No the issue is far simpler....
Many tables flat out don't allow 3pp as they understandably see it as an enormous tin of worms. As a GM I have trouble keeping up with all the normal content let alone the 3pp stuff!
And before you naively say... "Well you need to find a better table" or some other flippant advice.... for a lot of people just finding a PF1 group is hard enough, let alone one permissive to 3pp.
And both of these received widespread criticism as to "not properly filling the pure caster cleric role"
The Cardinal in particular was put into the same category of bin as the Cloistered Cleric, which is about as damning as is possible.
The Ecclesitheurge when really analysed heavily can just about scrape into the pure caster role..... but to analogise its like hammering a square brick through a round hole.... yes you did it but its made a real mess, was very hard work and far simpler approaches were available.
Not only was the D6 divine, the most glaring mechanical gap, but it was a glaring thematic gap, since in reality 'Holy men/prophets' in history are overwhelmingly unarmoured and dont walk around with a mace and shield!
Some of the biggest selling 3PP classes of all were ones dealing with D6 1/2 BAB variants.... that by itself is proof enough of the demand.
D6 HD, 1/2 BAB divine caster.... ALL DAY LONG
Nothing short of criminal that one was never done! It was THE absolute glaring mechanical gap in PF1. The fact that many were successfully homewbrewed or 3PPed makes it even more bizarre/ridiculous.
They could have put it in a book release and surrounded it with complete junk and it still would have sold a bombload.
Chell Raighn wrote:
No as is ALWAYS the case....SPECIFIC > GENERAL
Divine Paragon immediately alters the key feature of Deific Obedience by not only allowing a choice of any of the sets of boons but also giving them at an advanced rate.
It is a SPECIFIC case and does not follow the usual rules of Deific Obedience and invalidates most of the associated text (eg ".....you lose access to the exalted boons and gain access to the new boons appropriate to your class""..... since it is a SPECIFIC case as it can choose any of the sets (not just Exalted which is the only option with Deific Obedience) straight off the bat and at a different rate.
The boons are a class feature.... as you 100% cannot opt out of them. And thus PrC into Evangelist would advance them.
By RAW it works... no ifs, buts or maybes. I have not read anything that states otherwise....
SPECIFIC > GENERAL
(But hey if the PFS or Dev people say otherwise then that's another story!!.... Maybe you go and ask them!)
I say this without any bias.... I genuinely don't think PF2 will have the required longevity for Paizo.
In the short - medium term it will be profitable as it will keep a sufficiently high % of its client base and they will in turn buy up the books as they get released. However, I think Paizo is counting on getting back customers from D&D5.... and I just can't see that happening. D&D5 hits the "plug in and play" market perfectly and that seems to be where the market is going.
In short.... the market can only handle 1 game being properly successful.... any others will just be fighting for leftovers. D&D5 has the enormous advantage of being backed by Hasbro.
From a business perspective, I completely understand why Paizo went down this PF2 route, and so in many ways I am not really taking a swipe at them. Its more that it just feels like the end of an era.
By all accounts things were getting financially v.tight with PF1 and with little sign in this trend changing due largely to the massive asteroid like impact of 5e.
A widespread "Unchaining" of PF1 which I think many in the community were hoping for, just wouldn't have made sense financially. Yes it would have solidified their existing client base, and in the short term increased profits a bit. It also MAY have recruited a few new players to the game, but certainly not many. What is certain is that an "Unchaining" style PF2 would not have contributed to the medium - long term financial success of Paizo..... merely delayed their demise by 2-3 years.
D&D played an absolute blinder.... they saw that the average modern tabletop RPG gamer, is a "plug in and play" style gamer, who really isnt going to invest massively in system complexity. To get customers and critically customers who are completely new to RPGs, it has to be something that a newb can pick up after a couple of hours rule reading.
I mean FFS.... Ive been playing PF1 for 7-8 years and I'm still getting rules wrong! LOL
Never in the history of RPGs has the saying...
"Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it."
....seemed for apt.
For the last 3-4 years many PF1 fans called for a "PF2", naively thinking that it would represent the v3.875 that would smooth out the rough bits but keep the existing mechanics, to become the definitive final version.
PF2 arrives but is not remotely what many had hoped for and now the 3.5 era of RPG is drawing its final breath.... :((
Loved: options and customisation. One of the areas where I think PF2 will come unstuck is that character design feels very modular, 'lego brick' and dull whereas PF1 had a much more personal feel to it.
Wanted: D6 divine class..... pretty much the only mechanical gap unfilled, a v.popular 3PP design choice but yet bizarrely ignored by Paizo.
Hated: Too many archetypes that had no RP or mechanical relevance. Would have much preferred more alternate classes (eg ninja, antipaladin) to give some proper depth where a separate class wasn't needed but an archetype just couldn't do the design justice. Lots of archetypes felt very rushed.
Will Miss: Tinkering around with builds and the forum debates!
C'est la vie.....
I was having a few vodkas with my fellow gamers the other night, we were taking about pure casters in PF and we got chatting..... what would be the optimal starting point for a cleric caster?
Here's my vote:
Samsaran Ecclesitheurge cleric of Mhar
Samsaran = great race for a pure caster (+2 WIS +2 INT... but yes -2 CON)
Mystic past life = Choose Adept - invisibility, mirror image, web, lightning bolt, polymorph, stoneskin
Ash & Caves = useful spells that cover some weak points in the cleric spell list. The only deity as far as I'm aware that can grant you both.
Access to Dreamed Secrets = 2 Wiz spells/day of anything you fancy
Anyone beat it?
Rather disagree Doc, The traditionally weaker and less versatile cleric spell list would mean your half BAB d6' divine caster is rather at a significant disadvantage to its arcane counterpart. Or are you suggesting them using the same spell lists like hermetics and shamanics in Shadowrun?
Remember you would be comparing classes (ie D6 arcane vs D6 divine) and not just their respective spell lists. The D6 divine could have the 1-9 divine list and be absolutely fine, even though it is overall inferior to the arcane.
A D6 divine would be balanced in many other ways, possible examples could be:
- Keeps a strong Fort save
There are all kinds of ways a D6 divine class could be fleshed out. Some of the above would be a simple but effective start, but you could then start to get creative when it came to archetypes.
D6 divine = cleric D8 divine = warpriest D10 divine = paladin
True.... but also not really relevant
3.5 gave clerics more meaningful ways to tailor the class than PF does
Also doesn't change the fact that PF Neg.Channelling is effectively a non-option and so a waste of class ability and irrespective of which deity and type of cleric you wish to RP, healing responsibility is forced upon you as a cleric. You still carry at the bare minimum, the shadow of healbot!!
When you look at a great many of the deities, this makes zero sense.
At the end of the day....Paizo could have very easily created archetypes that traded channelling for other more thematically appropriate options.... but they didn't. So many of the archetypes were just plain terrible.
I'm not saying that channelling shouldn't have existed.... if you want to be a 'channel cleric' then fine.... but to have it forced upon you is just wrong, and IMO contributed significantly to the 'boring and bland' tag that PF1 cleric was frequently stuck with.
And interestingly....nothing that I have seen from PF2 shows this changing.... amazingly I see the PF2 as being even more dull than PF1 cleric! At least with some system mastery, you could do something with PF1 cleric.... with PF2 Paizo seem to be on a very stubborn crusade to prove the worth of channelling!
But as I said, even if you accept that its going to be used purely out of combat, the problem still remains:
1) Alongside domains it is the clerics only class feature and it is geared towards healing.... an ability easily duplicated by other means, thus making it redundant and thus a waste of a class feature.
2) The class design gives you very little option to trade this out via archetypes. You are in effect pushed into the healing role right from the start. Neg channelling is so horrendous its basically a class ability write off for any evil clerics!
This is the crucial point.... a huge amount of your class design space is geared towards an ability that either requires a huge additional investment on the PC behalf to make it even maybe semi-useful in combat or something that is easily replaced in out of combat scenarios.
If it was an ability that was frequently able to be traded out in archetypes then the issue wouldn't have been an issue..... the problem is that it very rarely was!
The burden of party healing was always assumed to be that of the clerics.... irrespective of what type of cleric they wanted to play and which deity they worshipped. Something that when you think about it is pretty nonsensical.
This was something that during the entire of PF1 Paizo just couldn't (or probably didnt want) seem to see.
Matthew Downie wrote:
EH?!?!?!.... We clearly have appeared in this forum simultaneously from parallel dimensions, as I remember the following quite clearly!
1) Pos channelling
- Forces role of healbot onto PC at the expense of other options. Channelling is very rarely traded out in archetypes making the problem worse. Wide abundance of healing in other forms makes it largely unnecessary..... classic example = the ubiquitous wand of CLW
- Tied into CHA score which pushed cleric further into MAD territory and required a minimum of CHA 16 and selective channelling feat to work it worthwhile for use in combat. Failing this its sole purpose is out of combat healing which is fine in principle but no something that should be forced upon a PC.
- Cleric is already feat starved making investment in channelling feats relatively more expensive.
- Variant channelling for the most part lacking in impact
2) Neg channelling
- Similar to above but generally regarded as EVEN WORSE since the DC was also CHA based, but also since it is offensive and thus designed to be used in combat made a high CHA and selective channelling mandatory. The fact that its damage scaled terribly and that a save meant 1/2 damage meant that for any neg channeller a big chunk of their class skills had been gobbled up by something pretty useless!
I just find the PF2 cleric design decisions really bizarre....
In PF1, channel energy was widely decried as a class feature for a variety of reasons, and largely a waste of design space.
In PF2, channel energy has now become seemingly almost the backbone of the class. So many feat/class options tailored towards it.
In PF1, most 3PP design work focussed on making the cleric less gish and more caster focussed. A logical choice being that the divine classes have always lacked a 'pure caster' option. Some of these 3PP designs were some of the most wide selling 3PP out there.
In PF2, Paizo have made the cleric less caster focussed and more towards a bland middle of the road gish. PF1 cleric lacked flavour/interest but things have gone even further with PF2.
Bizarre, tragically amusing, but if Im honest not unexpected.
I completely agree..... its truly surreal.
Out of all the classes it should be jam-packed with RP-goodness
Here you have a class that is based on this amazing concept of them being a divine emissary of the gods.... here to aid the faithful and lay waste to the unbelievers with fire, brimstone and plagues... and what do we get?
In PF1.... a limp attempt with a few token cursory nods... not much but with an experienced gamer you could stick something together
In PF2.... a complete and utter waste of time and paper.
Dear Paizo.... if you can't see the blindingly obvious just remove the cleric from the playtest all-together. Let us at least have some fond memories of the class rather than have this abomination staring at us for the next 10 years!! You've never appreciated the cleric that much has always been clear.... at least give it the decency of a good burial. :((
The tragedy is that what should be one of (if not the) most flavourful classes in the entire game has now been butchered and left as a bland, underpowered, gish healbot that in reality offers very little other than being a walking band-aid depository.
Its actually laughable.... the cleric had a lot of design issues in PF1 ....but with a dollop of system mastery you could about make it work.
Paizo made a lot of noise about addressing the class properly, but yet I look at the cleric in PF2 and I see absolutely no reason to play one.
I didn't like the direction PF2 had taken in terms of design anyway, but after what Paizo did to one of the iconic D&D classes, it made my mind up.
R.I.P Cleric.... the only time we got to see you near what you should represent was at the end of Ed 3.5 :(((
I have to say I'm sorely disappointed by the cleric in the playtest
One of the big gripes people previously had in PF1 was that the cleric was too gish and didn't really provide the 'holy man' pure caster option. And as it was feat starved it didn't allow for any wiggle room.
Looking at the cleric in the playtest....
- Its spell list is now distinctly sub-par compared to PF1.... the divine list has now slipped way down the pecking order
I could go on.....
Overall, the cleric has YET AGAIN been nerfed with a change of edition and is arguably even more gish and healbot than it was in PF1!!! Paizo made a big statement at the beginning of all this saying they realised the PF1 cleric was lacking, but IMHO the class has taken a step backwards.
It is gish and it is a healbot!!
Looking at the bigger picture with the other classes, I cannot see any reason why you would play one!! What purpose do they serve other than to heal?!?
A lost customer I'm afraid..... as I've been saying for years... Paizo just doesn't get the class.
In their heads they just cannot seem to let go of the age old flawed thinking of....cleric = bit of armour + bit of weapon + crap channeling + sub-par caster
I really am disliking the overwhelming feat emphasis of PF2..
I really didnt think MC was that bad in PF1
Training to become great in any class takes serious dedication and so if a PC wants to MC there should absolutely be some significant drawbacks attached.
I hate the idea that a caster can retain pretty much full casting ability, but just by 'spending' a few feats can all of a sudden completely change the nature of their character.
A sorceror that wants to MC to a monk should and would have to put their magical development on hold whilst they learn the ways of a monk and how those ways can integrate with that of his original class. It should NOT be easy.
TBH I would prefer MCing to be handled with PrC rather than this path that Paizo seem intent on.... it reeks of VMC... which I though was thematic gibberish in PF1.
Thematic relevance is something that I feel has been lost in PF for a while now :(((
Not a fan at all....
People always seemed to have unrealistic expectations of MC in PF1.
This new mechanic seems to be very VMC like which I hated in PF1.
A 10 Fighter/10 Druid should have significant obstacles.
For me MC always seemed thematically appropriate for taking small dips.
And in terms of 'all-class' archetypes, these to me seem like professions that anyone could take (eg spy, merchant, medic.... etc).
I would still want most archetypes to be class specific as this IMO was a big success for Paizo. Although I have to say that they probably overdid it as some of the archetype concepts just seemed non-sensical from a thematic stand point. A class archetype should make meaningful and significant changes.
Secret Wizard wrote:
Indeed, although I think any Shaman class should be much more closely tied via archetype to the Druid (as it should have been in PF!)
The Shaman was/is a really badly designed class IMO in PF1 that overlaps with far too many other classes and as a result is fiddly to use and unjustifiably OP...
TBH I dont see the need for it in PF2
Diego Rossi wrote:
The problem is that facts are facts...
Paizo themselves admitted that their design of the PF1 cleric was poor/uninspiring/bland.... that one fact is in itself all the proof required, since it also confirms what large portions of the PF community have been saying for years, and provides evidence as to why 3PP 'alternative cleric' options have been amongst the most requested and popular.
I am not "shouting" anything... merely stating facts. That you might not like them is irrelevant. And yes in debates, most often there is a side with the more convincing argument.
If you choose to believe that all is well with PF cleric then I wish you the best of luck. :)
IMO its when you see thread like this, it emphasises the PF1 and PF2 flaw regarding the cleric in general.
Paladins, Warpriests, Inquisitors are all divinely appointed warriors, granted specific powers linked to their warrior role.
Having clerics as gish serves no purpose either thematically or mechanically. It not only makes the cleric less effective but it clouds the water for the actual divine warrior types..... hence why thread like this crop up!
The fact that you CAN design the cleric as gish is not proof that you SHOULD design it as such. It is a completely redundant concept. Its like having a company and making your accountants spend time improving their skills in buildings maintenance.... yes you can do it... but should you?? Nooooo....
The game has moved on massively since D&D 1st ed....
Think about things logically...
If you have a deity whose 'area of concern' does not include war/blood/violence.... etc, why would you require that your clerics (supposedly the 'keepers of the faith') have an inbuilt ability for battle? Especially when you have Warpriests, Inquisitors, Paladins (in some cases) and possibly aligned Fighters who are far, far better suited to the task??!
Even if you were a God of War... etc.... the above would still apply, and ironically probably more so, since your beliefs are more in line with martials and thus more likely to attract worshippers from them!! A cleric in your service would be granted 'War-like divine powers' not D8 HD, 3/4 BAB, med armour and a mace!!!
Its actually far more likely and thematically realistic to have the cleric as an un-martial/gish class as its default setting.
First and foremost a cleric is a wielder of divine power... smiting unbelievers and heretics with plagues, firestorms and buffing allies in battle.
IMO Paizo has a completely backward view on the cleric which is still 1st Ed D&D based. A 'battle' option should be archetype based not inbuilt. I've said it a million times.... Holy men DONT walk around with maces and shields!! WARpriests... etc on the other hand do!
And finally making the cleric a 'D6 type class' actually helps classes like Warpriest, Inquisitor... etc as it generates distance between them and so prevents any overlap and makes design easier. Overlap between classes is death and should be avoided whenever possible.
Oh the frustrating irony!!!
Weather Report wrote:
Leaving aside the dubious thematic/historical concept of Mr Mace+Armour+Cast Cleric.... there is no need to have 'Battle Cleric' potential built into the chassis.
Holy Warrior is reasonably well covered by Paladin but since that has alignment issues, Warpriest IS definitely that type of cleric.
Never in the history of PF has a concept been made redundant quicker than when Warpriest appeared and made redundant the Battle Cleric.
If you are a cleric of a war god, then this should be 99% reflected in the powers you receive, not in the functionality of the base chassis.
Cast and hit gish should be left to a chassis that is specifically designed to do it. Having underlying gish in the cleric chassis has always held it back. A battle option in the form of an archetype would be fine.
Not so fast.... you are the one using the existence of "CoDzilla" in D&D 3.5.... I repeat D&D 3.5....as some kind of excuse for the poor Paizo design of the core cleric in PF1 that resulted in basically all of the subsequent problems the class has/had.
D&D 3.5 is irrelevant to the debate.
And not only that it conveniently ignores the fact that the Druid (another component of your "3.5 CoDzilla") has a far better core design than the cleric. And it ignores the fact that the wizard (aka God Wizard) actually in many ways got a power upgrade in transitioning to PF1.
In terms of the cleric, Paizo made the choice to have such a bland chassis and Paizo made the choice to not do anything of note with the archetypes.
And for all your talk about 3.5, I could equally point to the huge number of people since Day 1 of PF who have wanted a redesign of the cleric.
The fact that Paizo themselves admit the problem is 100% proof of my point. The fact that cleric in D&D 3.5 (alongside several other classes) was v.powerful has nothing to do with the current discussion.
I repeat....AGAIN.... we are not talking about making the cleric more powerful.
I suspect that, with the cleric being one of the most notoriously powerful classes of 3.5, giving them archetypes that amount to "here's a bunch of stuff at no cost" would not have been terribly well-received. ^_^
As is often the case, you have confused "More relevant options" with "More power".....
I know they mentioned that and I see what youre saying, but I think youre missing the point.
Irrespective of the fact that they hadnt considered archetypes at the time it still doesnt change the fact that:
1) Paizo designed the cleric blandly and still even when comparing it against other core classes too
But more importantly..
2) When given the opportunity to change things around with said archetypes they didnt.
Hence my lack of optimism regarding the current cleric.....
When it comes to the cleric, Paizo just cant seem to see the wood for the trees.... since Day 1.
2 fundamental errors:
1) Incorporating gish into the class as a default instead of an option
2) Insisting on some sort of heal/harm facility incorporated as a default instead of an option
People seem to forget that first and foremost a cleric is a servant of the Gods and that is where the power comes from via prayer.
Where is it written that every single deity has some sort of vested interest in having their followers be able to radiate divine waves of healing/harming energy?!?
Yes some Gods would have a huge interest in healing energy due to there areas of divine concern, but there would plenty of others who would not give a single hoot if their clerics never healed anyone in their entire life!!
Shock... horror...(sarcasm) cleric is dragged kicking and screaming back to healbot!
I might be misreading things, but reduced spell slots combined with increased heal/harm channels really doesnt strike me as a step in the right direction. Unless that direction is "Right, who's going to play the healer?"
Channeling..... has there ever been a more derided ability in PF? I just think Paizo cant bare to get rid of it, otherwise it would confirm the fact that it always was a useless ability that ate up too much design space.
I mean think about it logically.... why would a God of fire/deception/monsters/darkness/plants/weather.... etc have any automatic interest in healing anyway??
Clerics should absolutely have to follow a deity.... the whole 'cleric of a philosophy' was very flaky!
With all this speculation, it just goes to show how the general complete terribleness of the original cleric design has caused problems years down the road.
The design space for the Oracle when it appears will clearly have to be shifted.
What I find absolutely bewildering from Mark's comments is the reported popularity of the cleric in PF1 ?!? How on earth can a class so devoid of features and general personality be so popular to play?
AD&D 2nd Ed had the right idea.... priests of any god could be of a low/med/high combat ability and their spell access was adjusted accordingly.
Paizo's stubborn insistence on the basic concept of cleric = gish only creates problems... unless of course they aim to get round this via archetype. Keeping it gish only clogs things up with all the other gish classes.
Domains are frequently WIS based in their powers...
And Oracles are much easier to play gish with.... Battle Oracles >>> Battle Cleric every time
People always forget with Oracles that they do not in any way have to be worshippers. They receive their powers whether they like it or not.... there is no prayer requirement. Clerics have to prey and worship.... an Oracle could be a complete atheist and it wouldnt matter!
The fact that cleric have to prey for their spells by default pushes them into prepared territory.
Granted its early days on which to be saying anything definitive but the signs aren't good so far....
On the one hand Paizo have acknowledged that the cleric has been really hindered by a poor initial class design with a lack of 'tradeable options'. This is a positive.
On the other hand I would say that it was more of an unwillingness by Paizo to trade out in any meaningful way the options that the cleric did have.
How many badly designed cleric archetypes have there been?!? Almost all of them!
Channeling.... which deep down we all know is largely redundant in PF1 due to the plethora of healing options and the fact that its well.... crap. But how often was it traded out for something with more zip??
Already we can see the cleric is being dragged back into healbot territory with PF2!! And the enormous three legged elephant that is Channeling is still standing in the corner!
Clerics will never be sorted unless the base problem is addressed....
Stop trying to make them a gish class by default!
Warpriests, Alchemists, Inquisitors, Magus, Hunters and even Druids to a degree are far more suited to that role. That is what they are.
Leave the 'hit a bit, cast a bit' to these classes as their chassis is already built for it!
A cleric should be a robed holy man with a bare minimum of combat training.... not the 1st ed D&D relic that Paizo cant seem to let go of!
Should there be a way of making your cleric more 'hitty' via archetype or class feature?? Quite possibly. But having this as the default setting has been the albatross round the cleric's neck for years and years.
I cant see it happening though because the signs are that in PF2 the cleric will still for whatever bizarre reason be based on the concept of gish.
This represents another opportunity for Paizo to fix the bland mess that is the cleric....
IMO channeling is and has always been a 95% waste of class feature and a wound in the clerics side that has caused all manner of problems ever since PF began
There have been loads of 3rd party stuff all poiting a massive glowing stick to the correct direction.
It wont happen but what should happen (and should have been since Day 1) is...
Cleric = Warpriest (thus keeping true to the original notion D&D of a holy warrior)
'Priest' = D6 half BAB divine (aka feeble old wise man in robes that brings down wrath of god.... etc
But since this obvious gap has never been addressed in 10 years, its highly doubtful that this will happen. ITKs Ive previously spoken to have said that a D6 divine will never happen.... bizarre and a waste but hey ho!!