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Dwarf Cleric 5e D&D Guide

Dwarf Cleric 5e D&D Guide

With a beard as magnificent as a waterfall cascading down the mountainside, our Dwarf Cleric is a living testament to resilience.

Guided by a higher power, the Dwarf Cleric channels the forces of light, healing their comrades in need and smiting their enemies with righteous fury. In their hands, the mightiest of hammers become vessels of divine retribution, crashing upon foes with earth-shaking force.

Do not be fooled by their somber visage and solemn demeanor, for beneath the stoic exterior lies a heart that yearns for camaraderie and ale-fueled laughter.

Creating a Dwarf Cleric


Dwarfs are mostly found in their vast cities carved deep into the roots of mountains. Echoing sounds of picks and hammers can be heard in their blazing forges and cavernous mines, a tradition burning as hot as their hatred for goblins and orcs – a common thread uniting all dwarfs.

SkinDeep brown, Light brown, Deep tan, Pale brown tinged with red
Hair (Including their Beard)Black, Gray, Brown, and sometimes Red (paler dwarfs)

Their hair is long and simple in style – yet their beards are carefully groomed and often styled

EyesGray, Blue, Green, Red, Opal, Brown
NoseHuman-like noses, Large noses
MouthSmaller human-like teeth

Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.

Dwarf Subraces

Dwarfs have 4 distinct subraces, 2 of which populate most of the world, the rest being much rarer.

Hill Dwarf – Hill Dwarfs have keen senses, remarkable resilience, and deep intuition. 

Mountain Dwarf – Mountain Dwarfs are hardy and strong, familiar with a difficult life in rough terrain. They are also taller than most dwarfs, tending to have a lighter appearance as well.

Gray Dwarf (Duergar) – Gray Dwarfs live deep underground in the Underdark. They are vicious and stealthy and also have deep connections to the slave trade.

They’ll regularly go up to the surface to raid, taking their captives down to the Underdark to be sold as slaves to other races. Unlike most dwarfs, Gray Dwarfs possess innate magical abilities, like temporarily growing to a giant size or becoming invisible.

Mark of Warding Dwarf – These dwarfs are masters at protection, especially when it means protecting something valuable or precious.

They have mystical abilities allowing them to weave wards and place intricate locks – they even understand many locks and have no problem figuring out how to unlock certain locks, be it with magic or normal tools.

Cleric Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice1d8 per Cleric level
HP at level 18 + Constitution modifier
HP at Higher levels1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Cleric level after level 1


ArmorLight armor, Medium armor, Shields
WeaponsAll simple weapons
Saving ThrowsWisdom, Charisma
SkillsChoose two – History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion

Cleric Divine Domains

When you start the game (level 1), you choose between 14 Divine Domains, which are shaped by your chosen Deity, granting you gifts, domain spells, and other features.

Your Divine Domain also provides additional uses for your Channel Divinity.

Arcana – Clerics under the Arcana Domain are exposed to the secrets and potential of magic that their gods understand deeply.

The gods of this domain are closely associated with knowledge. Within the realms, deities like Azuth and Mystra are included, while in other worlds, figures like Vecna and the Lunitari are associated with this domain.

Death – Clerics under the Death Domain learn about the forces that initiate death as well as the negative energy that allows undead creatures to rise.

Deities such as  Chemosh and Myrkul, as well as other gods like Bhaal or Hades, all embody the Death Domain.

Forge – Clerics under the Forge Domain are taught that with hard work and patience, even the hardest metals can be transformed into beautiful objects.

These Clerics often search for lost forces of darkness, uncover wondrous materials, and liberate mines overrun by ferocious orcs.

Deities of this domain include Gond, Reorx, and Moradin.

Grave – Clerics under the Grave Domain seek to destroy undead wherever they are found, ease the suffering of poor innocent creatures, and put restless spirits to rest.

These Clerics can ever save a creature from death or extend a creature’s lifespan beyond its mortal limits, though most don’t dare use such magic.

Knowledge – Clerics under the Knowledge Domain collect old tomes, delve into secret places, study esoteric lore, and learn all that they can.

Life – Clerics under the Life Domain focus on positive energy, learning spells to heal the sick and wounded, driving off the forces of undeath and death, as well as caring for those in need.

Light – Clerics under the Light Domain are seen as enlightened souls filled with the radiance and the strength of their god, destined to burn away the darkness and chase away lies.

Nature – Clerics in the Nature Domain are seen as champions who advance the interests of particular nature gods. These Clerics have a duty to bless harvests, wither the crops of those who anger the gods or fell evil monsters who despoil the forest.

Gods of nature include Silvanus, Chislev, and Balinor. There are many Druids who also serve these gods and work with Clerics to complete similar tasks.

Order – Clerics of the Order Domain understand justice and logic, serving their gods as examples of their discipline and devotion.

Peace – Clerics under the Peace Domain must oversee the signing of treaties and are often asked to settle disputes. They believe peace thrives at the heart of a healthy community and perform blessings to draw people together.

Tempest – Clerics of the Tempest Domain are sent by their deities to create fear among the common folk, doing this to keep them on the path of righteousness and also encouraging sacrifices to ward off divine wrath.

Trickery – Clerics following the Trickery Domain are seen as a disruptive force in the world – freeing captives, stealing from the rich, flouting hollow traditions, puncturing pride, and mocking tyrants, preferring subterfuge or deception to go about these deeds.

Twilight – Clerics under the Twilight Domain bring comfort to those who seek rest, protecting them by venturing into the infringing darkness to ensure that the dark is a comfort – not a terror.

War – Clerics following the War Domain excel in battle, inspiring their comrades to fight or using acts of violence to increase their morale and lust for battle.

Combining Cleric With Dwarf

Determining Your Cleric Subclass

Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.

Arcana DomainStriker/Support/Utility Caster
Death DomainHealer/Striker/Support
Forge DomainController/Support
Grave DomainHealer/Support
Knowledge DomainController/Librarian/Support/Utility Caster
Life DomainHealer/Support
Light DomainBlaster/Controller/Support/Utility Caster
Nature DomainBlaster/Controller/Support
Order DomainHealer/Support/Utility Caster
Peace DomainDefender/Healer/Support
Tempest DomainBlaster/Controller/Support
Trickery DomainController/Scout/Support/Utility Caster
Twilight DomainController/Healer/Support
War DomainBlaster/Defender/Striker/Support

Optimal Dwarf Subrace

Dwarfs only have a handful of subraces, which don’t give them too many options regarding ability score increase. Clerics focus mainly on Wisdom for their spellcasting modifier, thereafter going for Constitution to increase their HP.

Luckily, Dwarfs start with a Constitution (2) bonus, and if you’re after a Wisdom (1) bonus, you should pick the Hill Dwarf subrace. 

It doesn’t provide anything fancy, but it does give a plus 1 to your HP every time you gain a level.

Your Dwarf Cleric Background

Your Dwarf Cleric needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?

Place of Birth

Think of the environment a Dwarf Cleric grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.

Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.

Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.

Characteristics and Personality Traits

Dwarf Clerics are quite common in many Dwarf strongholds and across many worlds, as they are tough and never falter in their religious beliefs.

Dwarf Cleric Druid Examples:

  • Nothing can shake my optimistic attitude.
  • I worship a particular hero of my faith and constantly refer to that person’s actions and example.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Dwarf Cleric’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).

I know that my deity will always guide my actions. I believe that if I start working hard, things will go well.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Dwarf Cleric has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.

I would die to recover an ancient artifact of my faith that was lost a long time ago.

Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Dwarf Cleric – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.

My devoutness sometimes leads me to blindly trust those that profess faith in my god.


Inspiration is used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

I have found that faith fixes all wrongs, so I profess this to everyone, even to those who hate religion.

Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.

Supplies and Gear For Dwarf Cleric

Clerics start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.

  • (a) Mace or (b) Warhammer (if proficient)
  • (a) Scale mail, (b) Leather armor, or (c) Chain mail (if proficient)
  • (a) One light crossbow with 20 bolts or (b) Any simple weapon
  • (a) Priest’s pack or (b) Any simple weapon
  • A holy symbol and a shield

You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.

Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (5d4 x 10 GP for Clerics).

Final Thoughts

Dwarf Clerics are very common, as many Dwarfs become religious fanatics or embrace the religion of their people.

In parties, Dwarf Clerics primarily focus on being Controllers, Defenders, and Supports, as they buff their party and protect the weak from harm.

So, if you need a hardy fellow who will support you till your death, then look no further than the Dwarf Cleric.

You might also be interested in the following:

Dwarf Barbarian 5e D&D Guide

Monday 26th of June 2023

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