[RPG] How to deal with a fallen cleric, gameplay-wise


In a game that we are playing, my wizard 3/cleric 2 is having a crisis of faith. By that I mean actively cursing his god; he accidentally killed his NPC friends and blames his god.

My DM has ruled that my character certainly no longer has access to his spells or his Channel Divinity options, as they come from his god. We (DM and players) are now trying to find a way to allow him to not be a cleric, but have everyone stay the same level. As far as we can tell, there are no official rules for this.

Our DM has asked if there is anything on the Internet that addresses this situation, and I have not really found much.

Best Answer

Simplest solution is Wizard 3 / Druid 2

As there are no rules on "fallen cleric" in D&D 5e, you will need to arrive at an "at table" solution for this. I suggest the conversion to Wizard 3 / Druid 2 for two reasons

  1. Mechanical Benefit: Cleric and Druid are both "divine" spell casters who are based on Wisdom. They also fill similar roles in a party.

  2. Role Playing benefit: The Dungeon Master's Guide has a section (p. 10-13) about "Forces and Philosophies" powering Divine Magic. Your PC has turned from their deity and can embrace "The Divine Forces of Nature" - a source of divine spells/magic.

    The spells of clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers are called divine magic. These spellcasters' access to the Weave is mediated by divine power—gods, the divine forces of nature, or the sacred weight of a paladin’s oath. (PHB, p. 205) {italics mine}

This leads to ...

Role Playing Set Up

This step is a challenge to the creativity of you, your DM and your group. It is built on this crisis of faith - a situation that is ripe with role playing potential. The cleric turns their back on the temple / shrine to their deity, and heads out into the wilderness and encounters {someone or something}. This encounter fills the hole in their aching heart. The cleric is consumed with affirmation and good feeling by this new source of Divine Power for their magic ... and the party continues on all at the same level. How much detail you all want to put into this is totally up to you, as a play group.

Fiddly Bits

Leave the Wizard levels alone. Your PC is still Wizard 3. Choose a Druid circle, preferably one that fits whatever role playing experience your cleric had when they headed away from the temple and into the wilderness. (Basically, rebuild the 2 cleric levels into 2 Druid levels - pick a Druid circle that makes sense to you and your DM)

Respeccing Characters

In D&D 5e, Adventurers League characters can completely rebuild / respec up to the beginning of fourth level. There is no reason your DM can't allow you to "rebuild/respec" at 5th unless you are playing an Adventurers League campaign.

Have we respecced? Yeah, it can work well.

In three of the campaigns I've played in 5e, I've see respec events that go from boredom ("How about I retcon into a Rogue from Ranger?") to a massively role-play-motivated recreation of a character - our vengeance paladin became a GOO warlock. (The details only make sense in the context of that campaign).

In the other campaigns, the DMs had people re-roll new characters if their current character wasn't working out.