Cleric is too strong, Cleric is too weak. A lopsided issue


Classes

1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

12 people marked this as a favorite.

So, after concluding Mirrored Moon, I ended up getting a lot of feedback specifically on Cleric by my players. One of them rolled a Cleric in Lost Star, being his favourite class, and now he has played Cleric three times fully.

It's not very good.

Premise and confession: I, as GM and as player, have repeatedly expressed the opinion that Clerics in their current iteration are too powerful and cause issues in encounters, because of the excessive healing and of how easily they can throw down a massive heal spike with no real loss of resources. I have posted in these boards previously claiming nobody else has access to that much power, telling of how I feel like I cannot make encounters feel meaningful or threatening as long as the cleric is alive, and comparing P2 Clerics to Gestalt characters because of how they end up casting more than double everyone else's high level spells.

This is not a backflipping change of mind, but an added consideration.
My criticism was not about Clerics as a whole, but actually about Channel Energy.

Channel Energy grants Clerics an additional 2-7 (or even 9) casts of their highest spell slots, basically giving them a second and third character that exclusively heals, and can be further enhanced and improved by their feats and features (specifically Domains). I see people making Clerics because there is just no other way to keep up with healing and damage in any way that can hold a candle to it. I see lots of players even outside my group picking the Healing domain because "it's the best", and they manage to cast so freakin' much, I forget one core problem:

That while the channel is so extremely powerful that it eclipses every other player at the table, the cleric that carries it around is actually pretty bad.

Low casting (for this edition). A very restricted spell list, most of which is highly situational. Spells that depend on your god's alignment, but with no compensation for neutral gods (my guy is a Pharasman because of flavour reasons. He feels terrible about it now). The casting aspect is swingy, with great moments when the encounters fit your spells and great "well, I guess I'll heal someone" when they don't. Domains and feats that often rely on Channel to do anything, further pushing Cleric into the role of healer. Low weapon accuracy and proficiency. While the defense is fairly good, you have no way to make proactive use of it such as shielding allies or "play defender". The skills are low because of your expected role, which often demands you take care of both patchup duty and many spellcasting skills (I am specifically referring to skill feat selection here).

Basically, from what I see, Cleric is definitely powerful, clearly destabilising, and in dire need of a nerf.
From what my players see, Cleric is way too swingy, clearly not fun to play, and in dire need of a buff.

I think we are both right, and that Cleric's issue is not simply power, but internal balancing. Power without fun.

I still think Channel is in need of a massive nerf, because you just can't eclipse other classes this badly, but now I'm starting to think that doing something like that would uncover a more concerning issue - that once you take Channel away, Cleric will have very little going for her.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I played a cleric in chapter 3. I made the WORST cleric I could. That is, I eschewed Charisma (I had a score of 8) and invested literally every feat I could into Fighter Archetype feats.

I did four hundred and sixty five damage, healed for 31,* and took 205.

300 or so of that damage was from Channel.

I'm not making that up.

I used it twice.

Against shadows. And their clones. I hit like 6 each time.

*Looking back, this number may be inaccurate, it may have also been bad timing where one ally got hit with a heal-burst and was at full HP, so I didn't write down that healing value.


That... Actually almost makes sense.

Six targets, 4th level Heal, 3d8+4 each = avg17.5*6*2=210 (range 84-336) not accounting for saves.
With saves, it goes down to 194.25, which is still mostly the same.

With a couple good rolls (not unlikely given the small sample size) you can easily push to 300 (average of a 6,3 on the dice).

Basically, you played a Channel Energy with Fighter Dedication.


Ediwir wrote:
not accounting for saves

I wrote this down too.

Saves made: 8 (critically: 1)
Saves failed: 10 (critically: 4)

Note that covers all instances of a save that was forced upon an enemy (and I did cast Divine Wrath). I did not note down each individual spell casting as I was merely tracking totals (in order to perform long-run statistics).

Quote:
Basically, you played a Channel Energy with Fighter Dedication.

Not really. If I'd played a full cleric without gimping my charisma as hard as I could I would've done even more (especially if I hadn't been a Dwarf with the slowest move speed ever).

The reason I did so little weapon damage was due to the time-layout of the combats. That is: I always started 60+ feet away from the action and without weapons drawn.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Except against the shadows (we got a chance to investigate noises and the upstairs rooms were small).

The fight against the boss I was borderline useless (no high level spells, no channel, no HP, no Strength, no levels). All I did was cast Spiritual Weapon and flail miserably at things (8 attacks made (+3 crits), 13 attacks missed (+2 crits)) because Spiritual Weapon was not affected by the enfeebling the shadows had caused.


That's fine, the fight with Ilvoresh is made to have everyone be kinda useless from all the penalties and conditions. But yeah, the fact that so much of what you did came from channeling, even when it wasn't absolutely anything you were focused on, is... Kinda depressing.

Dark Archive

If you managed to build a weak Cleric... how? What was your weapon, what was your domain? Or did you try using cantrips or spells? What did you do in combat? Which class feats do you have?
Because as far as I could see, the Cleric is the strongest class, even without using channel energy. I played Clerics about 7 times in the playtest, and every single time I outdamaged everyone at the table.


What was your divinity choice? Because those are very, VERY influent on your character's strength, I noticed.


Hmm if the cleric isn't fun to play, I would assume other casters had a lot of the same issues. I still think the nerfs to casters need to be rolled back a bit, but nowhere near pathfinder 1 levels.

I do also agree on channel energy being much too powerful, and I assume that power would limit any buffs you could give to the cleric class because it's already the strongest (I think). I had a plan of playing some pathfinder 1 AP with the rules from pathfinder 2, and one of the changes I'm planning to make is nerfing channel energy to either 0+cha/day or 1+cha/day, because at the moment it seems to give the cleric so many bonus spells for no particular reason.


Nettah wrote:

Hmm if the cleric isn't fun to play, I would assume other casters had a lot of the same issues. I still think the nerfs to casters need to be rolled back a bit, but nowhere near pathfinder 1 levels.

I do also agree on channel energy being much too powerful, and I assume that power would limit any buffs you could give to the cleric class because it's already the strongest (I think). I had a plan of playing some pathfinder 1 AP with the rules from pathfinder 2, and one of the changes I'm planning to make is nerfing channel energy to either 0+cha/day or 1+cha/day, because at the moment it seems to give the cleric so many bonus spells for no particular reason.

Derailing my own thread, but it's a chance and I'll take it. Try this for your conversion, it's Druid-based:

Revised Channel wrote:

Channel Energy: You only gain one use of Channel Energy. If you have at least three feats related to Channel Energy (see list), you gain two uses. If you have five or more, you gain three.

Channel Smite, Command Undead, Conical Channel, Necrotic Infusion, Selective Energy (feat4) now require Cha14.

Channeled Succor, Elemental Channel, Improved Command Undead (feat8) now require Cha16.

Fast Channel, Improved Elemental Channel (feat14) now require Cha18.

Deity’s Protection (feat14) now requires Cha18, provides resistance 7.

You might need to buff baseline Cleric to accomodate for it, but let me know how it goes. It's hard to do actual homebrew testing and still do playtest campaigns.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Ediwir wrote:
So, after concluding Mirrored Moon, I ended up getting a lot of feedback specifically on Cleric by my players. One of them rolled a Cleric in Lost Star, being his favourite class, and now he has played Cleric three times fully.

My ears are burning, because you just described me even though I'm sure we don't know each other. :)

Quote:
It's not very good.

Exactly. People are so blinded by Channel and Heal don't see that that one ability and one spell prop up the entire class.

Quote:
Premise and confession: I, as GM and as player, have repeatedly expressed the opinion that Clerics in their current iteration are too powerful and cause issues in encounters, because of the excessive healing and of how easily they can throw down a massive heal spike with no real loss of resources. I have posted in these boards previously claiming nobody else has access to that much power, telling of how I feel like I cannot make encounters feel meaningful or threatening as long as the cleric is alive, and comparing P2 Clerics to Gestalt characters because of how they end up casting more than double everyone else's high level spells.

None of that is really wrong.

Quote:

That while the channel is so extremely powerful that it eclipses every other player at the table, the cleric that carries it around is actually pretty bad.

Low casting (for this edition). A very restricted spell list, most of which is highly situational. Spells that depend on your god's alignment, but with no compensation for neutral gods (my guy is a Pharasman because of flavour reasons. He feels terrible about it now). The casting aspect is swingy, with great moments when the encounters fit your spells and great "well, I guess I'll heal someone" when they don't. Domains and feats that often rely on Channel to do anything, further pushing Cleric into the role of healer. Low weapon accuracy and proficiency. While the defense is fairly good, you have no way to make proactive use of it such as shielding allies or "play defender". The skills are low because of your expected role, which often demands you take care of both patchup duty and many spellcasting skills (I am specifically referring to skill feat selection here).

Yeah my first Cleric was one of Desna and whlie themtaically cool, mechanically I was like "why does that advanced domain power exist and why would I ever spend a class feat on it?" Anyone with the healing domain is so much better that they might as well be playing a different game.

Quote:

Basically, from what I see, Cleric is definitely powerful, clearly destabilising, and in dire need of a nerf.

From what my players see, Cleric is way too swingy, clearly not fun to play, and in dire need of a buff.

I think we are both right, and that Cleric's issue is not simply power, but internal balancing. Power without fun.

The problem, as I see it, is that Heal is the only truly strong spell Clerics have in 2e. Buffs are weak and don't stack, so if you get paired up with a Bard stuff like Bless is just right out the window. You don't actually have a ranged cantrip that works on living things (not that cantrips feel powerful or fun even when you can use them). Spells are highly limited in number and rarely work to full effect. Single target damage spells don't tend to be better than getting flanking and using the magic weapon you probably have anyway.

Meanwhile... Heal is awesome. As I said in another thread: I never feel more powerful in 2e than when I'm casting Heal, because I will always accomplish what I'm trying to do.

Heal always works. It brings other players back into the fight, saves lives, and can deal huge damage against things vulnerable to it. It's arguably the best spell in the entire game.

So yeah, that makes Channel crazy good. If you simply remove Channel and replace it with nothing, the most sensible thing for me to do is prepare Heal in most of my slots. Because really, what else am I going to put there that's more effective than Heal and some debuffs that have an effect on a successful save (which are the only kind worth casting)?

That creates a huge danger of players getting pressured not to play offensive Clerics, but to play one dimensional healbots who don't waste spells on things that are not Heal. I play support casters all the time in 1e, and that would be a terrible step backwards. I don't have this problem in 1e, I can bring buffs, debuffs, offense, defense, and healing all at the same time. The playtest is so much more limited on the magic end that I get to pick, and the only reason I would pick "something that isn't Heal" is because Channel already gives me Heal.

Quote:
I still think Channel is in need of a massive nerf, because you just can't eclipse other classes this badly, but now I'm starting to think that doing something like that would uncover a more concerning issue - that once you take Channel away, Cleric will have very little going for her.

Exactly. It's the single thing that makes Clerics fun to play. Removing it without changing anything else leaves you with what amounts to a melee fighter that can cast Heal, and I'm pretty sure Paladins are better at that.

Channel needs a rework, but in tandem with magic as a whole.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Agyra Eisenherz wrote:

If you managed to build a weak Cleric... how? What was your weapon, what was your domain? Or did you try using cantrips or spells? What did you do in combat? Which class feats do you have?

Because as far as I could see, the Cleric is the strongest class, even without using channel energy. I played Clerics about 7 times in the playtest, and every single time I outdamaged everyone at the table.

Take a look for yourself:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/el4joxq23ytjmvf/pf2_doomsday_3.xls?dl=0

Every spell I used is marked off (because we never rested). I did use cantrips when I had the opportunity. Deity was Cayden Cailean (so favored weapon Rapier, which I had and used).

If your comment was directed at someone else, it was unclear. ;)

(Note: I did not track damage dealt/healed by other players, but I was pretty middle of the group: one player expressly did not get involved in the fight with the shadows until the end as he'd chosen not to investigate the noises upstairs and didn't show up until there was screaming)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Channel itself is really not that strong. It's the healing domain+healing hands feat that really pushes it into ridiculous territory. A high-ish Cha Cleric that isn't focused on healing gets about the same amount of healing as a Leaf Order Druid that took the feat to increase the number of focus points they have.

I would much rather nerf the healing domain and healing hands feat slightly, while also giving Druids/Bards/Sorcs/etc some more 'healing' class features. Because nerfing Channel outright really hurts battle clerics (who are already struggling) and will instead force all Clerics to focus on Healing - which is definitely not good.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've played the clerics 3 times now and it's super fun. the spell list is perfect and properly reflects a cleric in my opinion. I always thought the 3.5 cleric was a terrible and egregious error. if you don't want to heal don't play a cleric. there are a lot of other options a lot of other support classes. tturning the class into codzilla was terrible error. Right now I think the class is perfect. very much the AD&D 2nd edition cleric. a very strong healer and restorer, the spell list is good, very situational, but the situation they rectify have major affects. you don't need one, however having one, makes things a lot easier.

rogues, monks, fighters and clerics are literally perfect in this edition.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
ikarinokami wrote:
Right now I think the class is perfect. very much the AD&D 2nd edition cleric. a very strong healer and restorer, the spell list is good, very situational, but the situation they rectify have major affects. you don't need one, however having one, makes things a lot easier.

I only played the cleric once, and i was a little underwhelmed with previous favorites like Spiritual Weapon and Bless and was having a hard time finding cool spells besides Heal.

Which were your favorite "all star" spells?
And which niche is the divine spell list better at than a druid or bard?

Dark Archive

Draco18s wrote:
Agyra Eisenherz wrote:

If you managed to build a weak Cleric... how? What was your weapon, what was your domain? Or did you try using cantrips or spells? What did you do in combat? Which class feats do you have?

Because as far as I could see, the Cleric is the strongest class, even without using channel energy. I played Clerics about 7 times in the playtest, and every single time I outdamaged everyone at the table.

Take a look for yourself:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/el4joxq23ytjmvf/pf2_doomsday_3.xls?dl=0

Every spell I used is marked off (because we never rested). I did use cantrips when I had the opportunity. Deity was Cayden Cailean (so favored weapon Rapier, which I had and used).

Thanks! Now I understand some things better. I normally see only the far too optimized characters of my group.

If you like to deal more damage, you might wanna use a D12 weapon instead. The difference is huge, and you should be quite on par with the fighters.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorignak227 wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Right now I think the class is perfect. very much the AD&D 2nd edition cleric. a very strong healer and restorer, the spell list is good, very situational, but the situation they rectify have major affects. you don't need one, however having one, makes things a lot easier.

I only played the cleric once, and i was a little underwhelmed with previous favorites like Spiritual Weapon and Bless and was having a hard time finding cool spells besides Heal.

Which were your favorite "all star" spells?
And which niche is the divine spell list better at than a druid or bard?

The truth is... most spells are at best mediocre. There are some exceptions, like Heal. I found Blindness, Haste and Heroism useful as well.

See Invisibility and Faerie Fire against invisible creatures. Remove Fear and Calm Emotions if you think you need it.
Summon Monster is a good flank partner, but it won't hit very often, especially against harder enemies, so it might not worth your time.
On higher levels I am not sure yet. Air Walk is a must. A heightened restoration can be nice.
And maybe Comprehend Langua..... oh forget it, it is not on the cleric list anymore.

I think the arcane and occult lists are the worst, the divine is halfway okay, and the primal one is pretty.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I actually really dislike the Divine Spell list.

At least the Arcane and Occult spell lists feel like you have relevant choices to make when picking spells. Just about every divine spell level has 1-2 damage spells and 1 of a heal, buff, or universally useful utility spell.

I'm not taking See Invisibility as a second level spell because I want to, but for lack of better options. For third level I'm grabbing Fireball (from Sarenrae), Heroism.... And I guess another Heroism? I don't even know what I'd take if I was a non-Sarenrae Cleric (Searing Light is awful). Maybe Dispel Magic or Blindness if I was a battle cleric?

And every spell level feels like that. There just aren't a variety of good spells to pick from on the list.


Zorae wrote:

I actually really dislike the Divine Spell list.

At least the Arcane and Occult spell lists feel like you have relevant choices to make when picking spells. Just about every divine spell level has 1-2 damage spells and 1 of a heal, buff, or universally useful utility spell.

I'm not taking See Invisibility as a second level spell because I want to, but for lack of better options. For third level I'm grabbing Fireball (from Sarenrae), Heroism.... And I guess another Heroism? I don't even know what I'd take if I was a non-Sarenrae Cleric (Searing Light is awful). Maybe Dispel Magic or Blindness if I was a battle cleric?

And every spell level feels like that. There just aren't a variety of good spells to pick from on the list.

well, clerics in Core books never had great attacking spells.

There are still enough spells imo that are meaningful to prepare.

stuff like enervation, spiritual weapon, circle, restoration, heroism, darkness, silence, bless, fear, command, sanctuary etc all in early levels.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
shroudb wrote:
Zorae wrote:

I actually really dislike the Divine Spell list.

At least the Arcane and Occult spell lists feel like you have relevant choices to make when picking spells. Just about every divine spell level has 1-2 damage spells and 1 of a heal, buff, or universally useful utility spell.

I'm not taking See Invisibility as a second level spell because I want to, but for lack of better options. For third level I'm grabbing Fireball (from Sarenrae), Heroism.... And I guess another Heroism? I don't even know what I'd take if I was a non-Sarenrae Cleric (Searing Light is awful). Maybe Dispel Magic or Blindness if I was a battle cleric?

And every spell level feels like that. There just aren't a variety of good spells to pick from on the list.

well, clerics in Core books never had great attacking spells.

There are still enough spells imo that are meaningful to prepare.

stuff like enervation, spiritual weapon, circle, restoration, heroism, darkness, silence, bless, fear, command, sanctuary etc all in early levels.

I don't want more attacking spells. I want an actual variety of choice. Most of the things you listed are the only good spells at the levels they're at. They're the only spells to take.

Except Silence which is hot garbage now, circle is uncommon, Darkness (which has never been a good spell), and honestly I haven't seen a use for restoration yet (10 min cast time?) Although that's probably because we haven't encountered any conditions that don't go away quickly yet (maybe at higher levels it's more of a thing?). Plus, I'd rather just pick up a scroll or wand of that instead.

I want Comprehend Languages, Hold Person, Daylight (seriously, Darkness but no Daylight???), Prayer, Divine Favor, Tongues, Obscuring Mist! Those are all Core spells that were really good and helped add in some additional choices you could make. Domains used to give you an extra spell at every spell level, which really helped round out the list of things you could cast (assuming you weren't a boring healing domain cleric). Now you only get 3 more spells so the lacking spell list is much more painful.


Zorae wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Zorae wrote:

I actually really dislike the Divine Spell list.

At least the Arcane and Occult spell lists feel like you have relevant choices to make when picking spells. Just about every divine spell level has 1-2 damage spells and 1 of a heal, buff, or universally useful utility spell.

I'm not taking See Invisibility as a second level spell because I want to, but for lack of better options. For third level I'm grabbing Fireball (from Sarenrae), Heroism.... And I guess another Heroism? I don't even know what I'd take if I was a non-Sarenrae Cleric (Searing Light is awful). Maybe Dispel Magic or Blindness if I was a battle cleric?

And every spell level feels like that. There just aren't a variety of good spells to pick from on the list.

well, clerics in Core books never had great attacking spells.

There are still enough spells imo that are meaningful to prepare.

stuff like enervation, spiritual weapon, circle, restoration, heroism, darkness, silence, bless, fear, command, sanctuary etc all in early levels.

I don't want more attacking spells. I want an actual variety of choice. Most of the things you listed are the only good spells at the levels they're at. They're the only spells to take.

Except Silence which is hot garbage now, circle is uncommon, Darkness (which has never been a good spell), and honestly I haven't seen a use for restoration yet (10 min cast time?) Although that's probably because we haven't encountered any conditions that don't go away quickly yet (maybe at higher levels it's more of a thing?). Plus, I'd rather just pick up a scroll or wand of that instead.

I want Comprehend Languages, Hold Person, Daylight (seriously, Darkness but no Daylight???), Prayer, Divine Favor, Tongues, Obscuring Mist! Those are all Core spells that were really good and helped add in some additional choices you could make. Domains used to give you an extra spell at every spell level, which really helped round out the list of things you could cast...

well, i simply disagree with that.

for starters, Silence is, was, and will be an excellent way to shut down casters (although now it requires 4th level to do so instead of 2)

next, hold person, is rolled into Command. Like all save or suck, it's now the critical failure of Command.

You have "daylight" AT WILL now, because Light cantrip is a cantrip. Thaty means it autoscales at your highest spell slot, and that allows it to dispel darkness.

Darkness is more party dependent, but when it works it shuts down entire encounters.

As for actual spell choice, our clerics (both in the tables i GMed and the tables i played) never had problem picking spells.

those were example spells, there are others as well, stuff like Ray of enfeeblement, magic weapon at earlier levels (prior to level 4), and others.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:
Premise and confession: I, as GM and as player, have repeatedly expressed the opinion that Clerics in their current iteration are too powerful and cause issues in encounters, because of the excessive healing and of how easily they can throw down a massive heal spike with no real loss of resources. I have posted in these boards previously claiming nobody else has access to that much power, telling of how I feel like I cannot make encounters feel meaningful or threatening as long as the cleric is alive, and comparing P2 Clerics to Gestalt characters because of how they end up casting more than double everyone else's high level spells.

Completely in agreement; the ability of clerics to keep a party standing is absolutely mind-boggling. This is not hyperbole or satire, this is how actual PF2 fights feel. If it weren't a playtest, I would literally have monsters give up and run away because they just lack the ability to damage the party while the cleric is alive.

With that said, I think I know exactly what's coming next.

Ediwir wrote:
That while the channel is so extremely powerful that it eclipses every other player at the table, the cleric that carries it around is actually pretty bad.

And there it is. I fully agree; the cleric is actually a pretty terrible class if it weren't for channel. With the exception of only a handful of powerful domains (*cough*zeal*cough*) they're left with poor powers, poor spells, and pretty much no other class features. Heck, you even need to pay a feat tax to use a shield. In many ways these are the same problems that the PF1 cleric had, but PF2's casting nerfs have turned it up a notch.

With all that said, I do agree with the others that this is probably more of a general problem with casters being overnerfed.

Draco18s wrote:

300 or so of that damage was from Channel.

I'm not making that up.

I used it twice.

Against shadows. And their clones. I hit like 6 each time.

I believe it; the 3-action channel is ludicrously strong when focused against large groups of weak undead.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zorae wrote:
I don't want more attacking spells. I want an actual variety of choice. Most of the things you listed are the only good spells at the levels they're at. They're the only spells to take.

Me too, although decent attack options are nice because some people want to play offensive Clerics. That should be a viable option, just as a support focus should be.

Quote:
circle is uncommon

And not very good. I had it in my last playtest game despite it being uncommon. 3 action cast for a bonus that made no difference in the outcome of the fight despite getting it up in round 1. It's pretty weak.

Quote:
and honestly I haven't seen a use for restoration yet (10 min cast time?) Although that's probably because we haven't encountered any conditions that don't go away quickly yet (maybe at higher levels it's more of a thing?)

We got hit by all the status conditions in Sombrefell Hall. Someone got drained 3 in one creature's turn. AFAIK that doesn't go down in a night, so we were stuck with it the entire module. We also had 3 people affected by the Greater Shadows (enervate I think?) and I don't think that went down on its own quickly either, so we also lived with that.

I didn't have heightened restoration on my list, and I really wish I had taken it. It's not an in combat spell (it was 3 rounds in 1e and wasn't really a combat spell either, although 10 minutes is certainly harsher), but it's actually worth taking.

Quote:
Plus, I'd rather just pick up a scroll or wand of that instead.

Or with the new focus playtest rules, a staff of healing.

Quote:
I want Comprehend Languages, Hold Person, Daylight (seriously, Darkness but no Daylight???), Prayer, Divine Favor, Tongues, Obscuring Mist! Those are all Core spells that were really good and helped add in some additional choices you could make. Domains used to give you an extra spell at every spell level, which really helped round out the list of things you could cast (assuming you weren't a boring healing domain cleric). Now you only get 3 more spells so the lacking spell list is much more painful.

Ditto. My 2e Cleric feels like a pale imitation of an equivalent 1e Cleric. Blessing of Fervor is a staple at games I'm in and all my martial playing buddies love it. Nothing comes close to that in 2e's buff list.

Channel is when the fun happens.


Do I misunderstand the 3-action Heal spell?

PF2 wrote:

Material Casting, Somatic Casting (Action), Verbal Casting (Action) You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot

aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and
reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.

As I read it, that means that a cleric with 18 Wisdom will heal 4 damage to everyone in the area, regardless of level. Which is...unremarkable. Is there something I've missed 300 pages away?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mudfoot wrote:

Do I misunderstand the 3-action Heal spell?

PF2 wrote:

Material Casting, Somatic Casting (Action), Verbal Casting (Action) You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot

aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and
reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.
As I read it, that means that a cleric with 18 Wisdom will heal 4 damage to everyone in the area, regardless of level. Which is...unremarkable. Is there something I've missed 300 pages away?

Farther down in the spell under Heighten. For every level it's heightened, you add 1d8 to that. So if you cast it as a 2nd level spell, it's 1d8+4. (Single target casts that are just healing get 2d8 instead.)

Channel casts at your highest spell level, so a channel AoE Heal at character level 7 is 3d8+4, which is packing some real punch when it's hitting 4 enemies and 3 allies at the same time. (Of course this is less good if those allies are living, and that's when you want Selective Channel.)

That's what makes Channel so good. Without that, you simply don't do very much healing without sticking Heal in every higher spell slot you have, which makes for a completely one dimensional character.


Mudfoot wrote:

Do I misunderstand the 3-action Heal spell?

PF2 wrote:

Material Casting, Somatic Casting (Action), Verbal Casting (Action) You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot

aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and
reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.
As I read it, that means that a cleric with 18 Wisdom will heal 4 damage to everyone in the area, regardless of level. Which is...unremarkable. Is there something I've missed 300 pages away?

It heightens by 1d8 per level, so a lv5 Channel on 3-actions will heal 4d8+wis in an area (and damage undeads by the same amount at the same time).


That explains it. I misinterpreted the Heightening text to mean that it increases only if using the 1- or 2-action version.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
ikarinokami wrote:
if you don't want to heal don't play a cleric

That's not the problem.

The problem is:

if you want to heal: play a cleric.

Two half-healers (Druid, Alchemist) can't even compete with a single Cleric in terms of healing done.

Edit:
And oh yeah, divine-spell-list sorcerers are brainless vegetables. They don't get the healing of a cleric and clerics get litterally nothing else (as you've said, if you don't want to heal, don't play a cleric), so woo hoo, an entire class option that literally has no value or purpose.

Agyra Eisenherz wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

Take a look for yourself:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/el4joxq23ytjmvf/pf2_doomsday_3.xls?dl=0

Every spell I used is marked off (because we never rested). I did use cantrips when I had the opportunity. Deity was Cayden Cailean (so favored weapon Rapier, which I had and used).

Thanks! Now I understand some things better. I normally see only the far too optimized characters of my group.

If you like to deal more damage, you might wanna use a D12 weapon instead. The difference is huge, and you should be quite on par with the fighters.

Oh I am well aware. I spent probably 2 hours going over damage statistics (using T-Roll). It's really only about 1.5 DPR difference, everything else equal. What really kept me from smacking people for damage was the 20 move speed (and the mission trigger points).

Dasrak wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Against shadows. And their clones. I hit like 6
I believe it; the 3-action channel is ludicrously strong when focused against large groups of weak undead.

GM accidentally ran them as Greater Shadows (I even queried an "are you sure?" when the first one enfeebled us), but also made some other mistakes (we were on roll20 and every time he created a shadow clone he copied its parent...including current HP! So it probably averaged out in the end). No one died (we came close), but the encounter definitely made us feel like "yep, we're dead."


Mudfoot wrote:

Do I misunderstand the 3-action Heal spell?

PF2 wrote:

Material Casting, Somatic Casting (Action), Verbal Casting (Action) You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot

aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and
reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.
As I read it, that means that a cleric with 18 Wisdom will heal 4 damage to everyone in the area, regardless of level. Which is...unremarkable. Is there something I've missed 300 pages away?

you missed the heigtnening

Heal level 1 will aoe heal indeed for 4.
level 2 will heal for 1d8+4
level 3 for 2d8+4
level 4 3d8+4
and etc

as opposed to single target
level 1 1d8+4
level 2 3d8+4
level 3 5d8+4

and etc.

It's about half healing for AoE effect, so you need at least 2 wounded targets to come even.


shroudb wrote:
It's about half healing for AoE effect, so you need at least 2 wounded targets to come even.

It's almost exactly half. I did the statistical analysis a few weeks ago.

What's the problem?


ikarinokami wrote:

I've played the clerics 3 times now and it's super fun. the spell list is perfect and properly reflects a cleric in my opinion. I always thought the 3.5 cleric was a terrible and egregious error. if you don't want to heal don't play a cleric. there are a lot of other options a lot of other support classes. tturning the class into codzilla was terrible error. Right now I think the class is perfect. very much the AD&D 2nd edition cleric. a very strong healer and restorer, the spell list is good, very situational, but the situation they rectify have major affects. you don't need one, however having one, makes things a lot easier.

rogues, monks, fighters and clerics are literally perfect in this edition.

kinda insulting there..... well atleast to me it is and that is my opinion and any who agrees with it being so.

many ways of playing a cleric.

not just a heal bot which might be the problem. I dont even like being stuck as a healer and int he game neverwinter I was playing my cleric and one of the other party members remarked why do we have to use our potions when we have a cleric.

my cleric at the time was set for artillery support not heal your but support. mind you the game is set for 4e and uses a modified version of it.....

but the point stands. my clerics tend to put healing on the back burner for aoe if possible. and no the other caster classes do not fit the design of the character...
each their own and all


Draco18s wrote:
shroudb wrote:
It's about half healing for AoE effect, so you need at least 2 wounded targets to come even.

It's almost exactly half. I did the statistical analysis a few weeks ago.

What's the problem?

ther isn't any problem? why did you think that i had some problem with it?

if anything, the way battles work atm I find it a bit on the stronger side rather than the weak.

in most of our scenarios, before treat injuries was introduced, we mosly used AoE healing to top up after a battle since almost everyone in a prty is somewhat injured.


Draco18s wrote:


GM accidentally ran them as Greater Shadows (I even queried an "are you sure?" when the first one enfeebled us),

No, they're supposed to be Greater Shadows. I accidentally ran them as normal Shadows and was unimpressed at their effectiveness until I was reviewing everything after the adventure and realized my error.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
if you don't want to heal don't play a cleric

That's not the problem.

The problem is:

if you want to heal: play a cleric.

Two half-healers (Druid, Alchemist) can't even compete with a single Cleric in terms of healing done.

Edit:
And oh yeah, divine-spell-list sorcerers are brainless vegetables. They don't get the healing of a cleric and clerics get litterally nothing else (as you've said, if you don't want to heal, don't play a cleric), so woo hoo, an entire class option that literally has no value or purpose.

This is a great summary of both how much Channel overwhelms everyone else and how the Divine list doesn't help.

I think I remember someone else making a comparison thread and finding Channel Energy outheals any other individual caster by a good margin - without accounting for the Cleric's own spellslots, feats or domain, but accounting for any sort of specialisation other classes might have.
There's just no way to get there.

Honestly, I'm fine with Cleric being the best healer in the game. I just wish they could also be something else - and at the same time, that they would NOT outheal dedicated specialists if they decide to, oh I don't know, run a barbarian multiclass with greatswords.

The reason I really enjoyed Channel Energy in PF1 is that it freed Cleric's spellsots from the burden of healing spells, allowing them to fulfill their healing "duties" without hampering themselves and still feeling relevant in adventuring. It was a way to say "buzz off, my spell slots are my own contribution, healing is a side thing", but now it just feels like the Channel is your main resource and your spells are the minor assist (and still very much more useful to cast additional Heals anyways).


Aramar wrote:
Draco18s wrote:


GM accidentally ran them as Greater Shadows (I even queried an "are you sure?" when the first one enfeebled us),

No, they're supposed to be Greater Shadows.

Correction on my part: he made the spawn greater shadows (and should be regular ones).

Ediwir wrote:

This is a great summary of both how much Channel overwhelms everyone else and how the Divine list doesn't help.

I think I remember someone else making a comparison thread and finding Channel Energy outheals any other individual caster by a good margin - without accounting for the Cleric's own spellslots, feats or domain, but accounting for any sort of specialisation other classes might have.
There's just no way to get there.

Might've been me. I know I've done that comparison at least twice.

Quote:
The reason I really enjoyed Channel Energy in PF1 is that it freed Cleric's spellsots from the burden of healing spells, allowing them to fulfill their healing "duties" without hampering themselves and still feeling relevant in adventuring. It was a way to say "buzz off, my spell slots are my own contribution, healing is a side thing", but now it just feels like the Channel is your main resource and your spells are the minor assist (and still very much more useful to cast additional Heals anyways).

Yeah, exactly.

And I think part of that reason is because most spells got hit with a nerf in one form or another (previous failed save effects moved to crit-fail, duration shortened, range shortened, number of targets reduced, etc) whereas Heal is more or less right where it used to be, if not slightly better (access to AOE healing from level 1, rather than having to wait for Cure Light Mass at 9th).


A tad higher once you factor in caster level and variance, but yes.
Honestly I could see a d6 Heal spell, giving Divine/Primal the benefit of flexibility and action-managment and Occult the bonus resilience.

...spell crit fails don't actually concern me that much, the lack of DC scaling in respect to saves does. Non-quality based Item bonus feels more and more like a plague every time I look at it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:
And I think part of that reason is because most spells got hit with a nerf in one form or another (previous failed save effects moved to crit-fail, duration shortened, range shortened, number of targets reduced, etc) whereas Heal is more or less right where it used to be, if not slightly better (access to AOE healing from level 1, rather than having to wait for Cure Light Mass at 9th).

If you look at duration, lack of built in scaling, quantity, effect, and the likelihood of getting full effect, spells got nerfed in five different ways simultaneously. DCs on low level spells got buffed, but since damage doesn't scale that doesn't matter for blasting anyway, so only debuffs really benefit from it.

Except Heal, which as you note got more flexible right off the bat and didn't get hit with the nerfbat at all.

Channel is the only thing going for Clerics at all, but Channel is so good that it single handidly makes the entire class good. That's clearly a problem, but fixing it requires changing stuff all over the place.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ediwir wrote:
...spell crit fails don't actually concern me that much, the lack of DC scaling in respect to saves does. Non-quality based Item bonus feels more and more like a plague every time I look at it.

Spell crit fails doesn't bother me, its that the effects you USED to get on a fail are not "crit fail" and effects you got on a success are now on "fail."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:


Premise and confession: I, as GM and as player, have repeatedly
My criticism was not about Clerics as a whole, but actually about Channel Energy.
Ediwir wrote:

I see lots of players even outside my group picking the Healing domain because "it's the best", and they manage to cast so freakin' much, I forget one core problem:

I took healing domain as a Paladin, but really a lot of the other Domains are good also. Zeal, Might, Luck Passion.

Ediwir wrote:


That while the channel is so extremely powerful that it eclipses every other player at the table, the cleric that carries it around is actually pretty bad.

I look on Channel as really more of a party ability that the cleric takes to support the group.

If you want you clerics to have options in combat you really should be investing in DEX or STR for a weapon attack as well.

Ediwir wrote:


Low casting (for this edition). A very restricted spell list, most of which is highly situational. Spells that depend on your god's alignment, but with no compensation for neutral gods (my guy is a Pharasman because of flavour reasons. He feels terrible...

I played a cleric of Gorum starting with higher STR than WIS and concentrated on buffing and meleeing with the greatsword. Lots of fun. Very effective. Didn't miss the WIS


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gorignak227 wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Right now I think the class is perfect. very much the AD&D 2nd edition cleric. a very strong healer and restorer, the spell list is good, very situational, but the situation they rectify have major affects. you don't need one, however having one, makes things a lot easier.

I only played the cleric once, and i was a little underwhelmed with previous favorites like Spiritual Weapon and Bless and was having a hard time finding cool spells besides Heal.

Which were your favorite "all star" spells?
And which niche is the divine spell list better at than a druid or bard?

All the buffs are useful but most are short in duration

Weaponstorm is nice for a cleric of Gorum.
Stoneskin and Resist Energy are OK.
Restoration is required sometimes.
But the stand out is Sanctified Ground, if you can get it out before combat and in many of the encounters you can.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
But the stand out is Sanctified Ground, if you can get it out before combat and in many of the encounters you can.

Any time you're playing defender against known adversaries, Sanctified Ground is amazing. A straight +1 to the entire party's attack, AC, and saves with basically unlimited duration is just stupidly good coming off a 3rd level spell.

With that said, it only works in narrow circumstances. I feel Sombrefall Hall and Undarin telegraph well enough for the players to pull it off, and it's powerful enough that it's worth prepping as a cleric for general adventuring, but it's hard to pull off in a typical adventuring day.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gortle wrote:


Weaponstorm is nice for a cleric of Gorum.
Stoneskin and Resist Energy are OK.
Restoration is required sometimes.
But the stand out is Sanctified Ground, if you can get it out before combat and in many of the encounters you can.

Soo...in 9 levels worth of spells we have....four good ones?

Am I reading that right?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:
Gortle wrote:


Weaponstorm is nice for a cleric of Gorum.
Stoneskin and Resist Energy are OK.
Restoration is required sometimes.
But the stand out is Sanctified Ground, if you can get it out before combat and in many of the encounters you can.

Soo...in 9 levels worth of spells we have....four good ones?

Am I reading that right?

Nope, the original poster asked for highlights.

The divine spell list is reasonably good. It is the arcane magic which sucks in this edition. That mostly because healing, utility and buffing magic is reasonable, offensive magic has been crippled.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like how the highlights include the phrases "sometimes required" and "are OK."

I would have expected, "this spell is awesome" and "always prepare one of these."

Quote:
healing, utility and buffing magic is reasonable

I...disagree.

Healing got a huge buff, granted, but utility and buffing magic got kicked to the curb. Offensive magic in general is a mixed bag. Some spells are better, some are worse.

Sure, Fireball doesn't gain any damage unless you cast it from a higher level spell slot...but it's save DC is no longer pitiful at higher levels. I'd call that a pretty fair trade. Meanwhile most buffs have minute-long durations, making it impossible to buff a party before a fight and impractical to buff the party during a fight.

Silver Crusade

Draco18s wrote:
and impractical to buff the party during a fight.

Not completely. Most fights last long enough that buffing for a round is a viable option. Its not like PF1 where by the time you finished buffing the fight was over :-).


Also, damage spells are getting a review in 1.5 to raise their values.

That said, this will buff Arcane but leave Divine mostly untouched... While the devs want to address other kind of spells eventually, I am beginning to joke with some mates that Divine Sorcerers would be better off getting Channel rather than Spellcasting. And some have agreed.

...it was a joke. It wasn’t meant to be an actual improvement. But it felt like one.


Ediwir wrote:

Also, damage spells are getting a review in 1.5 to raise their values.

Has that been officially announced? Damage isn't my concern with casting at all, but I'd be interested to see what they wanted to try.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:
Sure, Fireball doesn't gain any damage unless you cast it from a higher level spell slot...but it's save DC is no longer pitiful at higher levels. I'd call that a pretty fair trade. Meanwhile most buffs have minute-long durations, making it impossible to buff a party before a fight and impractical to buff the party during a fight.

The lack of scaling means that as you get to higher level, the spell simply isn't going to do enough damage to matter after a while. That's the real problem with damage spells.

Buffs and debuffs don't suffer from that, but damage and healing cast from lower level slots quickly does so little that it's a drop in the bucket with how fast HP scales. The DC doesn't make up for that.

And with how few slots you get for your higher level stuff, you can't really use the big stuff that often. (Woe be to the poor Clerics if Channel gets removed since their top slots will basically have to be Heal.)


ErichAD wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Also, damage spells are getting a review in 1.5 to raise their values.

Has that been officially announced? Damage isn't my concern with casting at all, but I'd be interested to see what they wanted to try.

The stream said most spells are being looked at, but damage is easier to adjust and will be part of 1.5.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
and impractical to buff the party during a fight.

Not completely. Most fights last long enough that buffing for a round is a viable option. Its not like PF1 where by the time you finished buffing the fight was over :-).

Buffing "for a round" means "buffing one person." Hence the problem.

Tridus wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Sure, Fireball doesn't gain any damage unless you cast it from a higher level spell slot...but it's save DC is no longer pitiful at higher levels.
The lack of scaling means that as you get to higher level, the spell simply isn't going to do enough damage to matter after a while. That's the real problem with damage spells.

In PF1, the DC didn't scale, which meant that as you got to higher levels, the spell simply won't do enough damage (because it'll always be halved) to matter after a while.

Which would you rather have?


Draco18s wrote:
Tridus wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Sure, Fireball doesn't gain any damage unless you cast it from a higher level spell slot...but it's save DC is no longer pitiful at higher levels.
The lack of scaling means that as you get to higher level, the spell simply isn't going to do enough damage to matter after a while. That's the real problem with damage spells.

In PF1, the DC didn't scale, which meant that as you got to higher levels, the spell simply won't do enough damage (because it'll always be halved) to matter after a while.

Which would you rather have?

It's what stops most casters casting the same spells for their whole careers. That second-level slot that had Flaming Sphere in it at level for will be used for Resist Energy or Scorching Ray at level ten. and the per-caster-level scaling makes it remain useful.

Unfortunately, PF2 doesn't make that dynamic workable. Your second level slots will be largely ineffective at level ten, and there's not much you can use them for that's not obsoleted.

1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Classes / Cleric is too strong, Cleric is too weak. A lopsided issue All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.