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^Ignore my last post -- I thought I was posting in the discussion thread for the 1st Edition Guide to the Guides.


The Wizard guide needs a LOT of updating . . . could turn into a real rabbit hole . . . .


My guess is that he came to Earth. Earth certainly has madness enough.


HeHateMe wrote:

{. . .}

I'm with the OP, I hate APs where the PCs are assumed to have a 9 to 5 job.

This Council of Thieves PbP did exactly that with a large subset of the PCs and came out great (except for the last little bit where GM loss occurred too close to the end for the final GM to get into the swing of things). The day job aspect lent itself perfectly to the theme of the PCs being townspeople getting fed up about the rot in Westcrown and deciding to do something about it.


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Another awesome Rise of the Runelords tie-in.


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"One of these days Thorn'll have an opinion. And then it'll make a noise and startle him and he'll hide around the corner from it, not giving it its potion." -- win.


At some point, I need to catch up on the various PbPs I have been following and see what somebody else did with this AP after getting into Books 3 and 4 (last time I looked, they were still in Book 2). Maybe they will have some useful insights for improving matters.


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Awesome Rise of the Runelords tie-in.


^AP hook?


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Chapter 20: Shadow Over Maytown, er I mean Morast:
If the setting were just a bit more modern, the yards around the huts in the village would be well-decorated with cans and Clorox bottles and broken/rusted-out furniture, in some cases with a couple of junk cars often having no wheels, and some of the huts would have wheels.

(And I've BEEN IN places like that, with visits to one in particular lasting several days at a time.)


Pant Pant Pant Pant
<Thump><Thump><Thump><Thump>
Droool . . . .


Note that even Hell's Rebels (according to its Player's Guide) has a potential place for Lawful PCs who get fed up with the corrupt and unjust nature of the Thrune regime, but I haven't seen anyone really make use of that. (Closest would be a Thrune family defector in this PbP and that character was actually a Caydenite anyway -- was a hoot anyway, but unfortunately didn't get very far.)


Impus Minor wrote:

We just started a new Shattered Star campaign! We only have one post so far and we sadly don't have an impus major but we do have others like Shiro and more!

Link to first post:
https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42uf0?NobodysHomes-Shattered-Star-Campaign#1

Linkified for your convenience.


Only two Sith Lords, the Master and the Student . . . only two over-deities, the Judge and the Survivor . . . seems awfully risky. In both cases, if something goes wrong for just **2** entities at the same time, the whole chain ends.


^The combination of both is perfectly plausible.


If you want to do a significant amount of Sneak Attack damage as a Nature Fang Druid without sacrificing Druid levels, you would need VMC Rogue. This consumes 5 feats, but you get:

3rd level: Get Trapfinding -- good if you run up against magical traps often. Since you are level 5 already, you will need to retrainn something to get this.
7th level: Get Sneak +1d6, and it improves another +1d6 every 4 levels thereafter (to +4d6 at 9th level -- you will have total +5d6, just 1d6 behind a Slayer).
11th level: Get Evasion -- not bad, except for being late.
15th level: Get Uncanny Dodge -- not bad, except for being really late.
19th level: Get Improved Uncanny Dodge -- not bad, except for being really late.


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^Another plausible origin for the Gap and the disappearance of Golarion . . . .


avr wrote:

11) Not The Hair!

Another thief wants to impersonate a particular businessman but doesn't have the time to get a convincing outfit. Help them out (and get paid) by stealing one complete outfit, including one of their distinctive hairpieces.

The hairpieces are actually animate hairs who share the job of controlling the businessman. This is not known to the thief. They may try to ambush and control wealthy looking PCs, or just to run and hide. Depending on the evil of the GM they may have mesmerist levels.
{. . .}

Linkified for your convenience.


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^I would have thought that Air Elementals would have been more incensed about the other end . . . then again, on the other hand, Fire Elementals should find that to be a small but renewable energy source . . . .


^I wasn't personally in it but I followed it from start to finish. I have heard that -- rather than any order being most coherent for the last 3 books -- that book 5 should specifically go before book 4, and this is in fact what that PbP did.


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NobodysHome wrote:

{. . .}

As I think I've mentioned, NOT my favorite AP at all.

But it's still better than Council of Thieves. Ouch.

I thought this Council of Thieves was awesome, except for the last little bit in which (after having good luck with getting a new GM after losing one several time), their luck ran out with the last GM coming in at a point where they couldn't really get into the conclusion.


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Voss wrote:
{. . .} Witch is potentially interesting, though cackle every round to sustain is super annoying {. . .}

My thoughts as well. Even in Pathfinder 1st Edition, upon reading the Cackle Hex, I very quickly came to the conclusion that use of this Hex would cause a Witch that is part of a party and NOT the boss to end up sharing the fate of Sir Robin's Minstrels.


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Original blog post wrote:
{. . .} The truly faithful understand that not even the gods themselves are infallible, and that words and promises do not always suffice. Those among us who see no fault in the gods are worse than zealots, worse than puppets. They taint the very idea of faith with their blind devotion. When a god makes a mistake, the results can be disastrous if their faithful do not understand the error. {. . .}
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


This is a level of Humility and Understanding that has NEVER been highlighted in Iomedae's write-up that I can recall.

It changes a significant perception that I had of her as a deity.

Thank you very much!

This is a level of Humility and Understanding that, to the best of my knowledge, has NEVER before appeared at all in the write-up of any deity or in the teachings of any of their faithful, IN ANY REALITY.

I wonder if Iomedae herself experienced significant redemption at the end of Wrath of the Righteous?


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Voss wrote:
Have you guys read any of the novels? Varian is a devotee of Desna, not Asmodeus, and Radovan is consistently described as small and overly charming/seductive, not hulking and brutish.

Also the Pathfinder Web Tales, back when those used to come out (I miss those . . .).


So . . . didn't want to give Gunslinger a shot yet?


Now I want to see a Monty Python scene over use of deity's favored weapon . . . .


^I thought the Daemons were actively trying to create Demons in the Abyss, and they just didn't expect the experiment to backfire on them so spectacularly.


VoodistMonk wrote:

I've always thought that the Vivisectionist is a fun way into Arcane Trickster.

Vivisectionist-3/Witch-3/Arcane Trickster-10/Vivisectionist-4

I haven't drawn it up, but it's possible with the two world magic trait for Mage Hand, and you end with 7 levels of Vivisectionist, 10 levels of Arcane Trickster, and 13 levels of Witch spellcasting/access to Hexes.
{. . .}

Vivisectionist Alchemist sounds good for Arcane Tricskter, but Witch doesn't, because a lot of a Witch's power (other than White-Haired Witch) comes from Hexes, many of which are highly level-dependent, and Arcane Trickster doesn't progress those, thus making Witch a terrible arcane casting class for entry into Arcane Trickster, independently of having to use a trait to get Mage Hand.

Also, if you have access to the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat, you only need 1 level of Vivisectionist Alchemist to get into Arcane Tricskter.

avr wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Pragmatic Activator (make Use Magic Device Int-based, especially since your level of Vivisectionist Alchemist was nice enough to put it in class already) and whatever Campaign Trait is appropriate for your character and campaign. If no Campaign Trait, then you have quite a lot of other good traits to choose from.

(And by the way, Varisian Tattoo looks to me like a real stinker of a feat unless you are doing a LOT of opposed caster level checks and caster level checks to overcome Spell Resistance, and even then it seems more of a desperation feat than one that is actually good.)

With the sorc/wiz list and the alchemist list available without checks needed you hardly need UMD. It's wasted skill points, never mind a wasted trait.

{. . .}

If you need to be able to cast Cleric/Oracle spells fairly reliably from Scrolls and Wands, UMD is your friend. Granted, being a level 1 Alchemist does help alleviate the need noticeably, but sometimes Cure Light Wounds just won't be enough. Besides, if you're an Arcane Trickster, chances are you're going to be delving into places that have magic items whose casting tradition (to borrow a 2nd Edition term) you won't know in advance, and it would be helpful to be able to use them.

If you don't want Pragmatic Activator, Magical Lineage is another Magic Trait worth considering instead of Magical Knack with half the benefit(*), if you have a go-to spell that you often need to apply metamagic to.

(*)Note: If you had at least 2 levels in a class not progressing your Sorcerer/Wizard casting, I would definitely say take Magical Knack. But for 1 level, it seems half wasted.

Apart from the above, traits that give you a bonus to Fortitude Saves, Initiative, or Perception (or even Defensive Strategist if you are a Neutral Good Torag worshipper) would be excellent for keeping you alive, even with your caster level behind by 1.

EldonGuyre wrote:
avr wrote:
What second trait can't you live without, anyway? I'm assuming you're getting 2 traits free here of course.
None, really - I'm thinking about using one to make stealth a class skill, {. . .}

If you're willing to wait through the low levels, Arcane Trickster itself makes Stealth a class skill, which makes such a trait redundant. I was looking for a trait that would give Trapfinding, but the only one I can find is the Mummy's Mask Campaign Trait that does this. That is Trap Finder, which also makes Disable Device a class skill, but both Alchemist and Arcane Trickster already do that, although the +1 bonus is still okay -- but if you're not in Mummy's Mask, this probably won't be available anyway. Also, you can use a spell (Aram Zey's Focus) to disable or bypass a small number of magical traps (this will run out of you come across a lot of them not in rapid succession, but even if that doesn't happen, it still works even better against mechanical traps if you have actual Trapfinding).

Not sure about the answer to your question about Magical Knack applying to Alchemist effective caster level, although I would think that it wouldn't work on Mutagens or Cognatogens.


^Pragmatic Activator (make Use Magic Device Int-based, especially since your level of Vivisectionist Alchemist was nice enough to put it in class already) and whatever Campaign Trait is appropriate for your character and campaign. If no Campaign Trait, then you have quite a lot of other good traits to choose from.

(And by the way, Varisian Tattoo looks to me like a real stinker of a feat unless you are doing a LOT of opposed caster level checks and caster level checks to overcome Spell Resistance, and even then it seems more of a desperation feat than one that is actually good.)


Evangelist Cleric is a reasonable option, although keep in mind that this archetype trades out the ability to cast Cure-series spells spontaneously (in exchange for some other spells for most of which the need will probably not arise as often). But it DOES get rid of the need for VMC anything (and the associated extra level delays -- no delay in Bardic Performance progression beyond the delay for being a Cohort).


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(Suddenly has this vision of a late entry candidate to the race: An uplifted Scarecrow that somehow survived the Gap and made it onto Absalom. "I may not have a brain . . but I have an idea.")


Come to think of it, I should have asked: Who else is in the party right now? This would make a difference for the best way to make your Cohort.


I was also going to mention the possibility of Pei Zin Oracle VMC Bard (unfortunately they don't make a VMC Skald) if you want your Cohort to have more of an emphasis on skills than on feats. Note that the level delay of some of the VMC Bard abilities will be especially painful on your Cohort, who is already inherently level-delayed. Even so, Bardic Knowledge and Versatile Training don't have any more delay than the delay inherent in being a Cohort, and if your campaign goes as long as most Pathfinder APs, your Cohort will get both of these. Note that if you go Human with Focused Study and choose the 2nd or 3rd Skill Focus feat that you get from this(*) to correspond to the Perform skill that you choose for Versatile Training, it will also boost the associated skills, like it would on a regular Bard or Skald.

(*)Would also work with the first, but you want that for Profession (Herbalist), which boosts 2 things on a Pei Zin Practitioner Oracle -- see previous post.


I get what you're saying, and if you're stuck both without VMC (Rogue) and without Expert Sneak Attacker, it's certainly true, but if you have the benefit of one of those options, you can be a truly full-casting Arcane Trickster or just 1 level short of it, so then it comes down to whether you benefit more from the class features of your full casting class had you stayed with it or from the Arcane Trickster class features (which are not to be sneezed at). Obviously, you lose out if you go into it from any 6/9 casting class, and you wouldn't want to go into it from Arcanist or Witch (and honestly, it would hurt from Psychic as well, if you're thinking about the Thought Thief prestige archetype), but some types of Wizard and to a lesser extent some types of Sorcerer won't miss too much. Having said that, although the VMC option is definitely not for the short haul, a build that uses a single level dip of Sneak Attack class and the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat should be quite viable at low levels.


Earlier I wrote:

How to roleplay Lawful Evil: Insurance company boss seems like an excellent introduction.

Linkified for your convenience.


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Unbearable Company:
If the Hopespring cave is flooded, that might make some interesting changes relative to the 2 PbPs of this that I followed.

Note:
Congratulations if you finish the move successfully. I am going to have to do that soon, but first I have to find a new place (this one is getting redeveloped).


@Billy Buckman -- now you're making me want to get into an Ironfang Invasion campaign . . . going to have to wait until after I move, though.


I think you're somewhat under-rating what you could do with going Arcane Trickster as a full caster (or almost full caster). That said:

Thinking along the same lines, if you were to combine Thug Rogue (3 or 4 levels) and Psychic(*) with the Thought Thief prestige archetype, you might be able to become a serious debilitating/controlling Rogue. I'll have to give this some more thought to figure out how well this could actually work.

(*)Or Psychic Bloodline Sorcerer, but I wouldn't recommend that.


Derklord wrote:
JDawg75 wrote:
I liked the idea of being a gish in full Hellknight armor (with the benefits Hellknights get from it), but perhaps it is not to be.
Well, it's not like it wasn't easily possible. It's just that the prestige class sucks, especially for an arcane caster where it has very litle useful class features. I especially don't really get which "benefits Hellknights get from it" you're referring to.

I wouldn't call Hellknight Signifer absolutely terrible overall, even if it isn't the best prestige class. The list of prestige classes has some real stinkers. But it IS absolutely terrible for any caster that has a lot of class features (or a few juicy ones) other than their spells, including all 6/9 casters, including Magi. If you are a Wizard with Arcane School Powers that don't scale (or at least don't scale much) with level and of which the 8th level Arcane School Power is humdrum, or a Cleric stuck with Domains having properties like that, or a Sorcerer whose upper level Bloodline Powers are lousy or otherwise unusable for your build, then it's not terrible, even if not the best.

Derklord wrote:
Also, Hellknight Leather (and Hellknight Half-plate) is "hellknight armor", too.

Checking the page for Heavy Armor, Hellknight Half-Plate seems inferior to Hellknight Plate in absolutely every way, including those most pressing for arcane casters. Wonder why they even have it? At least Hellknight Leather has some legitimate uses, including but not limited to offering lower Arcane Spell Failure chance.

Derklord wrote:
JDawg75 wrote:
Is a straight magus the best way to build a great gish, or are there better alternatives out there?

As it is the case in Pathfinder 99% of the time, what's best depends on what you actually want. Magus is for using offensive (touch) spells in combat, especially damaging ones. That's a pretty unique playstyle, but there are other gish type classes and archetypes out there, which may be better fitting for your goals.

Even if you're strictly talking about arcane caster (not as if the discintion between arcane and divine casting is meaningful in Pathfinder, and that's without touching psychic casting and alchemy), there's Bloodrager, Child of Acavna and Amaznen Fighter, Synthesist Summoner, Questioner Investigator, Skald, Archaeologist Bard, Eldritch Scoundrel Rogue, Dawnflower Dervish Bard, Cabalist Vigilante, Warlock Vigilante, Bard, and polymorph spells using full casters, roughly sorted from most martial to most castery. In addition, there's Summoner, Hag-Haunted Spiritualist, and Magical Child Vigilante (where the job is split between two entities). And that's without prestige classes, which, while generally superfluous in Pathfinder thanks to hybrid(ish) classes and archetypes, still exist, including the classics Eldritch Knight and Dragon Disciple.

Most of those are at least serviceable, but Child of Acavna and Amaznen Fighter is truly terrible -- play a Myrmidarch Magus instead, which, even with trading out too much for what you get, is still superior in most respects and only falls behind slightly in a couple, and even gets the Armor Training that a Hellknight would want, although slowly. I wish they had come out with a 4/9 Magus (not the same as Bloodrager, but instead a Magus-Fighter backcross hybrid) before they went to 2nd Edition.

Derklord wrote:
Eldritch Knight using the Arcing Weapon and Explosive Weapon feats deserve notice for being an interesting variant to Magus.

I missed seeing those feats. Arcing Weapon gives you a way to add Spellstrike to an Eldritch Knight much earlier than going VMC Magus and without using so many feats, so the usefulness is obvious, but Explosive Weapon seems nearly useless, since in most cases you won't be able to use it without nuking your party unless you invest in Selective Spell and/or immunity for them, and if you invest in that, might as well just cast the spell in the normal way to go off on top of yourself.


^I don't know about the name sounding creepy, but I've got this creepy feeling about reading or hearing a similar-sounding name somewhere else.


zook1shoe wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Would you want to mention New Thassilonian Magic as a way to change the power/versatility levels for most of the sins?

I had not seen that feat -- that definitely bumps the more disadvantaged Thassilonian specialists up a notch; I wouldn't say that it ever kicks their Versatility rating up above -1, but could bump the Power rating into neutral or positive range.

For the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting (I assume you mean this one), the alternate class features seem not to have made it to or have disappeared out of www.d20pfsrd.com (and I don't know if Archives of Nethys ever saw them). I could have sworn one of the early Player's Guides (from before archetypes officially came out) had echoes of this, but now I can't find it (I just searched through the ones I have). Holy Warrior Cleric getting d10 and full BAB in exchange for both Domains sounds overpowered. But on the other hand, Pathfinder 2nd Edition gives Clerics (and for that matter Wizards) full BAB (although with effectively diminished spellcasting) and either sort of keeps a Domain (Cloistered Cleric) or gets some martial stuff in exchange (Warpriest). Or maybe I shouldn't say "on the other hand" . . . .


Watch out for the smoke -- both bad for you in its own right and a sign of something worse on the way. Stay safe and ready to move.


avr wrote:

{. . .}

Murder harm: you lose half your damage and get a bleed effect equal to 1 per die of damage, only on a failed save. Bleeding for 2 rounds is about the same amount of damage on a failed save, 3 is more, obviously a successful save is less damage but it was always going to be insignificant. The troubles are 1) bleed won't stack if you channel at them more than once, 2) 3 rounds is a long time to wait in combat. Usually too long, the fight's probably decided by then. Power -1 at best IMO.

I'll take Cavall's advice here and stick with the existing rating.

avr wrote:
Nightmare heal: I think you overestimate how common these effects are UAE, and underestimate how many cleric spells there are to deal with them. Harm: OTOH it's very possible to build a cleric around doing fear effects with spells.

Noted. Revised:

Nightmares
Healing Power +0, Versatility +0
Harming Power +0, Versatility -1
The healing option buffs your party against Charms and Compulsions, for a whole minute -- but in many cases, you could use a spell to protect them for a longer time, and more thoroughly. The harming option debuffs your enemies against Fear and Phantasms, and impairs their Concentration checks if applicable, but only for 1 round.

avr wrote:
Self perfection heal: Ignoring any condition for 1 round is hugely versatile, +2 surely. If possibly weird in some cases (grappled? prone? petrified?).

Good point about things like Grappled and Prone (real easy to forget that these are actually defined as conditions, not just something that happened to you or a geometric position that you happen to be in). [/b]For Self perfection healing option, change Power to +2[/b].

avr wrote:

Strategy harm: The offensive litanies have been errata'd to have saves.

{. . .}

Didn't know about those Errata until just now. That makes Strategy's harming option better, although I'm not sure that is enough to bump it all the way up to Power +2. Maybe call it party-dependent Power +2.

Cavall wrote:
{. . .} The major flaw in judging these is that you dont need to take them to use them, making them options rather than changes thanks to a feat. {. . .}

But when Variant Channeling came out in 2011, this was definitely a set of micro-archetypes. Channeling Variance didn't come out until 2016, and although I have noted it above, even if it relieves Variant Channeling of its archetype-ness, a fair number of people might not use that material.


^Hellknight Signifer would be not too shabby on a Cleric or on certain builds of Oracle, Sorcerer(*), or Wizard(*). But it just doesn't cut the cheese for a Magus, so for a Hellknight Magus, sticking with pure Magus is the way to go if you are allowed to (see if they will let you use spells to substitute for Signifer-specific abilities that might otherwise be considered required of your station in the organization once you pass The Test).

(*)Depending upon choice of class feature options that don't depend so much upon class level; for Cleric and Oracle, the Catechesis class feature solves this problem; for Sorcerer and Wizard, the class features other than spellcasting are sometimes mostly or completely level-independent if you get them at all, such as the Versatile Evocation ability of Wizard (Evocation (Admixturer)). For Arcanist, Shaman (for whom Catechesis was not updated to do anything), and Witch, and for all 6/9 and 4/9 casters, the class features not taken by prestiging out are just too numerous and too level-dependent.


Unfortunately, Path of the Hellknight didn't update Hellknight Signifer to be good for arcane casting classes that have their own way of getting around Arcane Spell Failure (in which case Arcane Armor Training is a just a painful feat tax), nor to be good for 6/9 casting classes more generally (it is really designed for 9/9 casters, although it isn't the worst prestige class for 6/9 casters).

Note that Armored Battlemage Magus gets Medium Armor at 1st level and Heavy Armor at 7th level, but it's otherwise a terrible archetype (trades out all ranks of Spell Combat AND the ability to enhance their weapon, as well as the Magus Arcana gained at 3rd and 18th levels). But as noted above, this doesn't get you off the hook for needing Arcane Armor Training -- only way (1 of 2) to do that would be to dip 1 level in Cleric, Inquisitor, or Oracle (conceptually Warpriest, but Rules As Written doesn't qualify), and then get Warrior Priest, which would actually be moderately useful on a Magus if only they could qualify. Only other way (2 of 2) would be to go VMC Oracle and have a Charisma of at least 10, and use the Orison you get at 7th level to qualify for Warrior Priest (except that since this eats your 7th level Character Feat, it doesn't work unless you retrain something else to get it). Of course, VMC Oracle eats more feats than just getting Arcane Armor Training, so you had better be able to get something REALLY good out of the Revelation you get at 3rd level (and it had better not be a level-dependent Revelation, because for the purposes of determining effect you are considered to be an Oracle 6 levels lower).

Edit #1: Semi-Ninja'd. But Rules As Written, since Mindblade Magus is an Occult caster and not Arcane or Divine, they can't get either Arcane Armor Training or Warrior Priest without dipping or VMC Oracle, and thus has no good way to qualify for Hellknight Signifer.

Edit #2: Deep Marshal isn't as terrible as Armored Battlemage. Losing Illusion spells (especially Vanish/Invisibility/Greater Invisibility) and Necromancy spells (Chill Touch) hurts, but at least you still have Spell Combat, and you get some Sorcerer/Wizard spells that are not on the normal Magus spell list.


Actually, I like the idea of Pei Zin Practitioner Oracle with Life Mystery. To get weapon proficiency, use Elf, Half-Orc, or even Half-Elf with Ancestral Weapon or Weapon Familiarity (replaces Adaptability), or even Human with Military Tradition (replaces Human Bonus Feat with proficiency in **2** Martial or Exotic weapons). Nevertheless, a d8, 3/4 BAB character (whose only good Save is Will) at 2 levels behind you is going to be squishy enough and have a hard enough time hitting things that you might be better off not building for front line use or even for archery. In that case, if Human, save the Bonus Feat for something else, such as Focused Study with the first Skill Focus being on Profession (Herbalist) to boost Master Herbalist and Master Healing Technique; or if Half-Elf, save the Adaptability for Skill Focus (Profession (Herbalist)) to boost Master Herbalist and Master Healing Technique.

Spell Kenning is great on a Skald, but keep in mind that it works off their 6/9 spellcasting progression, which gets brutal if they are behind in levels, which means that relative to your party, progression of the non-Bard spells that they can cast will be even slower than the normal 6/9, on top of the VMC Oracle Mystery progression being extremely delayed. And you mentioned Resurrection -- you're NEVER getting that on a Skald, no matter how high level you get to (unless you use the Epic rules and manage to get yourself to level 23 so that you can get the Cohort to level 21). Raise Dead, eventually yes, but not Resurrection (7th level).

Also keep in mind that VMC eats 5 feats, of which the first is at 3rd level, and the next is at 7th level, so you will have 1 spare feat and eventually 2 spare feats to use on Extra Revelation to replace the Revelations that Pei Zin Practitioner trades out at levels 1 and 7, so at 5th level your Oracle could already have Channel Energy, Energy Body, and Life Link (3rd level Revelation + 3rd and 5th level Character Feats).

Note that the Human Favored Class Bonus (which Half-Elves can also use) for Oracle is "Add one spell known from the oracle spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the oracle can cast" -- you want this. Optionally, since 3rd level spells have a greater than usual number of commonly-needed bad status removal spells, at 9th level, get 2 additional 3rd level spells known with Expanded Arcana (they need to be at least 1 level below the highest level you can cast if you want to get 2 of them), although with careful use of the Human Favored Class Bonus, you might not need this feat at all, depending upon how many other 3rd level spells you need to use commonly enough that Scrolls won't cut it (and depending upon how hard it is to get the Scrolls you need).


^. . . And cast Wizard spells that do things that Rogues/Ninjas/Slayers can't. (Or now, with the Thought Thief Prestige Archetype, cast Psychic or Psychic Bloodline Sorcerer spells for this purpose.)

Hey, you're still here! Welcome back!


avr wrote:
If you can find a deity with booze in their portfolio who supports negative channelers, Ale's pretty good - not just for getting away, stealing enemy actions is good in many situations. Not as good as negative Rulership admittedly.

Some Demon Lord or Daemon Harbinger of Addiction probably has this.

avr wrote:
The Beauty etc. heal bonus is very very specific. Too specific to be useful. The harm penalty is solid if you plan to get relevant spells.

Correction required due to reading this wrong (major changes bolded):

Beauty/Love/Lust
Healing Power +0, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
Having your party gain a channel bonus against Charm effects and abilities based on Fascination or physical attractiveness (such as a nymph's Blinding Beauty and Stunning Glance abilities for 1 minute is pretty good. Harm buffs your ability to Charm or Fascinate enemies. Either way, the effect lasts a whole minute (compared to most Variant Channeling effects that last only 1 round), which makes for a decent buff or debuff, although the buff from the healing option is awfully situational. Note that either effect stacks with Bardic Performance, so an Evangelist Cleric could make very good use of these (if allowed).

avr wrote:
Fate harm applies to all skill checks so there's probably something you can set up, but I can't think what. Power +1 can't be right until you can name that something.

If you have a party that Feints and Sneak Attacks a lot, debuffing your enemies' Sense Motive could really turn the tide.

avr wrote:
Hunting has too short a duration for tracking or survival checks to matter. Even -5 stealth is iffy unless the enemy has hide in plain sight, which is rare compared to invisibility - which it probably isn't enough of a penalty to beat.

For the healing option of Hunting, you would have to have your scout go up a tree or levitate/fly up with you, then make their Survival check to figure out where you are, and then come back down and tell everybody else. For the harming option, I was thinking of using this to turn the tables on someone who is tracking you while trying to keep themselves in Stealth.

avr wrote:
You've misnamed Justice/Law there UAE.

Oops -- copied and pasted wrong.

Justice/Law
Healing Power -2 to +1 depending upon party composition, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
For the healing option, giving your Lawful comrades (but only your Lawful comrades) a Channel Bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks, attack rolls, and saving throws until the end of your next turn is not too shabby, although brief. For the harming option, the usefulness of this is sorely blunted by the difficulty with shooting first and asking questions later.

avr wrote:
AoE Int damage sounds good but there's not enough of it. 1d2 is a mean -0.75 to an Int-based enemies save DCs if they fail their saves. This isn't worth bothering with.

That's true, and the Intelligence-based casters will usually have good Will Saves and block a lot of it, so change Power for this to -1.

avr wrote:
Luck healing gives a channel bonus or a luck bonus; there are enough of those with Fortune's Favored for that to matter. The luck penalty is a great setup if you have quick channel.

Good points. Revised:

Luck
Healing Power -1, Versatility +0
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
Healing gives a Channel Bonus to your party for just 1 d20 roll in the next round (and although the set of allowed rolls is fairly broad, it is not unlimited); however, target creatures get to choose whether the bonus is a Channel Bonus or a Luck Bonus, so if you have Quick Channel, you could double stack this on creatures that do not already have a Luck Bonus; alternatively, creatures with Fortune's Favored could make especially good use of the Luck Bonus. But it's still just 1 roll per channel, or per Channel/Quick Channel pair if a recipient chooses to double-stack them[/b], so in most cases you are probably better off casting a buff spell, which will last longer. The harming gives a Channel Penalty to your enemies for all d20 rolls for 1 round. Casting a debuff spell is probably a better use of your standard action, but if you have Quick Channel so that you don't use your standard action for the Channel Negative Energy, you could use the Channel Negative Energy to make the debuff spell more likely to stick.

avr wrote:
In general I think that skill check bonus/penalties in combat aren't worth thinking about, and remembering that quick channel exists is important to rating these. Also a lot of the enhanced healing effects are probably intended for a NPC cleric with a group of monsters who all fit the category which get enhanced healing.

Again, buffing or debuffing Sense Motive vs Feint, or buffing or debuffing Perception vs Stealth or vs Invisibility.


Note: In this post and the previous one, where I have "your party" or "your enemies", that is assuming that you can use Selective Channeling and/or careful positioning to make sure that you don't heal or harm the wrong creatures.

The rest of the Variant Channeling options and their ratings (M - Z):

Madness
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
Give a bonus to your party's Saves against Confusion, etc. for an eyeblink, or Confuse your enemies for an eyeblink. Spells are better for this purpose -- they last longer. Save your Channels for full healing or harming.

Magic
Power -1 to +1 depending upon party or enemy party composition, Versatility -1
Buff your party's spellcasting or debuff your enemies' spellcasting (either way, including spell-like abilities), but only for 1 round.

Monsters
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility +0
This one is a real Frankenstein -- the healing option does enhanced healing for certain types of monsters, while the harming option gives a Channel Penalty to your enemies when they try to attack summoned or called creatures, which sounds promising if you are a summoning-specialized Cleric, but either way, the effect lasts only an eyeblink.

Monuments
Healing Power +1, Versatility +0
Harming Power +0, Versatility -1
Not sure why the harming option of this is banned in PFS while the healing option is legal, because the healing option is the better one of these, giving a Channel Bonus to your party for a whole minute against a moderately broad range of effects that would slow your party members or deal ability score damage to them (the exceptions being no-Save effects); the harming option just staggers enemies for 1 round if they fail their Save -- the option to kite them is decent, but due to the short duration, it's not outstanding.

Moonlight
Power -1, Versatility -1
For an eyeblink, you give your party low-light vision and a buff on attacks, or give your enemies a debuff on low-light vision, but either way, only in dim light or less. Better to use buff and debuff spells instead, and save your Channeling for full healing and harming.

Murder
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power +0, Versatility +0
The healing option gives your party a chance to deal Bleed damage if they get a Critical -- big If unless they built for it, and this chance only lasts 1 round. The harming option gives your enemies Bleed equal to your Channel Penalty, and it doesn't stop after 1 round, although keep in mind that some enemies will be able to counter this quickly enough that it will do less damage than the full harming would have done compared to the half-strength version.

Nature
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power -2, Versatility -1
This mainly does enhanced healing or harming to Animals and Fey, although you might be able to get some mileage from the Channel Bonus to Handle Animal and Wild Empathy that the healing option provides for 1 minute -- probably better to use spells to buff that, though. If you have a LOT of Animal Companions and/or summoned Animals or fight a lot of Fey, add +1 to the Power of each option.

Nightmares
Healing Power +2, Versatility +0
Harming Power +0, Versatility -1
The healing option buffs your party against Charms and Compulsions, for a whole minute. The harming option debuffs your enemies against Fear and Phantasms, and impairs their Concentration checks if applicable, but only for 1 round.

Ocean/Sea/Water
Power -1, Versatility -1
This is mainly specific to aquatic (including aquatic elemental) or desert campaigns, but even with the healing option's buff lasting a whole minute, that duration is nowhere near enough to save you if you are in one of those campaigns (except that oddly enough, it could be enough to save you if you are on or near a ship instead of being in the water), while the harming option just does enhanced damage to aquatic or [Water] creatures.

Pain
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1 to +1 (gets better with level), Versatility +0
The healing option is very situational, and would better be covered with a spell, even though the buff lasts for a whole minute. The harming option starts out with a decent but brief debuff, but the duration scales slowly with your level.

Poison
Power +0 (Harming gets worse with level, eventually down to -2), Versatility -1
The healing option gives your party a minute of a buff against poisons -- rather situational, although replicating the effect with spells would take a fair amount of spellcasting. The harming option does area-of-effect physical ability damage, although the amount of damage is small and doesn't scale with your level (except that Constitution damage does implicitly scale due to later enemies having more hit dice; however, they will usually also have more Constitution, unless they are spellcasters, in which case they will usually have good Will Saves and thus make the Save against your Channel Negative Energy).

Protection
Power -2, Versatility -1
Buff your friends' or debuff your enemies' armor for an eyeblink. Pass.

Revenge/Vengeance
Power -2, Versatility -1 (only applies to negative energy channeling/harming)
Debuff your enemies' attack rolls for an eyeblink. Pass.

Rulership
Healing Power -2 to +0 (depending upon party composition), Versatility -1
Harming Power +2, Versatility +1
The healing option enhances your party's ability to influence or even outright control other creatures (IF they have such ability), but only for 1 round. The harming option makes enemies Dazed, which enables better kiting than the Variant Channeling options that just Slow/Stagger them; remember that unlike the Daze cantrip, enemies don't become temporarily immune to it after they fall victim to it the first time, so you can keep doing it as long as you have Channels remaining.

Secrets
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +1
This buffs your party's Sense Motive and Divination spells or debuffs your enemies against your Sense Motive and Divination spells, but while the healing option only lasts for 1 round, the harming option lasts for a whole minute.

Self-Perfection
Healing Power +0, Versatility +1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
The healing option enables your party to suppress 1 bad status of their choice, although only for 1 round, potentially allowing them to do something that might get rid of the condition more permanently or at least get out of danger before it comes back. The harming option debuffs enemies against an ongoing condition that they might be able to shake off, although that depends upon your party having inflicted such a condition on them in the first place.

Sexuality
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +1
The healing option lasts for a whole minute, but doesn't do a great deal; conceivably, it could be used for pre-buffing for Diplomacy in an intrigue campaign, and while a buff spell would normally be better for this, you might be able to pull off the Channel Positive Energy without being noticed more easily than casting the spell. The harming option gives a decent debuff to enemies that you will hit with Charm or Compulsion spells or Fascinate effects, and it lasts for a whole minute.

Slavery/Tyranny
Healing Power +1 to -1 (gets effectively worse with level), Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +1
The healing option is not bad at low levels if you have a party of Rage-cycling Barbarians, Bloodragers, and/or Skalds and/or if you really need to push yourselves to the limit, or if you have Plant friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything more at high levels (at which better options become available) than at low levels unless you have Plant friends (who get enhanced healing). The harming option gives a decent debuff to enemies that you will hit with Compulsion spells and Pain or Stun effects, and it lasts for a whole minute.

Strategy
Power -2 to +0 depending upon party composition, Versatility -1
Power +1, Versatility +1
The healing option buffs your party's Aid Another attempts, and your Channel Bonus stacks with their own other abilities that improve their Aid Another, although the buff is very brief as well as situational (being heavily dependent upon party composition and tactics). The harming option is a good debuff, making creatures unable to take attacks of opportunity for 1 round, like an area-of-effect version of Litany of Sloth (although unlike the spell, it allows a Save, but on the other hand not Spell Resistance), thereby allowing your Rogue/Ninja/Slayer/Vivisectionist allies to scoot into position while suffering reprisals only from enemies that made their Saves instead of from all of them.

Strength
Power +1, Versatility -1 (Power +2, Versatility +0 for Evangelist Clerics and characters that get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling)
Effectively buff your party's Strength or debuff your enemies' Strength; brief, but stacks with spells that do this and with Bardic Performance effects; even better if you can do 2 of these things at once. Requires that your party be inclined and ready to use Strength-based combat maneuvers against enemies in the round(s) in which you are doing this.

Sun
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
The healing option gives a very brief weak increase in illumination and a very brief buff against Blindness and light-based effects (highly situational). The harming effect Dazzles creatures (a weak debuff) or Blinds those with Light Sensitivity or Light Blindness (fairly situational), but at least it lasts for a whole minute.

Trickery
Power -1 to +1 depending upon party composition, Versatility -1
Decent buff or debuff that lasts a whole minute, but to get good use out of it, you need to have a party (for instance, Rogues/Ninjas/Slayers and/or Inquisitors) that makes a lot of use of the relevant skills (Bluff, Disguise, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth for healing; or Perception and Sense Motive for harming). If you have Versatile Channeling (so that you can do both), potentially up to Power +2.

Undeath
Power +2, Versatility +0 (only applies to negative energy channeling)
"Harm: The healing effect is enhanced for undead creatures and those with negative energy affinity." Apparently this one explicitly breaks the rule above about Variant Channeling only applying to channeling positive energy to heal or negative energy to harm -- Undead and other creatures having Negative Energy Affinity get enhanced healing.

Weapons
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility -1
The healing option works only very briefly, and only for creatures wielding your deity's favored weapon, and it only nerfs their attack rolls. The harming option also works only very briefly, but at least works on all creatures using manufactured (but not natural) weapons, and it nerfs both their attack rolls and their damage rolls; enemies that do a few huge attacks at high bonus will be only somewhat inconvenienced, but enemies (including hordes of minions) that do a lot of little attacks will get nerfed into the ground for 1 round.

Weather
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power -2, Versatility +1
The healing option gives your party some rather situational Save buffs, only for 1 round. The harming option lets you choose whether to convert half of your Channel Energy damage to electric or sonic damage, but remember that Variant Channeling already cut your Channel Negative Energy damage output in half. Either way, Pass.


I'm going to give a shot at Variant Channeling. While primarily a set of micro-archetypes for Clerics, it has the explicit text allowing other classes that channel energy to get it as long as they serve a deity. Strangely, it also has the following text:

Variant Channeling wrote:

{. . .}

A variant channeling either modifies positive channeled energy when used to heal or modifies negative energy when used to harm. {. . .}

This does not admit the interesting possibility of modifying negative channeled energy when used to heal (usually for Undead) or modifying positive energy when used to harm (usually against living creatures). Therefore, these combinations have to be assumed to be unmodified. However, it further has the following text, which at least hints at the possibility of modifying these excluded combinations:

Variant Channeling wrote:

{. . .}

Unless otherwise stated, bonuses granted by a variant channeling are sacred bonuses if you channel positive energy or profane bonuses if you channel negative energy. {. . .}

If you channel negative energy, you wouldn't want to be applying a Profane Bonus to the living.

Anyway, on to the Variant Channeling options and their ratings (A - L).:
Note that in most cases, the healing or harming is halved (although the Channel DC remains the same, and rider effects such as those of the Command/Turn Undead feats are unaffected), so the effect you get in exchange had better be something good that is usable often. Also note that loss of healing/damage dice does not affect the Channel Bonus or Channel Penalty of Variant Channeling (they still scale with your Cleric or effective Cleric level), so most of these options become more attractive for characters who do not have a full set of healing/damage dice, such as Evangelist Clerics, although a stickler GM might not allow this since both Variant Channeling and Evangelist Cleric alter Channel Energy. (The exceptions are those options that do extra healing or damage to certain types of creatures -- these do get hurt by loss of healing/damage dice.) Add +1 to the Versatility rating of any of these if you have the Channeling Variance feat (which either gives you the Variant Channeling if you had normal Channeling or gives you normal Channeling if you had Variant Channeling); also, the existence of this feat keeps any of these options from getting a base Versatility rating worse than -1 or better than +1.

Air/Sky/Wind
Power -1, Versatility -1
The healing effect you have on living creatures is rather situational unless your campaign has you flying a lot or at least up against a lot of enemies with air-based attacks. The harming effect of being able to slow flying Incorporeal Undead would be awesome if you were allowed to do it, but you are only allowed to use this variant to harm living creatures, according to the second quote above (only works with negative energy to harm).

Ale/Wine
Power +1, Versatility +0
Having your party able to ignore the Sickened condition for a round is not too shabby. Having your party able to ignore the Nauseated condition for a round could save it. Being able to Nauseate living enemies for a round is also useful as long as you have somewhere to back off to within 1 round before they recover.

Art/Music
Power +1, Versatility +0 (Power +2, Versatility +1 for Evangelist Clerics and characters that get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling)
Having your party gain a channel bonus on Perform checks and on saving throws against illusions, sonic effects, and language-dependent effects for 1 minute is pretty good. Harm does the opposite. Either way, the effect lasts a whole minute (compared to most Variant Channeling effects that last only 1 round), which makes for a decent buff or debuff. Note that either effect stacks with Bardic Performance, so an Evangelist Cleric could make very good use of these (if allowed). Someone who manages to get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling (Versatile Channeler feat) can also make very good use of it, especially an Envoy of Balance with Selective Channeling, Versatile Channeler, Spiritual Equilibrium, and Twinned Channeling.

Battle/Wrath
Power -1, Versatility -1
The buff or debuff to the affected creatures would be decent, if only it lasted more than 1 round.

Beauty/Love/Lust
Power +1, Versatility +0 (Power +2, Versatility +1 for Evangelist Clerics and characters that get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling)
Having your party gain a channel bonus on charm effects and abilities based on fascination or physical attractiveness (such as a nymph's blinding beauty and stunning glance abilities for 1 minute is pretty good. Harm does the opposite. Either way, the effect lasts a whole minute (compared to most Variant Channeling effects that last only 1 round), which makes for a decent buff or debuff. Note that either effect stacks with Bardic Performance, so an Evangelist Cleric could make very good use of these (if allowed). Someone who manages to get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling (Versatile Channeler feat) can also make very good use of it, especially an Envoy of Balance with Selective Channeling, Versatile Channeler, Spiritual Equilibrium, and Twinned Channeling.

Bravery/Valor
Power -2, Versatility +0 (Only applies to channeling positive energy/healing)
Giving a reroll (with your Channel Bonus) on Saves against fear is great, except that due to the wording, to make it work decently for creatures not immune to fear, you have to go before the rest of your party (has a chance to run away in terror), but after whoever caused the fear effect, which is awfully hard to set up. This gets better if your party has members immune to fear, since the armor bonus lasts a whole round, but that is unlikely to be most of your party. Note that this option does nothing for negative energy channeling/harming.

Cities
Healing Power +0, Versatility +0
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
Both (Versatile Channeling feat) Power +2, Versatility +1
If you heal with this, you could help your Rogue/Ninja/Slayer/Vivisectionist gank an enemy, or help your party to grapple an enemy, and you give your party some protection against flanking. If you harm with this, you seriously hamper your enemies' ability to reposition themselves to keep you from getting the advantage. If you can do both, you're in Golden City.

Contracts/Oaths
Power -2, Versatility -1
This is like a very inferior version of Beauty/Love/Lust Variant Channeling (but for Compulsion instead of Charm effects) -- it only lasts 1 round. Leave this to the Bard or Skald or the casting of Communal Protection from Evil or Magic Circle Against Evil.

Darkness
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1 to -2 (gets worse with level), Versatility -1
For the healing option, you give your party low light vision and eventually darkvision for an eyeblink. For the harming option, you make everybody have trouble seeing, and it lasts for a whole minute, but includes your own party, eventually even those members who have darkvision, and it would take some serious investment for them to get past that problem.

Death
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power -2, Versatility -1
For the healing option, you give your party a Channel Bonus against death effects (also a bonus on stabilization checks) for a whole minute, but I'd rather have full healing capability unless up against a lot of death effects. For the harming option, you give enemies a Channel Penalty to stabilization checks and impair their healing somewhat, but you'd essentially always do better to buff your party to whack your enemies to death faster.

Destruction
Power -2, Versatility -1
For the healing option, you give your party a bonus to destroy objects -- just cast an attack buffing spell on them instead. For the harming option, you can now channel negative energy to harm unattended objects at full damage -- why not just smash them instead? Pass.

Disease
Healing Power +2, Versatility +1
Harming Power -1 to +1 (gets better with level), Versatility +0
The healing option lets you do for all practical purposes an area-of-effect Lesser Restoration. The harming option gives a decent debuff to enemies, and the duration scales slowly with your level.

Dreams
Power +1, Versatility +1
Depending upon when you use it, the healing option gives your party a reroll with Channel Bonus against sleep effects or gives an 8 hour buff to Saves and Perception checks while asleep. The harming option puts a pretty decent debuff on your enemies for a whole minute.

Duty
Power +1, Versatility -1 (Power +2, Versatility +0 for Evangelist Clerics and characters that get both Positive and Negative Energy Channeling)
Rather specialized, but if you are in a party of police or bounty hunters or anyone else who wants to push enemies around and disarm them (and/or keep them from doing it to you) rather than kill them outright, this is really good, especially if you have Versatile Channeling.

Earth
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Healing Power +1, Versatility +1
The healing option gives you DR/{your Channel Bonus} for an eyeblink. The harming option seriously impairs your enemies' ability to reposition themselves for a whole minute.

Envy
Healing Power +1, Versatility +1
Harming Power +0, Versatility +0
Both (Versatile Channeling feat) Power +2, Versatility +1
Rather specialized, but if you are in a party of police or bounty hunters or anyone else who wants to disarm enemies or take their spell component pouches (for a whole minute), and/or to cause them to waste their next round trying to steal stuff from each other (unfortunately doesn't work if they are not adjacent to each other), this is really good, especially if you have Versatile Channeling.

Farming
Healing Power +1 to -1 (gets effectively worse with level), Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
The healing option is not bad at low levels if you have a party of Rage-cycling Barbarians, Bloodragers, and/or Skalds and/or if you really need to push yourselves to the limit, or if you have Plant friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything more at high levels (at which better options become available) than at low levels unless you have Plant friends (who get enhanced healing). The harming version makes enemies Fatigued for a whole minute, a decent debuff (and the Save DC does scale with your level), and does enhanced damage to Plant creatures.

Fate
Healing Power -2, Versatility +0
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
Instead of taking the healing option, just cast a buff on your party, or leave this to the Bard or Skald (or be an Evangelist Cleric), and it will give a much longer benefit for your Standard Action. The harming option would have a similar complaint, but at least it lasts on your enemies for a whole minute, not just for 1 d20 roll.

Fire
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
Damage healed or harmed is halved for almost everyone, but enhanced for [Fire] creatures or [Cold] creatures, respectively, but at least the harming effect can also cause affected creatures (even if not [Cold]) to catch on fire, which puts a decent amount of hurt on them.

Flying Creatures
Power +0, Versatility -1
The healing effect you have is rather situational unless your campaign has you flying a lot or at least up against a lot of enemies with air-based attacks, but unlike Air/Sky/Wind, it also bumps their speed up a bit, which makes a noticeable difference creatures with low flying speeds (for creatures that are already fast, not so much). Likewise for the harming effect, except that their speed is decreased if they fail their Save.

Forge
Healing Power +1, Versatility +1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
The healing option can enhance the armor of your allies in metal armor for an eyeblink, or repair damage to metal Constructs and objects -- the last use is probably going to come up pretty often in most campaigns, so this is handy to have. Yes, you could cast Mending or Make Whole or Greater Make Whole instead, but you can't use those in battle, whereas Channel Positive Energy in battle is viable, and could save your party if you are up against Sundering Demons, Rust Monsters, or something like that. The harming option just lets you do enhanced damage to metal Constructs and metal unattended objects.

Freedom
Power +0, Versatility -1
The healing option lets you give your party an improved chance to escape grapples, etc., while the harming option lets you Slow enemies, but either way, it only lasts 1 round.

Hunting
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility +0
The healing option is rather situational and lasts only 1 round. The harming option is odd in that the flat -5 to enemies' Stealth checks doesn't scale, and so starts out pretty good but effectively gets worse with level; but then on the other hand, at higher levels, enemies pick up more abilities to pass without leaving tracks, and the harming option of Hunting negates them, so it evens out overall to be not too shabby.

Journeys
Healing Power +1, Versatility -1
Harming Power +0, Versatility -1
For the healing option, it says "Creatures gain a channel bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity until the end of your next turn", not their next turn, so they really only get 1 round of benefit from this unless they have some kind of Immediate Action move ability that happens to get triggered before then, and meanwhile they get only half of the normal amount of healing, so if you wnat to make this really good for getting them out of a bad spot, better have Channeling Variance and Quick Channel so that you can follow up the Journeys healing option wiht a normal Channel Positive Energy. For the harming option, you halve only the movement speed of enemies that fail their Save, and only for 1 round -- their action economy is otherwise unimpaired, although giving yourself the option to kite them is still decent.

Creatures gain a channel bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity until the end of your next turn.
Healing Power -2 to +1 depending upon party composition, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
For the healing option, giving your Lawful comrades (but only your Lawful comrades) a Channel Bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks, attack rolls, and saving throws until the end of your next turn is not too shabby, although brief. For the harming option, the usefulness of this is sorely blunted by the difficulty with shooting first and asking questions later.

Knowledge
Healing Power -1, Versatility -1
Harming Power +1, Versatility -1
The healing option just gives your party a bonus on Knowledge and Perception checks for an eyeblink -- better to spend your Channel Energy on full healing and use a buff spell for a longer-lasting buff. The harming option does area-of-effect Intelligence Damage to enemies who fail their Save, which is nasty if they are of Intelligence-based classes, but situational.

Luck
Healing Power -2, Versatility -1
Harming Power -1, Versatility -1
Healing gives a Channel Bonus to your party for just 1 d20 roll in the next round (and although the set of allowed rolls is fairly broad, it is not unlimited); harm gives a Channel Penalty to your enemies for all d20 rolls for 1 round. Either way, better to just cast a buff or debuff spell -- it is a better use of your Standard action, and it will last longer; save your Channeling ability for full healing or harming.

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