It seems that in PF2....if you are going for a spontaneous pure divine caster then the Sorceror is going to be the go to.
The Oracle will be a 9 level caster but have a slightly more gish feel to it.... possibly a smattering of a divine magus??
The cleric will be the default prepared divine caster, but will require a bit of feat investment or a class archetype to go 'balls to the wall' pure divine caster?
Why is it problematic?!?
An Oracle ABSOLUTELY SHOULD beat a divine sorceror in no uncertain fashion!! If it didnt then why play an oracle in the first place if its power level is misplaced?
Remember the divine option is just that.... an option.... for the sorceror.
Secret Wizard wrote:
Indeed, although I think any Shaman class should be much more closely tied via archetype to the Druid (as it should have been in PF!)
The Shaman was/is a really badly designed class IMO in PF1 that overlaps with far too many other classes and as a result is fiddly to use and unjustifiably OP...
TBH I dont see the need for it in PF2
Obscure citations wrote:
Here it is
Oh well.... the last PF1 cleric archetype ends as predicted.... terrible/pointless
Gains some spont casting of a few spells that clerics can 95% prepare anyway.....
Trades out channelling....which granted I dont like anyway, but does at least provide good out of combat healing..... for basically a minor boost on intimidate.
The ultimate PF riddle...... what is it with Paizo and cleric archetypes eh?!
All those years ago, I should have offered my services for free in order to get some half decent ones out there!
I'm not that keen on the universal archetype concept TBH.... class archetypes are one of the big plus points of PF1, although I do realise that these can still exist in PF2
TBH I see the field as quite limited otherwise things start to get ridiculous thematically.
I actually like the idea of a 'Pirate' archetype..... in essence it just means a PC that spends a lot of time at sea.
I see universal archetypes as being more setting specific:
Pirate (water), Tunneller (expert at underground stuff), Outdoorsman (very good survival skills), Urbanite (does really well in city surroundings).. etc
You could also have something a bit more role specific:
Spy, sabouteur, crafter, diplomat, athlete, thief... etc
These could be viewed as 'jobs' that in theory any class should be capable of performing. These would be very much in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay mould
I would still want the archetype emphasis to be on classes though
Diego Rossi wrote:
The problem is that facts are facts...
Paizo themselves admitted that their design of the PF1 cleric was poor/uninspiring/bland.... that one fact is in itself all the proof required, since it also confirms what large portions of the PF community have been saying for years, and provides evidence as to why 3PP 'alternative cleric' options have been amongst the most requested and popular.
I am not "shouting" anything... merely stating facts. That you might not like them is irrelevant. And yes in debates, most often there is a side with the more convincing argument.
If you choose to believe that all is well with PF cleric then I wish you the best of luck. :)
IMO its when you see thread like this, it emphasises the PF1 and PF2 flaw regarding the cleric in general.
Paladins, Warpriests, Inquisitors are all divinely appointed warriors, granted specific powers linked to their warrior role.
Having clerics as gish serves no purpose either thematically or mechanically. It not only makes the cleric less effective but it clouds the water for the actual divine warrior types..... hence why thread like this crop up!
The fact that you CAN design the cleric as gish is not proof that you SHOULD design it as such. It is a completely redundant concept. Its like having a company and making your accountants spend time improving their skills in buildings maintenance.... yes you can do it... but should you?? Nooooo....
The game has moved on massively since D&D 1st ed....
Think about things logically...
If you have a deity whose 'area of concern' does not include war/blood/violence.... etc, why would you require that your clerics (supposedly the 'keepers of the faith') have an inbuilt ability for battle? Especially when you have Warpriests, Inquisitors, Paladins (in some cases) and possibly aligned Fighters who are far, far better suited to the task??!
Even if you were a God of War... etc.... the above would still apply, and ironically probably more so, since your beliefs are more in line with martials and thus more likely to attract worshippers from them!! A cleric in your service would be granted 'War-like divine powers' not D8 HD, 3/4 BAB, med armour and a mace!!!
Its actually far more likely and thematically realistic to have the cleric as an un-martial/gish class as its default setting.
First and foremost a cleric is a wielder of divine power... smiting unbelievers and heretics with plagues, firestorms and buffing allies in battle.
IMO Paizo has a completely backward view on the cleric which is still 1st Ed D&D based. A 'battle' option should be archetype based not inbuilt. I've said it a million times.... Holy men DONT walk around with maces and shields!! WARpriests... etc on the other hand do!
And finally making the cleric a 'D6 type class' actually helps classes like Warpriest, Inquisitor... etc as it generates distance between them and so prevents any overlap and makes design easier. Overlap between classes is death and should be avoided whenever possible.
Oh the frustrating irony!!!
Weather Report wrote:
Leaving aside the dubious thematic/historical concept of Mr Mace+Armour+Cast Cleric.... there is no need to have 'Battle Cleric' potential built into the chassis.
Holy Warrior is reasonably well covered by Paladin but since that has alignment issues, Warpriest IS definitely that type of cleric.
Never in the history of PF has a concept been made redundant quicker than when Warpriest appeared and made redundant the Battle Cleric.
If you are a cleric of a war god, then this should be 99% reflected in the powers you receive, not in the functionality of the base chassis.
Cast and hit gish should be left to a chassis that is specifically designed to do it. Having underlying gish in the cleric chassis has always held it back. A battle option in the form of an archetype would be fine.
Stone Dog wrote:
And how many of the "Cleric fun" results are to do with something like...
'Why aren't clerics fun to play?'
'How I would make clerics more fun to play'
'Is it just me or are clerics not much fun?'
'I've tried playing a cleric and its just not any fun.'
The proof is in the pudding....
People have been talking about re-doing the cleric for years, some of the most popular 3PP have been cleric related and Paizo themselves admit they made a bland chassis in the first place.
The evidence is out there.
I disagree. Even with a bland chassis more effort could have been made with archetypes and trade outs.
Medium armour + shield + spont cure/harm could have traded out easily whenever a more focussed archetype was needed. It very rarely was.
Channel energy was like a sacred cow being barely ever touched. By trading the entire ability out you free up a big chunk of design space for something relevant.
If you really wanted to go full on trade out, light armour and deity weapon could go. Didn't happen.
There was nothing stopping them doing a half BAB/D6 HD archetype which would have freed up loads of space. The closest was the Cardinal... which was pretty much universally derided.
Too often an archetype traded out more than it gained or made half hearted trades instead of going for it. See above and below!!
The Ecclesitheurge was a great example. Lovely idea.... poorly executed.
There is a reason why vanilla cleric was still played so often.... the archetypes were just plain bad, so it was pointless. Trying to be a niche cleric was just not worth it.
Why do you think Herald Caller got love? All of a sudden you had an archetype that made some trade outs and got something meaningful in return.
IMO Paizo just didn't make the effort. They knew the chassis was bland but they weren't brave enough with the archetypes.
Search "cleric boring"..... see how many hits you get!!!
Nothing in my post was remotely "rude".
Defending your point with evidence and identifying flaws in others is not rude. Its called proper debate. The fact that someone doesn't like what you're saying doesn't by definition make it wrong! Evidence is required.
When people start swearing and other such stuff then its rude.
Not so fast.... you are the one using the existence of "CoDzilla" in D&D 3.5.... I repeat D&D 3.5....as some kind of excuse for the poor Paizo design of the core cleric in PF1 that resulted in basically all of the subsequent problems the class has/had.
D&D 3.5 is irrelevant to the debate.
And not only that it conveniently ignores the fact that the Druid (another component of your "3.5 CoDzilla") has a far better core design than the cleric. And it ignores the fact that the wizard (aka God Wizard) actually in many ways got a power upgrade in transitioning to PF1.
In terms of the cleric, Paizo made the choice to have such a bland chassis and Paizo made the choice to not do anything of note with the archetypes.
And for all your talk about 3.5, I could equally point to the huge number of people since Day 1 of PF who have wanted a redesign of the cleric.
The fact that Paizo themselves admit the problem is 100% proof of my point. The fact that cleric in D&D 3.5 (alongside several other classes) was v.powerful has nothing to do with the current discussion.
I repeat....AGAIN.... we are not talking about making the cleric more powerful.
I suspect that, with the cleric being one of the most notoriously powerful classes of 3.5, giving them archetypes that amount to "here's a bunch of stuff at no cost" would not have been terribly well-received. ^_^
As is often the case, you have confused "More relevant options" with "More power".....
I know they mentioned that and I see what youre saying, but I think youre missing the point.
Irrespective of the fact that they hadnt considered archetypes at the time it still doesnt change the fact that:
1) Paizo designed the cleric blandly and still even when comparing it against other core classes too
But more importantly..
2) When given the opportunity to change things around with said archetypes they didnt.
Hence my lack of optimism regarding the current cleric.....
I have seen v.little to be optimistic about so far regarding the cleric...out of the classes previewed so far, its definitely the limpest.
1) Obligatory pos/neg channelling still hanging around like a bad smell
Now obviously until we see all the details, final opinions cant be given, but I will say that Paizo track record with clerics is dire in my opinion.
They said at the start of the playtest, the problem with the PF1 cleric and customisation options was down to the fact that the core cleric was so bland.....
But they were the ones that designed core cleric!!!!
Also in PF1, cleric archetypes are just poor overall....but this cannot be blamed on the core chassis. Crucially, Paizo were just unwilling to make the trade outs that would have made the cleric more engaging to play. Taking it one step further, there was no reason why cleric could not have been incorporated into 'Unchained'.
I hope Im proved wrong for PF2, but the signs are not promising. Maybe my views are skewed by the fact that I dont like some of the new mechanics for gameplay that Im seeing in PF2. It just doesnt feel right. The terminology seems quite confusing.
I could end up being one of those people that hangs up their PF boots when the new version is released.... :(((
When it comes to the cleric, Paizo just cant seem to see the wood for the trees.... since Day 1.
2 fundamental errors:
1) Incorporating gish into the class as a default instead of an option
2) Insisting on some sort of heal/harm facility incorporated as a default instead of an option
People seem to forget that first and foremost a cleric is a servant of the Gods and that is where the power comes from via prayer.
Where is it written that every single deity has some sort of vested interest in having their followers be able to radiate divine waves of healing/harming energy?!?
Yes some Gods would have a huge interest in healing energy due to there areas of divine concern, but there would plenty of others who would not give a single hoot if their clerics never healed anyone in their entire life!!
Shock... horror...(sarcasm) cleric is dragged kicking and screaming back to healbot!
I might be misreading things, but reduced spell slots combined with increased heal/harm channels really doesnt strike me as a step in the right direction. Unless that direction is "Right, who's going to play the healer?"
Channeling..... has there ever been a more derided ability in PF? I just think Paizo cant bare to get rid of it, otherwise it would confirm the fact that it always was a useless ability that ate up too much design space.
I mean think about it logically.... why would a God of fire/deception/monsters/darkness/plants/weather.... etc have any automatic interest in healing anyway??
They just talked about magic this Monday so it's probably the cleric, the least likely caster to be controversial. It was so bland in (core) PF1 that there is really nowhere to go but up.
I disagree.... in fact I would say the initial signs arent that great!
Paizo are hanging on to the cursed albatross that is channelling like their entire balance sheet depended on it... and quite bizarrely and despite plenty of head vs brick wall, it looks like core cleric will still be walking around with a mace, shield and chain shirt, doing the usual ineffectual and redundant gish impersonation!?!?
Unfortunately, the flaw with that logic is that the vast majority of cleric options in PF1 are pretty terrible to begin with...
Having 5 terrible options to play with is just as bad as having 10 terrible options to play with....
Enjoying playing a cleric depends largely on the ability of the player to get involved with the teachings of the deity. Its not something that any player can get to grips with.
In my experience there are 2 kinds of people that play clerics:
1) The inexperienced gamer who end up getting "persuaded" to play the healer role and use their 20 pt buy to design a bland, mediocre, MAD PC.
2) The experienced gamer who knows deep down that in order to be effective as a cleric they need to specialise and min/max the hell out of it!! When you have a class with next to no options what other choice do you have? Deity roleplay helps to justify choices and adds flavour.
Clerics should absolutely have to follow a deity.... the whole 'cleric of a philosophy' was very flaky!
With all this speculation, it just goes to show how the general complete terribleness of the original cleric design has caused problems years down the road.
The design space for the Oracle when it appears will clearly have to be shifted.
What I find absolutely bewildering from Mark's comments is the reported popularity of the cleric in PF1 ?!? How on earth can a class so devoid of features and general personality be so popular to play?
AD&D 2nd Ed had the right idea.... priests of any god could be of a low/med/high combat ability and their spell access was adjusted accordingly.
Paizo's stubborn insistence on the basic concept of cleric = gish only creates problems... unless of course they aim to get round this via archetype. Keeping it gish only clogs things up with all the other gish classes.
Sadly like a lot of cleric archetypes.... a great idea but poorly thought out and underpowered.
Definitely worth a shot if they can pull off a re-do
Domains are frequently WIS based in their powers...
And Oracles are much easier to play gish with.... Battle Oracles >>> Battle Cleric every time
People always forget with Oracles that they do not in any way have to be worshippers. They receive their powers whether they like it or not.... there is no prayer requirement. Clerics have to prey and worship.... an Oracle could be a complete atheist and it wouldnt matter!
The fact that cleric have to prey for their spells by default pushes them into prepared territory.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Without wishing to get into pedantism and/or theology....gods do not possess wisdom as humans understand it since this is a mortal trait.
Religious leaders in various cultures thoughout history have frequently been associated with 'wise men'. Disciples and apostles are always credited with possessing wisdom.
Wisdom is associated with an understanding of the 'bigger picture', the meaning of life, spirituality, how reality relates to the theoretical... etc..... all classic aspects of the 'wise man'.
In PF terms it is by embracing and understanding the nature of divinity that clerics develop wisdom.
The difference is that a cleric is granted powers through their worship and dedication... that is their reward.
Historically a member of the 'Inquisition' (ie an Inquisitor) is someone trusted by the church above all others, including members of the clergy. They are beyond suspicion due to the fact that they have proven themselves worthy of absolute trust.
Thus they are given the power and authority to root out heresy and corruption within their religion and the power to wage undercover war against their deity's enemies.
They can be viewed in a way as 'divine special forces'.
And much like many of the worlds top special forces, you absolutely cannot join directly.
Yes the Inquisitor is a solid base class, but thematically it does make more sense as a PrC IMO....
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Me too. Charisma for Clerics and Wisdom for Druids makes really a lot of sense imho
I would strongly disagree..... historically holy men have yes been charismatic but the trait that sets them apart from the normal folk has always been their ability to impart their wisdom.
After all anyone can be charismatic.... in fact charisma is a trait strongly associated with criminal types! Wisdom however is not something that can be applied to anyone..... it carries with it a certain association with spirituality and other-worldly knowledge.
OK fair enough..... maybe I got the wrong end of the stick.... but then if so little is know then why not just post..
"There is a feat to get another domain."
And leave it at that...... your original post provides plenty of ambiguity!
And anyway it doesn't change the fact that from what we can tell.... PF2 cleric still has a lot in common with not only PF1 cleric but also 1st Ed cleric!
This illustrates my point perfectly....
So in PF1 a vanilla cleric gets 2 domains, and lets be brutally honest, domains are on average underwhelming and underpowered for a variety of reasons.... all in all you can't really tell the difference mechanically between cleric of God X and cleric of God Y
And here we are with PF2 being told that in order to get 2 domains, you have to give up a class feat?!?!
This can only imply one of 2 things either:
1) The whole domain thing has been dramatically overhauled to increase the power/usefulness of each
2) Paizo have got their sums very wrong indeed!!!
Granted I havent seen the full details, but its looking like already a bit of mess for the cleric in PF2...
Still with the bewildering instance of gish, still with echoes of 1st Ed Healbot, still will the stubborn instance on forcing a cleric to take the notoriously bad channel at first and by the looks of things, some serious questions over how domains will be implemented....
Its tragic.... I have seen several 3PP products that have absolutely wiped the floor with Paizo's PF1 rigid cleric interpretation. The result?..... a profitable 3PP product!
Paizo unfortunately are seemingly oblivious!
Numerous opportunities to sort the class out through various means have been and gone.... I see no reason to believe based on the evidence that things will change...
Unfortunately from my reading of the blog updates, Paizo is taking things back to 1st ed D&D in terms of how the basic classes.... fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric interact as a party.
I could be mistaken, but my feeling is I'm afraid that can only be bad for Mr Cleric...
Jees.... Paizo really is not giving up... on mace, shield, armour and buff n heal = cleric
Simultaneously....bizarre, hilarious, tragic and disappointing!!
I'm very disappointed that PF2 looks like its keeping good old 1st ed D&D cleric alive.... but to be honest I just knew they would!
But in terms of portable cleric archetypes:
1) Herald Caller - definitely worth bringing over, although I would swap out the spontaneous cures and concentration bonus for something a bit more summony....
2) There absolutely needs to be a robed holy man cleric archetype or two floating around. The current Ecclesitheurge was a good idea but poorly implemented and the less said about the Cardinal and Cloistered Cleric the better! IMO two archetypes would do.... one more into his spells (Ecclesitheurge replacement) and the other more into his skills..... but both trading out weapons, armour, channels..etc for something meaningful.
I always felt the Cardinal could be transformed into a stealthy spy type..... infiltrating behind the scenes for their deity.
Harsh as it sounds... 80% of current cleric archetypes could be just binned IMO.... no real point in trying to port them over.
I agree with this...although the Inquisitor as a base class isnt something Im against, I just feel that an Inquisitor should be viewed as an elite member of the clergy. Its not a job they give to just anybody!
Of course you would have to design it as a PrC that was equally as accessible for a Cleric as a Warpriest
Matthew Downie wrote:
The fact that there are SOME but by no means many good domain powers floating around really doesn't prove anything.
PF1 cleric is thematically redundant.... clerics of all kinds of deities are played in a very similar way because the core chassis is so limited, domain powers for the most part lack impact and bizarrely there a loads of domain spells that a cleric gets anyway!!
Thematically I always felt that...
a)Domain spells should be part of a clerics prepared list as they represent a key identifier of their chosen deity... there shouldnt be a bonus domain slot.
b) The spells should either be ones the cleric doesnt normally get ("Errrm yeah... thanks God for the blessing.... I can cast this spell anyway!") or if it is a spell already on the list it should have a bonus attached to it.
Eg) A cleric of a god of death who receives Harm at 6th can cast it as if using Reach metamagic for no spell level increase.
This neatly also gets round the issue of clerics having so few bonus class features and ties them closer to their deity.
Yes granted....we havent seen the feats yet so there are unknowns involved.
But nevertheless what is known is that Paizo have decided to keep with the 1st Ed D&Desque cleric template of 'Bit of armour, bit of weapon, some casting and some horrible channel'
Despite it being redundant in terms of the game and also having no cultural/fantasy reference point....
What is truly bizarre....in the last couple of years pretty much all the 3PP cleric material has been about getting away from that albatross as much as poss.... but has any attention been paid??
Its so frustrating to see a class with such enormous potential for material (and therefore $$$ for Paizo) to be wasted with an archaic chassis....
The cleric chassis that is still basically being held onto is almost 30 years old!.... It is now well and truly redundant!!
Granted its early days on which to be saying anything definitive but the signs aren't good so far....
On the one hand Paizo have acknowledged that the cleric has been really hindered by a poor initial class design with a lack of 'tradeable options'. This is a positive.
On the other hand I would say that it was more of an unwillingness by Paizo to trade out in any meaningful way the options that the cleric did have.
How many badly designed cleric archetypes have there been?!? Almost all of them!
Channeling.... which deep down we all know is largely redundant in PF1 due to the plethora of healing options and the fact that its well.... crap. But how often was it traded out for something with more zip??
Already we can see the cleric is being dragged back into healbot territory with PF2!! And the enormous three legged elephant that is Channeling is still standing in the corner!
Clerics will never be sorted unless the base problem is addressed....
Stop trying to make them a gish class by default!
Warpriests, Alchemists, Inquisitors, Magus, Hunters and even Druids to a degree are far more suited to that role. That is what they are.
Leave the 'hit a bit, cast a bit' to these classes as their chassis is already built for it!
A cleric should be a robed holy man with a bare minimum of combat training.... not the 1st ed D&D relic that Paizo cant seem to let go of!
Should there be a way of making your cleric more 'hitty' via archetype or class feature?? Quite possibly. But having this as the default setting has been the albatross round the cleric's neck for years and years.
I cant see it happening though because the signs are that in PF2 the cleric will still for whatever bizarre reason be based on the concept of gish.
This represents another opportunity for Paizo to fix the bland mess that is the cleric....
IMO channeling is and has always been a 95% waste of class feature and a wound in the clerics side that has caused all manner of problems ever since PF began
There have been loads of 3rd party stuff all poiting a massive glowing stick to the correct direction.
It wont happen but what should happen (and should have been since Day 1) is...
Cleric = Warpriest (thus keeping true to the original notion D&D of a holy warrior)
'Priest' = D6 half BAB divine (aka feeble old wise man in robes that brings down wrath of god.... etc
But since this obvious gap has never been addressed in 10 years, its highly doubtful that this will happen. ITKs Ive previously spoken to have said that a D6 divine will never happen.... bizarre and a waste but hey ho!!
Its a tightrope situation....
A big part of what makes PF attractive to RPG heads is its customisability but that runs inversely to accessibility for newbs.
5e is popular at the mo largely due to its accessibility.... can this continue? Who knows....
4e wobbled too far to one side and went for too much simplication and blandness..... consequently it ended up on the pavement below!!
Its a fair question.... this is a massive moment for Paizo with real long term consequences.
Obviously the basic standards of forum etiquette apply but they should IMO embrace PF2 feedback to the fullest..... harsh and complementary alike!!
This is an opportunity they will only get once
There were several long term posters who sat in their ivory towers and looked down their noses when others were annoyed at the lack of a Shifter playtest.....
Those apples are not now tasting particularly good.....fairly terrible in fact.
If Paizo when they say Playtest, actually mean "Playtest"..... they will be making a terrible mistake and could well end up sitting in one of those ivory towers with a bag full of manky apples!!
The cleric class is powerful, no discussion about that. The problem is that to actually be the best in the party at anything, you really need to specialize. If what you want to do is smash stuff with a greataxe, sure, you can do that, but unless you devote your entire build to it, a poorly optimized barbarian will outshine you. The trick is to know what to give up, and understand well that buffing is generally a poor strategy, because it loses actions and rounds. Most combats last 3 rounds or less. Of those, the first round is the most important. Use it for buffing, unless the spell is amazing (powerful effect on entire party), and you're losing effectiveness.
Yes this is the irony of the cleric.... on first appearances it has something of everything but in actual fact to be effective, you HAVE TO specialise.
Im no expert on playing them but I have dabbled and certainly seen some good ones played. Without exception every time Ive seen someone try to do the 'bit of everything' cleric or the battle cleric they have been pretty poor.
IMO there are only 2 worthwhile cleric builds.... 'survivable caster' or 'summon & buff'.
Pure caster doesnt quite work IMO as the cleric lacks a few tricks to do it properly. However you will 90% of the time have better saves and HP than a D6 caster and an easier time recovering lost HP and conditions.
'Summon and buff' is v. doable for a cleric.... a Herald Caller with Feather domain for animal companion and sacred summons, following up with group buffs is outstanding.
Alternatively, I once saw a cleric of Iomedae with Archon and Heroism domains + Sacred Summons + Augment Summons completely wreck an entire days worth of PFS adventures....the looks on the GMs faces as the guy then topped everything off with Blessing of Fervors was quite funny...
Sorry for pulling the topic off track a little, but what's bad about the ecclesithurge? If specced right, they have another spell list on top of their own through domains, an ability that allows them to trade their channel for a single target buff, and I'm sure through the right domain, they can cast mage armor just fine. Considering you'd build a ecclesithurge just like a wizard, but you'd never need the spellbook, wouldn't that make it better?
Without going into too much detail....it suffers from the same probs that 90% of cleric archetypes do
Paizo takes a solid archetype concept but applies a lack of conviction when designing it....consequently it ends up half baked and people think...."Meh! I might as well stick with the standard cleric."
And so the cycle continues.....
Poor trades = poor archetypes