Channel change to Clerics and why it hurts the class


Classes


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The change to the cleric's channel energy ability of only your charisma bonus in my opinion really screws up the cleric.

First 22/32 cleric feats revolve around the channel/heal/harm mechanic and expanding the way it interacts. Channel is set up to do far more than heal or harm undead with feats and the cleric is losing one of their most versatile assets.

Secondly it turns Cha into a primary stat along with Wis (before a cleric build could focus on other stats or Cha based on your build concept of the cleric as they always had a base ability of at least 3 to channel their deity’s energy type. Now without the base 3 and the focus solely on Cha you may have literally no ability to even channel your given deity).

Third, it forces any heal/harm cleric or undead slayer/ control build to require a supplemental magical item to work (I thought the point was to make magic items less of a necessity) or they are going to lose depth in their ability to function in a more versatile way as they are forced to fill up already meager spell per day caps with heal/ harm spells to make up for the difference (I was already filling a heightened slot with a heal spell even with 3+Cha (even with a 16 Cha giving me 6 total channels per day (now 3) a party can blow through them during a dungeon crawl).

Fourth, this really hurts any party that does not have another heal class in their mix as the stated intent was to not make the cleric as good at healing so other classes would pick up the slack (that’s making a mighty big assumption you have other heal classes in the party or is going to force building parties that way, again taking out choices).

Fifth, the cleric lost ability but it wasn't given anything in its place or another solid route of feat focus like other classes have so they only became less viable as a class. (sorry for the rant)

Fun Fact: I now have a domain spell power that effects channel (undead's bane) that I can use more times than I can actually channel, lol

Silver Crusade

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AericAremanos wrote:


Secondly it turns Cha into a primary stat along with Wis

Actually, I think Wisdom is now almost a dump stat for Clerics. Far better using your spells for utility and actual weapons for combat.


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Yes it's really frustrating that the whole class basically revolves around Channel and the nerfbat came flying at Channel so hard that several of those feats require you to max CHA before they're even remotely worth taking.

If they were going to do this, the class needed a broader set of changes to shift it's power elsewhere. Just this and nothing else really messed things up and weakened a lot of stuff that relies on channel.


Yup. The way it's set up, a more appropriate change would've been the removal of spellcasting.
But, clearly, that's insane.

If we want Cleric as a divine spellcaster, we need a complete shift away from Channel as a main class mechanic, with a better spell list, less reliance on Channel and feats to fit the spellcasting component of the class.
Channel can stay, but it needs a narrower range, less Charisma dependancy, and a lot of work... Possibly a nerf to Heal could help. d6?


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No, a nerf to Heal wouldn't help. That wouldn't take much to set it back to the old days where it wasn't worth doing because it wasn't healing enough to make the action economy of it work out.

The thing is that Channel is helping make up for the lack of spell slots Clerics have. Sorcerers get extra bloodline spells and Wizards get extra school spells. Channel is doing a similar thing except it's limited to one spell, that one spell just happens to be one of the best in the game (largely because of how unreliable so many others are).

Really, they need to decide what Channel's place is. If it's central to the class, we need to have enough usages to make it be that, especially with how many feats interact with it. If it's not and the lower number is staying, those feats need to be shifted towards something else because the sheer number of them that are devoted to something a Dwarf Cleric can't possibly use more than twice a day at level 4 is just not workable.

What we have now is this weird halfway land where the class is built expecting Channel to be its signature feature, only Channel can't back that up unless you go all in on CHA. The spellcasting really isn't where it should be, and the domains are decidedly meh.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I ran a dwarf cleric at level 4 and level 7; base Cha=10, raised to 12 for 7th level. Not a fun character, at least in my hands. I never seemed to guess right about what spells I needed, and there were so few, anyway, that spellcasting was very unfulfilling. At 4th level I did manage to get good use out of Resist Energy. At 7th level I prepared the wrong spells and got no use out of anything except Heal. It turns out that if I had used all high level slots for heightened Restoration, we could have avoided the TPK; but how to know that? --But at least Channel was sometimes good.

I would not be willing to play this character now. No one told me the prime stat for clerics was actually Charisma. So at 4th he'd have had zero Channels, and at 7th he'd have had one. I guess that gets away from the idea that in a scenario (Sombrefell) specifically meant to show off clerics, the cleric might get to show off a bit....

Also his domain power is "I can throw a rock." It's a fairly hefty rock, but still. Three rocks a day, if I recall correctly. This does not really give much flavor or choice of tactics.

Tridus said: "Really, they need to decide what Channel's place is. If it's central to the class, we need to have enough usages to make it be that, especially with how many feats interact with it. If it's not and the lower number is staying, those feats need to be shifted towards something else because the sheer number of them that are devoted to something a Dwarf Cleric can't possibly use more than twice a day at level 4 is just not workable."

I totally agree. It was very frustrating even with the previous rules to discover how many class feats backed Channel, which already was a bad idea for my character. Now all of those feats are nearly useless--one channel a day!--leaving essentially "multiclass or go home."


Honestly, a d6-based heal wouldn't be that awful. It's just a 20% reduction at worse (high levels) and a 10% early. At level 10, where you'd have 9d8+5, you still have 9d6+5 (as opposed to the 5d8+10 of Path1). That's 45 (max 77) vs 36 (61) vs 32 (50). Kind of a halfway point.
It's the balancing point for Soothe - only Soothe gives a bonus to mental effect resistance. Perhaps give it a slight bonus to help, cementing its role as combat healing, and call it good.

As many noted, the feats essentially alter and add effects to Channel, so that would stay unchanged.

Also, the comparison between Channel and Bloodline is... probably true, but a bit unfair. None of those features gives you that many spells of your highest level (the most you can get, with a Specialist Wizard, is 3 bonus slots of your highest level. Divine/Primal Sorcerers and General Wizards can get 2, Arcane/Occult Sorcerers only 1) and the lower level spells are not going to make up for it.
It's more in line now, but as many noted, that is an issue - because Cleric is actually more of a Channel Energy user than a Spellcaster.

The answer, here, isn't just to nerf Channel (which I would love to see heavily restricted anyways), but to enhance the spellcasting component of Cleric at the same time, and indirectly the Divine Sorcerer as a consequence.


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Ediwir wrote:

Honestly, a d6-based heal wouldn't be that awful. It's just a 20% reduction at worse (high levels) and a 10% early. At level 10, where you'd have 9d8+5, you still have 9d6+5 (as opposed to the 5d8+10 of Path1). That's 45 (max 77) vs 36 (61) vs 32 (50). Kind of a halfway point.

It's the balancing point for Soothe - only Soothe gives a bonus to mental effect resistance. Perhaps give it a slight bonus to help, cementing its role as combat healing, and call it good.

A 20% reduction is huge. A 10% reduction is significant. These are big numbers with something that doesn't have a lot of margin to fall back into "this is not worth doing in combat".

Quote:
Also, the comparison between Channel and Bloodline is... probably true, but a bit unfair. None of those features gives you that many spells of your highest level (the most you can get, with a Specialist Wizard, is 3 bonus slots of your highest level. Divine/Primal Sorcerers and General Wizards can get 2, Arcane/Occult Sorcerers only 1) and the lower level spells are not going to make up for it.

It's kind of unfair, but those spells also give a lot more versatility and you get more of them. Channel is limited to one spell and you can't gain them as quickly. They're not doing exactly the same thing. But nerfing Channel also nerfed the number of effective spells Clerics have, and that was already too low. (Universalist Wizards can just get back a bunch of spells, and lets not even talk about how powerful Channel Life is.)

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It's more in line now, but as many noted, that is an issue - because Cleric is actually more of a Channel Energy user than a Spellcaster.

I don't think that was actually intended, but yes, that is how it worked out.

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The answer, here, isn't just to nerf Channel (which I would love to see heavily restricted anyways), but to enhance the spellcasting component of Cleric at the same time, and indirectly the Divine Sorcerer as a consequence.

If they're going to Nerf channel, they need to rebalance away from it and towards something else, yes. Which requires changing a lot of things about the class.

Scarab Sages

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I use to like playing clerics in PF1, however this revision I not interested in the class anymore. Plus what I have seen in Pathfinder Society in my area, most people do not like playing a healer type. The class needs the plus 3 for channeling or there might be more TPK and players might get frustrated and quite. Even at this year's reapercon there was a 2nd edition playtest and most people were not interested in playing the cleric even at PAX 2018 no one wanted to play the cleric in the PF1 system.. I think it has to do with the heal-bot theme. The cleric needs some better offensive spells and keep the channeling with the plus 3 per day.

Scarab Sages

Also there are two classes that relive on CHA for most of the class abilities.


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If you want to nerf Heal, hit the action economy. It's gonna be a lot more managable without the 1-action version. Healing will be a real cost, then, but remain worthwhile thanks to it's power.


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I agree that the 3+modifier needs to be put back. Taking it away makes the class too MAD, forcing you to either build a fighting cleric or healer cleric. As it stands, you either need to forsake channeling in order to have decent combat stats or boost charisma so you can have channels. Before at least you could have some channels to help the party.

Saying that this is because of the treat wounds mechanic doesn't hold up. Personally I hate the treat wounds mechanic. It feels way too gimmicky to me and I think is even sillier than wands of CLW were in 1st edition. That aside, the place I want my channels isn't outside of combat. It's during the fight. The divine spell list isn't robust enough to make the class meaningful enough without channels. If clerics without high charisma are then having to then dedicate some of those spell slots to heal spells to make up for the lack of channels then clerics are in a very bad place.


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How about the following as an alternate version of Channel?

Channel Energy
You gain the ability to channel positive or negative energy, depending on your deity. Some deities allow you to choose whether to channel negative or positive energy. Once you choose, you can't change the type of energy you channel, short of an ethical shift or divine intervention.

If you choose positive, you can sacrifice a spell slot to cast Heal at the spell level of that slot. If you choose negative, you can sacrifice a spell slot to cast Harm at the spell level of that slot. You must have Heal or Harm on your spell list to use Channel in this way.

Additionally, you can spend 2 spell points to cast Heal if positive or Harm if negative, heightened to a spell level of half your character level rounded up. When you gain this ability, you gain 2 spell points.


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in this game a 10% +/-is enormous. make heal be D6's would as someone said, make the spell useless. making heal always at least 2 action, again makes the spell sort of useless. this was dumbest nerf I have ever seen. secondary healing class complained that the primary healing class out healed them. I'm still trying to process that. and now the class is just flat out near useless, and unworkable, because unless you put all you resources into healing the class no longer works, and even then I would argue that all the secondary healers and paladins are better, because you have give up all martial prowess and spell flexibility to achieve that role. I played a cleric in four sessions before the update, fun class, had a role and purpose, not to strong not too weakest, a perfectly balanced, all the pieces fit together. I played a session with the new cleric after the new update. so unfun, omg, like literally in the middle of it I thought why was I playing this class.

now the only way forward is the creation of CODzilla, the super healer class were the least efficient thing it does is heal. you can't make this stuff up.

and for the record lots people including myself, love the cleric, love it's healer plus role little extra focus that existed in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition. Not every class is for everyone, and they dont need to be, lots of people dont like playing fighters, that's no reason not make it good at fighting. just because some people dont like playing a healing focused class, is no reason to the make class a non functioning healing class, it just means that the class is not for you. which is the point of having classes. play the ones you like, ignore the ones you dont.


Dunno, Soothe uses d6 and I didn't feel it was useless. Might just be my experience however, so you know, give it a shot and let me know.

Now, back onto Channel uses... I was thinking more something like "1 use, plus one more per two points of Charisma modifier". It's got a baseline, it's got some good value for investing in Charisma, but returns diminish the more you push, making Wisdom a bit more valuable.
No? This then:
One use of Channel, flat. Channel feats gain a Charisma requirement, and you now gain additional uses once based on the amount of Channel feats you have, similar to Druid's animal forms.
What would you guys think of these versions of Channel pools?

I mean clearly 3+Cha was too much. We established that. And clearly the spell list needs a touchup. But if Channel stays, then we need a healthy form for it.


Ediwir wrote:

Dunno, Soothe uses d6 and I didn't feel it was useless. Might just be my experience however, so you know, give it a shot and let me know.

Now, back onto Channel uses... I was thinking more something like "1 use, plus one more per two points of Charisma modifier". It's got a baseline, it's got some good value for investing in Charisma, but returns diminish the more you push, making Wisdom a bit more valuable.
No? This then:
One use of Channel, flat. Channel feats gain a Charisma requirement, and you now gain additional uses once based on the amount of Channel feats you have, similar to Druid's animal forms.
What would you guys think of these versions of Channel pools?

I mean clearly 3+Cha was too much. We established that. And clearly the spell list needs a touchup. But if Channel stays, then we need a healthy form for it.

Heal is supposed to be the best healing spell and just healing. So it gains +1 per die in exchange for not having the extra effect of lay on hands or soothe. If anything doesn't scale enough, high level hp scales faster than it.

Basing it on cha is great to differentiate cleric builds.

Making it like wild shape, giving it Cha or 1+Cha uses, and an extra use for every 2 Channel feats seems good. Currently 1+Cha seems good, but I'd rather the ability score system change to my proposal and keep it at Cha uses. Extra uses from more investment is great, I like it with spell points, I like it with Wild Shape, and I think it would be great for Channel


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The issue is that cleric and bard are the only functional spellcaster classes - and not because of their spells. Paizo's solution to this is to nerf the cleric, when what they should have done is bring up the other spellcasting classes to par. If this is a part of a strong buff to all casters, it would sort of make sense - but then, why no bard nerfs? And should they not wait with the cleric nerfs until we have the actual caster buffs?


Fuzzypaws wrote:

How about the following as an alternate version of Channel?

Channel Energy
You gain the ability to channel positive or negative energy, depending on your deity. Some deities allow you to choose whether to channel negative or positive energy. Once you choose, you can't change the type of energy you channel, short of an ethical shift or divine intervention.

If you choose positive, you can sacrifice a spell slot to cast Heal at the spell level of that slot. If you choose negative, you can sacrifice a spell slot to cast Harm at the spell level of that slot. You must have Heal or Harm on your spell list to use Channel in this way.

Additionally, you can spend 2 spell points to cast Heal if positive or Harm if negative, heightened to a spell level of half your character level rounded up. When you gain this ability, you gain 2 spell points.

Would require significantly more spell slots than we have right now. 1e spell conversions worked alright because Clerics had twice as many spells per day than 2e Clerics do. It's so limited here that this will just shift the problem from "build for CHA so you have channels" to "don't use any high level spell slots because you'll probably need them for Heal."

Spell points seem a popular option but still have the problem of completely eclipsing anything else that also uses spell points given the comparative power level between those powers and Heal. Also, it only costs Paladins 1 spell point so feels harsh to charge Clerics double (especially since we can get the Paladin one if we're willing to spend the feats).


I'm sorry for not reading every comment on here before making my reply so if this has already been said, please forgive me. As far as reducing the number of channels the cleric has by taking away the base 3 I agree really hurts the cleric especially the dwarven cleric. My proposal to remedy this is to either change the key/casting stat from Wisdom to Charisma (although for most ideals of a cleric this would not work) or change the stat that grants channeling to Wisdom. I think this would be a better balance than reducing Heals to a d6 as mentioned and discussed above. The shear number of hit points each character has and the amount of damage that can be dished out in a round almost requires the d8 to even justify having a way to heal during combat.


Actually, instead of changing all heal to a d6, maybe just making the burst effect of the Heal spell d6s instead of simply reducing the number of dice. This would nerf the spell without making it pointless to use.

Scarab Sages

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Easy fix for Cleric:

Change "[Cha bonus] channels per day" into "[Wis Bonus] channels per day".

This helps in numerous ways:

(1) It guarantees a modicum of channels per day.
(2) It is more limiting to clerics wanting to max channel energy uses, which is the original intent of removing the "3+" from channels per day.
(3) It gives a reason to use Wisdom, which is now considered almost a dump stat now. A cleric with a paladin dedication can use Charisma to calculate spell points and channel using spell points (if they don't/can't take the Healing domain).
(4) It makes the cleric less MAD. Unless the cleric can take the human ancestry feat "Adapted Spell" to gain an offensive cantrip, they need to be competent with a weapon, which means three stats need to be high (assuming you want spell points and resonance) thus making the cleric a compromise of options, with the Zealot of Gorum channel smite build being all but unworkable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The action economy for heal feels fine, and anything lower seems like it'd risk reducing us to the 1E mentality that healing in combat is a losing decision. I kinda like the fact 2E healing is powerful enough that it's not a downward spiral.

Clerics definitely had too many channels before. I think it's fine after the change, it's a lot more inline with other classes. MAD isn't as big of a problem with the way the ability score increases work now in my opinion. Given you increase 4 stats when you increase it's far easier to have multiple reasonably high ability scores as you level up & have a decent channel pool while still being viable for casting/melee.

Channel Smite as a feat was probably hit too hard by this change though. I wouldn't be opposed to letting Channel Smite also be able to use prepared heal or harm spells rather than just your channel pool.

If that makes the cleric a bit weak perhaps give some love to the domain powers or something else to keep clerics from just being relegated to the giant heal-battery (Which with 3+cha they basically were, and were practically mandatory until the out of combat healing change then may as well not have had a limit to their channels per day after because you simply didn't go through that many heals).


jakjr15 wrote:
Actually, instead of changing all heal to a d6, maybe just making the burst effect of the Heal spell d6s instead of simply reducing the number of dice. This would nerf the spell without making it pointless to use.

This would actually be a buff.

11d8 ~= 50 healing
6d8 ~= 27 healing (aoe)

11d6 ~= 39 healing (aoe)


Draco18s wrote:
jakjr15 wrote:
Actually, instead of changing all heal to a d6, maybe just making the burst effect of the Heal spell d6s instead of simply reducing the number of dice. This would nerf the spell without making it pointless to use.

This would actually be a buff.

11d8 ~= 50 healing
6d8 ~= 27 healing (aoe)

11d6 ~= 39 healing (aoe)

I probably didn't describe this well enough but what I was intending by this was to change the burst from 6d8 to 6d6 not 11d6. My reasoning is...

11d8 ~= 50 healing or damage to a single target
5d6 ~= 18 healing and/or damage to up to 121 targets (but likely a max of 20)

The burst is still very powerful. These numbers is what I calculate for a 11th level cleric capable of casting a 6th level heal spell to be able to heal without any bonuses from stat or feats. Even though 18 healing is a lot lower than 50, if you are able to affect 4 targets, that's already 72 vs 50. I like that math.

Currently the burst would be...

5d8 ~= 23 healing and/or damage to multiple targets


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First off they said they said Channel was not as necessary because of the treat wounds changes. I beg to differ since you can only treat wounds -AFTER COMBAT- and it takes 10 minutes. Treat wounds does squat during combat.

The ability to heal during combat and to save somebody from dying or losing a party member from actively engaging in combat because they are in dying the condition is critical -DURING COMBAT-.

Next, um Treat Wounds use the Medicine skill which is based on WISDOM not Charisma. So since you are now making the cleric choose between either Wisdom or Charisma you are ham stringing them. The more I put in Charisma the more I hurt Treat Wounds and my over all Spell DC. So I am either force to forget about Channels and all the things associated with them or I am forced even more into just being a heal bot since my channels used to allow me to pick not healing spells because I had the channels. Now if I increase my Charisma to get channels I hurt my Spell DC and I hurt my Treat Wounds ability.

I had a cleric with CHA 14 and Wisdom 18. He had 5 channels (3 +2 from charisma) and based on our playtest experience I used 3 of my spell slots so I had a total 8 heals for our part of 5 leaving with 3 open heal slots. Now to keep it that way (and yes, we needed the heals during combat) I have to use all 6 spell slots as 4th level cleric (3 1st and 3 2nd).

On top of this the only way to increase channels is by increasing Charisma. So I can see somebody say whoa, whoa a 1st level cleric with WIS 18and CHA 14 basically starts out with 5 heals without using any spell slots that seems like a lot (not in my playtest experience) but a 4th level has 5 channels, a ninth level has 5 channels. There is no change ... so you say 5 channels is to much at 1st level but at other level it becomes more and more to little during combat when the monsters you are fighting deal out greater and greater damage during combat.

I would suggest if you think a low level cleric has to much heal then:

- Gain an extra channel for every 2 levels we progress so that higher level cleric since damage caused by monsters increases as encounter level goes up

- Tie channels to WIS instead of CHA

- Or at the very least instead of going from 3 + Modifier change it to 1 + Modifier. Going to the just the number based on CHA modifier goes to far in the other direction.


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Tim Schneider 908 wrote:
Clerics definitely had too many channels before. I think it's fine after the change, it's a lot more inline with other classes. MAD isn't as big of a problem with the way the ability score increases work now in my opinion. Given you increase 4 stats when you increase it's far easier to have multiple reasonably high ability scores as you level up & have a decent channel pool while still being viable for casting/melee.

Being able to use your signature class ability 3 times a day (2 if you're a Dwarf) is fine? Can't say I agree with that.

With how many feats interact with channel, it's clear it's meant to be a big deal. But you don't get enough of them to have it make sense to spend feats on something so limited when the alternative is "go into Paladin and more than double how often you can use it".

Quote:
Channel Smite as a feat was probably hit too hard by this change though. I wouldn't be opposed to letting Channel Smite also be able to use prepared heal or harm spells rather than just your channel pool.

Why bother with Channel Smite at all? If I'm using a spell slot for Heal, I can just cast Heal at the target with that spell slot, and unlike Channel Smite, two action Heal never misses and thus never wastes the spell.

It was too limited a feat in the first place, and it's even worse now that Channel has been so heavily restricted.

Quote:
If that makes the cleric a bit weak perhaps give some love to the domain powers or something else to keep clerics from just being relegated to the giant heal-battery (Which with 3+cha they basically were, and were practically mandatory until the out of combat healing change then may as well not have had a limit to their channels per day after because you simply didn't go through that many heals).

I had little problem burning all my healing when I had lots. That depends on how groups play, really. Treat wounds is not a replacement any time you're time pressured.

Silver Crusade

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Tridus wrote:

the alternative is "go into Paladin and more than double how often you can use it".

Whatever untested implementation Paizo decides on they're pretty likely to make sure that the Paladin is changed in the same way.

In this case, actually all but guaranteed. Enough people have pointed it out that they'll have noticed the problem.

In general, though, this (changing something in one class but not others) is PRECISELY the kind of error that slips in when untested changes are made at the last minute (see the Advanced Class Guide for examples. Eg, Parry and Riposte).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tridus wrote:

Being able to use your signature class ability 3 times a day (2 if you're a Dwarf) is fine? Can't say I agree with that.

With how many feats interact with channel, it's clear it's meant to be a big deal. But you don't get enough of them to have it make sense to spend feats on something so limited when the alternative is "go into Paladin and more than double how often you can use it".

If the ability is incredibly powerful, like replicating a top level spell slot, then yeah 2-3 uses per day is still powerful enough to me for it to be a signature ability.

Does that mean the rest of the class chassis doesn't have gaps when you don't have 5-6 uses of your signature move to carry you all day? Not necessarily, but that can be addressed itself. Adding more channels isn't the only way to improve the cleric.

Tridus wrote:

Why bother with Channel Smite at all? If I'm using a spell slot for Heal, I can just cast Heal at the target with that spell slot, and unlike Channel Smite, two action Heal never misses and thus never wastes the spell.

It was too limited a feat in the first place, and it's even worse now that Channel has been so heavily restricted.

If your comment is the feat was crap even before the nerf I'd agree. Someone else spoke about a fairly iconic build around it, and given it was already underpowered I agreed that feat probably got nerfed more than it needed to by this change & suggested something that might help keep it, and possibly other feats around channel that are on the weaker end, relevant (Having them work off heal/harm spells whether they're spell slots or channel pool).

Tridus wrote:
I had little problem burning all my healing when I had lots. That depends on how groups play, really. Treat wounds is not a replacement any time you're time pressured.

As I said, there was 2 separate problems that can occur with cleric healing being as much more powerful than other classes as it was. All you're saying is you had the other problem still (which my table stopped having with Treat Wounds, but as you say different groups play different). That may be a comment on difficulty for your group once clerics are brought back in line, but they had to be brought closer to other healers for overall game balance to work (at least in my opinion) which is why I like the overall change.

Liberty's Edge

1.6 removes most available combat healing, and applied retroactively, would increase TPKs significantly. A party needs a significant pool of combat healing if you want lots of combat - just decide how it gets it and discuss it in the rules. If it's a magic item tax, fine. If it's a character tax (Cleric), fine...just decide and discuss the solutions to healing in the rules.

It's a design vulnerability for such a valuable party resource to be focused in one class, but currently, it is. Out of combat healing is...out of combat. Paizo introduced, in Pathfinder1, Clerics that didn't need to spend spell slots on healing, but they could when it was needed. Want a return to the 'party healing slave'? Here are some options:

A.Resonance Points:
Allow (for at least several classes to) use unallocated Resonance Points of the entire party for a Channel Healing effect, in and out of combat. That means that a party of Clerics wouldn't have more than a party with one Cleric (except in spell slots).
You could make it class specific, to use own resonance points, but that is a lot of work unless it's just Clerics (and a few other classes?).

B.Spontaneous Casting:
Allow Clerics/... to spontaneously cast Heal/Harm, and to convert thier Domain (Spell) Slots to Heal, and eliminate a separate Channel Pool. This keeps the current standard of single point of failure, and makes the classes sacrifice more for the party (but some of us are okay with that).

C.More Classes:
Significantly expand the classes that can channel as the Cleric currently does in 1.6 (Bard, Druid, Ranger, Paladin, Divine Sorcerer, ...if not all), if they choose a Deity and use Edicts/Anathema. Probably reduce healing to d6 or d4 in that case. This has LOTS of benefits, but as many players prefer dark characters, you'd probably have some personality issues with those not wanting to play as nice people.

D.More PC RPG:
Encourage other solutions to conflict (a very PC direction, using a different definition of PC) - very in-the-intent-of 1st edition. At the same time, design encounters and hazards to generally be survivable with at most a single combat heal. Probably lose most of your audience, but the high road sometimes takes a toll.

The 1.6 approach does balance the cleric better (imo), but the class needs good class feats for other roles. I think it's a poor design to put all the party healing in one class, but the 1.6 update just eliminates too much party combat healing that the playtest encounters require.


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Previloc wrote:
The 1.6 approach does balance the cleric better (imo)

It does toss them into the muck with all the other classes, yes.


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Adding a #6 to my original list:

The loss of the "Emblazon Symbol" feat did not help, but hurt the Cleric further as the "NEW RULE—HANDS AND CASTING" meant to help Clerics and Druids use shields & two-handed items covered Somatic Only. This change reduces the Cleric's Channel ability even further as well as any spell having an optional or required Material casting component

While great for Druids who can wrap their "Holly & Mistletoe" around a hand as a Material component and still use an item in said hand, a Cleric requires the use of their Holy Symbol (a one-handed item). This completely negates the ability to use a 3-action Channel (or any 3-action Spell) while using a shield or two-handed weapon... further weakening Channel and negating a benefit "Emblazon Symbol" gave even with the feat-tax. Now we are either forced to stow shields or two-handed weapons the turn before us to use our Holy Symbol for a 3-action Channel/Spell or limit ourselves to only the 2-action/verbal, somatic varieties. At least the feat gave us a work around. Now the Cleric has none at all and having to tell a sometimes desperate party "sorry all but you're going to have to wait a turn." during combat is not often an acceptable option. This makes our reduced Channeling ability (and spell-casting) even weaker as our signature ability.

In short, the Cleric's Channel/Heal/Harm mechanic (and Spell-casting in general) is now even less versatile with "Emblazon Symbol" gone as the baked in replacement covers Somatic only.

In my opinion, Cleric is now an almost useless class because of the changes in 1.6. Reasons #1-5 were harsh enough without #6 being it's death knell during a combat encounter.
(Thank you for listening to another rant on the state of Clerics in 1.6))


AericAremanos wrote:

Adding a #6 to my original list:

The loss of the "Emblazon Symbol" feat did not help, but hurt the Cleric further as the "NEW RULE—HANDS AND CASTING" meant to help Clerics and Druids use shields & two-handed items covered Somatic Only. This change reduces the Cleric's Channel ability even further as well as any spell having an optional or required Material casting component

While great for Druids who can wrap their "Holly & Mistletoe" around a hand as a Material component and still use an item in said hand, a Cleric requires the use of their Holy Symbol (a one-handed item). This completely negates the ability to use a 3-action Channel (or any 3-action Spell) while using a shield or two-handed weapon... further weakening Channel and negating a benefit "Emblazon Symbol" gave even with the feat-tax. Now we are either forced to stow shields or two-handed weapons the turn before us to use our Holy Symbol for a 3-action Channel/Spell or limit ourselves to only the 2-action/verbal, somatic varieties. At least the feat gave us a work around. Now the Cleric has none at all and having to tell a sometimes desperate party "sorry all but you're going to have to wait a turn." during combat is not often an acceptable option. This makes our reduced Channeling ability (and spell-casting) even weaker as our signature ability.

In short, the Cleric's Channel/Heal/Harm mechanic (and Spell-casting in general) is now even less versatile with "Emblazon Symbol" gone as the baked in replacement covers Somatic only.

In my opinion, Cleric is now an almost useless class because of the changes in 1.6. Reasons #1-5 were harsh enough without #6 being it's death knell during a combat encounter.
(Thank you for listening to another rant on the state of Clerics in 1.6))

Drop is a free action.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A cleric now has to do something like: drop the shield or two-handed weapon, do a three-action channel, next turn pick the item up. I cannot imagine actually playing a character that did this routinely: dropping your weapon or shield in combat is a horrendous decision. Or the alternative: use your third action to stow the weapon or shield, then next turn three-action channel. Not much better: if you need three-action channel you probably need it NOW. So no shield and no two-handed weapons, or no three-action Channel.

Looking at my dwarf cleric, who now gets just one Channel anyway at 7th level, it's mainly whether you're going to build for three-action or rely on two-action. My fellow players felt strongly that two-action was the way to go, so probably keep the shield? Play like a fighter with the option of two-action Heal in combat? I guess so.

I don't think I'd play him again. I don't know how I could make a cleric I'd want to play in PF2. Melee builds conflict with a major class ability. Caster builds run into the really lackluster spell list. I guess you go with one-handed weapon and no shield, lots of charisma, try to put a few interesting spells in among the Heals, and play backup fighter when you run out of spells. Our house games run towards having many combats in one day, so the spells will soon be gone, but I guess a one-handed fighter with less strength and dex than the front lines might be okay. I dunno. It doesn't sound okay. Low con, maybe, and rely on healing yourself, in order to keep the strength and dex higher? Multi-class into a martial in order to get some combat abilities that might help?


citricking wrote:


Drop is a free action.

Dropping an item may be a free action (and sub-optimal every time you want to cast a 3-action spell or channel), BUT getting your Holy Symbol into your hand certainly isn't. So in realistic play (with the loss of Emblazon Symbol) you are going to spend a round switching what is in one hand to cast or channel a 3-action Heal/Harm plus multiple spells (such as Invisibility, Darkness, Summon Monster, Circle of Protection and Blade Barrier to name a few) and many (especially advanced) domain powers.


AericAremanos wrote:
citricking wrote:


Drop is a free action.

Dropping an item may be a free action (and sub-optimal every time you want to cast a 3-action spell or channel), BUT getting your Holy Symbol into your hand certainly isn't. So in realistic play (with the loss of Emblazon Symbol) you are going to spend a round switching what is in one hand to cast or channel a 3-action Heal/Harm plus multiple spells (such as Invisibility, Darkness, Summon Monster, Circle of Protection and Blade Barrier to name a few) and many (especially advanced) domain powers.

Look at the rules for the Material Casting Action. Its free to get your holy symbol into your hand when you use that action to cast.

I've done this when playing a cleric, dropping a shield or staff to channel. You guys are really overrating how bad it is to drop something. You can just pick it up for one action, or leave it on the ground.


citricking wrote:
Look at the rules for the Material Casting Action. Its free to get your holy symbol into your hand when you use that action to cast.

Sigh. No, this is what it says:

Quote:

If you’re a cleric Casting a Spell from the divine tradition while

holding a divine focus (such as a religious symbol or text), you can
replace any material component the spell requires by using the
divine focus as a spell focus instead.

The divine focus REPLACES the material casting action and you don't need the free hand.

If your divine focus isn't in your hand, you need an empty hand (ok, drop satisfies this) but does not put the divine focus IN your hand (you use the regular material components instead).


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Draco18s wrote:
citricking wrote:
Look at the rules for the Material Casting Action. Its free to get your holy symbol into your hand when you use that action to cast.

Sigh. No, this is what it says:

Quote:

If you’re a cleric Casting a Spell from the divine tradition while

holding a divine focus (such as a religious symbol or text), you can
replace any material component the spell requires by using the
divine focus as a spell focus instead.

The divine focus REPLACES the material casting action and you don't need the free hand.

If your divine focus isn't in your hand, you need an empty hand (ok, drop satisfies this) but does not put the divine focus IN your hand (you use the regular material components instead).

"You retrieve and manipulate either a material spell

component or a spell focus. If you manipulate a material spell
component, that component is expended in the casting (whether
or not the spell is disrupted). If you manipulate a focus, it is not
spent, and you can stow it again as part of this action if you so
choose. Spells that require this action use a material component
unless a focus is specifed"

Literally the first line...


Being the GM involved in Citric’s play example, yeah, you don’t need an action to grab your holy symbol - the casting action IS grabbing the holy symbol.

Same reason as to why a wizard doesn’t need to spend an action to grab his material components before casting a spell with material component. You don’t need to do it twice.


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It's not as bad with a 2h weapon because you don't need to drop it. Taking a hand off it is free, so you can cast everything and not leave it on the ground. You do still have to use an action to put your second hand back on it, IIRC, but at least you're holding it.

Either way, it's an awkward dance that was made worse and not better by this change because instead of it being a feat tax to make the problem go away, now the problem doesn't exist except in one common case where it's even worse than it was before.

I still believe it was an oversight and not an intended effect, because I can't believe it was really the plan to say "we want you to use both hands and so we'll make it really clunky and awkward to use three action Heal while doing so."


Channel Energy (positive) is essentially another way to cast the Heal spell. Thus, anything that applies to casting a spell would apply to Channel Energy - including the new no hands rule.

I've not gone over this rules-lawer-wise, but this is a hurried patch and I feel this is the RAI if not the RAW.


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Channel negative energy needs to be as powerful as channeling positive. At this point any domain that channels negative (ie Zon Kuthon) is underpowered.

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