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Why was the Cleric's Turn ability changed from 3.5?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I actually find selective chanel can totally suck as a feat choice if a lot of the time you fight three or more enemies.


Ruggs wrote:

Many of the 3.5 clerics who I knew switched to "burn turning" feats from Complete Divine (and others) when that book came out.

That speaks volumes for that ability.

These abilities were fixes to make it more useful which is kind of my point. The ability itself, in its original form is what PF would have to keep or change. They chose to change it because "as is" it is to limited.

Shadow Lodge

As far back as the 3.0 PHB, it mentions other uses for Turning Energy, and an examle is a magicially sealed door that requires a certain Turning Check to pass. It took a long, long time for them to ever actually come out with any of these other uses though.

How limited in use it was really depended on game/GM style. As writen, almost every adventure had a few Undead, and the Random Encounter charts and suggestions for building a dungeon all containined higher numbers of Undead based around the idea that the party would have a Cleric and/or Paladin.

However, a significant number of DM's/grups didn't play that way, and instead wanted to drop in a lot of BBEGs and higher power encounters, which is what leads to the topics of number of encounters per day and shifting power levels, nuking, and all kinds of issues.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
Beckett wrote:


All of these options, with the exception of "Various books had optons", are in the Core PHB1 and DMG1? If you are wanting to debate froma general standpoint, it is usually best to take into concderation basic and practical things that shape them, not ignor them to favor a side.

Just to be clear the cleric level+4 cap could be bypassed in core without being Pelor's underling?

Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.

Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I can't recall ever playing in 3.x a campaign where Turn Undead held out. We all loved it for a few levels and then eventually it just stopped being used when our turner realized how useless it was against the majority of undead we were running into. Channel Energy in PF conversely, has been much loved at our table. In one of the recent adventure paths the cleric Channeling Energy helped us sweep a room full of skeletons and then survive the following room after a couple lucky rolls by the enemy had half the party down. Both uses of the ability were pretty handy in the same encounter night, and I see Channel Energy getting way more use throughout an entire campaign with a wide variety of challenges then I ever saw Turn Undead get (unless they were burning their Turn Undead attempts to power feats from other source books, which isn't pertinent to the discussion at hand).

Silver Crusade

Bill Dunn wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

Shadow Lodge

shallowsoul wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

Channel Energy doesn't really hold up either, though. It dies out in usefullness around 3rd - 5th and becomes a little beween-combats-wand-of-CLW. If it where a d8 or a d6 per level, or both hurt and harmed at the same time, it might be a different story. The later is never going to happen though.


shallowsoul wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

I don't want to get in the main argument here (I don't play clerics in PF or 3.5) but this statement simply doesn't work. You can't say the problem lies here or there when the two systems have to work together for the game to work. (According to the arguments) the CR system didn't work with turning is the same as turning didn't work with the CR system.

In this case though, turning is a much smaller subsystem, so it's much easier to make changes without unintentionally messing other stuff up.


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shallowsoul wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

You can blame turn undead, how undead interacted with the CR system, or anything in between, the point was that the ability fails at higher levels without a lot of investment, and mostly a lot of splat books.

The only thing I need for channel to do is save my spells, and hurt some undead. If you(general statement) would rather have undead running away that is a playstyle thing, but it can also lead to you running into more baddies.

With the way the ability is not it is generally useful, and if you want to specialize in turning undead you can by using resources which you had to do in 3.5 anyway. The best of both worlds, by the way I see it.

Osirion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bill Dunn wrote:
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.
shallowsoul wrote:

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

Ah, about time; those goalposts were looking rather cluttered over there.

Good show for moving them.


wraithstrike wrote:


The only thing I need for channel to do is save my spells, and hurt some undead.

Channel positive energy works fine for saving some healing spells between combat, but it fails at hurting undead. The damage is so low it is negligible unless you are fighting hordes of undead so weak for your level that you might as well not waste the healing resource on damaging them. The save DC is so low that enemies will more than likely make it, even with a decent to good Cha, so using the alternate effects via feats like Turn Undead is pretty much a waste.


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I agree that fighting decent to tough(APL=CR or higher) undead won't help you a lot, but that is when you buff the party or go into combat mode yourself.

If you build a cleric focused on magic and turning then it can work. There is a feat that boost the channeling DC by two, and ability focus should also work. That is a +4 already. Actually with that +4 you can do ok, even without a lot of focus, but if you are going to make a 3 feat investment then you might as well focus on it.

Silver Crusade

MagiMaster wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:


Yes, it's called Improved Turning. At 1st level you could turn 6HD undead.
Let's make this clear. You could turn as if you were one level higher. That could net you turning an undead creature with 1 HD more than you could without the feat. In other words, it was never enough to keep up once undead hit dice outgrew their CR.

I'm going to tell you what I was going to tell Sean. The problem isn't Turn Undead, it's with the Challenge Rating system.

I'm going to post some viable options that can increase your chance at Turn Undead.

I don't want to get in the main argument here (I don't play clerics in PF or 3.5) but this statement simply doesn't work. You can't say the problem lies here or there when the two systems have to work together for the game to work. (According to the arguments) the CR system didn't work with turning is the same as turning didn't work with the CR system.

In this case though, turning is a much smaller subsystem, so it's much easier to make changes without unintentionally messing other stuff up.

The problem is the Challenge Rating system was "always" problematic in 3rd edition. DM's usually had to wing it with regards to challenges that affected the party. Let's look at the Allip for example.

According to the experience table, a 1st level party and a 3rd level party are going to get the same experience for the Allip because it's a challenge rating 3. Now a 1st level cleric with the Improved Turning feat can turn an Allip but unless someone has Magic Weapon, they aren't going to be able to even hit that creature with their normal weapons.

Challenge Rating has always been an iffy thing while Turn Undead was not. I played 3rd edition since it came out and I was a regular poster on the Wizards forums and I can tell you that problems with Turn Undead threads rarely, if ever showed up.


I never had an issue with the CR system, not before level 20 anyway. Not all parties are equal, and you have to take the party into consideration. That is due to the complexity of the game. I am sure they could simplify things, but the game would lose a lot.

The problems never showed with turn undead because the no-brainer solution was to use that feat that allowed you to burn turn undead uses to fuel metamagic. That feat was part of the CoDzilla movement. The other solution was to be smart, and ignore turn undead.

If a GM ask me to take 3.5 turn undead, or PF's channel I know which one I am not taking.

The 3.5 threads had no respect for TU as written. If they had not deleted a massive number of threads when the switched the forums over a few years ago I would provide links. Some of them may have survived though.

Silver Crusade

Dorn Of Citadel Adbar wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Dorn Of Citadel Adbar wrote:
Does anybody now where there would be an area that would tell me WHY, turning/channeling changed from a cone/line in the direction presented to a circular burst that affects everything within 30ft. Thats what I'm really trying to figure out.
It is easier to heal all of your allies with a radius affect. If you do a cone, and your allies are not in the same general area you might have to choose who to save. In short the radius is more efficient. It is also better for damaging all of your enemies.
Thats part of problem in my books. This willie/nillie its more efficient stuff is what I'm getting at. Just show me the reasonings that Pathfinder changed it.

I can't answer for Paizo as to their reasonings, but consider this: when presenting a holy symbol for turning/channeling in front of you, you would normally limit the sight of your symbol to an area in front of you (before Pathfinder). However if you were to raise your symbol above your head, all creatures from any angle of position in relation to you would be able to perceive it. That would be my best guess as to why Paizo made the ability as such.

As for the removal of turning in favor of a heal living, hurt undead ability, consider the use of turning in a campaign/adventure that doesn't feature undead. This was merely a way of validating what was once a pigeon-hole of a class feature, while keeping the flavor of the feature intact. I suppose the same can be said about abilities like smite evil, but then again, there are far more evil creatures than undead creatures in all of the beastiaries/manuals.


wraithstrike wrote:

I agree that fighting decent to tough(APL=CR or higher) undead won't help you a lot, but that is when you buff the party or go into combat mode yourself.

If you build a cleric focused on magic and turning then it can work. There is a feat that boost the channeling DC by two, and ability focus should also work. That is a +4 already. Actually with that +4 you can do ok, even without a lot of focus, but if you are going to make a 3 feat investment then you might as well focus on it.

On that chart I was working on the other day, I actually included a cleric with a Cha of 14 who uses headbands that boost Cha as well as Wis and took the Improved Channeling feat. The chances to do full damage were still less than half and the damage itself was terrible.


Volkspanzer, your statement about 'limit the sight of your symbol to an area in front of you (before Pathfinder)' is incorrect. That was before 3.0 which is about 10years before Pathfinder. Paizo did not make that particular change.

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

I'm not even sure that was 3.0, honestly


Beckett, I said 'before 3.0'. :)

2nd edition was as Volkspanzer stated (turn undead was line of sight and in front of the cleric only).
3.0 changed it to 60' radius turn undead.
3.5 added an optional 30' radius damage rule instead of turn undead.
PF changed it to 30' radius damage and added the healing option.

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

Gauss wrote:

Beckett, I said 'before 3.0'. :)

2nd edition was as Volkspanzer stated (turn undead was line of sight and in front of the cleric only).
3.0 changed it to 60' radius turn undead.
3.5 added an optional 30' radius damage rule instead of turn undead.
PF changed it to 30' radius damage and added the healing option.

- Gauss

Sorry, I misread that.


Beckett, no worries. I misread things all the time. :)

- Gauss


The Elusive Jackalope wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

I agree that fighting decent to tough(APL=CR or higher) undead won't help you a lot, but that is when you buff the party or go into combat mode yourself.

If you build a cleric focused on magic and turning then it can work. There is a feat that boost the channeling DC by two, and ability focus should also work. That is a +4 already. Actually with that +4 you can do ok, even without a lot of focus, but if you are going to make a 3 feat investment then you might as well focus on it.

On that chart I was working on the other day, I actually included a cleric with a Cha of 14 who uses headbands that boost Cha as well as Wis and took the Improved Channeling feat. The chances to do full damage were still less than half and the damage itself was terrible.

With cha of 14 it won't be that great because it is not his main thing. I said upthread that if you have to invest in it, just like you have to invest in turning to make it good. I thought I said that anyway. If I somehow did, not type that, then that was my point. Well it was one point. Basically right out of the box I think channeling is better. I can use it in any campaign, and it stays useful longer. Playstyle aside that generally makes it more useful across the board.


That was with a Cha of 14, the Improved Channeling feat and Turn Undead feat, and a +6 headband boosting Wis and Cha, for a total of 20 in Cha (all noted under the chart itself); felt like a fairly significant investment to me (much more than SKR gave clerics in his analysis of D&D's turning)- still sucks for dealing with undead. As I said before, I like channeling for the extra healing, but if D&D's turning was still around at least you'd have a viable class feature for dealing with undead (other than spells and weapon proficiency, of course). As written, you should pretty much never use channel to harm undead: It wastes a valuable healing ability to virtually no gain. The damage is bad, and you chance of lading alternate effects it bad unless you are fighting things that aren't a threat anyway, in which case you should save your healing for later.


Channeling is a burst damage effect. They are not meant to own the game. If you want to invest you have to take turn undead or channel smite and so on.
Channeling is ok when fighting mobs of weaker undead. For stronger undead use your weapon or buff the fighter.

If D&D's version was still around you would have something that works in some campaigns, and at every low levels instead of something that works in any campaign, and at all levels. Even in an undead campaign it failed in 3.5 as has been demonstrated before.

I guess the difference is in design philosophy. I would rather have a class feature that I can expect to be useful and be decent at all levels, than one that is really good in certain circumstances, and only at low levels unless I invest in it.

Most players I have met in real life and online prefer something that stays useful also. I don't think they wanted something that was that niche. It is like the rogue's ability to find and disarm magical traps. It is nice to have sometimes, but it is not really necessary for every game.


wraithstrike wrote:

Channeling is a burst damage effect. They are not meant to own the game. If you want to invest you have to take turn undead or channel smite and so on.

Channeling is ok when fighting mobs of weaker undead. For stronger undead use your weapon or buff the fighter.

This is one of the problems with the cleric.

To me Channeling isn't the problem, it's the class. If you want to have fun with the cleric the you need to wield a weapon. Buffs are nice but bards, Druid and Oracles can buff too. I guess that is why a lot of people still play Clerics as melee monsters.

Or should I say, you need to play the cleric as a class that use weapons if it suppose to make a different in battle.

As a spell caster the druid (and The Oracle) is superior. At least at higher levels. Also, unlike Druids and Oracles (and Bards), the cleric only gets 2 skill points per level.
To me, the Druid and the Oracle (especially druids) are much more versatile and get more additional abilities that compensate for the lack of Channeling.

To me one of the major problems with the Cleric is that it get nothing at even levels. Channeling, feats, new spells levels are all at odd levels. Once you got all your domain powers (at level 6 or 8) even levels are depressing.

I now play a healing cleric of Pharasma with focus on spells and channeling. I have picked quicken channeling and extra channeling. It's the only way to make Channeling useful past level 5. I realize that playing a Cleric that is not designed to be e melee dude(or archer dude) is utterly frustrating and really boring. If it hadn't been for help from Gauss I would asked my GM to let me create a new character.

- Channeling gives "PCs more healing and extending the 15 minute adventuring day"?
True, but only true if you don't have access to wands. One or two wands with CLW is just as good as Channeling (or better) when used out of combat. In combat Channeling is pretty much useless past level 5 unless you got Quicken Channeling, but using Quicken Channeling is costly.

edit:
Cleric as a healer? I rather play a Paladin, Bard, Oracle, Druid or inquisitor.
Take away Channeling, what do you got.?

  • Cleric: Divine spell, medium armor, two domains and 2 skills per level. Get all their stuff at odd levels (once they get their fort domain ability). Alignment restrictions when casting summons (unless cleric and deity is true N).
  • Oracle: Divine spells, Medium armor, One 'domain', 4 skills level, much more spells per day and a lot of cool and versatile powers. One can be Channel energy. Get fun stuff at odd and even levelsNo alignment restrictions when casting summons.
  • Druid: Divine spells, Medium armor, Animal companion or One domain, 4 skills level and better class skills, same amount of spells per day as the cleric (if he takes the domain), and a lot of cool and versatile powers. Get fun stuff at odd and even levels. No alignment restrictions when casting summons.

    I'm not saying Channeling is just an excuse to call this divine caster a Cleric, but Channeling is one of the things that sets them apart from Oracles and druids, two classes that have a lot of cool, powerful and versatile powers the cleric doesn't have. So shouldn't channeling really be far more powerful/useful? If Channeling is only icing on the cake, what is the cake? A druid without wildshape, an Oracle without revelations and far less spells per day?

    Anyway, after this campaign I will never play Cleric again.
    Back to play a Bard or Paladin. Or perhaps an Inquisitor or a Ranger. All these classes can cast cure spells and all can use wands. All except the Paladin have more than 6 skills per level, but the Paladin have full BAB, Heavy armor, Lay on hand and Channeling and a lot of other cool stuff. Heck, even a druid or an oracle might be an idea.


  • And I do want to point out that in Pathfinder a phylactery of Channeling takes up the same slot as a headband of wisdom. Not nice.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

    Ah, we're back to 2008 and "Clerics were weak in 3.5, and Pathfinder nerfed them even more". Always my favorite. Go on Zark, let the tears flow :)


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    He didn't say they were weak. He did say they are boring.


    @Gorbacz: As Fabius Maximus pointed out. I never said they are weak. They are in fact one of the most powerful classes in the game. I do think they are a bit boring and that Channeling isn't that great. Especially once you pass level 5.

    I think you got the wrong impression of what I think about clerics.

    Gorbacz:
    I never claimed they are weak (or were weak in 3.5). I Never claimed Paizo made them weaker, I never claimed I dislike Paizo removing the heavy armor proficiency. I never claimed my opinions are the truth. If you are going to badmouth me, please get the facts right.

    I actually liked they nerfed divine power and stripped the Cleric of heavy armor prof. Nor do I mind that they nerfed Heroes’ Feast (although I don't like how it was nerfed)

    I must admit that Badmouthing coming from a bag with a big mouth is actually a bit funny so I'm not really that upset ;-)

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

    The lines between you, Beckett and that other guy are blurring, it's like some Cleric Hydra there :P

    On tangent: What sets Clerics apart from Druids? Plane shift, gate, ethereal jaunt, yadda yadda. What sets Clerics apart from Orahey isn't that the Sorcerer vs. Wizard debate all over again?

    And I'm never badmouthing people! I'm BAGmouthing them!


    Gorbacz wrote:

    The lines between you, Beckett and that other guy are blurring, it's like some Cleric Hydra there :P

    [...]
    And I'm never badmouthing people! I'm BAGmouthing them!

    LOL!

    Gorbacz wrote:


    On tangent: What sets Clerics apart from Druids? Plane shift, gate, ethereal jaunt, yadda yadda. What sets Clerics apart from Orahey isn't that the Sorcerer vs. Wizard debate all over again?

    Yes, Druids and clerics get some different spells but also a lot of the same spells. As healers and medical kits they both work fine. Druid just like the cleric get Restoration, Lesser, Resist Energy, Freedom of Movement, etc.

    Cleric get spells the druid doesn't get and druid get spells the cleric doesn't.
    Cleric and Oracle? Both two valid classes, but the Oracle is far more fun and versatile.

    Silver Crusade

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

    It's OK, I also think Sorcerers are more *fun* than Wizards are. Of course, fun is subjective, folks who enjoy combing thru hundreds of spells likely find prepared casters more exciting. Sadly, not exactly a popular point of view...


    wraithstrike wrote:
    Channeling is a burst damage effect. They are not meant to own the game. If you want to invest you have to take turn undead or channel smite and so on.

    To invest in a good Cha, Turn Undead, Channel Smite, Extra Turning, Quickened Turning, Ability Focus, Improved Turning, Headbands of alluring Cha, and a Tome of Leadership and Influence just to get you chance to bother undead out of the gutter is a terribly high investment for little return. At least if you really focused in turn undead in 3.5 you had a meaningful effect upon success rather than a few, negligible points of damage. Channel Smite is the only feat (possibly) worth taking since it will let you spike a bit of extra damage against a solo foe on top of your normal melee damage.

    Quote:
    Channeling is ok when fighting mobs of weaker undead. For stronger undead use your weapon or buff the fighter.

    Except that it is a waste of a round and resources. For the damage to really matter the mob would have to be comprised of a very large number of undead spread into your small, 30' burst. That many undead (to be an appropriate CR) would have to be made of individuals so weak that they will likely only hit on a 20 (or near it) and do so little damage that a single channel itself for healing later would be more than enough, while with how little it'll likely do to the foes you will need several to kill them. It expends resources that aren't worth expending.

    Quote:
    If D&D's version was still around you would have something that works in some campaigns, and at every low levels instead of something that works in any campaign, and at all levels. Even in an undead campaign it failed in 3.5 as has been demonstrated before.

    It has been demonstrated to fail by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment. I demonstrate channel's failure by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment, and it gets shrugged off by saying:

    Quote:
    I guess the difference is in design philosophy. I would rather have a class feature that I can expect to be useful and be decent at all levels, than one that is really good in certain circumstances, and only at low levels unless I invest in it.

    But it isn't decent at all levels (well, the healing is, but that isn't my problem). The damage against undead is terrible at all levels, even with investment. And the only way to boost it (that I'm aware of, and only slightly) is by using the headband slot for a Phylactery of Positive Energy Channeling, which reduces you potential saving throw DC for half damage since you can't then wear a Headband of Alluring Charisma.

    Quote:
    Most players I have met in real life and online prefer something that stays useful also. I don't think they wanted something that was that niche. It is like the rogue's ability to find and disarm magical traps. It is nice to have sometimes, but it is not really necessary for every game.

    I'm probably going to keep on using channel positive energy for healing in my games, but the ability to damage undead on it seems just to be there for flavor, because it is never actually useful. Throwing 3.5's turn undead on there...it may not always be useful, but it is nice to have an ability that is useful some of the time, unlike being able to harm undead with channel positive energy.


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    I felt the change was made to help balance the Cleric.

    In PF, the Cleric and the Druid were the only classes one could consider got "nerfed" as they were the undisputed gods of 3.5 D&D.

    Now Clerics feel a lot more in line with other classes and their turn undead got turned into something more useful overall.

    Now, as a GM, I don't feel obligated to throw undead at the party to make sure of the Cleric's turn.

    Now it's primarily a healing option that happens to hurt undead as well.

    Of course, I did houserule it so that it both heals and damages at the same time.

    I saw no logical reason for a burst of positive/negative energy to do one or the other at a given time.

    Sure, it makes channel negative energy a little tougher to use, but I figure channeling magic death should be a little risky.


    Gorbacz wrote:
    It's OK, I also think Sorcerers are more *fun* than Wizards are. Of course, fun is subjective, folks who enjoy combing thru hundreds of spells likely find prepared casters more exciting. Sadly, not exactly a popular point of view...

    I too think Sorcerers are more *fun.

    I think the Sorcerer vs. Wizard debate isn't applicable to Cleric and Oracles (and that debate is very boring). The most important spells can be cherry picked very easily. Also, there are not that many spells that depend on DC or caster level so lot of spells can be bought as scrolls or/and potions.

    My point is what sets cleric apart from druids and Oracles are Channeling and Channeling is a bit weak. All classes are divine full casters with medium armor prof and all classes get access for medkit spells. Channeling as a tool for hurting undeads is pretty useless, and as healing during combat (past level 4 or 5) your forced to use quicken channeling.


    Dorn Of Citadel Adbar wrote:
    Does anybody now where there would be an area that would tell me WHY, turning/channeling changed from a cone/line in the direction presented to a circular burst that affects everything within 30ft. Thats what I'm really trying to figure out.

    I believe this is because they are trying to emulate the "aura" effect that negative and positive energy have in real life... Dunno, jus my opinion...


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    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    shallowsoul wrote:
    The above I have in bold is not correct. There are items, skills, spells, feats, and other things that increase this and you can't ignore those and expect your argument to be accurate.

    Not in the 3 core D&D rulebooks, other than the phylactery of undead turning (which I mentioned) and the Improved Channel feat (which we've already talked about).

    shallowsoul wrote:
    Is Turn Undead absolutely perfect? No it's not but it's no where near this useless thing that people are trying to portray it as.
    Don't be mad that we took away a powerful class feature of the best class in the game and replaced it with something more versatile but less powerful. The wizards would like to talk to the clerics about their weaker HD, one good save, fewer spells known at each level, lack of armor proficiency, lack of weapon proficiency, lack of access to healing spells, a primary ability score that doesn't add to saving throws, and having to rely on a spellbook...

    Can I marry you? That rant was the most glorious thing I've heard since Varsuuvius of the Order of the Stick started the various quips regarding magic and how it makes physics its B*#@h


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    The Elusive Jackalope wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:
    Channeling is a burst damage effect. They are not meant to own the game. If you want to invest you have to take turn undead or channel smite and so on.
    To invest in a good Cha, Turn Undead, Channel Smite, Extra Turning, Quickened Turning, Ability Focus, Improved Turning, Headbands of alluring Cha, and a Tome of Leadership and Influence just to get you chance to bother undead out of the gutter is a terribly high investment for little return.At least if you really focused in turn undead in 3.5 you had a meaningful effect upon success rather than a few, negligible points of damage.

    That is not correct. The truth is that if you really focus and you have an undead campaign you get something a little better. I can't really call it meaningful when zombies(the minion undead) are laughing at your turn attempts, unless of course you are advocating stepping outside of core, which is not a point in your favor since that just shows how bad the ability is.

    I have yet to see an argument as to why something as limited as turn undead is better than something that stays useful all the time. I am not saying channel is great, but it is at least mediocre.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    Channeling is ok when fighting mobs of weaker undead. For stronger undead use your weapon or buff the fighter.
    EJ wrote:
    Except that it is a waste of a round and resources. For the damage to really matter the mob would have to be comprised of a very large number of undead spread into your small, 30' burst. That many undead (to be an appropriate CR) would have to be made of individuals so weak that they will likely only hit on a 20 (or near it) and do so little damage that a single channel itself for healing later would be more than enough, while with how little it'll likely do to the foes you will need several to kill them. It expends resources that aren't worth expending.

    The ability loses power damage-wise because the monster's hit points ourtcale it as you level up so just like turn undead it falls off at higher levels in that regard. Unlike turn undead it has other uses such as healing people and saving party resources.

    Quote:


    It has been demonstrated to fail by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment. I demonstrate channel's failure by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment, and it gets shrugged off by saying:

    EJ wrote:
    It has been demonstrated to fail by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment. I demonstrate channel's failure by a Cha 10 cleric with no investment, and it gets shrugged off by saying.....:

    I was talking about the preference of having something that stays useful vs something that does not. I never saw demonstration of channel failing. If you consider channel to be a primary damage ability first then it fails, but I don't. I see it as a success because it stays useful without me having to invest in it. If I do choose to invest it does not take much most the selective channel. I guess if you want channel to be an offensive minded ability that it would be a failure in your eyes.

    For me any ability that is niche and falls of the map even when used with its niche very early is a failure. Yeah you might fight vampire, and get a lucky high dice rolls, but dependence on the dice gods is not helping turn undead get any more points.

    Silver Crusade

    Wolf_Shay wrote:
    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    shallowsoul wrote:
    The above I have in bold is not correct. There are items, skills, spells, feats, and other things that increase this and you can't ignore those and expect your argument to be accurate.

    Not in the 3 core D&D rulebooks, other than the phylactery of undead turning (which I mentioned) and the Improved Channel feat (which we've already talked about).

    shallowsoul wrote:
    Is Turn Undead absolutely perfect? No it's not but it's no where near this useless thing that people are trying to portray it as.
    Don't be mad that we took away a powerful class feature of the best class in the game and replaced it with something more versatile but less powerful. The wizards would like to talk to the clerics about their weaker HD, one good save, fewer spells known at each level, lack of armor proficiency, lack of weapon proficiency, lack of access to healing spells, a primary ability score that doesn't add to saving throws, and having to rely on a spellbook...
    Can I marry you? That rant was the most glorious thing I've heard since Varsuuvius of the Order of the Stick started the various quips regarding magic and how it makes physics its B*#@h

    Why? First off, it's a rant about something completely irrelevant to the discussion. We are discussing Turn Undead vs Channeling, not the cleric class itself. Also, Sean seems to contradict himself in that little rant of his. He says not to get mad because they took away a "powerful" class feature, and then in the next breath, his article is supposed to show how inferior and weak the ability is. So which one is it? If they wanted to nerf the cleric then they could have found other ways to do it. You don't tone down the power of a class by sticking a crappy mechanic into it to balance it out.


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    wraithstrike wrote:
    That is not correct. The truth is that if you really focus and you have an undead campaign you get something a little better. I can't really call it meaningful when zombies(the minion undead) are laughing at your turn attempts, unless of course you are advocating stepping outside of core, which is not a point in your favor since that just shows how bad the ability is.

    Zombies laugh just as hard at channeling positive energy to harm them as they would at 3.5's turn undead, because the damage you will deal (even on the very off chance that they fail their save and take full damage) is negligible. The point is that you can actually affect some things with 3.5's turn undead (even instantly destroy a few enemies), unlike PF's channel positive energy, which doesn't even match up to a rogue's sneak attack damage. Not only do you have to expend your ability to heal in PF, but you gain nothing for doing so (in many cases less than 10% of a monster's total HP). The ability to hurt undead with channel positive energy is a waste of space and an appeal to flavor; PF effectively removed the cleric's class feature of being able to deal with undead with a method other than spells.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    I have yet to see an argument as to why something as limited as turn undead is better than something that stays useful all the time. I am not saying channel is great, but it is at least mediocre.

    To be clear: I'm advocating keeping channel positive energy for healing, but divorcing it from dealing with undead, and having a separate ability to turn or damage undead- one that at least functions some of the time with an increase in usability if you put some resources toward it (preferably one that doesn't diminish your ability to contribute via healing). PF has no such ability. 3.5's turn undead was better for dealing with undead than PF's channel positive energy, because you could at least use it to good effect occasionally. Without investing your entire character's resources into buffing channel positive energy (including taking resources outside the CRB) you cannot do that. And even when you do, it is still an all right ability at best, which is terrible for being the culmination of a lot of effort.

    Is channel positive energy better than turn undead? Yes, but only because it heals the party and adds length to an adventuring day. When you use that resource to damage undead it suddenly becomes worse because you are expending healing for no gain. The abilities should be separate so they can each function instead of awkwardly mashing them together and pretending like clerics have a special ability to battle undead.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    The ability loses power damage-wise because the monster's hit points outscale it as you level up so just like turn undead it falls off at higher levels in that regard. Unlike turn undead it has other uses such as healing people and saving party resources.

    Channeling positive energy to harm undead fails right from the start and never becomes useful because the damage is too little. To make it have a meaningful effect you need to take a feat to alter that damage into something useful (a design flaw), and then pump resources into until things stop failing their saves only on a natural 1. At least turn undead was used occasionally.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    I was talking about the preference of having something that stays useful vs something that does not. I never saw demonstration of channel failing. If you consider channel to be a primary damage ability first then it fails, but I don't. I see it as a success because it stays useful without me having to invest in it. If I do choose to invest it does not take much most the selective channel. I guess if you want channel to be an offensive minded ability that it would be a failure in your eyes.

    When it replaces an offensive ability, then yes, it fails in my eyes. My entire position is speaking about channeling positive energy to harm undead versus turn undead. One can have a meaningful game effect, the other doesn't (well, it does, if you consider wasting a healing resource to pretend like you are helping in a fight a meaningful game effect).

    wraithstrike wrote:
    For me any ability that is niche and falls of the map even when used with its niche very early is a failure. Yeah you might fight vampire, and get a lucky high dice rolls, but dependence on the dice gods is not helping turn undead get any more points.

    In my analysis of channel positive energy to damage to turn undead you are just as reliant on "dice gods" for monsters to roll those natural 1s and be affected (for only 1 round if they are intelligent, and that is after burning a feat). 8 of 21 basic undead need to roll a 1 on their saving throw. Your best chance of success is 35%! To increase this, yes, you need to expend resources, but for some reason the second you say that a 3.5 cleric could expend resources to increase his chances of success, then there is design flaw.


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    shallowsoul wrote:
    He says not to get mad because they took away a "powerful" class feature, and then in the next breath, his article is supposed to show how inferior and weak the ability is. So which one is it?

    My roommate and I are still trying to figure that part out as well.

    Shadow Lodge

    shallowsoul wrote:
    Wolf_Shay wrote:
    Can I marry you? That rant was the most glorious thing I've heard since Varsuuvius of the Order of the Stick started the various quips regarding magic and how it makes physics its B*#@h
    Why? yadda yadda yadda.

    Sounds like someone got his feelings hurt.

    Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    shallowsoul wrote:
    Also, Sean seems to contradict himself in that little rant of his. He says not to get mad because they took away a "powerful" class feature, and then in the next breath, his article is supposed to show how inferior and weak the ability is.

    You're the one who thinks turning is much more powerful than channel energy. And your complaint appeared to be* (before you started talking about how the problem is actually in the CR system and not turning) that the cleric was weakened by the change from turning to channel energy. And my response means, "the cleric was the best class in the game, its power has been reduced, sorry that it meant changing something you felt was useful into something you think is useless, but the class's power level needed to be lowered."

    And I never said turning was weak, I said it was weird. In fact, "weird" is in the name of the article, an article which calls turning "great," "average," and "average-to-poor" depending on what level the cleric is. It never refers to turning as "weak." The only times the word "weak" appears in that article is when it refers to "weak creatures" and "weakest creatures." Please stop putting words in my mouth.

    * At least, that's what I remember of your complaint two days later. At this point it's not really worth my time to go back and try to figure out what you meant at the time, partly because you've changed your focus and partly because you're not going to convince us to change channel energy back to the 3.5 turning mechanic.


    Zark wrote:
    And I do want to point out that in Pathfinder a phylactery of Channeling takes up the same slot as a headband of wisdom. Not nice.

    Yeah, that was a wtf moment for me. In my home game it is a neck slot (on your holy symbol).

    - Gauss


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    Shallowsoul, SKR's statement is not a contradiction. Turn undead when it worked was an encounter ender. That is too powerful. Turn undead when it failed is too weak to even bother with. I built anti-undead clerics in 3.5. The GM had a choice: build his undead outside of my turn range or watch me end his encounters with a single action.

    Channel Energy is less powerful than the 'encounter ender' Turn undead and more powerful than the 'I cannot even begin to turn the undead' Turn undead.

    When you have an ability that is ALL or NOTHING the replacement ability that is neither is by default more, and less powerful.

    Turn success > Channel Positive Energy > Turn impotence

    - Gauss


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Man, must suck to vigorously try to get Jason to re-add XP costs and fail, and then also fail to get Turn Undead back after vigorously arguing that.

    It's a curious thing when one is so adamant about his incorrect takes on rules to the point of only listening to the devs, but when the devs clarify and it inevitably turns out he was wrong, this person argues with them so forcefully.


    Quote:
    To be clear: I'm advocating keeping channel positive energy for healing, but divorcing it from dealing with undead, and having a separate ability to turn or damage undead- one that at least functions some of the time with an increase in usability if you put some resources toward it (preferably one that doesn't diminish your ability to contribute via healing). PF has no such ability. 3.5's turn undead was better for dealing with undead than PF's channel positive energy, because you could at least use it to good effect occasionally....

    This is something I can get behind to an extent, but that is not the argument the OP was making, and I not read your initial argument that way.

    The issue is that I don't want clerics owning undead used as bosses by making it too good.


    Zark I saw your post, but I don't agree with it. The cleric's spell are unique enough to allow it to be melee combatant, or just cast spells, or do both.

    How is a druid better with spells, other than battle field control?

    Shadow Lodge

    I like that as well. Honestly Clerics feel extremely bland, having everything at 1st level, and then 2 other abilities at some other point over 19 levels, (and usually getting them at the same time). They are full casters, but of all the full casters, they probably have the least nice spell list, even with Domains.

    The Turn Undead Feat is sort of a trap option, even if it worked often, the effect itself slows down play significantly and the fact that it allows a save every round for basically all but zombies and skeletons (minions) causes issues for DM's during a combat when they already need to keep so many things in mind.

    Maybe if it worked somthing like, all undead within 30ft of the <Ceric> make a Will Save. On a failed save, they are forced to flee the sorce of their fear by whatever means possible, through the most direct route. Int Undead may attemt to avoid hazards due to movement, (such as falling off a cliff, but not avoiding AoO's). On a successful Save, they are forced to flee for 1 round only, unless the <Cleric's> Level is 2 or more times their CR, in which case they act as if Turned for 24 hours.

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