No love for Divine Casters


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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So many people have gotten Secrets of Magic and the book sounds great except there really nothing for Clerics and Oracles. Really there been little love for Divine casters since the beginning. The Cleric has only to Doctrines still and only a few Feats in the Advance Players Guide. The Oracle has basically only the stuff that came out in the APG. And even the Sorcerer and Witch get little support if they go the Divine Caster route. Even Gods and Magic offers little other than new Gods a Few Spells and a couple of Domains. So Paizo when are you going to give Divine Casters so love? Can you tell us at least if you have a Divine Caster book planned in the future? I know one at least possibly more of the PF1 classes would be great Doctrines.


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Doctrines are in a terrible spot to make for new cleric variants. It's much more likely that we get some class archetypes instead of new doctrines.

Most of the stuff in SoM is available for multiple classes because that's a better way to spend pages than focusing on stuff only a single class can use. If I'm not mistaken, other than Elementalist and Runelord all archetypes in the book should be available to divine casters as well.


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I wouldn't hold out hope for Paizo to make large announcements on the forums rather than at Paizocon or Gencon. That said, I feel like SoM gave divine casters quite a bit: damage dealing divine spells (which many people were asking for), soulforger, and flex casting for clerics. Not to mention the slew of magic items and various builds that dedications like shadowcaster or even cathartic magic.

There are plenty of classes that didn't get any support and that's sort of the way things go. Not every book is going to radically expand every single class at once. It's not like clerics and oracles are even in a bad spot right now, especially after Gods and Magic which was a huge boon for divine casters. If what you're looking for is very specifically feats and "paths," then you might have to wait a bit.


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I think that we'll only see new Doctrines as part of Class Archetypes. Specific Doctrines that come locked with a more martial archetype and make it a little smoother to cover all the associated proficiency changes.

In terms of giving divine casters some love... I'd like to see this return from 1st Edition.

DIVINE POWER Spell 4
Enchantment, Mental
Traditions: divine
Cast 2 actions, somatic, verbal
Duration: 1 minute
You channel divine fervor into yourself and your weapons. You gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls and skill checks, and are quickened. You can only use your extra action each round to stride or strike.
Heightened (7th): The status bonus increases to +2
Heightened (10th): The status bonus increases to +3

Since it only affects the caster, it's a strong incentive for Warpriests to self-buff. One of the key limitations on Warpriests is they usually want multiple buffs running at once- heroism and haste.

The spell level is also important. 4th means that dedication casters can't access it until 12th level, or upcast it until 18th. It also means that the 7th level version comes on line at the exact point that Warpriests really start falling behind because of martials getting Master proficiency.


Seems a bit to close to heroism, no?


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Blave wrote:
Seems a bit to close to heroism, no?

That's sort of the balancing point.

Heroism is a third level spell.
Haste is a third level spell.

We're losing the ability to target others, losing the boost to saving throws, and increasing the spell level to 4th in order to gain the core benefits of both of these spells with a single casting.

The problem isn't that the Warpriest can't buff themselves up to be equivalent to a martial. The problem is that it takes multiple rounds and the buffs are often just better spent elsewhere. This is meant to serve as a solution to both problems.


Not sure I like adding Quickened to an already pretty powerful buff, even at personal only and a level higher. And it doenst only benefit warpriests but also a whole lot of other classes and builds that are in general said to be stronger already (battle oracle, sorcerers/cloistered with champion dedication, everyone with a divine archetype and so on).

I think the warpriest needs something like wildshape. A focus spell that gives them better fighting abilities while temporarily disabling spellcasting.


I wouldn't have a problem with it moving to 5th and 8th/9th level if 4/7/10 is too strong.


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I take your points one at a time.
Doctrines are just about as hard to make as any other build and let’s see other than the classes in APG only the cleric Fighter and Ranger hasn’t gotten any new builds and the Ranger got Focus spells in APG. And Fighter is the only class without a core set of builds.

Archetype are not the same as core builds and are not intended to replace them. Actually there are more Archetypes that dabble in divine casting for other classes to use.

I’m not expecting Paizo to list a book or other produce but a “we have something in the pipe line” would be nice.

Gods and Magic has nothing in it for clerics other than a couple of spells and a few different Domains it impact in at best negligible it’s 85% RP very few rules one feat no it doesn’t do much for Divine casters.

Doctrines will never be a archetype it’s the core build of the cleric and you can’t have two of those.

As for Damaging spells the Divine casters already had them and adding spells which are on multiple lists is not anything specific to Divine casters.


TheGentlemanDM wrote:

I think that we'll only see new Doctrines as part of Class Archetypes. Specific Doctrines that come locked with a more martial archetype and make it a little smoother to cover all the associated proficiency changes.

In terms of giving divine casters some love... I'd like to see this return from 1st Edition.

DIVINE POWER Spell 4
Enchantment, Mental
Traditions: divine
Cast 2 actions, somatic, verbal
Duration: 1 minute
You channel divine fervor into yourself and your weapons. You gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls and skill checks, and are quickened. You can only use your extra action each round to stride or strike.
Heightened (7th): The status bonus increases to +2
Heightened (10th): The status bonus increases to +3

Since it only affects the caster, it's a strong incentive for Warpriests to self-buff. One of the key limitations on Warpriests is they usually want multiple buffs running at once- heroism and haste.

The spell level is also important. 4th means that dedication casters can't access it until 12th level, or upcast it until 18th. It also means that the 7th level version comes on line at the exact point that Warpriests really start falling behind because of martials getting Master proficiency.

I really love it, though I'd probably stick with the normal heroism heightened level progression.

Anyway, why not a cleric class feat instead?

Quote:

"warforged" Or any other name

Lvl 6 feat.
Requirement: warpriest doctrine ( no exploit from other classes).
When you cast heroism on yourself you can instead lower its duration to 1 min. If you do so, you get the quickened condition for the whole duration of the spell. You can use the extra action only to stride or strike

You'll get saves too, but it would be on a class which wouldn't be able to deal that much damage compared to any other combatant ( unless sacrificing a load of high level spells).


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tytalan wrote:
Doctrines are just about as hard to make as any other build.

They are harder to make. Simply because they don't really have much room to be changed. Look at the existing Doctrines. They come in 6 "steps" and 4-5 of those are just proficiency increases which are baseline for all other classes instead of being tied to a subclass.

So any new doctrine either has very few indivicual abilities or it gives up proficiency increases to weapons, spells and saves. Paizo already tried to shoehorn martial weapons into the warpriest doctrine, but it's nearly pointless since there was no space to make them go up to expert. They basically ended up with the same problem they had in PF1: Clerics have too few "free" features to exchange for new stuff. In PF1 it was archetypes that barely worked, in PF2 its new subclasses.

That's why I think it's much more likely that the next big cleric thing we'll see is some class archetype that switches out Divine Font for some other ability(s). Or maybe turn the Warpriest into a "bounded" caster (4 slots, like Magus and Summoner) in exchange for master weapon and armor and some other bonuses.


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That would be nice to have some love for True Neutral deities as well.

As it is, the more alignment spells are added to the Divine list, the worst/mechanically inferior they become...


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I'm guessing the reason for all of this is simply that they looked into the future and decided that this wasn't the book to focus too heavily on the divine theme, but rather general magic stuff.

Because divine magic is possibly the one most entangled in other themes - the outer planes and their creatures, gods, alignment, and the necromancy school to name the most prominent. That means you can fit divine options into a lot of different things.

The soon-ish upcoming Book of the Dead is a very good example. I'm betting 100% that that book will have tons of divine stuff in it, if only because one focus will be destroying undead, which is historically a main thing of the cleric.

Liberty's Edge

Do we have in SoM a Divine damage cantrip that does not rely on having a deity ?


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One. Haunting Hymn. It's low damage, but it's a 1f5ft cone.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
tytalan wrote:


Gods and Magic has nothing in it for clerics other than a couple of spells and a few different Domains it impact in at best negligible it’s 85% RP very few rules one feat no it doesn’t do much for Divine casters.

It also had dozens of new Gods. And frankly, I think gods are closer to what other class paths are than doctrines. They grant spells, your only weapon proficiency that advances to expert, domains, and more. There are very few class paths outside of doctrines that impact base proficiencies. And the RP consequences of a god are also a rather important choice.

Personally, I'd rather they focus on sprucing up the existing doctrines before making new ones. Warpriests should get expert in all martial weapons, for example. Inquisitor could maybe be a doctrine I'd be excited to see, but I'm not positive that's the best way for the class to manifest in PF2.

Also, I feel like clerics and oracles already have pretty steep feat competition, with a lot of feats that feel like must have or close to it. There's a few levels that could use stuff but they have better feats than most casters,at least pre Secrets of Magic.

Liberty's Edge

HammerJack wrote:
One. Haunting Hymn. It's low damage, but it's a 1f5ft cone.

Great. Thanks for the answer. What is the damage type ? Not mental I hope.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
One. Haunting Hymn. It's low damage, but it's a 1f5ft cone.
Great. Thanks for the answer. What is the damage type ? Not mental I hope.

sonic, deafens on a failed save.


SoM does have two divine spells that make me hopeful. The spells are Deity’s Strike and Divine Armagaddon.

They have alignment effects based on your deity as you would expect. But here’s the best part: They work with true neutral deities!

Deity’s Strike has an extra alignment damage shockwave that true neutrals don’t get but the initial attack is perfectly usable. Divine Armageddon is even better. It deals both negative and alignment damage but for true neutrals, the alignment damage is replaced with additional negative damage instead but constitutes to less total damage dice.

Unfortunately, these are rather high level spells, 7th and 8th level respectively, but it’s a start for true neutral inclusive divine spells.


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Hmmm, but I think that there is plenty of content for divine spellcasters in SoM, right? The new divine spells kind of helps with the much needed — in my opinion — breadth issue that the list sometimes seemed to have. Most of the archetypes work okay with them, there's plenty of useful items, if a little too circumstancial sometimes but that's always been the case for consumables...

What there isn't a lot of are class options, but that's not exclusive to divine spellcasters in any way. Of all caster classes, only the druid got specific stuff, unless you include options like the new Runelord archetype, which sure it's interesting, though not universally accessible. But it's been known for a while that specific class options (class feats, sub-paths, etc) would not be a focus in this book, anyway. Which is unfortunate, sure, that's content that I'm personally very interested in... Still, doesn't mean it might never come.

I'd personally would be super into different books focusing on each tradition more deeply, and this time with actual class content in them. lol still, SoM does a lot for magic. It's just more general!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

SoM has a ton of new spells that address a bunch of Divine's core issues, I don't see how that's not helpful. Most of the character options are open to divine casters and they get easy access to soulforger.

Cleric doctrines wouldn't help divine casters, it would just help clerics... and honestly I'm not sure I really want to see too many more of those. If you break down a cleric doctrine, the actual unique stuff in either of them is really limited. Cloistered is basically a normal spellcaster and Warpriest trades off some of that casting proficiency for... better fort saves and free armor feats. There's not a lot going on there.


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I have to agree that 2e has little love for divine casters. Since the paizo removed (and for good reason) the most buff spells from the game the divine casters are basically healers with many utility spells and some negative/alignment damage spells. And the cleric is the main manifestation of this.

If you do an cloistered cleric you easily know that you only combat option besides heals allies is do some negative/alignment damage if applicable, the lack of good attack cantrips also limit a lot it. Your best option is take an ancestrality that allows you to gain other traditions cantrips.

For warpriests we have that eternal condition that you will never master in combat so unless your game is limited to 1-4 levels you know that you will become very subpar combatant and spell caster. IMO if you want to do a combatant healer is way better to do a battle oracle at last you will only "lose" the divine font but will still be a good legendary healerspellcaster and will have access to all armors, trained in a martial weapon group, receive a barbarian like damage bonus + a semi-permanent +1 to atk status bonus with major curse.

I disagree with Gods and Magic expanded the divine casters options. The gods options works way better for clerics than oracles and is irrelevant for sorcerers and witchs and even for clerics god options are kits where do you choose based in the combination of alignment+weapon+domains+3 additional spells but have to keep attention to the anathemas and the flavor to not break the character concept and many gods may be restricted by GMs depending of Gods alignment and anathemas. Also ironically for a book about gods almost all spells that come with the book are Arcane/Occult/Primal, only 2 are divine!!!

IMO divine casters really needs more diversity in their spells, more build options, more combat options, more of everything that isn't a heal like spell or ability. Until this the divine casters are basically utility healers.

Obs.: I still don't have access to SoM so I don't know how the book changes the things for the divine spellcasters


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It’s not hard to imagine a big Divine book someday that has Inquisitor, more Champion types, more Oracle mysteries, and some more love across the board.

I’m a big divine character nerd, and I feel… pretty much no pull yo any of the options available in 2e currently.


PlantThings wrote:

SoM does have two divine spells that make me hopeful. The spells are Deity’s Strike and Divine Armagaddon.

They have alignment effects based on your deity as you would expect. But here’s the best part: They work with true neutral deities!

Deity’s Strike has an extra alignment damage shockwave that true neutrals don’t get but the initial attack is perfectly usable. Divine Armageddon is even better. It deals both negative and alignment damage but for true neutrals, the alignment damage is replaced with additional negative damage instead but constitutes to less total damage dice.

Unfortunately, these are rather high level spells, 7th and 8th level respectively, but it’s a start for true neutral inclusive divine spells.

Yeah, trying to spin those spells as working for TN clerics is pretty insulting when they're explicitly inferior. I'll never understand why they didn't just make neutral characters/worshippers pick an alignment to function as for these effects at level 1.

Some spells that look ok are:
Bloodspray curse: 4th level. on successful save 2d6 damage 1/round if target takes 10+ from a successful slash or pierce strike. Lasts 1 minute. Good for solo or duo fights.

Inner radiance torrent: 2nd level. piccolo's special beam cannon. 4d4 60-120ft line of force. Charge it up to make it 8d4 if you can afford to stand still for two full rounds.

Life connection: 3rd level. 24 hr duration can redirect all damage taken by target to yourself as a reaction. Spell ends after redirection.

Necrotize: 6th level. Some negative damage with a debuff. Enfeeble or clumsy are the ones you'll probably pick.

Rewinding step: 5th level. Set a point and jump back to it as an action. Good for escaping alone, better for your gm to evacuate their evil high priest

Tempest of shades: 7th level. 60ft AoE drained even on success. After one round, 100ft AoE fear.

There are also a couple of generic AoE blasts and small AoE sustained blasts at various levels.

Paizo Employee

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Captain Morgan wrote:


It also had dozens of new Gods. And frankly, I think gods are closer to what other class paths are than doctrines. They grant spells, your only weapon proficiency that advances to expert, domains, and more. There are very few class paths outside of doctrines that impact base proficiencies. And the RP consequences of a god are also a rather important choice.

Yup. Doctrines are a toggle for whether you want to play a "classic" D&D cleric with shield who stands next to the fighter or the robed clergyperson from other portrayals.

Compare what a bloodline grants to what a deity grants-

Bloodline-
1) 2 Bloodline skills (clerics already start with one more than sorcerers because they always use Religion; this is actually a wash between the classes since they both end up with the same number of skills. If every sorcerer was arcane, they'd only get one bonus skill and Arcana would be front-loaded like the cleric front-loads Religion, but since their bloodline determines their tradition, they get the knowledge skill for that tradition as part of the bloodline.)
2) 10 granted spells 0-9 (that any other sorcerer of the same tradition can learn, and in the case of a divine sorcerer vs. a cleric, which the cleric just gets entirely for free since they have access to the entire CRB divine spell list as prepared casters.)
3) 1 Bloodline focus spell and access to two more via feats.
4) A Blood Magic ability/bonus that works with the spells from points 2 and 3 (not including the granted cantrip).

***

Deity-
1) Divine font type
2) Favored Weapon
3) Deity Skill
4) Deity spells at 3 levels as determined by deity (these are off-list spells, and thus potentially more potent and build defining; there's nothing stopping any other sorcerer from taking the same spells as another sorcerer with the same tradition. This is arguably a stronger gain than what the sorcerer gets from their bloodline spells because it's actually adding spells to your options, rather than predetermining which spells from a list that everyone that gets the tradition has access to are going to work with your blood magic.)
5) Edicts and Anathema (mechanically this is a net neutral; if you're playing a deity with a strict anathema, you've chosen to do so. There are literally scores of deities whose anathema are unlikely to ever be relevant to an adventure other than as a roleplaying hook to hang some personality on.)
6) Access to multiple domains (instead of just one bloodline) and up to 1 focus spell plus access to 7 more (potentially more than 7 with Expanded Domain Initiate.)

***

So a bloodline and a deity carry pretty similar mechanical weight, and there's even an argument to be made that deities are providing more "oomph" than a bloodline (YMMV).

Sorcerers- 16 bloodlines
Clerics- 4 pantheons that act as deities mechanically, 190+ deities

Clerics literally have more than 10x as many "subclasses" as sorcerers, who in turn have more "subclasses" than most other classes. There's just a misidentification happening with the assumption that the doctrine is the "subclass", rather than the deity (which is the thing that actually has the equivalent mechanical weight of a bloodline, thesis, hunter's edge, etc.)

TheGentlemanDM wrote:

I think that we'll only see new Doctrines as part of Class Archetypes. Specific Doctrines that come locked with a more martial archetype and make it a little smoother to cover all the associated proficiency changes.

That's a lot more likely, yeah. Doctrines don't actually really do anything other than set the order of your proficiency increases and determine which 1st level feat(s) you're getting for free (Shield Block and Deadly Simplicity or Domain Initiate), so a class archetype that gives a specific custom doctrine built around the archetype's theme or which jettisons the doctrine completely in favor of a different style of class feature and modified starting proficiencies has a much higher chance of fitting the game's framework.


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They published damage spells that don't work for neutral deities again, true neutral deities should just let you pick a damage type to use for aligned damage at level 1 (matching your own if you're not also true neutral, naturally) rather than simply locking you out of most of the damaging divine spells. Same for anyone who doesn't actually have a deity.

Sovereign Court

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I would want it more in the other direction: don't let you do aligned damage unless both you AND your deity have that alignment. If you want to be neutral so that you're out of the firing line for alignment damage, then you also don't get to use those toys.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You know what would be interesting? Effects that tap into alignment with neutral as a baseline for temptation type effects. Like, say there's a trap set on your vault to stop potential robbers. It taps into their existing predilection for selfishness. A neutral character rolls a will save normally. An evil one treats their degree of success as one worse. And a good one treats the degree of success as one better.

It would be nice if a good alignment occasionally protected you outside of some specific options clerics and Champions in your party might use. Because right now good alignment can give you access to some good offense if you build for it but is a bit of a liability when it comes to defense.


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Honestly I wish alignment damage wasn’t a thing to prevent the awkwardness of neutral divine casters but that ship has sailed.

A good bandaid solution as proposed earlier is to let clerics of neutral gods pick an alignment or perhaps either positive or negative.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
I would want it more in the other direction: don't let you do aligned damage unless both you AND your deity have that alignment. If you want to be neutral so that you're out of the firing line for alignment damage, then you also don't get to use those toys.

I love more deep and direct approaches, but I think given this 2e they would just be punitive for no reason.

If I were Paizo, I'd try to entirely revise the alignment system in order to solve either divine spellcasting and alignment damage.

1) Neutral characters need to take part of the alignment damage, rather than being immune.

For example, a Lawful neutral would take half damage from good/evil attacks, and full damage from chaotic attacks. A true Neutral would take half damage from all alignment attacks ( Good/Evil and Lawful/Chaotic ).

2) Deities should give a choice between alignments, unless they require a specific alignment which covers Lawful/Chaotic + Good/Evil.

For example, Dahak would be perfect since his followers would be chaotic evil.

Ng on the other hand, would require more alignments ( For example, NG/NE ).

Being Neutral shouldn't impact the game neither in a positive nor in a negative way.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
I would want it more in the other direction: don't let you do aligned damage unless both you AND your deity have that alignment. If you want to be neutral so that you're out of the firing line for alignment damage, then you also don't get to use those toys.

That would solve the issue of asymmetrical power (with a TN cleric of a NG god being able to do Good but vulnerable to nothing)... but it just spreads the already existing problem of spells not working fully to even more characters... nor does it really address the mild weirdness of it being beneficial to employ neutral characters against demons or angels (at least on the frontline).

IMO the only real solution would just be a re-examination of how aligned damage works.

Sovereign Court

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I've also thought about just making alignment damage more asymmetrical:

- Evil damage works on neutral people too (maybe even on evil)
- Good damage only works on evil
- Chaotic damage works on everyone, even chaotic
- Lawful damage only works on chaotic, or maybe also on neutral too but only if you decide so at cast time?

I want to get rid of "good is a liability" as an antipattern.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think I would rather address the issue by creating a series of various spells that can only be cast by those with a "Neutral" in their alignment and then inflict something like mental or force damage or other conditions on beings with either a law/chaos or good/evil axis in their alignments, dependent upon the unique flavor of each spell (or maybe just double damage on them with regular damage on targets lacking those extreme alignment identifiers). Perhaps some of these spells could simultaneously heal the caster and/or allies for some of the damage, too, or a bestow a beneficial condition that is the opposite of a harmful condition inflicted by the spell (provided Neutral alignment in the healed target; only partial or half effect for partial Neutrals like LN, NG, etc., and full heal for TN). Obviously, these spells would have to be created with a careful eye towards balance, but I think it might help or, at least, be headed in the right direction.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

I've also thought about just making alignment damage more asymmetrical:

- Evil damage works on neutral people too (maybe even on evil)
- Good damage only works on evil
- Chaotic damage works on everyone, even chaotic
- Lawful damage only works on chaotic, or maybe also on neutral too but only if you decide so at cast time?

I want to get rid of "good is a liability" as an antipattern.

Usually this would best be done in a choose one, affect two pattern and actually does make a lot of sense.

G => N,E (as in good opposes evil and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => G,E (as in neutral opposing all good/evil extremes)
E => G,N (as in evil opposes good and scorns at those not taking a stance)

L => C,N (as in law opposes chaos and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => L,C (as in neutral opposing all lawful/chaotic extremes)
C => L,N (as in chaos opposes law and scorns at those not taking a stance)


Ascalaphus wrote:

I've also thought about just making alignment damage more asymmetrical:

- Evil damage works on neutral people too (maybe even on evil)
- Good damage only works on evil
- Chaotic damage works on everyone, even chaotic
- Lawful damage only works on chaotic, or maybe also on neutral too but only if you decide so at cast time?

I want to get rid of "good is a liability" as an antipattern.

For this cases give some balance the Good and Lawful damage needs to be stronger to compensate the lack of flexibility. Something like them having double damage.

IMO if Paizo had made this damage work like others damage types that affect anyone this would solved and balance the damage at all. All alignment damages would easily a kind of energy damage with alignment affecting all except those who had immunity/resistance/weakness to this alignment.

And neutral characters could just choose any damage type as they want except those opposite to their gods (if applicable) alignment just like already happen with spell with good/evil traits.

IMO this also could be used as an alternative rule without break or unbalance the game.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I've also thought about just making alignment damage more asymmetrical:

- Evil damage works on neutral people too (maybe even on evil)
- Good damage only works on evil
- Chaotic damage works on everyone, even chaotic
- Lawful damage only works on chaotic, or maybe also on neutral too but only if you decide so at cast time?

I want to get rid of "good is a liability" as an antipattern.

Usually this would best be done in a choose one, affect two pattern and actually does make a lot of sense.

G => N,E (as in good opposes evil and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => G,E (as in neutral opposing all good/evil extremes)
E => G,N (as in evil opposes good and scorns at those not taking a stance)

L => C,N (as in law opposes chaos and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => L,C (as in neutral opposing all lawful/chaotic extremes)
C => L,N (as in chaos opposes law and scorns at those not taking a stance)

Stole the words right out of my mouth.

This thread has forced me to reconsider everything and I'm tempted to not only implement this twisted as a houserule but submit it to our council of GM's (group of 5 GM's who determines by vote what goes across all games and what doesn't)


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I've also thought about just making alignment damage more asymmetrical:

- Evil damage works on neutral people too (maybe even on evil)
- Good damage only works on evil
- Chaotic damage works on everyone, even chaotic
- Lawful damage only works on chaotic, or maybe also on neutral too but only if you decide so at cast time?

I want to get rid of "good is a liability" as an antipattern.

Usually this would best be done in a choose one, affect two pattern and actually does make a lot of sense.

G => N,E (as in good opposes evil and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => G,E (as in neutral opposing all good/evil extremes)
E => G,N (as in evil opposes good and scorns at those not taking a stance)

L => C,N (as in law opposes chaos and scorns at those not taking a stance)
N => L,C (as in neutral opposing all lawful/chaotic extremes)
C => L,N (as in chaos opposes law and scorns at those not taking a stance)

The route my group is currently looking at is using a 5 point morality/motive system similar to the MTG color pie to replace the alignment system; where each value/color is an ally to adjacent colors, but oppose those on the opposite side. How alignment would work is you pick as many colors as you want that represent the main values you hold that motivates your character (most characters would have 1 to 3, and you MUST pick at least one).

If you deal alignment damage, you pick a color you/your diety has, and if the target has one of the opposition colors in their alignment, they get hit. By default, each color effects 40% of the other alignments, compared to the 33% of alignment damage now, and that increases when you consider thar many creatures have multiple alignment components. The only thing that have no alignment are things like mindless constructs.

If you want to take away the magic flavor, you can just reskin it pretty easy


With alignment based spells my group homeruled them so they work a bit more like in 1e. Meaning that the caster can choose to deal any alignment damage they want, when they cast the spell, as long as it's not opposed to their deity's alignment. (it might only be useful for clerics, but my players have no interest in playing divine sorcerers or oracles).

In general, my group have just removed alignment damage (except from spells or runes), to avoid the entire "it's optimal to play TN with a good deity" and "players feeld punished for RP choices". In our homeruling only celestials, fiends, proteans and axiomites are able to deal and receive any of the "natural weapon" alignment damage.

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