Cleric Feature - Quest Spells
Magic from the gods serves the purpose of enacting the god's will in the mortal realm. In this way, clerics are the agents and representatives of the gods, and serve their will to make their goals reality. As such, the level of spell gifted to clerics by their deities is mostly arbitrary – a god could theoretically give wish to a 1st level cleric if they so willed it.
However, few gods are willing to give such powerful magic to such a novice spellcaster. Perhaps the force of the magic itself would burn away the soul of any weaker cleric, thus necessitating the gods give out only magic that the cleric can physically handle. Or perhaps it is a matter of trust and devotion; a low-level cleric has yet to show suitable loyalty to their god, and their god in turn has yet to develop a deep sense of trust in them.
Whatever the reason, gods mostly remain within the boundaries of the spell slot system as outlined in the Player's Handbook. Sometimes, though, drastic times call for drastic measures, and a god might grant a special version of a powerful spell to their servant in order for them to fulfill a particular, and important, task.
Gods grant their clerics Quest Spells when that cleric's duty calls them to a task that requires magic they have yet to master. When granting a Quest Spell, the cleric's deity places strict restrictions on its use, and also agrees to supply a majority of the power needed for the casting of the spell. And yet, even despite their purpose as a god's ultimate expression of freedom of power, there are still a few basic concepts all Quest Spells must follow.
Gaining a Quest Spell
Clerics can gain access to Quest Spells in several different ways. The most common way is for the cleric's god to grant them a spell for the express purpose of fulfilling a quest for that deity – hence the name "Quest Spell" for this magic.
Another way for clerics to gain Quest Spells is through the use of their Divine Intervention feature. A cleric may only use their Divine Intervention feature to request a Quest Spell once per year. To do so, the cleric must spend 8 hours in deep, uninterrupted meditation and prayer before using their Divine Intervention feature.
The DC for this Divine Intervention is equal to four times the cleric's level, minus three times the level of the spell requested. On a success, the cleric is granted the Quest Spell with the DM's choice of restrictions from the list below. Most often, Quest Spells granted by Divine Intervention have the heaviest restrictions possible – one casting only, cast as a ritual (unless the plea specifically needed it not to be), and it remains in the caster's mind for only one month before it fades away.
When determining the Quest Spell that a cleric might recieve, keep these following restrictions in mind. It is highly recommended that the DM personally select which restrictions to have, though the DM might also roll randomly.
Restrictions come in several different forms. The way in which the spell is cast might be restricted, requiring it to be cast more slowly or difficultly; or the spell might have a changed duration or intensity. A spell might be restricted to one casting only, one cast per rest, or simply use spell slots as normal.
When mentioning ritual casting time, this document assumes the PHB normal ritual casting time, which is the normal casting time plus 10 minutes.
normal casting time plus 10 minutes.
|1||Spell must be cast as a ritual, with ten times the normal ritual casting time (maximum 24 hours).|
|2||Spell must be cast as a ritual (maximum 24 hours).|
|3||Spell may be cast normally or as a ritual (if it has the ritual tag).|
|4||Spell may be cast normally or as a ritual (even if it does not have the ritual tag).|
|1||Spell's area of effect and range are halved, and number of targets drops to one (if applicaple).|
|2||Spell's targets have advantage on saving throws against the spell and caster has disadvantage on any attack roll.|
|3||Spell functions as normal.|
|4||Spell no longer requires concentration (if applicable) and functions as normal.|
Number of Uses
|1||Spell may only be cast once, then it vanishes.|
|2||Spell may only be cast once per long rest, using caster's highest level spell slot.|
|3||Spell may only be cast once per short rest, using caster's highest level spell slot.|
|4||Spell may be cast once per long rest, expending no spell slot.|
|5||Spell may be cast once per short rest, expending no spell slot.|
|6||Spell may be cast with spell slots as per normal.|
|1||Caster may not cast spells of 1st level or higher until the end of their next long rest.|
|2||Caster gains one level of exhaustion.|
|3||Caster takes 1d10 damage per level of spell when casting.|
|4||Caster may not cast spells of 3rd level or higher until the end of their next short rest.|
|5||Caster must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 10 + spell level) or take 5d10 damage.|
|6||Spell functions with no further restrictions.|
Gods and Quests
Deities grant Quest Spells to their clerics only under the most dire and vital circumstances. When a deity grants a cleric a Quest Spell, that god is ordering that a major change take place in the world, and is anointing that cleric as the executor of their divine will in the mortal world. As such, all Quest Spells are deeply intertwined with the god's own divine essence.
A god will never grant a Quest Spell which conflicts with its alignment or Domain. As such, a God of Light would never grant darkness as a Quest Spell, just as a God of Trickery would never grant zone of truth. A lawful god would never grant chaos bolt, prismatic ray, or any spell with a random component; similarly, a good god of any description would not grant spells such as conjure barlgura or conjure lesser demons.
When gifting a Quest Spell to a cleric, keep in mind the god's personality as well. While the cleric might ask for a Quest Spell themselves, the god (and, by extension, the DM) decides what spell to give that would best answer their servant's needs. Thus a God of Knowledge might give a spell that requires clever thinking and intelligence to use properly, while a God of War will often grant the spell that would most effectively and immediately decide the issue.
Paladin Quest Spells
Much like a cleric, a paladin can be granted a Quest Spell by the cause they serve. This might be a god granting the spell, or the force of the paladin's belief manifesting it as a special power. Any Quest Spell gifted to a paladin lasts only for one month, unless the god or cause specifies otherwise.
Additionally, a paladin may not be granted a Quest Spell of a level for which they do not have spell slots, and never any spell of 4th level or higher. A paladin's Quest Spell can require it to be cast as a ritual, and the paladin may cast it as such even if they normally cannot cast ritual spells. A paladin casting a ritual spell does so by deep meditation, prayer, and introspection.