I'm not quite halfway through the Spells document of the updated play test, but already I'm seeing some potential problems, WotC.
The very first spell on the list, Aid. A third level Cleric spell that gives three targets d8 damage reduction on the next hit they take within the next minute. Seriously? Third level? The orignal Aid spell in AD&D Unearthed Arcana (unchanged for 2E) gave the benefits of Bless, as well as d8 temporary hit points. Not damage reduction on a single hit, temporary hit points. And it's only second level.* Granted, it only affected one target, not three. But still, this version sucks. Even if the Cleric's player rolls well and gets an 8, by the wording of the spell if something dings you for only 1 point of damage, the other 7 points are then wasted.
Meanwhile, Crusader's Strike on page 5 is a first level spell that gives +2d6 damage to a weapon on its next attack, and even if you miss still does 1d6 damage. Obviously this is a 4E power converted into a normal spell.
It looks to me like Mearls and Co. are continuing their nerf of the Cleric at least with regards to any spells with pedigree. Anything that they developed for 4th and are carrying over is allowed to be overpowered.
It's just a first impression. I really need to go through the document completely. It would help if they'd organized the spells in the old fashioned way, divided by class and level. Makes for easier comparison.
A little voice in the back of my head is wondering if they organized them this way on purpose to make it difficult to compare...
*Update - Just checked the 3.5 SRD. In that edition, it was still second level, and gave the benefits of the AD&D version (Bless + 1d8 temp. hit points to one target) PLUS +1 hit point per level of the Cleric up to level 10. 3E made it better. 5E is making it demonstrably worse (maybe it was 4E, I'm not gonna waste time checking that one).
The Political Desk - Book of Judges
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