optimizing channel negative energy?


Advice


I was thinking of a Dhamphir Cleric that takes selective channel (to spare my allies) and (lacking better ideas) Extra Channel to spam an effect that hurts enemies while healing myself.

Are there ways to be better at this? I know of a trait that raises the DC of the channel energy by 1.

Is there something else I should be doing to be better at this? Some maximize channel feat or something?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It normally doesn't work: "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." (emphasis mine)

You can either damage living creatures or heal undead (yourself) with a use of channel negative energy. Not both damage living creatures and heal undead.


As far as I know, THIS is the only PF way to do both at the same time.

Though I have heard the 3pp source book for the world of Kaidin(sp?) has something for this.


The Death's Embrace ability from the Death domain lets you heal yourself while channeling negative energy to harm the living. You just choose to include yourself in the burst. It requires level 8, but that is the only ability I know of that does what you want.

Grab the Improved Channel feat to increase your DC by another 2. You can use the Channel Surge feat to increase the damage/healing by 50% for a single channel, but it requires 2 uses each time and requires a full-round action instead of just a standard.

There are quite a few god-specific channeling feats in the Inner Sea Gods book you might want to look into. In addition, you could look into Variant Channeling as well, though most of the choices are not too great imo.


Envoy of Balance PRC. Double channel ftw

Feats: Channel ray, quicken channel, channeling force series, channeling smite series

Items: ring of protected life, phylactory of negative/positive channel, malleable symbol, ghostvision gloves, greyflame enchant


You want to check out hangover cleric builds for maximizing the effect and then you will want to check out envoy of balance to get both at once. If you go with quick channel it is possible to channel with envoy twice in a single turn for absurd healing and good damage. Jus make sure your charisma is absurdly high.

Honestly what you probably need is an anti-paladin if you are wanting the self heals instead of an undead hoard. The swift action healing (for dhamphir) is absurdly powerful and in between heals you can debuff the hell out of a single foe.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Honestly what you probably need is an anti-paladin if you are wanting the self heals instead of an undead hoard. The swift action healing (for dhamphir) is absurdly powerful and in between heals you can debuff the hell out of a single foe.

I thought Touch of Corruption required a standard to use? Or is there some other new shiny toys for the antipally that's not the Insinuator?


Darn you are correct. You can however use reactive healing feat to do it as an immediate. Not as good but still viable.

Scarab Sages

Variant channeling is going to be the best way to maximize your effectiveness. The amount of damage channels do isn't great, so reducing it a little to add some very nasty status effects is great.

The Exchange

Dragonchess Player wrote:

It normally doesn't work: "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." (emphasis mine)

You can either damage living creatures or heal undead (yourself) with a use of channel negative energy. Not both damage living creatures and heal undead.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. Take another look at the Dhampir race:

Negative Energy Affinity: wrote:
Though a living creature, a dhampir reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it.

So Dhampir's are living creatures so would be healed with the same Channel Negative that harms other living creature, or harmed while channel positive is healing living creatures. While targetting undead there would be no effect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

it reacts as if undead. So when you target undead it is included. when you target living it's excluded. That's why it say, "even though you are living, you're going to count as undead."

The Exchange

Chess Pwn wrote:
it reacts as if undead. So when you target undead it is included. when you target living it's excluded. That's why it say, "even though you are living, you're going to count as undead."

But you don't use the spell 'to harm' or 'to heal' you use it by targeting a type of creature, either 'living' or 'undead' a Dhampir (even by virtue of Negative Energy Affinity) is a living creature. However Negative Energy Affinity calls out that even though a living creature, a dhampir is harmed by positive energy, and healed by negative energy as an undead creature would be. the reference to undead is to clarify how the Dhampir "reacts" to positive/negative energy. It is not saying that the Dhampir is treated as an undead target when you choose what type of creature to affect.

Channel Energy (Su): wrote:

Regardless of alignment, any cleric can release a wave of energy by channeling the power of her faith through her holy (or unholy) symbol. This energy can be used to cause or heal damage, depending on the type of energy channeled and the creatures targeted.

A good cleric (or one who worships a good deity) channels positive energy and can choose to deal damage to undead creatures or to heal living creatures. An evil cleric (or one who worships an evil deity) channels negative energy and can choose to deal damage to living creatures or to heal undead creatures. A neutral cleric who worships a neutral deity (or one who is not devoted to a particular deity) must choose whether she channels positive or negative energy. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. This decision also determines whether the cleric casts spontaneous cure or inflict spells (see spontaneous casting).

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 channeled 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. A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.


Channel negative energy is to either harm living or heal undead. You count as undead for this energy.

Silver Crusade

Channel energy and (cure/inflict) spells are not the same.

The Exchange

Chess Pwn wrote:
Channel negative energy is to either harm living or heal undead. You count as undead for this energy.

That is correct, so when a cleric channel's positive energy a Dhampir takes damage (which gets will save for half) and when a cleric channels negative energy a Dhampir is healed. However that does not change that a Dhampir is "a living creature". And when a cleric channels energy they do so targeting either Living or Undead.

So if a cleric channels positive energy targeting living creatures the Dhampir will take damage, which it can make a save against for half damage. If the same cleric channels positive energy targeting undead, the Dhampir does NOT take damage because it is a living creature.

If a cleric channels negative energy targeting living creatures the Dhampir will be healed, because it is a living creature but is healed by negative energy. If the same cleric channels negative energy targeting undead, the Dhampir does NOT get healed because it is a living creature.

The Exchange

Pay close attention to the way the channel energy ability is worded. It's easiest to think of it as four (standard) types of channeling.

A cleric who channels positive may choose to:
Deal damage to undead creatures or
To heal living creatures

A cleric who channels negative energy may choose to:
Deal damage to living creatures or
To heal undead creatures

A dhampir is treated as undead when determining how any of those types affect it.


if the cleric channels negative targeting living then it skips the dhampir because he counts as undead for the energy.

The Exchange

Chess Pwn wrote:
if the cleric channels negative targeting living then it skips the dhampir because he counts as undead for the energy.
Negative Energy Affinity: wrote:
Though a living creature, a dhampir reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it.

While I can see how you read it that way. I disagree. The description says the dhampir reacts to the energy as if it were undead, and proceeds to detail that statement means positive energy harms it, and negative energy heals it. But this is separate (as indicated by the comma) from the initial statement that the Dhampir is a living creature.

The statement does NOT say it is treated as undead for the purpose of targeting undead or living, but only that it's treated as undead when determining if positive/negative energy heals/hurts it.

I do however feel that it should have a FAQ to further clarify the rule.

The Exchange

Belafon wrote:

Pay close attention to the way the channel energy ability is worded. It's easiest to think of it as four (standard) types of channeling.

A cleric who channels positive may choose to:
Deal damage to undead creatures or
To heal living creatures

A cleric who channels negative energy may choose to:
Deal damage to living creatures or
To heal undead creatures

A dhampir is treated as undead when determining how any of those types affect it.

That may be easy, but that does not mean it is accurate.

You have to remember the entry for Channel Energy was created before there were creatures that were Living but received healing/damage from channeled energy as though they were dead. So the entry is very straight forward. The Dhampir Negative Energy Affinity Changes that.

"Though a living creature, a dhampir reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it."

It does NOT say that Dhampir's are targeted by channel energy as if they are undead. So targeting still works as though the Dhampir is a living creature. However once hit by the channeled energy the Dhampir is treated as if it were undead when determining how it reacts to the energy being channeled.

The Exchange

Glorf, I think you're getting tripped up by the word "targeted."

Despite that word appearing in the description, Channel is NOT a targeted affect. It is a burst. You don't choose "creature A, creature B, and creature D." If you channel positive energy you choose to either
-heal living creatures or
-damage undead creatures

Then EVERY creature that matches that description in your burst is affected. If they don't match the description, they are unaffected. If you choose "heal living" then the skeletons standing around you stand in puzzlement as a wave of positive energy washes through them and does nothing.


This looks pretty straightforward to me.

Cleric chooses to channel negative energy against living creatures.

As a living creature, the cleric is affected unless they exclude themselves.

The energy affects them as though they were undead (healing instead of harming), while harming other living creatures in the area and ignoring undead ones.

Only the effect of the energy is reversed by the racial ability, you don't "count as undead for all purposes related to channelling energy", you're just affected oppositely. You still get affected by the living-side of the coin.

Which is probably working as intended, given that I'm pretty sure that ability is meant to be one of those "powerful in certain situations but a hassle to deal with" powers. Sure, it's great when you're fighting an evil cleric who wants to channel your entire party. But it sucks when the party cleric throws a group heal and has to take a feat specifically to spare your precious hit points, and has to memorize Inflicts instead of spontaneously curing you like everyone else.

Grand Lodge

There's been an official clarification of this. The gist was that a dhampir is considered undead for ALL purposes of channel. They are harmed if you're channeling positive to harm, and they're healed if you're channeling negative to heal.

I'm at work and can't look it up right now, but I will when I get home.

The Exchange

Yes, it's been FAQ'd under the Beastiary FAQ (Apparently Beastiary 2 was the first place with Negative Energy Affinity.)

With that rewrite I withdraw my position. Though otherwise I'd still be arguing my case is the way it is worded.


My fave way to do channel negative is Channel Smite + Guided Hand + Greatsword (cleric of Gorum works well).

Grand Lodge

The real fun comes when a dhampir dies. On the battle field, there's not a thing to be done. Breath of life is out, and there's no opposite spell. Channeled revival is also positive-only.

Raise dead seems to work, as it doesn't mention positive or negative energy. I dunno.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / optimizing channel negative energy? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.