Spellcasting Too Disconnected from Spellcasting Stat?

I'm putting together a dwarven healer/buffer cleric and am noticing something odd. As far as I can tell, the spellcasting stat for casters in the current packet appears only relevant for the modifier when making a magic attack and/or calling for a saving throw.

So, if I am creating a cleric that only heals or casts spells on willing creatures (no saving throw involved), I could theoretically dump (or at least not prioritize) Wisdom since the modifier doesn't come up (the only heal/buff spell I could find that required a save was Sanctuary). In previous editions (3.5 for instance) the spellcasting stat regulated what level of spells you can cast, but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

Good thing? Bad thing? No big deal?
RPG Die Roller
Your point is mostly correct. I don't think it's a huge deal... however, if your cleric ever wanted to prepare Hold Person, Inflict Wounds, Zone of Truth, or Dispel Magic for combat/utility at any point, he/she'd have trouble setting the DC as high or attacking with the same bonus as a character with a high Wisdom.
It is a good thing.

You can now play a cleric focused on healing and buff spells that mostly does his enemy smashing with a weapon and be able to prioritize your Strength and Constitution much higher than your Wisdom without actively penalizing your desired form of spellcasting.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

... to contrast, you can't really build a cleric who is focused on healing in any way, since there are no stats which govern how well you heal.  You have the option between Wisdom-based laser cleric, and Strength-based weapon cleric, and either way makes a decent healer, but there is no healer-focused cleric.

It's one of the many issues I took with 4E - the failure to support a basic character concept.

The metagame is not the game.

You have the option between Wisdom-based laser cleric, and Strength-based weapon cleric, and either way makes a decent healer, but there is no healer-focused cleric.

It's one of the many issues I took with 4E - the failure to support a basic character concept.


Maybe the point is that the standard cleric healing ability is the pinnacle of magical healing and any flavor of cleric can do it equally well. Actually, the Lifegiver cleric does do it better than the others due to its bonus.

But yeah, something feels off about it.

I am actually glad that there is no "healing focused" cleric build, and I hope it stays that way... allow me to explain why:

Gamers in general, at least all those that I've ever personally experienced whether IRL or online, seem to do this thing where they forget that there are various shades of "good' between "best" and "worst" when it applies to the games they play - so anything that isn't the absolute best at what it does is something they fail to appreciate fully.

Then, you have that whole thing where a party without healing has more challenges to overcome than a party with healing - which is what became "clerics are mandatory" in a lot of people's minds.

The two combined mean that if there is such a thing as "best healer" that isn't also just "a cleric that prepared healing" then there will be people that believe the only build for a cleric that is any good is the healing focused one.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

In general, I like that casters do not hve to be tied to their casting stat as it allows a wider variety of playable character ideas.  One of my big complaints about 3rd edition is that after creating three or four characters of any given class, all further characters start to feel like re-incarnations of someone already played. 

That said, even though all clerics no longer need high wisdom and charisma to be effective healers, because of all the bonus damage given to other classes (e.g. fighters, rogues and monks), they still tend to be weak in combat no matter how built.  Only spells like inflict wounds seem competative with other characters damage output -- and this not only demands high wisdom, but places substantial constraints on the character and personality of effective cleric characters.
What about changing the quantity of spells you can prepare from 1+level to Magic Ability Mod + level?, it proyects a better stats into better flexibility
What about changing the quantity of spells you can prepare from 1+level to Magic Ability Mod + level?, it proyects a better stats into better flexibility



This, also make casters know one additional cantrip for each +1 on their Magic Ability mod.
I am strongly against the fact that Wisdom is basically useless for Clerics now. It doesn't help us heal, it doesn't increase the damage we do, and we rarely have the chance to use non-healing attack spells if the DM is presenting a challenge because we have so few spell slots.

I am all for the Cleric being versatile, and while I may not agree with some of the points made I do agree with the reasoning presented in this thread against having a "healing focused Cleric" simply because groups will shoehorn the Cleric into that.

My personal feeling is that abilities that benefit the group instead of the player should not be optional. If you can make a cleric who can channel a storm god into bolts of lightning, or a cleric of flowers who can heal the party really well, most times the party will coerce the cleric into playing the type that helps them. This also applies to defensive fighters. I don't think the ability of a fighter to defend the party should be optional. You shouldn't have to pick between a fighter who can absorb damage and a fighter who can deal damage.

Rather, anything that benefits the group should simply be part of the class. Clerics can always heal. Done. Now you can make a melee based warrior cleric, or you can make a caster based cleric who channels the power of their god. It's up to you. Either way you can still heal. Right now casting heals eat spell slots, which means caster clerics are less likely to be played. Every cleric should have a set number of heals they can cast per day that scale up as they level, but they should not eat spell slots.

Figuring out the fighter is more difficult, but people should be able to play the fighters they want without having to have another fighter in the group to be the "defender". It should be a mainline ability that they can't change or improve, so that they are free to make the decisions they want.
it doesn't increase the damage we do

Wisdom not being added to damage rolls does not mean it doesn't increase the damage you do - hard to deal any damage at all if you aren't hitting with your damaging spell attacks, for example.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

Wisdom not being added to damage rolls does not mean it doesn't increase the damage you do - hard to deal any damage at all if you aren't hitting with your damaging spell attacks, for example.



You know exactly what I meant.

It's one of the many issues I took with 4E - the failure to support a basic character concept.

I'd just like to toss out there that, like many claims of of 4th Ed lacking something, this too is wrong.  4th Ed had quite a a basic healer option in the Divine Power book.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

You know exactly what I meant.

Obviously.

I also know you are completely wrong - all cleric spells that deal damage benefit from wisdom even though it doesn't add to the damage roll because of to-hit modification or saving throw DC modification.

You are nit-picking by saying that wisdom doesn't effect damage when it demonstrably does.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

You know exactly what I meant.

Obviously.



Apparently not. I thought it was quite clear that my complaint was that the bonus had been removed from the damage roll. If that was not sufficiently explained to you previously, I hope that has been rectified now.

I'd just like to toss out there that, like many claims of of 4th Ed lacking something, this too is wrong.  4th Ed had quite a a basic healer option in the Divine Power book.

Like many claims about how 4E lacked something, this one is based on the idea that people aren't going to stick around and support an edition if a basic concept can't be supported in the core.  It was the same thing as with inherent bonuses - it doesn't matter how well it is done, if the people who care about it have long since given up on the edition.

It's also one of the big dangers of modularity, actually.  If people can't get the game into an enjoyable state out of just what's in the core books, then they're unlikley to stick around in the hopes that it will eventually change if they spend more money on it.

The metagame is not the game.

Like many claims about how 4E lacked something, this one is based on the idea that people aren't going to stick around and support an edition if a basic concept can't be supported in the core. 



But that's moving the goal-post from '4E didn't have the Healer Cleric' to 'The very first book didn't have the Healer Cleric'.
You were wrong about the first point. Don't try to change your point afterwards; that's just bad debating.

Also, you could play a really good healer cleric in Core 4E. You just didnt get the totally dedicated, pacifist healer-type cleric (which came out in Exalted Deeds in 3E iirc - not the core PHB).
Chandrak's awesome solutions to the 5-minute workday 'problem'
97183719 wrote:
Seeing as there is a disconnect between balance (quantifiable) and fun, (subjective and personal) discussing fun in a thread about balance because you find one system more enjoyable than another is as helpful as discussing religion in a thread about architectural engineering because you think cathedrals look prettier than outhouses.
But that's moving the goal-post from '4E didn't have the Healer Cleric' to 'The very first book didn't have the Healer Cleric'.

To someone who only bought the first book, that very first book is the entirety of 4E.  In the same way, it was the entirety of 4E for everyone, before additional books were released. Anyone who bases an opinion on that sort of information is entirely correct, when accounting for those constraints.  The map is not the territory.

You couldn't play a focused healer-type cleric in core 4E - you were limited to two words per encounter, and possibly some other abilities at higher levels, but most importantly it didn't take your action to heal.  If you wanted to play the healer type, you were expected to attack things every round, which really kills the feel of the character.

The metagame is not the game.

Here is a wild idea, what if the spellcasting stat bonus gave you that many free "1 slot upgrades".

For example, wizard with 18 int (+4 bonus) would get 4 1 slot upgrades.  4 times per day when casting a spell, the spell could be cast as 1 slot higher than the slot used.  A magic missile cast using a 1st slot would create 4 missiles for example.  You could only use these upgrades one at a time, so you can't upgrade a spell by more than one slot with this bonus. 
Here is a wild idea, what if the spellcasting stat bonus gave you that many free "1 slot upgrades".

It's an interesting idea.  I'm not sure that it would do enough to encourage maximizing your prime stat, but I can't really feel confident about the math at this point.

In any case, a daily limit of spell-level boosts, on top of an already-daily-limited spell slot resource, makes for somewhat complicated gameplay - it's like a daily meta-resource.  I think that sort of thing would be better suited for third edition or Pathfinder.

The metagame is not the game.

Isn't cure minor wounds a cantrip? Can't every cleric take it and heal their party to full health between encounters?"
Isn't cure minor wounds a cantrip? Can't every cleric take it and heal their party to full health between encounters?"

It only works on a target who has 3 HP or less, so at most you can get people up to 4 HP between encounters.

The metagame is not the game.

Yeesh. That's a pretty nasty blow to the wand of cure minor wounds after every encounter approach my group used when I played 3.5.
Yeesh. That's a pretty nasty blow to the wand of cure minor wounds after every encounter approach my group used when I played 3.5.



Now why would anyone do that when you could get 10 hp a charge from a wand of lesser vigor?
I like the versatility of the cleric as it stands.

If you want to be more about melee, you buff strength or dex and take spells that don't require a roll or a save.

If you want to be more spellcastery, you buff wisdom to increase your chance of hitting, and bumping up your save DC.

If you want to play more of a pacifist cleric, bump up your charisma to help you excell at social situations since neither wisdom nor strength will be important to you. 
But that's moving the goal-post from '4E didn't have the Healer Cleric' to 'The very first book didn't have the Healer Cleric'.

To someone who only bought the first book, that very first book is the entirety of 4E.  In the same way, it was the entirety of 4E for everyone, before additional books were released. Anyone who bases an opinion on that sort of information is entirely correct, when accounting for those constraints.  The map is not the territory.

You couldn't play a focused healer-type cleric in core 4E - you were limited to two words per encounter, and possibly some other abilities at higher levels, but most importantly it didn't take your action to heal.  If you wanted to play the healer type, you were expected to attack things every round, which really kills the feel of the character.



However, complaining that the 1st rulebook did not provide a specific option, though valid, IMO misses the point of a new rule edition.  I could not play a barbarian or a sorcerer either.  I was equally unhappy at the edition change to 4e based on the options available at first printing, but they met the baseline for the most part in getting the main class concepts in the game.  This was especially true given the desire to separate healing from character options in combat.  This has been the complaint for most players IME as relates to clerics for 30+ years.