Divine souls were unlike avengers, clerics, or paladins, who channeled their prayers carefully through holy symbols. Divine souls, much like sorcerers, drew their powers from their innate connections to their divine ancestry, be it the direct touch of a god, a prophecy, or a celestial ancestor. They used these powers to control the battlefield, smite foes from a distance, empower their allies, all of which made them rather versatile.
Invokers were an unusual sort. While most divine agents drew their power through religious rites and careful training, invokers found this power to come with far greater ease than others. The divine equivalent of sorcerers, invokers came naturally, instinctively to their abilities, leading some scholars to believe they perhaps had immortal ancestry hidden in their family bloodline. Others believed invokers were the results of particular forms of training or perhaps chosen by a god for some divine purpose. Whatever the origin of their abilities, however, invokers were gifted with extraordinary abilities most could never match, making them ideal servants of the gods they served.
Most invokers were lonely, wandering souls, sometimes welcomed by the churches of their deity and sometimes rejected or misunderstood. Generally, invokers were outside of any church's hierarchy, instead serving their god directly as an emissary apart from their other agents who could act in ways that a cleric or paladin could not. Because of this, though invokers must have been the same alignment as their god, invokers were more commonly chaotic than lawful. Chaotic gods preferred the use of invokers over lawful gods, who generally prefered more organized worshipers, such as paladins and clerics. Though sometimes distrusted for their lack of discipline, the truly devout recognized invokers for what they were—powerful manifestations of the divine.
Invokers cast their prayers through an innate connection to their deity, rather than by study and ceremony. An invoker generally learned of their connection to the divine at an early age. Like sorcerers, they often demonstrated their power unintentionally at first, eventually coming to understand it at a later age. Because of this process of self-discovery, invokers rarely, if ever, relied on anyone else and gained comparatively less from cooperation than other divine agents.
Generally, invokers were more common amongst the so-called savage races than the more civilized ones, since civilization generally prefered the rites and organized nature of churches ran by clerics. Likewise, more orc or goblinoid divine spellcasters were invokers than clerics. Among the more settled races, devas or dwarves are most commonly invokers. Regardless of cultural origin, most invokers found more common ground with sorcerers, with whom they shared a history of personal discovery and innate power, than with other servants of the divine, who they often felt were too bound by church dogma. Invokers also commonly enjoyed the company of druids or rangers.
During the war between the gods and the primordials, invokers were the most important mortal servants of the divine, fighting alongside their deities. Much because of this, many who took up the invoker's path had a different view of the gods than most other divine agents. Although many saw gods based on individual worship and morality, invokers saw all deities, even those who were the natural enemies of their own patron, as worthy of worship and respect as combatants of the primordials. In spite of this veneration of all gods, invokers had a single patron and must have, like paladins, been the same alignment of that deity. Old gods were more commonly served by invokers than young ones.
Like other divine spellcasters, invokers wielded powers charged by the power of a god or other immortal known as prayers. However, the prayers of invokers differed in many important ways from the prayers of other divine spellcasters. Unlike most servants of the divine, invokers channeled prayers innately and with little need for training or preparation. Invokers did not require holy symbols or rites of investiture to obtain echoes of their patron's power, instead, they channeled that power directly.
This power offered invokers many abilities, from summoning angelic servitors to empowering nearby allies. Typically, invokers used their prayers to deprive their foes of defenses or smite them from a distance, although most invokers also learned to either heal allies or strike enemies with deadly accuracy. Unlike other divine spellcasters, invokers used rods or staves as implements to charge such power. Invokers were also skilled in the use of chainmail and lighter armor, as well as virtually all simple weapons.
Invokers, in order to obtain the power they wielded, made a covenant with their gods. Sometimes they underwent years of study and testing in order to seal it. Through this covenant, made most often consciously but sometimes subconsciously, the invoker channeled their prayers, henceforth making the nature of the covenant incredibly important to the invoker. Some chose a covenant of preservation, working to defend the faithful, commanding and shielding them from harm. Others took on a covenant of wrath, seeking out the enemies of the divine and empowering their attacks with divine power.
In addition to their common list of prayers, invokers gained other abilities. Like other divine agents, invokers could use channel divinity prayers. Each invoker knew how to rebuke undead. Invokers sometimes picked up channel divinity prayers channeled directly from their deity and they also gain a formed of channel divinity based on the nature of their covenant, either preserver's rebuke or armor of wrath. Invokers also knew how to use rituals and could cast Hand of Fate once per day without the necessary components.
A number of invokers were also well-versed in the use of the favored weapons of their gods, gaining a degree of proficiency in them that exceeded that of most warriors. Many invokers were also resistant to various types of energy. Often, experienced invokers gained resistance to the damage caused by either silver or cold iron, which one was chosen was based upon whether the god the invoker served was lawful or chaotic, respectively. Several invokers developed the capacity of flight as well, taking on wings that were either feathered or bat-like, based on whether the god served was good or evil.
Invokers of the "covenant of preservation" were preserving invokers and protectors of their god's faithful. These invokers acquired aspects similar to those of a cleric, including an emphasis on self-discipline and empathy over cunning or durability. Preserving invokers still valued their intellect, however, and while wisdom was seen by them as more important, most preserving invokers tried not to neglect the other side of their mind. Preserving invokers specialized in keeping their allies out of harm's way, while calling down the wrath of their god upon the attackers of the faithful through the preserver's rebuke prayer.
Though all invokers drew on the power of the gods with an uncanny degree of efficiency and ease, some drew on power that even other invokers were afraid to dabble with. These invokers were those who swore themselves to the "covenant of malediction," which entrusted the mortal invoker with the very power of thought with which the gods first stabilized the primordial chaos from which the world eventually came. These "words of creation" were unspeakably powerful, so much so that to use them, malediction invokers must have paid a physical price with each prayer they cast using them. As a result, many malediction invokers, while still placing wisdom as the most important of their attributes, must have trained their bodies to a high degree of endurance just to withstand the power they use in the service of the divine, placing the honing of their mind by the wayside in terms of priority. Malediction invokers, in addition to the powerful words of power they learn from their covenant, gained the ability to use the maledictor's doom prayer.
Agents of divine rage, wrathful invokers, rather than emulating the ways of a cleric, took on methods similar to those of an avenger, smiting enemies of their god and his or her faithful with scant mercy. Like other invokers, wrathful invokers favored self-discipline and strong judgment, but also put a high emphasis on physical durability, so that they might survive long enough to fell their god's foes. Wrathful invokers were agents of the "covenant of wrath" and from this oath of allegiance to their god they drae great strength for their own preservation with the armor of wrath prayer, as well as additional potency for their attacks.
Notable Divine Souls
- Belkram, a cursed favored soul who dwelt in Undermountain.
- Braeden, a well-known favored soul of Tiamat.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 99–104. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100–117. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 6–10. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 101–102. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- David Noonan (May 2004). Complete Divine. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 8–10. ISBN 0-7869-3272-4.
- Rob Heinsoo, Richard Baker, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (July 2009). Divine Power. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7869-4982-3.
- Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. Edited by Bill Slavicsek. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
- Eytan Bernstein (2007-04-25). Warmages and Favored Souls. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2019-01-15.