[Cleric] Channel Energy - a Testamony of faith of the class feature


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It has changed my gaming life. Not only have I seen the light, but my friends are saved as well. To the point they made this feature a home rule in the regular D&D non pathfinder games.

Channel Energy could be the one rule that makes everyone want to play a cleric. The ability to heal your group without having to sink all your chosen spells into Cure Wounds spells to get through a game session is quite appealing. The class is no longer the one you give to the group introvert, you know, the kid who sits in on the game and reads novels and occasionally picks his head up from the book to tell the GM "oh, yeah, i heal Ragnar the barbarian this turn, go kill em Rag!" and retreats back into his reading for others to enjoy the action.

Excellent rule... nice job guys. please keep the innovative game concepts coming.


AngrySpirit wrote:
The class is no longer the one you give to the group introvert, you know, the kid who sits in on the game and reads novels and occasionally picks his head up from the book to tell the GM "oh, yeah, i heal Ragnar the barbarian this turn, go kill em Rag!" and retreats back into his reading for others to enjoy the action.

Huh? I played a cleric to level 14 in our AoW campaign and apart from very low levels I didn't experience this sort of play style. Quite on the contrary, without his vast selection of spells many encounters would've gone very south, healing or not. We switched to PFRPG Beta a while ago and while the new channel energy certainly helped it wasn't such a boost and was very sheldom used in combat so far. Imho it requires alot of though and planning to play a cleric, if you play(or getting browbeaten by the other players) him just as a mobile band-aid you're missing alot.


Tholas wrote:
AngrySpirit wrote:
The class is no longer the one you give to the group introvert, you know, the kid who sits in on the game and reads novels and occasionally picks his head up from the book to tell the GM "oh, yeah, i heal Ragnar the barbarian this turn, go kill em Rag!" and retreats back into his reading for others to enjoy the action.
Huh? I played a cleric to level 14 in our AoW campaign and apart from very low levels I didn't experience this sort of play style. Quite on the contrary, without his vast selection of spells many encounters would've gone very south, healing or not. We switched to PFRPG Beta a while ago and while the new channel energy certainly helped it wasn't such a boost and was very sheldom used in combat so far. Imho it requires alot of though and planning to play a cleric, if you play(or getting browbeaten by the other players) him just as a mobile band-aid you're missing alot.

This is really a play-style situation.

Some DMs, myself and my current DM included, love to push the envelope in encounters. Take them to the limits.

Maybe not every time, but defintely a lot of the time.

In such encounters, healing during the fight is the only way to survive.

It's one thing for your party of 4 first-level PCs to encounter two orcs CR 1). You can probably beat them without ever casting a heal. And if you get 4-5 encounters that day, but they are all just a pair of orcs, your cleric might never have to heal all day long, or maybe one or two heals (or energy channels) between fights.

But if that same group of first-level PCs finds two ogres, or 8 orcs, or a pair of orcs traveling with 6 goblins, or those two orcs are both level 2 barbarians, it's a whole different kind of fight. You will get beat up, you will be healing during the fight, and dropping a Bless and a Divine Favor at the start of the combat will mean a TPK, but a couple Cure Light Wounds at the right time will possibly save the day.

I am not saying one style is right or the other is wrong.

Both are valid.

And quite frankly, the game was designed to support the first example, with the 4-5 easy encounters each day. At least, that's what the 3.5 DMG says.

But it looks like the OP might be in a campaign more like my second example, and so am I right now.

Now I agree with you, it's worse at the lowest levels, but that is where channel energy is the strongest, capable of healing the entire group from zero to full several times each day.

At fairly high levels (into the double-digits) the cleric is much more versatile with his spells, esepecially if he's in a campaign where he's mostly only fighting run-of-the-mill enemies at or below his level.

But take that 14th level cleric of yours and throw his party up against a balor, or a colossal wyrm, and see how many rounds he can justify a Holy Word or Dictum, or worse, wasting time with Summon Monser VII, when half of the party is on the brink of death starting in round 1.

Sure, sure, drop one Dictum in the first round and the fight might be over. But if the enemy saves or resists, and your party is half dead, you may not live through the second round.

And you have to fight over and over. That Balor, once he's dead, he's done. Doesn't matter if you killed him in 1 round or in 20 rounds. He's dead and gone.

But it only takes once for a bad streak of lucky saves or resists for a bad guy or monster to surivive your cleric's most impressive stuff, especially if you're consistently fighting several CRs over your head, pushing that envelope). And then that bad guy whips out a TPK on your whole party.

So it's really just a matter of play style.

In yours, Channel Energy is a perk.

In ours, Channel Energy is a godsend (no pun intended).


DM_Blake wrote:


This is really a play-style situation.

Some DMs, myself and my current DM included, love to push the envelope in encounters. Take them to the limits.

Maybe not every time, but defintely a lot of the time.

In such encounters, healing during the fight is the only way to survive.

Yes, our GM does that too at times. But of course he has to take the power level of our group into account. As it happened he persuaded us to slightly downscale the power level of our chars with our migration to pathfinder. The argument went like this: "Your chars a so powerful I have to tune up every encounter to give them a challenge, that means they gain more exp and loot than intended. This means I have to tune up the following encounters even more. This gives me alot of work I could've spend in fleshing out the campaign and has an ever increasing risk that you smack head first into a TPK."

Edit: A Balor's Blasphemy would most likely be the end for any Lvl 14 group. Will save against a DC 25 would most likely take out anything but the casters. Not that it would help them much as they are still at least paralyzed for one round and suffering 2d6 strength(save for half) damage might immobilize a cleric in full-plate anyway. And a colossal Wyrm would have a Balor for breakfast ...

DM_Blake wrote:


But take that 14th level cleric of yours and throw his party up against a balor, or a colossal wyrm, and see how many rounds he can justify a Holy Word or Dictum, or worse, wasting time with Summon Monser VII, when half of the party is on the brink of death starting in round 1.

While our chars are pretty optimized(within the limits our GM sets) there is No Way our party(4 chars + 2 cohorts) would survive more than a a few rounds against a Balor or Wyrm. With good tactics and a bit of luck we could probably handle an equal CR(to the Balor/Wyrm) melee-only Monster, like an advanced Froglemoth, but not the epitome of cunning and evil the Balor or an chromatic Wyrm is. Additionally I don't think the 7d6 healing from channel energy would do more than prolong death for one or two rounds.

Of course if we're talking borderline optimized chars(=anything excluding Pun-Pun'ish stuff) all bets are off.

Apart from that, yea it all depends on the play style, but even if you're playing a cleric as a mobile band-aid you have to stay close to your friends. From my experience the most dangerous situations occur when the party is separated. If a cleric doesn't find to counter a Wall of Stone or other non-dispellable obstacles his mates are toast.


Tholas wrote:
Huh? I played a cleric to level 14 in our AoW campaign and apart from very low levels I didn't experience this sort of play style. Quite on the contrary, without his vast selection of spells many encounters would've gone very south, healing or not. We switched to PFRPG Beta a while ago and while the new channel energy certainly helped it wasn't such a boost and was very sheldom used in combat so far. Imho it requires alot of though and planning to play a cleric, if you play(or getting browbeaten by the other players) him just as a mobile band-aid you're missing alot.

Seconded. One thing constantly putting me off playing the cleric class is no matter how I handle my character I worry the rest of my group would simply see him as a heal-bot. I personally think enchancing the cleric's healing potential really only foritifies this mentallity.

Using channel energy in combat still keeps the cleric a healbot, since at the end of the day, they're still using their actions to heal rather than fight, cast other spells or do whatever it is the cleric is intended to do.


Nero24200 wrote:
Tholas wrote:
Huh? I played a cleric to level 14 in our AoW campaign and apart from very low levels I didn't experience this sort of play style. Quite on the contrary, without his vast selection of spells many encounters would've gone very south, healing or not. We switched to PFRPG Beta a while ago and while the new channel energy certainly helped it wasn't such a boost and was very sheldom used in combat so far. Imho it requires alot of though and planning to play a cleric, if you play(or getting browbeaten by the other players) him just as a mobile band-aid you're missing alot.

Seconded. One thing constantly putting me off playing the cleric class is no matter how I handle my character I worry the rest of my group would simply see him as a heal-bot. I personally think enchancing the cleric's healing potential really only foritifies this mentallity.

Using channel energy in combat still keeps the cleric a healbot, since at the end of the day, they're still using their actions to heal rather than fight, cast other spells or do whatever it is the cleric is intended to do.

Or, it lets them use their spells to be, well, spells. Instead of just spntaniously converting everything they prayed for into Cure X spells.

Now, with Channel Energy, the heal-bot can heal their party and retain the spells they prayed for, to use those for more fun and exciting things, like raining fire on the infidels and smiting the heathens with divine favor.

Liberty's Edge

this is mostly the way my cleric heals :P

before it only the spare spells that she had were used to heal... or in very dire situation... she hate mongreling people saying "cleric!!!" expecting to be healed when they are not seriously wounded :P

ahh now my cleric also uses turn undead to bless people, see the thrad about flavor for possitive energy channeling :D


DM_Blake wrote:
Or, it lets them use their spells to be, well, spells. Instead of just spntaniously converting everything they prayed for into Cure X spells.

Nothing forces a non-channel energy cleric to convert his or her spells. Nothing, so it's pretty circuler logic to say "it's somthing they can do instead".

DM_Blake wrote:
Now, with Channel Energy, the heal-bot can heal their party and retain the spells they prayed for, to use those for more fun and exciting things, like raining fire on the infidels and smiting the heathens with divine favor.

Again, if they want to do that theres nothing stopping them without channel energy. In fact thats better than healing, remember that one importent credos of Clerizilla is that it's better to put down an opponent quickly than it is to stop and heal an ally, since the opponent could just attack the ally for the damage healed.

It's also like saying "We gave the fighter bonuses in combat, this means he's less combat focused because he doesn't have to spend as many feats on combat abilities." A fighter with more martial power is just that, a fighter with more martial power, not "A fighter less focused on combat".

Before if I choose to play a cleric I could avoid the healbot role by simply using the varient in the PHB 2, even with such a varient now my cleric will still be shoe-horned into it.

Saying "they can use it instead of their spells" doesn't solve anything, since it's still somthing they're using in place of spells (Channel Energy is a standard action, meaning it can't be used in the same round a cleric uses a spell).

I appoligize in advance if I seem a bit over-the -top on this...while theres a fair number of things I think paizo have done well with PRPG, theres a few things I'm not a fan of, and Channel Energy just happens to be at the top of that second catagory.


I am the only who plays evil clerics?
Channel energy for the evil cleric its the best ting ever!!!!
you can kill a docen of npc in a single round!!!!


andross Dakorstar wrote:

I am the only who plays evil clerics?

Channel energy for the evil cleric its the best ting ever!!!!
you can kill a docen of npc in a single round!!!!

Well, probably not the only one...

But IME, most people play the good guys, most of the time, when they play D&D. Not always, for sure, but mostly.

But you're right, channeling negative energy is deadly, deadly, deadly.

There is a particular cleric, who can both fly and become invisible at will, that can be found in a Paizo adventure path and can be encountered by 1st level characters.

Now, I think the AP is set up to have the PCs reach 2nd level before this encounter, but it is entirely possible to reach it while still 1st level.

This AP was created before the Beta rules, when the evil cleric couldn't channel negative energy the way the Beta rules allow.

But, adding that channel ability completely breaks this encounter.

We ran away once, licked our wounds, got a good night's rest, then returned armed with spells designed to defeat the invisibility prepared just for this encounter, and we still only avoided a TPK because our DM ruled that, even though it was early in the morning, this evil cleric had already use up all but one channel energy. Even so, the fight was still way way over our heads (something we didn't know because we ran away too soon the first time to find out just how deadly this fight could be).

When the cleric opened up with channeling energy right in the middle of us (it was invisible), then proceded to fly high out of everyone's reach and was almost completely immune to missile fire and it had more healing power than our one mage had magic missiles, we were completely doomed from the start.

And it had minions, too, to whittle us down even more. The good news is that those minions gave our paladin and monk and druid something to fight while the mage and rogue tried to kill the invisible flying invulnerable cleric.

Eventually the DM decided to give us a break and had the cleric just leave before it TPK'd us. We were out of spells, out of heals, out of potions, out of everything else, and nearly out of HP, and I think that cleric still had plenty of juice to wipe us all out, just using his 1d6+1 at will domain touch attack (which also didn't exist for clerics when the AP was written).

So yeah, be careful with evil Pathfinder clerics. Channel Negative Energy and, particularly at lower levels, Domain At-Will attacks pushed evil clerics through the roof on death-dealing power.


andross Dakorstar wrote:

I am the only who plays evil clerics?

Channel energy for the evil cleric its the best ting ever!!!!
you can kill a docen of npc in a single round!!!!

And don't forget, you'll also kill your allies in that same single round, unless they're undead.

Sure, you can get that feat to keep them safe, but only two of them, so trvel in small groups.

Or always stay at least 30' away from your allies - which can be somewhat suicidal.

Scarab Sages

DM_Blake wrote:


Sure, you can get that feat to keep them safe, but only two of them, so trvel in small groups.

You mean a number of them equal to your Charisma modifier? :) Our Asmodean Cleric in Second Darkness has a pretty high Charisma, so the entire party is safe every time he bursts.


Karui Kage wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


Sure, you can get that feat to keep them safe, but only two of them, so trvel in small groups.
You mean a number of them equal to your Charisma modifier? :) Our Asmodean Cleric in Second Darkness has a pretty high Charisma, so the entire party is safe every time he bursts.

Ahh, is that how it works?

Our cleric can only keep two enemies out of her channels, and I hadn't looked the feat myself, so I didn't realize it was CHA based.

So, a really charismatic evil cleric could shield his whole group and let the negative channels fly.

Handy feat.


DM_Blake wrote:

There is a particular cleric, who can both fly and become invisible at will, that can be found in a Paizo adventure path and can be encountered by 1st level characters.

Now, I think the AP is set up to have the PCs reach 2nd level before this encounter, but it is entirely possible to reach it while still 1st level.

This AP was created before the Beta rules, when the evil cleric couldn't channel negative energy the way the Beta rules allow.

But, adding that channel ability completely breaks this encounter.

Spoiler:
That isn't a cleric, thus no channel energy. Certainly would break things if it were.

Also.. I think it's pretty hard to get there at level 1, but you're right, it's possible. My group was 3-4 and still had trouble.


Majuba wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

There is a particular cleric, who can both fly and become invisible at will, that can be found in a Paizo adventure path and can be encountered by 1st level characters.

Now, I think the AP is set up to have the PCs reach 2nd level before this encounter, but it is entirely possible to reach it while still 1st level.

This AP was created before the Beta rules, when the evil cleric couldn't channel negative energy the way the Beta rules allow.

But, adding that channel ability completely breaks this encounter.

** spoiler omitted **

Hmmm, did we fight the same fight?

In our first game session, after rolling characters, we fought two battles. Well, really just one long battle that was split into two parts where it took us a few rounds to run from the first fight to the second one. In our second game session, we fought one battle and met some townsfolk. In our third session, we went into the first dungeon of the AP and had a weak encounter, then fought this cleric.

Who very specifically used Channel Negative Energy and Inflict Wounds and Bane on us. And drank a potion to heal itself.

It was only our 5th encounter since rolling our characters and we were still 1st level.


DM_Blake wrote:
There is a particular cleric, who can both fly and become invisible at will, that can be found in a Paizo adventure path and can be encountered by 1st level characters.

I'm not familiar with all of the APs, and my knowledge of the ones I am familiar with is limited mostly to player side...

But if this is the encounter I think it is, your DM upped the power level greatly. The opponent isn't supposed to be a cleric, and thus no Channel Energy.

But there are Inflict spells, so maybe your DM just converted to what s/he thought the opponent was supposed to be rather than use the the race/class given.

EDIT: Not to mention, had it been converted to a PF Cleric, as it was written, it wouldn't get a 1D6+Anything domain power.
Even allowing for a rewrite of the opponent, but sticking with the Deity worshiped, the opponent wouldn't get a 1D6+Anything domain power, let alone at-will and touch.

So either I have the encounter completely wrong, or your DM was a fool that thought the most dreaded encounter of that chapter "needed to be pumped up a little," to provide your group a suitable challenge.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am almost positive I know the encounter you are talking about, however the enemy in question isn't actually a cleric. It is a thamaturge, which is kind of a specialist summoner out of one of gree ronin's books. They use the class a couple times in the AP's and it tends to be very similar to cleric, except no turning and no domains, it gets better summoning abilities instead.

However, it could have had cleric levels instead without raising the CR at all and that would have made it rather frightening.


I concur with DM_Blake and the OP about the new channel positive energy ability. With the proper feats (selective channeling and quickened channeling, if those are the right names) it allows a cleric to still do decent healing and yet be able to use their spells for in-combat effects.

The neat thing is that channel positive energy isn't overpowered such that it replaces healing, especially when damage is focused on one or two party members. It won't keep up. But for broad-based aoe damage, or for party members being peppered with damage, it works very well yet still allows a cleric to cast spells in combat that previously saw very little use without a high risk to other party members dying (because said spell replaced an opportune heal).

However, as much as I really like the ability, I'd almost say there's too much healing available in the game now. Our current PFRPG group has 5 people (PC's) in it, and one is a cleric and another is a paladin. Between the multitude of channel energies, cure spells, and lay on hands, we're sitting pretty at the end of the day even when we have multiple, tough encounters. For single-encounter days, forget it, we don't even break a sweat. And we're only 7th level.


Dosgamer wrote:

I concur with DM_Blake and the OP about the new channel positive energy ability. With the proper feats (selective channeling and quickened channeling, if those are the right names) it allows a cleric to still do decent healing and yet be able to use their spells for in-combat effects.

The neat thing is that channel positive energy isn't overpowered such that it replaces healing, especially when damage is focused on one or two party members. It won't keep up. But for broad-based aoe damage, or for party members being peppered with damage, it works very well yet still allows a cleric to cast spells in combat that previously saw very little use without a high risk to other party members dying (because said spell replaced an opportune heal).

However, as much as I really like the ability, I'd almost say there's too much healing available in the game now. Our current PFRPG group has 5 people (PC's) in it, and one is a cleric and another is a paladin. Between the multitude of channel energies, cure spells, and lay on hands, we're sitting pretty at the end of the day even when we have multiple, tough encounters. For single-encounter days, forget it, we don't even break a sweat. And we're only 7th level.

I've not found it to be that much extra healing. Not to the point of "sitting pretty" at the end of an adventuring day.

Sure, the single encounter days are nice. We can go to bed in our inn rooms that night and not have to sleep on cuts and bruises, not have to rely on the party healer rolling heal checks for each of us.

But the multi-encounter days haven't been much different.

I tried to be vague, so it's not much of a spoiler, but just in case:

Spoiler:
This last week our 3rd level group finished a day of encounters in RotRL that consisted of some goblins defending their home (encounter 1), invading that home and finding the leader and his cronies (encounter 2), moving through that home and finding it led to an unexpected encounter involving some NPCs and a couple monsters all hitting from different directions (encounter 3). By the end of that third encounter, our cleric was reduced to swinging his axe. He had nothing left but cantrips (no spells, no channel energies). Our paladin was out of lay on hands, too. And at least one healing potion was consumed during the final fight. When the dust settled, we had 3 of our 5 PCs below half their HP and no way to heal anyone other than a handful of potions we still had (which, all together, would't have healed us all up to full).

That was just three encounters, though admittedly, the last two felt like final boss encounters rather than ordinary grist encounters.

Without 8 daily uses of Channel Energy, our cleric would never have gotten us into shape for the third encounter, and we would have had to withdraw and camp for the day after just two encounters.


AngrySpirit wrote:
Channel Energy could be the one rule that makes everyone want to play a cleric. The ability to heal your group without having to sink all your chosen spells into Cure Wounds spells to get through a game session is quite appealing.

In my saturday game, one of the players suggested if we get TPK'd we all play clerics because "We will be unstopable!" And with some slight multiclassing and PrC usage, it's possible. Yay Paizo! Though he came up with this idea before he read about the Paizo cleric's channel energy class feature.


Db3's Astral Projection wrote:
In my saturday game, one of the players suggested if we get TPK'd we all play clerics because "We will be unstopable!" And with some slight multiclassing and PrC usage, it's possible. Yay Paizo! Though he came up with this idea before he read about the Paizo cleric's channel energy class feature.

That is an experiment I wanted to try before Pathfinder.

I was really curious if Clerics were as god-awful powerful (pun intended) as everyone claimed. Because I didn't see it myself.
I've wanted to see if an all Cleric group can really take on all comers.


DM_Blake wrote:


I've not found it to be that much extra healing. Not to the point of "sitting pretty" at the end of an adventuring day.

Sure, the single encounter days are nice. We can go to bed in our inn rooms that night and not have to sleep on cuts and bruises, not have to rely on the party healer rolling heal checks for each of us.

But the multi-encounter days haven't been much different.

Just out of curiosity, does your group have a second healing class in it? We've always tried to design our groups to have a secondary healer in them. Granted, we're not playing the adventure paths, and from what I've heard some of those encounters can be quite challenging. Still, our DM does a fairly good job of challenging us on a session by session basis. Character level makes a big difference, too. At low levels, healing generally tends to be a bigger issue than at middle and high levels.

Our paladin's channel energy is fairly weak compared to the cleric's, but couple that with his lay on hands ability, and cure spells, and he makes a decent secondary healer. Both the cleric and the paladin have taken the proper channel energy feats, too, which really helps.


Dosgamer wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


I've not found it to be that much extra healing. Not to the point of "sitting pretty" at the end of an adventuring day.

Sure, the single encounter days are nice. We can go to bed in our inn rooms that night and not have to sleep on cuts and bruises, not have to rely on the party healer rolling heal checks for each of us.

But the multi-encounter days haven't been much different.

Just out of curiosity, does your group have a second healing class in it? We've always tried to design our groups to have a secondary healer in them. Granted, we're not playing the adventure paths, and from what I've heard some of those encounters can be quite challenging. Still, our DM does a fairly good job of challenging us on a session by session basis. Character level makes a big difference, too. At low levels, healing generally tends to be a bigger issue than at middle and high levels.

Our paladin's channel energy is fairly weak compared to the cleric's, but couple that with his lay on hands ability, and cure spells, and he makes a decent secondary healer. Both the cleric and the paladin have taken the proper channel energy feats, too, which really helps.

Yep, I'm playing a paladin in our game, though he still needs about 800 more XP to gain Channel Energy.

My daughter is also playing in this game, and she's running a druid, but with a full-fledged healing cleric in the group, she only prepares a single Cure Light Wounds spell, for emergencies, and about half the time, that gets used for a spontaneous summons instead.


Everyone's different, I suppose. In your groups, the cleric is the guy who reads books and only just looks up to heal people.

In our group, especially when I play the cleric, the cleric is the guy who keeps others alive. The rest of the time, he beats enemies into a pulp (not much worse at it than the warrior types, sometimes better) or annihilates them with deadly magic.

I've been playing clerics like that since 3e came out. PF made it a bit easier, that's for sure, but even before, my clerics were more than just band-aids.

I often play clerics, because some people are still think clerics can't do anything but keep others healthy, so before we go healerless, I play the cleric.

And I always play he class to the hilt. Try to make the power gamers see that by not playing a cleric, they're giving up power.


Db3's Astral Projection wrote:
AngrySpirit wrote:
Channel Energy could be the one rule that makes everyone want to play a cleric. The ability to heal your group without having to sink all your chosen spells into Cure Wounds spells to get through a game session is quite appealing.
In my saturday game, one of the players suggested if we get TPK'd we all play clerics because "We will be unstopable!" And with some slight multiclassing and PrC usage, it's possible. Yay Paizo! Though he came up with this idea before he read about the Paizo cleric's channel energy class feature.

Sure you will... He's dreaming and being sarcastic...


Disenchanter wrote:
I've wanted to see if an all Cleric group can really take on all comers.

I've been meaning to try that experiment as well. My thought is that at median levels, an all-cleric group would be just as good as a mixed party. At high levels, 3 clerics and a wizard would be better than one cleric, one fighter, one rogue, and one wizard. In contrast, a party of 4 fighters, at high levels, can't complete most prewritten adventures.


KaeYoss wrote:
Try to make the power gamers see that by not playing a cleric, they're giving up power.

It's not always a case of "I don't want to play a cleric because they're not powerful"...it's more like "I don't want to play a cleric because I don't want to be a heal-bot...and these other classes are just as powerful"

It's never a question of power for me (most overpowering abilities I find I almost always find by accident) but more like I'll be forced to play a class in a certain way...when it doesn't really fit. I don't want my group to give me "The Look" when I inform them at the last minute that a cleric I'll be playing will be using the negative channel energy instead of the excessive amount of healing they thought they'd get.


The main reason I like the change to PF clerics is that it does give them more flexibility in how they play round by round (in combat). In 3.x, the cleric could plan out his/her action, but due to the party taking heavy damage they now have to change their plans and heal. It doesn't happen every round, but it happens often enough that I can see why the affectation of "healbot" comes into play.

Properly feated, the channel positive energy ability of PFRPG clerics allows them to plan their actions and carry through on them more often than before, which is a substantial improvement for folks who want to do more than just heal. They still can't do so every round (because of big hits, or crits, or whatever excessive damage the party is taking), but it's far less likely that they have to change plans at the last minute (at least as playtested the past several months in our game).

The caveat to the above statement is that our 5-man group of PC's has two healing classes, both of whom have channel positive energy with both of the appropriate feats. So we do have a goodly amount of "quickened" aoe healing.


AngrySpirit wrote:
The class is no longer the one you give to the group introvert, you know, the kid who sits in on the game and reads novels and occasionally picks his head up from the book to tell the GM "oh, yeah, i heal Ragnar the barbarian this turn, go kill em Rag!" and retreats back into his reading for others to enjoy the action.

Nobody in my group is reading novels during the game.

No books outside of the game ones (and still, only the needed ones), no comics, no ipod, no computer, no phone.

More on topics, after a few episodes of pain, bloodshed, ability drain, level drain, diseases, curses, and occasionally a few character deaths on the top, players should realize it is good to have a cleric in the group. Or at least a healer of some sort.
If they don't, let them die.

The cleric is one of the most powerful class in the game. As a matter of fact, if played well, it is the most powerful one.
But more importantly, it is so much more than a passive medic.
It is rich of possibilities in roleplaying, in social interactions with the churches, states and higher powers.


Play a neutral cleric of a neutral deity and get channel negative energy. Only prepare a certain number of healing spells. Tell the party to use them wisely. }>


Abraham spalding wrote:
Sure you will... He's dreaming and being sarcastic...

And yet he makes sense. I call the Black Flame Zealot PrC! ;p

KaeYoss wrote:
Play a neutral cleric of a neutral deity and get channel negative energy. Only prepare a certain number of healing spells. Tell the party to use them wisely. }>

Exactly! Make your group play smarter! I once withheld the fact my character had a almost fully charged cure light wand, so my group would try playing smarter, maybe teaming up in a fight instead of just going one-on-one with the friggin' stone giants!!! Didn't work though...


It didn't work because we wanted the dwarf to go one on one with the stone giants. It was a good thing, they couldn't hit her except on a critical and she dropped about 1 a round saving the spell casters from having to waste spells on something that didn't need spells wasted on.


Abraham spalding wrote:
It didn't work because we wanted the dwarf to go one on one with the stone giants. It was a good thing, they couldn't hit her except on a critical and she dropped about 1 a round saving the spell casters from having to waste spells on something that didn't need spells wasted on.

You weren't there when it happened and we weren't using beta at the time either.


I disagree completely...... though it was an innovative idea, i agree, i think the priest was already overpowered as a class. this just adds another free layer of power right on the top. is there anything you can't do as a priest? just pick the domains that emulate the class you want and you will be doing it better in no time. all the while wearing armor and not needing a spellbook, while using a shield, using magic devices, 2 good saves decent hp and hit rate....

compare to any class you want and you can make a better version with a priest.... maybe that should be a new thread.... where people put foward characters and someone makes a priest that laugh at them.....


Lobsternooberg wrote:

I disagree completely...... though it was an innovative idea, i agree, i think the priest was already overpowered as a class. this just adds another free layer of power right on the top.

...

Uhm, did you actually read the Beta? The Codzilla was addressed and Clerics lost quite a bit of power in other places to gain channel energy.


Tholas wrote:


Uhm, did you actually read the Beta? The Codzilla was addressed and Clerics lost quite a bit of power in other places to gain channel energy.

They're still one of the most powerful classes in the game.

Just because Paizo say they're addressing balance doesn't mean they'll acheive a perfectly balanced game. Despite taking a few hits clerics are still overpowering.


Lobsternooberg wrote:

I disagree completely...... though it was an innovative idea, i agree, i think the priest was already overpowered as a class. this just adds another free layer of power right on the top.

Not really true. It makes clerics better healers, and makes turn/channel actually useful outside of undead fights. Unless you are an evil cleric, you won't get that much raw power out of it.

It does allow you to use your spells something besides healing, which means it is more interesting to play a cleric now.

On the other hand, the combination divine power + divine favour + righteous might + haste (via boots of speed or something like that) has been weakened quite a bit.

Lobsternooberg wrote:


is there anything you can't do as a priest? just pick the domains that emulate the class you want and you will be doing it better in no time.

Uhm.. No. The fighter is still a better fighter, the rogue still a better rogue (and they can do what they do all day), and they can't compete with a wizard, either.

I've heard stuff like "clerics are better than everyone else, in everything" and "rogues outclass fighters in terms of damage dealing" and the claims never held up to scrutiny. I've tested it all, I've run the numbers, I've played the games.

In the cases where the clerics really did outclass the others, it was always because the other players weren't as experienced in making their characters effective, or not as interested in doing so.


Lobsternooberg wrote:
I disagree completely...... though it was an innovative idea, i agree, i think the priest was already overpowered as a class. this just adds another free layer of power right on the top.

Maybe, but the number of spells they get per day have been reduced as well.

It may not be a fair trade, but there was an attempt to reduce the "power" of a cleric to balance out the increased healing.


KaeYoss wrote:

Not really true. It makes clerics better healers, and makes turn/channel actually useful outside of undead fights. Unless you are an evil cleric, you won't get that much raw power out of it.

It does allow you to use your spells something besides healing, which means it is more interesting to play a cleric now.

I agree with KaeYoss. It makes clerics interesting combat characters again. They could frequently be "interesting" before, but oftentimes the ebb and flow of combat meant they had to forego their initial action to heal someone. Now, more often than not, they are able to maintain their initial action AND channel energy, which is nice (for them and for the rest of the group).

Don't forget the rest of the group. Cheers!


KaeYoss wrote:


It does allow you to use your spells something besides healing, which means it is more interesting to play a cleric now.

Sorry, but this is somthing I really fail to see. The reason why Clericizlla exists is because after 3.5 came out a few players stopped, looked at the cleric and thought "You know, it would be more effective to use this spell, since if I take the foe out more quickly I won't need to heal". All the most poweful Clericzilla builds relay on non-healing spells.

If you really find players need to spend all their time healing, channel energy isn't going to fix anything, it just means they can heal for longer.

KaeYoss wrote:


Uhm.. No. The fighter is still a better fighter, the rogue still a better rogue (and they can do what they do all day)

If being able to do it all day was really an issue then the 15-minute adventureing day would be unheard of (and this is an importent note to mention as well, since a fair number of changes done in PFRPG was made to take this into account).

KaeYoss wrote:


In the cases where the clerics really did outclass the others, it was always because the other players weren't as experienced in making their characters effective, or not as interested in doing so.

It isn't always about what a class can acheive, but how easily it can acheive it. It's alot easier to make an overpowering cleric than it is to make an overpowering fighter or rogue. Besides, an optimized fighter or rogue can be seen a mile away (Ask any optimizer to stat up a high damage fighter and they'll all start with Uberchargers, ask them to make battle-controllers and they'll all stat lockdown builds.) There's a variety of different ways a cleric can be overpowering.

Clerics are balanced under the assumption that they have to follow a god's dogma, but 9 times out of 10, this provides no disadvantage to the cleric's IG. I don't think I've ever even seen a cleric preach their god's dogma.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like the "out of control" clerics in your group are in need of an RP reality check. I have had few, if any, clerics take over at my table. Then again I rarely have anyone "take over" at my table. Now and then every one shines, but it's rare that everyone else just throws their hands up and says, "why am I here so and so can do what I do better." Even when there are multiple's of the same class we don't run into that. Sure...give some people an infinite amount of time and energy they can break the cleric. I don't doubt that. But then I bet the same person can turn a fighter into something pretty amazing that I would rather not play against either. If the Cleric is dominating some portion of the game, the DM has more answers for it than the Cleric's player has. Nice combat cleric. To bad this is all traps for a while. You can go take a break.


Nero24200 wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:


It does allow you to use your spells something besides healing, which means it is more interesting to play a cleric now.
Sorry, but this is somthing I really fail to see. The reason why Clericizlla exists is because after 3.5 came out a few players stopped, looked at the cleric and thought "You know, it would be more effective to use this spell, since if I take the foe out more quickly I won't need to heal". All the most poweful Clericzilla builds relay on non-healing spells.

Actually, there are two ways the cleric can play out:

  • Don't get to do anything because all spells are converted into healing. This does not only use up combat time, but also resources.

  • The cleric refuses to heal and sets up his destructive combos (Righteous Might, Divine Power, Divine Favour, and fight with haste)

    Channel won't help with the second, but it will help with the first, because means those clerics that want to help will have a lot of their magic freed up.

    The overpowering magic has been taken care of in other ways.

    Nero24200 wrote:


    If you really find players need to spend all their time healing, channel energy isn't going to fix anything, it just means they can heal for longer.

    It's not just time, as I said, it's resources. The cleric will have to spend a lot of time healing (and channel doesn't change that unless they get a quicken channel option/feat), but he'll also have to use up spells: During combat, and after combat.

    By the time the other spellcasters have gone through their magic, the cleric will be out as well.

    With channel energy, he can free up some spells he would have used to heal, and will use them in combat. It usually means he'll have been able to use spells for other stuff than healing when the rest of the party calls for a rest.

    Nero24200 wrote:


    It isn't always about what a class can acheive, but how easily it can acheive it. It's alot easier to make an overpowering cleric than it is to make an overpowering fighter or rogue.

    Huh? Making powerful fighters is easy: Have Strength as your primary stat, dex and con as secondary. Ignore the rest beyond a couple of token points in wisdom to have a half-decent will save (supplement with feats if you want).

    Use half-orc as a race, for extra str and wis!

    Go with a falchion (unless you have access to the exotic great falchion) as weapon and the heavierst armour you can lay your hands on and that supports your dexterity (remember armour training and mithral)

    Weapon training is a no-brainer. Go with weapon-specific feats like focus, specialization, greater versions of each, improved critical.

    Also get overhead chop and the follow-ups, as well as critical focus and its follow-ups.

    Not very hard, no? Your attacks will have really nice attack bonuses and damage output (which you can keep up all day, so you have to hold nothing back), and your AC will be the best in the party.

    Going for kukris (or an exotic 1d6/18-20 weapon) and two-weapon fighting can be good as well!

    Nero24200 wrote:
    Besides, an optimized fighter or rogue can be seen a mile away

    So?

    Nero24200 wrote:


    There's a variety of different ways a cleric can be overpowering.

    And can't be seen a mile away? They're clerics!

    Nero24200 wrote:


    I don't think I've ever even seen a cleric preach their god's dogma.

    I pity your D&D experience.


  • Brutesquad07 wrote:
    Sure...give some people an infinite amount of time and energy they can break the cleric. I don't doubt that. But then I bet the same person can turn a fighter into something pretty amazing that I would rather not play against either.

    With infinate time? Nope, it's surprisngly easy to break a cleric. And FYI, in the majority of groups I play with I'm usally the one who has character's outshinning the rest. For most of these characters they're one-trick ponies (i.e. despite being powerful the rest of the party can be useful and the DM can find ways around them). My point is that a cleric is far easier.

    KaeYoss wrote:

    Actually, there are two ways the cleric can play out:

  • Don't get to do anything because all spells are converted into healing. This does not only use up combat time, but also resources.

  • The cleric refuses to heal and sets up his destructive combos (Righteous Might, Divine Power, Divine Favour, and fight with haste)

    Channel won't help with the second, but it will help with the first, because means those clerics that want to help will have a lot of their magic freed up.

  • Using channel energy still uses up time and resources. The "Cleric can't do anything but heal" usally happens when a cleric heals in place of doing somthing else...somthing which will still happen with channel energy. All channel energy acutally does is allow clerics to spend a different resource...people who play their cleric's as heal-bots are still going to be playing them as heal-bots.

    KaeYoss wrote:
    It's not just time, as I said, it's resources. The cleric will have to spend a lot of time healing (and channel doesn't change that unless they get a quicken channel option/feat), but he'll also have to use up spells: During combat, and after combat.

    After combat should never be an issue, any cleric not wanting to waste their spells can use wands...or better yet, the druids, paladins, rangers, bards and any class with UMD can use wands, so the "out of combat" healing doesn't require cleric-specific attention. As for In-Combat, well it still uses up the most valuble resource of the game, actions, so in-combat healing still leaves the cleric spending most of his time healing than doing somthing else.

    KaeYoss wrote:
    By the time the other spellcasters have gone through their magic, the cleric will be out as well.

    From about I'd say 5th level onwards running out of spells is never a problem. I've played plenty of spellcasters and only ever run out of spells during levels 1-4, after that, even in drawn-out, combat focused games I've never ran out of spells.

    KaeYoss wrote:
    With channel energy, he can free up some spells he would have used to heal, and will use them in combat. It usually means he'll have been able to use spells for other stuff than healing when the rest of the party calls for a rest.

    As said earlier healing out of combat is never somthing that has to be cleric specific to be good. Classes with healing spells can use wand and those that don't can use UMD if nessicery. If a cleric heals in combat, hes still wasting his actions to heal instead of doing somthing else.

    KaeYoss wrote:

    Huh? Making powerful fighters is easy: Have Strength as your primary stat, dex and con as secondary. Ignore the rest beyond a couple of token points in wisdom to have a half-decent will save (supplement with feats if you want).

    Use half-orc as a race, for extra str and wis!

    Go with a falchion (unless you have access to the exotic great falchion) as weapon and the heavierst armour you can lay your hands on and that supports your dexterity (remember armour training and mithral)

    Weapon training is a no-brainer. Go with weapon-specific feats like focus, specialization, greater versions of each, improved critical.

    Also get overhead chop and the follow-ups, as well as critical focus and its follow-ups.

    Right...as said in my previous post, if someone tries to optimize a fighter they usally try the same strategies...and you plan to prove otherwise by showing an optimized fighter made with...well...a strength-based race, a great weapon, and feats like improved critical...this only proves my point, your first idea was a two-handed warrior focused on dealing damage. Try googleling Ubercharger Build, you'll see alot of similarities between that and what you just surgested.

    KaeYoss wrote:
    I pity your D&D experience.

    An experience with two seperate P'n'P groups, 4 different PHP groups as well as alot of time spent playing NWN online. Thats alot of cleric's not preaching.

    I've seen more than my fair share of clerics who act as heal-bots, somthing of which channel energy won't change, and my fair share of clerics who don't use them that way, who probably won't even give channel energy a second glance.


    Sine this topic has gone more than a bit astray I make my last comment generic:
    I have the distinct feeling that some people are silently assuming that they have access to the plethora of 3.5 splatbooks(Complete Divine anyone?). It was never the purpose of the Pathfinder RPG to fix these. Core Pathfinder RPG has done alot to adjust the clerics and (especially)druids power-level, but they are still casters and, in the hands of an experienced player, more versatile than non-caster classes. If you can't live with that you might want to try out other RPG systems.


    Nero24200 wrote:
    Sorry, but this is somthing I really fail to see. The reason why Clericizlla exists is because after 3.5 came out a few players stopped, looked at the cleric and thought "You know, it would be more effective to use this spell, since if I take the foe out more quickly I won't need to heal". All the most poweful Clericzilla builds relay on non-healing spells.

    That is usually true when it is a party of 4 PCs facing one big bad ugly guy. Take out the BBUG, fight is over, no need to worry about healing another round of damage from the BBUG.

    But your statement is blatantly false when it is the same party of 4 PCs fighting 8 ogres. If the cleric decides to kill one ogre, well, on the ogres' round they will do 7/8 of the damage they would have done had the cleric chosen to heal instead.

    If several party members are getting pounded (maybe there were 15 ogres at the start of the fight and now you're down to 8), a selective channel energy might heal all of them, conceivable healing far more damage than these 8 ogres will do in their next round. It may keep party members on their feet, when dropping the ogre head count from 8 to 7 would not.

    Nero24200 wrote:

    If you really find players need to spend all their time healing, channel energy isn't going to fix anything, it just means they can heal for longer.

    You're right here - if the fight is so tough that the cleric needs to heal during the fight, round after round, then your statement is completely true. One way or another that cleric will be healing.

    But if its one of those fights where the PCs can manage through without heals, but after the fight, everyone is half-dead and needs healing before they kick down the next dungeon door, well, now the cleric can use Channel Energy and save his spells.

    Worst case is when the cleric used all his spells ad divine favor, or whatever, during the last fight or two, and now the fight is over and everyone needs healing, but the cleric says "sorry, I used all my spells to whoop some bad guy butts, so you'll just have to heal yourselves."

    But now, that cleric can say "I used all my spells to whoop some bad guy butts, but here's some Channel Energies to get us back on our feet."

    Many more options.

    And the best part is clerics now can cast more cleric spells without having to convert them all into Cure X Wounds spells.

    Nero24200 wrote:
    KaeYoss wrote:


    Uhm.. No. The fighter is still a better fighter, the rogue still a better rogue (and they can do what they do all day)
    If being able to do it all day was really an issue then the 15-minute adventureing day would be unheard of (and this is an importent note to mention as well, since a fair number of changes done in PFRPG was made to take this into account).

    Almost always, the 15-minute adventuring day was due to spellcasters running out of spells.

    When the mage says "That's it, I'm down to crossbow quarrels" the party usually starts looking for a campground.

    When the cleric says "That's it, I can't heal anyone anymore today" the party starts looking for a campground.

    But you never hear a fighter say "That's it, I can't hit any more bad guys with my sword today."

    And you never hear a rogue say "That's it, I'm out of disable devices, and I used up all my sneak attacks for the day, so I'm useless.

    So, the comment KaeYoss made about fighters and rogues dishing out their damage and other class abilities like disable devices, and that they can do it all day, while spellcasters cannot, was quite true.


    DM_Blake wrote:
    But your statement is blatantly false when it is the same party of 4 PCs fighting 8 ogres. If the cleric decides to kill one ogre, well, on the ogres' round they will do 7/8 of the damage they would have done had the cleric chosen to heal instead.

    Healing whilst fighting 8 ogres is equally obsolute. If an ogre smacks a PC for X amount of damage, and then the cleric heals said damage, the ogre can jsut smack again. While if the cleric fights, thats one less source of damage. All the most powerful character's I've ever made IG are ones which take out their eneimies quickly.

    In fact, healing would be better against a single foe, since at least then you're negating the foe's effects. You aren't going to be able to heal the effects of 8 ogres with a single standard action.

    DM_Blake wrote:
    If several party members are getting pounded (maybe there were 15 ogres at the start of the fight and now you're down to 8), a selective channel energy might heal all of them, conceivable healing far more damage than these 8 ogres will do in their next round. It may keep party members on their feet, when dropping the ogre head count from 8 to 7 would not.

    If you can heal enough to negate the damage of 8 ogres then they shouldn't be a threat. A standard CR 3 ogre can deal between 9-23 points a round (barring critical hits or attacks of oppertunity). A level 3 cleric can heal between 2-12 points of damage a round using channel energy. Thats not going to negate the damage dealt. To be able to complete negate that damage a cleric would need to be level 7 at least (in order to heal between 4-24 points of damage a round), in which case the cleric could be one-shotting an ogre a round. A cleric of 7th level could also summon monsters to hold them off (potentially taking more ogres down as well), use sound burst to stun a small group of them (which would completely negate the damage of those effected for that round), use Enthral to halt them in their tracks. The sky's the limit for any cleric with a little imagination.

    Besides, even if what you said was true, it would only prove my point that this fortifies the idea that a cleric should only be a heal-bot, since the clerics in your example would be spending their actions healing instead of anything else, somthing they still could have done pre-PFRPG.

    DM_Blake wrote:

    But if its one of those fights where the PCs can manage through without heals, but after the fight, everyone is half-dead and needs healing before they kick down the next dungeon door, well, now the cleric can use Channel Energy and save his spells.

    As I've said before, healing between encounters does not require a cleric, wands, potions, scrolls, all those things exist to provide a little extra magic if needed, so if you need them, take them. Even with healing heavy characters in the party I rarely have a PC leave for a dungeon without a few potions handy.

    DM_Blake wrote:

    "sorry, I used all my spells to whoop some bad guy butts, so you'll just have to heal yourselves."

    If a party said that to me, unless I was playing a cleric of Lathander (or the Golarian equivilent, sorry, not to familier with the setting at the moment) my exact words would be "Heal your own damm selves" (okay, they wouldn't be my exact words, this is the censored version). You wouldn't ask a fighter to cast spells, so unless I someone intentionally plays a heal-bot I'm not going to ask for a heal. By providing an extra resource specifically for healing however, the cleric only becomes more fortified as the healer role.

    DM_Blake wrote:
    And the best part is clerics now can cast more cleric spells without having to convert them all into Cure X Wounds spells.

    Well at least we share the same dislike here. As much as I don't like channel energy, I've always hated this more. [

    DM_Blake wrote:


    So, the comment KaeYoss made about fighters and rogues dishing out their damage and other class abilities like disable devices, and that they can do it all day, while spellcasters cannot, was quite true.

    I agree it can be an issue at low levels, but thats it. Even trigger happy spellcasters rarely run out of spells at high levels (or even mid levels). For a Rise of the Runelords campaign I played a sorcerer, one who always seemed to have the right spell for a specific situation. With the exception of our first two games, he never ran out of spells...ever. In fact, from about 8th level onwards he barely reached half his total spells before the day ended.


    Another way to help with healing would be to have some one with UMD use summon monster * scrolls to heal during/after combat and help soak some damage by fighting monsters that are giving the Pcs trouble..

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    To be fair Nero I'm in one of your P&p groups and as far as I recall we have only ever had two Clerics (yes I know technically 3 but lets face it no one would ever include That one) and at the time both players were very inexperienced.


    Kevin Mack wrote:
    To be fair Nero I'm in one of your P&p groups and as far as I recall we have only ever had two Clerics (yes I know technically 3 but lets face it no one would ever include That one) and at the time both players were very inexperienced.

    Sorry if I sounded harsh, but I know the two clerics you're talking about, and truthfully I think those two are the best I've actually seen IG (since although they didn't directly preach their gods, they at least got their dogma's spot on).

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