Clerics in New Playtest

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So I just ran a party through the Caves of Chaos, one of who was a Cleric character I made for a newbie. Because the party has a Fighter already, there was no need for anything like a warbringer or anything of the like in the party, so I made her a Lifegiver cleric. It turned out that being a Cleric was the strongest choice anyone could make, with Lance of Faith dealing 2d6 + WIS damage on a hit, as well as throwing Cure Minor Wounds around every turn. 

I propose first and most simply that Lance of Faith deal only 1d6 Damage, considering it is a cantrip and can be cast willy-nilly. 

Cure Minor Counds I have a more radical suggestion for. First, it should require an entire action, rather than casually saving someone from the brink of death at level 1. Instead of healing 1 HP, it might benefit from restoring 1d4 plus nothing (just a flat roll) hit points, and it cannot be cast on someone unless they have 3 or fewer HP. 

And one minor adjustment I would advise, rather than a heal spell being "Heal from Zero", an unconscious creature requires a Heal check in addition to reviving them.

Revive Check DC = 10 + (unconscious character's level) - (Unconscious characters CON modifier). The idea here being that the tougher a character the easier they are to bring back up. At the same time as they get more powerful, they become a more difficult entity to revive. Only if the DC is met will they be healed from zero. If they fail the Revive Check their negative HP can only be healed up to 0 HP, remaining unconscious. 

I understand the desire to make Clerics more inticing to play, letting them be Wizard-Clerics, Fighter-Clerics or Lazer-Clerics, I do. However, to give you an idea, the Lifegiver Cleric in the party I ran had an AC on par with our tank and was dealing more damage than him per-hit with Lance of Faith. I've loved the playtest materials we've had access to so far, but I'd have to say this version of the Cleric is a slap in the face of the Balance WotC is attempting to make with Next.

Thoughts? Am I being ridiculous?
Toronto Dungeon Master
I haven't read your whole post, but I thought spells no longer add mod to dmg (making LofF just 2d6)?
There have been a few discussions abt cure minor wounds. It presents a problem where unconscious allies are likely to be coup de grace'd once enemies realize they can get back up. I'd rather it be replaced w/ a spell which triggers an HD for healing (4e-influenced). Clerics are kinda rad, and can break the action economy while barely trying, but their accuracy is lacking (only weakness, really).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Well on the note of modifiers on spell damage, this was taken from the How to Play document in the newest test package (page 16)

"Damage Rolls
Each weapon and spell notes the damage it deals, such as 1d8 or 2d6. Roll the dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target.[...] "

That says to me that a Wizard's intelligence modifier is additional damage for his ability to cast Burning Hands so well, just as a Fighter's damage is boosted with a swing of his greatsword by how burly he is.

On the note of "Heal from Zero" Revive Checks (which I mentioned above) is that it offers more use with the Heal skill which as it stands is almost useless for anyone with it when you have a Cleric to bring everyone back up to at least 1 HP.  

My big complaint is that there are so many heavily armored variants of the Cleric that make them better than fighters in most situations. Essentially a demi-god. I think this is more of an issue with how people see Clerics as a weak choice of class. This alternative of making all of these Cleric options into Wizards, Rogues or Fighters that heal isn't the answer though. It makes everyone else around the table think "Well she's doing what I'm doing but with the added bonus of keeping all of us alive. Why wouldn't I just play a Warbringer? Or a Trickster?"
 

Toronto Dungeon Master
I hate heal from zero. Honestly I'd prefer if they just adopted the idea that if you get knocked to 0 or below HP, you're just flat out removed from that combat and can't be revived without a short rest.
That says to me that a Wizard's intelligence modifier is additional damage for his ability to cast Burning Hands so well, just as a Fighter's damage is boosted with a swing of his greatsword by how burly he is.



The wording isn't the most clear, but it's definitely designed that way.  Some spells have you add a modifier.  Most don't.  It wouldn't make sense for some spells to specify if all of them gain the modifier.
Just an idea. If you get -5 HP and geat healed. Let it take 5 rounds before the the player can take action, for every minus on HP it takes one round to recover, Or let it be For every other minus dmg, you need to regain focus/skills/spells. Or even perhaps for every minus HP you have, you start with same negative modifier on skills, attack rolls as you landed, and for every round you get one less penalty. That way you can still participate partly in the combat.

The Problem is when you get lets say -15 HP, then this will be broken. But there can be a cap on this that you can only participate directly in combat if you havent got more than -10 HP and got Healed.
The problem is that there's a reliance on Heal from Zero by a lot of people who have only recently gotten into the hobby (I've only been playing D&D for a year and a half, so I count myself among those people). One of the reasons I suggest a Heal check along with the Cure [BLANK] Wounds is so that there's more of a struggle than just casually willing someone back to consciousness, but as long as that Heal check is met there is some difficulty rather than a gaurantee for a Cleric.

Or conversely, the spell could activate and the unconscious person needs to attempt a "Wake Up" roll, or else only be at 0 HP. 
Toronto Dungeon Master
Also, it's extremely unclear how many Spells a first level Cleric is supposed to have, and how many they're supposed to gain per level.
If it says that explicitly anywhere in the playtest documents, I haven't been able to find it. 
Toronto Dungeon Master
Also, it's extremely unclear how many Spells a first level Cleric is supposed to have, and how many they're supposed to gain per level.
If it says that explicitly anywhere in the playtest documents, I haven't been able to find it. 




1. Spell slots, (chart on pg2 of Classes Packet 4) This tells you what you can cast a day. Level 1 can cast 2 1st level spells.

2. Prepared Spells, (2nd paragraph under Level 1: Spellcasting) you can prepare a number of spells equal to your level +1 (i.e. you will eventually prepare less spells then you have slots for, but you can cast spells you have prepared multiple times.)

3. Clerics can prepare any spell available to a cleric that they can cast (unlike a wizard who has a spell book with specific spells), a cleric can choose to prepare any spell that is in the cleric list that he has spell slots avaiable for. 

Make sense?

My mind is a deal-breaker.

Well on the note of modifiers on spell damage, this was taken from the How to Play document in the newest test package (page 16)

"Damage Rolls
Each weapon and spell notes the damage it deals, such as 1d8 or 2d6. Roll the dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target.[...] "

That says to me that a Wizard's intelligence modifier is additional damage for his ability to cast Burning Hands so well, just as a Fighter's damage is boosted with a swing of his greatsword by how burly he is.

On the note of "Heal from Zero" Revive Checks (which I mentioned above) is that it offers more use with the Heal skill which as it stands is almost useless for anyone with it when you have a Cleric to bring everyone back up to at least 1 HP.  

My big complaint is that there are so many heavily armored variants of the Cleric that make them better than fighters in most situations. Essentially a demi-god. I think this is more of an issue with how people see Clerics as a weak choice of class. This alternative of making all of these Cleric options into Wizards, Rogues or Fighters that heal isn't the answer though. It makes everyone else around the table think "Well she's doing what I'm doing but with the added bonus of keeping all of us alive. Why wouldn't I just play a Warbringer? Or a Trickster?"
 




I have to disagree with this. When they are talking about Damage rolls here they are talking about Melee and spells so of course they mention ability scores but it's more like "If this applies" then use it.

If you look under range and melee dmg it specifically says you use your ability modifier for dmg. EVerything about spells only mentions bonues to attack(ability and magic bonus). Nothing adds to dmg. Spell dmg is specifically mentioned under the the spells description.
Lance of Faith is 2d6, firball is 6d6, Cure Light Wounds is 1d8+4


Also am I missing something. Doesn't Cure Minor Wounds already require an entire actions. There are no minor actions or anything of the sort. Casting a typical spell requires a single actions, about 6 seconds of reciting  a magical formula and completing  a set of hand motions. A few spells can be cast as reactions.
Also am I missing something. Doesn't Cure Minor Wounds already require an entire actions. There are no minor actions or anything of the sort. Casting a typical spell requires a single actions, about 6 seconds of reciting  a magical formula and completing  a set of hand motions. A few spells can be cast as reactions.

Cure Minor Wounds (actually, the entire Cure line of spells) is a word of power.  This means the cleric can cast that spell - essentially as a minor action - and still make a melee attack.

The metagame is not the game.
Also am I missing something. Doesn't Cure Minor Wounds already require an entire actions. There are no minor actions or anything of the sort. Casting a typical spell requires a single actions, about 6 seconds of reciting  a magical formula and completing  a set of hand motions. A few spells can be cast as reactions.

Cure Minor Wounds (actually, the entire Cure line of spells) is a word of power.  This means the cleric can cast that spell - essentially as a minor action - and still make a melee attack.




That's carried over from another play test though right? I havne't seen it mentioned in this playtest. Why not try to play with only content listed in this playtest.
Regarless if it only allows you to make melee attacks while using a word of power that doesn't too powerful. Gives the clerics more to do. Played lots of healers in my time and doing nothing but healing all the time gets dull. If your casting Cure Minor wounds every round your party is in serious trouble.
That's carried over from another play test though right? I havne't seen it mentioned in this playtest. Why not try to play with only content listed in this playtest.

They're still listed that way, even in the current packet.  The only thing "missing" is that they forgot to write down the definition; it is still very much a part of this playtest packet.

The metagame is not the game.
Also, it's extremely unclear how many Spells a first level Cleric is supposed to have, and how many they're supposed to gain per level.
If it says that explicitly anywhere in the playtest documents, I haven't been able to find it. 




1. Spell slots, (chart on pg2 of Classes Packet 4) This tells you what you can cast a day. Level 1 can cast 2 1st level spells.

2. Prepared Spells, (2nd paragraph under Level 1: Spellcasting) you can prepare a number of spells equal to your level +1 (i.e. you will eventually prepare less spells then you have slots for, but you can cast spells you have prepared multiple times.)

3. Clerics can prepare any spell available to a cleric that they can cast (unlike a wizard who has a spell book with specific spells), a cleric can choose to prepare any spell that is in the cleric list that he has spell slots avaiable for. 

Make sense?



It sort of makes sense that Clerics would have access to all of those spells, but it also makes no sense at all. I can see valid arguments for both sides. Until there's something that says "Clerics can prepare any of the spells on their list as long as they can prepare spells of that level" then it seems far too powerful.
Toronto Dungeon Master
I hate heal from zero.

Ditto. As I mention in the other thread:
"After player 4e constantly for years (literally hundreds of games), I still have to remind some players that they heal up from zero (rather than from their current negative HP value). Every session! That seems to confirm my opinion that the rule is not intuitive. And it's been happening in 5e now too."
and
"as a former military Medical platoon leader: negative HP is absolutely realistic to me", but heal from zero is not.

I'm not having this problem with the cleric in my group. She rolled up a Stormbringer cleric and we started at 6th level. The playstyle was fantastic. Having the ability to thematically cast a bolt of lightning, or thunderwave added a lot of flavor. Being able to heal downed PC's with a WoP was effective and didn't slow the game at all. She had a bunch of fun with it.

As for the other points listed here: Heal from 0 seems unrealistic to me as well... but then I can see that magic can work differently from a healing kit, so whatever. Personally, I like the idea of healing from whatever point you're currently at, because it can add drama to a die role in combat, and I really like that.

I would not be for having a penalty when you've been smashed in combat and re-healed (as Ogreface suggested). If there is a penalty, it is the lost resource that the cleric has to spend to get you back on your feet. Or the lost action and potion that someone else has to provide. Also, tying that into *not* healing from zero makes  even more sense, because the resource you use is that much more precious.

For instance, my party is fighting hill giants and their "allies" at the moment to help reclaim the town of Preston in the Dragon mag backdrop that just posted. The rogue drops from a club hit to -2hp, and the cleric has a choice. Does she cast cure light and let the guy stand back up to help out, knowing that there is a chance that the next hit might outright kill him (Con 14)? Or does she cast Cure Serious and waste a chance to hit the giant with a maximized lightning bolt, and just heal up the rogue after the fight is over?
The issue I don't have with "heal from 0" is that, unless things have gone pear shaped, the fighter and other front line combatants are likely the ones who benefit from it the most.  If your fighter(s) drop on the monsters overrun your position then the odds of TPK go up dramatically.

It's not about what is "realistic" it's about what makes the game fun for the players.  I've found that healing from 0 and being able to get back into a fight quickly tends to be far more fun then "I cast Cure Srious...oh I botched the roll, guess you're only up to -3 and still out".
with Lance of Faith dealing 2d6 + WIS damage on a hit, as well as throwing Cure Minor Wounds around every turn. 



Lance of Faith just deals 2d6 straight, but I think that's been pointed out already. 

You are aware that Cure Minor Wounds only works on creatures with less than 3 health, right? And it cures 1 point of damage? So if you have a Cleric who is healing someone that is that low every single turn, what kind of campaign are you running?

Also while you can cast Cure Minor Wounds and still swing a mace, you most certainly cannot cast a spell the same turn. So you can't really ever be tossing out Cure Minor Wounds and still casting Lance of Faith as well.

I have a Lifegiver Cleric in my game and have found no real problem with Lance of Faith and CMW. I read Lance of Faith as 2D6 and there hasn't been any problems with that. Where as Cure Minor is a good emergency bandaid spell. We don't use the heal from zero as it makes no sense really.
You are aware that Cure Minor Wounds only works on creatures with less than 3 health, right? And it cures 1 point of damage? So if you have a Cleric who is healing someone that is that low every single turn, what kind of campaign are you running?

That sounds pretty normal: the opposition would definitely want to down an easily downable PC (especially if the PC is a surrounded front-line fighter). So once a PC is first downed, it becomes a game of whack-a-mole.

[That sounds pretty normal: the opposition would definitely want to down an easily downable PC (especially if the PC is a surrounded front-line fighter). So once a PC is first downed, it becomes a game of whack-a-mole.




Sounds like some pretty stupid monsters. If they keep downing a PC, then another PC pops them up every turn, eventually they will realize it might be better to attack the PC who is popping people up.

That's carried over from another play test though right? I havne't seen it mentioned in this playtest. Why not try to play with only content listed in this playtest.

They're still listed that way, even in the current packet.  The only thing "missing" is that they forgot to write down the definition; it is still very much a part of this playtest packet.




Where? Other than in the title of the spell in the spell packet, where is it listed what word of power is? In the current packet, not a previous one?
Word of Power is not described in this packet. I believe there is a Mearls' tweet on the subject stating this was an oversight, or something to that effect. Maybe check the Ask A Simple Question thread in the general forum.
Sounds like some pretty stupid monsters. If they keep downing a PC, then another PC pops them up every turn, eventually they will realize it might be better to attack the PC who is popping people up.

In 4e, melee monsters were heavily discouraged from switching to the caster while the Defender was conscious.

This may not be the case in 5e, but (assuming intelligent melee monsters) if they identify the cleric, they may realize that they might not be able to take him down that quickly (thus warranting a CdG of currently downed PC's). Or they might realize that other people in the party might have healing abilities.

Thanks Forged_Fury however the tweet says it's still in as a keyword. However, that keyword is not defined. So, what is the definition? I'm assuming, from this thread, that it's able to be cast as a minor, or incidental, action. That isn't stated anywhere though.
You are aware that Cure Minor Wounds only works on creatures with less than 3 health, right? And it cures 1 point of damage? So if you have a Cleric who is healing someone that is that low every single turn, what kind of campaign are you running?

This sounds normal to me too.

I didn't see an answer to how many spells a cleric gets on a level up. Same applies to wizards.
I didn't see an answer to how many spells a cleric gets on a level up. Same applies to wizards.



It's in the Classes PDF, pages 2 and 26 respectively.
Thanks Siddown
wait did I miss something...when did Healing stop being an action....how does that work?
wait did I miss something...when did Healing stop being an action....how does that work?

As of the previous packet, cure minor wounds has been designated a "word of power".  This means that the cleric can make a weapon attack and cast that spell in the same round - it's effectively a swift action (3E) or a minor action (4E), if you were planning to make a weapon attack anyway.

The metagame is not the game.
wait did I miss something...when did Healing stop being an action....how does that work?

As of the previous packet, cure minor wounds has been designated a "word of power".  This means that the cleric can make a weapon attack and cast that spell in the same round - it's effectively a swift action (3E) or a minor action (4E), if you were planning to make a weapon attack anyway.




what pdf file is this listed under like I can see a bunch of spells marked as such but wheres the explanation of word of power
what pdf file is this listed under like I can see a bunch of spells marked as such but wheres the explanation of word of power

They forgot to write the definition down in any of the PDF files in this packet, so you'd need to see the previous packet to find out what the exact wording is.  They have explained elsewhere that they still follow the same rules in this packet as they did in the last packet, so that's the part that's relevant for testing to provide feedback, but as to what those rules actually are... I only know what other people have said.

The metagame is not the game.
Ok so word of power is an awesome idea...one of the additions I LOVED about 4e was healing as a minor action because frankly smacking heal almost every turn as a cleric in 3.xe was a PITA and when 5e was first released I read it as being the same as 3.xe so the "word of power" setup I like...sure your weapon is likely less powerful than your spells but at least you get to do something when healing.

To preface this I'll say I play wizards mostly its what I do my fav spell being Beguiling Strands for 4e...my favoritew build being a Warlord/Wizard ....allowed me to control both sides of the battlefield at my whim anyways my point..my point is this is a playtest so we decided we should all try out each class built in our own ways so we could give better feedback so I tried out a cleric...but I couldn't completely drop wizard so I made an Arcanist Cleric and god I'm loving it especially because he's a dwarf so I can wear medium armor...anyways being able to switch between heaking when necessary and a well placed ray of frost or burning hands is epic. Unfortunately its only been a few encounters so not much to say beyond that but yeah awesome...the deity idea is well executed...we've also had a reaper and a stormcaller...love domains :D