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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Thebazilly wrote:

I have many questions about Anathema. Is there going to be another blog about this (perhaps one related to Paladins...?)

Does a Cleric pick one Anathema to follow or do they follow all of the ones listed for a god?

What happens mechanically if a Cleric violates an Anathema? Does she fall instantly? Is there any sort of "3 strikes" system? Does the Cleric just need Atonement cast on her?

Who decides whether the Cleric has violated an Anathema? One of the listed Anathema for Shelyn is "strike first." There is a lot of room for interpretation there. How many long-winded forum arguments is this going to cause?

So. Damn. Seconded. This, while clearer then "Paladins falling"...could still be HELLUVA unclear.


I like it you have made clerics interesting again, with the Anathemas and now more interesting domains. I like the statement that clerics have to have a deity and that if the GM does not want to use the standard ones, they have to come up with the powers and abilities.

Lantern Lodge

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Igwilly wrote:
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...

And how many tables have you sat at over the years that devolve into arguments of how to interpreted a phrase in the game. Doesn’t bother me much, as I primarily run home games these days, but I can see anathemas, like paladin codes, creating headaches if not carefully worded. As I said, with a thousand pairs of eyes on the language during the playtest I hope it will all get ironed out before hitting final print form.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love the way deities, channeling and domains work in the new edition. Definitely feels like deity choice will have a much stronger impact on characters than in PF1E. This is all really good stuff that gets to what I’m looking for in an RPG: specificity.

By clearly defining what is anthema (or sin) to a deity’s followers, players have a concrete example of actions to take from a roleplaying perspective that can provide colour or conflict to their character.

Spoiler:
“For Example” wrote:
The players come to the base of the necromancer who has been terrorising the region, and find him inside an aging wooden observatory. The goblin alchemist wants to burn the building down. It’s made of wood and avoids the party fighting whatever undead is inside and might smoke out the necromancer. The shelynite cleric sees beauty in the old observatory, the architecture and design beneath the decrepitude could be saved with a little TLC. The Desna worshipping rogue also doesn’t want a building that can look to the stars destroyed but does agree it’s a good plan. The fighter finds a compromise, the party will go in and fight enemies but if it gets tough, they’re burning the place down, with the caveat that they’ll set aside some treasure to rebuild an even better observatory in the downtime.

However, I do have to echo a concern about the Enhance Victuals power. As someone who is a proponent of the bulk system, I’d like to see some consistency. Or confirmation that there will be a weight/volume to bulk conversion in the rules. Bulk will definitely be used more than encumbrance but I don’t want it slowing down the table when the Caydenite converts the players rations to deep fried chocolate bars, and I have to figure out how many rations he can transform by jumping back and forth to look at tables or pull out a calculator to figure out how much a ration weighs.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wait so domains grant spells that aren't available anywhere else?

Are they just called spells so that you can use the term Spell Point without sounding stupid?

These sound....okay. Some flavorful stuff and some powerful stuff in here. Can definitely see many cleric players avoiding domains altogether now if the effects are going to be this slight and the biggest advantage (domain spells) are baked into the God selection in the first place. Aside from anathema, it is feeling like Deity choice is going to be much less consequential which will at least make my irl agnostic friends more likely to play clerics.

EDIT: Why isn't that free action domain power a reaction? By description it sort of sounds like its use is reaction-ish

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

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For the anamatha must always accept surrender what happens if the cleric of Shellyn accepts a surrender but the Barbarian in the party immediately slaughters the surrendering foe.? Would the cleric be forced to stop adventuring with him or lose her powers?


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eddv wrote:

Wait so domains grant spells that aren't available anywhere else?

Are they just called spells so that you can use the term Spell Point without sounding stupid?

They're called spells because mechanically, they're spells. They take the same actions to cast as spells, measures that counter spells counter these powers, abilities that enhance spells work on these.

They just don't use spell slots, having a different resource to spend.

I really like the new layout for deities, and how much information was packed into so small a space. I can't wait for all the deities mentioned in Inner Sea Gods to get that treatment.
And when I say I can't wait, I really can. Take your time; I'd rather have it come out once, officially, rather than unofficially soon and have that be overwritten in a couple years by official text.

Liberty's Edge

I like it! Domains seem very cool. I'm...not quite disappointed but slightly concerned that Shelyn only seems to have four Domains, but I'm totally on board with everything else.

Anathema are probably expanded on a bit for clarity, or at least I hope they are, we just don't have room here to get the full spiel.

eddv wrote:
Are they just called spells so that you can use the term Spell Point without sounding stupid?

They're called spells because they interact with all other rules as spells. They could be counterspelled, for example.

eddv wrote:
EDIT: Why isn't that free action domain power a reaction? By description it sort of sounds like its use is reaction-ish

You only get one reaction per turn. There's no limit to the number of Free Actions.

Silver Crusade

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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.

Cf.

Mark Seifter wrote:
While we have a standard baseline we really want to playtest for this playtest document, there's certainly nothing preventing us from providing variants in the final CRB, kind of like how the PF1 CRB has rules for various point buys for different difficulties/feels. In fact, one of the goals is to make it much easier to mod the game to give you the style of game you are looking for. As such, I'm really looking forward to when we can put out some kind of PF2 Gamemastery Guide type book, as I anticipate that it could contain all sorts of delightful variants and game mod advice for all styles of games (like an absolutely no magic items style as a big one).

(for folks who hadn't seen the other post)

The Exchange

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I want you to understand how overwhelmingly silly that sounds.

"These are spells, but you dont use your spells to cast them, you use your spell points."

That is like...not in any way intuitive.


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I'm curious what the Anathemas are going to be when we start stating up some of the deities that do not appear to acknowledge that they have worshipers, like Ng and Imbrex.

Silver Crusade

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eddv wrote:

I want you to understand how overwhelmingly silly that sounds.

"These are spells, but you dont use your spells to cast them, you use your spell points."

That is like...not in any way intuitive.

And Rituals are spells that you cast in a different way. And if you're a multiclassed Cleric/Sorcerer, you have spells that you cast differently from different sources.

It's really not that weird.

The Exchange

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

You only get one reaction per turn. There's no limit to the number of Free Actions.

You are reading an awful lot into that that isn't actually written there.

I thought the whole point of removing different action types was to simplify the game.

So I am questioning why a reactionary ability isn't a reaction, because that seems like an unnecessary muddying of the water.


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Spell Points needs a name that doesn't make it sound related to ordinary spellcasting.

And please tell me Artistic Flourish can be "Permanencied" in some way, to create an effect reminiscent of the Masterwork Transformation spell.

The Exchange

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So you're saying that casting is even more opaque than I just pointed out. Not sure how that's helping.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm curious what the Anathemas are going to be when we start stating up some of the deities that do not appear to acknowledge that they have worshipers, like Ng and Imbrex.

Depends on the deity. Zon Kuthon is a great outlier in that vein (though not quite the same) even among the core 20 because he specifically grants power to anyone who performs the proper rites no matter what they plan on doing with it. Even if someone was going to use ZK's power to outlaw torture and pain or something weird like that, it says in Inner Sea Gods that he doesn't really care or pay attention.


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Igwilly wrote:
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.

Golarion does have things like Shimye-Magalla (Desna-Gozreh amalgam), Godclaw, and the Eternal Emperor cult centered in Po Li (albeit seemingly more Oracle focused than Cleric). That, and Osironi Pantheon to name another, are definitely things to look forward to, although I would guess only Shimye-Magalla has any chance at getting Core treatment if Bonuwat are Core ethnicity).

BTW please give symmetric treatment of Mwangi supra-ethnicity (and Tian, although term is dubious for latter) and specific peoples as we get with Chelish/Taldane/etc and Osirioni/Garundi etc. Not fitting every specific ethnicity into Core is fine, but current convention re: Mwangi feels off. Same thing for Tian ethnicities, which should just be "Shu", "La", etc. Potential approach to save space in Core is not mentioning specific ethnicities but only meta-groups... which requires an actual term for Chelish/Taldane/Molthuni/etc which is probably a good thing to have, finally). EDIT: Not all ethnicities need be part of any supra-ethnicity, e.g. Ulfen and Nidalese are each their own thing, not "derived" from supra-ethnicity. (this paradigm is operating on linguistic basis obviously)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
eddv wrote:
EDIT: Why isn't that free action domain power a reaction? By description it sort of sounds like its use is reaction-ish

Because Tempting Fate is a lot less of a straightforward boon. Eating up your reaction would make it less of a deal.

Plus, I do like being able to say, "I tempt fate as a free action."


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What does "strike first" mean in this context? Are clerics of Shelyn going to stand aside and do nothing because a kidnapper grabbed a child and ran off without actually striking anyone?

If a Cleric of Shelyn comes across a group of mindless Skeletons can they not drop a mass heal on them in the first round and instead have to wait for them to attack first?

What if you track down a group of evil mercenaries who attacked you a few days ago and find them sleeping? Will you have to wake them up and give them a free shot before you can do anything?

If your buddy is being stabbed repeatedly by a group of Kobolds who saw your Holy Symbol are you going to be able to do nothing but heal/buff your ally as long as the Kobolds leave you alone?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the supra-ethnicities are Avistani, Vudrani, Mwangi, Tian, Kelish, Osirioni and Varisian.

We just normally have Avistani broken down a lot more because the Inner Sea region is where most of the written material takes place.

I do think Quandary raises a good point, the domains being THIS level of modular does make it pretty easy to envision bringing things like Shimye-Magalla into being easier, even if I find the concept of janiforms in this sort of a setting (where the gods are undeniably real and able to be communicated with) to be completely bewildering as a concept, we have the Cult of the Dawnflower too, showing that doesn't seem to matter as much as I think.


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eddv wrote:

I want you to understand how overwhelmingly silly that sounds.

"These are spells, but you dont use your spells to cast them, you use your spell points."

That is like...not in any way intuitive.

We've been doing it for almost two decades with spell-like abilities.

Now you don't need two sets of feats to use metamagic. Or consult that one chart to see how spells/spell-like abilities/supernatural abilities all differ. They don't any more. They're all spells.


eddv wrote:
EDIT: Why isn't that free action domain power a reaction? By description it sort of sounds like its use is reaction-ish

It's because it isn't meant to interfere with your other Reactions (whereas the Unity spell given IS meant to be using your Reaction slot). Although same effect can be expressed by free/zero-cost Reaction which is clear on both ends, not confusing anybody that it isn't a Reaction while clear that it doesn't consume a Reaction slot.


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eddv wrote:

I want you to understand how overwhelmingly silly that sounds.

"These are spells, but you dont use your spells to cast them, you use your spell points."

That is like...not in any way intuitive.

It is at least more intuitive than PF1's treatment of SLAs.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Because spell-like abilities beyond a very trim list of racial-granted ones are uncommon on PCs in 1e.

I am not saying it's too hard for my puny little brain to handle. I am saying "this makes spell-casting even more opaque than it already was" which can be a problem for new players.

Silver Crusade

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eddv wrote:

I think the supra-ethnicities are Avistani, Vudrani, Mwangi, Tian, Kelish, Osirioni and Varisian.

We just normally have Avistani broken down a lot more because the Inner Sea region is where most of the written material takes place.

I do think Quandary raises a good point, the domains being THIS level of modular does make it pretty easy to envision bringing things like Shimye-Magalla into being easier, even if I find the concept of janiforms in this sort of a setting (where the gods are undeniably real and able to be communicated with) to be completely bewildering as a concept, we have the Cult of the Dawnflower too, showing that doesn't seem to matter as much as I think.

If I recall correctly, James Jacobs recently went into some detail in his "Ask" thread about how he really doesn't like Shimye-Magalla at all for Golarion and that it was a mistake. And JJ has a long record of not liking Cult of the Dawnflower and saying how that was a mistake, too. The problem of many-author settings! So you've got a powerful Golarion authority on your side in these instincts.

(If the site's search function weren't broken I could dig those posts up for you. But alas, searching a user's past posts is nonfunctional right now. But here's JJ as far back as 2013 on this question.)

Paizo Employee Designer

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eddv wrote:

Because spell-like abilities beyond a very trim list of racial-granted ones are uncommon on PCs in 1e.

I mean, to use a perhaps pertinent example of a common spell-like ability source from PF1 that isn't racial: Domain powers.


Lamashtans can choose to channel positive or negative energy now? Blessed be the Mother!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sure, they're SLAs, but they're commonly referred to as Domain Powers.

That makes them easier to delineate from your normal allotment of spells because they have their own names and its only relevant that they are SLAs on the GM-side of the screen.

Calling them all spells and having different rules/resource pools for all of them is the same problem only now you have to parse unnecessarily generic wording.


Quandary wrote:
Igwilly wrote:
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.
Golarion does have things like Shimye-Magalla (Desna-Gozreh amalgam), Godclaw, and the Eternal Emperor cult centered in Po Li (albeit seemingly more Oracle focused than Cleric). That, and Osironi Pantheon to name another, are definitely things to look forward to, although I would guess only Shimye-Magalla has any chance at getting Core treatment if Bonuwat are Core ethnicity).

Hmm... The last I heard, Shimye-Magalla was going the way of the Darklight Sisterhood: Something COOL! that was mentioned in older books but is now receiving a 'soft'-retcon of not actually being a thing in setting by no longer ever mentioning it again.

Unfortunately.

But there's always a possibility that it might be brought back... Slight.

<edit> ninja'ed!

:-p


I guess they keep insisting on the name "spell points" because there's obviously a class that has its points tinker with your ordinary spells...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
eddv wrote:
Because spell-like abilities beyond a very trim list of racial-granted ones are uncommon on PCs in 1e.

And what about NPCs? Are we not considering the GM's load here?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Right. So you have stripped away bonus spells for attributes.

Then you strip away the bonus Domain Spell for each level.

And then you strip away the fourth spell for each spell level.

Oh, and don't forget no longer being able to sacrifice spells for a Heal spell - you have to memorize those separately in your extremely limited spell repertoire.

In short, you cut the number of spells Clerics get in over half.

If the Wizard's spell slots is anything like the Cleric's, then I honestly cannot see how anyone would want to play a Wizard over a Sorcerer unless you significantly nerfed the number of spells Sorcerers can cast.

Scarab Sages

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At first, I was irritated that powers were described as a kind of spells when they're clearly a mutually exclusive population with conventional spells. I've come to accept this, given how many mechanical concepts these two seem to share. Still, one could just say «powers count as spells for all practical purposes», which would make the separation clearer. Otherwise, do you even have a word for a spell that is not a power...?

I agree with everyone and their dog about how spell points are an utterly nonsensical term, given that «spell» makes people think of conventional (non-power) spells. The whole point of these points is that they're exclusive to powers, so why on Golarion wouldn't you call them power points?!

Silver Crusade

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eddv wrote:
Shimye-Magalla

Follow-up: found 'em. Spoilerized to save space since it's off-topic.

Spoiler:
See here, here, and here. Respectively:

James Jacobs wrote:
The Recorder wrote:
What alignment would you say Shimye-Magalla is?
I wouldn't. I'm trying to phase that out of the game, since it's not really how our deities work.
James Jacobs wrote:
The Recorder wrote:
What is the favoured weapon of Shimye-Magalla?
It's not a deity and thus doesn't do favored weapons, plus see above.
James Jacobs wrote:
The Recorder wrote:

For recording purposes, are there other entities or groups that are being phased out?

E.g.: Like the Orc Cults, Ancestral Spirits, and Shimye-Magalla.

Recording purposes? Not sure what you're asking about.

The orc cults remain and we've actually detailed the names of those gods, and in Planar Adventures have even given them a planar realm. They're staying.

Ancestral Spirits remain but aren't things clerics worship since they're not deities—things like oracles and shamans are better ties thematically to them.

The idea of a deity merging with another to form a combo deity is what's not appropriate for Pathfinder—that's not how I prefer deities to work in the game, and thus Shimye-Magalla is not a part of the game we'll be doing much with going forward... or if we DO, it'll loose its ties to Desna and Gozreh entirely and be its own thing.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seventh Seal wrote:


Hmm... The last I heard, Shimye-Magalla was going the way of the Darklight Sisterhood: Something COOL! that was mentioned in older books but is now receiving a 'soft'-retcon of not actually being a thing in setting by no longer ever mentioning it again.
Unfortunately.

But there's always a possibility that it might be brought back... Slight.

<edit> ninja'ed!

:-p

Shimye-Magalla was just name-dropped in a pair of Pathfinder Society Scenarios recently, which was why she was on the mind!

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Catharsis wrote:

At first, I was irritated that powers were described as a kind of spells when they're clearly a mutually exclusive population with conventional spells. I've come to accept this, given how many mechanical concepts these two seem to share. Still, one could just say «powers count as spells for all practical purposes», which would make the separation clearer. Otherwise, do you even have a word for a spell that is not a power...?

I agree with everyone and their dog about how spell points are an utterly nonsensical term, given that «spell» makes people think of conventional (non-power) spells. The whole point of these points is that they're exclusive to powers, so why on Golarion wouldn't you call them power points?!

That simple word change would correct 100% of my problems with the concept as it currently stands.


Im really happy that alignments remain a core part of the game, high hopes for the paladin, also happy to see the anathema example.

While im hoping a feat that allows any class to pick these up for certain bonus as long as they remain loyal comes up soon. Same as we had in PF1, but honestly, better cause some of the gods had terrible value.

Scarab Sages

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Loved the insight into Clerics and domains, btw. I particularly like that Clerics now grant a skill and are much less interchangeable among each other.

Can domain spells be cast spontaneously using prepared Cleric spell slots, or must they be prepared in advance as per Vancian magic? (I'm still hoping Vancian magic will be abolished in favor of 5e/Arcanist-style magic...!)

Also, I love the idea that warlike Clerics boost the effectiveness of their non-martial favored weapons. Good stuff! :) I wonder what kinds of boosts deities can grant to their favored weapons. Could Cayden Cailean, Desna and Sarenrae allow for effective Dex-based combat, for example? (Or is that baked into the basic rules for finessable weapons already?) I would love to see some Dex-based Cleric options rather than having everybody run around with a breastplate and a mace...

Silver Crusade

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Catharsis wrote:
Can domain spells be cast spontaneously using prepared Cleric spell slots, or must they be prepared in advance as per Vancian magic? (I'm still hoping Vancian magic will be abolished in favor of 5e/Arcanist-style magic...!)

Jason in his recent Game Informer interview:

Jason wrote:
At its heart, like every system, [the magic system] still works the way you’d expect. If you’re a spellcaster, you can prepare your spells every day so you know what spells you can cast and once they’re cast, they’re gone. We kept what is called Vancian spellcasting. There are still spontaneous spellcasters who don’t quite work that way but are close. They have spells that they know that they can cast from a certain amount of slots.

And the blog answers your other question here.

Blog wrote:
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


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Catharsis wrote:
Can domain spells be cast spontaneously using prepared Cleric spell slots, or must they be prepared in advance as per Vancian magic? (I'm still hoping Vancian magic will be abolished in favor of 5e/Arcanist-style magic...!)

Prepared as normal. If they got super-special treatment, deities would get chosen much more heavily for their spells.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just hope we get some gnome/Eldest gods fleshed out so we can have illusion dabbling clerics beyond what Shelyn is providing.


The Sideromancer wrote:
With several other subdomains "promoted," I need to ask about the one I always though should be a full domain on its own: metal. It even had more core deities offering it than several full domains.

Bumping because the earlier post was at a poor time for discussion due to coincidence. Why the seeming disregard for clerics that devote themselves to the riddle of steel?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Catharsis wrote:
Otherwise, do you even have a word for a spell that is not a power...?

To be fair, I'm not totally sold on this concept myself, because as you both pointed out, it will be confusing. I can see some upsides, a spell becomes "a thing you do with magic" rather than "something you spend a slot on," allowing for the same format to be used for powers, slotted spells, cantrips, rituals, and monster magical attacks. But it'll be confusing.

Honestly I think it'll be more confusing for us veterans than for newer players. Newbies won't have the mental association we will have that spells are things you spend a slot on, and will just learn that, when you want to cast a spell, you need to look to see if you have the resource the spell requires, be that time, points, or a slot. Meanwhile us old heads will be grumbling about back in OUR day, spells were spells and we were grateful for them.


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Hm. Hope they keep Shimye-Magalla alive.
Seems like JJ is not solely in charge of Golarion so perhaps there is hope.

I just never understood the problem, the idea that one can "cross one's eyes" and the hologram of the universe can present a new aspect of Shimye-Magalla which draws from 2 deities just doesn't seem to contradict anything IMHO, just like a different angle of view on hologram crystal can hold totally different image. There just isn't anything formalizing that the essence of a deity can only be expressed in one way, I mean there isn't anything formalizing that for a NON-Deity level soul. If the idea of regular person with multiple personalities is OK, what is problem with multiple personalities within infinite immortal Divine existence combining to present 3rd personalty? Deities already present differently on species level, so I don't see major problem personally.

Then again, I never saw the problem with the "Paladins of Asmodeus" article, which was explicitly about Asmodeus tricking Paladins into falling for him. But no, Paizo says Asmodeus would never try to do such a thing. 8-P


Mark, I don't know if you can tease this but will Paladins get the same treatment in alignment just like the Clerics? Or will Paladins be shoehorned into LG or Anti-paladin into CE and the only way to change that is through archetypes which kind of suck. I always found it weird that the two divine classes that one had more alignment freedom than the other when they both worship and gain their powers from their deity.


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Core Paladins don't actually gain powers from a deity like a Cleric, none of their abilities actually tie into Deity worship, it is more like they draw from Cosmic Lawful Goodness if that is a thing. A Paladin's choice of deity is more just like an adjunct aspect relevant to "legitimate authority" angle than actual source for powers (archetypes aside). It sounds like they're tweaking and clarifying the Paladin Code to be alot more play friendly out of the box, but dropping the cosmic LG paragon angle does not sound like it's in the cards.


What about Philosophies or Forces?

Does anyone still worship those anymore?

Silver Crusade

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scary harpy wrote:

What about Philosophies or Forces?

Does anyone still worship those anymore?

Doubtful. Paizo has always said that the "philosophies" thing for Cleric was an unfortunate holdover from 3E, and that Clerics on Golarion must worship a god. So I'd expect that to be the default for the PF2 Core book.


If it makes it easier to grasp, just think of the domain powers as spontaneous spellcasting. You have the domain powers available as known spells and the number of spell points are your daily spell slots.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
scary harpy wrote:

What about Philosophies or Forces?

Does anyone still worship those anymore?

Clerics (or better yet Paladins) devoted to the Prophecies of Kalistrade!

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