Meet Pathfinder 2's Cleric; Plus Spellcasting Basics!
  • Meet Pathfinder 2's Cleric; Plus Spellcasting Basics!


    The latest Pathfinder 2nd Edition preview takes a look at the Cleric! Plus we get some insight into meta magic feats and spellcasting basics. As always, this information will be added to the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info Page!





    • +2 Wisdom boost at 1st level.
    • Spell DC is 10 + level + Wis modifier.
    • Class features --
      • Deity and Domain (favoured weapon, domain access, domain powers - special spells which use Spell Points, which are equal to the cleric's Wisdom).
      • Anathema (acts against the deity's will).
      • Channel Energy (see below).
      • Divine Spellcasting (see below).
      • Proficiency rank with divine spells goes to expert at 13th level, master at 16th, legendary at 19th.

    • Divine Spellcasting --
      • 2 x 1st level spells at 1st level.
      • +1 spell per even level.
      • +1 spell level per odd level.

    • Channel Energy --
      • 3 + Cha modifier uses of heal or harm per day, heightened to your highest available spell level
      • Deity choice determiners whether you can heal, harm, or get a choice.

    • Class Feats --
      • Communal Healing (1st level) -- gain HP when you heal others.
      • Turn Undead (1st level) -- undead who critically fail saves against your heal must flee.
      • Expanded Domain (1st level) -- gain initial power from a second domain; can select this again for a third.
      • Advanced Domain (4th level) -- gain advanced power from your domain.
      • Channeled Succor (8th level) -- instead of heal, you can also remove curse, remove disease, remove paralysis, or restoration.

    • Metamagic Feats --
      • Reach Spell (1st level) -- add Somatic Casting action to add 30' range.
      • Command Undead (4th level) -- change harm effects to undead control effects.
      • Heroic Recovery (8th level) -- add an action to heal to also give attack and speed bonuses.
      • Metamagic Channeler (20th level) -- apply metamagic to harm and heal without adding an action.

    It looks like metamagic feats often cost an extra action.
    Comments 162 Comments
    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      On the Paizo comments a lot of people are annoyed that classes get less than PF1, less class features and have to pay feats to get them back. The counter argument is that you get those feats instead of class features, just meaning you can chose how you want your class - rather than stuck with what is written. The same applies to races/ancestries. Either argument aside it does seem that all classes and races are nerfed, you don't have enough feats at level 1 in PF2 to get all the features to equal level 1 PF1. We haven't seen what backgrounds and Archetypes exactly do yet tho. I think this is a good thing, spread the power - but people don't like having things taken away I guess.

      Secondly a lot of comments about only getting, max, 3 spells memorised per spell level. Another good thing IMO, to lower the power of casters vs mundanes; and also casters won;t have the spell to do automatically what other classes roll skills etc for all the time. There is the concern about 15 min adventure day tho, but that is partially offset by scaling cantrips.

      These things mostly look good to me, as a DM normally I don't care about PC's having less than PF1. As long as they are better balanced against each other and opponents, it's irrelevant - but there is a lot of the Endowment Effect going on

      Very interested to see the entire Playtest tho, very hard to get a feel with these tiny titbits - not that it hasn't released the rage on Paizo!
    1. CapnZapp -
      What's the point of PF2 if casters end up as OP as in PF1?

      Luckily for us (but maybe not for Paizo) we have 5E. It has proven beyond a shadow of doubt you can create a game with better class equality AND still have popular casters.

      It would be very sad indeed if they go through all this trouble and STILL* fix none of 3.0s endemic issues; caster supremacy and spell dependency being one of the worst.

      Both 3.5 and PF was sold on the promise of fixing d20 but none of them came even close. 5th edition now sets the bar; finally and truly fixing most if not all of d20. In comparison 3.0, 3.5 and PF look frigging *identical* - they may differ in some of the details, but have exactly the same set of huge unsolved issues.
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      What's the point of PF2 if casters end up as OP as in PF1?
      What's the point of your soapbox tirade evangelizing 5e when it's clear that the parity between casters and mundanes will be less than it was in PF1 due to some significant nerfs that Paizo is making? It's honestly getting tiring.

      Both 3.5 and PF was sold on the promise of fixing d20 but none of them came even close. 5th edition now sets the bar; finally and truly fixing most if not all of d20. In comparison 3.0, 3.5 and PF look frigging *identical* - they may differ in some of the details, but have exactly the same set of huge unsolved issues.
      No, it wasn't. Not particularly. It was mostly sold on the continuation of the 3.X d20/OGL system, the publisher and fan dissatisfaction with WotC and 4E, and backwards compatibility.
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      Luckily for us (but maybe not for Paizo) we have 5E. It has proven beyond a shadow of doubt you can create a game with better class equality AND still have popular casters.
      Who is "us"? If you meant to say "Luckily for me and other 5e fans", then yes. You're very lucky to have the game you like. And it proves that a lot of people don't like a lot of change. If PF2 only creates another version of 5e just to make the 5e fans happy, what is the point? Or even a clone version of PF1? If it's not different enough, then it's not really worth the effort. 5e is just different enough to be the cleanest version of D&D to date, but not inspiring to everyone.

      PF2 gains my interest because it shows me something new with every preview. Will the end product grab my full interest? That remains to be seen. But I for one am already more invested in what could be great than what I've already seen reprinted for decades. Good news is there is room for both.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      The spell DC formulae change is *huge*. DC is *not* dependent on spell level, but PC level.

      First, this means that at high hevels, low-level spells like hold person are still a threat.

      Second, this is very similar to 5e, where the DC is caster level dependent, not spell level dependent. BUT there is no bound accuracy! So a high level caster spell DC will be *brutal*. The gap between the spell DC and your "bad save" may be tremendous.
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      @Morrus:

      - the expert proficiency in divine spellcasting is at 12th level, not 13th;

      - it's strongly implied that, when getting a new spell level, you get two spell per day;

      - 10th level spells aren't gained at 19th level: details are still unknown.
    1. zztong's Avatar
      zztong -
      I'm of mixed and unsettled feelings about Anathema.

      On one hand those kinds of codes are really cool when a player chooses to make them part of their character. On the other, I dislike them being specified and required by the game system. Given a blank slate, players come up much more interesting variations that take into account a wider and richer personality.

      Plus, I don't really see "the gods" as choosing to micromanage their followers. Its much more interesting for "the gods" to be imperfect beings that are more interested in bickering among themselves. When I run the game, I can of course choose if and how to deal with Anathema. Like the Paladin code, I would likely choose to ignore them. Otherwise interpretations of these "contractual" behaviors typically become sore spots between player and DM enough to discourage people from playing those classes. My observation has been that under some DMs who strictly enforce the Paladin code, players rarely (if ever) play Paladins. This isn't perhaps what you want for the Cleric class given that many games depend on healing being available on demand.

      Yet, Anathema restrictions do add flavor to the class.

      I guess there's plenty to ponder.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      I'm starting to see how PF1.0 advocates are going to be very unhappy with the new 2.0.
    1. houser2112's Avatar
      houser2112 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Futurity View Post
      I'm starting to see how PF1.0 advocates are going to be very unhappy with the new 2.0.
      I don't know why; PF2 classes are looking a lot more modular than PF1, essentially allowing you to build your own class. It's better this way than finding archetypes that trade out the features you don't like and hoping they will give you ones you do.
    1. Nutation's Avatar
      Nutation -
      • Expanded Domain (1st level) -- gain initial power from a second domain; can select this again for a third.
      • I hope this isn't a big source of cherry-picking. In PF1, some domain powers were obvious favorites (e.g., Liberation). You had to take the whole package, though, including spells and deity. We'll see how this plays out.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Quote Originally Posted by houser2112 View Post
      I don't know why; PF2 classes are looking a lot more modular than PF1, essentially allowing you to build your own class. It's better this way than finding archetypes that trade out the features you don't like and hoping they will give you ones you do.
      My experience with Pathfinder was that players who really enjoyed it liked having lots of features and options, such as extra spell slots, lots of metamagic feats, the talent trees and other features that give them lots and lots of fiddly bits. The new system is very appealing (to me), but almost every hardcore Pathfinder fan I know is expressing a lot of angst over the implied and outlined design decisions, which feel to them like the game is moving closer to 5E design structure and away from the more articulated design that system mastery as a design concept supports.

      So...I like where PF2.0 is going, and suspect it will be a game I like. But I may not have anyone locally willing to play it.

      (BUT! This is based on their reading playtest columns and getting annoyed at things like spell slot reduction. Forum posters who like to make comments about how that helps reduce caster-domination in the game are always forgetting that for every person who got put off by caster domination there was another player who never noticed this as a problem, and a third guy who noticed it and thought it was a feature, not a bug.)

      (Second BUT! I also find it interesting that many of these same local PF1.0 fans have lots of reservations about Starfinder's design changes, too. Some likening them to 4E design choices, which is practically accusing Starfinder of blasphemy around my neck of the woods. Sigh. These are the same players who are building up huge levels of antipathy toward even the idea of Pathfinder 2.0 being a thing. So a lot of this is probably cherry picking specific design elements....like limiting slots for spells...as proof of their grander worry.)
    1. TwoSix -
      My problem with all the salt over on the Paizo forums is that the number of spell slots tells you nothing without knowledge of how the spells are designed. If the spells are stackable hour long buffs that give you 1-action special attacks for high damage or control, who cares if you only get 3 per day?

      Just like in 5e, while the smaller number of slots is noticeable, it's not remotely as impactful as the concentration mechanic. You can't do "this system rules" or "this system sucks" when 90% of the design is still a black box.
    1. Toriel -
      One thing I find strange is that the proficiency rank with spells goes up only in the upper levels (all after level 10) instead of regularly throughout the 20 levels. Wouldn't it make more sense to have them at something like level 6, 10, 13, 17?
    1. Tony Vargas -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      What's the point of PF2 if casters end up as OP as in PF1?
      It'll be as popular as PF1? I mean, if their fans had liked balanced martial & caster classes, they might have just made the transition to 4e.

      Not that the above looks to pose nearly that risk of caster/non-caster balance. Rather, it looks more like they're outfitting the class designs to fit to a shorter day than 5e's 6-8 encounters, perhaps because, realistically, that's what folks actually do?

      Luckily for us (but maybe not for Paizo) we have 5E. It has proven beyond a shadow of doubt you can create a game with better class equality AND still have popular casters.
      Laughable. 5e hypothetically balances casters on a 6-8 encounter day basically no one uses. You get to claim balance in theory, while enjoying D&D's traditional tier-1 caster supremacy, in practice. I'm sure PF2 will deliver the same thing.

      It would be very sad indeed if they go through all this trouble and STILL* fix none of 3.0s endemic issues; caster supremacy and spell dependency being one of the worst.
      Again, the whole point of PF was to retain those things.

      Both 3.5 and PF was sold on the promise of fixing d20 but none of them came even close. 5e now sets the bar;
      When was that promise ever made? PF was sold on the promise of /being/ 3.5, again, all it's 'endemic issues' intact, unlike 4e, which fixed them pretty hard.

      With 5e back to delivering the same traditional class dynamics D&D had in 3.5 & earlier, PF2 can't simply be an alternative to the anathema of balance in D&D, it has to either find something else unacceptable in 5e to not be - or come up with something desirable (to it's existing fan base, who, by definition, loathe balanced classes) to keep PF customers engaged & subscribed. Paizo has a proven track record. I'm a little surprised to see any suggestion of 'nerfing' casters be a part of that, but I suspect they'll make it up somewhere else...
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      The spell DC formulae change is *huge*. DC is *not* dependent on spell level, but PC level.
      ... this means that at high hevels, low-level spells like hold person are still a threat.
      So a high level caster spell DC will be *brutal*. The gap between the spell DC and your "bad save" may be tremendous.
      ...that didn't take long.


      Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Lewis View Post
      Who is "us"? If you meant to say "Luckily for me and other 5e fans", then yes. You're very lucky to have the game you like. And it proves that a lot of people don't like a lot of change. If PF2 only creates another version of 5e just to make the 5e fans happy, what is the point?
      Vainly hoping to sell to the largest RPG market since the fad years of the 80s?

      Thing is, D&D fans, newly-minted, ongoing, or returning, are happy with 5e, it's as D&D as D&D has ever been, 3.5 D&D in all it's glory, included. It seems unintuitive to try to sell to them with a 5e clone, at least until WotC comes up with a 6e that 5e fans feel betrayed by, and who knows when that'll happen...
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Yeah, the thing is “people who don’t want to play 4e” is an unsustainable market to cater to in a world where 5e exists. Their options are pretty much either to appeal to 4e fans who don’t want to play 5e, or to try to attract a new demographic based on PF2’s own merits instead of aping whatever Edition of D&D the latest edition snubbed. So far, it looks to me like they’ve been trying to do a bit of both.
    1. Wrathamon -
      I think they would like to appeal to their pf1 fans, bring back any pf1 fans that moved on to 5e and bring in any new fans.

      They probably know that a portion of the pf1 fans wont move on, not all pf1 fans will move back and they know new fans will be added. They probably have a benchmark they need to hit for profitability to sustain a new line.
    1. Tony Vargas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Yeah, the thing is “people who don’t want to play 4e” is an unsustainable market to cater to in a world where 5e exists. Their options are pretty much either to appeal to 4e fans who don’t want to play 5e,
      4e fans were the ones willing to give a new edition a fair try, so we're mostly playing 5e, at least when not playing 4e, as well. I'm like "where's my Warlord!?! It's been years!" but I'm still playing it. OK, running it, specifically, in my case.
      or to try to attract a new demographic based on PF2’s own merits instead of aping whatever Edition of D&D the latest edition snubbed. So far, it looks to me like they’ve been trying to do a bit of both.
      That's worked exactly never in the history of RPGs - OK, not fair, lots of RPGs have carved out niches for themselves, that way. I'd expect Paizo to aim higher than just another "like D&D, but better!" fantasy heartbreaker, though.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wrathamon View Post
      I think they would like to appeal to their pf1 fans, bring back any pf1 fans that moved on to 5e and bring in any new fans.
      New RPGers tend to try D&D first, so any new fans would have to be drawn from the sub-sub-set of potential new fans disappointed by D&D enough to look for a better RPG, but not repulsed enough to just walk away from the hobby for good.

      It seems to me that Paizo has an excellent relationship with their existing PF1 fan base, I'd think they'd want to build on that. They've certainly done a great job of managing that market, so far.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
      I'm a little surprised to see any suggestion of 'nerfing' casters be a part of that, but I suspect they'll make it up somewhere else...
      ...that didn't take long.
      I was thinking about that... we don't know how the saves work. If *all* saves go up by 1 per level, it won't be so bad... but it will make the BBEG's control spells very potent, and the party's control spells best left for the mooks...

      the +1 save, +1 DC looks like a threadmill that goes no where, but it does make the difference between levels more significant.
    1. Tony Vargas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ancalagon View Post
      the +1 save, +1 DC looks like a threadmill that goes no where, but it does make the difference between levels more significant.
      Heh. Treadmill if you only fight things of exactly your level, never go 'slumming' vs some lower-level foes. Otherwise, clear sense of advancement.
    1. CapnZapp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
      Laughable. 5e hypothetically balances casters on a 6-8 encounter day basically no one uses. You get to claim balance in theory, while enjoying D&D's traditional tier-1 caster supremacy, in practice. I'm sure PF2 will deliver the same thing.
      You've either confused me for another poster, or you're having a really bad day... [emoji6]

      You know I'm one of the hardest critics of 6-8 days, precisely because that never happens.

      That does not change my assessment of 5E one bit. And I have veeery optimized players. If casters had had even some of the humongous imbalance advantage from d20, do you think they'd still play martials?

      I don't think so. If the caster martial balance hadn't been fundamentally and comprehensively shifted I would never have said it had.

      But it has. It really has. 5E has really truly shifted that balance in a monumental way.

      In a good way. I believe it is a strong draw of the edition.
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