night, of nighttime, that often gets ignored
in fantasy storytelling and that is night is also when we rest, not just when we’re afraid, and often in fantasy storytelling, darkness and night is
associated with terrible, dark, scary things, and that’s great. We will continue to do so in D&D. – [Todd] There are things to fight. – Yes, there are terrors in the night, but night is also when we rest, night is also, especially
when we are in our homes, we feel safe. Night is often a quieter time for us and so I wanted us to, again, explore that liminal space
between light and darkness, that twilight realm where
things might be scary but it also might be a place of comfort. It might be that place that
because the light isn’t shining on you harshly, you feel
safer, you feel calmer, and I hope this resonates with people. Any time we do a more kind
of nuanced arc type like this I’m always fascinated to find out what my fellow fans think of it because it doesn’t have
the same broad swing of light or darkness. – [Todd] Yeah, or the Grave Domain. – Yeah, there is appropriate
to a Twilight Domain, there’s a quietness about it, but I think there can be a great power, not only in storytelling, but also in life, of the quiet places where
the light is softer, where things dim a bit. Now, that all sort of
high level talk aside, I think the subclass just
has some neat stuff in it where we explore, for instance, the ability for a character
to be able to see clearly in darkness at any distance. This feature, that the
subclass gets right away, of being able to see at any
distance in the darkness, I’m suspected, and we, the
team that worked on this, myself, Dan Dillon, Ben
Petrisor and Wes Schneider, thought people might
actually read it so fast, they might miss what makes it special, forgetting that, in D&D, dark vision almost always has a range, typically 60 feet,
occasionally 100, 120 feet, but usually it’s only about up to 60 feet and then beyond that, you can’t see. The Twilight Domain gives
the Cleric the ability to see in darkness, no
matter the distance, so already that’s something special. Then they have the ability
to give that ability, a limited number of times, to their friends. So imagine you’re in the Underdark, or you’re trapped in some
other subterranean location, you have no light source, this is the Cleric who can say suddenly, everyone, we can see, but still maintain the darkness, because maybe we wanna
get the jump on people and we don’t wanna cast the light spell or use some other means of
generating illumination. – Now, now it’s less ethereal to me and now it’s almost like a black ops team. – Yes, yeah, so again, we want, again, that liminal space where
this could be used to, you can imagine, rid people
of their fear of the dark. This could be the Cleric
who is a source of comfort to people where you can’t see
and we have no source of light but we can make darkness our friend, but this ability could also
be used to sneak into a place and pull off an amazing ambush because you are moving in darkness and all of you able to see as
if you were in the daylight. So, again, really neat, I think, in terms of how this could play out. – It’s such an insanely
valuable guide as well, in a very weird aside, I think of Riddick, he’s the only person who
can see in the darkness and to have that power, you can become such an instrumental part of the party to survive. You see that dragon before
the dragon sees you. – And that was something we talked about; being of use to the group. We talked about it in our design, because typically when a person
chooses to paly the Cleric, the Cleric, so many of
it’s ability are about helping other people, and the Cleric certainly
has a number of abilities that are just fun for the Cleric but I always try to make
sure that there’s something in the Cleric, whether it was back then when we were working on the base class, but now in the subclass, that benefits your buddies, and so initially when we
did this see in the dark, it actually only benefited the Cleric, but, honestly, we could
do a feature like that in any class. In fact, in Xanathar’s
Guide we have the Ranger who is also a friend to the darkness, but here, to really
distinguish this subclass from a similar theme elsewhere, we wanted to make it so that
you could help your friends, ’cause that’s, again, a very Cleric thing to be able to do. It’s also why this Cleric
is able to give advantage to themself or someone else
on their next initiative role. This idea that you can bring
vigilance to your group. This Cleric is such a friend to the night that they eventually gain the ability to essentially walk on darkness. I really loved when Dan Dillon put that in the initial draft, this idea, again, of this Cleric just sort
of striding upon the night. It’s, again, there’s kind
of a witchy quality to it which also makes it possible, I think, to make some Cleric concepts
that maybe some of our other subclasses don’t fully realize. If you want to make a Cleric of the moon, you could certainly do that with some of our other subclasses ’cause the moon is associated in myth with many different things. You could associate the moon
with the Knowledge Domain, the Life Domain, the Grave Domain, but this domain let’s you
focus more on nighttime itself and your relationship with
darkness and twilight and light so I think it’s, again, it’s a very rich area, not only in terms of
what the subclass can do, but also in terms of the types of Clerics you can make with it. – It’s such a transitive moment too, particularly for kids for
some reason, in my mind, like you’re waiting for Halloween and the sun begins to set. It is a transition somehow mentally, for all of us, always. Whether you’re going out
and you’re going to a party, or go see the movies, or go
trick or treating for candy, there is something about twilight that is the border of all of that. From the moment you work, even growing up on a farm, the moment you are working, to the moment where
you can’t work any more and then things are fun. There is something kind of
like ingrained in all of us and walking on shadows is always cool. (laughing) Like how can you not want to do that? So that makes a lot of sense, like if you’re a Cleric
that worships the moon, or moon deity, how would you do this for a philosophy, that’s a toughy in my mind. – So if your Cleric follows a philosophy or a force instead of a God or a pantheon, you could imagine a
philosophy of transition or of change, or a concept of mystery because, not only does this
domain give you the ability to pierce darkness with your sight and stride up on darkness, but this also allows
you to create darkness. So, in a way, it’s like you have this two-sided relationship with darkness. You can use it, or de-fang it, or you can use it against others. You can conjure up darkness, and then eventually, at a high enough level in the subclass, you can make it so that,
with the darkness spell, you and your friends can see through it. Which, again, is one of those things where a person might read
it and say eh, big deal, but remember the darkness.
– [Todd] No. – The darkness spell.
– [Todd] No. – The darkness spell
cannot be seen through even by normal dark vision and so to have a group
that can walk around in the area of a darkness spell, and keep in mind when
other people can’t see you and they try to attack you, they have disadvantage on
all their attack roles, and if you can see them
and they can’t see you, you have advantage on your attack roles, oh boy could this be devastating
in certain circumstances. – It’s so terrifying. My wife and I use darkness together, when we get a chance to play together, that’s our go to. We drop some darkness, like Shadow Sorcerer,
Warlock with devil sight and it’s just like one, two, punch, right? Again, disadvantage against us, advantage for us against them and then things get really dark if you get the sentinel feat or you have eldritch blast
that slows people down. So now you have three
subclasses that can all, well in the entire class here, but you can have three
different characters that are all about the darkness and treading that line, and that’s very exciting
and very advantageous, because, before, doing
that trip with darkness has a very alienating effect because it’s just you in the dark. – [Jeremy] Right, yeah. – And the party watching you do this. Can you grant that
ability to other people? – Yes, yeah, and again, that is the Cleric twist where the Twilight Cleric is
able to share this ability which, again, might be scary for your foes but can also then be
comforting for your friends, and again, it goes back
to the two-sided nature of the Twilight Domain.

100 thoughts on “Cleric: Twilight Domain in D&D’s Unearthed Arcana

  1. I would expect a Cleric of Twilight would want quiet because talking in Libraries is rude and disturbing. Also should be preaching friendship to solve most problems unless a giant beam of magic is needed.

  2. I can imagine an Orzhov Syndicate (or double agent Dimir?) fitting really well within this archetype. The Raven Queen parallels are strong as well. Definitely an iconic idea. A Twilight Domain / Shadow Monk BBEG could be truly horrifying

  3. It needs a lot of mechanics reigned in, but it's a cool subclass conceptually
    (I still would prefer a Darkness/Shadow domain, but if we ain't gonna get one of those this will do.)

  4. I'm really liking the idea of this cleric, a shadow monk or just a rogue, a shadow soul sorcerer, and a gloomstalker in a party together playing a themed game/campaign, maybe they're all drow and suited to the darkness, and this cleric is sort of the one who gives them hope and bravery. Twilight clerics also have an interesting relationship with the light clerics too because they represent the duality and transition of night and day

  5. Since it's twilight rather than having abilities that work in both dim light or darkness, maybe it should have abilities that have slightly different effects depending on the current light level. Seems a bit odd that Twilight domain is just great in pure darkness but useless in bright light. Seems a bit odd thematically for something that is named for balancing light and dark.
    It would make for interesting gameplay to be constantly lighting or snuffing torches to gain different effects. Also wouldn't drive you to hate the flametongue-wielding fighter as much.

  6. Twilight Domain: Every underdark adjacent campaign is broken, one of our guys took a 1 level dip in cleric and now the Drow, whos entire society is build around darkness, are worthless as this one dude just picks them off with a longbow at 600 feet

  7. It seems like the bonus proficiencies & divine strike don't fit the theme as well as a bonus cantrip & potent cantrip might.

    Also I feel like the midnight shroud would be better as a 6th level channel divinity & Steps of the Brave (maybe buffed a little) would be a better capstone. Mostly for a 17th level ability to give you utility with a spell you gained at level 3 seems… pointless. Especially when warlocks & shadow sorcerers get the effect at 2nd & 3rd level respectively. I don't think it'd be a balance issue with them either since as a channel divinity it would be limited where the lock & sorc are not. It also fits the theme of most cleric channel divinity being helpful to allies.

  8. You don't know your fans, we noticed the infinite range of darkvision. Some people think it should be nerfed. (Not me though, I think it should have been magical darkvision at LV1)

  9. I played a Twilight Cleric yesterday in a one off game and even a level 3 it was fun. Channel Divinity is very useful for the party. Going to play tonight at level 6 and looking forward to the additional spells and domain features.

  10. I really appreciate that this gives a very nice cleric domain for the raven queen. The grave domain, while wonderful and perfect for the role, really does have a large focus on the dying thing.

  11. This feels like a cleric of Eilistraee, who’s usually involved with the Light domain, but has people who need to be subtle

  12. praise the moon, the silent guardian of the night, bringer of twilight!

    though i fear that this unlimited darkvision as a lvl1 class feature might be broken in a sense that a simple one lvl dip into cleric will give any character access to very strong darkvision, making darkness as a plot device even more useless than it is right now…

  13. Yes this is cool and all but not balanced at all. Infinite dark vision is just a nope and the heal Ora is way to powerful for being a second level ability. Wizards please nerf this

  14. I feel like these new classes might be prepping for a revamped Al'Qadim setting book (or how ever you spell that)

    *scratch that, maybe more like a new Ravenloft setting in one of the other Domains of Dread considering Halloween is coming up

  15. "Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!"

  16. Watching this, I can just hear Bane, chuckling in resperator noises: "I was born in darkness, moulded by it. You merely adopted it? Darkness is MY ally!"

  17. Early levels: See through darkness.

    Next Level: Do not fear the darkness.

    Later Level: Walk upon the darkness.

    Capstone: Become the darkness.

  18. I eat this nuance up like it's a gourmet full-course meal. I dreamed up an entire character watching this video, and I WILL play as them one of these days

  19. I got Moon Knight vibes with this, especially with the heavy armor option. It'd be fun to be The One Who You See Coming as this huge figure in white who can always find their way through the night, and nobody can hide from…

  20. That dark vision ability seems op. Or at least a middle finger to any DM trying to make a scary scenario in the dark for the party.

  21. I love how this domain seems to favor the idea of preparing for battle, rather than being immediately useful in the midst of combat. With the advantage on initiative and the perfect darkvision, it really lends itself to thinking tactically before the fight begins.

  22. First thing that came to my mind when Todd asked about philosophy of a twilight cleric was the Nightelves from Warcraft 3 😀

  23. This would be cool to multi class my Owl (aarakocra) Rogue into … (he’s voiced by Keanowl Reeves)…he found a luminous moon nightlight, and now he’s trying to commune with Selune

  24. I really like the theme of this subclass, but wonder how much the infinite darkvision will affect my regular fog of war-style games.

  25. I've been playing this Cleric for about a week now, levels 1 to 4 now.

    I LOVE the concept! Kinda edgy, but not so much. Playing as a Morpheus devote, using Sleep for many RP moments.

  26. Well with all those unearthed arcana coming out lately maybe we'll finaly have a revised Warlock?( only 4 spellslots sucks)

  27. Oh, trust me, we did NOT miss the unlimited range of the cleric's dark vision XD Quite the contrary, it's one of the first things that comes up in reviews, tied with the 1d8 temp hit point aura this cleric gives.

    I love this cleric's flavor! It's badass, it's interesting! But I would not be surprised, nor be mad, if it were nerfed.

  28. I want to point out that the part that he's so proud of, that makes him special, is literally the shittiest part. It makes so many other options just useless in comparison. Darkvision was already lame and omnipresent as it was.

  29. I think this Archetype needs some tweaking before it's added officially. One dip into this class can completely destroy certain styles of DMing for any dps where dungeons or the underground come into play. I wouldn't want one of these in a campaign primarily in the underdark for instance, because it removes the key advantages of its occupants, and that is wrong no matter how you slice it.

  30. Twilight reminds me of the Tolkien elves. Twilight played a big role in Middle Earth, as the elves were in "the twilight of their lives" in the land.

  31. Does he really think people would miss the power of unlimited darkvision and casting a darkness spell the party can see through!?

  32. Unlimited darkvision, sigh. Which is why when a new player asked to play one in my new campaign I changed it to 80' and the granting of darkvision to others a channel divinity instead of Wisdom mod. Not doing this effectively grants the whole party Darkvision in every encounter (not that this matters when the only race not to get it are Humans).
    Wizards have mismanaged darkvision and the play between light and dark in 5th (light always trumps dark).

  33. This batch of archetypes is making me ponder a campaign based on Slavic mythology in a world with a dying sun that sheds little light throughout the day. These character options create a motif of witch hunters or Van Helsing style adventures.

  34. ooooooooooooooooooooooooo boi, i know what my next character is gonna be. Just started a cleric playthrough with descent into avernus on my channel and i kind of love cleric. my next character is going to be a Drow Twighlight Cleric of Zinzerena that multiclasses rogue.

  35. Was talking with my gm about that unlimited dark vision being EXTREMELY strong. We thought it would get be cool if it was changed to be that you always see as if dim light. Mid day, to blackest night, you always see as in dim light

  36. I think this would be great domain for Love and Lust Gods, like Sune, Llirra, Sharess/Zandilar, who tend to have more nocturnal then other goodly cleric types.

  37. I can see a God of eclipse where the cleric of this god has 2 type of follow the light and the twilight they will scorch you in the light and consume you in the night

  38. and here I am working on a homebrew version of eilistraee and her followers…. Always nice to have new things to add to the DM toolkit 🙂

  39. Humans can typically see clearly up to a distance of 140 feet. So I’d assume that that’s how far dark vision is gonna go.

  40. love it, my only gripe is the lack lust 17th level ability. having to use concentration on something that most enemies at that level can see through anyways is kinda meh. resistance to necrotic and radiant would be nice instead? along with something that revolves around the "dim" light/twilight the class is based off of?

  41. Now I want a Gloomstalker Twilight Cleric so that my Darkvision range is "Sight+30 feet".
    …Then I can see farther than I can see.

  42. I like this subclass it made me want to play Cleric. We started a new game and my GM said I have to lower the infinite Darkvision to 120ft and I was pissed… I still like the concept though.

  43. I swear D&D sometimes be really annoying like no matter how much darkness they add to a character there still like but hes on the border and remains in the light, like wtf we can’t have evil heros and they say “this can help the group in this way” like wtf does the group randomly have to work with the other members like i don’t know you bitches tf and i don’t Metagame so this is really annoying but hey maybe some new game coming out soon thats more defined on group building and overall better

  44. I love that they made the twilight domain with ideas of rest as well as darkness.
    I started world building what I will now make a Homebrew, with an idea that the "Dark God" is not evil, but misunderstood, much like the night, with his wife being the Moon Goddess and one of rest, so this twilight domain I find really interesting.

  45. This is a really cool subclass. I'm considering multiclassing into this with my ranger (thought I'd love to play just Twilight Cleric too, it looks great on its own).

  46. wait didn't sage advice said that the eyes of the night doesn't work when stepping inside the darkness spell. Because you can't see trought magic Darkness with darkvision and eyes of the night just give you a better Darkvision?

  47. I love the flavor of this subclass, no so much the abilities.

    Making it a super tank Cleric that eliminates darkness as a challenge doesn't feel comforting to me

  48. I am working on a Eldritch Knight Drow who plays like a Twilight Cleric mix with Redemption Paladin. Though he is an EK he seeks redemption and wants to help and support people. He also worships Eilisetraee.

  49. Todd – “Walking on shadows is always cool.” Haha
    This seems like a perfect answer for if your players abuse seeing in magical darkness frequently. Just have baddies who are shadow clerics. Not for every encounter. Just enough so things don’t get stale

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