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

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Tags: Clerics Kyra Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Liberty's Edge

AnimatedPaper wrote:
One difference: the oracle (assuming it works the same as a PF1 oracle, which is a huge assumption) would be able to use all of their slots to heal by selecting heal as one of their level 1 known spells, in adddition to all the other possible spells they might know with their other spells known. They wouldn't have to decide in advance; upcasting means Oracles can burn them all if they need to, while up until the last spell slot is used still have the option to cast something else with that slot. Clerics, as we seem them here, won't have that option.

We actually know it's not quite that easy. If you want to do a spontaneous spell of, say, 5th level, you need it in a Spell Known slot of 5th level.

That's occasionally super restrictive so you also get a couple of spells you know at all possible levels automatically (I believe they're called Lineage spells, though maybe only for Sorcerer)...but you only get a couple of those. Investing one into Healing is a reasonable choice, but a much larger investment than 'one first level spell known'.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Objection slightly withdrawn then.

Where did they go into that though?


AnimatedPaper wrote:

Objection slightly withdrawn then.

Where did they go into that though?

Friday's Twitch stream. Somebody asked about the pretty obvious advantage spontaneous casters were getting.


Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.

I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".

Liberty's Edge

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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Objection slightly withdrawn then.

Where did they go into that though?

The Official Paizo Twitch Channel. Found here. It's in the most recent video.

And to reiterate, if there's anyone at Paizo reading this you folks should make that easier to find for non-Twitch users. Heck, even once you get to Twitch, searching for 'Paizo' does not bring it up (or didn't for me anyway).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I see. Thank you. The spellcasting blog section on heightened spells gave me the opposite impression, so I'm not surprised others made the same mistake.

I'm worried that's going in the opposite direction of usefulness. If Clerics had Arcanist style casting and the ability to freely upcast, and oracles could simply freely heighten, both would play a lot more interesting.

Even requiring an additional action to upcast would be better than what Deadmanwalking described.

Edit:

Deadmanwalking wrote:
And to reiterate, if there's anyone at Paizo reading this you folks should make that easier to find for non-Twitch users. Heck, even once you get to Twitch, searching for 'Paizo' does not bring it up (or didn't for me anyway).

Frankly, the only twitch stream I've ever going to watch is Critical Role. And even that is questionable. I don't like Twitch as a way of getting content out.

I was never good at catching broadcasts as they happened, but streaming on demand broke me entirely.

Liberty's Edge

AnimatedPaper wrote:

I'm worried that's going in the opposite direction of usefulness. If Clerics had Arcanist style casting and the ability to freely upcast, and oracles could simply freely heighten, both would play a lot more interesting.

Even requiring an additional action to upcast would be better than what Deadmanwalking described.

Well, it sounds like you get both a couple of Lineage spells and spells known at various levels. That expands the 'total spells known' (ie: how many spells you have available at each level) quite a bit over some of the speculation here (and probably at many levels even over what you had in PF1). It's also an interesting way of reflecting how Sorcerers and other spontaneous casters are supposed to have fewer options but do more of them per day.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Are the Playtest pregens available publicly, or are they NDA? I'd love to take a look at those sheets, especially Kyra's.

Liberty's Edge

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Joe Wells wrote:
Are the Playtest pregens available publicly, or are they NDA? I'd love to take a look at those sheets, especially Kyra's.

They're not available publicly, though watching demo games can get you some info (we know Kyra has Str 14, Dex 12, Wis 18, Cha 14 and a Flame Bolt Domain Power, for example).


Captain Morgan wrote:
snip

I'd rather not get into a back and forth detailing each other's smallest points which is what we're currently doing or heading towards. If for no other reason than to stop huge posts from taking up most the page between us. So I'll try to wrap things up here and just move on.

My point is that all the baggage, or at least the mental baggage, from PF1 will more than likely be carried over into PF2. The useless options. The Repeated Options(How many ways do we have to get around Combat Expertise?). The best options. The PFS banned Options. The Community accepted or banned Options. And the bloat that comes with having so many different possible options opened up with this new design space that I'm unsure just how much will actually be USED by players.

I admit, I don't have a lot of expereince with Tabletop games. Just some. But I keep seeing "Shiny new thing" in online games only to be used a few times and then fall back into the Meta. And on the forums, reddit, and blogs of Pathfinder, I keep seeing "This is best way to build". Not "this is fun build" or "This is wacky build". I keep seeing the same Clerics, Wizards, Barbarians, Monks, and so on. Same Gear, feats, spells, and set up.

I have no Faith that Pathfinder 2 will not end up the same way. Even if it doesn't start that way. And such a hostile "Must build X" way I keep running into seems to show either A) A lot of people build optimal and you'll have to do so too.

Or B) I am very, very unlucky.

Given I that see A happen in PFS, Play by Post, Roll20 and Maptools; well it might be bias or my experience clouding my judgement, but I'd expect A more than B.

So enjoy the options. For as long as they are there and usable. If that.


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Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".

Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:

I'm worried that's going in the opposite direction of usefulness. If Clerics had Arcanist style casting and the ability to freely upcast, and oracles could simply freely heighten, both would play a lot more interesting.

Even requiring an additional action to upcast would be better than what Deadmanwalking described.

Well, it sounds like you get both a couple of Lineage spells and spells known at various levels. That expands the 'total spells known' (ie: how many spells you have available at each level) quite a bit over some of the speculation here (and probably at many levels even over what you had in PF1). It's also an interesting way of reflecting how Sorcerers and other spontaneous casters are supposed to have fewer options but do more of them per day.

Still seems like a not great way of going about it. If the stated point of upcasting was to not have to learn multiple spells that did the same thing, but you now have to learn that same spell at multiple levels instead, I don't really see that we've gained much.

Also they made it clear that lineage spells are normal spells that they can freely spend slots on, right? Lineage spells aren't just cantrips or bloodline powers called a different name?


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I saw someone flavor some metal armor as a Giant Turtle Shell.

As for Anathema..., well I worry the Paladin arguments will spill over to the other classes.


The Sideromancer wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I would like to see the the druid's anathema represented as taboos, which you select from a list of sample options that are (in theory at least) semi-balanced against each other. So, not using metal would be one of those taboos for tradition's sake. Another would be not touching a dead body, which would hamper them vs undead and lock them out of casting Reincarnate. And so on.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I'm personally okay with Druids not having access to metal armor by default, albeit with the stipulation that there are ways around the lack of metal armor, IE non-metal armor options being more widespread, or at least inexpensive.

Also, I would prefer if anathemas were kept with the more religious classes; Paladin, Cleric, and Druid? Great! Barbarian and Monk? Not so much, because the Barbarian is the least religiously inclined of all of the classes Serum mentioned, and the Monk tends to be more philosophically bent than religiously bent, and I'm of the opinion that the Monk's alignment restrictions in P1e were pretty unreasonable.


MerlinCross: Do you feel the same way about feats? There will always be optimal ones of those, so why bother offering choice? Why not just remove most choices and play pregens?

I'm not being reductionist or anything. I'm genuinely interested in hearing Merlin's thoughts and if they differ then why.

Liberty's Edge

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Still seems like a not great way of going about it. If the stated point of upcasting was to not have to learn multiple spells that did the same thing, but you now have to learn that same spell at multiple levels instead, I don't really see that we've gained much.

We gained a lot of page space and clearer terminology if nothing else.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Also they made it clear that lineage spells are normal spells that they can freely spend slots on, right? Lineage spells aren't just cantrips or bloodline powers called a different name?

Yep. They listed taking Fireball and Invisibility as options for Lineage spells (though Invisibility was a bad choice since it only had two real levels, 2nd for normal and 4th for Greater).

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Still seems like a not great way of going about it. If the stated point of upcasting was to not have to learn multiple spells that did the same thing, but you now have to learn that same spell at multiple levels instead, I don't really see that we've gained much.

We gained a lot of page space and clearer terminology if nothing else.

Indeed, when the spells blog mentions that you don't have to learn a bunch of spells that all reference each other and do the same thing, I meant like you as in you and I, the players of the game. Having those extra free heightened spells for spontaneous casters is also something I like a lot compared to having to learn every single one separately, but that's a side benefit compared to the benefit to the players and GMs. Plus a lot of people (me included) just find the idea of extra special effects from boosting the amount you're willing to spend on a spell really compelling.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
snip

I admit, I don't have a lot of expereince with Tabletop games. Just some. But I keep seeing "Shiny new thing" in online games only to be used a few times and then fall back into the Meta. And on the forums, reddit, and blogs of Pathfinder, I keep seeing "This is best way to build". Not "this is fun build" or "This is wacky build". I keep seeing the same Clerics, Wizards, Barbarians, Monks, and so on. Same Gear, feats, spells, and set up.

I have no Faith that Pathfinder 2 will not end up the same way. Even if it doesn't start that way. And such a hostile "Must build X" way I keep running into seems to show either A) A lot of people build optimal and you'll have to do so too.

Or B) I am very, very unlucky.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you that what you fear will happen. It'll happen. It's as inevitable as you think it is. But it's a product of the community, not the game itself.

It's going to happen over anathemas. It's going to happen over spells chosen and the. Levels you choose them. It's going to happen over domain powers, ancestries, backgrounds, and every other aspect of your character, possibly including your character's name.

No matter how many options you lock in, and I share your concern that the sheer number of options might cause confusion or automatic rejection of the system, the community will attempt to optimize whatever is left. It's not even just TTRPG; MMOs and DOTAs have communities with the same intent (albeit with far better justification).

Short of simply not allowing people to play the game, I don't see a way to avoid "One true builds" from emerging.
Edit

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Why not just remove most choices and play pregens?

Okay that's one way. Although even there, considering my experience with DotA games, I can see "We need Valeros and Kyra for this scenario, one of you has to switch" happening.


The anathema is only a negative if it does not fit with your play style. If it fits with your play style then the things you cannot do, are things you would not have done anyway.

So the key is to pick a anathema that you do not even need to try to follow since you already are.


Friendly Rogue wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I'm personally okay with Druids not having access to metal armor by default, albeit with the stipulation that there are ways around the lack of metal armor, IE non-metal armor options being more widespread, or at least inexpensive.

Also, I would prefer if anathemas were kept with the more religious classes; Paladin, Cleric, and Druid? Great! Barbarian and Monk? Not so much, because the Barbarian is the least religiously inclined of all of the classes Serum mentioned, and the Monk tends to be more philosophically bent than religiously bent, and I'm of the opinion that the Monk's alignment restrictions in P1e were pretty unreasonable.

It was never about balance, dragonhide is cheap (and Wild is expensive enough that you probably won't be getting much of an armour bonus once you could have afforded mithral). It's that metal being considered inherently unnatural is not something I can accept. Sure, there can be a use for the "person with no grasp on the concept they supposedly espouse" concept, but locking a core class (Wisdom-based, no less) behind it is a mistake.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I proved mathematically that a PF2 Cleric can do more healing than a PF1 Cleric burning all her extra spells over the _PF2 Cleric on healing with only a single spell devoted to healing.

In short, this analysis is flawed because it assumes that the PF2 Cleric can't invest their entire spell allotment into non-healing stuff and still be a perfectly sufficient healer. And their entire spell allotment into non-healing spells gives them offense easily on par with what a PF1 Cleric has after burning spells on healing, IMO.

It's like you are purposefully misreading what I am saying.

Yes, a Cleric could load up on nothing but Heal spells and be able to out-heal an Oracle.

But an Oracle is able to provide more Healing capability than a Cleric who does not do any Heal Spells for their secondary slots while they fully retain their versatility and ability to cast other spells as needed.

The PF2 Cleric starts off as a strong healer, able to heal at least two people (assuming a Dwarvish Cleric who didn't put any points into Charisma) in addition to having two 1st Tier spells available. You know what? That doesn't last. You could have the Cleric pumping up their Charisma every time they reach a stat bonus. But even if you had a Halfling Cleric and a 16 Charisma to start, you only end up with a 22 Charisma at the end and 9 uses of Channel Heal. That's all. And if someone needs a little bit of healing, the Cleric has to make a choice. Hold off... or heal them and waste that extra effort.

The Oracle outpaces this because they can cast other things besides Heal and are not forced to memorize spells, unlike the Cleric. And if that fighter was down 30 hit points? They could burn a 3rd Tier spell and do a 6d8 Heal 3 on them and likely heal them up for everything without having wasted a 20d8 blast of healing on them. (And yes, sometimes you WANT to heal up a small amount of damage because you never know when something is going to hit them for JUST enough to put them negative, but if they'd healed up earlier it wouldn't be a problem.) The Oracle doesn't have to decide to sacrifice a spell slot for this. They can just do it as part of their very nature.

The old Cleric? At 20th level they'd have a minimum of 40 healing spells (assuming Wisdom of 19) from level 1 to 9 spells that they could spontaneously cast, and those spells could be anything from Prayer to Bless to Flame Strike to Resurrection before they were turned into a Healing... AND they would have a minimum of one 10d6 Channel Positive Energy capable of healing everyone around them assuming a Dwarf who put an 8 as a starting stat in Charisma before their Racial penalty kicked in. And that is assuming someone created a half-fast Cleric here. And some of these spells include Heal and Mass Heal, which do a lot more healing than the PF2 Heal spells - even the high level ones. They'd easily be able to burn a 3rd level spell and heal the fighter 3d8+15. It wouldn't be any sort of problem at all.

You are busy saying there's nothing wrong while the house is burning down around you. There are plenty of things about Pathfinder 2 I like. But this outright gelding of the Cleric and in all likelihood the Wizard? Is not one of them. And I am quite sure that unless they explain in far greater detail about other abilities that Wizards get to make up for losing most of their spells, the outcry over the gelding of Wizards is going to make my comments seem like a nice cheerful little campfire.


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I feel like the Oracle was a better healer than the cleric in PF1 just because of that one double-life wrecking mysticism spirit guide oracle build that gives you two full-strength channel pools on a CHA-based class.

We probably won't get that back.


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But seriously who cares about having that much healing?

Why do you need 40+ healing spells?

Liberty's Edge

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Tangent101 wrote:
It's like you are purposefully misreading what I am saying.

The feeling is mutual.

Tangent101 wrote:
Yes, a Cleric could load up on nothing but Heal spells and be able to out-heal an Oracle.

That was not remotely my point, actually.

Tangent101 wrote:
But an Oracle is able to provide more Healing capability than a Cleric who does not do any Heal Spells for their secondary slots while they fully retain their versatility and ability to cast other spells as needed.

And here we come to my point: Using only their free healing from Channel Energy, a PF2 Cleric can be well on par with a PF1 Cleric spending a fair number of slots on it. Therefore a PF2 Cleric needs to invest almost no spells into healing in order to be effective.

An Oracle, without Channel Energy, cannot say the same. That was my whole point.

The Exchange

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Dragon78 wrote:
Reduced number of spells and no bonus spells from stats is extremely disappointing.

+1, I totally agree. Unless the spells go up in power quite a bit it will be dissapointing

Scarab Sages

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MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
snip

I admit, I don't have a lot of expereince with Tabletop games. Just some. But I keep seeing "Shiny new thing" in online games only to be used a few times and then fall back into the Meta. And on the forums, reddit, and blogs of Pathfinder, I keep seeing "This is best way to build". Not "this is fun build" or "This is wacky build". I keep seeing the same Clerics, Wizards, Barbarians, Monks, and so on. Same Gear, feats, spells, and set up.

I have no Faith that Pathfinder 2 will not end up the same way. Even if it doesn't start that way. And such a hostile "Must build X" way I keep running into seems to show either A) A lot of people build optimal and you'll have to do so too.

Or B) I am very, very unlucky.

Given I that see A happen in PFS, Play by Post, Roll20 and Maptools; well it might be bias or my experience clouding my judgement, but I'd expect A more than B.

So enjoy the options. For as long as they are there and usable. If that.

I feel like this may be due to the players and media you're exposed to. People take the time to write up "Beginner's Guide to X" so that someone with no experience and little knowledge of a class can just follow the steps and have a functional, powerful character. A lot of people want that option. Even in an imaginary scenario where PF2 has every single option and class balanced perfectly against each other and nothing more or less powerful than anything else, you'd see guides that list a specific set of choices, and people would follow those simply because someone did the work of choosing for them.

Then you have the other side of the playerbase that loves to fiddle with all the different dials and buttons as they create a character full of mechanical choices to fit their idea. Sometimes that idea is rooted in a character or personality, sometimes in a specific backstory, and sometimes it's built off of trying to use a specific spell/feat/class feature that sounds fun. All of these methods are perfectly valid, and having lots of different options allows those players to tweak things to their liking.

A few quick examples of my personal experience:
1. Magus. The popular build says dervish dance and focus on shocking grasp and dump everything into that to make it viable in multiple situations. Instead I built my magus around inflicting many status effects at once through a variety of different attack spells. I think my current max if everything works is: Entangled, (Shaken and/or Frightened), (Staggered or Fatigued), Sickened, Prayer.
2. Wizard. If I recall correctly, the popular build usually says things like conjuration specialist with summons, or control spells with an unreasonable emphasis on the pit spell line. Generally, control wizard or you're doing it wrong, right? I have more wizard characters than I would like to get into, but the short version is:
- Roomlord Jeff. He runs an inn and specializes in Greed. He's kind of like evil, but not quite there yet. He'll give you a room to stay in when it's rainy, but charge you slightly more than the going rate. Mwahahaha. His spell selection are a mix of damage/control/buffs/debuffs, but the primary focus is on transmutation. He also wields a flaming glaive and gives a golden scimitar to his chosen champion.
- Arcane Trickster. She plays like magical rogue, and when it comes to it, can petrify large targets with a touch. (Some features broken by later FAQ).
- Magaambyan Arcanist. He looks like a druid, casts spells like a druid and has a wolf animal companion druid. He shapeshifts... his animal companion and throws the barbarian into battle to win the day.
- Pirate Captain, Cleric of Nethys and Wizard. All titles that aptly describe my mystic theurge. He uses cleric magic for buffs, healing and status ailment fixing, and his wizard side focuses heavily on enchantments to addle the minds and bend the wills of his foes.

This became a rather long winded post, but the basic point is that the options are out there if you look for them, but if all you ever do is look at people claiming to have the "best build" then that's all you're going to see.


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When you say PF2 clerics can be on par with PF1 clerics, are you taking into account the significantly increased HP of PF2 characters?

The Exchange

Set wrote:

So I'm liking the anathema concept. Pretty much from the outset, Clerics and Druids have had an imaginary code of conduct that could result in them losing their divine sponsorship, and absolutely no real guidance on how that happened (unlike the Paladin, who at least had a 'code' to follow). It always felt kind of like something that was meant to be developed, and never got around to being so.

So I like this anathema idea. Put some teeth into it, and make those deity choices more than 'I want this combination of domains, alignment and favored weapon...'

I also like the idea that your 1st level spells will have the same DC as your 5th level spells. Very cool.

Until this blog, I wasn't sure if I liked the idea of Pathfinder 2, but I'm starting to turn around... ('Cause I'm fickle, and not to be trusted!)

Well you are Set so trust will always be an issue with you.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I've never played nor used a barbarian, bard, halfling, or gnome, but I won't begrudge other people wanting those things.

Also, it's a game of make believe. If your group is willing to believe that guys who play around in dirt can shapeshift into dinosaurs, they can choose to accept that those guys can use metal. Why not?


Raisse wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
snip

I admit, I don't have a lot of expereince with Tabletop games. Just some. But I keep seeing "Shiny new thing" in online games only to be used a few times and then fall back into the Meta. And on the forums, reddit, and blogs of Pathfinder, I keep seeing "This is best way to build". Not "this is fun build" or "This is wacky build". I keep seeing the same Clerics, Wizards, Barbarians, Monks, and so on. Same Gear, feats, spells, and set up.

I have no Faith that Pathfinder 2 will not end up the same way. Even if it doesn't start that way. And such a hostile "Must build X" way I keep running into seems to show either A) A lot of people build optimal and you'll have to do so too.

Or B) I am very, very unlucky.

Given I that see A happen in PFS, Play by Post, Roll20 and Maptools; well it might be bias or my experience clouding my judgement, but I'd expect A more than B.

So enjoy the options. For as long as they are there and usable. If that.

I feel like this may be due to the players and media you're exposed to. People take the time to write up "Beginner's Guide to X" so that someone with no experience and little knowledge of a class can just follow the steps and have a functional, powerful character. A lot of people want that option. Even in an imaginary scenario where PF2 has every single option and class balanced perfectly against each other and nothing more or less powerful than anything else, you'd see guides that list a specific set of choices, and people would follow those simply because someone did the work of choosing for them.

Then you have the other side of the playerbase that loves to fiddle with all the different dials and buttons as they create a character full of mechanical choices to fit their idea. Sometimes that idea is rooted in a character or personality, sometimes in a specific backstory, and sometimes it's built off of trying to use a specific spell/feat/class feature that sounds fun. All of these methods...

And ultimately the guides still have their place.

The nice thing about knowing the strongest options is that it's much easier to step down from their to get the character you want while still being solid when dice get rolled.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
Serum wrote:
I'm excited by Anathema and its potential implications for Druids, Paladins, Barbarians and Monks.
I wish they talk a little more about this: how anathema will work and how much agency the GM is going to have here - that is, other than "house-rule it".
Increasing the visibility of this. If Druids banning metal is non-negotiable, I would prefer the class booted out of core since I will never use it.

I'm personally okay with Druids not having access to metal armor by default, albeit with the stipulation that there are ways around the lack of metal armor, IE non-metal armor options being more widespread, or at least inexpensive.

Also, I would prefer if anathemas were kept with the more religious classes; Paladin, Cleric, and Druid? Great! Barbarian and Monk? Not so much, because the Barbarian is the least religiously inclined of all of the classes Serum mentioned, and the Monk tends to be more philosophically bent than religiously bent, and I'm of the opinion that the Monk's alignment restrictions in P1e were pretty unreasonable.

It was never about balance, dragonhide is cheap (and Wild is expensive enough that you probably won't be getting much of an armour bonus once you could have afforded mithral). It's that metal being considered inherently unnatural is not something I can accept. Sure, there can be a use for the "person with no grasp on the concept they supposedly espouse" concept, but locking a core class (Wisdom-based, no less) behind it is a mistake.

Yeah, that's fair. It'd be cool to see other potential druid anathemas as well, such as vegetarianism or restricting access to fire spells to avoid the destruction of wilderness (Awoken Bear Druid with this anathema?).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
It's like you are purposefully misreading what I am saying.

The feeling is mutual.

Tangent101 wrote:
Yes, a Cleric could load up on nothing but Heal spells and be able to out-heal an Oracle.
That was not remotely my point, actually.

Well then, what IS your point? Because you have not been able to get it across to me obviously, probably because you're busy trying to defend Paizo and their ripping out the guts of a class, providing a bare bones description of how it's better, and then letting everyone spin their wheels rather than participate in a discussion with the forums like they have in previous non-Goblin threads to help explain and expand upon things.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
But an Oracle is able to provide more Healing capability than a Cleric who does not do any Heal Spells for their secondary slots while they fully retain their versatility and ability to cast other spells as needed.

And here we come to my point: Using only their free healing from Channel Energy, a PF2 Cleric can be well on par with a PF1 Cleric spending a fair number of slots on it. Therefore a PF2 Cleric needs to invest almost no spells into healing in order to be effective.

An Oracle, without Channel Energy, cannot say the same. That was my whole point.

No. A PF2 Cleric's Healing does not outweigh what a PF1 Cleric can do. The mere fact a level 20 Cleric can do five level 6 Heal spells for 150 healing and a bunch of debuffs, and between four and five level 9 spell of Mass Heal for 200 healing for all creatures within 30 feet of each other kind of outweighs a 20d8+Wisdom Bonus single healing zap... and DEFINITELY outweighs a 10d8+Wisdom Bonus Area zap.

The 2nd Ed. Oracle likewise isn't as potent as the 1st Ed. Cleric for healing but that's Granny Smith apples to Braeburn apples. The 2nd Ed. Cleric is a Red Delicious - has an enticing name but no real flavour from what little we've seen.

Liberty's Edge

Friendly Rogue wrote:
Yeah, that's fair. It'd be cool to see other potential druid anathemas as well, such as vegetarianism or restricting access to fire spells to avoid the destruction of wilderness (Awoken Bear Druid with this anathema?).

I'm all for anathemas that are specific to certain druidic orders, and as comical as Smokey the bear might be as a character, I think those aren't great choices for anathemas. Vegetarian diets outside of herbivorous animals is usually only a real option because of farming, which is more of an agrarian thing than something that happens in nature. And forest fires are part of the natural life cycle of a forest. A lot of experts think that one of the reasons why forest fires have gotten to be such a serious issue lately is because we've been stopping the spread of forest fires, which means that a lot of deadwood that would have been burned away in smaller fires continues to accrue, then when a fire does happen, it becomes even larger because of all this accumulation of dead foliage. So, you would think that someone who's supposed to be in tune with nature would actually try and control the burns to make sure the entire forest doesn't burn down at once, and there's always somewhere for wildlife to flee.

But, I'm pretty sure there's already parts of the lore where different orders of druids couldn't agree to one philosophy on what it means to be in tune with nature, resulting in warring factions and an eventual peace treaty. So having different anathemas according to different philosophies makes sense.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Yeah, that's fair. It'd be cool to see other potential druid anathemas as well, such as vegetarianism or restricting access to fire spells to avoid the destruction of wilderness (Awoken Bear Druid with this anathema?).

I'm all for anathemas that are specific to certain druidic orders, and as comical as Smokey the bear might be as a character, I think those aren't great choices for anathemas. Vegetarian diets outside of herbivorous animals is usually only a real option because of farming, which is more of an agrarian thing than something that happens in nature. And forest fires are part of the natural life cycle of a forest. A lot of experts think that one of the reasons why forest fires have gotten to be such a serious issue lately is because we've been stopping the spread of forest fires, which means that a lot of deadwood that would have been burned away in smaller fires continues to accrue, then when a fire does happen, it becomes even larger because of all this accumulation of dead foliage. So, you would think that someone who's supposed to be in tune with nature would actual try and control the burns to make sure the entire forest doesn't burn down at once, and there's always somewhere for wildlife to flee.

But, I'm pretty sure there's already parts of the lore where different orders of druids couldn't agree to one philosophy on what it means to be in tune with nature, resulting in warring factions and an eventual peace treaty. So having different anathemas according to different philosophies makes sense.

I've actually rolled up two different druids with the fire domains (one ash subdomain) and I recognize the importance in wild fires, especially considering ash can be a really good source of nutrients for budding plant life, so the inclusion of that was mainly for the Smokey the Bear joke. As for the vegetarian one, I actually had an urban druid who lives in towns and cities to help prevent the encroachment into nature, or otherwise promote nature and encourage preservation in mind when I suggested it.

As for other anathemas, I could imagine more general ones (give a hoot don't pollute), but I could also imagine anathemas for specific environs, like sea druids vowing to protect against overfishing, or desert druids vowing to preserve water and, if possible, natural oases.

Liberty's Edge

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Tangent101 wrote:
Well then, what IS your point? Because you have not been able to get it across to me obviously, probably because you're busy trying to defend Paizo and their ripping out the guts of a class, providing a bare bones description of how it's better, and then letting everyone spin their wheels rather than participate in a discussion with the forums like they have in previous non-Goblin threads to help explain and expand upon things.

I'd love to hear Paizo expand on things. But 'rip the guts out of the class' and the like do not inspire them to want to engage with you as a general rule. And no, I'm not 'too busy trying to defend Paizo' to notice they haven't popped in a lot on this thread.

From other threads I think that has more to do with the fact that, since they felt they needed to do a separate blog on Domains we're operating with only partial info here until Friday. I'm thinking they'll contribute more once they can talk about the whole Class.

Tangent101 wrote:
No. A PF2 Cleric's Healing does not outweigh what a PF1 Cleric can do.

Doesn't it? Barring the Heal spell in PF1, which is one spell, it absolutely does. And we utterly lack basically the whole PF2 spell list.

Tangent101 wrote:
The mere fact a level 20 Cleric can do five level 6 Heal spells for 150 healing and a bunch of debuffs, and between four and five level 9 spell of Mass Heal for 200 healing for all creatures within 30 feet of each other kind of outweighs a 20d8+Wisdom Bonus single healing zap... and DEFINITELY outweighs a 10d8+Wisdom Bonus Area zap.

Well, firstly, any argument that relies on spells other than the Cure spell line + Channel Energy (which are what PF2 heal is designed to replace) is pretty much entirely premature since we have no actual spell list for the PF2 Cleric.

Secondly, 9th level spells are only relevant for four levels in comparison terms, and maybe less depending on how good 10th level spells are in PF2.

But really it's the part where you're using a non-Cure spell that Clerics can't lose prepared spells for in your comparison where things fall apart since we don't know what equivalents PF2 Clerics get (and we know spells other than heal cure HP damage since Regnenerate does so).

Tangent101 wrote:
The 2nd Ed. Oracle likewise isn't as potent as the 1st Ed. Cleric for healing but that's Granny Smith apples to Braeburn apples.

We have no idea if this is true, since, as I mentioned, we lack spell lists entirely.

Tangent101 wrote:
The 2nd Ed. Cleric is a Red Delicious - has an enticing name but no real flavour from what little we've seen.

Flavor is usually used to refer to the thematic elements of the character, which seem more or less the same as in PF1.


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"Spell Points" that you use for everything but actual spells is gonna be the most confusing term ever...

You REALLY NEED to rethink this term. Seriously, you just REALLY NEED.


And about Channel Energy, how will it work for paladins, since they can't (at least is what I'd expect) higher-level spells?

And what about lay on hands? I guess now Channel Energy (and its 1-action casting) can do exactly the same that lay on hands always did (in HP healing).

Liberty's Edge

Bruno Mares wrote:
And about Channel Energy, how will it work for paladins, since they can't (at least is what I'd expect) higher-level spells?

We have no idea how Paladins will work or if they'll even be casters in the conventional sense.

Bruno Mares wrote:
And what about lay on hands? To me, Channel Energy (and its 1-action casting) can do exactly the same that lay on hands always did (in HP healing).

Well, they get Lay On Hands as an ability they spend Spell Points for and get it from 1st level...but that's really all we know about it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Originally I'd been thinking of waiting until 2nd Edition was out before starting my next campaign and converting Hell's Rebels over to it. At this point... I could do better by just using the Action Economy from Pathfinder Unchained and one or two other bits from it and just sticking with Pathfinder 1.

In the five years it'll take to wrap things up, the playtest will be done, things will be hammered out, and I can choose from there what to do. Meanwhile... I think I'm going to just be quiet about this. If other people like the new version of the Cleric and all that? Good for them. But what little I've seen is giving me a really bad feeling about how things will be going for casters.


Bruno Mares wrote:

"Spell Points" that you use for everything but actual spells is gonna be the most confusing term ever...

You REALLY NEED to rethink this term. Seriously, you just REALLY NEED.

I think it is a place holder term. I do not think "Spell Points" is going to be exactly the same across all classes. So, there will be some synergy between multiclassing for some classes, but not others.

I think they might have something like:

-Stamina (Fighters, Rangers, Barbarians)
-Devotion (Paladin, Clerics)
-Mana (Wizards, Sorcerers)
-Panache (Rogues, Bards)
-Qi (Monks)
-Essence (Druids)

I wonder if some classes would get some of each. Like a Paladin might also get stamina, or a ranger may also get essence.

This is wild speculation, and I have not watched any of the play test videos.


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Malthraz wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:

"Spell Points" that you use for everything but actual spells is gonna be the most confusing term ever...

You REALLY NEED to rethink this term. Seriously, you just REALLY NEED.

I think it is a place holder term. I do not think "Spell Points" is going to be exactly the same across all classes. So, there will be some synergy between multiclassing for some classes, but not others.

I think they might have something like:

-Stamina (Fighters, Rangers, Barbarians)
-Devotion (Paladin, Clerics)
-Mana (Wizards, Sorcerers)
-Panache (Rogues, Bards)
-Qi (Monks)
-Essence (Druids)

I wonder if some classes would get some of each. Like a Paladin might also get stamina, or a ranger may also get essence.

This is wild speculation, and I have not watched any of the play test videos.

Actually the point is to get away from all those things, which basically do the same thing, and collect them under one category called spell points - since the abilities they "activate" will be called spells too.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bruno Mares wrote:

"Spell Points" that you use for everything but actual spells is gonna be the most confusing term ever...

You REALLY NEED to rethink this term. Seriously, you just REALLY NEED.

Yeah I also think that they undercut their own design goal here.

Clerics are still needing to manage 3 different pools of resources, all of which bleed over into each other.

Spell Points(which aren't for spells), channels (which are for spells), and then of course actual spells.

This is somehow less clear than 1e where you have domain powers (some of which are use limited), channels (which are their own thing), and spells. Sure you still have 3 pools to manage but its much easier to delineate them from each other.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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GentleGiant wrote:

.

Actually the point is to get away from all those things, which basically do the same thing, and collect them under one category called spell points - since the abilities they "activate" will be called spells too.

yeah because that's not gonna be confusing at all for characters who still have vancian spells too /s


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eddv wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:

"Spell Points" that you use for everything but actual spells is gonna be the most confusing term ever...

You REALLY NEED to rethink this term. Seriously, you just REALLY NEED.

Yeah I also think that they undercut their own design goal here.

Clerics are still needing to manage 3 different pools of resources, all of which bleed over into each other.

Spell Points(which aren't for spells), channels (which are for spells), and then of course actual spells.

This is somehow less clear than 1e where you have domain powers (some of which are use limited), channels (which are their own thing), and spells. Sure you still have 3 pools to manage but its much easier to delineate them from each other.

While I agree that there might be a better name for Spell Points, I don't believe that they're undermining their intention of simplifying game terms in this case. Spell Points are in fact going towards spells, in this case spells you gain access to via your domains and any other multi-class abilities tied to it, while channels are still their own thing for the express purpose of making Clerics healing powerhouses without cutting into either spell points or actual spells, helping to avoid them becoming little more than a healbot with their magical resources.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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My point is that if there is still a clear and present need for there to be three resource pools for clerics, why not for monks or barbarians or paladins or rangers?

I mean it fits does it not? But then is it really simpler? At that point why bother with spell points at all, when more class-specific names are cooler?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

MerlinCross: Do you feel the same way about feats? There will always be optimal ones of those, so why bother offering choice? Why not just remove most choices and play pregens?

I'm not being reductionist or anything. I'm genuinely interested in hearing Merlin's thoughts and if they differ then why.

Feats now or perceived Class or General Feats in PF2? I'm going to roll with Feats now.

Yes I do. Do I think the solution is to remove them all? No. But at the same time the large selection doesn't seem to actually matter. Too weak, fringe, or taxing; better to go with the staples.

And I feel that's the problem with Pathfinder in general these days. Do I want Magic Item X? Too bad, I need a Cloak of Resistance. Did I want to focus on potions, making a few to heal? On God's green earth why, CLW Wands exist you are wasting cash. Did I want to play Barbarian, channeling my inner perceived notion of Berserker and duel wield axes, maybe even throw and or break them against my enemies? HAHAHAHAH, My god the feat tax. Here take your Two Hander and be a good meat shield like everyone else. Better yet, Splice Alchemist to make it really stupid.

Do I have a solution? Outside of cutting some of the options back(which hopefully heads off some bloat), no not really. Because the community will always be like this. Wizard forever has their spells and scrolls ready, CLW wands are forever in the bag, Leadership and Summons are banned, and these Feats/Builds/Items are the best.

So options are nice, they are an excellent addition. Then the slight nudging to outright demands to optimize comes around and who knows how many of those choices are still viable and see play. To say nothing about what will get banned or shunned by the community for one reason or another.

I used the vending machine before. I'll do it again. It's nice the Vending machine has a large selection. But what does it say to the owners when the majority of buyers keep picking the same 4 items?


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eddv wrote:

My point is that if there is still a clear and present need for there to be three resource pools for clerics, why not for monks or barbarians or paladins or rangers?

I mean it fits does it not? But then is it really simpler? At that point why bother with spell points at all, when more class-specific names are cooler?

It's simpler in the fact that, say, you wanted to emulate the Mystic Theurge; because presumably all of the primary casting classes are getting the Spell Pool, and Spell Pool stacks with other sources, there is now a distinct mechanical benefit to multiclassing multiple casting classes, whereas in P1e they would be so distinct from each other there would be no way to create synergy.

Spell Points aren't supposed to replace the defining class abilities of each class, like the Barbarian's Rage or the Paladin's Smite, it's supposed to give the casting classes more verisimilitude in regards to their access to spells via class abilities, which would seem to be the direction Paizo is going to compensate for the removal of bonus spells per day.


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Iammars wrote:
Wait, Lamashtu will let you heal? Really?

I mean, there's a strong maternal tie with Lamashtu. Somebody's gotta care for the lady that just birthed a were-mammoth.

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