|4 people marked this as a favorite.|
An anecdote: my party of 4 players consists of a Human Fighter, Human Monk, Human Occult Sorc and Elf Evocation Wizard. Only the Monk is Expert in Medicine (the Sorc is trained), and the group has survived on almost 0 in-combat healing so far. That's not to say they haven't had close calls. There have been tough fights where 3/4 of the party went to 0 hp at some point, and I haven't been pulling any punches, yet they still managed to pull through. I don't think a Cleric is necessary, even in longer fights they have access to Battle Medicine (and with Continuous Recovery, it's not limited to 1/day).
In terms of casting debuff spells not feeling good when they fail, I can't speak to my players' experience when that happens, but when the spells do succeed (and this happens a good amount of the time), they are very significant.
My Sorc's go-to debuff right now is Synesthesia, and if it hits an enemy, it is brutal. -3 AC that stacks with Flat-Footed means a death sentence for most foes, as the Fighter and Monk will proceed to crit them to death in short order. When she's not casting Synesthesia, she's mass Fearing enemies or singling someone out with Phantasmal Killer, or denying everyone's actions with Synaptic Pulse. Seriously, action denial is great in PF2, especially when your party also positions themselves correctly.
So, in my case at least, not having a Cleric in the party is no problemo.