Let's Take A Look At Pathfinder 2's Deities & Domains!
  • Let's Take A Look At Pathfinder 2's Deities & Domains!


    There's a new Paizo blog up about the way deities and domains work in Pathfinder 2nd Edition. It shows how deities are described, with the example deity Shelyn, along with new domains and domain powers.





    Favoured weapons, edicts, and anathemas don't have mechanical effects for most characters, but provide strong roleplaying touchpoints. However, for clerics, a deity has alignment restrictions, bonus skills and spells, and more.

    As for domains, there are 23 new domains (some of which were subdomains in PF1). New domains include Indulgence, Dreams, and Wealth, and come with basic and advanced powers accessed though Spell Points.

    Read the whole thing here.
    Comments 64 Comments
    1. shidaku's Avatar
      shidaku -
      I like spell points. I really don't like that they're using spell points for domains and vancian-ish casting for spells. I think two seperate systems for essentially doing the same thing (casting magic) is just going to end up being clunky.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      This entry is frustrating because they say "if you have Spell Points" but they don't explain how that system works....
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      I like spell points. I really don't like that they're using spell points for domains and vancian-ish casting for spells. I think two seperate systems for essentially doing the same thing (casting magic) is just going to end up being clunky.
      "Elegance" is not a particular emphasis to the design philosophy here: Byzantine complexity is their jam, kind of what they are going to do.
    1. Draegn's Avatar
      Draegn -
      Shelyn, The Eternal Rose, goddess of art, beauty, love, and music, who uses a glaive?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaive
    1. shidaku's Avatar
      shidaku -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      "Elegance" is not a particular emphasis to the design philosophy here: Byzantine complexity is their jam, kind of what they are going to do.
      Well, since they're reading this board and have even directly replied to me, let me say it out loud:

      IT OUGHT TO BE

      Complexity for the sake of complexity is annoying. It's like someone trying to sound smart while talking about a subject they know nothing about.

      If they want to use "spell points" there are more interesting and more elegant ways to do it, such as utilizing spell points for metamagic abilities (which is similar to what they're doing here, but strangely limited to only one area of spellcasting).

      Vancian casting is IMO, a drag on the system. It's that sort of nerdy, ultra-mechanical system that wargamer-types like, appealing to folks who like to calcuate the specific values of their armies and how to best optimize the loadout of each individual marine. It does not, on the other hand, apply very well to "magic". If you want to limit how many "big spells" a person can cast per day, put the limit on the spell, don't bake the limit into the system.

      IE: How Wish has all those rules about exhaustion, con drain and so forth, to disincentivise people from casting it repeatedly.
      Heck, even simple "You can only cast this spell X times per day." would be perfectly fine in my book.

      I've said it before and I've said it again: I'd really like to see a D&D-style game use spell-points as the default system.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      It's that sort of nerdy, ultra-mechanical system that wargamer-types like, appealing to folks who like to calcuate the specific values of their armies and how to best optimize the loadout of each individual marine.
      This seems to be a good read on what they are going for with this system, yes.
    1. Yaarel -
      I get it, Golarion is a specific setting with a specific polytheistic cosmology.

      I hope the core rules are crystal clear, that the cleric − according to the rules as written − can be part of any kind of sacred tradition, especially, monotheism, animism, cosmic forces, ethics, and philosophy.
    1. Yaarel -
      Regarding spell points.

      All casters
      • have permanent known spells,
      • selected while leveling,
      • and use spell points to cast them spontaneously.

      However, to cast a spell that you dont know, you do it from a spellbook in a fully vancian way, investing spell points to prepare the spell ahead of time, in the context of a ritual while reading the spellbook. These prepared spells work the same way as fire-and-forget, but actually they are more like grenades, being a pre-cast spell that goes of with a trigger. To cast a prepared spell, is more like following the instructions of a recipe book or a how-to manual. The mage isnt actually memorizing anything.

      By contrast, the known spells, being cast spontaneously, are never forgotten.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yaarel View Post
      I get it, Golarion is a specific setting with a specific polytheistic cosmology.

      I hope the core rules are crystal clear, that the cleric − according to the rules as written − can be part of any kind of sacred tradition, especially, monotheism, animism, cosmic forces, ethics, and philosophy.
      I wouldn't bet on it, they seem to be doubling down on the setting/system combination.
    1. Yaarel -
      Possibly, if going for a vancian style cleric.

      While leveling, the cleric selects domain spells for the known spells that can be cast spontaneously. Each domain offers a much larger selection of domain spells that the cleric can choose from.

      Non-domain spells or other unknown spells need to be prepared in a vancian way. Perhaps a meditation ritual discerns a normally unknown spell, then invests spell points in it ahead of time, and has it ready to go off like a grenade.

      In this approach, the domain spells are the normal spells and comprise the bulk of all cleric spellcasting. The nondomain spells are a minor feature to help expand versatility at the cost of preparation.
    1. Yaarel -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      I wouldn't bet on it, they seem to be doubling down on the setting/system combination.
      Yeah, I get that vibe too. But that would turn me off. I am mentioning it now in the hopes the rules are more useful for different kinds of campaigns.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yaarel View Post
      Yeah, I get that vibe too. But that would turn me off. I am mentioning it now in the hopes the rules are more useful for different kinds of campaigns.
      I'm sure the rules will have equal settings free potential as PF1 or D_D 3.x, but the assumption of Golarion seems to be a feature that they are touting.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Draegn View Post
      Shelyn, The Eternal Rose, goddess of art, beauty, love, and music, who uses a glaive?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaive
      Shelyn is using her brother's glaive as a memento. Her brother strayed too far into the dark of space, and turned crazy/evil. She is trying to redeem him.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yaarel View Post
      Yeah, I get that vibe too. But that would turn me off. I am mentioning it now in the hopes the rules are more useful for different kinds of campaigns.
      The deities in the book will by default be Golarian's pantheon. There is absolutely no reason to assume it will be difficult to use your own. There will be plenty of domains to choose from, after all.
    1. shidaku's Avatar
      shidaku -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      This seems to be a good read on what they are going for with this system, yes.
      I don't really agree with that, but I think that stems from the fact that I find the current system confusing.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      I don't really agree with that, but I think that stems from the fact that I find the current system confusing.
      Well, you haven’t really seen it.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      I don't really agree with that, but I think that stems from the fact that I find the current system confusing.
      It isn't a bad thing, but complexity and optimization are certainly design values they are advocating.
    1. shidaku's Avatar
      shidaku -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Well, you haven’t really seen it.
      True, but then that isn't making for a terribly good spoiler.
    1. Yaarel -
      Quote Originally Posted by Arilyn View Post
      The deities in the book will by default be Golarian's pantheon. There is absolutely no reason to assume it will be difficult to use your own. There will be plenty of domains to choose from, after all.
      It is the possibility of zero gods that tends to be difficult.

      Swapping one flavor of polytheism for an other flavor of polytheism is no problem. But when trying to build a world where there is no polytheism − or where polytheism is only one of various kinds of religious traditions − the rules are often unnecessarily cumbersome with inappropriate descriptions.

      The rules for the cleric − as a core class − needs to make it straightforward to plug into a variety of possible worlds.
    1. Yaarel -
      As a rule, any references to religions belong in the DMs Guide as part of world building, away from the Players Handbook. It is the DM who informs players how the world works and what the religious options are.
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