Eminent Domains

Friday, April 27, 2018

Deities and their domains are a big part of what makes clerics special. Logan set the stage with his cleric blog on Monday, so now let's get into the weeds and take a look at how we structured deities and domains.

Basic Deities

For each deity, we present some basic information, including areas of concern, titles, alignment, edicts, anathema, and favored weapon. Most of these are familiar or self-explanatory. One of the newer entries, anathema, is a concept Logan mentioned on Monday. This entry provides examples of actions that violate the deity's tenets. Let's take Shelyn as an example.

Shelyn

The Eternal Rose is the goddess of art, beauty, love, and music. She seeks to one day redeem her corrupted brother Zon-Kuthon.

Alignment NG
Edicts be peaceful, choose and perfect an art, lead by example, see the beauty in all things
Anathema destroy works of art or allow one to be destroyed except to save a life or in pursuit of greater art, refuse to accept surrender, strike first
Favored Weapon glaive

This entry gives you a good idea of how to play a Shelynite PC of any class. For example, a fighter faithful Shelyn might consider wielding her goddess's favored weapon, and even lay followers would likely feel terrible guilt at committing anathema acts even though they face no mechanical consequence for doing so. But what kind of cool stuff do you get if you're a cleric of a specific deity?

Clerics and Deities

Your choice of deity is essential when determining what type of cleric you play. A free-spirited and optimistic Desnan cleric, a tyrannical and scheming Asmodean, and a self-reliant perfectionist Iroran all relate to the world in different ways. We wanted to reflect this with a variety of character customization options based on deity! We've included a chart that indicates each deity's areas of concern, alignment (and the alignments allowed for their clerics), type of channeled energy (positive, negative, or either), signature skill, favored weapon, domains, and spells. For instance, here's Shelyn's entry on that table:

ShelynArt, beauty, love, and musicNG (LG, NG, CG)PositiveCraftingGlaiveCreation, family,
passion, protection
1st: color spray,
3rd: enthrall, 4th: creation

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

The deity's areas of concern include a brief restatement of her titles.

You'll notice the alignment lists not only Shelyn's alignment of neutral good, but also all the alignments her clerics could have in parentheses. Listing it this way allows us (or you, for your own deities) to be more expressive when creating deities. For instance, Norgorber now has slightly different alignments permitted for his clerics depending on which aspect of the deity they worship! Or, you could create a new deity of balance through opposing extremes who accepts only neutral, lawful good, chaotic good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil clerics.

Listing the type of channeled energy the deity grants allows for some really exciting situations. For instance, Lamasthu may be an incredibly evil deity of nightmares, but she's also a deity of the wild fecundity of the Abyss, so she allows her clerics to choose negative or positive energy when channeling. You could even have a good deity that granted only negative energy (none of the core deities worshiped in the Inner Sea region of Golarion do so, but it could be possible for a deity like Tsukiyo, perhaps, as part of his dualism with Shizuru) or an evil deity that could grant only positive energy.

The deity's signature skill is in addition to those all clerics gain, so Shelynite clerics always have the ability to reach great heights in Crafting. Norgorberite clerics, in contrast, gain Stealth in order to blend into the shadows, allowing them to fit in well with clandestine groups.

What about those spells at the end? Those are three extra spells that all clerics of Shelyn can prepare and cast! These aren't in any sort of special "domain slots" like before; you can cast them as few or as many times as you want. Oh, and Sarenrae has fireball!

But wait, Mark, what about...

Domains

Pathfinder First Edition has a list of domains that cover a variety of basic concepts but miss others entirely, and they are fairly generic, which means they don't always convey the nuance of why your deity has that domain. A great example of this was the Death domain and all its undead spells not really fitting with Pharasma, the goddess of death who hates undead.

One of the earliest and coolest innovations to domains in Pathfinder appeared in the Advanced Player's Guide, where subdomains altered domains to add nuance. In the playtest, we're bringing in that sort of flexibility right away! Each domain has a basic power and an advanced power, and because domain powers work as spells, creating a new domain that's perfect for your world is as simple as adding two spells. This allowed us to include significantly more domains in the game and will allow us to expand to even more domains with ease. Here's the list of new domains that don't share a name with any of the old domains (some names you might recognize from subdomains):

  • Ambition
  • Cities
  • Confidence
  • Creation
  • Dreams
  • Family
  • Fate
  • Freedom
  • Indulgence
  • Light
  • Might
  • Moon
  • Nature
  • Nightmares
  • Pain
  • Passion
  • Perfection
  • Secrecy
  • Truth
  • Tyranny
  • Undeath
  • Wealth
  • Zeal

These domains allow for a variety of powers that can really give you the feel of playing a cleric of a specific deity, both in combat and out! For example, take a look at this fun noncombat basic power from the Indulgence domain:

Enhance Victuals (Transmutation) Power 1

Casting 1 minute (Material, Somatic, Verbal Casting)
Range touch; Target 1 nonmagical pint of water or pound of food

You transform the target into delicious fare, changing water into wine or another fine beverage or enhancing food's taste and ingredients to make it a gourmet treat. The transformation also attempts to counteract toxins in the food or water. If you have Spell Points, you can add an additional pint or pound for each additional Spell Point you spend. The feast vanishes if not consumed.

Heightened (+1) Increase initial and additional pints or pounds by 1.

So if you're a cleric of Cayden Cailean or Urgathoa, you're going to be able to party in style. Since powers are automatically heightened as you gain levels, that means for just 1 Spell Point, a 7th-level cleric can make enough gourmet food for her whole adventuring party to have a meal, and they'll be able to throw a banquet to serve an incredible number of guests if they pour plenty of Spell Points into it during downtime. That's all with only 1 minute to prepare, making them a wonderful host for any occasion!

Meanwhile, the Fate domain has an advanced power that might come in handy in a clutch. But I'll ask you before we dive in—are you feeling lucky?

Tempt Fate (divination, Fortune) Power 2

Casting [[F]] Somatic free action; Trigger You or an ally within range attempts a saving throw.
Range 120 feet; Target you or a willing ally in range

If the triggering saving throw's result is a success, it counts as a critical success. If it's a failure, it counts as a critical failure, and the critical failure can't be reduced by abilities that usually reduce critical failure, such as improved evasion. If the triggering ability did not have both a critical success and critical failure condition, tempt fate fails and your Spell Point is refunded.

With tempt fate, you take your fate into your own hands, promising either total vindication from your saving throw or total disaster! This was a favorite of Jason's cleric of Pharasma in one of our playtests, and needless to say, it's a better choice to use this for your strong saving throws than your weak ones.

But what about Shelyn? Let's close by taking a look at two of the powers from her granted domains, one for in combat and one for outside of combat:

Unity (Abjuration, Fortune) Power 2

Casting [[R]] Verbal reaction; Trigger You and one or more allies within range are targeted by a spell or ability that allows a saving throw.
Range 30 feet

You allow your allies within range to use your saving throw modifier instead of their own. Each ally decides individually which modifier to use.

Unity is really useful for a support cleric with good saving throw modifiers, and it's particularly great for those dangerous area effects that require Will saving throws like a harpy's song, since few allies will be able to match your cleric's Will modifier!

Artistic Flourish (Transmutation) Power 2

Casting 10 minutes (Material, Somatic, Verbal)
Range touch; Target one item or work of art
Duration 24 hours

You infuse the target with artisanal and artistic vision. Its quality increases to match your proficiency rank in Crafting, to a maximum of expert. The target is a beautiful and impressive piece for its new quality, but the effect is obviously temporary, so it can't be sold for more than normal. This doesn't allow you to use the target to Craft a magic item that requires the new quality or perform any other task requiring a permanent item of that quality.

Heightened (4th) If you spend 1 additional Spell Point, the maximum quality increases to master.
Heightened (8th) If you spend 2 additional Spell Points, the maximum quality increases to legendary.

Not only is artistic flourish a great way to express your character's inner artisan, but it can also be of great use in a pinch when you could really use a very specific tool or item of high quality. Legendary-quality items aren't cheap, after all! This is also a great example of one way that using Spell Points allows us to play around a bit more and make the spell more interesting by varying costs. You saw this a bit earlier with enhance victuals, but here it's more than just the ability to save extra castings for a large batch. These sorts of flourishes are possible to word under a "uses per day" system, but it's awkward, and they're straightforward to create and easy to understand with a Spell Point pool.

So who's your favorite deity? What sorts of new domains can you imagine with this new system? Let me know in the comments below!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Rysky wrote:
Hmm, an issue with Anathema I can see cropping up as is is “Well [evil action] isn’t listed on my (good) Deity’s list so I can totally do it!” I hope that will be adressed.

Keep in mind that as a cleric you're still alignment restricted based on your deity. Shelyn might not have an anathema against evil acts in general, although I think most are covered by the "don't strike first" clause, but if you, say, raise a bunch of zombies, that'll cost you your Good alignment and by extension your cleric powers.

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Cyrad wrote:

The new domain system now inherits the problems with the subdomain system in PF 1.0.

All existing deities need updated every time a new domain gets published. Otherwise, we run into situations where clerics of older deities cannot get a domain appropriate for their god because the deity got published before the domain's publication. Situations like this feel really crappy. Sure, a GM could hand wave it, but it's preferable we don't have game systems that need their flaws hand waved by the GM.

Starting from scratch rather than converting from 3.5 I’d say it’s a safe bet they gave them the Domains they wanted to from the get go :3

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Aratrok wrote:
Tempt Fate is just... amazingly horrible. The example critical failures we've seen are crippling and often equivalent to failing versus save or lose/die effects in d20. Critical success is useful but not nearly as critical, like effectively having evasion versus a fireball. The ability would only be good if you could use it offensively, no ally in their right mind is going to be a willing target for that thing.

I mean, if you tempt fate foolishly, it sure is bad. If you're smart about it, it can be very helpful, though still not without risk. For instance, you might run across a saving throw you're really good at that you can make on a 3 and that has a problematic success effect. You would normally have 1/20 crit failure, 2/20 failure, 10/20 success, 7/20 crit success, but you can buy 10/20 more critical successes for only 2/20 more critical failures, generally worth it. Of course, for an extremely risk averse playstyle, it might not be worth it to you even if it's expected to be much better. It also depends on the difference between the critical failure and the regular failure as well. If the regular failure was already bad enough that the critical failure isn't significantly worse, that changes your calculus. For instance, it's a really bad idea to use tempt fate on dominate unless you really need all 3 actions next turn, as the critical failure is way worse than the failure, but if you're up against a spell where a failure is 1 minute and a critical failure is permanent, and your ally knows you can remove the effect easily if it's permanent, she might not care about incurring a permanent effect when 1 minute is already going to last the combat.

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FedoraFerret wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmm, an issue with Anathema I can see cropping up as is is “Well [evil action] isn’t listed on my (good) Deity’s list so I can totally do it!” I hope that will be adressed.
Keep in mind that as a cleric you're still alignment restricted based on your deity. Shelyn might not have an anathema against evil acts in general, although I think most are covered by the "don't strike first" clause, but if you, say, raise a bunch of zombies, that'll cost you your Good alignment and by extension your cleric powers.

Point :3

But there’s other Dieties to think about too.


Arachnofiend wrote:
I guessed Acrobatics for Sarenrae since she and Cayden Cailean are kinda the go-to gods for dexterity-based warriors.

Ooh! That makes sense. :D

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Rysky wrote:

Loving the direction of specific alignments for Clerics.

Hmm, an issue with Anathema I can see cropping up as is is “Well [evil action] isn’t listed on my (good) Deity’s list so I can totally do it!” I hope that will be adressed.

Just my personal expectation - 'evil action' will still relate to your alignment as it always has, and if you drift enough to leave an allowed alignment you will be punished for such. I think anathemas are more of a 'quick route to excommunication' vs a slippery slope slowly downwards...

Paizo Employee

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First World Bard wrote:
Heh, this blog post reminded me of that one PFS mod where my Cleric of Shelyn was given a faction mission from the Silver Crusade that was anathema to Shelyn's beliefs.[It involved destroying a work of art].

I also received that mission from the Silver Crusade.After submitting an official complaint to Ollysta Zadrian, I used the artwork as the first piece to create an even greater work of art about artistry and censorship.


RumpinRufus wrote:
DrSwordopolis wrote:
(re: Enhance Victuals) Is "attempting to counteract toxins" a reference to a defined mechanic, or just filler while you're still working on the mechanics of the spell?
Many PF2 spell-based mechanics work such that lower-level abilities can't invalidate higher-level powers (for example, Detect Magic can't see through illusion spells unless Detect Magic is cast with a higher caster level than the illusion.) So I imagine "attempt to counteract toxins" would mean that if your caster level is high enough, it will counteract the toxin, but won't have any effect if your CL is too low.

From what I recall, "many PF2 spell-based mechanics" work such that lower SPELL levels can't invalidate higher SPELL levels. I don't recall they have mentioned anything about CL as mechanic in PF2, or if they even intend to continue using it, since the only indication so far is they are removing it where it was previously used (fireball scaling etc).

Round-a-bout related to that, A question on presentation:

The domain power/spell block (seems like Su/Sp are being unified, if I have that right?) says "Power 1" / "Power 2" in top right corner. At bottom there is info for Heighten (+1, 4th/8th). Is the "Power 1" / "Power 2" meant to indicate "spell level" of basic ability? (Spell Level would likely be key to countering other spells, re: poison question, and regardless necessary if other spells would potentially be able to counter these Powers based on level)

My first apprehension was that the "Heighten +1" / "Heighten 4th, 8th" was editing inconsistency of relative/absolute spell level distinctions. But in light of Heighten being "automatic by default", I take it the "Heighten +1" means "per every +1" (that is automatically applied), you gain the given benefit. That just wasn't obvious to me when reading it, mostly because it didn't say "per" so I read "+1" as a "flat" option. Honestly, I don't know why "+1 pound or pint for every spell level you can cast above 1st" isn't in rules text, if that is automatic function of Domain Powers, why not include the Heighten effect directly? (and indicate auto-Heighten where "spell level" is, i.e. "1 (automatically Heightened)" if that needs indication at all, since all Powers will be auto-Heightened so readers should know they just use their highest spell level).

Certainly the "automatic" and "needs spell point" Heighten mechanics sharing the same basic presentation ("Heighten:" at bottom of spell block) is confusing and probably needs clarification. IMHO explicitly stating "Heighten(Automatic)" when relevant makes it clear that is what is discussed (the +1 should probably be "per +1" if that mechanic isn't transferred into main rules text), likewise "+1 Spell Point: Heighten (4th): Increase quality to Master" leaves everything clear and up-front and not dependent on making correct inferrences.

Actually, it isn't clear to me how the "automatic Heighten" interacts with Artistic Flourish, since nothing indicates "automatic Heighten" doesn't apply... At least for determining basic "spell level" which determines resiliency vs Dispel etc, right? That part of auto-Heighten should still apply, right? But that leaves confusing "but not Heightened for purpose of these special effects". I mean, those special effects dont' strictly need to be framed as "Heighten", they could just be extra effects based on spending more Spell Points, and Heighten is just automatic to all Powers consistently.


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One thing I'm wondering about is the ability to mechanically represent your deity as a non-divine class... Maybe a general feat that gives you the first level domain power and proficiency in either the signature skill or signature weapon.

Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
I guessed Acrobatics for Sarenrae since she and Cayden Cailean are kinda the go-to gods for dexterity-based warriors.

I'd guess Perception, based on her PF1 Obedience. Dervish Dance is more of a cultural thing than a religious thing; contrast Bladed Brush. Though I'd have to go check the Player Companion again to be sure. ^_^

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Hrm, not really a fan of Shelyn getting crafting as her signature skill. I would assume Artistry has been folded back into Crafting, but I'd still associate her far more strongly with the Perform skill; I feel like with the way things are people will be strongly encouraged to play Shelynites as blacksmiths which is... not really what she's about.
For all those suggesting Diplomacy and Performance for Shelyn: good news! All clerics have those as signature skills anyway. Similarly, Sarenrae doesn't grant Medicine (otherwise the obvious choice) because clerics have it already.

I came here with the same concern as Arachnofiend. Thanks for covering this for us! ^_^


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Kalindlara wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I guessed Acrobatics for Sarenrae since she and Cayden Cailean are kinda the go-to gods for dexterity-based warriors.
I'd guess Perception, based on her PF1 Obedience. Dervish Dance is more of a cultural thing than a religious thing; contrast Bladed Brush. Though I'd have to go check the Player Companion again to be sure. ^_^

Perception is not a Skill anymore.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.

The simple weapons are balanced with the simple weapons and the martial weapons are balanced with the martial weapons; I'm sure we'll eventually have a blog detailing more about weapons. Warlike clerics of a deity with a simple favored weapon have an option that flat-out buffs their weapon to be on par with a martial weapon (contrasting the choice to take martial weapon proficiency, except that you can actually use the thematic weapon that matches your deity and be awesome). Paladins, who have martial weapon proficiency anyway, get that benefit automatically with the deity's favored weapon!


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.

I'd rather not have every favored weapon forced to be mechanically equivalent to others re: "smashing people". Some favored weapons are what they are because the deity is not heavily into "smashing people". Now options for cool things using those weapons is legitimate IMHO, but not "equality in smashing". That is just taking all the variety in flavor and cramming it into same mechanical box. If you are martial focus character who is follower of that deity, the idea you might use another weapon for "smashing" enemies, while possibly having niche role for your deity's favored weapon seems flavorful and realistic to me.

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Quandary wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.
I'd rather not have every favored weapon forced to be mechanically equivalent to others re: "smashing people". Some favored weapons are what they are because the deity is not heavily into "smashing people". Now options for cool things using those weapons is legitimate IMHO, but not "equality in smashing". That is just taking all the variety in flavor and cramming it into same mechanical box.

That and it's impossible to make all the simple and martial favored weapons equally powerful out of the box while also making martial weapons more powerful than simple weapons. See above for one of the solutions we used, though!


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well, my favorite part of Golarion lore are the deities and demi-gods outside the core 20, so to try to keep this positive, I'll need a PF2 update of Inner Sea Gods asap.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Warlike clerics of a deity with a simple favored weapon have an option that flat-out buffs their weapon to be on par with a martial weapon

I like the bolded part caveating that entire statement. Obviously that leaves space to do other things with non-warlike Deities' favored weapons, although IMHO thematically much of that won't buff combat at all, but could instead give other benefit to wielding the favored weapon, (for example) as component boosting certain spells, perhaps applying weapon enhancement bonus to something else (+DC to Channeling vs Undead for Pharasma?).

I think the less impressive Favored Weapons also have contingent role, that if "Archetype" gives up normal Cleric weapons, the Deity favored weapon could "add them back in" so to speak. Actually, the same goes for Deity associated skills, which you indicated aren't being explicitly added because the Cleric already has them. But explicitly adding them, while normally superfluous, means an "Archetype" can modify the Cleric skills but those specific skills would be retained via Deity. Or, explicitly mentioning them ensures equality for future mechanics based on "Deity granting X Skill". Something to think about.


Can you give us anything about Asmodeus? :)


Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.
The simple weapons are balanced with the simple weapons and the martial weapons are balanced with the martial weapons; I'm sure we'll eventually have a blog detailing more about weapons. Warlike clerics of a deity with a simple favored weapon have an option that flat-out buffs their weapon to be on par with a martial weapon (contrasting the choice to take martial weapon proficiency, except that you can actually use the thematic weapon that matches your deity and be awesome). Paladins, who have martial weapon proficiency anyway, get that benefit automatically with the deity's favored weapon!

This is definitely a workable solution. I agree it's not a great idea for simple weapons to be as good as martial weapons out of the box but I would really like the ability to build into making them good (like the Pharasman River Rat build that makes daggers good in PF1).

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Brew Bird wrote:
While I really like this new system, it does mean that the wealth of deities that are already published aren't going to work in PF2. It won't be too hard to come up with bonus spells or signature skills for a home game, but we're going to be without any "official" mechanics. PFS players are probably going to have a rough time.

We have a solution for this.


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Wild Spirit wrote:

To be completely honest I wasn't feeling the cleric at first, but with the inclusion of unique domain powers I am warming up to it more and more. The potential is definitely there. I can't wait to have a look at the Family domain. Mark, can you please tell us something more about that domain?

(I am personally hoping for some Drakainia type of re-population fun :D)

I always liked the magic food improvement stuff. You are out in the woods or some nasty dungeon but your god loves you enough to make sure you can eat and drink like lords haha.


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All right, I'm pretty pumped for this! Thanks for the info. I can see Extra Domain at first level to cover in-combat and out-of-combat aspects being popular. That's definitely what I'll be doing! I look forward to seeing the second power for Indulgence.

The extra designer details make me even more excited!

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Erik Mona wrote:
Brew Bird wrote:
While I really like this new system, it does mean that the wealth of deities that are already published aren't going to work in PF2. It won't be too hard to come up with bonus spells or signature skills for a home game, but we're going to be without any "official" mechanics. PFS players are probably going to have a rough time.

We have a solution for this.

...


So with Artistic Flourish, you can make a weapon go from mundane to Legendary for 24 hours for the price of 4 spell points?

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Dastis wrote:
Can you give us anything about Asmodeus? :)

If you asked Asmodeus this question, he would respond "Yes"

I'm not Asmodeus, so I'll say he sure does like him some Tyranny and Confidence.

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What's the [[F]] and [[R]] mean after casting entry for tempt fate and unity powers?

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Mark, your reveals are still always my favorites. And how responsive you are in the comments doesn't hurt either.

The change to specifying what alignments a deity will allow instead of always within one step of the deity's alignment is maybe my favorite change in here.
Also, divorcing channeling a type of energy with alignment. Evil parties need healing too!

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JoelF847 wrote:
What's the [[F]] and [[R]] mean after casting entry for tempt fate and unity powers?

That's where the glyph for a free action / reaction goes!

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Ectar wrote:

Mark, your reveals are still always my favorites. And how responsive you are in the comments doesn't hurt either.

The change to specifying what alignments a deity will allow instead of always within one step of the deity's alignment is maybe my favorite change in here.
Also, divorcing channeling a type of energy with alignment. Evil parties need healing too!

They do need healing too. Plus, while the creation of undead perverting negative energy into creating a twisted mockery of life with fell instincts is evil, that doesn't mean negative energy is evil, nor that positive energy is good.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Although my BIGGEST concern is actually with the deity's favored weapon; I hope weapons are balanced enough where an Asmodean can properly smash people with her mace rather than being forced to pick up a falchion like everyone else.
The simple weapons are balanced with the simple weapons and the martial weapons are balanced with the martial weapons; I'm sure we'll eventually have a blog detailing more about weapons. Warlike clerics of a deity with a simple favored weapon have an option that flat-out buffs their weapon to be on par with a martial weapon (contrasting the choice to take martial weapon proficiency, except that you can actually use the thematic weapon that matches your deity and be awesome). Paladins, who have martial weapon proficiency anyway, get that benefit automatically with the deity's favored weapon!

Dude, I just want to know if we'll finally have Dex to Damage with Bows, crossbows, and finesse throwing weapons like daggers.


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I loved it.

To be honest, I don't really know much about Golarion's deities (I tend to create my settings and mix-and-match stuff from a lot of places), but my favorite deity from RPGs so far seems to be Bahamut, from D&D 4e. Among real-world mythology (barring Abrahamic religions), is Anubis, the Guardian of the Dead. I've always thought about a good-aligned deity of death which acts as a guardian and guide for the departed souls.
A destruction domain for a destroyer deity is very flavorful, with powers related from blowing up stuff/people to disintegrate them. I just wonder what sort of power a cleric devoted to Hakaishin would have...

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Mark Seifter wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
What's the [[F]] and [[R]] mean after casting entry for tempt fate and unity powers?
That's where the glyph for a free action / reaction goes!

Cool, icons/glyphs make for easier processing, as long as they're in addition to and not instead of text (which seems to be the case). Hopefully you make the image of them available for 3rd party publishers as part of the PF2 compatibility license also.

Scarab Sages

Undead here at the get-go. Sweet. Though I’m most curious about customizable deities. How much of what the deity grants can we choose exactly? Obviously most if not all comes down to GM descretion I imagine?

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Aratrok wrote:
Tempt Fate is just... amazingly horrible. The example critical failures we've seen are crippling and often equivalent to failing versus save or lose/die effects in d20. Critical success is useful but not nearly as critical, like effectively having evasion versus a fireball. The ability would only be good if you could use it offensively, no ally in their right mind is going to be a willing target for that thing.

It really depends on the situation - sometimes you really need that critical success or you're screwed. Imagine having 7 hp left and being hit with a 20 point fireball. Taking half damage isn't going to cut it if you need to be up. It's worth risking 40 to probably take 0.

Paizo Employee Designer

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ryric wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Tempt Fate is just... amazingly horrible. The example critical failures we've seen are crippling and often equivalent to failing versus save or lose/die effects in d20. Critical success is useful but not nearly as critical, like effectively having evasion versus a fireball. The ability would only be good if you could use it offensively, no ally in their right mind is going to be a willing target for that thing.
It really depends on the situation - sometimes you really need that critical success or you're screwed. Imagine having 7 hp left and being hit with a 20 point fireball. Taking half damage isn't going to cut it if you need to be up. It's worth risking 40 to probably take 0.

In fact, since you don't go to negative HP, tempt fate is a pure win/win in the situation you suggest (unless you use this on an ally who is very weak compared to the rest of the party and might instantly die on a critical failure).


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It's a shame you can't target enemies with Tempt Fate, so when you have a spell targeting what you know is your enemy's poor Save, you can absolutely DUMPSTER them with a forced crit fail.


So, one think that could be on the chart but isn't is unique summons. I assume they may still come in a future product. It is really nice to get the unique spells in the Core book.

I really like what I'm seeing. I know I will be petitioning vigorously for a new Chronicle of the Righteous.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
It's a shame you can't target enemies with Tempt Fate, so when you have a spell targeting what you know is your enemy's poor Save, you can absolutely DUMPSTER them with a forced crit fail.

Sadly, a spell like that would defeat the purpose of the four stages of success and return us to the times when your spell either does nothing or auto-wins the fight. But for use on your allies, it's much more interesting and strategic, something you want to think twice about and use in the right situations but not every time there's a save.


I like that the domains are more specific. Now Bastet can easily have a cats domain. Cat's whiskers! And a deity of sunlight, bees, and time can have a bees domain. Bee's knee's!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Ectar wrote:

Mark, your reveals are still always my favorites. And how responsive you are in the comments doesn't hurt either.

The change to specifying what alignments a deity will allow instead of always within one step of the deity's alignment is maybe my favorite change in here.
Also, divorcing channeling a type of energy with alignment. Evil parties need healing too!

They do need healing too. Plus, while the creation of undead perverting negative energy into creating a twisted mockery of life with fell instincts is evil, that doesn't mean negative energy is evil, nor that positive energy is good.

THANK YOU ^w^


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
So with Artistic Flourish, you can make a weapon go from mundane to Legendary for 24 hours for the price of 4 spell points?

I think it's just three points. It's automatically heightened to an eighth level spell, which says if you spend two extra points (over the one you spend to cast it), it raises the cap to legendary. If you can get into the double-digits on spell points, that's probably enough to kit out a party of four with one legendary item each.


I couldn't find the poster who thought first, but...
If there's a very small thing which can increase my enjoyment about this subject are alternate religion models like "tight" pantheons, monotheism/dualism, philosophies, etc.
Granted, it's not something particularly hard to do. It just would be nice as a sidebar or in a supplement...

Paizo Employee Designer

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Igwilly wrote:

I couldn't find the poster who thought first, but...

If there's a very small thing which can increase my enjoyment about this subjects are alternate religion models like "tight" pantheons, monotheism/dualism, philosophies, etc.
Granted, it's not something particularly hard to do. It just would be nice as a sidebar or in a supplement...

Yeah, this isn't the kind of book that would have space for building different pantheons and cosmologies. Sounds like more of a Gamemastery Guide-esque book kind of topic.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Tempt Fate is just... amazingly horrible. The example critical failures we've seen are crippling and often equivalent to failing versus save or lose/die effects in d20. Critical success is useful but not nearly as critical, like effectively having evasion versus a fireball. The ability would only be good if you could use it offensively, no ally in their right mind is going to be a willing target for that thing.
I mean, if you tempt fate foolishly, it sure is bad. If you're smart about it, it can be very helpful, though still not without risk. For instance, you might run across a saving throw you're really good at that you can make on a 3 and that has a problematic success effect. You would normally have 1/20 crit failure, 2/20 failure, 10/20 success, 7/20 crit success, but you can buy 10/20 more critical successes for only 2/20 more critical failures, generally worth it. Of course, for an extremely risk averse playstyle, it might not be worth it to you even if it's expected to be much better. It also depends on the difference between the critical failure and the regular failure as well. If the regular failure was already bad enough that the critical failure isn't significantly worse, that changes your calculus. For instance, it's a really bad idea to use tempt fate on dominate unless you really need all 3 actions next turn, as the critical failure is way worse than the failure, but if you're up against a spell where a failure is 1 minute and a critical failure is permanent, and your ally knows you can remove the effect easily if it's permanent, she might not care about incurring a permanent effect when 1 minute is already going to last the combat.

These are all awesome uses of the spell, but I am curious how one would actually perform the calculus. Seems like you would need to know the DC of the save, and all 4 degrees of success associated with it. That is a lot of information to sift through before an ally picks up their dice and rolls. And I'm not exactly clear on how you gleam the knowledge in the first place. I've been really curious about the role of knowledge and spellcraft checks when it comes to things like enemies casting spells or knowing what reactions to expect from somebody.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Igwilly wrote:

I couldn't find the poster who thought first, but...

If there's a very small thing which can increase my enjoyment about this subjects are alternate religion models like "tight" pantheons, monotheism/dualism, philosophies, etc.
Granted, it's not something particularly hard to do. It just would be nice as a sidebar or in a supplement...
Yeah, this isn't the kind of book that would have space for building different pantheons and cosmologies. Sounds like more of a Gamemastery Guide-esque book kind of topic.

I'm fine with that. This means this subject can be better worked ^^


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
What's the [[F]] and [[R]] mean after casting entry for tempt fate and unity powers?
That's where the glyph for a free action / reaction goes!

Glyphs? Finally! I can now easily home-brew spells that cost (U)(U) or require a player to tap.

Lantern Lodge

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The thing that worries me most is this:
“Anathema: destroy works of art or allow one to be destroyed except to save a life or in pursuit of greater art, refuse to accept surrender, strike first”.

Ambiguous anathema text. “Refuse to accept surrender” Does that mean the cleric of shelyn refuses to accept surrender from their foes? Does it mean the cleric refuses to surrender? Or (as I believe) the cleric cannot refuse to accept surrender from a foe.

I’m hoping through the playtest that we can catch all the ambiguous text, otherwise we’re looking at the next decade of table/forum arguments about interpreting a deities tenants.

I love flavor text, but Paizo, please be as clear and concise as possible for all codes, rules of behavior, etc, just to keep everyone on the same page and minimize conflicting interpretations in the player base.


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Kassegore wrote:

The thing that worries me most is this:

“Anathema: destroy works of art or allow one to be destroyed except to save a life or in pursuit of greater art, refuse to accept surrender, strike first”.

Ambiguous anathema text. “Refuse to accept surrender” Does that mean the cleric of shelyn refuses to accept surrender from their foes? Does it mean the cleric refuses to surrender? Or (as I believe) the cleric cannot refuse to accept surrender from a foe.

I’m hoping through the playtest that we can catch all the ambiguous text, otherwise we’re looking at the next decade of table/forum arguments about interpreting a deities tenants.

I love flavor text, but Paizo, please be as clear and concise as possible for all codes, rules of behavior, etc, just to keep everyone on the same page and minimize conflicting interpretations in the player base.

The Anathema "Refuse to accept surrender" means a Cleric of Shelyn MUST accept her enemies' surrender. It also means she can never be the one to initiate combat in a situation where diplomacy is also an option.


Kassegore wrote:

The thing that worries me most is this:

“Anathema: destroy works of art or allow one to be destroyed except to save a life or in pursuit of greater art, refuse to accept surrender, strike first”.

Ambiguous anathema text. “Refuse to accept surrender” Does that mean the cleric of shelyn refuses to accept surrender from their foes? Does it mean the cleric refuses to surrender? Or (as I believe) the cleric cannot refuse to accept surrender from a foe.

I’m hoping through the playtest that we can catch all the ambiguous text, otherwise we’re looking at the next decade of table/forum arguments about interpreting a deities tenants.

I love flavor text, but Paizo, please be as clear and concise as possible for all codes, rules of behavior, etc, just to keep everyone on the same page and minimize conflicting interpretations in the player base.

We usually have GMs for that sort of stuff, but...

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