Adding up Cleric vs. Oracle.


Oracle Playtest


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All right, I just want to walk through this comparison.

Cloistered Cleric vs. Oracle.

I'll be making a simplifying assumption that spontaneous and prepared casting are exactly equal in value.

I'll also be assuming that Cleric can afford to start with 14 in Cha for channeling, and Oracle can afford to start with 14 in Wis for saves.

Level 1:
- Same number of slots per day.
- Both start with a domain spell. Oracle picks the best from two, Cleric picks from four (for now; Droskar getting seven domains indicates Cleric gets more). Let's consider the case where the Cleric's options include the two Oracle gets to pick from. One of those four is the best. Since the Oracle has two of the Cleric's four options, there's a 50% chance that the Cleric has a better domain spell. Since there Cleric has more options, considering the cases with less options only increases the likelihood that the Cleric has a better domain spell (even after subtracting the chance that Oracle has a better one). We'll call this wider range of options a small perk (since you would probably not spend any of your feats just unlocking more domain options).
- Oracle has a second focus spell, giving them a second option to spend this on. Cleric could get a second domain spell with a first-level feat, so Oracle has +1 first-level feat.
- Cleric has divine font for 3 heal/harm castings per day, so Cleric has +3 1st level spells/day.
- Oracle's replacement for focus spells results in 1/day getting an extra focus spell casting in combat. Focus spells are worth less than an equal-level spell slot, so we'll call it 0.75 of a first level spell. But, you can't use this extra casting when you want. It's only the first combat you cast it in. So instead of 0.75 of an extra casting, let's call it 0.5.
- Okay, time to look at curse stuff. Oracle gets a minor curse as soon as they use their focus spells. If you avoid this, you lose out on your focus spells. (Generally worth more than first-level feat, since it includes getting the new pool rather than just introducing an option. If you wanted it on a multiclass, that would be a 4th level feat that people would consider taking.) So, let's treat the minor curse as something that triggers one there's fighting. Concealment at 30+ feet compensated by +2 reflex, increase to heal DC and get healed less compensated by +2 hp, -2 AC/saves if you don't strike compensated by heavy armor (+2 max AC and frees up strength to make the strikes) and a martial weapon group. Concealment at range vs. +2 reflex seems fair (I would take it on some caster characters but not others, if it were offered free). +2 HP vs. harder heal checks and they heal less… At first level, no, but I want to be fair and note that at 2nd it's a better deal (+4 HP for -1 healing), and at 3rd… you can't be healed by an ally using Assurance. Unfair; I would not take this on most casters if offered for free. -2 AC and saves when not attacking vs. +2 max AC, martial weapons, and the stats to melee… hmm. That's +2 AC when attacking, -2 saves when not, and some more melee damage, on a caster. That's… honestly hard to say if I'd take it or not in PF2, where AC matters more. Borderline.
tl;dr for this bullet: Half the Oracle mysteries are neutral once you've had your first combat of the day, half the Oracle mysteries are negative once you've had your first combat. On the whole, the minor curses plus the Oracle mystery benefit are a minor negative. Throw in the extra cantrip, and we'll call the minor curse a wash with the Mystery benefits.
- Casting the focus spells later in the day triggers the moderate curse. Now, we already "paid" for the minor curse, so we only care about the difference in severity. It'll be removable. Battle: Okay, so now it's +1 AC, -1 saves when attacking instead of +2 AC. You heal 1hp/round. That's solidly a negative; 1hp/round doesn't cover that at all. Flames: Concealed -> undetected, everyone is concealed including you (except for fire spell attack rolls). Terrible, terrible trade because of how unfun it is (everybody is concealed to you, but they can still accurately attack your allies while you miss 20% of everything). Life: Go from "hard to heal" to "unhealable", heal for d12s instead of d8s, free healing to allies while casting. The difference there seems okay. Gonna have to call net negative on this, even if Life does okay on this trade. Flames and Battle make such bad trades. Flames feels so bad constantly making rolls to see if their turn did anything. Battle took a fair trade and slashed the benefit side in half, giving back four hitpoints per fight. What's this difference worth? I'm going to look at Battle. You get -1 AC, -1 to all saves while attacking (and we only felt the trade was okay earlier because we assumed almost always attacking). There's a good general feat for +2 to a save, and +1 to AC and +1 to all saves would be better. The others aren't as bad trades, so we'll call it -1 feat.
- Cleric might get a martial weapon vs. a simple weapon.

Adding it up: Cleric gets +3 castings, Oracle gets +0.5 castings. Oracle gets +1 1st-level feat, -1 1st-level feat (and that's +1 weak feat, -1 strong feat).

So, in my opinion, Cleric is ahead by 2.5 castings per day, even odds of a slightly better domain spell, and possibly a better weapon. Oracle is ahead by 1 trained skill.

A big problem is, Oracle is loading negatives onto a their focus spell mechanic, and getting very little in return. Focus spells are a reliable source of power for other caster classes. While Oracle gets enough to compensate them for their minor curse, the only they get in return for a nasty moderate curse is a choice in focus spells to incur it with. In my accounting, I said that it was fair, but when Cleric is picking their domain from twice as many options, it doesn't feel like Oracle focus spells really cut it. And then… they don't get the thing that's supposed to compensate them for having Cleric/Bard/Druid slots instead of Sorcerer/Wizard/Witch slots, other than the hp. They're missing the Cleric's divine font, Bard's inspire courage, and Druid's animal companion. You could bump them up a slot on everything, and I'd consider them a balanced class, if somewhat dry, class.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If a class is supposed to be defined by an ability, it needs to matter for more than one round per combat. Tying the Oracle's primary class feature to the focus mechanic really limits a Revelation's ability to meaningfully change the feel of a class. I think the Oracle needs considerably more revelation spells per combat if it's going to feel properly unique.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it makes sense to count the extra spells from divine font as full-fledged spell slots, since there's usually only one (and at most two) spells a cleric can prepare in them, and heal/harm will pretty often not be the optimal choice for a spell slot of your highest spell level.

I agree though that revelation spells probably need to be better for the oracle to work in its playtest incarnation. It might also help to have a class feat to give access to a limited version of divine font, like the sorcerer's divine evolution.


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Orithilaen wrote:

I don't think it makes sense to count the extra spells from divine font as full-fledged spell slots, since there's usually only one (and at most two) spells a cleric can prepare in them, and heal/harm will pretty often not be the optimal choice for a spell slot of your highest spell level.

I agree though that revelation spells probably need to be better for the oracle to work in its playtest incarnation. It might also help to have a class feat to give access to a limited version of divine font, like the sorcerer's divine evolution.

I'm absolutely counting them as full-fledged slots. They're almost always useful in a fight, and I'm generally surprised when a divine or primal sorcerer doesn't take Heal as a spell known. They're a good, standard spell. They're going to be a lot more useful than most focus spells, like Delay Affliction or Incendiary Aura. (Points to Call to Arms for always being useful.)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah Cleric with Heal Divine Front outpaces Life Oracle in the healing Department so much it isn't even funny.


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Rysky wrote:
Yeah Cleric with Heal Divine Front outpaces Life Oracle in the healing Department so much it isn't even funny.

Celestial Sorcerer has the same problem. It really feels like magical healing was built around the idea of Divine Font existing and then the developers kinda... forgot that only one healer actually gets that.

Orithilaen wrote:
I don't think it makes sense to count the extra spells from divine font as full-fledged spell slots, since there's usually only one (and at most two) spells a cleric can prepare in them, and heal/harm will pretty often not be the optimal choice for a spell slot of your highest spell level.

If you're planning to cast heal at all during the day, it's entirely an extra slot.

But if you don't want to treat them as spell slots, you can just compare the extra healing both classes get from class features.

At level 1, a 10 Charisma Cleric using the least efficient version of Heal gets to roll a d8, for 4.5 healing a day on average.

An Oracle in Moderate gets to bump their average up to 6.5 for effectively +2 healing and gets spell level healing whenever they cast a spell. So if said Oracle heals twice under Moderate they get 4 extra healing a day.

So the Cleric pulls a tiny bit ahead if the Oracle is always under Moderate and only casts Heal and the Cleric has no investment at all in Charisma and uses the worst version of Heal in terms of output.

A 2-action heal, or a Cleric with more Cha or an Oracle casting any other spell all tilts the scales really hard in the Cleric's direction.

Obviously it gets better at higher levels, but at low level play, nothing can even hope to compete with Divine Font, which is a problem when Life Oracles are ostensibly supposed to be fully functional healers too.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Celestial Sorcerer hurts if they try to be the Healer, but they have other stuff.

Life Oracle... is a healer, that's their thing. It's the thing that they do.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
If you're planning to cast heal at all during the day, it's entirely an extra slot.

The question is whether you would normally use three or more of your highest level spell slots to cast heal. There are diminishing returns, that's all I'm saying. No disagreement with you, Rysky, or QuidEst that it's a very useful ability that doesn't have a good oracle parallel, and no disagreement either that the life oracle in particular should get better options as a healer. (Healing Hands just makes it more lopsided with an additional +1 per die for the cleric.)


Orithilaen wrote:
The question is whether you would normally use three or more of your highest level spell slots to cast heal.

In a day? Yes. Even if the question is would you cast 3 or more harms a day at max level the answer would be yes.

Orithilaen wrote:
There are diminishing returns, that's all I'm saying.

If you have a single encounter a day, sure. If you can expect multiple damaging encounters a day [which I think is average], then not so much. You can single target, multi-target it and/or combat heal with it.


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Rysky wrote:
Celestial Sorcerer hurts if they try to be the Healer

It should be noted that this is no longer true at the higher levels. Going by pure spellcasting, the divine Sorcerer out-heals any cleric near the end of the career. The only thing that allows the cleric to stay ahead is Echoing Channel, which is pretty situational unless you're using it out of combat when healing is usually not much of an issue anyway.

Well, the limitless healing of the Healing Domain's advanced power also helps the Cleric. But not every Cleric can/will have that and if we're burning feats on healing, it's not that hard for a sorcerer to pick up Lay on Hands.

Anyway, the point is, sorcerer make pretty good healers. You could even play an arcane sorcerer and pick up Heal via Crossblooded Evolution.

Only the Major Curse makes the Life Oracle a better healer, and that comes with significant downsides. It's only other ability to improve its healing is Healing Form which literally heals only as much as a top level Heal spell.

Ok, the Life Oracle can also get Rebuke Death (or Lay on Hands via Multiclassing), but are you a good healer if your best healing power is borrowed from another class?


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You forgot to look at the focus spells to see if they're even worth using.

TL;DR, some of them are a definite "no."

Lets take this one as an example:

Quote:

DEBILITATING DICHOTOMY FOCUS 4

UNCOMMON EVOCATION MENTAL ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature
Saving Throw basic Will
You force another creature to experience a momentary
glimpse of the impossible conflicts between the divine
anathema that create your curse, but doing so forces to you
reckon with them as well. You and the target each take 8d6
mental damage (basic Will save) and the target is stunned 1 on
a critical failure; you use a degree of success one better than
the result you rolled for your saving throw.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 3d6

You take 8d6 mental damage and get to make a save against it (increasing your degree of success by 1). So, 50% chance to take half, 50% chance to take none. Roughly speaking.

Quote:

WHIRLING FLAMES FOCUS 3

UNCOMMON EVOCATION FIRE ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Area up to two non-overlapping 5-foot bursts
Saving Throw basic Reflex
You call forth a storm of whirling flames, engulfing all creatures
in that area and dealing 5d6 fire damage.
Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 3d6, and you can
add another non-overlapping 5-foot burst to the area

All creatures.

Quote:

HEROIC FEAT FOCUS 6

UNCOMMON ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Duration 1 minute
You gain the ability to perform a specialized combat technique
from the vast wealth of martial knowledge your mystery
provides. When you Cast this Spell, choose one common
fighter feat from the Core Rulebook, or any other fighter feat
to which you have access. The chosen feat’s level can be no
higher than heroic feat’s spell level. It must grant an action,
it can’t have a Frequency entry, and you must meet the feat’s
other prerequisites.
You can use the action granted by your chosen feat, subject
to its normal trigger and requirements, if any. Once you use
the borrowed action, the spell’s duration ends.

For two actions and a focus point you get to borrow a fighter feat you qualify for for one action.

Some of the others are OK, ranging from "no downsides" (FLAMING FUSILLADE) to "minor downsides, but decent up-sides" (HEALING FORM). But again, you have to suffer your curse for them.

Silver Crusade

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Blave wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Celestial Sorcerer hurts if they try to be the Healer

It should be noted that this is no longer true at the higher levels. Going by pure spellcasting, the divine Sorcerer out-heals any cleric near the end of the career. The only thing that allows the cleric to stay ahead is Echoing Channel, which is pretty situational unless you're using it out of combat when healing is usually not much of an issue anyway.

Well, the limitless healing of the Healing Domain's advanced power also helps the Cleric. But not every Cleric can/will have that and if we're burning feats on healing, it's not that hard for a sorcerer to pick up Lay on Hands.

Anyway, the point is, sorcerer make pretty good healers. You could even play an arcane sorcerer and pick up Heal via Crossblooded Evolution.

Only the Major Curse makes the Life Oracle a better healer, and that comes with significant downsides. It's only other ability to improve its healing is Healing Form which literally heals only as much as a top level Heal spell.

Ok, the Life Oracle can also get Rebuke Death (or Lay on Hands via Multiclassing), but are you a good healer if your best healing power is borrowed from another class?

How does the Celestial outheal the Heal Cleric (and without Multiclassing)?


Rysky wrote:
How does the Celestial outheal the Heal Cleric (and without Multiclassing)?

Out-Heal might be misleading. I apologize for the poor choice of words. Looking at pure spells, i.e. without feats, the Cleric is slighly ahead in pure healing done, but I still consider the Sorcerer to be a better - or at the very least equal - healer.

Some math. Assuming all heals are cast as 2-action version, each level of Heal heals 1d8+8, or 12.5 points on average. So a 3rd level Heal will heal three times as much, a 10th level heal 10 times as much and so on.

Assuming the Cleric keeps his Charisma up and goes to Cha 20 by level 20, he has a total of 205 spell levels, for a total healing of 2562,5 points per day.

The sorcerer has a total of 190 spell levels, healing for 2375 points per day. There's a gap, to be sure, but it isn't huge.

Adding feats, both get an additional 10th level slot. The Sorcerer also gets one more 10th level slots and one 9th level slot from Divine Evolution and Greater Vital Evolution. This brings the cleric to 215 spell levels, while the sorcerer goes ahead with 219.

Adding Healing Hands would push the healing per spell level to 13.5 for the cleric, for a total of 2902,5 healing, but the sorcerer is still slighly ahead with 2956,5 points of daily healing. (Improved) Communal Healing adds up to 215 extra points of healing, pushing the cleric ahead again.

I think this is all passive feats one can get to improve the healing of either class without multiclassing. Echoing Channel can potentially push the cleric far, far ahead, but it comes with an additional action cost and somewhat specific positioning requirements, so I can't really tell how well/often it will actually work in play.

All this is, of course, pure theoretical numbers. A single 10th level Heal is much more valuable than a 4th and a 6th level Heal combined, besides healing the same amount.

------------------------

In conclusion, a dedicated healer cleric will perform better than a sorcerer, no doubt. Even more so if you add the Healing Domain. However, he will only do so if he dedicates ALL of his spell slots each and every day to the Heal spells. The Sorcerer has the HUGE advantage of still having access to all his other spells, even if his list of spells known is limited.

It should also be noted that a Chirugeon vastly outheals both of them with a massive 4836 healing per day.
____________

But either way, the main point is that the Life Oracle has absolutely no way of keeping up with any of those numbers.

Delay Affliction doesn't heal anything at all, Life Link only transfers damage without mitigating or healing it in any way - and it transfers the damage to the hard-to-heal Oracle, making it a net negative healing. Yay? Finally, Healing Form heals as much as a 3 action Heal while costing twice as many actions (for a 4 player party).


Draco18s wrote:

You forgot to look at the focus spells to see if they're even worth using.

TL;DR, some of them are a definite "no."

Lets take this one as an example:

Quote:

DEBILITATING DICHOTOMY FOCUS 4

UNCOMMON EVOCATION MENTAL ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature
Saving Throw basic Will
You force another creature to experience a momentary
glimpse of the impossible conflicts between the divine
anathema that create your curse, but doing so forces to you
reckon with them as well. You and the target each take 8d6
mental damage (basic Will save) and the target is stunned 1 on
a critical failure; you use a degree of success one better than
the result you rolled for your saving throw.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 3d6

You take 8d6 mental damage and get to make a save against it (increasing your degree of success by 1). So, 50% chance to take half, 50% chance to take none. Roughly speaking.

Quote:

WHIRLING FLAMES FOCUS 3

UNCOMMON EVOCATION FIRE ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Range 30 feet; Area up to two non-overlapping 5-foot bursts
Saving Throw basic Reflex
You call forth a storm of whirling flames, engulfing all creatures
in that area and dealing 5d6 fire damage.
Heightened (+2) The damage increases by 3d6, and you can
add another non-overlapping 5-foot burst to the area

All creatures.

Quote:

HEROIC FEAT FOCUS 6

UNCOMMON ORACLE
Cast[two-actions] somatic, verbal
Duration 1 minute
You gain the ability to perform a specialized combat technique
from the vast wealth of martial knowledge your mystery
provides. When you Cast this Spell, choose one common
fighter feat from the Core Rulebook, or any other fighter feat
to which you have access. The chosen feat’s level can be no
higher than heroic feat’s spell level. It must grant an action,
it can’t have a Frequency entry, and you must meet the feat’s
other prerequisites.
You can use the action granted by your chosen feat, subject
to its
...

Wait, what's wrong with Whirling Flames? It doesn't differentiate between friend or foe, but 5 foot bursts are trivially easy to place without hitting anyone on your team in almost all circumstances. The big time it can't would be when your allies flank a medium creature, but if they flank on a diagnoal you can still pull it off.


Yeah I like what Heroic feat trying to do but as said its poor, needs to be 1 action and last 1 minute not matter. Probally also increase feat scaling of it that way it gives battle oracle flexibility in choice.

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