Finding the Path – Clerical Domination: Community Domain

Hello everyone, and welcome to another installment in a series of articles focusing on the Cleric Domains in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The goal for each of these is to provide you with a quick overview of your domain powers, spells, and introduce you to a god or goddess from real-Earth mythology who could be a deity using this particular domain.

All that said, welcome to this week’s article on the domain of Community.

The community domain is described as “Your touch can heal wounds, and your presence instills unity and strengthens emotional bonds.” – This is actually more literal than normal, but in essence, this is someone who helps out society, smoothing over the rough edges and helping everything go down just a bit easier.

The powers given are: “Calming Touch” – This allows you to heal an amount of non-lethal damage, equal to 1d6+1/level, such as that sustained by environmental factors and combat with non-lethal weapons (like fists [for those without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat], whips and saps). More importantly, however, it allows you to remove fatigued, shaken, and sickened effects – a lot like Lesser Restoration, but available at a much lower level. I’d call this a very handy ability, not for the healing, but for the removal of the effects. Things like Wights that rely on the sickened effect could be in for a nasty surprise.

The other ability is “Unity” and hoo boy, does this ability shine. It allows your allies, if they’re affected by the same spell as you, to use your saving throw. No limit on the number of allies, just only those within 30 feet. And again it’s your SAVING THROW, not your saving throw modifier. That means that those character with a low Fortitude or Will save might well want you to roll for them, as you’re likely to get a higher score. Heck, if you’re one of the lucky players with high rolls, they might want to use your roll regardless of your actual modifier. The only downside is that they must choose before you roll. “One for all, and all for one,” so if you fail, they all fail.

 

Spells:

The spells you get with the Community domain are as follows:

Bless
All-round good low-level spell, giving you a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and saving throws against fear effects. Never leave home without it, that +1 to hit can make all the difference at low levels.

Shield Other
Potentially a life saver, due to the +1 bonuses to AC and saves, and the half damage that people receive while under the effects. The downside is that you, as the caster, take the other half of the damage. But put it on the right ally, in the right circumstances, and you could keep them in the fight for much longer. (Since they only take half damage, you could, in theory, heal yourself, and keep out of harm’s way at the same time. While this doesn’t heal them, it does prevent the damage, and stop you from taking incidental attacks).

Prayer
Read Bless, but better. Simply due to the fact that it’s LUCK bonuses you get, and those are not that common. Importantly while your allies only get a +1 to all those various rolls (attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks), your opponents take a corresponding -1 to the same rolls.

Imbue with Spell Ability
This allows you to give a creature the one-time ability to use a low-level spell. It could, for example, give a fighter the one-time ability to use a healing spell on himself or things like Bull’s Strength. This could give your group some versatility, or even just give you a backup plan, but the downside is that you lose the 4th level spell slot, until the associated spell has been cast by the imbued creature.

Telepathic Bond

This spell allows you to do silent communication, but at any distance between the recipients. This is probably one of the few times where you could split the party and still reasonably expect to know what’s going on; for example, by having a stealthy character infiltrate a dangerous location and report back what he sees. It only allows for communication, however, not mind reading and you gain no special powers over each other. And while it works at any range (meaning you could be on different sides of the planet if you wish), it does not allow for extraplanar communication.

Heroes’ Feast

While this takes an hour to take effect, the benefits you gain (Neutralize Poison, Remove Disease, temporary hit points, a morale bonus to attack rolls, Will saves, and saves against poison or fear), are really worth it. If you expect to be doing a dungeon crawl with your group, or even just an extended foray into dangerous territory, this spell is worth bringing along, even if you simply use it to buff your party before the action starts, though I’d recommend waiting until you’ve gone through at least some of the enemy, particularly poisonous or disease-ravaged ones.

Refuge

It is, in effect, a Portal Key from Harry Potter. It allows anyone knowing the command word to be instantly transported to your abode, wherever that may be. It is an excellent escape mechanism for a single creature as they only have to touch it and say the word, which removes some reliance on your spells in a situation where escape is required.

Cure Critical Wounds, Mass

Healing for everyone, 4d8+15 at minimum, and affecting up to 15 people at that point. On a large battlefield, this really is the king, for keeping your group going, as even an average roll will heal 33 points of damage, to all your allies.

Miracle
This spell is super versatile, and going into it here will not do it justice. Instead, refer to my previous findings on the Wish spell, which you can find here.

 

New Deity

Hestia
Lady of our Hearth, the State, Pillar of Society
Alignment LN
Worshipers city-dwellers, guards, people with a home, statesmen, those wishing for peace

Cleric Alignments LG, LN, LE, NG, N
Domains: Community, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Protection
Sub-domains: Education, Family, Home, Loyalty, Leadership
Favored Weapon: Light mace (in the shape of a scepter)
Symbol: Stylized female face with a head veil

Hestia is the virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture and the stability of family, home, and state. She is stern, demanding that her clergy remain chaste (though she makes no such demand of her lay worshippers), and she ask that all hold the family and the hearth in the highest regard, doing their best to defend the sanctity of their home (be it the state or their house).

Tradition holds that when a new colony is founded by Hestia worshippers, that a flame is brought from the sacred hearth of Hestia (each temple to Hestia has a hearth that is always lit, and which legend holds is only extinguished on the eve of the city’s destruction), and use this flame to start the fire of the next Hestian temple hearth.

Hestia’s worshippers often appease multiple gods with sacrifices, but Hestia receives the first sacrifice upon each such occasion, for the protection she offers, and she does not think ill of those placating multiple gods, seeing this only as common sense.

Rituals to Hestia are always held indoors, in whatever temple is available, with ceremonies revolving around the central hearth of the temple. This may on occasion include cooking, but usually involves lectures on how to run a family, city, or state. Many temples to Hestia have a lucrative side-business educating local statesmen, simply by letting them take part in these rituals, thereby gaining both worshippers as well as funding.

The holidays of Hestia are always tied to the community surrounding it. Three holidays are the main ones kept by the Hestian clergy: Founding (the day the city was founded, in which elaborate meals are prepared and given to the poor, while the clergy spends the day helping around town, mending whatever they can), Harvesttime (where the community stores it harvests, much of which is bought by the clergy, to be kept for the winter months), and Spring Dawning, the first day after winter solstice, where the coming of the new year is celebrated.

Next week, we look at the Darkness domain. Let us know in the comments if you have anything you wish to add or see addressed.

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Kim Frandsen

Kim Frandsen

37 years old, and a gamer since I was 13. These days I freelance as a writer for various companies (currently Fat Goblin Games, Flaming Crab Games, Outland Entertainment, Purple Duck Games, Rusted Iron Games and Zenith Games) as well as editing the Pathfinder and D&D 5th edition lines for D20PFSRD Publishing. I've dipped my hands into all sorts of games, but my current "go-to" games are Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics and SLA Industries. Unfortunately, while wargaming used to be a big hobby, with wife, dog and daughter came less time.
Kim Frandsen

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