How to improve the Divine Spell List?


General Discussion


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No matter what's your opinion on the Cleric class itself, I can safely assume that most people agree the current Divine spell list has a lot of problems. With some of the ones I've seen appointed the most being:

- Lack of good, non-situational, offensive spells until very high levels.

- Low duration and/or effect of buffs

- Control/Area Denial spells just being a lot worse than the other spell lists

- Heal and Breath of Life apparently taking all the "power budget" from the entire list.

- Harm scaling a lot worse than Heal. I can see the issues that much single target nova with 3 1-action Harms could cause if it scaled with 2d8, but it's too bad currently.

Feel free to add more of the problems if I forgot some (I probably did), but I'm mainly asking for your possible solutions. I came up with one thing that could help a little bit:

Adding a generic cantrip that actually deals decent ranged damage to any creature. Something like Sacred Flame from 5e. It doesn't need to be as good as Ray of Frost (maybe the same damage with a Save instead of a touch attack, but with no rider effect?), but it needs to exist.


Just a quick correction, "without the rider effect" should be with less range. For some reason I remembered Ray of Frost inflicting Hampered 5.


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Animate dead could go a long way to helping the divine list. Not only would it provide a new toolkit in of and itself, it would also make Harm better if PCs could actually use it to heal undead allies. But that only applies to parties that are ok with undead, and given their cosmic role in Golarion few will be I imagine.

Divine does have some decent defensive buffs right now, which isn't a terrible direction. Circle of Protection feels pretty strong when it lasts an hour for example. But the arcana has stuff like Mirror Image so that doesn't feel like much of a divine niche. And it still needs some proactive stuff.

To be fair, this has always felt like a problem with the divine list to some extent. But it used to be balanced by the cleric and oracle having a stronger chassis than their arcane counterparts. With sorcerers getting divine spells that's not really valid.


Harm scales equally as Heal...

But I noticed that I was doing something wrong. When you height Heal to damage undead you don't gain 2d8 per level...

Guess that it's something I will be houserulling just got the sake of simplicity


Dante Doom wrote:

Harm scales equally as Heal...

But I noticed that I was doing something wrong. When you height Heal to damage undead you don't gain 2d8 per level...

Guess that it's something I will be houserulling just got the sake of simplicity

Harm only scales like Heal to heal undead.

"Heightened (+1) the amount of healing or damage increases by 1d8, or by 2d8 if you’re using the 1- or 2-action version to heal undead."

They probably kept both instances that deal damage at just 1d8/level to prevent absurd nova damage with the 1-action version, but then it becomes really bad really quickly.


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Honestly, just more variation. The arcane spell list at least feels like there's a variety of choices at each spell level (except for divination wizards). Not so much with the divine list.

Every spell level it's 1-2 offensive damage spells, 0-1 debuff spells, 1-2 heal/cure spells, 0-1 universal utility/buff spells, 1-2 extremely situational spells.

The various playstyles of cleric are all supported by the list: buffer/healer, nuker, debuffer, gish, but the choices all feel very set in stone for them.

At least give them back comprehend languages, give them a few more buff and/or utility spells at each level so there's at least a semblance of choice. Or give Clerics the extra spell slot they had from domains back and give them a new spell at every level. That really helped to round out the old PF1 list.


If as judged from the resonance test, they'll change Heals damage to scale the same as it's healing. There's already not a danger of spamming it because of the Multiple Attack Penalty.


citricking wrote:
If as judged from the resonance test, they'll change Heals damage to scale the same as it's healing. There's already not a danger of spamming it because of the Multiple Attack Penalty.

Hey, hadn't noticed that. That bodes well for Harm, too, if that's intentional. Still gives that cleric a pretty good nova potential by using a one action >> two action to avoid MAP, but the reduction in channels keeps that from getting spammed very much.


Yeah, I forgot about MAP too.

Dang though, 2d8 per spell level would be some premier scaling considering the standard is 2d6 for strong blasts.

Though since most other blast spells have higher starting damage now it probably evens out.

Bad Touch Clerics rejoice if this be so!

It'd be kinda hilarious if the Divine list ends up having one of the best single target direct attack spells. I mean they had that in PF1 with its version of Harm, so... XD


They've also mentioned that Treat Wounds's static time requirement allows for the possibility of more 10-min buffs and extended time durations.

Still, it is so specific and situational for the most part that the best adjustment I've seen so far seems to be making Cleric into a partial prepared/spontaneous caster (with most slots being prepared and a small amount of spontaneous "channel" slots drawing from a selection of spells).


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Ediwir wrote:

They've also mentioned that Treat Wounds's static time requirement allows for the possibility of more 10-min buffs and extended time durations.

Still, it is so specific and situational for the most part that the best adjustment I've seen so far seems to be making Cleric into a partial prepared/spontaneous caster (with most slots being prepared and a small amount of spontaneous "channel" slots drawing from a selection of spells).

To be honest this is one of the few things I like about a class in 5e. Domains give you two spells per level that are always prepared and aren't necessarily from the Cleric list, but no extra slots.

Since in 5e everyone is kind of an Arcanist (which I'd like to see here but that's another topic), I though about the PF2 Cleric gaining one or two spells per level that they can cast using a slot that had another thing prepared.

An example: You are a level 1 Cleric that prepared two Heal and one Bless, but you are from the War Domain and that gives you Magic Weapon as a spontaneous spell. You can then use one slot that had Heal (or Bless) prepared to cast Magic Weapon instead.


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Circle of Protection didn't feel strong to me, especially for a spell I had to ask permission to even have due to the rarity and for being a three action cast. It didn't even stack with some of the other stuff we had going.

An hour duration makes it at least feel like you're getting something out of it.

That's kind of a lot of the problem in a nutshell. There's a lot of situational, low duration stuff that can be good in the right circumstance and is of barely any use otherwise. As a daily preparation caster, that works okay if you know what you're facing and is lousy if you are going into the unknown and guess wrong. It was less bad in PF1 because you had twice as many spell slots & spontaneous conversion, and thus had a lot more room to take some things you might not wind up using without it being crippling. In the playtest, getting spell selection wrong hurts too much for a spell list to be full of situational, marginal spells.


Ediwir wrote:

They've also mentioned that Treat Wounds's static time requirement allows for the possibility of more 10-min buffs and extended time durations.

Still, it is so specific and situational for the most part that the best adjustment I've seen so far seems to be making Cleric into a partial prepared/spontaneous caster (with most slots being prepared and a small amount of spontaneous "channel" slots drawing from a selection of spells).

I would be freakin' DOWN for channel inherently having multiple options, namely the various Remove X spells. Some kind of buff would be nice too but maybe too much.

And maybe it could be reversed for negative channeling. Fear instead of Remove Fear, Paralyze instead of Remove Paralysis, etc.

I think that versatility could make the lower channel number easier to stomach. Or it could feel worse cause we have more options for the pool now. XP

Makes a good argument for tying it into spell points while also maybe adding to your spell points. But then Powers have to compete directly with spells instead of having room to be off somewhere between spells and cantrips.

It's almost like designing classes well is hard or something...


Edge93 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

They've also mentioned that Treat Wounds's static time requirement allows for the possibility of more 10-min buffs and extended time durations.

Still, it is so specific and situational for the most part that the best adjustment I've seen so far seems to be making Cleric into a partial prepared/spontaneous caster (with most slots being prepared and a small amount of spontaneous "channel" slots drawing from a selection of spells).

I would be freakin' DOWN for channel inherently having multiple options, namely the various Remove X spells. Some kind of buff would be nice too but maybe too much.

And maybe it could be reversed for negative channeling. Fear instead of Remove Fear, Paralyze instead of Remove Paralysis, etc.

I think that versatility could make the lower channel number easier to stomach. Or it could feel worse cause we have more options for the pool now. XP

Makes a good argument for tying it into spell points while also maybe adding to your spell points. But then Powers have to compete directly with spells instead of having room to be off somewhere between spells and cantrips.

It's almost like designing classes well is hard or something...

Add class feats to expand your channel options, BAM. Now you can take the Inquisitor feat to channel detect lies, speak with dead and other stuff like that, the Exorcist feat to channel Banishment and fiend-fighting spells, or the Oracle feat to channel divinations and guidance spells.


Ediwir wrote:
Add class feats to expand your channel options, BAM. Now you can take the Inquisitor feat to channel detect lies, speak with dead and other stuff like that, the Exorcist feat to channel Banishment and fiend-fighting spells, or the Oracle feat to channel divinations and guidance spells.

That's a great idea, assuming you get enough channels to use those things. And that they don't cost the same as heightened Heal, because "I can cast Detect Lies or I can cast a level 6 Heal for the same resource" is not going to work out that well.

Maybe Channel needs to be something you get a lot more of and where things can have varying costs. In which case having it be the spell point pool instead of its own thing starts to make sense.


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Tridus wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Add class feats to expand your channel options, BAM. Now you can take the Inquisitor feat to channel detect lies, speak with dead and other stuff like that, the Exorcist feat to channel Banishment and fiend-fighting spells, or the Oracle feat to channel divinations and guidance spells.

That's a great idea, assuming you get enough channels to use those things. And that they don't cost the same as heightened Heal, because "I can cast Detect Lies or I can cast a level 6 Heal for the same resource" is not going to work out that well.

Maybe Channel needs to be something you get a lot more of and where things can have varying costs. In which case having it be the spell point pool instead of its own thing starts to make sense.

This was on the idea of Channel being put in line with Bloodlines and Specialisations, so one slot per spell level. I am using it for my group, it brings cleric very much in line with other healers as far as HP are concerned but makes it into the absolute best healer when it comes to conditions. Curses and demons and undeads can’t touch the Cleric’s party.


Ediwir wrote:
This was on the idea of Channel being put in line with Bloodlines and Specialisations, so one slot per spell level. I am using it for my group, it brings cleric very much in line with other healers as far as HP are concerned but makes it into the absolute best healer when it comes to conditions. Curses and demons and undeads can’t touch the Cleric’s party.

That sounds pretty neat, yeah.


Maybe a cantrip that deal Good/evil damage ?

Also the offensive cleric spells are stricly worse. SAdly enough


Quite a few of the offensive spells are just plain weak. If clerics are a "pure" caster like wizards then their spells need to be just as effective. Look at Spiritual Guardian and tell me why that is a 5th level spell. Or Weapon of Judgement as a 9th. Compare that to Implosion.

There is a severe problem with the entire "counteract" group of spells being nearly useless unless memorized at the highest level.

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