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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3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:

Wouldn't it be awesome - if the GM didn't have the power to make the cleric suck even if he's a jerk, using the built in rules?

You know - like if you were playing a rogue, or a wizard, or a fighter?

It would be awesome if the GM couldn't use the rules to make the experience unfun for any class. Alas such rules are simply not possible unless we want to remove all ability for the DM to actually adjudicate the game (at which point we might as well just play a video game).

And don't be fooled. Just because the fighter, rogue and wizard don't have an anathema, the DM is more than capable of running a "rules as written" game and make the game equally unenjoyable for these classes as any other class.

Ckorik wrote:
I mean - it sounds cute when you say it the way you did - but when you break it down it makes no sense. Again, wouldn't it make more sense to have rules that help mediocre or bad GMs become better, instead of being traps for them to fall into?

Try to straitjacket the GM using the rules and you'll simply change the way in which the GM messes up the game. If a GM wants to be a dick, s/he will be a dick. There is no way around it. The tool s/he uses might change, but they will still do it.

Ultimately the player or GM cares about the flavour of the game setting they're using. If they care, they'll use common sense (so long as it is agreed upon what flavour the setting has). If they don't care then there is no amount of rules that can be used for those GMs while still making an enjoyable experience for the rest of us.


Hay, Mark, good to see you in the forums! And good to see domains getting the rework they need.

So...what chart would you make for Arshea? ;)


graystone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
What does "strike first" mean in this context?
Common sense.

LOL That thing that has brought us years of paladin debates...

Most of the blog seems fine. A few question/comments though:

Alignment: It saddens me we still have this in the game... :P

Somatic free action: So does this mean I have to have a hand free to tempt fate? So no weapon and shield or two handed weapon use.

EDIT: Weight: are we having bulk AND weight? Can we expect to see both listed or will it just randomly switch between the two?

Come on now Gray I know you don't like it but you don't actually expect them to remove it? (hope maybe but realistically?) Now maybe if we push for better definitions for it it might be a more attainable goal.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Come on now Gray I know you don't like it but you don't actually expect them to remove it? (hope maybe but realistically?) Now maybe if we push for better definitions for it it might be a more attainable goal.

I thought it might be possible for them to stop entangling alignment and mechanics, especially with Edict/Anathema now a thing... I was hoping classes like monk, barbarian, druid and paladin could move away from alignment restrictions with Edict/Anathema around but that seems impossible now... :P

As to better definitions, we'd need far too many pages to realistically cover the subject. IMO, you could fill a softcover JUST on it and still not adequately cover it.

So I expected alignment to stay in some capacity but hoped it'd take a roleplaying aid function instead of a mechanical restriction.


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Come on now Gray I know you don't like it but you don't actually expect them to remove it? (hope maybe but realistically?) Now maybe if we push for better definitions for it it might be a more attainable goal.

I thought it might be possible for them to stop entangling alignment and mechanics, especially with Edict/Anathema now a thing... I was hoping classes like monk, barbarian, druid and paladin could move away from alignment restrictions with Edict/Anathema around but that seems impossible now... :P

As to better definitions, we'd need far too many pages to realistically cover the subject. IMO, you could fill a softcover JUST on it and still not adequately cover it.

So I expected alignment to stay in some capacity but hoped it'd take a roleplaying aid function instead of a mechanical restriction.

Hmm that is all together a bit more reasonable. So your idea would be no forced alignments for classes and spells would be non-aligned? would that pretty well cover your idea situation?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh, now that this blog has reminded me of its continued existance, I am terribly interested if Color Spray will still be level capped as it exists today or if PF2 will offer the option to heighten it to continued functionality with higher level spell slots.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm that is all together a bit more reasonable. So your idea would be no forced alignments for classes and spells would be non-aligned? would that pretty well cover your idea situation?

Pretty much. Use alignment in a general way: the 'average' way a person, settlement, nation, race acts. The only mechanics would be things MADE up of alignment energy like planes and outsiders with predetermined alignments [and spells vs them], things fully in the hands of the DM other than detect/protect type spells.

With alignment set that way, any class with restrictions on actions would have Edict/Anathema with clearly spelled out do's and don't: even if there is a question over a specific part of them, like the strike first part, it's a single issue to ask about where alignment is far too complex to get a handle without experience playing with the person in question.

PS: I'm unsure if this is a sidetrack issue. It's not the main thrust of the blog, but it's clearly an integral part of deities and clerics... I wonder if we're getting an alignment blog. If we are, it'd be best to leave the alignment talk for then.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For what it’s worth though, your arguments seem well reasoned and leave room for both people that love alignments and those that would rather move away from them entirely.
Want to be harder core? Add another anathema!


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm that is all together a bit more reasonable. So your idea would be no forced alignments for classes and spells would be non-aligned? would that pretty well cover your idea situation?

Pretty much. Use alignment in a general way: the 'average' way a person, settlement, nation, race acts. The only mechanics would be things MADE up of alignment energy like planes and outsiders with predetermined alignments [and spells vs them], things fully in the hands of the DM other than detect/protect type spells.

With alignment set that way, any class with restrictions on actions would have Edict/Anathema with clearly spelled out do's and don't: even if there is a question over a specific part of them, like the strike first part, it's a single issue to ask about where alignment is far too complex to get a handle without experience playing with the person in question.

PS: I'm unsure if this is a sidetrack issue. It's not the main thrust of the blog, but it's clearly an integral part of deities and clerics... I wonder if we're getting an alignment blog. If we are, it'd be best to leave the alignment talk for then.

Want me to make a thread?


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Power 2 mean its an advanced power or just that it costs 2 spell points? Or do these things even use spell points?
It means it's an advanced power. Tempt fate, for instance, doesn't cost 2.

Just so we're clear, Tempt Fate is a domain power that uses spell points of a quantity that isn't the one listed next to the word 'power.'

Thats... amazingly obfuscated to no point or purpose.

Is there a good reason not to be precise and specific and label it 'advanced domain power' and have it use domain points or some other term that actually reflects what class and power pool its pulling from?
{or a general purpose pool that is named something else so it's clear it has nothing at all to do with spellcasting?}

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ckorik wrote:
So the answer to bad or vague rules is that a good GM will work around them - and a bad GM will ruin the game even if they don't screw up the rules - and you should feel bad if you play in a game with a bad GM?

Not at all. You write the rules as best you can. But you understand that some people are still going to say the DC to jump over a 10ft pit is 11. You accept that common sense has to play its part, and it plays its part best when you have sense in common with each other.


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Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Power 2 mean its an advanced power or just that it costs 2 spell points? Or do these things even use spell points?
It means it's an advanced power. Tempt fate, for instance, doesn't cost 2.

Just so we're clear, Tempt Fate is a domain power that uses spell points of a quantity that isn't the one listed next to the word 'power.'

Thats... amazingly obfuscated to no point or purpose.

Is there a good reason not to be precise and specific and label it 'advanced domain power' and have it use domain points or some other term that actually reflects what class and power pool its pulling from?
{or a general purpose pool that is named something else so it's clear it has nothing at all to do with spellcasting?}

This... is a good point. Now that you bring it up, I absolutely CAN see pretty much EVERYONE at my table looking at "Power 2" and assuming it costs 2 spell points.

"Advanced" or "Greater" or "Improved" or "with Sugar on Top" would be better than putting a number there.


I have GM’d since the very early 90’s and have only had one player play cleric. He was new to gaming and wanted me to pick for him, he really came in to his own once he learned the mechanics of what he could or couldn’t do. Perhaps with the new and shiney my regular players might pick a cleric as adventuring seem a little more harrowing at a glance since we played in the 2nd ed days with different GM.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Power 2 mean its an advanced power or just that it costs 2 spell points? Or do these things even use spell points?
It means it's an advanced power. Tempt fate, for instance, doesn't cost 2.

Just so we're clear, Tempt Fate is a domain power that uses spell points of a quantity that isn't the one listed next to the word 'power.'

Thats... amazingly obfuscated to no point or purpose.

Is there a good reason not to be precise and specific and label it 'advanced domain power' and have it use domain points or some other term that actually reflects what class and power pool its pulling from?
{or a general purpose pool that is named something else so it's clear it has nothing at all to do with spellcasting?}

This... is a good point. Now that you bring it up, I absolutely CAN see pretty much EVERYONE at my table looking at "Power 2" and assuming it costs 2 spell points.

"Advanced" or "Greater" or "Improved" or "with Sugar on Top" would be better than putting a number there.

It's a second level spell at its base level. Like invisibility says "Spell 2."


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Power 2 mean its an advanced power or just that it costs 2 spell points? Or do these things even use spell points?
It means it's an advanced power. Tempt fate, for instance, doesn't cost 2.

Just so we're clear, Tempt Fate is a domain power that uses spell points of a quantity that isn't the one listed next to the word 'power.'

Thats... amazingly obfuscated to no point or purpose.

Is there a good reason not to be precise and specific and label it 'advanced domain power' and have it use domain points or some other term that actually reflects what class and power pool its pulling from?
{or a general purpose pool that is named something else so it's clear it has nothing at all to do with spellcasting?}

This... is a good point. Now that you bring it up, I absolutely CAN see pretty much EVERYONE at my table looking at "Power 2" and assuming it costs 2 spell points.

"Advanced" or "Greater" or "Improved" or "with Sugar on Top" would be better than putting a number there.

It's a second level spell at its base level. Like invisibility says "Spell 2."

While I can see that, there doesn't appear to be a "Power 3" and "Power 4" and so on to map more directly to the spell entries.

I think the Power 2 listing is fine though if you also include next to it, "(1 SP)", or "(1 XX)", where XX is the abbreviation for whatever term ends up replacing Spell Points.


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I'm not really feeling the two powers per domain, a spell should be a spell, not a spell with power written in the corner (they have gotten rid of SLAs), and aesthetically it reminds me a bit of 4th Ed.

I do like the favoured weapon, and even fighters using them.

Some might not like not being a able to play a cleric that worships a philosophy or concept, rather than a deity.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Huh, now that this blog has reminded me of its continued existance, I am terribly interested if Color Spray will still be level capped as it exists today or if PF2 will offer the option to heighten it to continued functionality with higher level spell slots.

that's one that they specifically called as functioning pretty differently from the way it does now.

The effect is weaker all across the board while still being 'usable' for some value of that word at all/most levels.


Weather Report wrote:
Some might not like not being a able to play a cleric that worships a philosophy or concept, rather than a deity.

That's just a consequence of Golarion being the default setting. It's easy enough to slap together some Philosophy or Concept "deity" listings for a homebrew setting. They'd just be built exactly like a deity, except it's an impersonal force.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Voss wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Power 2 mean its an advanced power or just that it costs 2 spell points? Or do these things even use spell points?
It means it's an advanced power. Tempt fate, for instance, doesn't cost 2.

Just so we're clear, Tempt Fate is a domain power that uses spell points of a quantity that isn't the one listed next to the word 'power.'

Thats... amazingly obfuscated to no point or purpose.

Is there a good reason not to be precise and specific and label it 'advanced domain power' and have it use domain points or some other term that actually reflects what class and power pool its pulling from?
{or a general purpose pool that is named something else so it's clear it has nothing at all to do with spellcasting?}

This... is a good point. Now that you bring it up, I absolutely CAN see pretty much EVERYONE at my table looking at "Power 2" and assuming it costs 2 spell points.

"Advanced" or "Greater" or "Improved" or "with Sugar on Top" would be better than putting a number there.

It's a second level spell at its base level. Like invisibility says "Spell 2."

While I can see that, there doesn't appear to be a "Power 3" and "Power 4" and so on to map more directly to the spell entries.

I think the Power 2 listing is fine though if you also include next to it, "(1 SP)", or "(1 XX)", where XX is the abbreviation for whatever term ends up replacing Spell Points.

For now. It allows greater options for future expansions by allowing the possibility of higher level domain powers. I doubt it would go beyond 3 or 4 simply because they cost feats to obtain, but I can see expansion potential.

However, I also agree with you that, at the moment, it sems like standardisation taken too far.


Weather Report wrote:
aesthetically it reminds me a bit of 4th Ed.

That's how the new powers everything is being laid out unfortunately. It bears some resemblance to magic items in Pathfinder 1e. Unfortunately if you were to compare it with a 4e power or a Pathfinder 1e spell I expect you'd be more inclined to say it looks like a 4e power rather than a PF 1e spell, especially if they plan to add glyphs and colour.

Unfortunately we seem to be in a minority on the boards of this being a problem. Fortunately for the the powers previewed here they much more closely resemble PF 1e abilities than 4e powers.

Silver Crusade

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magnuskn wrote:
Huh, now that this blog has reminded me of its continued existance, I am terribly interested if Color Spray will still be level capped as it exists today or if PF2 will offer the option to heighten it to continued functionality with higher level spell slots.

Not a direct answer to your question, but some info on color spray here:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Since you mentioned pattern spells, they no longer have a Hit Dice limit or the like, which is an extremely good thing for all the patterns except color spray (seriously, I never prepared them in PF1 but they are cool in PF2), since most of them had limits that were quite low. But of course we said in the other blog that we were going to cut down on save or lose (especially at 1st level spells), so color spray serves more of a debuff role most of the time. On the other hand, it does so handsomely for a 1st-level spell, so your foes in the cone should expect to at least suffer a round of miss chances unless they are very lucky.


Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Domain Preview, even if I'm cautiously pessimistic about the Cleric Preview itself.

Add my vote (in case it got lost elsewhere in the shuffle) for finding a name for Spell Points that better describes their function. So far, Power Points seems to be the best match.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Domain Preview, even if I'm cautiously pessimistic about the Cleric Preview itself.

Add my vote (in case it got lost elsewhere in the shuffle) for finding a name for Spell Points that better describes their function. So far, Power Points seems to be the best match.

Power Points might not be a great choice, given how many people would think back to Psionics, which use Power Points to manifest Powers.


I still think call it resolve give everyone resolve and just have those specific class abilities do different things but all cost resolve.


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 may have missed this somewhere, Mark, but is Medicine the new name for the Heal skill?


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Mark always find ways to slip a word or two in every post to leak stuff to feed us.

Great guy

Liberty's Edge

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dysartes wrote:
I may have missed this somewhere, Mark, but is Medicine the new name for the Heal skill?

They've implied as much previously. I actually did a list of more or less confirmed Skills for PF2.


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Mewzard wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Domain Preview, even if I'm cautiously pessimistic about the Cleric Preview itself.

Add my vote (in case it got lost elsewhere in the shuffle) for finding a name for Spell Points that better describes their function. So far, Power Points seems to be the best match.

Power Points might not be a great choice, given how many people would think back to Psionics, which use Power Points to manifest Powers.

Fair point, but Spell Points is even more confusing, since while Psionics is 3rd party (DreamScarred Press), spells are mainly 1st party, and yet have nothing to do with Spell Points as currently described. Maybe use Divine Power Points?

* * * * * * * *

Oh, before I forget, I have to fave this blog. Not only for giving us a sneak preview of what looks like will be a mild improvement in Domains, but also for the awesome pun in the blog title. A cryptic clue that some time between the Pathfinder era and the Starfinder era, some future (at least for a brief period) deity exercised Eminent Domain on Golarion to make way for a hyperspace bypass?


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The title made me ignore it at first I thought it was about some legal issue >.>


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graystone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
What does "strike first" mean in this context?
Common sense.
LOL That thing that has brought us years of paladin debates...

I mean, if you're going to avoid having a discussion with a GM in any game you intend to run a Paladin or Cleric in, you're going to have problems - and yes, this is something you can do in a PbP or PbF game.

graystone wrote:

Most of the blog seems fine. A few question/comments though:

Alignment: It saddens me we still have this in the game... :P

You may be saddened, but it lifts my heart with joy to still that this is still a thing, and that it still has an impact on the game.

I imagine I am not the only one in this position.

Paladin blog should be interesting, when we get there.


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dysartes wrote:
graystone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
What does "strike first" mean in this context?
Common sense.
LOL That thing that has brought us years of paladin debates...

I mean, if you're going to avoid having a discussion with a GM in any game you intend to run a Paladin or Cleric in, you're going to have problems - and yes, this is something you can do in a PbP or PbF game.

graystone wrote:

Most of the blog seems fine. A few question/comments though:

Alignment: It saddens me we still have this in the game... :P

You may be saddened, but it lifts my heart with joy to still that this is still a thing, and that it still has an impact on the game.

I imagine I am not the only one in this position.

Paladin blog should be interesting, when we get there.

I suppose interesting is the word if you like watching the world BURN but no I'm sure it will be intense.

Grand Lodge

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Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter an he goes down.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's a great thing to have deity-specific anathemas that are not tied to alignment as such. The only thing we are lacking is some guidelines on how to adjudicate anathema violations.

I expect there will be some way to scale the violation, from a minor to a serious violation, as well as some progressive manner of expressing the consequences of anathema violation in game terms. Things like:
- getting fewer / no spell points for a given duration, or until a given action is taken to seek atonement;
- having a progressively higher spell failure chance;
- having the power leech out of all spells, so they have lower DCs, deal or heal less damage, etc.

The idea that if you commit anathema acts in even the most minor degree, then you lose all your class powers forever would lead to endless bitter arguments and dissuade many players from ever wanting to be a cleric. A more flexible and scalable system would help "nudge" offending clerics in the right direction.

FWIW, posts like this really vindicate the position of guys like me who have been decrying the naysayers who claim that PF2.0 is "dumbing down" the game. Rich, deep and varied options are what we've come to love and expect from our pals at Paizo, and this post goes the extra mile to show that we were right.


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Ckorik wrote:

Wouldn't it be awesome - if the GM didn't have the power to make the cleric suck even if he's a jerk, using the built in rules?

You know - like if you were playing a rogue, or a wizard, or a fighter?

You mean like taking away the weapons and armor of a fighter (or even making everything take place in cramped space for an archer), making traps impossible to actually deal with for the rogue (because it makes sense that this place has traps this difficult), or taking away a wizard's spellbook?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter who was still injured from the previous encounter that day and he outright dies.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".

That's another reason why we need a graded scale of violations to anathema in terms of the consequences the cleric suffers in consequence.

Sure, in this example the cleric could use her first action to cast a buff spell (or something else that doesn't cause damage outright), or she could try a combat maneuver like trip or disarm, or a social action to get the attacking thugs to back down (however unlikely that might seem, depending on the nature of the thugs and the vagaries of the situation). But if the cleric did use her initiative to deal damage to a thug, and even if she managed to kill a thug in one blow, one would have to argue mitigating circumstances.

That's why there needs to be a graded scale of temporary consequences and various ways for a cleric to atone, depending on the severity of the violation.

Given that anathema is a new concept in the PF family of games, I feel it's certain we'll get something along these lines.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter an he goes down.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".

Yeah as a GM I'll likely rule it as simply "If I ask for initiative you are fine to go ahead" with "if you choose to go into initiative you will need to justify it vis a vis your anathema." After all if I'm calling for you to roll for initiative I'm indicating to you that this is already a combat situation.

Liberty's Edge

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I think everyone is jumping to conclusions in regards to the anathema not having more comprehensive guidelines than are shown here. This is a sample after all, not the whole section of the book.

Scarab Sages

Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter an he goes down.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".

I played a Paladin of Shelyn a while ago. He took Quick Draw at 1st level so he could walk forth empty-handed and demand the bad guys to stand down, but still ready an action to draw his Calligrapher and slash someone should they fail to comply.

Scarab Sages

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dysartes wrote:
I may have missed this somewhere, Mark, but is Medicine the new name for the Heal skill?

Ugh. That's one of the things I dislike about 5e the most. Why don't you call Knowledge: Engineering «Quantum Chromodynamics» and Perform: Dance «Twerking» while you're at it...? ;o)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Power 1 is the basic power everyone with the domain gets and Power 2 is the advanced power that costs a feat later on, and one heightens a domain power by spending more spell points? Do I have that right?

But getting a second domain cost a feat.

So it will be "take the best (whatever that mean for you) domain at character creation, the other when you have feats to waste".


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I’m a bit concerned that the first level power of the Indulgence domain is a bit lackluster. I mean, the spell has great flavor (pun intended). I’d definitely give this to an innkeeper or the king’s chef, but I have difficulties thinking why one of my players would take this over something like, say, being able to shoot a ray of fire out of your hand like we saw in one of the Playtest Demos. Unless you can make a scalding hot bowl of soup and throw it at the enemy, or place an enticing slice of banana cream pie under a falling boulder trap and watch the foolish Orc abandon his post at the front door to eat it.

Unless the Level 2 Spell lets you polymorph the servants of a foolish young noble into singing and dancing plates, bowls, and cutlery that you can use to enjoy your aforementioned soup and cake in luxury, I’m concerned that my players will dismiss it as an “NPC Domain”.

Personally I was hoping that this would function more like a weaker Hero’s Feast. Would it be too imbalancing if the meal, once consumed, granted 1d6 + Wisdom Modifier Temporary Hit Points?
And Heightened (+1) creates more food/drink as well as increases the temporary HP by another 1d6.

Liberty's Edge

You can get a second with a Feat at 1st level if you like, but yeah, you pick the best Domain for what you want to do and then grab others as you have the Feats to spare. That seems fine.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
How bad is it if a cleric does something anathema? Because for Shelyn those look pretty bad if it's more on the side of an atonement or loss of power as opposed to a light slap on the wrist. Protecting art, sure, though the party's going to be pretty pissed off if, in the mad dash to escape a collapsing ruin, instead of grabbing the artifact weapon that lets the party save the kingdom they opted to grab a big portrait that they have to lug back to town. The other two though are veering dangerously close to "too dumb to live" territory, with being unable to turn down a surrender (even if it's false or obviously a trap) and never striking first, which means the cleric gets to twiddle their fingers for a round while everyone else does stuff, two rounds if it's an ambush.

I happy to see that some other person noticed that, it was the first thing I wanted to comment.

I suppose that setting us an ambush will be a big "NO, NO!" for Shelyn priests and followers.

And the beauty of surrendering to them when your evil ritual for ultimate power end only if you die will make a lot sadistic BEEGs extremely happy.

I very like the idea of the anathema but they should be carefully thought, or we will get plenty threads about them, on the level of "paladin falling" number of treads multiplied for the number of deities.

Scarab Sages

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Fair point, but Spell Points is even more confusing, since while Psionics is 3rd party (DreamScarred Press), spells are mainly 1st party, and yet have nothing to do with Spell Points as currently described. Maybe use Divine Power Points?

I don't think Paizo should gimp their core mechanics for the sake of some speculative future 3P material. The word Power has been used in the context of domains and bloodlines before; it just fits.

What's missing is a clear disambiguation between powers and the regular kind of spells (for which there is currently not even a technical term, as far as I can tell). While they both behave the same in may aspects (having somatic, verbal, material actions, targets, durations, saves, etc.), they also represent two mutually exclusive lists. A description block says either SPELL 1 or POWER 1, which is nonsensical if powers are actually spells.

The obvious way to solve this is to stop saying that powers are a kind of spell, and instead say that powers behave like spells in all ways except for the resources used to activate them. Of course, then you have to rename spell points, since they are used for powers rather than spells!

Power points remains the obvious choice here. I also like the idea of pool points, or even just Uses. The latter has the advantage of being a verb as well: Whenever the Cleric Uses a domain power...

Mark, you're a sensible person — please hear the voice of the masses and address this nonsensical status quo, one way or another. :Þ


Quandary wrote:
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.

Paladins can go without a deity, but IF they pick a deity they are receiving spells from it like any other divine spellcaster

Scarab Sages

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Diego Rossi wrote:
I suppose that setting us an ambush will be a big "NO, NO!" for Shelyn priests and followers.

Plenty of good things you can do with your first action in an ambush. For instance, you could cast your Color Spray, which does not hurt or damage anyone and therefore isn't a «strike».


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter an he goes down.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".

Or the cleric of shelyn just readies an action


Entryhazard wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it just me or is Shelyn's anathema to "striking first" a little weird?

So imagine your just rolled initiative vs a group of thugs that pull weapons on you. Your initiative turn is before theirs, so you hold back because you don't strike first even though the thugs intentions are clear. The thugs turn then comes up and they crit Fred the Fighter an he goes down.

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

I feel like it'd be better off worded as "initiate hostilities".

Or the cleric of shelyn just readies an action

That actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it too. Isn't that really the appropriate action to take if you have threatening people in front of you but your not sure what they will do.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
Some might not like not being a able to play a cleric that worships a philosophy or concept, rather than a deity.
That's just a consequence of Golarion being the default setting. It's easy enough to slap together some Philosophy or Concept "deity" listings for a homebrew setting. They'd just be built exactly like a deity, except it's an impersonal force.

True, I have no problem with that sort of thing, but some seem to make a very loud and aggressive deal about it.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Is it not ridiculous that even though you knew they were hostile and planning to try to kill you, a good god wouldn't allow you to strike first to stop them? Even to protect your allies?

A good god? Like Iomedae, or Torag? Yes, sure.

Shelyn? That's a different stuff. It looks like Shelyn "sees the beauty in all things" and really, really hopes those thugs realize they are wrong and don't do the wrong thing, so she waits until they attack. It might not resonate well with you, but that's only because you (or I) don't follow Shelyn's ethos.

I like the fact they are differentiating ethos from alignment. I have always said that it is not true that aligment represents personality, as there are a lot of ways to be LG, or NE, or CN. Shelyn is a pacifist. Iomedae is not. This is cool.

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