The Genius Guide to Domain Channeling (PFRPG) PDF

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Domain Channeling allows you to differentiate one cleric from another by offering players new feats for use with the channel energy class feature. The channel energy ability already functions in different ways based on a cleric’s alignment, which often proscribes whether a given cleric channels positive or negative energy. Presented here are Domain Channeling feats which add flexibility to the otherwise fairly static power level of the class ability, allowing the powers of the cleric’s deity to directly impact what kind of effect his channeled energy can produce. There are also a few other new channeling feats that will offer cleric players even more options, such as channeling two effects simultaneously or altering the shape of a channel effect!

Author: Andrew Marlowe
Pages: 14

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

This supplement is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let's take a look!

As has become the neat tradition with RGG-supplements, we kick off this pdf with a nice piece of in-game fiction before we delve into the concept - which, in this case, would be so-called domain-channeling feats. What do these do? Essentially, they allow a cleric to do different things, differentiate him/herself from other clerics by more than available spells, by using channel energy in different ways, depending on their chosen domains.

As an optional rule, it is suggested to allow for these feats to be available as a potential replacement for regular domain abilities - which, depending on the domain, could either be a no-brainer or a sub-par choice since the domain abilities aren't balanced among themselves, but rather in the whole package. Personally, I'd advise against this suggestion, but since it's just that, this won't have any influence on my verdict - so let's take a look at those feats!

First of all - thanks for catching that channel resistance applies, as per the rules, as a default always. Now let's look at some of these effects, shall we? First of all - the respective feats all list their assigned domains and thematically fit their parent domain - e.g. the community-domain, which allows for the gaining of temporary hit points (without being abusable), while the liberation-domain allows channel energy to attack all shackles in range, damaging them and possibly breaking them - iconic, if a bit specific for my tastes, also, since shackles aren't 100% defined - what about e.g. force chains and the like? And yes, I'm aware I'm nitpicky here - after all, rules for magical shackles are provided. The alignment-based domains can add minor +1/-1 buff/debuffs -that don't scale. Sure, channeling is powerful, a Su etc. - but no scaling makes these rather lame; Come on, some scaling depending on basic channel dice (like some of these have!) would have actually made these interesting... as would DIFFERENT abilities. Essentially, they all do the same...which is nice, sure, but a more chaotic bonus (perhaps with a chance for a penalty or the like?) would have been nice for that one. Perhaps better buffs for the good domain, better debuffs for the evil domain?

The Travel-domain gets an interesting ability - channel teleport at 15 ft. +5 ft/2 channel dice teleportation as a swift action. OMG how op is that 11eleven... wait. This works...especially due to the caveat that the character can't teleport through obstacles, essentially requiring free access to the target area (no teleporting through doors etc.) - with traps, hazards and even potential for AoOs also preventing teleportation, this one actually is STRONG (catch the healing cleric...), yes, but in a balanced way.

Other feats allow you to create a swirling wind to debuff ranged attacks with winds - this time scaling with channel dice (and coming with a caveat that it can't be selectively channeled) - neato! What about making blast runes tied to channel energy? Elemental domains like fire net e.g. a fire-wave, while water later nets a rather cool drowning aura (that fatigues/exhausts, not utilizes the drowning rules - nice rules-wise, somewhat problematic re nomenclature). The Protection domain also deserves mentioning - DR 5/- for quite some time, but like stoneskin, dissipates after preventing 5 points of damage thus. The glory domain's feat nets you a limited gaze attack for 2 uses of channel energy, while another feat allows you to generate a phantom ally to help flank adversaries and another allows you to shift attitudes for a chance at a truce after your PCs have once again annoyed the wrong NPC...and we ALL know that happens all too often...

Now the magic domain's suppressive channeling is VERY interesting, working like a targeted dispel while the target is in reach -especially at lower levels, that might help (my players always save for the emergency dispel magic-scroll/wand at low levels...) immensely. SO yeah, powerful, but one of these YES-moments! On the downside, though, this is a potentially very dice-roll intensive feat...

It should also be noted that there's a feat herein that allows you to change your channel energy into a 90 ft.-ray that requires a touch attack to hit, and more importantly, one that allows you to split the effects of channel energy between domain channeling feats and/or heal/harm effects. Another one allows you to shape your channel into either a cone or a line. It should also be noted that the pdf comes with a concise table of the feats, all at one glance.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RGG's printer-friendly two-column, mostly b/w-layout with thematically fitting stock-art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf also comes with copious hyperlinks of the good type.

Divine channeling is the way to go to make clerics more distinct from another - as such, I LOVE this pdf for what it does. By taking one of the most under-developed abilities (option-wise), author Andrew Marlowe delivers a concise, cool little supplement I love in concept. However, the some feats herein feel a bit weak in direct comparison - most scale and while I can see an enhanced threat range not scaling (now THAT would be bad!), some others could definitely use an upgrade power-wise. There's no per se broken feat herein, which is a good thing indeed. Now my frame of reference would be Rite Publishing's Divine Channeler (which btw. features in my home campaign) - the Rite Publishing class is more focused on channeling and hence has stronger abilities and in direct comparison, the feats pale a bit - since with these feats, the cleric retains full spellcasting, that works, though - so yeah, no balance-concerns. On the fluff-side, the feats could have used unique visual effects like those of divine channeler, but I won't hold that against the pdf either.

So...all in all, I want more of these - all subdomains or all of RGG's exalted domains, for example! Andrew Marlowe did a great job, if not a perfect one and I hope we'll see more channeling-feats to make this ability more versatile. My only true gripe remains that some of the feat's effects don't properly scale and that the 4 alignment-effects could have been more unique as well as the respective feats varying somewhat in usefulness - channel energy for undead prevention/temporary gentle repose or opening shackles? Don't know. Then again, waves of fire, magic suppression? Yes, please! This pdf offers mostly great options, and hence my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars. Here's to hoping we'll get more!

Endzeitgeist out.


Good stuff.

5/5

I always like to see an expansion of options for clerics, especially with the domains. In this pdf, you get some new channel abilities that clerics can do (based on domain choice) that include helping your party members with DR, weapon threat range, temporary hit points and a whole lot more. Some of the choices seem a bit more powerful/useful than others but still a great pdf to pick up.


Well Done!

5/5

I really like this book. There's a feat for every domain in the Core book which modifies how the channel energy class feature works. For the ones that it's important to know, you are told whether Selective Channeling works with it or not. There are several feats that modify the channeling ability that aren't domain dependent. You can change the shape from a burst to a cone or line. There is one to turn it into a ray. There is also one that allows you to use two channels at the same time. It's really easy to implement for the players and GM.

I really look forward to a sequel. I would love to see more domains from RGG games, feats that focus on subdomains, improved versions of the feats, and more ways to change the way channeling targets.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

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Now available!


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Yes! A new Rogue product! It will be mine!

Scarab Sages Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

And our first product from 2014 RPG Superstar top-32 contestant, Andrew Marlowe!


Payday is friday, gonna get it then!

Scarab Sages Contributor

strongblade wrote:
Payday is friday, gonna get it then!

We look forward to your thoughts.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
We look forward to your thoughts.

Or questions.

This is my first RPG release and I'm excited to hear what people think.


How does this compare to Rite Publishing's Divine Channeler class?

Scarab Sages Contributor

The divine channeler class is a ground-up new class design, which plays with different ways to channel energy.

This book is specifically designed to retrofit clerics to have new options, primarily based on what domains they take, and it covers every current official domain (though not subdomains, both because mostly they are close enough to domains for that not to be an issue, and because that would have made this a 45 page book).

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

And what is wrong with 45-page books? :)


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

The divine channeler class is a ground-up new class design, which plays with different ways to channel energy.

This book is specifically designed to retrofit clerics to have new options, primarily based on what domains they take, and it covers every current official domain (though not subdomains, both because mostly they are close enough to domains for that not to be an issue, and because that would have made this a 45 page book).

Well, I ended up buying it anyway. But I have agree that there is nothing wrong with a 45 page book. And I think one of the real limitations I've seen of much of the 3pp stuff I've seen is not taking into account things like the subdomains or the other domains created by other 3pp that are OGL. You have some great feats in this piece but if I'm playing a cleric that has one subdomain and one domain from some other 3pp this offering doesn't do me any good, even if I'm really enjoy the concept, which I do.

I get that the core rulebook is the basis of what we play, but if I'm going to buy a 3pp item (of which I've bought a few dozen) I've already said I'm interested in going beyond the core books. I want more, that's why I bought The Genius Guide to Divine Channeling. And the Godling books. And Time Warden, and Time Thief, and Riven Mage, and all sorts of other items that added new classes, domains, bloodlines, spells, etc.

I know you can't account for everything, that would be unreasonable to ask. But why not hit some of the more popular options? Even if you only do so from your own companies offerings.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Christina Stiles wrote:
And what is wrong with 45-page books? :)

Nothing. That's just not the book I wrote :P

Yet.


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Locke1520 wrote:
Christina Stiles wrote:
And what is wrong with 45-page books? :)

Nothing. That's just not the book I wrote :P

Yet.

You did write a good book by the way. Nice stuff.

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Craig Bonham 141 wrote:
I know you can't account for everything, that would be unreasonable to ask. But why not hit some of the more popular options? Even if you only do so from your own companies offerings.

I'm glad you like the concept. I'm a new designer and when I first pitched this idea to Owen it was specifically for just the Core Domains. There were really two main factors in that decision. One, I wasn't entirely certain how long it would take me to write all of these feats and I didn't want to hold up any deadlines. And two, I wasn't certain people would enjoy the concept as much as I do.

I do have a few commitments on my desk already including another possible Rogue product but I had planned on pitching a sequel to Owen if there seemed to be interest. So if there is let us know and then more domains might be a possibility.

Contributor

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Locke1520 wrote:
Christina Stiles wrote:
And what is wrong with 45-page books? :)

Nothing. That's just not the book I wrote :P

Yet.

Just messing with Owen, Andrew. :P Somebody has to be his gadfly.

Scarab Sages Contributor

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Christina Stiles wrote:
And what is wrong with 45-page books? :)

Well the MAIN problem with them is that they take 3 times as long to produce, often aren't anything like 3 times as popular, and mean some OTHER book I want to get out is likely delayed or never happens. :D

We *do* look to support expansion material as much as we can (see our Exalted Domain Books, which DO cover every subdomain that existed when we created it), and we do produce follow-ups to popular lines (godlings and time classes have continued to see support, for example).

But especially with a new author (however talented, and I think Andrew is *very* talented), doing a new concept for us, that is similar to things other people have already done, we need to start by covering the basics and see how that is received.

I'm glad you want more! We'll see about making that happen. :)

Scarab Sages Contributor

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Christina Stiles wrote:
Just messing with Owen, Andrew. :P Somebody has to be his gadfly.

Now I am tempted to get you business cards that say "Professional Gadfly." :D

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015

Well, Stan is already your consigliere, it only seems fitting that Rogue Genius Games would have a Gadfly as well.

Scarab Sages Contributor

Good point!

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Craig Bonham 141 wrote:
I know you can't account for everything, that would be unreasonable to ask. But why not hit some of the more popular options? Even if you only do so from your own companies offerings.

This question is for Craig or really anyone who wants to answer. If I was going to write a follow-up what domains would you be interested in seeing?


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I've read most of it and find it to be very fantastic and adds depth to the domains, in my opinion, for the better.
As most of the 3pp that I have is from Genius, I would like to see the Godling Domain (with maybe a subdomain for the Godling domain as a bonus?) get some love. If I can think of others I'll update, just at work right now, so...


Add: The domains from the Guides to (insert) Magic. While some could possibly be used to cover some of the prereqs, I would like to see them get their own attention, esp. the Cold Iron and Hellfire Domains (as these are used more often at my table).

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strongblade wrote:

I've read most of it and find it to be very fantastic and adds depth to the domains, in my opinion, for the better.

As most of the 3pp that I have is from Genius, I would like to see the Godling Domain (with maybe a subdomain for the Godling domain as a bonus?) get some love. If I can think of others I'll update, just at work right now, so...

Thanks I'm glad you liked it and I'll keep the Godling domain in mind when I start my homework if decide to go on with a follow up.

Scarab Sages Contributor

Certainly I could see covering the new domains we did, and the sub-domains. Anything else people would like to see?


Regarding a 'part 2' of this product or for any product?

Scarab Sages Contributor

Well I *meant* for a follow-up for Domain Channeling, but if you have other ideas I'd be happy to hear them.


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would adding new domains be a possibility for an addition with doing a domain channeling upgrade to it? Because neutral aligned channelers get no love. How about an Inevitable Domain?

Heck, even an Inevitable blood sorcerer.


strongblade wrote:

would adding new domains be a possibility for an addition with doing a domain channeling upgrade to it? Because neutral aligned channelers get no love. How about an Inevitable Domain?

Heck, even an Inevitable blood sorcerer.

I agree with this, and I'd love to see a Neutral Domain to fill out the alignment domains.


I have a couple questions about Dual Channeling.

1) Can I use Selective Channeling for each channel energy separately. For example, can I use the Vigor and Combustion Wave abilities but choose different targets for each to not affect?

2) Can I use Channel Ray and Shape Channel as part of the Dual Channeling? So can I use my normal healing on my allies in a burst and also target the kobolds running down the hall with a line of Skirmish Burst?

I'm really digging this book. I'm seeing a ton of potential for new and interesting concepts with very little extra effort on the part of the players and GM. This is a huge win in my book.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I have a couple questions about Dual Channeling.

I'm going to answer these questions the way I would handle them at my table.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
1) Can I use Selective Channeling for each channel energy separately. For example, can I use the Vigor and Combustion Wave abilities but choose different targets for each to not affect?

I would say yes you can exclude different targets from each channel energy separately but the total number of targets excluded from both effects should not exceed your Charisma modifier.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
2) Can I use Channel Ray and Shape Channel as part of the Dual Channeling? So can I use my normal healing on my allies in a burst and also target the kobolds running down the hall with a line of Skirmish Burst?

I would only allow a single "shaping effect" per channel use. If a player opted to use Shape Channel it could apply to both effects giving them the same area of effect or it could be applied to only one effect leaving the other effect to function normally. So I would allow your heal/skirmish combo but would not allow two lines aimed in two different directions, for example.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I'm really digging this book. I'm seeing a ton of potential for new and interesting concepts with very little extra effort on the part of the players and GM. This is a huge win in my book.

Fantastic! I'm thrilled players (and GMs) are enjoying it.


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Thanks for the quick response! I can see some Improved versions being added to my house rules.

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Your questions have me thinking about the possibility of improved feats too.


Locke1520 wrote:
Your questions have me thinking about the possibility of improved feats too.

I'm helping! :)

Scarab Sages Contributor

As always, many thanks to General Dorsey for the review!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This looks cool.

One question so far; why does the Glory domain take two channels to use? It doesn't seem to stack at all power-wise with other options like the Fire domain.

Scarab Sages Contributor

Gaze attacks are *massively* powerful, because they bypass the action economy. You *can* focus it on creatures one per round, but you can also just make them save against you on their turn. To avoid it, they have to look away, which means you are effectively invisible against them.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Care to give an example of a domain power? Do these replace the standard channel powers or add options?

Scarab Sages Contributor

In each case it's a new option, tied to the domain in question. You can either get it was a feat, or by giving up the existing 1st-level power of the domain.

Andrew, as the author do you want to pick and preview one?

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sure Owen. This was one of the first feats I wrote for the book and still one of my favorites. Hope you guys enjoy!

The Genius Guide to Domain Channeling wrote:

Break Bondage (Domain Channeling; Liberation Domain)

You can infuse a burst of positive energy energy with the spiritual power of liberty, literally breaking bonds.

Prerequisite: Cha 13, channel energy class feature, liberation domain.

Benefit: You can channel energy to deal damage to any physical bonds currently restraining a creature, such as ropes, chains or manacles. Roll your channel damage normally against all restraints in range, ignoring half the restraint’s hardness. If a restraint is reduced to half its normal hit points or less, it gains the broken condition. If the damage you deal would reduce the object to fewer than 0 hit points it is destroyed by this power. Any magical restraint is granted a Fortitude save (DC 10 + channeling dice + Cha modifier) for half damage.

If restraints have the broken condition, the DC for escape is reduced by 2. Destroyed bonds no longer restrain their captives at all.

Special: You may use the Selective Channeling feat to exclude targets as usual.

Liberty's Edge

Big thanks to Callous Jack for another review. I'm glad you like it.


I actually just used the break bondage feat in my Heroes of the Siwathi Desert because it was so awesome.


I'm working on getting this entered into Hero Lab for you. It may take me a little bit because I don't know how to do some of the optional rules. Entering the feats themselves should be rather simple though.


Should Channel Order's Legacy and Wild Favor have the minimum of +/-1 just like the Channel (Un)Holy Boon feats?

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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Should Channel Order's Legacy and Wild Favor have the minimum of +/-1 just like the Channel (Un)Holy Boon feats?

Actually no. Because for feats like Channel Order's legacy the duration is tied to your channel dice but the modifier is static. In the case of feats like Unholy Boon the duration is fixed and the modifier is affected by your channel dice.

Hopefully that answers your question.


It does. Thanks. I'm about 50% done with entering this into Hero Lab and I want to make sure it's all correct.


Is there supposed to be a cap on the Fortification for Fortify Armor Channeling? Most of what I've seen in the books caps at 75%.

Scarab Sages Contributor

No, the lack of cap is intentional, and my call. I thought that by 15th level (the first time you'd have enough channel dice to exceed 75%) spending a standard action and a limited resource (that could be used to heal) to grant a single target more Fortitude than magic armor grants, for what is basically one fight, is still good balance.


Awesome! That's what I thought your thinking was. I just need my scripts to be correct.

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[blatant personal plug]

RGG has just released my Relic Files: Treasures of Camelot. Check them out if you liked The Genius Guide to Domain Channeling or if you liked The Genius Guide To Relics of the Godlings.

[/blatant personal plug]


Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Endzeitgeist out.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always, many thanks to Endzeitgeist for the review!

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