Deity's Domain


Rules Discussion


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For those who've read the rules more exhaustively than I have. I notice that the Champion Feat Deity's Domain doesn't get an extra Focus Point, which means they can cast their domain spell OR lay on hands, not both. Think that's intentional?

I know the caveat on how the pool is more a burst ability. I'm more curious than anything, since I haven't found any others like that, but I haven't had a chance to read extensively yet due to a wedding.


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I spotted that as well. I’m not sure it is intentional, as there don’t seem to be any other cases like that. If I add two domain initiate feats as a cleric, I get two focus points.

The example on p. 302 isn’t quite the same, but there a cleric adds champion dedication and the healing touch feat and gets a focus point.

Overall, I don’t feel like they did a consistent job of describing the various sources for focus points. The explanation on p. 302 is the clearest description I found.

Would love an official answer, but in absence of an official rule, I would give the focus point. A human cleric can start with 2 domains and 2 focus points, so I don’t think it breaks anything to let a paladin get that 2nd focus point.


Codrus wrote:
If I add two domain initiate feats as a cleric, I get two focus points.

No, you don't. The domain initiate feat doesn't say anything about increasing your FP, so it doesn't.

Quote:
The example on p. 302 isn’t quite the same, but there a cleric adds champion dedication and the healing touch feat and gets a focus point.

The example is specific about getting multiple focus pools from different sources. Taking the domain initiate feat twice is not different sources and thus doesn't grant you an increase to your FP.

Quote:
Overall, I don’t feel like they did a consistent job of describing the various sources for focus points.

That's true. However, I think with the example on page 302 covering multiclassing, I'm reasonably sure you can just go with RAW for everything else. If a feat or ability doesn't say it increases your FP, it doesn't.

Quote:
I would give the focus point. A human cleric can start with 2 domains and 2 focus points, so I don’t think it breaks anything to let a paladin get that 2nd focus point.

Well, I guess since you can't regain the second focus point during the day anytime soon, it's probably not gonna break too much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

The first sentence on p. 302 seems pretty clear to me: "If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool." The domain initiate feat says it gives you a focus pool, so the rule on p. 302 applies.

Abilities and sources are not the same thing -- the definition for ability in the glossary even refers to abilities as having different sources, which it wouldn't do if they were the same. If you have two abilities that each give you a focus pool, you get the points from both. Just because it is the same feat doesn't mean it isn't two different abilities. (They are different spells.)

Not that Hero Lab counts as a definitive source, since they have a number of bugs, but they currently give you 2 focus points if you take two domains.

I totally see the argument that Deity's Domain doesn't grant the point because it doesn't say so, and if someone was running a game with that interpretation, I wouldn't complain. (Honestly, if someone ruled that way, I'd probably just spend an extra feat to multi into cleric and then buy the Domain Initiate feat - you could even do that with retraining. Pick the Divine Domain feat at 2, and then at 4 MC to cleric and add Domain Initiate).

I do think they should have been explicit and said "this grants you the spell but not the focus point", so that there's an explicit exception to the sidebar.

Anyway, it is probably not game breaking in either direction. I certainly hope to see a clearer ruling on focus spells (both the cases we've been discussing) in a FAQ.

Scarab Sages

The 8th level Champion feat worded similarly to the level 1 feat, has an extra sentence stating "Increase the number of Focus Points in your pool by 1"

Is it just an oversight and the level 1 domain feat gets it, or not?


NemesorTzeentch wrote:

The 8th level Champion feat worded similarly to the level 1 feat, has an extra sentence stating "Increase the number of Focus Points in your pool by 1"

Is it just an oversight and the level 1 domain feat gets it, or not?

It's an oversight.

Codrus quoted the general rule that says you get a Focus Point.
To not get that, the Champion feat would have to have specific language overriding the general rule. It doesn't, so the general rule stands.

So arguably the other feat doesn't need the wording, and if Paizo ever needs the word space on that page, they may eliminate the excess. But for ease of PC building, Paizo has tended to reiterate most rules in each place they arise so you don't have to hunt around. So for now it's an oversight. When Focus Pools become second nature to us, we might think it'd have been silly to include.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There seems to be some misinterpretation of what the section on "If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool" means. Yes, if an ability says you gain a pool of focus point(s) and you already have one, then you do gain a point. However, look at the Deity's Domain feat for champion, it says you gain the domain spell as a devotion spell, it does not say it "gives you a focus pool" or that increases your focus pool by 1, so it does neither.

Now look at Domain initiate for cleric, "Domain spells are a type of focus spell. It costs 1 Focus Point to cast a focus spell, and you start with a focus pool of 1 Focus Point." This ability does give a focus pool, so normally, yes, selecting this feat more than once would increase your focus pool, however, it has the line "Special You can select this feat multiple times, selecting a different domain each time and gaining its domain spell." This line does only what it says it does, you gain the domain spell for a different domain, not the pool or the connected increase in focus points.


The issue here arises from 90% of feats that grant focus powers also saying "Your focus pool gets bigger" or "You gain a focus pool". The latter is mechanically identical to the first. This pattern is very easy to pick up on when you read through classes with a lot of focus powers (ironically, this includes Champion).

As has been stated, given the occasional omissions throughout the book (such as the action cost on Sudden Leap for barbarians), it's very easy to assume from the pattern that it's supposed to give a focus point. Also, since most focus power feats are worded the same way, it's easy to see this and just get the name of the focus power (or, in this case, that it's the first domain power) and flip to look it up.

The argument then for adding an extra few words boils down to two things:
1) No this is not a mistake
2) Yes, this is an exception to the pattern

The issue here isn't that the rules aren't clear. It's that humans are wired to notice patterns and use them to process stuff faster, which makes it easy to become confused here.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is this ability an exception to the rules? Nope, it follows all the standard rules for focus powers. It doesn't give a focus pool because you already have one and nothing in the rulebook says that a focus power will always give you a focus pool/point, in fact it says the opposite, that abilities typically will do this, but not always.

Is this ability an exception in that it is one of the only abilities that gives a focus power without giving a focus point? I'd say, also no, at least for the low level options. The only pattern it breaks is that its the only ability in the game that gives you a new focus power at level 1 on a class that already has a focus pool (except Bard, but they do focus powers differently anyway). All other classes either start with a focus pool and power, have an option to gain a power and pool, or simply do not have this feature. The only pattern this "breaks" is when you compare it to higher level options that almost or always give you a focus power and a focus point, but of course they do, they are higher level abilities.

So, in conclusion, no, the ability does not give a focus point and the rules are pretty clear on this. Abilities will tell you that they give you a focus point because they have to tell you if you are supposed to gain a point, why anyone would assume this ability should also give you a focus point is beyond me as nothing in the rulebook indicates that it would.


Is there an errata or FAQ, which clears if you get a focus point or not?


Codrus wrote:

The first sentence on p. 302 seems pretty clear to me: "If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool." The domain initiate feat says it gives you a focus pool, so the rule on p. 302 applies.

This section is explicitly about getting additional Focus Points from multiclassing. It's unclear if it applies to multiple abilities from your own class.


Palas wrote:
Is there an errata or FAQ, which clears if you get a focus point or not?

Nothing yet. But it's defiantly a point they need to clear up.

Personally, I am running with "if you get a focus power, you get a focus point (max 3)."


One thing that came up in the other thread but not here is that Deities' Domain falls under the general rules of Devotion Spells in the Paladin's section, which states:

"Your deity’s power grants you special divine spells called
devotion spells, which are a type of focus spell. It costs 1
Focus Point to cast a focus spell, and you start with a focus
pool of 1 Focus Point. You refill your focus pool during
your daily preparations, and you regain 1 Focus Point by
spending 10 minutes using the Refocus activity to pray to
your deity or do service toward their causes"

This could be read as either "in general, you start with a focus pool of 1" or "all devotion spells follow these general rules, you start with a focus pool of 1".

To be blunt, this was all worded very poorly as part of the rules, so I'm not even going to try to ascertain what the intent was here. It seems as if even the developers may have not thought this fully through. I'm going to do what's simplest and assume that any devotion spell also gives you a pool of 1, mostly because then it moves more towards the "every time you get a focus spell, increase your pool" rule, which would have been a *much* easier way to go, and probably not broken a whole lot.


Evilgm wrote:
Codrus wrote:

The first sentence on p. 302 seems pretty clear to me: "If you have multiple abilities that give you a focus pool, each one adds 1 Focus Point to your pool." The domain initiate feat says it gives you a focus pool, so the rule on p. 302 applies.

This section is explicitly about getting additional Focus Points from multiclassing. It's unclear if it applies to multiple abilities from your own class.

An ability is an ability, it doesn't say another class, it says ability. I think it's reasonable to argue that taking domain initiate twice is the same source, but, for example, monks who have two abilities that grant them a focus pool (ki strike, ki rush) should clearly get two.


I'd look at the druid orders for clarity on the topic. Of the four abilities, four grant focus spells, 2 grant focus points. If you assume you only get the point if you are granted the point, then the wild druid and the animal druid can't use their spells. If you assume that the point is always granted when you get an ability that requires one, then three get 2 focus points and animal gets 1. If you assume that you get a focus point when you first get a focus ability and occasionally some skills will remind you to increase the focus point pool by one, then each only gets one.

It's my impression that each focus ability comes with a point, and any call out for a point grants an extra point.


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ErichAD wrote:
I'd look at the druid orders for clarity on the topic. Of the four abilities, four grant focus spells, 2 grant focus points. If you assume you only get the point if you are granted the point, then the wild druid and the animal druid can't use their spells. If you assume that the point is always granted when you get an ability that requires one, then three get 2 focus points and animal gets 1. If you assume that you get a focus point when you first get a focus ability and occasionally some skills will remind you to increase the focus point pool by one, then each only gets one.

That's not quite right: the Druidic Order class feature gives *All* druids a focus point. Then the storm and leaf orders explicitly give those orders a second point. No assuming needed.


That makes sense. I think a point of confusion may be that some abilities increase your focus pool +1 some set your focus pool to 1 and some do nothing, but those that set your pool to 1 also increase your pool by 1 if you already have a focus pool granted by a different ability. And the ability that grants that focus pool isn't the spell granted, it's the ability that grants the pool name and recovery method.

You could tag abilities like "devotion spells" and "order spells" with a "focus pool" trait to call those out as abilities that increase your pool by 1 when granted.

Or really, just give everyone 3 points, the distinction isn't worth the effort. You can only recover a point if you've used a point since last recovering, so a larger pool just means a once or twice per day burst of more than one focus spell spent.


ErichAD wrote:
Or really, just give everyone 3 points, the distinction isn't worth the effort. You can only recover a point if you've used a point since last recovering, so a larger pool just means a once or twice per day burst of more than one focus spell spent.

The point of not just jumping straight to 3 points right away is the same reason spell slots don't jump straight to 4 once you get access to that spell level.

...and apparently how quickly a particular character can hit their maximum 'burst potential' with their focus spells is meant to differ from one class to another (example: druids having 2/3 points at 1st level, champions have 1/3 point even if they've got the first two things they can spend focus points on, and so forth).


I see the reason behind it, I just don't think the distinction is worth the effort on focus spells.

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