Help Understanding Domain Powers


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There are a couple of Domain Powers whose wording has confused me. See below. Explanations welcome.

Pathfinder Beta wrote:

Darkness Domain

1st Touch of Darkness (Su): As a melee touch attack, you
can cause a creature’s vision to become fraught
with shadows and darkness, causing them to take
a –2 penalty on attack rolls and saves against fear
effects. This effect persists for 1 round per caster
level. Touching a creature affected by this ability
causes the duration to reset but does not stack. This
touch also automatically extinguishes non-magical
light sources such as torches and lanterns.

What does the last sentence mean? Which lanterns/torches? Also, what does "Touching a creature affected by this ability causes the duration to reset but does not stack." mean? Who's touch? A second touch by the Cleric?

A couple of other powers have this same line about not stacking.


Another one...

Doesn't this seem very weak?

Pathfinder Beta wrote:


Destruction Domain

1st Destructive Smite (Su): As a full-round action, you
can make a single melee attack against an opponent
with a bonus on damage equal to 1/2 your caster level
(minimum 1). If the attack hits, all critical threats
against the target are automatically confirmed for
1 round, including this attack.


No help anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Scarab Sages

He's sick today.

The "not stacking" thing prevents multiple clerics, or the same high-level one, from spamming the ability on one creature for a huge penalty. The note about torches means that the cleric can touch a light source and extinguish it (could be made clearer that it doesn't mean a light source carried by the target, but that the light source IS the target).

The Destruction Domain isn't great on its own, but if you have a Rapier/Scimitar-wielding fighter it can get deadly, especially at higher levels.


Jal Dorak wrote:
The Destruction Domain isn't great on its own, but if you have a Rapier/Scimitar-wielding fighter it can get deadly, especially at higher levels.

I really think this type of thing is why the weapons need to be diversified. You know, that gives me a great idea!


Do tell.

Sovereign Court

veector wrote:

What does the last sentence mean?

{snip}This touch also automatically extinguishes non-magical light sources such as torches and lanterns.{snip}

It means that if you touch a mundane lantern, torch, candle, small campfire, etc. using this ability, the fire will extinguish.

veector wrote:
Which lanterns/torches?

Normal ones, such as those from the Equipment section of the Beta.

veector wrote:
Also, what does "Touching a creature affected by this ability causes the duration to reset but does not stack." mean?

It means to say that it will not get cumulative effects of the -2 penalty for each casting of the spell on the target.

For example, say you are a fourth level cleric and cast it on an Orc and give it a -2 for four rounds. You then use it again on the same orc three rounds later - it still only has -2 (Not a -4 from two instances of -2 "stacking"), but now it will last another four rounds.

Another example: You are the same cleric and cast it on a bugbear. He now has -2 and it will last for four rounds. Mr.I'mtheAwesomeNPC, who is a 7th level cleric with the same ability, ALSO casts it on the same Orc on the next round. The Orc still only has a -2 (not a -4), but it now lasts seven rounds from that round, instead of the original four.

veector wrote:
Who's touch? A second touch by the Cleric?

Anyone with that ability - it could be the same Cleric, another Cleric, or anything else that ends up with that ability.

veector wrote:
A couple of other powers have this same line about not stacking.

What Stacking is and how to deal with it is detailed on 156-157 of the Beta.


It seems that the domainpowers are missing. I downloaded the Book 7.Seb.2008 and in the Spells chapter are only the Domain Spells not the Domain powers. Is there a way to get them?


Maybe I missunderstood the chapter so that there are the listed domain powers, but if this is so where are the domain spells? Can anybody please help me.

Sovereign Court

Gecko wrote:
Maybe I missunderstood the chapter so that there are the listed domain powers, but if this is so where are the domain spells? Can anybody please help me.

Domains are being handled a bit differently in Pathfinder than in 3.5 OGL:

3.5: Each Domain had a spell to choose from, from 1st to 9th. These were existing spells, sometimes mirroring arcane spells, that your character could choose to memorize as a "bonus" spell.

PRPG: Each Domain has a number of "powers" that sometimes function like spells but are not spells per se. It is a bit confusing, however this gives some added flexibility to the concept of domains without having to add extra spells which could potentially cause overall balance issues. Also allows for each "power" to have scaling components so that they can remain effective throughout a character's adventuring career.

Domains and the powers gained from them are outlined in Chapter 11, starting at page 176 with the Air Domain.


I think i understand them now but it was iritating that they say you get Domain powers (the level 1 and 8 bonus) and domain spells (the 2;4;12;16 and 20 bonus). Could have been made more clearley (for example all named Domain powers).


Or at least make a difference in the table 4-5 cleric between domain poweres and domain spells becaus according to the table they muss be all domain powers and not some domain powers and some domain spells.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This could really do with being clarified as I thought the Domain Powers were the 1st, 8th and 20th level abilities, and the others were bonus spells.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would like the domain powers to be clarified more, both in the cleric (as well as any other class that is given access to them) as well as in the domain section. Not all of them are easily understood. It is difficult to tell how often some of them can be used. I expect that most of these issues will be cleared up as the final edits and rewrites are accomplished.


veector wrote:

Another one...

Doesn't this seem very weak?

Pathfinder Beta wrote:


Destruction Domain

1st Destructive Smite (Su): As a full-round action, you
can make a single melee attack against an opponent
with a bonus on damage equal to 1/2 your caster level
(minimum 1). If the attack hits, all critical threats
against the target are automatically confirmed for
1 round, including this attack.

I'll chime in and give my opinion ... no. For a low level cleric against enemies with 5-10 HP's it is a nice boost indeed. Also at low level you only have one attack, so the single attack isn't a drawback. Lastly at low levels most clerics are:

a) wearing heavy armor and have poor Acrobatics skill, making the likelyhood of swinging and 'tumbling' away very small.

b) often don't have enough points (in point buy) to pump up strength, wisdom, con *and* charisma. so this is a poor man's strength buff.

The auto-confirm is flighty but again a low level character has a pretty sorry chance of rolling a 20 and confirming. The NPC cleric had 2 crits in a long combat, and the auto confirm probably saved the party.

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