“We come from the land of the ice and snow, From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.” – A passage written by a traveling skald companion accompanying a communion of frost clerics.
Elemental Powers circle throughout known reality. Heat can transform into fire or lightning, gusts of wind can carry even the mightiest of rock and the water itself can become a solid sheet of ice. In a sense, a rival to the Tempest Cleric, the Ice cleric is at home in the realms of bone chilling temperature, the stinging sensations of ice and the comfort of powdery snow. For them, the cold isn’t just the absence of warmth, but a holy communion among frigid elements; a raw and unforgiving form of nature. Like the northern air, a frost cleric can travel gently like a light flurry or bombard foes like the harshest of blizzards.
Many Ice Clerics accompany hunters or are hunters themselves. Through their devotions, they can trap creatures through sheets of ice, hollow snowy holes or other wintry tricks. Like the ice cold, many of these clerics tend to be rigid and devoid of emotion and often passion too. To some, it’s as if the cold has influenced their own convictions and values as well. As such, neutral alignments tend to be the most common among their orders. Likewise, neutral elemental gods of ice empower such clerics. That isn’t to say that beings like Auril don’t use such power for evil though. Many dress modestly, bundling up at almost all times. In warmer regions, many of these priests might quickly feel out of place. The idea of shedding layers is foreign, outside of bathing.
Author’s Note: There are plenty of elemental niches covered in the cleric, but a cold one is lacking. So, let’s tackle that! Also, I found my set of Reign of Winter books for Pathfinder. So, there’s a big inspiration.
It looks like someone channeled the same idea as me several months beforehand. Well, this is an awkward coincidence. But, I assure you that this is literally the first instance of seeing another homebrewed take via D&D Beyond or the like, as I don’t go there for homebrew. None the less, here is the version I stumbled upon a couple hours before posting this. But, how much can you do with an ice theme, I guess? Well, I may as well not name this Frost Domain anymore. On to something more generic, I guess!
Table: Ice Domain Spells
Cleric Level Spells
1st Feather Fall, Ice Knife*
3rd Gust of Wind, Snilloc’s Snowball Swarm*
5th Sleet Storm, Slow
7th Elemental Bane (Cold Only)*, Ice Storm
9th Cone of Cold, Hold Monster
At 1st level, the power of ice latches onto the enemies you assail with divine retribution, slowing them down. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you may use a reaction to reduce their speed by 10 ft. until the end of their next turn, as jagged bits of ice spring up nearby and mess with your foe’s movements. This effect does not stack with other abilities and spells that affect speed. You may use this ability as many times as your wisdom modifier before having to complete a long rest.
Also at 1st level, you gain one of the following cantrips: frostbite, gust or ray of frost. The chosen cantrip does not count for the total number of cleric cantrips you know. Furthermore, you have advantage on saving throws to endure mundane cold or winter conditions.
Channel Divinity: Glacial Grasp.
Upon reaching 2nd level, you may use your channel divinity to stop a foe in their tracks through powerful ensnaring ice crystals. As an action, may you use your channel divinity against a creature within 60 ft. of you. The creature must succeed a Strength saving throw or take 16 (3d10) cold damage. Furthermore, a creature that fails the save has their speed reduced to 0. The creature attempts a new save at the start of their next turn. Failure continues the hold. Creatures that succeed the initial save take half damage and are not held by the ice barrier. This effect otherwise lasts for up to 1 minute.
Unfettered by the Freeze.
Upon reaching 6th level, you have become adept at enduring the chilling powers of coldness. In fact, you always carry a bit of the cold to help guide your way. You also gain resistance to cold damage. Furthermore, your speed is not impeded from natural difficult terrain. When on snowy or icy difficult terrain, you gain advantage to any survival checks as well as dexterity checks to balance on or navigate the terrain.
At 8th level, once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 cold damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
Upon reaching 17th level, you can temporarily change your environment into a wintery playground against your foes. As an action, you create a 30ft. field around you that becomes difficult terrain. Likewise, all creatures that are within 30 ft. above this field are given 1/2 concealment. Any enemy creature that is hit with a cold damage attack or spell makes a saving throw with disadvantage. Furthermore, failure causes the creature to fall prone. This effect lasts for 1 minute or until it is dismissed with an action.
IMAGE SOURCE: Mountain pass – Artur Jag