[RPG] How to a Forge Cleric obtain proficiency with swords at first level


I am about to start a campaign of D&D 5th edition. I have a character in mind, a blacksmith with a thing for swords, who became a cleric worshiping a sword god. Mechanically this translates to a Forge Domain Cleric. This leaves me one small problem: my sword-obsessed, sword-worshiping cleric… can't use swords.

What can I do to allow this character use of swords, RAW with least sacrifice of utility on a level one character?

To clarify, I am looking for proficiency in at least one kind of sword, ideally all.

Best Answer

Through your race, or possibly background

The easiest way to get the proficiency would be through a race that gives you proficiences, or through a background which might, with DM permission, grant you proficiency.

Play an elf

Most Elves have proficiency with at least two swords thanks to their Weapon Training.

Play a human variant

You can take the Weapon Master Feat as a variant human to get access to any four weapons.

Play a half-elf variant

In the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guides, there are variant rules for half-elves. You can swap your skill versatility for Elf Weapon Training if you are of wood or high elf descent.

Play a Hobgoblin

Hobgoblins get Martial Training, which gives them proficiency in two martial weapons of your choice.

Play a Githyanki

Their Martial Prodigy gives them proficiency with shortswords, longswords and greatswords.

Possibly RAI: Play a gladiator

The gladiator background (entertainer) has the option of getting 'one unusual weapon'. Convince your DM that your specific sword, such as a scimitar, is unusual and that the background should reasonably give you proficiency. See this question for more on that background.

Not RAW: Favoured Weapons

Previous editions of D&D had a concept of 'favoured weapons' for clerics, which no longer exists in 5e. You might be able to convince your DM to give you a proficiency in your god's favoured weapon, which, while not supported anywhere in the rules, shouldn't really break anything either. Some commonly worshipped gods with swords as their favoured weapons are:

  • Helm (Bastard Sword *)
  • Kelemvor (Bastard Sword *)
  • Torm (Greatsword)
  • Tyr (Longsword)

Bastard swords are not existent in 5e because they are considered a type of longsword.