[RPG] Can Clerics be Death Domain and Neutral


Basically, me and my friend have been arguing for 2 months over the Death domain cleric alignment. He keeps referencing the DMG's quote of "The gods of death domain embody murder" and the fact it is a villainous class option. My evidence is all the neutral deities (Wee-Jas, Raven Queen, etc.) that have death domain in their suggested domains. Who is right?

Best Answer

No, by a strict reading of RAW. See the other answers for more details.

As a house rule, you could easily allow a broader spectrum of alignments for a Death cleric.

Fifth Edition has done away with alignment restrictions on classes in the Player's Handbook. You can just as easily apply this same concept to the Death domain in the DMG. Just as the game will allow you to play a Chaotic Evil paladin, so too can it allow you to play a Good-aligned Death cleric.

An example from the current campaign I'm in is a player running a Lawful Neutral Death Cleric. His concept is that his order safeguards the rituals and proper order of death and unlife.

One could even conceive of a good aligned Death cleric, who shepherds souls to the next life and is sanctioned to bring punishment to the wicked. It's a bit of a stretch, but within what's permitted by the rules.

With that said... The flavor of the class as written is definitely targeting a more evil vibe. And it's in the DMG, rather than the PHB. It is well within the DM's rights to ban the class, or to ask players to stick to evil/neutral alignments.

See also: Are there Race/Alignment restrictions for classes in the PHB?