Cleric Knowledge Domain: D&D Guide

The class is back in session. This week, we’ll take a deep drink from Oghma’s Holy Water Oghma to uncover the secrets in the Knowledge Domain.

Clerics who believe in gods of knowledge like Azuth as well as Oghma from the Forgotten Realms, gods of mysteries and secrets like Vecna of Greyhawk, and even gods of craftsmanship like Reorx and Reorx of Krynn.

Gods who seek knowledge to achieve the attainment of a goal, such as those of the magic gods Mystra from the Forgotten Realms, Boccob, and Wee Jas of Greyhawk, has been recognized for granting their priests access to the Knowledge Domain.

Open your parchment, open your inkwells, and don the thinking cap. You’re now ready to explore the realm of knowledge.

We’ve completed our first complete cycle of twelve classes, and have exhausted every single thing Basic Rules has to offer–as far as classes are concerned, that is.

The next phase in the Class 101 series will appraise every subclass in the Player’s Handbook and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each subclass in thematic aspects, as well as all other information a student would need to know before taking that particular class.

Due to this, you’ll need the Player’s Handbook (or purchase the subclass on a per-class basis through the Marketplace) to fully benefit from this series.

Explore other articles from the Cleric 101 series, such as our outline of the subject in Cleric 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing the Divine, as well as Cleric 101: Life Domain. If you’re interested in taking other classes, you can check out the complete Class 101 series. 

The Story of the Knowledge Domain

“Your god is a fool, cleric of Boccob.” A tall man dressed in black, sleek clothes, was standing at the very top of the stairwell. His skin was light brown.

However, it appeared pale and ashen. He sat at his bridge, his eyes crimson, and looked at the intelligent religious cleric who was sitting in an office in an uninviting study at the bottom of the stairs.

The Clergy of Boccob, the god of magic, was not inclined to gaze at his guest who was not invited. He heard the one from the vampiric cleric from Vecna who had appeared before him several times previously to entice him with secrets that were hidden from Boccob’s eyes.

Golden candlelight shone through the scholar’s purple gown and illuminated his brown eyebrows, which were covered and slick with sweat. You are advised to get out of my room, you vampire. Your god’s words are poisonous. “

The vampire laughed. He stood at the entrance to the cleric’s room. Outside, rain poured down and soaked the debonair beast to his blemish-free core. But the creature was bound by the curse of his nature to visit the home of another only when invited.

“Poison, you say?” the man asked. Perhaps, but it’s an encapsulation process that burns away all the insanity of the human mind. The universe is vast, you know, and there’s more to learn than could be learned over a thousand years. I’m able to give you these endless years. My Lord Vecna will provide you with forever time. “

The cleric from Boccob closed his eyes and swore he would not listen like the cleric had done several times throughout the last few months. Every time a vampire appeared at his door and offered to help, he accepted his pleas.

The scholar even opened his door to allow them to talk more freely. He still had the strength of character left in his body. The cleric raised his hands and summoned a basic spell known as Thaumaturgy.

“I said, begone!” He shouted. He screamed as he turned around, missing the vampire’s hypnotic glare, and slammed the doors shut in the snooty cleric’s face. He stood silently for a few seconds and could only hear the sound of his sigh and the sound of rain. Then, the voice of his guest was heard in his ears.

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Another night, perhaps. We’ll see you again, my friend. And I hope the next time you meet, you’ll invite me to be with you. “

Knowledge Domain Features:

A divine domain is a set of powers that are intrinsically linked to a particular aspect of a god’s divine nature. A god may have many domains of immense ability, but a mortal being is only able to enjoy the power of one.

Clerics who have the ability in the Knowledge Domain are studious people who seek to improve their knowledge, maybe as a way towards a particular goal or just to acquire knowledge for the sake of learning.

The clerics who receive this power have several advantages which show their global perspective and their capacity to gain new knowledge.


The cleric is granted access to five subclasses at the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 8th, 17th, and 17th levels. You can learn about all your Knowledge Domain features in the Player’s Handbook. In a nutshell, the subclass features you have access to let you:

  • Acquire proficiency in a range of academic areas and get double the amount of proficiency you earn when performing intelligence checks using any of these skills.
  • Always have a set of domain-specific words prepared.
  • You can channel the power of God to develop a temporary mastery of tools or skills, or to understand the mind of a creature and alter it.
  • Enhance the destructive potential that your trips have.
  • Look back into the past.

Benefits of the Knowledge Domain

Knowledge Domain The Knowledge Domain grants its clerics access to abilities that allow them to be proficient in this social interaction aspect of D&D.

Acquiring a few additional abilities, as well as abilities to discern minds as well as influence others, can make this knowledge domain an attractive option for a cleric who is participating in an intrigue-driven (or otherwise, character-driven and roleplay-focused) campaign.

But, that’s not the only thing they’re adept at. If you’re interested in digging up the secrets and lore of a game world, you’re likely to be your Dungeon Master’s top player in the world. If you do, the Knowledge Domain makes it simple to discover hidden secrets.

Thus, it is possible that in a campaign that is rife with dungeons, your Knowledge Domain cleric can discover secrets that can assist your party in getting the upper hand during the next battle, uncover the weaknesses of the monster boss, or learn obscure mythology that could help your group avoid problems later in the campaign.

The role is the responsibility of The Knowledge Domain cleric is best for campaigns led by a DM who loves to hide information, hoping that players will attempt to discover it.

Your domain’s spells play into this purpose effectively, with spells such as talking to the dead and augury that make it easy to gain knowledge beyond what the environment, or other NPCs, can tell you.

Your domain even gives you access to some good spells, such as the arcane eye and confusion, that aren’t accessible to other clergymen.

Drawbacks to the Knowledge Domain

Indeed, the Knowledge Domain doesn’t have any poor features for classes that can drag the whole subclass down.

However, its emphasis on the social aspect of the game may make it difficult to be a part of the action when the exploration and combat pillars play the lead role. In these situations, however, the cleric’s spell list can be extensive enough that just making the guiding bolt, the shield of faith, and several other staples of combat can allow you to take part in any scenario your group finds itself in.

Although you may not be able to excel in combat the way the War Domain Clergy could be, you’ll have plenty of energy-based depending on the strengths of your particular class.

Knowledge Domain The Knowledge Domain encourages you to increase your intelligence. If you wish to become a shrewd cleric who knows numerous secrets about the world, it is only logical to have incredibly high intelligence.

But, adding points to Intelligence may make it more difficult to be a victor on the battlefield, which further influences the subclass’s preference for low-combat missions.

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While many clerics develop proficiency in heavy armor, which can help them to attain an unimpressive constitution, it’s not the case that the Knowledge Domain grants you no advantage like that. Instead of joining the front lines as a Light or War Domain cleric, it is best to stay in the back of the party, similar to wizards.

Suggested Build

If you’re a Knowledge Domain cleric starting at 1st level, pick a race that gives you a bonus on your Wisdom score, such as the hill dwarf.

Races that offer bonuses that you can assign to any of the traits, such as the human variant or half-elf, let you assign your ability score with bonuses however you’d like, as well as letting you gain other beneficial characteristics, such as additional skill proficiency.

After Wisdom is a must, you should have an excellent intelligence score to make the most of your abilities in specific skills such as Arcana or History.

Strength can help you wear moderate armor more effectively and also use melee weapons, while dexterity lets you wear lighter armor and make use of ranged and fine weapons. It’s dependent on your personal preferences.

The character’s background is entirely up to them. Many clerics are descended from acolyte families and were raised in the priestly arts, while others were initiated later in life.

Maybe it was you who served in the military and devoted many years to the temple after being wounded and being injured badly and miraculously being able to survive. Perhaps you were a thief who was nearly thrown to death on the streets of a decrepit city but was saved by the kindness of a humble cleric who became her student.

Making sure you have the right equipment when making your cleric’s outfit is a good option.

Because you’re not proficient in heavy armor or weapons for combat, it is recommended that you choose an ax or scale mail (if your strength is greater than your dexterity) as well as leather armor (if you have dexterity). The details, like what kind of sacred symbol you wear, are purely aesthetic choices that are completely up to you.


As a cleric, fortunately, you have access to the complete list of spells for clerics when you create spells at the beginning of the morning. However, when I play the role of a cleric, I prefer to use a common list of spells that the cleric has prepared, unless I explicitly opt for something else.

This avoids the hassle of having to select every spell I use at the beginning of each day. Because you’ll mostly play a supporting role in your team and need spells that help allies and weaken enemies, this will help you.

The Domain Spells feature is geared toward locating information and other outside-of-combat uses. Therefore, you should make sure that your “average adventuring day” spell choice should include spells to help your allies during combat.

As a cleric of the first level, you’re familiar with three cantrips, and you can craft a range of 1st-level spells equivalent to 1 plus your Wisdom modifier.

Your Wisdom modifier is likely either +2 or +3 as of now, which means you’ll have the ability to choose between one or more first-level spells when you have a long rest. If you’re a supporting character, you’ll need a guidance cantrip.

The guideline cantrip allows you to always be able to aid your team because it has a limitless number of applications. For a support role, you’ll need at least one offensive cantrip. A holy flame is a great option. Beyond that, the cantrips you choose to take are an individual choice, and most will be a great fit for you.

From the list of cleric spells, you can create any first-level spell you want. However, you can utilize this list of recommended spells to make an all-purpose loadout for spells that will be useful in almost all scenarios.

When you embark on adventures and discover the dangers your character will be exposed to, you can customize your loadout for spells. Make sure to select one spell that is labeled “Support,” one that is labeled “Defense,” and the other one is an offense. When you’ve got a good wisdom score and can prepare additional spells, you can choose others that you prefer. This list only contains a few spells that are found in the Player’s Handbook.

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If you’d like to pick more obscure spells or use other sources such as Xanathar’s Handbook for Everything, you’ll need to do some independent study. This list is designed to help you get started when you’re just beginning your journey playing as a Knowledge Domain Clergy.

(Note that, with the Domain Spells feature, you always have the option to command to identify spells that you have prepared to be used, and they’re not counted against the number of spells you can create every day.)

  • Bless (SUPPORT)
  • Bane (DEFENSE)

This spell is able to be used as a ritual, which means that you can cast it without spending an additional spell slot, provided you are willing to spend an additional 10 minutes casting it.

  • guiding bolt (OFFENSE)
  • “Healing Word” (Support)
  • Inflict wounds (offense)
  • Protection against evil and good (DEFENSE) (This spell requires you to have 25 grams of holy water )
  • Shield of Faith (DEFENSE)


At the 4th level, you can choose to either increase your ability score or feat. The choice of the latter option will allow you to gain an Ability Score Increase, which allows you to raise one score in your ability to +2 (such as the increase in the Wisdom of your character from 16 to 18) or increase two scores by +1 (like the increase in your Wisdom score between 15 and 16, or your Intelligence score going from 13–14).

The ability score increase makes you better at an array of things. For example, the increase in the value of your Wisdom score can make it more difficult for opponents to resist your spells, making it easier to strike with the spells you use and improving your ability to make Wisdom checks.

Feats, however, offer you a unique ability that is more useful in certain situations than the general improvements that an Ability Score increase can give you. Wisdom is your primary quality score as it controls your spellcasting capabilities.

After you’ve increased the wisdom rating to 20 (its highest value), or perhaps to 18 (a fairly good value), you may wish to select one of the feats. You can select any feat that you think will help your character’s idea. However, some actions could be more beneficial to your character than other feats. They comprise:

Keen Mind. It’s a unique achievement, but it is thematically appropriate for a Knowledge Domain cleric. It gives you a +2 boost to your intelligence score and also gives you the fascinating characteristic of being able to recall anything you’ve experienced or read in the last month, in addition to other characteristics.

linguist. Similar to Keen Mind, the niche capability makes it much simpler to take on your role as a mere Encyclopedia. It’s only of value in dungeon-delving campaigns, however. The ability to learn several languages and to create secret codes could be invaluable for a highly intrigue-driven campaign.

Lucky. This is a great feat to have. It’s not the most exciting but useful feat in the game. You’ll be the one to decide whether or not it’s enjoyable for you.

Heavily armored When your Dwarf Master is making it difficult for you to stay in the back ranks and cast spells in a safe environment secured by warriors, you may require strong armor to defend yourself. This is a great way to protect yourself, but it isn’t required.

War Caster As character support, you’ll be casting many buff spells for your friends, many of which require you to keep your focus.

Concentration can be shattered by being injured, but War Caster helps you to maintain your focus after suffering damage. It also offers a variety of other advantages.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to build a cleric, go through Cleric 101. Do you remember playing Knowledge Domain Clergy? What advice would you give to players who want to create a character similar to this?