The Avatar State


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


So, you're an aspiring cleric (or divine-blooded Sorcerer), and you've made it all the way to level 20. This is it. You're the High Priest of your religion. Now, you have ULTIMATE POWER in your grasp. And because you don't cast enough Heal (or Harm) spells to make the other capstone worth it, you decide that, as your 20th-level capstone, you want to be able to cast 10th level spells! You get one a day, and so you choose, as a good, faithful servant, to pick Avatar, to channel your god in the purest way possible. So, what does that give you?

An AC of 42. Okay. It's a respectable AC (so far as I can tell), and seems to be on par with most characters paying attention to AC

Attacks with a +31 attack modifier. Again, it doesn't seem to be too bad, but it's also kind of average for anybody with level-appropriate melee ability. I'll come back to this in a minute

30 Temporary HP. It's there. It's not a lot (maybe enough to take a couple of hits) but it's there. Clearly the draw for this spell is elsewhere.

Darkvision. I guess it's helpful, I suppose, if you don't have any light sources. But at level 20, I'm not sure how often darkness would (or should) present any sort of a problem.

Athletics bonus of +31 (feels kind of weird that this holds as true for Gorum as it does for Desna, but whatever) It's something. Nothing special, and seems average for what someone interested in Athletics would have.

And, for your GODLY attacks, what do we have?

a 6d10+3 Crossbow for Abadar.
a 6d10+6 mace (or 6d6+3 ranged attack from Asmodeus
6d8+6 for Iomedae.... Nethys gets a 6d6 ranged attack... Sarenrae has 6d6+6.... Torag gets 6d8+6 damage as his attack....

Yeah, this is at level 20. As your CAPSTONE. You can assume this form for ONE MINUTE. And what do you get? You get to become the party fighter. ONCE PER DAY. I haven't gotten the chance to actually break down all the bonuses availible, but a character that maxes their attack stat, with Legendary for their +5 weapon, will have, if I understand it all correctly, a 20+3+5+6=+34 bonus, before factoring in class abilities, bonuses, or feats of any kind. And if they're 2-handing a Bastard Sword, they're dealing 6d10+6 damage at a minimum, with other abilities boosting that.

So, right there, your average skilled frontliner has an attack that's just as damaging as Avatar's attack, and is more accurate as well.

When I heard 10th-level spells, I didn't imagine that I might be able to almost be as good as a fighter for a minute a day at fighting.

Oh, and fun fact: Ray of Frost, the cantrip, deals 4d8+(probably) 6 damage (average 24) points of damage by the time you hit level 17. Nethys' attack, dealing 6d6, only does 21 on average. If a Cantrip is dealing more damage than a 10th level spell, there's a problem.


Surprised this hasn't gotten more discussion.


Wizard_Giovanni wrote:
Surprised this hasn't gotten more discussion.

I know, Right?! It's kind of crazy, actually, amid all the complaints and arguments about spellcasters, I don't think how utterly underwhelming this is was ever really brought up.

Then again, IME clerics aren't a super popular choice for class...

Anyway, yeah this spell needs a sizable boost.


Yeah I also reacted at how weak this spell was.


The irony here is that the 10th level spell feat is mostly worth it for powers and cantrips that have a 10th level scaling. I would never take this feat for such a trash spell (especially since a simple fix for this would be to have it deal 7 dice of damage plus spellcasting modifier for damage at all times, and have either your weapon or armor proficiencies match your spellcasting proficiencies).

Even despite that, as a Cleric, having 5 10th level heals (or harms), for free each day is extremely powerful and unrivaled by anything else in the game, which is what makes the feat so strong.

That, and a free 5th level spell every hour is a pretty bad feat comparison.


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I have a very difficult time feeling much sympathy for a caster who is "only" as good as a 20th level fighter, given that's the fighter's whole thing. Not saying the spell couldn't be tweaked, but I don't find this argument very compelling.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I have a very difficult time feeling much sympathy for a caster who is "only" as good as a 20th level fighter, given that's the fighter's whole thing. Not saying the spell couldn't be tweaked, but I don't find this argument very compelling.

I was going to try to argue, but it seems I actually more or less agree.

If 20th level fighters are good, then a 10th level cleric spell that essentially makes you one is good for people that want to be their deity's champion.

And if 20th level fighters suck, then they should be looked at and fixed before worrying about a 10th level cleric spell that essentially makes you one.

And they've already said they're likely to be tweaking durations in the final version. There are still things I would add to it, but i guess it's not that terrible for someone looking for the "deity, make me your champion" route.

So I guess my only problem with the spell is, as the op mentioned, it's odd that it works exactly the same for a cleric of Desna as for Gorum. Maybe that's something that should be tweaked, different deities giving different skills and abilities?


Yeah, I came in ready to say pretty much what Captain Morgan said but he already said it. I do think the spell could use a little tweaking to make it more unique and fun but I think it DEFINITELY needs to be made sure that it doesn't actually make you as good a Fighter as the Fighter, even briefly. Close maybe, but not all the way. Clerics being able to temporarily become better Fighters than Fighters was one of the main reasons the class is broken in PF1 (and I say that even as Cleric is my favorite class).

I do think the numbers will need some changing for the final release due to the changing proficiency system, but I think the dynamic of "better than a melee focused caster but not quite as good as a focused martial" is appropriate.

I was going to argue that Avatar could get a little more power since Fighters have their class feats and stuff but that's a dangerous game and I think Clerics can still cast in this state so they still have their class features too. XP

One last little note, the cap for Fighter accuracy us actually +35. 20 level, 3 for Legendary, 5 for item, and 7 for Str, not 6. I think you might have left off a Belt of Giant Strength from that calculation.

That said all other Martials cap at 34, since only fighter gets Legendary.


Yeah, even with a "10th level spell" you shouldn't exceed what the fighter is capable of. I can see it making you their equal, for a limited time.

But the fighter is the "pinnacle" of martial talent. Becoming their equal shouldn't be viewed as a small feat.

However, what this may mean is that we need to look at what martial characters are capable of.


Ok, I agree the spell probably shouldn't' make you better, or perhaps even equal to a 20th level fighter, even for a single combat. However, note, presumably the 20th level fighter had fighter feats that are above and beyond the numeric bonuses of their combat abilities that make them have that 'bit of awesome' that should give them a distinct advantage.

So potentially, having a spell that boosts the clerics base numbers to be comparable but not over a fighter's abilities may not be unreasonable, as long as the cleric's other spells don't make it so it has other boosts that exceeds the effectiveness of the fighter's combat feats. I.e. the Fighter may be doing a whirlwind-like attack with two actions and still have an second action to do a second attack and a free action to raise a shield perhaps, all due to feats they've gathered on their way to 20th level.

So I'm not going to say boosting their number to very close to a similar fighter isn't potentially temporarily viable, as long as the combat feats the fighter can have should makes them remain a step above the avatar form.

And yes, I agree avatar form should probably have skills change by their faith/domain.


I would agree that perhaps the numbers need to be tuned up a bit, 33/34 to hit instead of 31.

Enough temporary HP to bring them up to what a fighter would have assuming same con modifier. I can't remember how much HP clerics get vs fighter per level, but you should probably get that amount times your level (20 in this case). Attacks should be as your deity's favored weapon with maximum enhancement dice, and they weapon could be like a force construct to make it cool. Or maybe even deal a type of energy damage if thematically appropriate for certain deities.


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The one odd thing about this spell is it benefits people clerics who don't focus on melee stuff outside of the spell more than a melee focused cleric. Its why wild shape pools are based off strength on druids.


Yeah...that's very true.

It's better for clerics who ignore melee stuff, in it's current state.

It should probably grant bonuses to your stats rather than directly replace them, at least for the to-hit bonus.

Liberty's Edge

Did you try the following to see if it helps at all?

Not Sorry:
--}Begin Read-Aloud{--
Avatar State! Yip! Yip!


Edge93 wrote:

Yeah, I came in ready to say pretty much what Captain Morgan said but he already said it. I do think the spell could use a little tweaking to make it more unique and fun but I think it DEFINITELY needs to be made sure that it doesn't actually make you as good a Fighter as the Fighter, even briefly. Close maybe, but not all the way. Clerics being able to temporarily become better Fighters than Fighters was one of the main reasons the class is broken in PF1 (and I say that even as Cleric is my favorite class).

I do think the numbers will need some changing for the final release due to the changing proficiency system, but I think the dynamic of "better than a melee focused caster but not quite as good as a focused martial" is appropriate.

I was going to argue that Avatar could get a little more power since Fighters have their class feats and stuff but that's a dangerous game and I think Clerics can still cast in this state so they still have their class features too. XP

One last little note, the cap for Fighter accuracy us actually +35. 20 level, 3 for Legendary, 5 for item, and 7 for Str, not 6. I think you might have left off a Belt of Giant Strength from that calculation.

That said all other Martials cap at 34, since only fighter gets Legendary.

Well, the spell technically already does that, it's just a pretty sad spell, and not really a reason someone would take that feat, for starters. 6 10th level spells for a feat is way more powerful than 1. (They aren't mutually exclusive, but the point is that the feat does more for something that isn't spellcasting compared to your actual spellcasting.)

Furthermore, a Cleric can't ever match the Fighter's numbers, both offensively and defensively. He will be at-least short 2 proficiency, and he will be down 2 attribute modifier (or 1 if he really invests in it, but not really favorable in comparison to a bonus 10th level spell). The spell might make you more durable through AC and temp HP, or offensive through to-hit, but any optimized Cleric in all of those attributes (assuming 20+) will hit those benchmarks anyway, all this spell really does is apply those benchmarks across the board instead of it normally being what the player originally invested.

In addition, and perhaps the most important is, that Cleric won't have access to any of the powerful feats a Fighter gets unless they took Fighter Dedication and spent some class feats on them. Even then, they'll get access to basic things like Sudden Charge or Power Attack, and not any of the higher level feats due to how Class Feat limitations via Dedications work. (Which is fine, not a complaint, just an observation.)

So really, this is a Tide Pods fallacy argument in favor of nerfing a sub-par spell just to make it weaker than a given class, because apparently the class being trivialized is nothing but a bunch of numbers, the thing that the spell mostly changes. (Which makes for a very lame and crappy class if that's true.)


We interrupt your regularly scheduled spell debate to ask the following question: what in the name of Nethys' crackling left buttcheek is a tide pods fallacy?!

I think I may have seen it used on here but I have no idea what it means, and google keeps finding tide pod challenge stuff.

Anyway, it's a lousy spell for sure, kind of like that worse transformation spell in pf1e that allowed a wizard to become a fighter without bonus feats.

So I just re- looked Avatar over. There are a few things the op seems to have missed. Different move speeds and certain immunities the spell Grants depending on deity followed. I don't know if those are worth it because I haven't actually played playtest at level 20, though.


Corwin Icewolf wrote:

We interrupt your regularly scheduled spell debate to ask the following question: what in the name of Nethys' crackling left buttcheek is a tide pods fallacy?!

I think I may have seen it used on here but I have no idea what it means, and google keeps finding tide pod challenge stuff.

Anyway, it's a lousy spell for sure, kind of like that worse transformation spell in pf1e that allowed a wizard to become a fighter without bonus feats.

So I just re- looked Avatar over. There are a few things the op seems to have missed. Different move speeds and certain immunities the spell Grants depending on deity followed. I don't know if those are worth it because I haven't actually played playtest at level 20, though.

Tide Pods were something that was almost never consumed (at least seriously) until the news (or some silly upstarts prior to the news making it into an epidemic) decided to make a big deal out of it, and influenced the media and viewers as such. In other words, tide pods only really became a problem because the news made it out to be one, not because they actually were a problem compared to other horrible things that were much more likely to happen.

People are saying that Avatar, a 1/minute/day spell, which puts you on-par with a 12 Strength Fighter at-best, and at-worst puts you on par with a 14 Strength Barbarian or Ranger, outshines an entire class completely, even though logically speaking, nobody really ever has any major use for this spell since an optimized Battle Cleric will already have the attributes of the Avatar spell, and the spell doesn't truly encapsulate the kinds of abilities and powers a class has.

While it may not be 100% applicable here, I do think it's silly that people think Fighters in PF2 can be replicated with a 10th level spell. The reality is, they can't. And they never will.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Stuff

I think there might be a touch of misunderstanding. Speaking for myself at least, I'm not saying Avatar DOES let you become as good as a Fighter for a minute per day. I know all too well that even without the numbers advantage (as an aside for accuracy Avatar puts you on par with an 18 Str Fighter, not 12, but that's neither here nor there) Fighters have a huge edge due to the various tricks and techniques their feats grant. I'm one of the biggest proponents on these forums for the "more than numbers" design philosophy of PF2.

What I AM saying is that while Avatar probably could use a tweak in either boosting its numbers or giving it some more cool stuff to make it unique, we should be VERY careful not to make it so that the Cleric DOES become as good as the Fighter with this spell. Being able to do that was an infamous issue with PF1.

While upping the numbers of Avatar to match a level 20 Fighter might not make them a better Fighter due to Fighter class feats giving an edge, if there's something the Cleric can bring on top of the Avatar spell to tip that balance THAT is where there would be an issue.

Not saying it is happening or would happen, just saying we should be careful. Martials get to have nice things now, let's keep it that way. XD

But yeah, I'm totally in agreement that Avatar doesn't stack up to a Fighter right now, and probably wouldn't even if the numbers matched.

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