Selective Channeling : Excluding Yourself


Rules Questions


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Bob the evil cleric (CHA 18) and his four allies encounter something unpleasant in the woods. Bob wants to channel negative energy to help kill it.

Naturally he has selective channeling that allows him to exclude up to his charisma modifier (+4) in creatures. It reads:

When you channel energy, you can choose a number of targets in the area up to your Charisma modifier. These targets are not affected by your channeled energy.

Since this is a party of 5 (Bob plus his four companions) does Bob himself count against the number he can exclude from his channel or is one of the party going to take some negative energy damage?

Put another way: If a character has a 13 CHA (the minimum for this feat) does her +1 Charisma modifier mean the only benefit of this feat is that she gets to choose to exclude another target in lieu of herself, since the base Channel Energy class feature allows her to exclude herself even without this feat? Or can she exclude herself AND another creature?


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Channel Energy wrote:
Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cleric's level + the cleric's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channel energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A cleric may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A cleric can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect.

Channel negative energy, don't include yourself in the effect, and selectively exclude your friends.


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I read that as well, and I tend to agree with you, but it isn't clear to me that this is the correct interpretation.


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Dan Noland wrote:
I read that as well, and I tend to agree with you, but it isn't clear to me that this is the correct interpretation.

You're having brain fart, then. It happens. It's absolutely 100% crystal clear that the channeler can exclude himself as a function of channeling, and selective channeling excludes additional targets.


Can you tell me how you arrived at the perfect clarity that these two effects (the Channel Energy class feature, and the Selective Channeling feat) apply in series as you suggest?

(1) I channel excluding myself
(2) Now I apply selective channeling

Instead of:
(1) I channel and apply selective channeling simultaneously

?


This can be argued either way:

1. Channel lets you exclude yourself and Selective Channeling lets you exclude additional targets.

or

2. Channel lets you exclude yourself and Selective Channeling replaces that with the ability to exclude a set number of targets - in this interpretation you can only exclude yourself if you are one of the selected targets.

Note that option 2 is similar to the interpretation of Combat Reflexes - without CR, you can only make one AoO, but with CR you can make a set number of AoOs that are NOT an addition to the general 1, but are a replacement for it, so there is precedent for the 2nd interpretation.

Me, I go with replacement. I think this is really up to each GM to decide, unless there is some additional clarification somewhere.


Combat Reflexes actually allows ADDITIONAL attacks of opportunity in PF instead of the set number from 3.5. We always interpreted Selective Channel the same way.

Although. in all fairness, Selective Channel does not use the word 'additional' so we are probably doing it wrong...

Silver Crusade

Dan, I swear to Iomadae that if you murder my paladin with your doom cleric of Calistra and her channeling I will haunt you until the Runelords raze all of Avistan.

Also, I am under the impression that as a cleric, you can always exclude yourself from your own channeled negative energy and selective channeling allows you to exclude ADDITIONAL targets.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
Note that option 2 is similar to the interpretation of Combat Reflexes - without CR, you can only make one AoO, but with CR you can make a set number of AoOs that are NOT an addition to the general 1, but are a replacement for it, so there is precedent for the 2nd interpretation.

Actually Combat Reflexes provides additional AoOs (i.e. in addition to the one everyone gets) equal to your Dex Bonus.

Solomon Kane wrote:
Combat Reflexes actually allows ADDITIONAL attacks of opportunity in PF instead of the set number from 3.5.

Um, 3.5 was the same - you got additional AoOs equal to your Dex bonus.


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Take a cleric who has CHA +0 (no, don't really take him; that's a pretty crappy cleric, if you're depending on him to heal).

Does it make any sense for that cleric to be able to exclude himself from the effects of his channel energy, then spend a feat and suddenly can't anymore?

Not to me, anyway. I think the rules are pretty clear: The basic ability lets you include or exclude yourself automatically; the feat allows you to do the same for other targets (in a fashion similar to the Selective metamagic ability).


An evil 1st level cleric (without Selective Channel) can Channel Negative Energy and effect all within a 30 foot radius. She does not need Selective Channel to exclude herself from the damaging effect.

If this was not true then ALL evil clerics would need to take Selective Channel at 1st level to be any use at all. Althoug some may wish to take the role of suicide bombers, most want to kill (not die) for their deity.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
If this was not true then ALL evil clerics would need to take Selective Channel at 1st level to be any use at all.

Not true - any evil cleric could still channel negative energy to heal undead, and not affect him or herself wihtout Selective Channel.

Having said that, I see no reason why Selective Channelling does not work in addition to the normal choice to exclude the cleric. Nothing in Selective Channelling says that it prevents the normal exclusion of self.


Except maybe the feat itself:

Selective Channel wrote:

Benefit: When you channel energy, you can choose a number of targets in the area up to your Charisma modifier. These targets are not affected by your channeled energy.

Normal: All targets in a 30-foot burst are affected when you channel energy. You can only choose whether or not you are affected.

That looks like a replacement effect to me.

Combat Reflexes (Combat) wrote:

Benefit: You may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to your Dexterity bonus. With this feat, you may also make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

Normal: A character without this feat can make only one attack of opportunity per round and can't make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

Looks like additional AoO's to me.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I see no language suggesting a replacement effect. There is no "instead", the feat simply mentions what its benefits are and what the normal rules without it entail.

If a Cleric with a negative Cha score chose to take this feat, and it worked as you suggested, then they would no longer be able to choose whether they were even affected or not.

Doesn't make much sense, does it?


Now don't get your down feathers in a knot. I eat tengus like you for breakfast :p

Seriously though: I can understand it being read either way. It doesn't actually say it replaces but then again why add the line about affecting yourself at all if the feat doesn't change that? I prefer it to be in addition simply because it makes more sense that way.

Liberty's Edge

The feat has a CHA 13 requirement.

Which means that the Cleric can always exclude at least 1 person.

I always played it as additional excluded targets, but the RAW looks decidedly like a replacement effect :-(

Note that the feat has the Normal entry, which is stated as : "Normal: What a character who does not have this feat is limited to or restricted from doing. If not having the feat causes no particular drawback, this entry is absent."

So, Normal = You can only choose whether or not you are affected. And Selective Channeling = you can choose a number of targets in the area up to your Charisma modifier. These targets are not affected by your channeled energy.

Time to hit the FAQ I guess.


Doesn't look like a replacement to me. seems to me that a 13 Cha cleric could exclude herself as well as one creature.


I see the CHA 13 requirement as a logical step. Taking Selective Channel without at least a mod of +1 would be like a one-armed man wanting to take Two-weapon Fighting. It is impossible to train in something, if you lack to required ability and resources to perform the action you are practicing. I see Selective Channel as in addition to.

It is there so that people who want to channel negative can do so without harming their allies, and the though that this feat is pointless to anyone who only has the prerequisite 13 CHA score is over thinking what I see as a clearly defined rule. Instead I would say that for the feat to grant the intended benefit in the way some are suggesting it would then need to have at least a 14 CHA requirement so that there is an actual benefit gained from taking the feat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, a man with no arms can take two-weapon fighting, and use it.

That is for another place I suppose.

Shadow Lodge

Yah, I have to say that the Cleric can automatically not hit themselves with a Channel Energy, and with Selective Channel additionally choose other targets equal to their Cha.

(Though I wonder why it isn't Wis. You need to be able to see and identify targets to exclude them, and it seems like it's based much more on holding your self back than on enforcing your will on the channel attempt. Off topic, I was just saying.)

The Exchange

Someoneknocking wrote:

I see the CHA 13 requirement as a logical step. Taking Selective Channel without at least a mod of +1 would be like a one-armed man wanting to take Two-weapon Fighting. It is impossible to train in something, if you lack to required ability and resources to perform the action you are practicing. I see Selective Channel as in addition to.

It is there so that people who want to channel negative can do so without harming their allies, and the though that this feat is pointless to anyone who only has the prerequisite 13 CHA score is over thinking what I see as a clearly defined rule. Instead I would say that for the feat to grant the intended benefit in the way some are suggesting it would then need to have at least a 14 CHA requirement so that there is an actual benefit gained from taking the feat.

I guess you could argue that if the Cleric had enough hit points to take the negative channel then moving that exclusion to a party member that was already hurt is a benefit of the feat.

That being said I think the feat is intended to be additional targets as you can always exclude yourself. So with a CHA of thirteen the cleric should be able to exclude himself and one other target.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Well, a man with no arms can take two-weapon fighting, and use it.

That is for another place I suppose.

I have to agree, the one-armed man was a bad example; however, I hope the point I was trying to make came across.


Nothing in Selective Channel feat says you can't still opt out of targeting yourself. It also doesn't change the amount healed or the fact that you take the AoO.

In order for it to remove that ability it would have to specifically say so.

It doesn't say so.

Therefore, it doesn't remove the cleric's ability to freely exclude themselves from their own effect.

-S

Silver Crusade

Selgard wrote:

Nothing in Selective Channel feat says you can't still opt out of targeting yourself. It also doesn't change the amount healed or the fact that you take the AoO.

There's no AoO.

Core Rulebook definition of channeling wrote:
This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Shadow Lodge

Probably meant that taking the Feat doesnt cause you to take an AoO, because the Feat doeant say that.

Shadow Lodge

Someoneknocking wrote:
It is there so that people who want to channel negative can do so without harming their allies, and the though that this feat is pointless to anyone who only has the prerequisite 13 CHA score is over thinking what I see as a clearly defined rule. Instead I would say that for the feat to grant the intended benefit in the way some are suggesting it would then need to have at least a 14 CHA requirement so that there is an actual benefit gained from taking the feat.

I think the issue is more that if Selective Channel doesn't allow you to exclude people in addition to yourself, it will be useful to the typical (living) positive energy channeller with a Cha 13 since they normally wouldn't exclude themselves from healing anyway, but wouldn't be as useful to the typical (living) negative energy channeller with Cha 13 since all they would get is the ability to take the channel damage instead for an ally.

Negative Energy channelling is already less useful for the average PC than positive energy channelling, so this interpretation feels a bit like a nerf for the negative channeller.


Fromper wrote:
Selgard wrote:

Nothing in Selective Channel feat says you can't still opt out of targeting yourself. It also doesn't change the amount healed or the fact that you take the AoO.

There's no AoO.

Core Rulebook definition of channeling wrote:
This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

*squints*

*goes to re-read*

Dang, I totally missed that "not" in the PRD. Are you s ure it was there yesterday? :p

My mistake!

-S


DM_Blake wrote:

This can be argued either way:

1. Channel lets you exclude yourself and Selective Channeling lets you exclude additional targets.

or

2. Channel lets you exclude yourself and Selective Channeling replaces that with the ability to exclude a set number of targets - in this interpretation you can only exclude yourself if you are one of the selected targets.

Note that option 2 is similar to the interpretation of Combat Reflexes - without CR, you can only make one AoO, but with CR you can make a set number of AoOs that are NOT an addition to the general 1, but are a replacement for it, so there is precedent for the 2nd interpretation.

Me, I go with replacement. I think this is really up to each GM to decide, unless there is some additional clarification somewhere.

The feat(selective channel) would have to specifically say it alters the class feature in that manner in order to do so. Otherwise the class feature works as written with regard to the caster affecting himself, and selective channel only counts for others. The idea of a feat is also to make you make you better at something not worse.

Each ability with regard to channel specifically states whether it affects the caster or others and how it interacts. There should be no confusion on this.

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