Yes I know I am taking a vacation from Blogging but I had an idea for a custom Cleric spell, and with the help of some folks on twitter I came up with something I think is pretty cool. First, allow me to present the spell and then I will break down what I did and why!
Barrier of Faith
“By my faith, and by my grace, I shield you from harm! And should this shield be broken, our enemies will feel the wrath of my God!”
Components S, V
Target 1 Creature
Duration 1 Minute, Concentration
Casting Time 1 Bonus Action
Calling upon your faith, you bathe your target in a soft glow. This barrier protects them, granting your target 15 Temporary Hit Points. Once these temporary hit points are expended, the barrier shatters, dealing 1d4 radiant damage to any enemy within 5 feet of the target. The barrier also shatters if the duration expires, and if it shatters in this way any remaining Temporary Hit Points are removed from the target and added instead to the damage. Any enemy damaged in this way may make a Charisma save for half damage. The barrier does not shatter if the caster’s Concentration is broken and instead the Temporary Hitpoints are simply lost.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or Higher, the Temporary Hit Points increase by 5 and the damage increases by 1d4 for every level, to a maximum of 55 Temporary Hit Points and 9d4 Radiant Damage using a 9th level spell slot.
So when I was coming up with this, a lot of folks brought up the Abjuration Wizards Arcane Ward, the spells False Life and Armor of Agathys, and the idea of a Barrier being Temp HP vs AC.
First, lets address the Arcane Ward feature of the Abjuration Wizard. That ward is unique in that it constantly refreshes as the Wizard casts Abjuration spells. Its not super strong, because it can be rebuilt constantly during the day. This spell takes up a spell slot, and cannot be reset without another casting, using up resources that you might wish to use for other things.
As far as False Life and Armor of Agathys, both of these spells gain 5 Temp HP per level beyond the first and can only target the caster, but most importantly, have a duration of 1 hour with NO concentration requirements. And in the case of Armor of Agathys, the damage also increases by slot level, and does not allow a save. Basically, if you hit someone with AoA active, you are taking unavoidable cold damage in response until you burn their Temp HP off.
This spell is primarily designed to “preemptive healing” rather then reactive. The idea here is to stick this on someone you dont want to take damage in the first place, and since its concentration it uses up your 1 concetration spell. The duration is also low, specifically to accomadate its use. This is also why the starting Temp HP is higher then the other options, as you have to both concentrate to keep it goes (rather then say Bless, or Spirit Guardians, or Wall of Fire, or Blade Barrier ect ect) and it only lasts 10 rounds in combat max.
The idea for this came from my desire to basically recreate the bubbles from games like World of Warcraft, and when someone suggested Temp HP I knew that would work real well. The damage at most can reach 91 points of damage, and thats assuming that you use a 9th level spell slot, AND the person with the spell on them never takes a single point of damage, AND you last 10 rounds in combat without the barrier breaking OR your concentration being busted, AND roll max on 9d4. And of course that the targets dont make the Charisma Save. I chose Charisma vs say Dex as you are not really dodging a burst of light, but rather trying to avoid the pure power of Faith striking you in retribution for breaking the barrier. Its a thematic choice.
So there you go, my second ever “homebrew” custom created content. Look at that. The only other thing I have done is create those Sorcerer Bloodline Bonus spells. This was kind of fun to hash out, and if you decide to let your players have access to this spell let me know how it goes. It does need testing to see if it works in the way I think it will. It has been suggested to up the damage to 1d8 per spell level but that seems kind of nuts.
Also, can you imagine a Divine Soul Sorcerer Twin Spell casting this at like 7th level on two frontlight fighters? Oh man that would be baller….
I need to ask my DM if I can use this on my Divine Soul!