This hybrid domain was originally posted as part of an article on Pathfinder subdomains (where you can see how I built it, as with Heavy Lifting: Guardian Domain).
Abyss Domain (Hybrid)
Associated Domains: Chaos, Evil
Granted Powers: You are tainted by the powers of the abyss.
Fury of the Abyss (Su): As a swift action, you can give yourself a profane bonus equal to 1/2 your cleric level (minimum +1) on melee attacks, melee damage rolls, and combat maneuver checks. This bonus lasts for 1 round. During this round, you take a –2 penalty to AC. You can use this ability for a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.
Demonic Minion (Ex): At 8th level the powers of the Abyss grant you a subservient minion of your own. You gain a demonic familiar, as with the Improved Familiar feat using your cleric level in place of the arcane caster level. This is likely to be a quasit or an animal with the fiendish template (per the Improved Familiar feat), but other minions may be possible.
Domain spells: 1st—doom, 2nd—undetectable alignment, 3rd—rage, 4th—lesser planar binding (demons only), 5th—plane shift, 6th—planar binding (demons only), 7th—greater scrying, 8th—greater planar binding (demons only), 9th—gate (demons or the Abyss only).
I like how the Defense subdomain (of the Protection domain) looks when applied to the War domain, shifting the focus so it’s a little less aggressive. I think this might be the start of a hybrid domain that would be suitable for more defensive combatants and guardians.
This article originally showed the work, but 3,000 words is a lot of reading, so I moved it to another post.
Guardian Domain (Hybrid)
Associated Domains: Protection, War
Granted Powers: You receive a +1 resistance bonus on saving throws. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 levels you possess.
Deflection Aura (Su): Once each day, you can emit a 20-foot aura for a number of rounds equal to your cleric level. Allies within the aura gain a +2 deflection bonus to AC and combat maneuver defense.
Aura of Protection (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot aura of protection for a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. You and your allies within this aura gain a +1 deflection bonus to AC and resistance 5 against all elements (acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic). The deflection bonus increases by +1 for every four cleric levels you possess beyond 8th. At 14th level, the resistance against all elements increases to 10. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Domain Spells: 1st—compel hostility, 2nd—shield other, 3rd—nap stack, 4th—sudden aegis, 5th—mage’s faithful hound, 6th—blade barrier, 7th—refuge (favoring modified version), 8th—read intentions, 9th—prismatic sphere
A couple years ago I took the Demon subdomain and created the Abyss domain to replace it. The process used might be useful for combining other domains, using a subdomain as a starting point. For instance, the Heroism subdomain (Glory domain) might be useful in bridging Glory and War, and the Defense subdomain (Protection domain) actually is a nice fit to the War domain, and could be used to bridge Protection and War (‘Guardian‘ seems like a good domain name here). Knowledge and War might merge by way of Tactics (which is already a subdomain of War).
The Season subdomain (Weather domain) is even more interesting to me, since it could be used to merge Weather with the elemental domains to get a domain for each season:
- Weather + Water = Winter
- Weather + Earth = Spring
- Weather + Fire = Summer
- Weather + Air = Autumn
There are many ways this could be done. It may prove interesting to explore them.
I’m reviewing my Polyhedral Pantheons material and building a deck of cards to help me actually apply the process a little more easily. I wanted to automate the card layout and construction as much as possible, so I’ll be creating XSL-FO files (to be converted to PDF) from text data files.
I find that testing data can be done through close examination of the data files, but that’s tedious and error-prone. If I can visualize the data somehow it is often much easier to spot gross errors. Not spelling mistakes and the like so much as structural discontinuity. For instance, I once had Doxygen build a function call map for my program and discovered that I was initializing some things twice, which would have caused a problem. I was unlikely to ever find it through code examination unless I noticed the output was wrong and had to debug the program, here I had a picture in front of me going “you’re calling this two different ways, dummy”.
I built a graph showing all the domain relationships identified in the d20 PFSRD Domains list. I left out the stand-alone domains, but thought this graph might be of interest, or at least mild curiosity, to others.
Pathfinder Domains and Subdomains
I’d like to see some more ‘star’ arrangements, domains with more subdomains, but it’s a start.
Yesterday I described some things I don’t like about Pathfinder cleric subdomains. Now it’s time to think about what to do about these things.
I think I’ll do this in several passes, since so far I’ve found the solutions I come up with tend to interact with more than one of my sources of dissatisfaction.
Not Enough Subdomains
The obvious thing here is to create more subdomains for each domain. Straightforward, “it’s just work”.
Hard To Use Subdomains
Again, just takes a bit of effort to go through and describe each domain in full and explicitly. I’ve seen similar things done in monster books focusing on dragons, where a dragon type is expanded from “a single description plus some work” to “a dozen monster descriptions in full”.
The first two problems are pretty straightforward. The third is a little more challenging.