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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Neriathale wrote:

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'....

Personally I wouldn't mind losing the Spells, but with some guesswork, I don't think the spell refresh items are going to exist due to Resonance. OR at least be as optimal/useful. I can see the items saying "Trade Resonance to regain spell or to cast a spell without wasting it"

Though if Casters get some Bonus Resonance, not too bad. All guess work, but I'm a sucker for making some necklaces with Pearl of Power.

Silver Crusade

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Neriathale wrote:
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.

Yeah, if we don't see "do this" to go along with "don't do that" in the Playtest I'll be a big advocate for including that idea in Core. Even if it's not used for most Clerics (I don't know how I'd feel about that), it seems like an obvious design space that they'll use eventually and it would be nice to have a unified banner to put that under, for all the same reasons that Anathema is helpful


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

There are 8 pages in the PF1 CRB devoted to NPC classes. If they take those out altogher (spitballing because I've seen multiple instances of devs saying they don't like them, and the core assumption appears to be that NPCs function differently enough that they don't need well-codified classes of their own), then that would give most of the room needed to instead have a section with column-width entries for each of the core deities and their likes and dislikes relative to their portfolios, as well as space left over for a more in-depth explanation of anathemas and discussion of how to handle these things in various ways depending on how strict the players/GM would like to be about it.

I think that would be a much better use of page space in the new edition.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and replies to those posts.
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While it is fine to provide criticism and to express dislike for choices made for Second Edition, it is never acceptable to attack the character, work ethic, or imply apathy for members of Paizo's staff. We recognize that there are differing levels of acceptance, excitement, and skepticism as information about Second Edition is provided, but our community does not tolerate personal attacks, and I encourage everyone to remember that the staff and development team at Paizo are part of this community.


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I've been following all the updates and I'm finally at a point where I felt compelled to say how disappointed I am with where you folks are taking such a great system. It's such a shame to see how much of the depth and structure of the system is being tossed aside to catch the 'new hotness' that the devs mistakenly think D&D 5e has.

Guys I took the time to look at and play (first time in years! :)) 5e, and then took the time to DM it during the last year at the urging of fellow gamer friends. It was fun, but it was shallow and unrewarding in the end, the simplification brought in some player base wears thin pretty quickly. But now I see the devs are falling for this thinking they need to do the same to drive revenue, and that's sad mistake.

I would post more, but the really sad fact is that the devs have already made all their foolish simplification choices and nothing we as players say will change where this train is heading.

RIP clerics,
RIP depth,
RIP customization,
RIP Pathfinder,

RIP Complex and rewarding RPG.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
I know it's speculation but how would a Silent/Still spell remove actions?

Silent Spell removes the verbal component, and Still Spell removes the somatic component. In P2e, the number of components a spell has appears to be the number of actions it takes to cast it.


MerlinCross wrote:
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?

Each spell has components, Somatic, Verbal, Material, etc. For each component a spell has, a character must spend an action to fulfill those components to cast the spell (which, when the components are fulfilled, doesn't cost an action to do).

So, if a typical spell has 2 components, Verbal and Somatic as one example, a character must spend 2 actions to cast that spell. Some spells might have all 3 components, and as such require 3 actions to cast (such as the AoE version of Heal). All of this stuff is explained in the Spells blog, as well as some others in minor detail.

Still Spell in PF1 removes Somatic components, and Silent Spell in PF1 removes Verbal components. There isn't anything to remove Material Components as far as Metamagic Feats are concerned (though if Eschew Materials makes a return from PF1, this feat just became a lot more powerful since it also helps in reducing spending actions to draw material components, which Eschew Materials in PF1 effectively removes unless it has a gold cost), meaning any spell with a Material component will always cost at least 1 action, regardless of what metamagics are used.

With the above information, it's logical to assume Quicken will be replaced by Silent/Still Metamagics, which is a good thing. As you said, Quicken was too powerful and led to gamebreaking shenanigans, whereas Silent and Still spells were only marginally useful. Splitting Quicken's general effects between two feats means those two feats are now much more valuable, with their auxillary benefits (casting without noise/in silence, and casting while grappled/pinned, respectively,) being the cherry on top.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So I would assume that Quicken Spell is gone now since the new Silent Spell and Still Spell feats have eliminated the need for it.

Of course, that does raise the question of how you cast a spell if you somehow manage to eliminate all of its components.


David knott 242 wrote:

So I would assume that Quicken Spell is gone now since the new Silent Spell and Still Spell feats have eliminated the need for it.

Of course, that does raise the question of how you cast a spell if you somehow manage to eliminate all of its components.

It just doesn't cost an action to cast the spell.

But remember that it still eats higher level spell slots in exchange, so they are basically paying upcasting in exchange for reducing the action cost, which is definitely worth the feats in the right circumstances. Imagine 6 Harms being thrown at a BBEG!


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
zebedar wrote:

I've been following all the updates and I'm finally at a point where I felt compelled to say how disappointed I am with where you folks are taking such a great system. It's such a shame to see how much of the depth and structure of the system is being tossed aside to catch the 'new hotness' that the devs mistakenly think D&D 5e has.

Guys I took the time to look at and play (first time in years! :)) 5e, and then took the time to DM it during the last year at the urging of fellow gamer friends. It was fun, but it was shallow and unrewarding in the end, the simplification brought in some player base wears thin pretty quickly. But now I see the devs are falling for this thinking they need to do the same to drive revenue, and that's sad mistake.

I would post more, but the really sad fact is that the devs have already made all their foolish simplification choices and nothing we as players say will change where this train is heading.

RIP clerics,
RIP depth,
RIP customization,
RIP Pathfinder,

RIP Complex and rewarding RPG.

The cleric here have clearly WAY more customization options than in PF1 !?

Also, having played a bit of 5e, I can tell that PF2 use some of the same idea, but in completely different context and ways.
I don't see the loss of depth at all, there's even more than before IMHO?
... Well.. Could you explain more? Help me understand your point of view? Maybe one of us misunderstood something in these previews, ore missed something? :S


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
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?

Each spell has components, Somatic, Verbal, Material, etc. For each component a spell has, a character must spend an action to fulfill those components to cast the spell (which, when the components are fulfilled, doesn't cost an action to do).

So, if a typical spell has 2 components, Verbal and...

I'm not actually convinced we will have Still and Silent spell again. With the PF1e FAQ clarifying that spells still have detectable manifestations outside of verbal and somatic components, they aren't actually very good anymore without sinking another couple of feats into Canny Caster. This was largely done as a patch for psychic casting not automatically being super sneaky though.

I'm not sure what the PF2e default will be on how noticeable spells are, and what options will be present to make it less noticeable. I do think that since metamagic no longer increases slot level, in social situations there's no reason every spell can't be cast silent/still since actions won't be a meaningful currency outside of encounter mode. And I think having those feats ALSO reduce action cost in encounter mode would make them overpowered.

I think it is more likely that stealth casting won't come from metamagic anymore, but some other source. I'm also guessing that since the action system is already so much more flexible and includes spells which can be cast with a single action, we won't see a lot of options that let us further optimize the action economy for spells. (At least at first.) Like, what's the most powerful thing we have seen that breaks the action economy so far? Sudden Charge? You want to compare that to Quicken Spell?


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My guess at Silent/Still is that they'll just replace the normal action for the other (so Silent makes your Verbal component an extra Somatic component). The benefit is being able to cast in silence, or cast while wearing armor or with your hands full, but no change to the number of actions required.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think that Metamagic acting more in-line how it did with spontaneous spellcasters for both prepared and spontaneous is interesting, but I'm hoping there is still design space for upcasting-with-specific benefit. There are some obvious spells that can be enhanced with simple Heightening benefits, but some of my favorite metamagic feats may not fit in the more-actions, either for power reasons (Echoing Spell) or cost reasons (Quicken Spell). Perhaps another line of feats that cost Spell Points rather than modifying your spell efficiency directly? I am glad that flavorful spells like Rime Spell and Threnodic Spell seem like they would fit nicely into the new system, though.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm not actually convinced we will have Still and Silent spell again. With the PF1e FAQ clarifying that spells still have detectable manifestations outside of verbal and somatic components, they aren't actually very good anymore without sinking another couple of feats into Canny Caster. This was largely done as a patch for psychic casting not automatically being super sneaky though.

I'm not sure what the PF2e default will be on how noticeable spells are, and what options will be present to make it less noticeable. I do think that since metamagic no longer increases slot level, in social situations there's no reason every spell can't be cast silent/still since actions won't be a meaningful currency outside of encounter mode. And I think having those feats ALSO reduce action cost in encounter mode would make them overpowered.

I think it is more likely that stealth casting won't come from metamagic anymore, but some other source. I'm also guessing that since the action system is already so much more flexible and includes spells which can be cast with a single action, we won't see a lot of options that let us further optimize the action economy for spells. (At least at first.) Like, what's the most powerful thing we have seen that breaks the action economy so far? Sudden Charge? You want to compare that to Quicken Spell?

They might not, but considering that those are staple feats to be applied to spells, saying they won't make an appearance is doubtful, especially since they have always been core options. That's like saying Paladins won't be core just because they will work way differently than in previous core systems. Also, PF1 and PF2 may have different standards for what they want to have happen in regards to spell manifestations. While they want obvious manifestations, they can use this opportunity to rehash the mundane stuff to be more in-line with magic so that magic doesn't need such a constant leash that requires almost impossible amounts of investment to make non-apparent.

I don't remember that ever being the case. All they have told us on Metamagics are that they apply to spells upon casting (meaning no preparation required), and increase the casting time by 1 action. They didn't say whether or not they increase the spell level, which means that might also be an added cost yet, which is fine, especially with the implications that Silent/Still Spell feats may instead reduce the casting time of certain spells.

Again, if Silent/Still Spell reduces action cost, then I doubt Quicken Spell will make an appearance. Not only is it redundant, but also pointless and potentially broken if they take the relevant stance. Comparatively speaking, Silent or Still Spell would be Sudden Charge's equal, given the above claim.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So far, heightening of spells is the only metamagic confirmed as (usually) requiring that a spell be prepared or learned in its higher level form. If prepared casters can apply other metamagic effects on the fly, that would imply that they do not use higher level spell slots.


My guess is that instead of "silent" and "still" spells, there will be some sort of "hidden" metamagic. For an extra action, your verbal and/or somatic components aren't obvious. As a result of this, the biggest spells- Summon Monster, Dominate, etc.- wouldn't be concealable, because there's no room for the metamagic action.

Quicken is not going to exist in a similar form. There's no way they're letting you reduce a two-action spell to one action and cast it three times in a round.


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Additionally, I'd love to see the Moon have its own domain rather than being a subdomain. I would also like to see Sleep and Dream being subdomains of either Darkness or Night (in fact, I could see Night as a main domain with Darkness, Dream, Sleep, and Stars being subdomains).

Silver Crusade

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David knott 242 wrote:

So far, heightening of spells is the only metamagic confirmed as (usually) requiring that a spell be prepared or learned in its higher level form. If prepared casters can apply other metamagic effects on the fly, that would imply that they do not use higher level spell slots.

Correction: heightening a spell in the Playtest rules isn't metamagic. It's just something you can do when you prepare a spell. Metamagic is separate; as far as we know (and the blog language seems to be universal), metamagic works by letting you add actions as you cast a spell to add an effect to the spell. So the system as describes so far is consistent.


David knott 242 wrote:

So far, heightening of spells is the only metamagic confirmed as (usually) requiring that a spell be prepared or learned in its higher level form. If prepared casters can apply other metamagic effects on the fly, that would imply that they do not use higher level spell slots.

Applying the "on-the-fly" aspects isn't much different than how PF1 Sorcerers used Metamagic feats, which is the feats are applied on-the-spot and adjust the slot level required to cast as it's being casted. No preparation, no learning of higher or different level spells, etc.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Joe M. wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

So far, heightening of spells is the only metamagic confirmed as (usually) requiring that a spell be prepared or learned in its higher level form. If prepared casters can apply other metamagic effects on the fly, that would imply that they do not use higher level spell slots.

Correction: heightening a spell in the Playtest rules isn't metamagic. It's just something you can do when you prepare a spell. Metamagic is separate; as far as we know (and the blog language seems to be universal), metamagic works by letting you add actions as you cast a spell to add an effect to the spell. So the system as describes so far is consistent.

I am aware that heightening a spell no longer requires a feat (probably because it no longer serves its original purpose of boosting the save DC, among other things). That means, among other things, that PF2 metamagic covers only a fraction of the things that the PF1 metamagic feats did.

But would I be correct that there has in fact been no official mention of Silent Spell, Still Spell, or Quicken Spell at all in any Paizo presentation of PF2? If that is so, then any idea of Silent Spell or Still Spell eliminating actions is likely to be an incorrect wild guess, and Quicken Spell might exist as an action saving feat similar to Sudden Charge -- in this case, allowing a caster to spend 2 actions to cast a 3 action spell. Or maybe all of the effects that let you save actions when casting spells require you to expend spell points to do that?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
zebedar wrote:

I've been following all the updates and I'm finally at a point where I felt compelled to say how disappointed I am with where you folks are taking such a great system. It's such a shame to see how much of the depth and structure of the system is being tossed aside to catch the 'new hotness' that the devs mistakenly think D&D 5e has.

Guys I took the time to look at and play (first time in years! :)) 5e, and then took the time to DM it during the last year at the urging of fellow gamer friends. It was fun, but it was shallow and unrewarding in the end, the simplification brought in some player base wears thin pretty quickly. But now I see the devs are falling for this thinking they need to do the same to drive revenue, and that's sad mistake.

I would post more, but the really sad fact is that the devs have already made all their foolish simplification choices and nothing we as players say will change where this train is heading.

RIP clerics,
RIP depth,
RIP customization,
RIP Pathfinder,

RIP Complex and rewarding RPG.

The cleric here have clearly WAY more customization options than in PF1 !?

Also, having played a bit of 5e, I can tell that PF2 use some of the same idea, but in completely different context and ways.
I don't see the loss of depth at all, there's even more than before IMHO?
... Well.. Could you explain more? Help me understand your point of view? Maybe one of us misunderstood something in these previews, ore missed something? :S

they have way more customization IF (we don't know this) general feats still include combat feats such as power attack, point blank shot etc, or the ability to pick up feats like 'stealthy' or 'athletic' to suck less at that side of things, so far I have seen no indication either way, and it may be that being a caster means you are locked into only taking casting with no other utility so you end up locked into 'pure' classes, you can no longer do the traditional preach loudly and carry a maul cleric, or the Norgorban or Kuthite cleric that can sneak well enough to fake it with the rogues and slayers to be the 'spells guy' for a breaker or assassination team.


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As exciting as it is to receive new info on beloved classes, I can't see enough of the picture to think of Clerics I wanna play yet. Obv the healbot comes to mind, and maybe the 'surprise, I have a Waraxe variety' but beyond that I'd get more inspiration from having the whole of the rules. Don't worry, I'm waiting patiently :)


Just realized that getting 2 spells per day when you get access to a new level of spells and then getting 1 more at the in between levels means that your spellcasting progress is really jumpy.

Could be worse: In a rulebook of Basic/Expert D&D, I saw that Clerics got access to 3rd and 4th level spells at the same class level. Weird . . . .


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just realized that getting 2 spells per day when you get access to a new level of spells and then getting 1 more at the in between levels means that your spellcasting progress is really jumpy.

Could be worse: In a rulebook of Basic/Expert D&D, I saw that Clerics got access to 3rd and 4th level spells at the same class level. Weird . . . .

Yeah good observation. stop me if im wrong but

So when we hit ever even numbered we get 2 spells of the next higher level so at 2 I would get 2 2nd levels? then 1 more second level at 3rd? would it work better if I got one second level spell at 2nd level then at 3 two more of them. So you'd kind of have a Oh so thats how I do those spells now I'm better at it then Go on to the next level. Kind of a learning curve plus it makes every level a bit more important.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:


Could be worse: In a rulebook of Basic/Expert D&D, I saw that Clerics got access to 3rd and 4th level spells at the same class level. Weird . . . .

Everything about 1st edition spells was weird. Random rhyme or reason and cleric spells topping off at level 7 while wizards went to 9 (or 15 if you had certain "3rd party" materials)

Scarab Sages

Metamagic will add actions by default; I doubt you will get a free Quicken out of Silent and Still. I suspect Quicken will be abolished altogether. That’s basically what 1-action spells are for.

Dark Archive

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).

Problem with the "downcast" is that there is no higher level version of spells anymore from what we have been told. Instead you get Cure Wounds as a level 1 spell, then if you use a level 2 slot to cast it you get an extra d8 to the healing done, etc.. similarly, I would expect the same from say Summon Monster. You get that at an earlier level but increasing the spell slot used for it means you can summon creatures of a higher base CR. So this specific suggestion kind of fails.

But that is one of my two big questions for people clamouring to throw away the classic Wizard style casting.
1) What option do you provide to those who DO like that casting method? Sure, you don't.. and plenty of people don't but there is the sorcerer and the Oracle for those people, what is there for the people who DO like it? Why remove that option from them when you already have options other than Wizard that do what you want?

2) If you do change it, then what really differentiates them from the Sorcerer or Oracle? And what balances that out. Because if the wizard can just have a floating pool of memorized spells and then a pool of spell slots they can use to cast them they've really just become a more powerful Sorcerer.

And I suppose 3 would be, why are the existing spontaneous casters apparently so unacceptable an option that it's necessary to change the prepared casters instead of simply playing a spontaneous caster?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I'm thinking that Still spell would remove the somatic component - but require spending an action for the metamagic - this means the spell would still be the same number of actions, but wouldn't actually require movement or a free hand. Similarly, silent spell would allow the casting of the spell without speaking, but still take the same amount of actions.

This does make the 'Silent Spell' feat pretty powerful though, because if you can use it without real cost for all your spells, it essentially ends up just altering all your spellcasting to be silent.


^Probably still makes you use a higher level spell slot unless you have a Metamagic cost reducer, unless I missed something somewhere where it said that this no longer applies.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just realized that getting 2 spells per day when you get access to a new level of spells and then getting 1 more at the in between levels means that your spellcasting progress is really jumpy.

Could be worse: In a rulebook of Basic/Expert D&D, I saw that Clerics got access to 3rd and 4th level spells at the same class level. Weird . . . .

It’s not really much different than how it worked in PF1.

At odd levels, Clerics gained 1 new Spell Slot of highest level + 1 Domain Spell Slot of highest level + (usually) 1 Spell Slot of highest level for high Wisdom for a total of 3 new new Spell Slots of highest level.
Then at even levels, you gained one new Spell Slot of highest level.

So a 3:1 ratio in PF1 compared to a 2:1 ratio in PF2.

(Unless you’re including gaining more Spell Slots of lower level, which does initially bump PF1’s ratio to 3:2, and then to 4:2 at level 7.)

Here’s an idea. Since we don’t have the Domains Blog yet to confirm/deny that Domain Spells/Slots are still a thing, maybe Clerics will gain Domain Slots (School Slots for Wizards) at even levels now? That way, you’ll always technically be gaining 2 Spell Slots at every level?


No mention of orisons or cantrips. My guess is that clerics get channel energy instead of cantrips. The cleric attack cantrip is known as mace (or diety's favored weapon).

Still, exchanging at-will cantrips for limited-use channel energy does make the cleric more of a 15-minute-adventurer, especially at higher levels when a cleric's basic melee attack just won't cut it unless you put a *lot* of feats into it.


Starfox wrote:

No mention of orisons or cantrips. My guess is that clerics get channel energy instead of cantrips. The cleric attack cantrip is known as mace (or diety's favored weapon).

Still, exchanging at-will cantrips for limited-use channel energy does make the cleric more of a 15-minute-adventurer, especially at higher levels when a cleric's basic melee attack just won't cut it unless you put a *lot* of feats into it.

Don't forget that pretty well all the classes will have essentially full BAB so it should be even easier then before for your cleric to melee it up.

Liberty's Edge

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Clerics definitely get cantrips/orisons. Kyra uses light in one of the demo games, for example.

However, they may not get an actual attack cantrip. They also may gain an attack cantrip, but we don't know.


They might get an attack cantrip depending on their deity choice! which I support. Some deities want you to hammer some want you to finesse!

I hope thats how it works str god makes you better at melee magic god gives you tools to cast.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I can totally see them getting a sort of 'smite' type cantrip - something like a Focus action spell that grants your weapon a bonus on damage for 1 round or something, so you can move, cast smite, attack. I believe 5e clerics have a sort of holy flame type cantrip as well.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I don't think deity will affect actual spell access though - I think for simplicity, the cleric (or divine) spell list is the divine spell list, always. I think domain powers are where deity selection comes in, which of course could simply be off-the-shelf spells that are also available on the spell lists to be used in slots, but can also be fired at full heightened level with spell points.

Scarab Sages

I very much hope there will be a divine attack cantrip — maybe Searing Light. Wouldn’t mind if it were specific to a domain (Light? Good?). I greatly enjoy the 4e/5e concept of the Laser Cleric.


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If you’re patient enough, Create Water can be an offensive Cantrip . . .

I’m hoping that we’ll at the very least get Disrupt Undead as a Cleric Cantrip this time. Reading the description of the spell, it’s silly that Wizards could harness a tiny amount Positive Energy to attack the undead as a Cantrip but Clerics couldn’t.

Other than that, I think the offensive Cantrip would just be “Guidance yourself and then Strike the enemy”, otherwise the design of the Cleric starts to step a bit too much on the Wizard’s toes in my opinion. If you want to be a Blaster Cleric, then just spend the feats to gain 3 Domains and a large enough Spell Point Pool to not run out.

(Note to Self: Build a Gozreh Cleric once the playtest is out and pick up the Air, Fire, and Water Domains so that I can spam Elemental Rays whenever I want.)


Fuzzypaws wrote:
My one, big, huge gripe is still the Vancian spellcasting. That needs to DIE IN A FREAKING FIRE. Make the prepared spellcasters Arcanist neo!Vancian casting, give the sorcerer etc more options, just finally freaking ditch ye olde terrible og!Vancian system that everyone hates. Then I really will be all on board, and will happily call this take on the cleric superior to the original.

Would you mind not trying to position yourself as speaking for the entire Pathfinder player base?

I, for one, happen to like the traditional Vancian casting system.

Dilvias wrote:

One of the things not mentioned is whether or not you need a high wisdom to cast high level spells. If a cleric can get by with a wisdom of 14, possibly even 12, that might open up some other options.

In fact, based on this line: "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." This implies that Wisdom is no longer a restriction from being able to cast higher level spells.

It isn't make or break for me, but I kinda like the stat-based restriction - saying you need to be this intelligent or this faithful/wise to be able to understand and cast a given spell works for me. Admittedly, the justification breaks down a bit with CHA-casting classes, but it is something I've liked on the likes of the Cleric or Wizard.

Frozen Mustelid wrote:
Like most of what we've seen of 2e so far, Paizo is attempting to fix problems that don't exist and/or trying to fix them in completely the wrong way.

Strange, I thought the power discrepancy between casters and martials was a recognised issue.

And by reducing the power of casters, and increasing the power of non-casters, the aim is probably to meet in the middle - which is a decent goal for balance.

Whether they hit that goal or not is another matter, and hopefully something which the playtest will give insight on.

Malthraz wrote:
Finally, why are people crying about game balance in a system they have never played and barely understand?!

A very good question, Malthraz - I can understand saying they're not keen based on what info is in the blog, as an initial reaction, but would hope people would wait for the playtest document before forming full opinions.

Ampersandrew wrote:

In PF1 you could move and channel. In PF2 you can't do that, the area channel takes all three of your actions. You either need to channel where you are right now, or move and hope that the battlefield doesn't change significantly before it's your turn again.

You might consider that a nerf. As far as the amount of healing that it does, I think it's better, but casting it consumes your entire turn.

True, but depending on the situation you may not need the Big Bang healing option - you might just need the two action Channel to top up that Barbarian who has gotten himself shredded again, while the rest of the party is still untouched.

Channel has gained some flexibility compared to PF1E, I think.

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

This doesn't seem unreasonable - at least a nomenclature change should be as easy as a Find & Replace to catch all references to Spell Points :)

Voss wrote:
Anathema- I'm not a fan of designer based RP restrictions. It's heavy handed, and adventurers in particular tend to be individuals, not stamped out of a press.

Your receiving power from somewhere and, in the case of a Cleric, representing a rather powerful (and potentially angry) god - having some form of guidance as to what not to do to avoid them turning away from you seems handy. Given Mark has a story about the First Playtest Paladin to Fall, I'd like to think these aren't too restrictive, but we'll see.

Voss wrote:
On the other hand, if Paladins lose the Wacky Code of Overly Specific and Genre Inappropriate Mythologized Randomness in favor of also getting a god relevant anathema it's kind of a net win.

I suspect the Code will still be there in some form, alongside god-specific anathema, but that the language will be reviewed to reduce Gotcha! falls, and turn them into character-driven roleplay beats - see the story of the First Paladin to Fall which was linked to earlier in the thread, for example.

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

Out of interest, and to test a theory:

Q1, Did he own a copy of the CRB, or rely on an electronic character builder instead?
Q2, What about the terminology was causing the problem?
Q3, What helped him finally get it?

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

Having options which are not mathematically optimal doesn't make them bad options. That mentality is one of the worst things to have come out of PF1E forum group-think.

Frankly, if PF2E sees the death, by the fire and the sword, of those optimisation guides, it'll be the best thing the edition change achieves.

Dekalinder wrote:

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

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

Well said.

Errant Mercenary wrote:
Spell points. Is there anything more neutral and bland we could use?

Generic Pool A?

Planpanther wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Small note: as written, I don't see how people aren't going to just dip one level into Cleric to gain access to the Channel Energy/Heal option and then play a Rogue or Fighter who can dish out healing. They'll get probably 4-6 Heals a day given that Charisma is going to be a fairly important stat for even non-casters, and seeing Channel energy isn't based off of Resonance, it would benefit the crew for probably until 10th level at which point they can probably just Retrain and eliminate Cleric as other abilities will be better suited.

My fear is dipping is no longer allowed. Taking a level in cleric simply means you get to grab one of the cleric class feats and not the entire starting package. :(

I suspect a post on multi-classing is going to make for interesting reading.

I do think one of the aims is to discourage dipping for a level or two, but not to block multi-classing outright - still, we'll see what they have to say for themselves down the line ;)

Tangent101 wrote:
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.

Given the C/M D, casters need some bad happening to them compared to PF1E - as well as martials getting some love.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
However, they may not get an actual attack cantrip. They also may gain an attack cantrip, but we don't know.

Schrodinger's Attack Cantrip, confirmed!


"since a cleric got a bunch of class features at 1st level, then crickets for the rest of her career."

Damn, that sentnece makes me exited about the wizard!

Edit: Also we finally get all the debuff-removing spells with spontaneous casting. I've been waiting for spontaneous restoration on clerics.

Liberty's Edge

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dysartes wrote:
Schrodinger's Attack Cantrip, confirmed!

Well, it is and it isn't...


well i dont think gorum gonna give you attack cantrip but shelyn or nocticula maybe give utility cantrip. iomedea deffinetyly give attack cantrip.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Was thinking about the reach metamagic example, and realized it's built into the heal spell by default, no feat needed. Aside from meta game design, why is this the case? It seems that it weakens the reach spell feat if the spells you'd use it on most have that feature already. Is the heal spell a super rare exception, or do other spells already has this as well? I'd prefer to make it part of the feat not part of the spell.

How many other metamagic feats have their effects built in to some spells?

Silver Crusade

JoelF847 wrote:

Was thinking about the reach metamagic example, and realized it's built into the heal spell by default, no feat needed. Aside from meta game design, why is this the case? It seems that it weakens the reach spell feat if the spells you'd use it on most have that feature already. Is the heal spell a super rare exception, or do other spells already has this as well? I'd prefer to make it part of the feat not part of the spell.

How many other metamagic feats have their effects built in to some spells?

(1) Note that the Heal's use of actions does more than just duplicate Reach Spell metamagic—the three-action for burst heal isn't something you can get out of Reach Spell. So it isn't the case that you could just leave this to the feat. So if you want to make the three-action use of Heal available, it makes sense to duplicate Reach Spell with a two-action use as well. It would be weird to have the one-action and three-action uses without the interim two-action. And this has the benefit of making a core and iconic spell more flexible, even for casters who lack the Reach Spell feat.

(2) Plus, I expect the Heal thing to be 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 is confined to really core/common/standard spells.


The I only have 3 issues with the cleric:
1) losing out on spontaneous heals is really gong to hurt the class, forcing me to actually slot healing spells or be blamed for party member death
2) only 3 Spells per level?
3) the 3 action heal is going to be interesting, though disappointing if we don't get selective channel. In-combat healing is something some people do, and that's going to be tough if I can't move into position before healing people/hurting undead


TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

The I only have 3 issues with the cleric:

1) losing out on spontaneous heals is really gong to hurt the class, forcing me to actually slot healing spells or be blamed for party member death
2) only 3 Spells per level?
3) the 3 action heal is going to be interesting, though disappointing if we don't get selective channel. In-combat healing is something some people do, and that's going to be tough if I can't move into position before healing people/hurting undead

One tweak I've been thinking of, and maybe this is already part of the Channel ability but they just didn't talk about it... what if part of Channel is that it also comes with the ability to spontaneously cast heal/harm? Basically turning in your spell slots for extra uses of channel per day. That should solve the issue for people worried about those cases where you DO need more heals per day.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

The I only have 3 issues with the cleric:

1) losing out on spontaneous heals is really gong to hurt the class, forcing me to actually slot healing spells or be blamed for party member death
2) only 3 Spells per level?
3) the 3 action heal is going to be interesting, though disappointing if we don't get selective channel. In-combat healing is something some people do, and that's going to be tough if I can't move into position before healing people/hurting undead

But man: they get 3+cha mod of their highest level healing spell. At low levels, that is probably more healing than the cleric's whole spell list might have gotten you. If that ain't enough, you could also supplement your healing output with wands (which now feed off of your daily pool of resonance rather than having limited uses).

If even that is not enough, you can probably specialize your build into the life domain or whatever and get more healing resources there. I don't think you necessarily ever have to ready actual healing spells in your slots and still cater to all the party's healing needs.

Edit: I got Ninja'd kinda~


Excaliburproxy wrote:
If that ain't enough, you could also supplement your healing output with wands (which now feed off of your daily pool of resonance rather than having limited uses).

I've always questioned just how people are running out of a 50 charge wand. Is it used at every point of damage?

Flip side is that yes you Run it off your Daily pool of Resonance that recharges. And competes for every Magic item now. Bit of a toss up.

But with possible longer fights and bigger HP pools, along with more frequent crits, might be far more to heal.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
1) losing out on spontaneous heals is really gong to hurt the class, forcing me to actually slot healing spells or be blamed for party member death

Other characters are welcome to pitch in on healing, too. A stabilize cantrip should keep them alive as you rain down holy fury with your prepared spells.


MerlinCross wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
If that ain't enough, you could also supplement your healing output with wands (which now feed off of your daily pool of resonance rather than having limited uses).

I've always questioned just how people are running out of a 50 charge wand. Is it used at every point of damage?

Flip side is that yes you Run it off your Daily pool of Resonance that recharges. And competes for every Magic item now. Bit of a toss up.

But with possible longer fights and bigger HP pools, along with more frequent crits, might be far more to heal.

For groups that were using low level CLW wands, they ran out quite often. That said, I agree that it is a bit of a toss-up. Psychologically, I do suspect that a lot of people will be more likely to use a replenishing resource than a permanent resource for healing.

Regardless, my point still stands that you could supplement your free healing with items to reliably save all you spell slots for attack and utility spells.

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