Cleric Class Preview

Monday, April 23, 2018

Clerics are the first spellcasters to get a preview, so you might want to look at the blog about spells before you proceed! We have a lot to say about this class, so let's cut to the chase!

Cleric Features

Clerics' key ability score is Wisdom. This means that they get an ability boost to Wisdom at 1st level, increasing their Wisdom score by 2. They also use this key ability to determine the DC of their spells. Like other things in the Playtest, spells are also affected by your proficiency. Clerics are trained in divine spells, so they add 10 + their level + their Wisdom modifier for their spell DC. They use this same proficiency for touch attacks of their spells and for spell rolls.

At 1st level, clerics get several class features, including their deity and domain, anathema, channel energy, and of course, divine spellcasting (which we'll talk more about in a bit). Your deity has a major impact on your character, and you'll see a lot of similarities to Pathfinder First Edition, such as being trained in your deity's favored weapon and getting access to one of their domains. (Come back on Friday for a ton of detail about those parts of your character!) Your choice of domain gives you a unique domain power. Powers are a special type of spell that come only from your class, and are cast with Spell Points—think of things from Pathfinder First Edition like domain powers or a wizard's school powers. Powers are stronger than cantrips, but not as strong as your best spells. A cleric's initial power costs 1 Spell Point to cast. She gets a starting pool of Spell Points equal to her Wisdom, and can increase this by taking feats later on. If she gets other ways to cast powers of a different type, she combines all her Spell Points into one pool.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

A cleric's deity also imposes some restrictions on her, collectively called anathema, representing acts that go against her deity's will and teachings or violate their alignment requirements. Though we give some examples of anathemic acts for the various gods and goddesses—like how it's anathema for a cleric of Sarenrae, goddess of honesty, to cast a spell that would help her lie better—we wanted to leave this broad enough that the GM and player can make the final say in how these work in their games. Many other classes that follow similar restrictions have their own anathema. Care to guess which ones those might be?

As you go up in level, you'll increase your proficiency rank with divine spells to expert at 12th level, master at 16th level, and legendary at 19th level.

Divine Spellcasting

Of course, the cleric's main feature is her divine spellcasting! At 1st level, you can cast two 1st-level spells each day, which you prepare from the selections on the divine spell list. Every time you gain an even level, you get one more spell slot per day of your highest level of spells (so at 2nd level, a cleric has three 1st-level spells per day). At every odd level, you get access to a new level of spells. You'll always be able to cast two or three spells of your highest level and three spells of every lower level, plus your cantrips and powers. Like your other spells, your 9th-level spells cap out at three spells, so at 19th level you become legendary in spellcasting instead. So what about your 10th-level spells? We'll talk about those in a future blog!

We made your number of spells more straightforward by eliminating Pathfinder First Edition's bonus spells granted for having a high ability score. Your Wisdom still matters greatly for your spell DC and other things important to clerics, but giving it slightly less weight makes it more practical now for you to play a cleric of Gorum who focuses on Strength and uses spells that don't involve your spell DC or that have decent effects even if your enemy succeeds at its save.

Now, it's not quite true to say those are all the spells you get. Remember channel energy from earlier? This feature lets you cast heal or harm an additional number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier! Moreover, these spells are heightened to the highest level of spell you cast, so as soon as you hit 3rd level, all those heal or harm spells become 2nd-level spells. This replaces the Pathfinder First Edition cleric's spontaneous healing, which required her to sacrifice her prepared spells to make room for a heal spell. Now, you can use your channel energy to cast these extra heal spells, and if you think you'll need more healing than this provides, you can always prepare more heal spells using your normal spell slots (in fact, this can be a good use of some of your lower-level slots as you go up in level). Your choice of deity determines which spell you can cast with channel energy. Pharasma lets you cast heal, Rovagug makes you cast harm, and someone like Abadar or Lamashtu lets you choose your path at 1st level.

Cleric Feats

As we've mentioned before, we always wanted Pathfinder Second Edition to provide all classes with a sizeable number of options for customization. The cleric was one of the classes that had the most to gain, since a cleric got a bunch of class features at 1st level, then crickets for the rest of her career. The cleric's new class feats give her all sorts of new flexibility, so let's look at some of those!

At 1st level, you might pick Communal healing so when you cast heal to tend to a creature other than yourself, you regain some Hit Points too, or you might take Turn Undead, which forces undead that critically fail their saves against your heal spells to flee from you. (This works great with the 3-action version of heal!) You could also pick Expanded Domain to explore your deity's domains further, gaining the initial power from a different domain than the first one you chose. You can select this feat twice, letting you delve into a maximum of three domains!

At higher levels, you gain new cleric feats at every even level, except levels 12 and 16, when you increase your spell DCs instead. At 4th level, you might pick up Advanced Domain to gain the advanced power from one of your domains. At 8th level, if you channel positive energy, you could take the Channeled Succor feat so you can cast remove curse, remove disease, remove paralysis, or restoration with your channeled energy spells instead of just heal.

Let's take a look at a category of feats clerics have plenty of: metamagic! You can activate a metamagic feat when you cast a spell. This increases the number of actions required to cast the spell and modifies the spell in some way. At 1st level, for example, you could select Reach Spell to let you add a Somatic Casting action to a spell and increase its range by 30 feet (or to make a touch spell into a ranged touch spell with a 30-foot range). This is a metamagic feat lots of spellcasters can take, but the cleric gets some others that are more specific to her as well. Command Undead, a 4th-level feat, lets you change the effects of any harm spell you cast to instead take control of an undead creature. Heroic Recovery, an 8th-level feat, adds a powerful buff to heal spells: you can target one creature at range using 3 actions (the 2-action version of heal, plus another action to activate the metamagic) to heal them for a solid number of hit points and also give them a bonus to attack and damage rolls and a 5-foot increase to its speed for 1 round. And if you use a lot of metamagic, the 20th-level cleric feat Metamagic Channeler is a great choice—it lets you apply a metamagic feat to a harm or heal spell without adding an action to its casting!

So what are your favorite parts of the new cleric? Any builds you're itching to try out? How about concepts you made in Pathfinder First Edition you'd like to take another shot at?

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Clerics Kyra Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evilgm wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
You have more options. I and others that want to play normal/old Cleric however, have feat taxes. This was how I felt over in Alchemist thread.
It's not a feat tax when you spend a feat to play the style of character you want to play, that's just called choosing a feat. The fact that you want to play the style of a PF1 Cleric doesn't change the fact that you are still choosing a style of play and thus selecting the feats that enable it.

This.


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MerlinCross wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
And as I said repeatedly in the Alchemist thread, it's not a damn tax if they're giving you the money you're using to pay them. I don't know how to explain this any simpler than I already have several times: they're taking away your A, then they're giving 1 money, which you can use to either buy A, B, or C. You are strictly better off than you were before, because if you want A back, just buy it back with the free money they gave you.

We have different opinions on "Feat Tax" then.

What's the point of Offering A back to me even if it's free? It shouldn't have been taken away anyway. It feels very much like we are being allowed to "Buy Into" Archetypes.

So you have fun with B and C, those are great. I had my A taken away and shoved back into my hands with a confused "WTF" look on my face.

Actually now that I think about it, how the heck will Archetypes work if we just BUY what we want? Archetype removes X? Well I'll just buy it back. Balance nightmare anyone?

Doing it this way allows them in future books to also offer you Options D E F G H I J K L M N O P and so on. With the old way you had a huge choice as a priest at level one with your domain but it baked everything in so there were few options other than the one big choice. This way it is more modular so they can expand by making it more modular and then letting you pick what path YOU want to take. So you could wind up with two priests to the same god with the same domain with some fairly significant differences between them and how they play.


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Diego Rossi wrote:


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Three spells per spell level, eh? I guess the better cantrips are justified as your "Magical Auto-Attack/Left Click" now, whereas your proper SPELLS are meant to be your "number key" abilities.
Truly, it feel terribly videomamy.

...As opposed to your weapon being your Magical Auto-attack/Left Click and your spells being your Number Key abilities, like it is now in PF1?

Same thing, just different name and source. WotC changed it for 5e, and characters don't feel any more video-gamey to me there, either. Don't just take my word for it, watch Critical Role or Dice,Camera,Action! for examples of play that is hardly video-gamey, and frankly in-line with what's going on with Glass Cannon and other PF podcasts.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I would also like to say that I love the example anathema. A Cleric may fail to live up to the full ideals of their deity, and circumstances may prevent them from satisfying everything a deity stands for, but the gifts of that deity are not to used against their purpose.


eddv wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:


Jason wrote:
The new version is built upon the idea of classes that have all these feats that they give you. When it comes to archetypes, it makes sense that they have additional feats you can choose. In the new game, they work similarly to how they did before, but instead of telling you what you’ll lose, you’ll get a package of feats you can choose instead of the feats from your class. They work just like an add-on package for you to choose from. It allows them to be more open and it’s not tied to specific features of classes. This kind of speaks to whatever character wants that to be a bigger part of their character concept. The rogue might want to be a pirate, but so might a wizard. It might have a feat or two that’s better at casting spells that burn sails or knocking holes in boats with lightning bolts. There could be a wide variety of abilities that speak to how the class works and you choose the ones that are appropriate to you. In this case, the archetypes allow us to expand the character types that we have. We’re not just at 12 classes, but we have dozens of different character concepts to explore from that decision alone, not to mention all the choices you have within skills and feats. It’s about giving you as many tools as possible to make the character you want to play as. Archetypes are a big tool that allow us to do that. They’re a box of toys that we can let people play with to customize their character.

It's looking like Starfinder Archetypes.

Make of that what you will.

Or something like a hybrid as it sounds like there will still be more class specific archetypes which currently are not a thing in starfinder. But I am guessing even for the class specific ones it will be similar in the each class has a set of things at the various level intervals of if they chose an archetype that effects that level you give up to gain the archetype abilities.


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My thoughts on the class preview:

Overall

Very crunchy, perhaps more crunchy than the Spells blog post, but that's a good thing, since it seems Clerics will be getting a lot more mechanics to work with, and having tons of crunch to better understand how a class actually works is, in my opinion, more valuable than what is otherwise unimposed flavor text. (Not that flavor text is bad, but it's not necessarily a way to describe how a class functions in-game.)

Features

Classes giving a +2 to their primary stat confirmed with this post.

It appears selecting a Deity gives you Trained proficiency with their favored weapon, which is a good thing, but I am curious as to how this can scale in the higher levels. Would they get Legendary status as soon as (or sooner than) several other classes who are more martially inclined?

I'm also intrigued how channeling is no longer based on the characters alignment, but the Deity's alignment. No more Asmodean clerics channeling positive energy are possible, I suppose. Looks like he better start putting more investments into Heal spells.

Spell points for things other than spells, and effects that aren't spells at all? Gross. Disgusting. Also confusing for new players who may think spell points actually refers to their spell slots when they actually don't. This needs to be changed ASAP. To what, I don't know, but it's quite clear this game term won't work. However, it is good to know all characters with such pools consolidate it all into one resource, meaning a character with 8 "spell points" can do 8 of one domain power, or 8 of another one, or a mix-and-match of the resources involved.

The domain change is huge, and a welcome one. Those who value their domains and limited powers can rejoice, and those who do not aren't shackled in having to deal with choices they view as largely irrelevant. However, with how domain powers scale (probably similar to spells and cantrips), I fear that if some domains of certain deities are too powerful that they will just become de facto feats. At least Friday's blog post will tell us more about how they work.

Anathema, I believe, might actually be the answer to making Clerics more responsible for their actions and being more in-line with how their Deity's profile operates, which is a good thing in my opinion, since Clerics were technically incapable of falling due to not following a code of conduct, since, by the core rules there weren't any. Of course, now I will dread when the PF2 forums become flooded with "Does the Cleric Fall?" threads, just as much if not moreso than the existing Paladin threads, if Anathema is about as generic and vague as the PF1 Paladin Code of Conduct. But if it is largely clear (and there are rules for GMs to create Anathemas for their own deities or religions), then maybe those problems can finally be abolished.

A potential insight to Proficiencies seems that classes scale with proficiencies on a set level, since the Cleric spellcasting proficiency scales on certain class levels, and isn't a "invest ranks to raise the tier" system. Good for cutting down on minmaxing/powergaming. Bad for creating semi-predictable power curves.

Spellcasting

I have a feeling this will be a very big contention with PF1 spellcasting players, not having the amount of raw spell power they had before, and having their spellcasting attribute not matter as much due to lack of spell power scaling, but in this case I think it's a nice change of pace, since even lower level spells can be effective. Even though they don't have as many spells, useful or otherwise, encouraging spellcasters to do other things besides their most powerful feature (cantrips, class abilities, etc.) will make spellcasters less boring to play.

It will be interesting to see how domain powers, cantrips, and spells play together, since it appears the intent is spells > powers > cantrips (and is largely how PF1 functioned), but the paradigms behind each of these options are changed drastically.

Feats

This is probably the least interesting section of the post, simply because a lot of feats we've already seen before, and the paradigms of choosing/not choosing those feats have already been present since PF1. Sure, the save DCs scale with level now, and it is easier to have MAD characters in PF2 (combined with proficiencies and stuff), but it might not be enough to warrant taking the feats, especially with the >10< rules for failures/successes and how that interacts with the obviously basic descriptions of the feats.

Now, there are a couple new and interesting feats, such as Channeled Succor (which I hope gets an inverted version of itself, Channeled Suffering, maybe?) And Heroic Recovery (perfect for those healing specialist clerics to be both a healer and a buffer at the same time) that are a nice addition to the feat choices (as well as the domain powers, which are optional and potentially cool), but one thing that I fear is that the Cleric of PF2 will still be a fairly bland hodgepodge class with not a whole lot going for it (think PF1 and lack of archetypal compatibility), and it shows that the most with the lack of overall new and interesting class feats. This can change when the playtest hits and we have a better view of the kind of feats we have access to, but before then, this does raise a concern. (Thankfully, not one potentially more dangerous than, say, Anathemas for numerous classes.)

Conclusion

Like the Spells blog post before, this one had a lot of information to work with, and didn't end up creating more potential questions than answers. (The flavor people might not appreciate the lack of information though, but I'm sure Mr. Seifter can pop in and appease their desires of flavor.) While several things are still subject to change, I am actually genuinely excited to play a Cleric, whereas before I wouldn't really touch clerics due to their normally bland gameplay compared to Druids and Oracles, both of which I have played up to 8th level and had a blast with their customization and versatility. If a PF2 Cleric can live up to those expectations, then I will enjoy playing them in the future.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ENHenry wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Three spells per spell level, eh? I guess the better cantrips are justified as your "Magical Auto-Attack/Left Click" now, whereas your proper SPELLS are meant to be your "number key" abilities.
Truly, it feel terribly videomamy.

...As opposed to your weapon being your Magical Auto-attack/Left Click and your spells being your Number Key abilities, like it is now in PF1?

Same thing, just different name and source. WotC changed it for 5e, and characters don't feel any more video-gamey to me there, either. Don't just take my word for it, watch Critical Role or Dice,Camera,Action! for examples of play that is hardly video-gamey, and frankly in-line with what's going on with Glass Cannon and other PF podcasts.

In 5e you know several spells, change them every day, and select what you want to cast. In PF2, AFAIK, you prepare your spell for the day, so you end with less meaningful choices.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Joe M. wrote:
Voss wrote:

Hmm. Mostly sounds good.

Except...

Ok, if powers are not spells, the power source should NOT be 'spell points.' Don't level-level-level this for no reason. Go with something general, like essence or focus.

Spell Blog wrote:
The powers are now treated as a special kind of spell and they are all cast using Spell Points.
They're getting rid of the whole "when is a spell like/supernatural ability like a spell and when is it not" mess. Spell like powers are just spells accessed a different way.
I think this is more confusing than spell-like ability. So there are certain spells that you cast with spell points, but (as far as I know) aren't actually spells you can prepare in your spell list. And your prepared spells aren't able to be cast with spell points (again, at least as far as I know). So they're spells that work differently then all other spells. Probably better to call them powers or whatever

The powers can very much be exactly like other normal 'prepare-able' spells - they very much are spells in every single way, down to the actions required (As far as we can tell, one action per component plus one action per metamagic), they just use a different resource to cast.


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A little worried that the anathema means I won't be able to port over PF1 gods who aren't in the core 20 and play a cleric of Sun Wukong or Eritrice.

Shadow Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
When discussing the spell slots, the spells for high ability score aren't just gone with no replacement; you also get more of your best spells automatically (2 of your best spells at odd levels, 3 at even without counting channel/domains, as opposed to PF1's 1 at odd 2 at even without counting channel/domains).

Why aren't you counting domain spells? Do they exist in P2E? A major part of choosing domains in P1E is figuring out which domain is likely to give spells that your character will cast each day, so that the cleric does get an actual +1 spell per day. Replacing the domain spell with a spell of the player's choice is a net positive, I agree, but not nearly as much as you are suggesting here. The P1E cleric's lower level spells per day also reach 3 naturally before adding the domain spell, which surpasses the P2E progression.

Quote:
While at very low levels, a heavily optimized character (starting at 20 casting stat and aggressively pushing headband) might be getting 2 bonus spells or her highest level from ability scores, that tends to be impossible to keep up by about level 5.
You only need to push your ability scores to get one extra spell per level per level to beat the P2E progression, and that's simple:
  • starting at 18 Wisdom (+1 spell per level up to level 7 with 4th level spells)
  • choose wisdom at levels 4 and 8 (+1 5th level spell at level 9)
  • pick up a +2 headband by level 11 (+1 6th level spell)
  • pick up a +4 headband by level 13 (+1 7th level spell)
  • choose wisdom at levels 12 and 16 (+1 8th level spell)
  • pick up a +6 headband by level 17 (+1 9th level spell)

The P1E character following these simple choices ends up at 2+1 of her highest level spells at odd levels (except 15, but catches up at 16), and at least 4+1 of her lower level spells.

I am absolutely okay with decoupling spells per day from ability scores, and you look like you've alleviated fewer spells per day in other ways (more and stronger domain power uses, cantrips), but I'm sorry, this response is misleading.

Add me to the group that thinks that it's going to be confusing that each class has Spell Points for one specific group of "spells" and Spell Slots for a different specific group of spells.


GM Ultra Plus wrote:
A little worried that the anathema means I won't be able to port over PF1 gods who aren't in the core 20 and play a cleric of Sun Wukong or Eritrice.

Well, they did also say that the listed anathema will be purposefully vague, so even for the printed deities, it will still be up to GM and player interpretation. Just have to come up with your own anathema for the obscure deities until something official comes along.


Cyclopsw wrote:
I love these blogs but i just cant wait till i can get ahold of my book and figure it all out.

I wouldn't be surprised if 'domain spells' don't exist anymore - the cleric casts spells in its spell slots from its spell list, no more complications about abilities that add spells to list, etc. Domain specific spells (like the fire domain being able to throw balls of fire) would likely fall under domain 'powers'.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I'm also intrigued how channeling is no longer based on the characters alignment, but the Deity's alignment. No more Asmodean clerics channeling positive energy are possible, I suppose. Looks like he better start putting more investments into Heal spells.

It's not based on alignment at all. Lamashtu is still evil, but allows healing as an option because motherhood/birth is part of her portfolio, and she believes in healing and supporting her followers (at a price). Similarly, Pharasma is still neutral, but only heals, never harms, presumably because the former supports her midwife/birth aspect as well as her antiundead bonafides, while helping undead is very much against her ethos.

You might see some good but violent/martially inclined deities (e.g. Ragathiel or Iomedae) who only grant harm spells, not healing, as part of the channel ability.


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ENHenry wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Three spells per spell level, eh? I guess the better cantrips are justified as your "Magical Auto-Attack/Left Click" now, whereas your proper SPELLS are meant to be your "number key" abilities.
Truly, it feel terribly videomamy.

...As opposed to your weapon being your Magical Auto-attack/Left Click and your spells being your Number Key abilities, like it is now in PF1?

Same thing, just different name and source. WotC changed it for 5e, and characters don't feel any more video-gamey to me there, either. Don't just take my word for it, watch Critical Role or Dice,Camera,Action! for examples of play that is hardly video-gamey, and frankly in-line with what's going on with Glass Cannon and other PF podcasts.

Also, it is a bit of a silly high horse to blame less spells as something new and video gamey, with more spells being the "good, old ways" . In ADnD casters had less "proper" spells.

People seem to forget how many balancing stuff got lost in the transition from 2e to 3e. Less spells, no scaling spell saves DC, can't cast spells if took any damage, rolls to learn spells that are not autopass...


Xenocrat wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


I'm also intrigued how channeling is no longer based on the characters alignment, but the Deity's alignment. No more Asmodean clerics channeling positive energy are possible, I suppose. Looks like he better start putting more investments into Heal spells.

It's not based on alignment at all. Lamashtu is still evil, but allows healing as an option because motherhood/birth is part of her portfolio, and she believes in healing and supporting her followers (at a price). Similarly, Pharasma is still neutral, but only heals, never harms, presumably because the former supports her midwife/birth aspect as well as her antiundead bonafides, while helping undead is very much against her ethos.

You might see some good but violent/martially inclined deities (e.g. Ragathiel or Iomedae) who only grant harm spells, not healing, as part of the channel ability.

Doh. Sounds more like Asmodeus made his investments well before I said so. Still, a nice change of pace for the channel energy mechanics.


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I certainly prefer the imagery of my wizard flinging minor magicks than i do him stabbing with a dagger or shooting with a crossbow. Giving them the cantrips to be able to do that (while not actually removing their ability to stab someone) seems a great change.


Could be good. Could be really good. i'm still genuinely concerned that spellcasters as a whole will be irrelevant for anything beyond the 15 minute work-day. But that is something that we won't know about until the playtest comes out.


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A 10th level cleric will have 15 spells per day to cast, plus 4-7 or so free heals, plus 4-7 casts of their powers, plus cantrips, plus whatever bonuses 5 free class feats have given you. They are hardly starving for options or power.

The idea that they're "taking away powers, and giving us feats to buy" is fundamentally flawed. They're creating a brand new baseline. There's no way they were going to make PF2 start at a PF1 baseline, and then add a whole host of new options on top of it. Turning class features into feat choices is still a power increase; "choice A or B or C" is always better than "choice A only", even if choice A is normally the best option, simply because B or C might have synergies with other options that aren't immediately obvious.

Pessimism is not a biological imperative; choose optimism, voice your concerns but have faith in the designers.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
ENHenry wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Three spells per spell level, eh? I guess the better cantrips are justified as your "Magical Auto-Attack/Left Click" now, whereas your proper SPELLS are meant to be your "number key" abilities.
Truly, it feel terribly videomamy.

...As opposed to your weapon being your Magical Auto-attack/Left Click and your spells being your Number Key abilities, like it is now in PF1?

Same thing, just different name and source. WotC changed it for 5e, and characters don't feel any more video-gamey to me there, either. Don't just take my word for it, watch Critical Role or Dice,Camera,Action! for examples of play that is hardly video-gamey, and frankly in-line with what's going on with Glass Cannon and other PF podcasts.

In 5e you know several spells, change them every day, and select what you want to cast. In PF2, AFAIK, you prepare your spell for the day, so you end with less meaningful choices.

you also have more slots. A 20th 5e wizard has 1 9th, 1 8th, 2 7th and 2 6th spell slots, while in PF2 he will have 1 10th, 3 9th, 3 8th, 3 7th and 3 6th level slots. Not counting powers akin to the cleric domain.

That's 6 high level spells for 5e, VS 13 in PF2.


I also noticed that D&D 5th Edition never gave very many upper level spell slots. That isn't an excuse for Pathfinder 2nd Edition to have such a low number of spell slots.

Now, if Spell Points could actually be used to cast or recast extra spells, like a Magus using Arcane Pool Points by way of Spell Recall, that would be different (and even give a bit of justification for the "Spell Points" name), but so far the blog posts haven't said that you can use them for that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I reckon that the inclusion of the anathema concept bodes well for Paladins.


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A few scattered rebuttals.

"Rituals take too long to credibly provide utility for reduced spell slots." We don't know how long rituals will take, but to be honest a smart cleric probably needs minimum 15 minutes + casting time to access a lot of their more situational spells through slots they left open. In fact, best practices often means leaving at least one spell slot at each level. So assuming rituals can fill out of combat purposes decently well, the gap in useful spell slots is probably smaller than it appears.

"But anyone can do rituals, that doesn't help clerics." Actually, other people gaining options doesn't make the cleric lose those options. And in fact, other people being able to handle rituals means the cleric can choose to focus on other things, be it through spell slots or feats. It also has the tertiary benefit of making the cleric less of a mandatory class.

"Charisma features make clerics too MAD." We can't dump stats as hard anymore and we get to scale 4 different ability scores as we level up. MAD feels like much less of an issue.

"Clerics are now healbots." Unless they are now harm bots. If Harm remains the equal and opposite of Heal, and all signs point yes there, it has gotten a huge boost over the old Inflict line. At level 5, my cleric of Gorum probably has 6 uses of quickened Inflict Serious Wound, for around 3d8+5 and either no touch attack or no saving throw depending on how I cast it. And a higher chance to crit. That is kind of bonkers! And in different situations I can combine it with attacks or other spells. It also makes me think blasting is alive and well, if even the cleric can have harms, scaling cantrips, and scaling domain rays that are more powerful than cantrips at low levels. Just looks like AoE damage is less than focused fire.

"Why would anyone play a cleric with so few spell slots?" Well, you have all the stuff mentioned above and a variety of ways to combine them in the same turn. You are less fragile than a wizard, and even when you run out of resources it will be a lot easier to have relevant martial presence thanks to the math being tightened up. You also have a tons of other things unique to the cleric as modular class feats we haven't seen yet.

"Why do we still have touch AC?" Touch AC no longer just provides some classes with better chances to hit, but better chances to crit. If we get rid of things like the gunslinger which hit touch AC on everything they do, it creates an interesting math niche for resource expenditure to have more moderate average damage but a higher chance to crit. Alchemist bombs and energy rays may not reliably out damage martials, but are more likely to dramatically explode an enemy. Could be really cool if we can get the math right, which the playtest will of course help with.

"We don't have enough healing now." Given there's been a strong implication the Heal skill has been buffed to actually be a relevant alternative to magical healing, I think we are OK. I imagine the advantage of the Heal spell will be healing a lot of damage very fast, based on how quickly Heal for healing seems to scale compared to Heal for harming undead. That means a cleric might save your bacon mid battle, but a barbarian might do it by killing the relevant enemy and then patching you up with surgery afterwards.

"Having less spell slots sucks."Yeah, having less spell slots is a nerf. Having less of your most powerful abilities will sting. But clerics were one of the most powerful classes in PF1. PF2 wants to simultaneously close the martial Caster gap while keeping high level spells of incredible power and versatility. They are adding a spell called "Alter Reality," which is the most on the nose illustration of why Casters rock the narrative I can think of. To balance these objectives, something has to give, and reducing the frequency with which a Caster can one shot an encounter or trivialize a skill check is a valid approach.

"Oh hi 15 minute adventuring day." Honestly, at low levels this was already an issue. At high levels, running low on resources may still happen, but you have more relevant (but not game breaking) abilities to help you push on. It seems to me that we are going to have to make more tactical decisions to make-- or perhaps more accurately, more weight to those decisions than before. The decision to rest or not will still be based on the same thing it always has-- does this story have a ticking clock? Narrative time pressure and getting ambushed in your sleep are really the only thing which can regulate taking your sweet time. These are entirely up to the GM and always have been. The nice thing about a reduction in spell slots and Caster level scaling is that pushing a party to the limit no longer requires a grueling but boring gauntlet of encounters to reach the point where they are depleted in a meaningful way. Combined with spell points and the flexibility of the new action economy, when and how we utilize any given resource has more options and more weight. Yes, power is reduced for the top tiers. But it also evens the high level and low level experience some and gives GMs more flexibility in creating meaningful challenges for all party members. It is a trade off, but I think it is probably a good one.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

I also noticed that D&D 5th Edition never gave very many upper level spell slots. That isn't an excuse for Pathfinder 2nd Edition to have such a low number of spell slots.

Now, if Spell Points could actually be used to cast or recast extra spells, like a Magus using Arcane Pool Points by way of Spell Recall, that would be different (and even give a bit of justification for the "Spell Points" name), but so far the blog posts haven't said that you can use them for that.

I have doubts spell points are going to be used in that way, at least not in anywhere near an efficient manner, and via a feat spent specifically for that capability. Proper game design would tend to encourage you to use your spell points for casting the "powers" they are designed for.


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From an aesthetic perspective, one of the reasons to choose to play a "super magical class" (9-level casters in PF1) is that you can be a very magical person. A very magical person probably should not hesitate to use magic, so "cast a spell every turn" is a reasonable thing for people to want.

At the same time we want magic to feel, well, magical, and spells that are okay to have cast every turn can't be especially dramatic in effect unless we want to just eliminate all other classes (we don't.)

So I guess a lot of it comes down to "how well do cantrips scale" since having cantrips fill the round by round role and having spell slots be a sort of "nova" option is fine by me.

One thing I won't miss with the loss of spell slots is spells which completely outclass a skill being readily available. Like now it's not difficult to climb pretty well, so getting on top of the building might not merit a spell.


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Looks interesting. Again I am liking the modularity of the characters within their particular design space. Loving the idea of anathema!


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\/\/arlok wrote:


I've never had anyone ask that in 40 years of gaming. Characters have levels. Spells have levels. It's a wild leap of logic that they should have the same numbers at the same time.

I have seen this happen a couple of times. One guy I play with took about 2 years until he got the whole spell level/character level/caster level difference down.


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

I don't know why do I even read this blogs and comments. PF2 clearly is not a game for me.

Good luck in your new 13th-Age/M&M/D&D4/D&D5 esque, Paizo.

Added!**

** I am compiling a list of users to check back on in a few years to see what they are posting about. :)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
From an aesthetic perspective, one of the reasons to choose to play a "super magical class" (9-level casters in PF1) is that you can be a very magical person. A very magical person probably should not hesitate to use magic, so "cast a spell every turn" is a reasonable thing for people to want.

Yes, but I don't think that's hard to achieve here. We know combats are intended to take a bit longer (let's say about 3 rounds). Even given that, at 9th level you're going to have access to 14 spells (not including extra abilities). That's essentially 3-4 combats of casting a spell every round... which is a pretty standard workday in PF1E.


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tivadar27 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
From an aesthetic perspective, one of the reasons to choose to play a "super magical class" (9-level casters in PF1) is that you can be a very magical person. A very magical person probably should not hesitate to use magic, so "cast a spell every turn" is a reasonable thing for people to want.
Yes, but I don't think that's hard to achieve here. We know combats are intended to take a bit longer (let's say about 3 rounds). Even given that, at 9th level you're going to have access to 13 spells (not including extra abilities). That's essentially 3-4 combats of casting a spell every round... which is a pretty standard workday in PF1E.

It's pretty much THE standard workday, right? Wasn't the 3.5 model based around the idea of 4 encounters a day, each of which used up 20-25% of your resources? Would this mean *gasp* that might actually be a practical encounter philosophy at higher levels? The game actually running as intended?! The Horror!


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Toblakai wrote:
Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:

I don't know why do I even read this blogs and comments. PF2 clearly is not a game for me.

Good luck in your new 13th-Age/M&M/D&D4/D&D5 esque, Paizo.

Added!**

** I am compiling a list of users to check back on in a few years to see what they are posting about. :)

If I may offer a request, please include a sublist of every other game PF2 evidently now is just a knockoff of. I swear, at this point PF2 is evidently a knockoff of every d20 game ever except 3.5/PF1


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kaid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
And as I said repeatedly in the Alchemist thread, it's not a damn tax if they're giving you the money you're using to pay them. I don't know how to explain this any simpler than I already have several times: they're taking away your A, then they're giving 1 money, which you can use to either buy A, B, or C. You are strictly better off than you were before, because if you want A back, just buy it back with the free money they gave you.

We have different opinions on "Feat Tax" then.

What's the point of Offering A back to me even if it's free? It shouldn't have been taken away anyway. It feels very much like we are being allowed to "Buy Into" Archetypes.

So you have fun with B and C, those are great. I had my A taken away and shoved back into my hands with a confused "WTF" look on my face.

Actually now that I think about it, how the heck will Archetypes work if we just BUY what we want? Archetype removes X? Well I'll just buy it back. Balance nightmare anyone?

Doing it this way allows them in future books to also offer you Options D E F G H I J K L M N O P and so on. With the old way you had a huge choice as a priest at level one with your domain but it baked everything in so there were few options other than the one big choice. This way it is more modular so they can expand by making it more modular and then letting you pick what path YOU want to take. So you could wind up with two priests to the same god with the same domain with some fairly significant differences between them and how they play.

Cool, Priest A that worships the same god as Priest B is better at their job because they took Options D E F and G while Priest B wanted to play Old priest and thus wasted their Class Feats on the weaker option even though that's the path THEY wanted to take. Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those options and at the same time you might also run into "Base" class is just weaker. How many people play Rogue? Monk? The only way to play them it seems is through Archetype or Unchained. And even then you could argue playing another class that does the same role(Alchemist Vivisectionist, I am now Rogue. Why play Monk, Brawler exists).

Your Modular system is great until Options D G H K N P are deemed the only bloody way to play the class. And even then, Why play this Class when Class O(Oracle hello) is released later and is so much better anyway.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
If I may offer a request, please include a sublist of every other game PF2 evidently now is just a knockoff of. I swear, at this point PF2 is evidently a knockoff of every d20 game ever except 3.5/PF1

I mean a reasonable way to go about designing a game in this family is consider the good ideas of all the other games in the family and try to adapt them, then consider all the weak points of all the other games in the family and try to avoid them.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
If I may offer a request, please include a sublist of every other game PF2 evidently now is just a knockoff of. I swear, at this point PF2 is evidently a knockoff of every d20 game ever except 3.5/PF1
I mean a reasonable way to go about designing a game in this family is consider the good ideas of all the other games in the family and try to adapt them, then consider all the weak points of all the other games in the family and try to avoid them.

But if you do that you're going against the holy mold of PF1 and 3.5 and thus you are making an overly complex game for MMO/VIDEOGAME BABIES that doesn't respect the legacy (of 3.5/PF)! *gnash gnash*

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if a blog came up mentioning the core mechanic of PF2 was d20 based and people went complaining that's what 4e/5e/AD&D did and it sucks.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
When discussing the spell slots, the spells for high ability score aren't just gone with no replacement; you also get more of your best spells automatically (2 of your best spells at odd levels, 3 at even without counting channel/domains, as opposed to PF1's 1 at odd 2 at even without counting channel/domains). While at very low levels, a heavily optimized character (starting at 20 casting stat and aggressively pushing headband) might be getting 2 bonus spells or her highest level from ability scores, that tends to be impossible to keep up by about level 5.

I apologize for not having the time to get caught up on the thread, but by the time I did, I would be behind on the next one.

However, I have to disagree with you. Your spell slot changes have removed bonus spells with no replacement that you have revealed so far. Yes, the changes let you keep pace with a Pathfinder 1e caster at first, but instead of having a maximum of 4 spells per level, plus bonus spells, plus domain spells, plus a domain power, plus channel energy, we have a maximum of only 3 spells per level, plus a domain power, plus channel energy.

While channel energy, cantrips, and maybe domain powers sound like their might be cooler, you haven't revealed enough to offset concern that you are hindering our ability to cast signature spells. Yes, a cleric can now heal with channels, but now healing is competing with channel energy usages instead of spells.

With what you've revealed, this is a significant net loss of spellcasting for a dedicated spellcaster.

What about for classes that don't typically channel energy, like a wizard? The reduced number of spells would be crippling.

Anathema, on the other hand, sounds awesome and I hope we see it applied to all of the divine casters, particularly, the paladin.


MerlinCross wrote:
kaid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
And as I said repeatedly in the Alchemist thread, it's not a damn tax if they're giving you the money you're using to pay them. I don't know how to explain this any simpler than I already have several times: they're taking away your A, then they're giving 1 money, which you can use to either buy A, B, or C. You are strictly better off than you were before, because if you want A back, just buy it back with the free money they gave you.

We have different opinions on "Feat Tax" then.

What's the point of Offering A back to me even if it's free? It shouldn't have been taken away anyway. It feels very much like we are being allowed to "Buy Into" Archetypes.

So you have fun with B and C, those are great. I had my A taken away and shoved back into my hands with a confused "WTF" look on my face.

Actually now that I think about it, how the heck will Archetypes work if we just BUY what we want? Archetype removes X? Well I'll just buy it back. Balance nightmare anyone?

Doing it this way allows them in future books to also offer you Options D E F G H I J K L M N O P and so on. With the old way you had a huge choice as a priest at level one with your domain but it baked everything in so there were few options other than the one big choice. This way it is more modular so they can expand by making it more modular and then letting you pick what path YOU want to take. So you could wind up with two priests to the same god with the same domain with some fairly significant differences between them and how they play.

Cool, Priest A that worships the same god as Priest B is better at their job because they took Options D E F and G while Priest B wanted to play Old priest and thus wasted their Class Feats on the weaker option even though that's the path THEY wanted to take. Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those...

All of which is a fair argument and worth pointing out. Sadly until we know what those letters actually represent we have to withold real judgment.

From that perspective ill be happy if all those options prove viable. Even if one or two prove to be better options overall if you can still perform well of the rest than its not really a problem.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Mimo Tomblebur wrote:
I really like the idea of adding domains by spending feats. I was hoping the domains might have more than two powers to them, more like oracle mysteries, but I guess that is not the case.

Because they're using feats that give you powers, they can easily be expanded later, and subdomains can be implemented using similar tech.


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Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
I reckon that the inclusion of the anathema concept bodes well for Paladins.

What to do if you stumble into a thread on that topic:

1. Remain calm.

2. Breathe in deeply.

3. Lie down, and wait for the sweet embrace of death.


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MerlinCross wrote:
kaid wrote:
Doing it this way allows them in future books to also offer you Options D E F G H I J K L M N O P and so on. With the old way you had a huge choice as a priest at level one with your domain but it baked everything in so there were few options other than the one big choice. This way it is more modular so they can expand by making it more modular and then letting you pick what path YOU want to take. So you could wind up with two priests to the same god with the same domain with some fairly significant differences between them and how they play.
Cool, Priest A that worships the same god as Priest B is better at their job because they took Options D E F and G while Priest B wanted to play Old priest and thus wasted their Class Feats on the weaker option even though that's the path THEY wanted to take. Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.

This would be a valid argument, if you weren't working from the premise that options D E F and G are fundamentally superior to the baseline in most circumstances. I reject that premise because I think Paizo's devs know what they're doing.

MerlinCross wrote:

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those options and at the same time you might also run into "Base" class is just weaker. How many people play Rogue? Monk? The only way to play them it seems is through Archetype or Unchained. And even then you could argue playing another class that does the same role(Alchemist Vivisectionist, I am now Rogue. Why play Monk, Brawler exists).

You realize you're arguing against customization, right? Not that it's wrong in itself, but I'm fairly sure it places you in a small minority here.


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Logan Bonner wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I was wondering if you get a 2nd domain or expand your current domain do you get more spell points or is it another feat like "extra spell points" that increase your spell point cap?
The feat that gives you the new power also increases your Spell Points.

If Spell Points can be easily increased I think there is even more reason for Channel Energy to use Spell Points instead of having their own resource


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Smite Makes Right wrote:
What about for classes that don't typically channel energy, like a wizard? The reduced number of spells would be crippling.

We still don't know how the wizard works though. They could very well still get bonus slots for their specialty school, or even a better alternative to Channel that X times per day lets them cast a spell from their school without using a spell slot. They could have the ability to designate signature spells to cast with spell points instead of spell slots. They could just get more spell slots generally as their trade for having less HP and weapon / armor options. Way too many unknowns to get too worried yet.


Logan Bonner wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I was wondering if you get a 2nd domain or expand your current domain do you get more spell points or is it another feat like "extra spell points" that increase your spell point cap?
The feat that gives you the new power also increases your Spell Points.

So you can chose to stack on subpar option just to jack up you spell point to use on the better one? Sounds cool for thinkering. I guess only testing it's going to tell us if is a bug or a feature.


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TarkXT wrote:

All of which is a fair argument and worth pointing out. Sadly until we know what those letters actually represent we have to withold real judgment.

From that perspective ill be happy if all those options prove viable. Even if one or two prove to be better options overall if you can still perform well of the rest than its not really a problem.

You are right but if a Letter is better or is decided to be better than well the process begins anyway. Discussion is based around those letters, Paizo sees those letters brought up, PFS is full of builds based around those letters and so on.

I don't think I'm crazy or doom saying. Not considering how the modular systems we have NOW are handled. What Rogue Talents are worth using? No seriously. What Talents are actually worth picking up? What Domains/Gods don't get used for Clerics? Spirits on Shaman? Heck, what Discoveries don't get picked up either because they are too weak or locked behind a tax? What Discoveries get picked up because we need them anyway?

The numbers and effects might be different sure. But I see no reason not to expect the Community to just quickly set in stone what works and what doesn't. And if you're on the side that doesn't it gets pretty demoralizing to see repeated topics and guides that say "Don't take this" or PFS complaints of "You built badly and are brining us down"

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dekalinder wrote:
So you can chose to stack on subpar option just to jack up you spell point to use on the better one? Sounds cool for thinkering. I guess only testing it's going to tell us if is a bug or a feature.

We're curious about that ourselves! So far in internal playtesting, people have been *tempted* to do that but it was never quite enticing enough to pass up other feats they wanted. Will be interesting to see what happens in the full playtest!


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gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
kaid wrote:
Doing it this way allows them in future books to also offer you Options D E F G H I J K L M N O P and so on. With the old way you had a huge choice as a priest at level one with your domain but it baked everything in so there were few options other than the one big choice. This way it is more modular so they can expand by making it more modular and then letting you pick what path YOU want to take. So you could wind up with two priests to the same god with the same domain with some fairly significant differences between them and how they play.
Cool, Priest A that worships the same god as Priest B is better at their job because they took Options D E F and G while Priest B wanted to play Old priest and thus wasted their Class Feats on the weaker option even though that's the path THEY wanted to take. Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.
This would be a valid argument, if you weren't working from the premise that options D E F and G are fundamentally superior to the baseline in most circumstances. I reject that premise because I think Paizo's devs know what they're doing.

*COUGH* Rogue *COUGH COUGH* Monk *COUGH HACK COUGH* Cleric when Oracle is option, *HACK COUGH*

Oh sorry had something stuck in my throat.

gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those Thank you Paizo for this glorious customization to be utter baggage.

The more options you have, the more problems you have balancing those options and at the same time you might also run into "Base" class is just weaker. How many people play Rogue? Monk? The only way to play them it seems is through Archetype or Unchained. And even then you could argue playing another class that does the same role(Alchemist Vivisectionist, I am now Rogue. Why play Monk, Brawler exists).

You realize you're arguing against customization, right? Not that it's wrong in itself, but I'm fairly sure it places you in a small minority here.

I'm arguing it doesn't bloody matter when the community is going to handle the new system much like the old one. And if the community builds X every time, Paizo will notice through the forums or PFS and start expecting build X when writing things up. I said this with the Magic Items, the best will get picked up and we'll just shift the "Big Six" over to some new items.

You want customization? Fine go for it. I'll complain my stuff was taken and have to rebuy while the community churns out builds X Y and Z all over again anyway.


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If you expecter PF2 to be a straight up power creep where every class simply gets more stuffs you are going to be sorely disappointed. New edition serve the exact opposite porpose, that is to cleanse options and power to a more manageable size.
I suggest not expecting to be able to port all characters from PF1 to PF2 as is since a lot of stuff are going the way of the dodo.
Hopefully dex to damage is one of those. I already have to endure 5e for that.

Sovereign Court

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Higher degrees of customization allow for more variability between possible builds. Greater variability allows more space for local maxima to develop and be discovered. Instead of One True Build, there will likely emerge several 'optimal' builds depending on what goal you want for your character. And the more granular options of feats make it easier to deviate from the build guides in small ways to make your character unique to you.

Yes, people will optimize. But, all these little choices means there is much more space in the slightly-less-than-perfectly optimal build regions.


Overall I am pleased with the Cleric Class Preview. I am looking forward to the Wizard, hopefully next Monday.


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Logan Bonner wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
So you can chose to stack on subpar option just to jack up you spell point to use on the better one? Sounds cool for thinkering. I guess only testing it's going to tell us if is a bug or a feature.
We're curious about that ourselves! So far in internal playtesting, people have been *tempted* to do that but it was never quite enticing enough to pass up other feats they wanted. Will be interesting to see what happens in the full playtest!

HEY!!

How dare you make it look like you actually know what you're doing!?!

How am I supposed to continuously yell into the void in impotent rage if you've actually thought this all through!?!?


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I do wonder how viable a cleric who does not cast spells where the DC matters, and does not focus on domains will be. Since then it seems like you can safely pump charisma higher than wisdom so you can channel a bunch.

I'll have to see the full set of feats to know what else I can get though.


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Dekalinder wrote:

If you expecter PF2 to be a straight up power creep where every class simply gets more stuffs you are going to be sorely disappointed. New edition serve the exact opposite porpose, that is to cleanse options and power to a more manageable size.

I suggest not expecting to be able to port all characters from PF1 to PF2 as is since a lot of stuff are going the way of the dodo.
Hopefully dex to damage is one of those. I already have to endure 5e for that.

For a time. But I hold no hopes that the math won't get cracked. Heck I partially expect it to be in the playtest depending on how fast Paizo makes alterations.

I don't expect Power Creep. I expect the community to realize X might be better than others and everyone picks X even though Y, Z and W are options.

KingOfAnything wrote:

Higher degrees of customization allow for more variability between possible builds. Greater variability allows more space for local maxima to develop and be discovered. Instead of One True Build, there will likely emerge several 'optimal' builds depending on what goal you want for your character. And the more granular options of feats make it easier to deviate from the build guides in small ways to make your character unique to you.

Yes, people will optimize. But, all these little choices means there is much more space in the slightly-less-than-perfectly optimal build regions.

And here I thought the other point was to make it easier for new players to play. Having to pour over all the options in a new edition doesn't seem welcoming.

It doesn't matter that my character is unique. Paizo doesn't see that. Paizo sees the forums and PFS railing against X or that Y is underpowered and makes changes based of that if need be. Or even worse, builds AP expecting that's how the players are playing.

More space doesn't matter if the "Meta" is what is bloody used and put forward everywhere.

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