Current state of the Cleric

General Discussion

Is anyone else hoping that the final product brings more options for the Cleric? Currently the healbot with a subpar list and domain powers has been frustrating for a vast amount of people. It would be great to see a debuff style Cleric be viable in this game because currently next to nothing stacks so a domain power perhaps would be nice which could give a different type of penalty, quite possibly an untyped one (and no we are not talking a huge penalty like Vision of Madness from PF1 but could be something like that just on a more nerfed scale to bring it in line with everything else). Just wanted to know how other people feel about seeing a different type of Cleric rather than the current healbot. A negative channeler just isn't viable as positive energy is almost strictly superior.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I fully expect the Cleric will see a lot of attention. I think every class is going to see significantly more options, at the very least, based solely on the devs saying they will.

In the playtest, the healing of the cleric was game warpingly broken, so even if all they do is nerf it, other playstyles will appear much more attractive in comparison.

Dark Archive

I do hope that the cleric will be re-tooled.

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I think more content goes without saying, and given that enough people complained about how the cleric was pretty much entirely about the channel class feature I'd expect more class feats that don't revolve around that. I also would expect to see some buffs to the divine spell list since it was pretty much universally agreed to be the worst list, and with the way the sorcerer is set up the four spell lists need to be roughly in the same ballpark.

The bigger question is what happens to channel and heal, and that's really hard to answer without developer commentary. As Waterslethe points out the heal spell did warp the entire game around it, and the cleric was just its most egregious user. The cleric's fortunes are essentially tied to the heal spell, and any changes to it will require compensating changes to the class. Making substantial modifications to the spell would also change the entire nature of the game system. Certainly if negative channeling is to be every remotely viable they need to close the distance between heal and harm, since you'd basically never bother with 5d8+5 damage when you could heal an ally for a guaranteed 9d8+5. This was only made worse by the fact that enemies could save against harm, attack rolls can fail, and even if attack rolls succeed MAP limits your options for the rest of the turn.

I kinda feel like the damaging effects of heal/harm need to deal as much as the healing effects restore, but that threatens to either nerf in-combat healing too hard or raise the DPR expectations above where Paizo was aiming. Maybe they can find a middle-ground, but I feel it will be hard due to just how few spell slots people get per day in this edition; efficiency counts for a lot, and thanks to saves and attack rolls the healing version of these spells is more efficient than the damaging version even if they have exactly the same dice.

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"Channel" has an outsized impact on the cleric, to the point where Charisma is kind of more important for a lot of Clerics than Wisdom. Now I'm not saying that a 16 Str 12 Wis 16 Cha cleric shouldn't be viable (it absolutely should) but we've sort of gotten to the point where low cha clerics lose out on their best class feature, and are largely inelligible for (or will get very little out of) most of the cleric feats.

All of the following should be pretty much equally viable: the high Wis, high Cha cleric of Shelyn who is a dancer, the high Dex high Cha low Wis cleric of Cayden who is an inspirational troublemaker, the low Cha high Int high Wis cleric of Torag who is a smith, etc.

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