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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I've seen several mentions about how (due to being nerfed relative to 1st Edition) the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Cleric will be worthless once the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Oracle comes out. To that I say: You don't yet know how much the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Oracle will be nerfed relative to the Pathfinder 1st Edition Oracle . . . .


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
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

As multiple people have pointed out multiple times, you don't /need/ to hyper-optimize to play the game. Certainly not to play through published modules like the adventure paths. They are balanced with unoptimized characters in mind - optimized characters will just crush them.

I'm with Fuzzypaws on this one. I played a bunch of published modules. Except for Emerald Spire, we could play any fun character we wanted without over-optimizing and still could get around obstacles. I had players fail their build and still be relevant to the story. Even with a bunch of weirdos who shouldn't be able to survive, battles only last 3 turns at best.

On the other hand, one of my players is now playing an Oracle/Paladin/Warpriest who optimized his saves and attack to a ridiculous point. He now one shots every boss of his adventure path and is immune to 99% of effects allowing saves.

So yeah, Pathfinder does ask you to optimize your ressources (items and gear) to a certain point (most of my characters do not pick Cloak of Resistance or Necklace of Natural Armor unless they loot them on ennemies and nobody wants them) so that you can buy this cool sword you wanted (PF's monetary balance always seemed odd to me). But the moment you have one player with an optimized build, you can kiss your foes goodbye, or make every battle CR+4.

What a DM does on their own campaign is something else entirely. If they strictly follow combat creation rules, it should be just like in a published module (ergo you don't need to be optimized). But most of the time, when characters are in danger, either the DM made too many difficult successive battles, or he picked a creature which this particular group can't handle for other reasons than power (like a ghoul against a group with no divine spellcaster, or elementals against a group specialized in precision damages).


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Not to pile on, MerlinCross, but you sound like I did 5 years ago when talking about Pathfinder. Your problem isn't actually the rules but the community. I'd suggest taking a break from eith Pathfinder or the community. Trust me, you'll be better off for it and be able to come back and enjoy the game or community again.


@Fuzzypaws - that's actually a poor term to use. Where I am, most the TCGs are in fact using net decks. So you either have to come up with a brand new thing to compete, or net deck. Same problem, don't net build well you are an NPC now.

As for "not wanting to be friends or play with" you seem to have been far better blessed than myself. Heck the first game of Pathfinder I played had two min max jerks. I'm surprised I stayed. I now have a small group of people I play with so it doesn't effect those tables. I start looking elsewhere, I start having issues.

But to say there's going to be no effect on my table due to the power gaming of other tables, is something I can't fully believe. Steps taken to counter or build around them can effect me, even if said effect is to homebrew/house rule.

Also I'd have to find it again(Maybe one of the topics here or in a blog post) But didn't a dev come out and say "Yes the later APs were expecting players to have the Big 6"? Or at least wanted to change that(Hello Resonace system). I fully admit I might be misremembering. I'll try to find it. Probably in one of the many Resonace topics.


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

The math pathfinder is based on assumes the big six, yes. But that’s not simply something later AP paths cane up with. Those were already set in 3.0 DMG, so more or less right from the beginning.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Not to pile on, MerlinCross, but you sound like I did 5 years ago when talking about Pathfinder. Your problem isn't actually the rules but the community. I'd suggest taking a break from eith Pathfinder or the community. Trust me, you'll be better off for it and be able to come back and enjoy the game or community again.

Perhaps. I still don't think adding more options is the way to go though. Confusing to new, ignored by vets.

Silver Crusade

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Wait... if legendary training allows you to do reality breaking things without the "aid" of magic (such as surviving in a void without water, food or air or allow you to uppercut scary monsters 20 feet into the air)... WTF is legendary SPELLCASTING gonna look like?


Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
Wait... if legendary training allows you to do reality breaking things without the "aid" of magic (such as surviving in a void without water, food or air or allow you to uppercut scary monsters 20 feet into the air)... WTF is legendary SPELLCASTING gonna look like?

Like Mythic Spellcasting ? That'd be sooooo cool =D


MerlinCross wrote:
Perhaps. I still don't think adding more options is the way to go though. Confusing to new, ignored by vets.

Your experience isn't universal by any means. I know plenty of vets who take all sorts of new options and others who take the classic stuff as well.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Perhaps. I still don't think adding more options is the way to go though. Confusing to new, ignored by vets.
Your experience isn't universal by any means. I know plenty of vets who take all sorts of new options and others who take the classic stuff as well.

And yet it's what I keep seeing and experiencing. Nor does it seem to be a new thing that sprung up with rule bloat. But I'm going in circles now. Anyone have Know Direction prepared?

I conced that taking a break would probably do me some good. I seem to get riled up with each Blog post and the community is a tad draining. There's a conversion of a video game to tabletop I've been meaning to try. I'll come back closer to playtest release.


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Berine Eidelweiss wrote:
Wait... if legendary training allows you to do reality breaking things without the "aid" of magic (such as surviving in a void without water, food or air or allow you to uppercut scary monsters 20 feet into the air)... WTF is legendary SPELLCASTING gonna look like?

High-level casters already play like Doctor Strange, so why do they need more power than they already get?


Yeah even if legendary spellcasting just adds to the dc's, its kinda of a big deal. I guess I could see it have some effect that increases flexibility, but I am not sure what could be balanced and applicable to all of the spells.


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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?

Because you can use spell points for any of the abilities, cross class and everything. In PF1 you couldn't use Panache to activate your Ki powers, for example. Now all of those things are spells and are activated with spell points.


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MerlinCross wrote:

As for "not wanting to be friends or play with" you seem to have been far better blessed than myself. Heck the first game of Pathfinder I played had two min max jerks. I'm surprised I stayed. I now have a small group of people I play with so it doesn't effect those tables. I start looking elsewhere, I start having issues.

But to say there's going to be no effect on my table due to the power gaming of other tables, is something I can't fully believe. Steps taken to counter or build around them can effect me, even if said effect is to homebrew/house rule.

Also I'd have to find it again(Maybe one of the topics here or in a blog post) But didn't a dev come out and say "Yes the later APs were expecting players to have the Big 6"? Or at least wanted to change that(Hello Resonace system). I fully admit I might be misremembering. I'll try to find it. Probably in one of the many Resonace topics.

Can I suggest something? First, as others pointed out, you don't have to min-max to extremes/use loopholes. We have around 50 players in the area I play in, and I only know one who commonly shows up with an over-the-top character. I've got 25 characters, and I decided at some point I had built 3 of them too well, so that they were overpowering the table (in combats) and decided not to play them again. Granted, one was a GM credit baby who I made for Bonekeep... so no apologies there.

Going back to the original topic, I'd like to suggest that options aren't the issue. PF1 has options, PF2 is going to have more options. It's the power disparity of those options that matters. PF1 had a *huge* problem with power disparity. Even limited to core, Paladins, Archers (Fighter or Ranger), and Druids outshined the other classes by leaps and bounds. Going beyond core things only got worse (Paladin Archer!).

Now there's the question of whether PF2 will have more power disparity. With more options, there's more of a possibility of it, I grant you. But at the same time, doing things like limiting a character to one archetype, not front-loading classes, and the like, as well as having the experience of PF1 behind them are going to help with this.

You're complaining about power-gaming being the downfall of PF2, but unless I'm missing something, I don't think anything's been revealed that's just been ludicrously ridiculous. Some options may be underpowered, sure, but they may still be useful at times and in particular situations. And even if they're not, mistakenly taking one isn't going to kill your character, particularly when you can retrain it between sessions.


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GentleGiant wrote:
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?

Because you can use spell points for any of the abilities, cross class and everything. In PF1 you couldn't use Panache to activate your Ki powers, for example. Now all of those things are spells and are activated with spell points.

It'd be great if it was actually true, and that's what I was hoping when they first mentioned the mechanic, but now it looks like it's actually not true. I mean, the cleric described above, an actual spellcaster, has magical powers (Channel) that aren't handled by spell points. So they created a new mechanic with a lot of potential and then immediately proceeded to undercut it.

I'd be happy with /class features/ with flavorful names like Ki or Channel, granting access to the universal mechanistic pool. Say that the root size of this pool is 3 + key ability modifier uses per day; once you multiclass for the first time you pick which key ability of the two you're using and then stick with it from then on. Each time you get a new ability that uses this pool, you get +2 uses per day.

So using this system, the cleric above would then have 5 + Cha mod uses per day of this pool, because they get two abilities that tap the pool. If they take a feat for a second domain with its own power, it now is 7 + Cha mod uses per day. If they then multiclass to Monk and pick up their first Ki ability, it's now 9 + Cha or Wis uses per day. And so on.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
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?

Because you can use spell points for any of the abilities, cross class and everything. In PF1 you couldn't use Panache to activate your Ki powers, for example. Now all of those things are spells and are activated with spell points.

It'd be great if it was actually true, and that's what I was hoping when they first mentioned the mechanic, but now it looks like it's actually not true. I mean, the cleric described above, an actual spellcaster, has magical powers (Channel) that aren't handled by spell points. So they created a new mechanic with a lot of potential and then immediately proceeded to undercut it.

I'd be happy with /class features/ with flavorful names like Ki or Channel, granting access to the universal mechanistic pool. Say that the root size of this pool is 3 + key ability modifier uses per day; once you multiclass for the first time you pick which key ability of the two you're using and then stick with it from then on. Each time you get a new ability that uses this pool, you get +2 uses per day.

So using this system, the cleric above would then have 5 + Cha mod uses per day of this pool, because they get two abilities that tap the pool. If they take a feat for a second domain with its own power, it now is 7 + Cha mod uses per day. If they then multiclass to Monk and pick up their first Ki ability, it's now 9 + Cha or Wis uses per day. And so on.

The Cleric, however, DOES still have spell point based abilities, via domain powers. The spell pool granted by them does stack with monk ki powers, and wizard school powers, etc. Channel is the exception here, as it was a different thing, sort of as an offset for the loss of spontaneous healing spell conversion. While I do agree they probably could have given them a spell point pool as well, they may have shied away from giving double the spell point pool to a 1st level character to avoid cleric from being an overpowered 1 level dip for any other spell point dependent class.


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I was wondering how the Domains will be this time around. I'm really hoping you will include something for Agriculture - a huge number of real life deities dealt with this. I know there's been Plant and Animal but it generally seems those are more for wild animals and plants rather than domesticated ones.

Will Clerics still have weapon and armor proficiency or will that vary by deity? How will they and Druids be different?

Dark Archive

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I'd prefer Surge Points or a name that isn't related to a specific concept like "spells". In this way it can be used with any kind of class ability


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Putting in my vote for arcanist style spell casting for all prepared spell casters. Makes more sense than cast and forget.


Indagare wrote:

I was wondering how the Domains will be this time around. I'm really hoping you will include something for Agriculture - a huge number of real life deities dealt with this. I know there's been Plant and Animal but it generally seems those are more for wild animals and plants rather than domesticated ones.

Will Clerics still have weapon and armor proficiency or will that vary by deity? How will they and Druids be different?

What would an Agriculture domain even look like? It seems like all the domain spells would be relevant to farming, not adventuring.

Not saying it is a bad idea, I am just curious what sorts of abilities you think would befit it.


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Saint Bernard wrote:
Putting in my vote for arcanist style spell casting for all prepared spell casters. Makes more sense than cast and forget.

I know I said it earlier, but I really wish this would happen. It's almost certainly not going to happen, but I really prefer this to "fire and forget".

If this was the new standard for spell preparation, what could we do for spontaneous caster (assuming we wanted that to stick around) to compensate for that?

I would say downcasting is innate. If you have a higher level version of a spell you can cast all the lower for free as well. That's one thing that would help spells known. Probably needs to have more spells known of each level than wizards can prepare each day. Bloodlines (and similar) giving several spells known for free (more than the one per level, or at least choices at each) compared to the one per that PF1 sorcerers offer. Perhaps a mechanic to retrain spells known if you realize you've made poor decisions. Something that takes time (but probably not money) so that you can't switch it mid-adventure, but if you have a weeks downtime you can switch for free. That would work at least for bloodline spells (assuming we have bloodlines offer multiple spells at each level).


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You know I really hate living in a timezone that makes these things have rougly billion posts before I get to it. So I am just going to go ahead and only focus on the actual blog. I am just going to focus on the parts that I think I have something worthy to comment.

Favored weapon: I am really not fond of the idea. It works fine for some deities but for some it is more of a symbol than an actual weapon. That being said I can easily live with it.

Domains: Not sure I like it only being 1 to start off with, that being said if you can spend some resource AT 1st LEVEL to gain a second one it should be fine. Powers being bit lesser than your best spells sounds like a good place for them to be power wise. Now I did not see any mention of domain spells or domain spell slots, but more on that later.

Spell pool: Unified pool is a good idea, it worked with Monk and Ninja. However that name needs to go. It is unintuitive and confusing. Silly sounding doesn't help, but such asthethics are marginal concern.

Anethma: While the idea is good as divine servants should really only concern themselves with their gods dogma, not morality, unless said deity puts focus on it. However I see one flaw in it, such servarnts should be just as much and even more so defined what they do rather than what they don't.

Channel energy: Deity deciding the positive/negative aspect is certainly the right decision. However I see some issues. First harm has never been and never will be of equal value to heal as long as the numbers stay the same. On a slight relation to that, the numbers we saw earlier seem to fail to take into account of the vastly inflated HP. I am also not a fan that this is a choice made for you. Sure some priests it fits. But it should not be assumed that every cleric has it. Getting rid of it would certainly help in getting rid of the healbot stigma.

Divine spell casting: First I do not like that the profiency is at set points, instead of you being to able focus on it if you so desire. Maybe you don't cast lot of offensive spells so save DC is immaterial to you, or perhaps you are going for a pure caster so want those ASAP. The number of spells slots....yeah that is going to have to change especially at 1st level. However there is a very big but in that, if you still gain an extra slot for domain spells, then I would say it is fine.

Overall: I have some major doubts, but it is mostly due to lack of details. And to be frank Paizo has not been consistent enough in their quality of publications for me to give them benefit of a doubt. The blog post itself was good, I was not a fan of the writing style itself, but the content was decent, this is really the level of meat these previews should have as a minium. I am certainly happy to see that they have been getting better at this aspect.


Actually it says you can take a feat(up to twice) to get a domain's initial power, it does not say you can get more then one domain.


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Dragon78 wrote:
Actually it says you can take a feat(up to twice) to get a domain's initial power, it does not say you can get more then one domain.
Blog wrote:
You can select this feat twice, letting you delve into a maximum of three domains!

I think that's pretty clearly and explicitly saying you can have more than one domain.


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Dragon78 wrote:
Actually it says you can take a feat(up to twice) to get a domain's initial power, it does not say you can get more then one domain.

Yes it does:

"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!"

Sovereign Court

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A particularly devoted cleric could end up with both the lesser and greater powers for three of their deity's domains.


I do want to bring something, it just crossed my mind.

If things like Domain powers and Channels are now Spells(or at least Domain powers as they use Spell points) does that mean they are now effected by Anti Magic counter measures? I'm assuming Anti Magic Field will still exist in some form and while Spell Resistance might be going, I still expect some creatures to not care too much about magic(Golems/Constructs as an example)

So how do the new Class Abilities that are now Spells/Magic handle that?


MerlinCross wrote:

I do want to bring something, it just crossed my mind.

If things like Domain powers and Channels are now Spells(or at least Domain powers as they use Spell points) does that mean they are now effected by Anti Magic counter measures? I'm assuming Anti Magic Field will still exist in some form and while Spell Resistance might be going, I still expect some creatures to not care too much about magic(Golems/Constructs as an example)

So how do the new Class Abilities that are now Spells/Magic handle that?

Looks like they are the new version of "Spell-like abilities", so they would be affected. Granted, they used to be "Supernatural" before for some reason, even if thematically they would run off the same "divine" power that fuels spells


I think it's one of the goal designs for those spell-like features.

Do you have a metamagic feat that allows you to extend the duration of a spell? It works with domain powers (that have a duration) too. Are you inmune to spells? You are inmune to domain powers too. And so on.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

I think it's one of the goal designs for those spell-like features.

Do you have a metamagic feat that allows you to extend the duration of a spell? It works with domain powers (that have a duration) too. Are you inmune to spells? You are inmune to domain powers too. And so on.

I suppose it cuts down on confusion while opening up balance and design issues. Maybe not for Paizo itself but any Anti Magic Zone sounds even more brutal now for spell casters. And any class that uses Spell Points.

Also..., do we have any idea how Metamagic will work? I can't really see some of them working out as you can just now simply cast the spell at a higher level to get a better effect.

But we'll see how it plays out.

Silver Crusade

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MerlinCross wrote:
Also..., do we have any idea how Metamagic will work? I can't really see some of them working out as you can just now simply cast the spell at a higher level to get a better effect.
This Blog Right Here wrote:
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!


MerlinCross wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I think it's one of the goal designs for those spell-like features.

Do you have a metamagic feat that allows you to extend the duration of a spell? It works with domain powers (that have a duration) too. Are you inmune to spells? You are inmune to domain powers too. And so on.

I suppose it cuts down on confusion while opening up balance and design issues. Maybe not for Paizo itself but any Anti Magic Zone sounds even more brutal now for spell casters. And any class that uses Spell Points.

Also..., do we have any idea how Metamagic will work? I can't really see some of them working out as you can just now simply cast the spell at a higher level to get a better effect.

But we'll see how it plays out.

The only one we have seen so far is the reach metamagic feat. It increases the casting time by one action.

Grand Lodge

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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Good luck getting an agreeable definition of bloat. For some folks the second the APG came out PF1 was bloated.

What's ironic about all this is in 5 years, PF2 will begin to bloat because new options/books will be coming out.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

What would an Agriculture domain even look like? It seems like all the domain spells would be relevant to farming, not adventuring.

Not saying it is a bad idea, I am just curious what sorts of abilities you think would befit it.

Well, from a world-building perspective there really ought to be variants of classes that would focus more on their communities or non-adventuring areas. But here's what I'd go with for an adventurer using the old system:

Calming Touch (Sp): You can touch a creature as a standard action to heal it of 1d6 points of nonlethal damage + 1 point per cleric level. This touch also removes the fatigued, shaken, and sickened conditions (but has no effect on more severe conditions). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Domestication (Su): Once a day at 8th level, you can cause one animal to become tame and friendly towards you and neutral towards your allies. The animal thereafter acts as if it were an animal companion. At the end of the day the animal will stop acting like an animal companion, but will remain either neutral or friendly towards you and your allies if it was treated well. You may only have one animal so domesticated at a time, but can renew the effect on the same animal multiple times.

1st—bless, 2nd—calm emotions, 3rd—plant growth, 4th—dominate animal, 5th—spell resistance, 6th—heroes’ feast, 7th—refuge, 8th—control plants, 9th—heal (mass).

It might work as a Community subdomain, but I'm not sure how to fit it in.


MerlinCross wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

I think it's one of the goal designs for those spell-like features.

Do you have a metamagic feat that allows you to extend the duration of a spell? It works with domain powers (that have a duration) too. Are you inmune to spells? You are inmune to domain powers too. And so on.

I suppose it cuts down on confusion while opening up balance and design issues. Maybe not for Paizo itself but any Anti Magic Zone sounds even more brutal now for spell casters. And any class that uses Spell Points.

Also..., do we have any idea how Metamagic will work? I can't really see some of them working out as you can just now simply cast the spell at a higher level to get a better effect.

But we'll see how it plays out.

It seems now that in addition to some spells being self enhanceable, metamagic feats now tax you on actions to use. Unclear if they must be prepared that way.


Joe M. wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Also..., do we have any idea how Metamagic will work? I can't really see some of them working out as you can just now simply cast the spell at a higher level to get a better effect.
This Blog Right Here wrote:
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!

I thought I could spend Actions to boost the range or effect of the spell anyway. Why would I need Reach?

Unless I really want to play an Artillery piece. There's a good DnD tale about an Archer that was basically a walking Sniper Rifle. I suppose one can do the same with spells now.

Silver Crusade

master_marshmallow wrote:
It seems now that in addition to some spells being self enhanceable, metamagic feats now tax you on actions to use. Unclear if they must be prepared that way.

I read the Blog to imply that metamagic does not affect preparation but is applied spontaneously upon casting by adding action costs.

Blog wrote:
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.

"activate when you cast a spell" sounds pretty different from "prepare a spell with metamagic when you are preparing your spells for the day." So I'll be surprised if Playtest metamagic impacts spell preparation as in PF1.


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The Metamagic might be applying to a spell that doesn't have those options. Superfluous for Heal/Harm, perhaps, but damn useful for, say, Shocking Grasp.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Good luck getting an agreeable definition of bloat. For some folks the second the APG came out PF1 was bloated.
What's ironic about all this is in 5 years, PF2 will begin to bloat because new options/books will be coming out.

Will it? According to whom?

Silver Crusade

MerlinCross wrote:
I thought I could spend Actions to boost the range or effect of the spell anyway. Why would I need Reach?

We know that you can spend actions to boost range and effect of the Heal spell, but that's pretty unique. The Spells Blog describes it as "a spell . . . that uses actions in an interesting way", and I seem to recall one of the designers saying in an interview (or maybe a forum post?) that this sort of thing isn't super common but confined to really core/common/standard spells.

So that's my understanding—that a mechanism like Heal's is an uncommon feature that the new action system allows them to create.

So, for example, we see that the other spells in the Spell Blog do not have that feature. It's specific to the Heal spell, in the text of that one spell and not a general rule.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Metamagic might be applying to a spell that doesn't have those options. Superfluous for Heal/Harm, perhaps, but damn useful for, say, Shocking Grasp.

Huh, I suppose each spell having their own upgrades to Action cost or Spell Slot usage would mean Meta-magic is just a standard flat effect you can apply to them all. If Shocking Grasp doesn't have any Range no matter what you do, use Reach.

Quicken might break some systems though.

Orville Redenbacher wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Good luck getting an agreeable definition of bloat. For some folks the second the APG came out PF1 was bloated.
What's ironic about all this is in 5 years, PF2 will begin to bloat because new options/books will be coming out.
Will it? According to whom?

I question how we don't suddenly run into bloat with all the opened up Design space and Customization we are going to keep. But I came back to the topic due to abilities being spells and Metamagic. So I'll stop with that dead horse.


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I mean, there are folks that are arguing here that PF2 ,just the core game, before we even have a playtest, is bloated...


MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Metamagic might be applying to a spell that doesn't have those options. Superfluous for Heal/Harm, perhaps, but damn useful for, say, Shocking Grasp.

Huh, I suppose each spell having their own upgrades to Action cost or Spell Slot usage would mean Meta-magic is just a standard flat effect you can apply to them all. If Shocking Grasp doesn't have any Range no matter what you do, use Reach.

Quicken might break some systems though.

Not necessarily. Quicken might not even exist in the new system, since the actions required to cast spells are associated with the components of said spells. Removing the components required will most likely result in cutting down the amount of actions needed, which means Quicken is already replaced with other existing feats.

For example, a Silent/Still Heal spell might remove any action cost associated with the 1 action (or 2 action usage) version of the spell, meaning a spellcaster might cast such spells for zero actions at the cost of an increased spell level. So, you could have a spellcaster use Silent/Still Heals on top of other Heals for a super-powered "nova" heal on a PC.

Similarly, those metamagics can be used to buff yourself requiring no actions and such, thus sparing your actions for attacking (and shielding) instead of buffing.

Of course, this is all speculation, and also assuming Quicken doesn't exist and Silent/Still spells still exist in a different way, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is previewed in a followup Spells blog.

Dark Archive

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Because you can use spell points for any of the abilities, cross class and everything. In PF1 you couldn't use Panache to activate your Ki powers, for example. Now all of those things are spells and are activated with spell points.
It'd be great if it was actually true, and that's what I was hoping when they first mentioned the mechanic, but now it looks like it's actually not true. I mean, the cleric described above, an actual spellcaster, has magical powers (Channel) that aren't handled by spell points. So they created a new mechanic with a lot of potential and then immediately proceeded to undercut it.

And yet, I'm okay with this, because it's kind of like the option to spontaneously cast healing spells in PF1, primarily there to allow the cleric to prepare non-healing spells, and not tie his entire character around a reactive role that may or may not come up (needing to heal someone).

By having a small pool of dedicated healing energy on the side of the clerics main resource pool, it allows the character who doesn't want to be a healbot to not have all of their class resource dedicated to healing. Using the dedicated healing uses, the cleric can heal a few times without feeling like she has just given up on being able to do anything else later (and can use a few of her non-healing options, knowing that she's got some dedicated healing resources left over, in case she needs them, so that she isn't getting side-eye from the damage-takers for 'wasting' resources that could have been later used on healing).

I agree that, in a perfect world, it's a neat and very clean mechanic to have everyone use the same pool for everything, and not have ki points or channel uses or bardic inspiration uses or rage uses or panache or domain power uses or wizard school power uses or bloodline power uses and possibly some mish-mash of them if the character is multi-classed, but, in this specific case, I think the decades of experience people have playing clerics (and healers in general) suggests that an exception is probably better than 'purity.'

In this case, IMO, perfect does indeed seem to be the enemy of the good.


Claxon wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
Putting in my vote for arcanist style spell casting for all prepared spell casters. Makes more sense than cast and forget.

I know I said it earlier, but I really wish this would happen. It's almost certainly not going to happen, but I really prefer this to "fire and forget".

If this was the new standard for spell preparation, what could we do for spontaneous caster (assuming we wanted that to stick around) to compensate for that?

I would say downcasting is innate. If you have a higher level version of a spell you can cast all the lower for free as well. That's one thing that would help spells known. Probably needs to have more spells known of each level than wizards can prepare each day. Bloodlines (and similar) giving several spells known for free (more than the one per level, or at least choices at each) compared to the one per that PF1 sorcerers offer. Perhaps a mechanic to retrain spells known if you realize you've made poor decisions. Something that takes time (but probably not money) so that you can't switch it mid-adventure, but if you have a weeks downtime you can switch for free. That would work at least for bloodline spells (assuming we have bloodlines offer multiple spells at each level).

I would like to see spontaneous casters become something similar to 3.5 Erudite. What would that mean? Well, no cap on the number of spell known, they would be able to also learn spells other than leveling, and with a mechanic to limit the variety of spells per day.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Metamagic might be applying to a spell that doesn't have those options. Superfluous for Heal/Harm, perhaps, but damn useful for, say, Shocking Grasp.

Huh, I suppose each spell having their own upgrades to Action cost or Spell Slot usage would mean Meta-magic is just a standard flat effect you can apply to them all. If Shocking Grasp doesn't have any Range no matter what you do, use Reach.

Quicken might break some systems though.

Not necessarily. Quicken might not even exist in the new system, since the actions required to cast spells are associated with the components of said spells. Removing the components required will most likely result in cutting down the amount of actions needed, which means Quicken is already replaced with other existing feats.

For example, a Silent/Still Heal spell might remove any action cost associated with the 1 action (or 2 action usage) version of the spell, meaning a spellcaster might cast such spells for zero actions at the cost of an increased spell level. So, you could have a spellcaster use Silent/Still Heals on top of other Heals for a super-powered "nova" heal on a PC.

Similarly, those metamagics can be used to buff yourself requiring no actions and such, thus sparing your actions for attacking (and shielding) instead of buffing.

Of course, this is all speculation, and also assuming Quicken doesn't exist and Silent/Still spells still exist in a different way, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is previewed in a followup Spells blog.

I know it's speculation but how would a Silent/Still spell remove actions?

Meh, we'll see what comes. And while all we have is guess work and speculation, I'd find it odd if the more.... general accepted Metamagics aren't there. Still, Silent, Quicken, Heighten of some kind, Widen, Reach, etc.

At the same time I'd hate to just fall back into using the same thing again and again. But I don't think the out there feats are going to be transferred over in book 1. They're wacky, but I don't expect many people put off by not having Rime, Toxic, Solar, and Umbral Metamagic.

But maybe the whole "Spend more actions to get effects" baked into some spells might cover the more out there ideas.


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Some of this sounds really good. Decent healing that doesn't eat into your spells per day, domain powers that seem tobe more than just a +1 for a round and so on.

Fewer spells seems a bit... limiting, but without knowing what those spells are it's hard to tellhow it will work out in play. I really hope that rather than redoing the CRB spell. list in new format Paizo have gone through all the things they have published and selected the stars of Ultimate Magic and the like as core spells.

I'm also holding out hope that a lot of fun or utility but non-combat spells become rituals instead - I really want to see that part of the system.

Anathema - yay, but at the same time can it be written to include "do's" as well as "don'ts". As in 'Pharasma forbids her clerics to raise undead, AND looks with favour on those who destroy such creatures', otherwise it feels like a GM tool for smacking recalcitrant players around rather than a guide to good roleplay.

Now I just have to hope for an archetype or feat that is 'loose Xxx combat related abilities, gain +1 spell per level'....

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