Cleric Cantrip Balance.

As of now, The Cleric spell list is blessed with 5 Cantrips.



  • Cure Minor Wounds

  • Guidance

  • Lance of Faith

  • Light

  • Resistance



If I'm not mistaken Clerics can only choose 1 cantrip, and they get another one from their deity.

But you will probably find that most clerics are choosing Lance of Faith and Cure Minor Wounds, and it doesn't take a genius to know why.


Some might argue that Lance of Faith is overpowered, but if you were to reduce it to 1d10 or 2d4, or even all the way down to 1d6, it would likely still be the Clerics favorite cantrip. Personally, I don't think Lance of Faith is overpowered, I think that the rest of the Clerics cantrips are severely lacking.

Let's take a look at the offenders.

Guidance.


Effect: Choose an ability score, and touch one creature. For the next minute, or until you cast this spell again, that creature  gains a +1 bonus to checks using the chosen ability.



Problem: Guidance isn't really a bad spell, for a cantrip it gives a solid benefit. The problem with Guidance is that it suffers from not being all that useful in combat, a +1 bonus is nice to have but it's hardly improvement enough to forfeit an attack, and with only getting to choose 1 cantrip, you probably want a combat cantrip.

How to Fix it: Give Guidance a more evident combat effect, not all clases can benefit that much from a +1 on skill checks during combat. Allow guidance to give a +1 bonus to attacks aswell. Even with that change, I feel as Guidance wouldn't still get passed over for Lance of Faith, maybe make it a word of power to seal the deal.


Light

Effect: You touch an object. It sheds bright light in a 20-­‐foot-­‐radius sphere and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light may be colored  as you  choose. The light lasts for 1 hour or until you cast this spell again. Covering the object with a solid object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks  the glow.

Problem: Light is a cool spell, light is a useful spell, light is a spell I hate my cleric doesn't have. Again, the main problem is that light is not that useful inside combat, sure...It might be a life saver if your fighting creatures that see in the dark and they manage to blow your torches off. But your party's wizard probably has light, he gets to choose 4 cantrips so he will most likely have light.

How to Fix it: Light is probably fine, this is something that I would rather fix by giving Clerics more cantrips. But it would also be cool for a low level character to have more combat actions. Maybe allow casting Light in an opponents eyes to give him a -1 penalty on his next attack.

Resistance

Effect: You touch one creature. Until the start of your next turn, that creature gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws.

Problem: You only affect one creature and it lasts only 1 round, you don't know if that creature is even going to make a saving throw and 5% is not that much anyway, also it has no range.

How to Fix it: Make it a word of power and add range to it, I would even test making it a +2 bonus as it might be hard to predict when a saving throw is coming before next turn.


Cure Minor Wounds
(word  of power)
Effect: Choose a living creature within 50 feet of you that has 3 hit points or fewer. It regains 1 hit point.

Problem:  It only heals 1 hit point, still it's useful as it allows someone to get back to combat.

How to Fix it:  Make it set the target's life to 3 hit points instead of regaining 1hp, maybe even set their current HP to 3+their CON mod.


Also add more cantrips.

A Spell Similar to Resistance that gives AC instead would be a sweet option, specially if it is a word of power. Only +1 bonus though.


What about?

Blessed Swing.
(word of power)
Effect:  You Touch a weapon (choose a weapon within 30feet of you), the next attack with that weapon deals an additional 1d4 radiant damage.

Minor Damage Absorption
Effect:  Choose a creature with at least 1 hit point within 50 feet of you. If you can sense the presence of an hostile creature in a 100 feet radius centered in the chesen creature, you grant that creature 2d4 (1d6/1d8?) temporal hit points for a minute, only one Minor Damage Abosorption effect can be present on each creature at time.

Minor Reactive Healing.

Effect: Until the start of your next turn, each time a creature within 50 feet of you is damaged, as a reaction you can make that creature regain up to 1d10 (2d4/1d8?) hit points, this creature cannot regain more hit points than the damage he took to trigger this effect.
I think casters get too less of cantrips in general. You are forced to pick and choose between which ones you want to know and that just makes you flat out choose the better ones. I'd choose damage and healing over light any day. Why? Because I'm a cleric and its just going to be more useful. Although, if you are a melee-built cleric then Lance of Faith really shouldn't be your best friend. I'd like for wizards and clerics to gain more cantrips. I think its stupid have this few. 
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
honestly i just allowed my casters to get appropriate stat mod in extra cantrips
honestly i just allowed my casters to get appropriate stat mod in extra cantrips



We were actually debating to do the same, but I feel that even if I had access to all of the Clerics cantrips, I'd still be Lance of Faithing on any round that I didn't have to heal anyone, double move or go pull a lever or something.
honestly i just allowed my casters to get appropriate stat mod in extra cantrips



We were actually debating to do the same, but I feel that even if I had access to all of the Clerics cantrips, I'd still be Lance of Faithing on any round that I didn't have to heal anyone, double move or go pull a lever or something.


so? how is that different to the fighter using their weapon every round?
the other  cantrips are situational
Who says I'm happy about warrior's swinging their weapon every round? At least they have maneuvers to mix in.


Also as I explained in the opening post, while light or guidance have their uses, Resistance is mostly a combat spell which is not likely to get used ever.
Who says I'm happy about warrior's swinging their weapon every round? At least they have maneuvers to mix in.


Also as I explained in the opening post, while light or guidance have their uses, Resistance is mostly a combat spell which is not likely to get used ever.


actually i saw resistance as something to be used when somebody has already been effected by say poison.
I think part of the problem that makes Lance of Faith so appealing right now is that clerics' melee ability is pretty lacking.  My guess is that the design goal was to have people who wanted lasers to take Lance and to have people who want to use weapons take other stuff, but since you get

a) a lower class attack bonus
b) an attack that keys off a stat that doesn't benefit your spells
c) an attack that typically requires melee range

melee for a cleric is a really tough sell.

I agree that Resistance is a really weak spell as well (and I'm not really sure if the +1 Guidance gives is enough to really make it appealing), but Light is a perfectly good cantrip for people that are building more exploration-based characters (or people who plan on fighting in lots of unlit rooms).
I think part of the problem that makes Lance of Faith so appealing right now is that clerics' melee ability is pretty lacking.  My guess is that the design goal was to have people who wanted lasers to take Lance and to have people who want to use weapons take other stuff, but since you get

a) a lower class attack bonus
b) an attack that keys off a stat that doesn't benefit your spells
c) an attack that typically requires melee range

melee for a cleric is a really tough sell.

I agree that Resistance is a really weak spell as well (and I'm not really sure if the +1 Guidance gives is enough to really make it appealing), but Light is a perfectly good cantrip for people that are building more exploration-based characters (or people who plan on fighting in lots of unlit rooms).



As i mentioned, light is good, but with only 1 cantrip to choose, picking light becomes a hard sell if you have a mage in the party that is likely picking that up.

Making more cantrips to be used in battle and words of power would make a weapon cleric more appealing.
Could someone explain the reason why my Cleric knows every spell available to Clerics in the game except the level 0 ones? It seems a little odd that the only knowledge my god chooses to keep secret is the most trivial.
Could someone explain the reason why my Cleric knows every spell available to Clerics in the game except the level 0 ones? It seems a little odd that the only knowledge my god chooses to keep secret is the most trivial.



Good point. Maybe Orisons (please bring back this term, it is far better than Cantrips for Cleric spelss) should be At-Will, but prepared daily so you can pick and choose from day to day.
...
But you will probably find that most clerics are choosing Lance of Faith and Cure Minor Wounds, and it doesn't take a genius to know why.


Some might argue that Lance of Faith is overpowered, but if you were to reduce it to 1d10 or 2d4, or even all the way down to 1d6, it would likely still be the Clerics favorite cantrip. Personally, I don't think Lance of Faith is overpowered, I think that the rest of the Clerics cantrips are severely lacking.





Agreed


Guidance.

Effect: Choose an ability score, and touch one creature. For the next minute, or until you cast this spell again, that creature  gains a +1 bonus to checks using the chosen ability.



Problem: Guidance isn't really a bad spell, for a cantrip it gives a solid benefit. The problem with Guidance is that it suffers from not being all that useful in combat, a +1 bonus is nice to have but it's hardly improvement enough to forfeit an attack, and with only getting to choose 1 cantrip, you probably want a combat cantrip.

How to Fix it: Give Guidance a more evident combat effect, not all clases can benefit that much from a +1 on skill checks during combat. Allow guidance to give a +1 bonus to attacks aswell. Even with that change, I feel as Guidance wouldn't still get passed over for Lance of Faith, maybe make it a word of power to seal the deal.



Alternative Fixes (I'd rather not see it affect attacks):
a)  Make it a word of power.  At least you aren't giving up an action for it.
b)  Allow it to be used as a reaction.  Then you can save it for when an ally really needs that skill bonus (i.e. when they are about to fall, etc.). 
c)   Have it give advantage on the check.   Small bonuses  - especially when applied before the fact (only helps 1 time in 20) are annoying and pretty much useless.  If it's going to take an action and be a spell, it should be worth having.  (In fact - I though these petty bonuses were something they wanted to do away with in D&D Next anyway).
d)  Some combination of the above/



Light

Effect: You touch an object. It sheds bright light in a 20-­‐foot-­‐radius sphere and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light may be colored  as you  choose. The light lasts for 1 hour or until you cast this spell again. Covering the object with a solid object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks  the glow.

Problem: Light is a cool spell, light is a useful spell, light is a spell I hate my cleric doesn't have. Again, the main problem is that light is not that useful inside combat, sure...It might be a life saver if your fighting creatures that see in the dark and they manage to blow your torches off. But your party's wizard probably has light, he gets to choose 4 cantrips so he will most likely have light.

How to Fix it: Light is probably fine, this is something that I would rather fix by giving Clerics more cantrips. But it would also be cool for a low level character to have more combat actions. Maybe allow casting Light in an opponents eyes to give him a -1 penalty on his next attack.



I'm not convinced it needs to be made better.  If it were, I wouldn't have it work on all creatures.  But I would like to see creatures with Darkvision be affected by it. 
However - as above - I do not like petty bonuses.  If you are going to have a spell do something, it needs to do something.    If they go this route, it should be a) limited to creatures with Darkvision (or creatures sensitive to light for some reason), b) it should have a save or attack roll and c) it should cause disadvantage, not a tiny penalty.  

But the fix I'm more interested in seeing is more flexibility in the brightness and the radius.  The given values are the max, but if the character wishes to make it 5' of bright light and 10' of dim light, that ought to be an option.


Resistance


Effect: You touch one creature. Until the start of your next turn, that creature gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws.

Problem: You only affect one creature and it lasts only 1 round, you don't know if that creature is even going to make a saving throw and 5% is not that much anyway, also it has no range.

How to Fix it: Make it a word of power and add range to it, I would even test making it a +2 bonus as it might be hard to predict when a saving throw is coming before next turn.


I'm sure this is no surprise to anyone - but again I think it ought to grant advantage.  A +1 bonus just ien't worth it.  Not even a +2 bonus.  If you are applying it before you know you need it - it needs to grant advantage to matter.
In short - pretty much the same fixes as I suggest for Guidance.
Some combination of:
a)  Word of Power
b)  Can be cast as a reaction when an ally has to make a save.
c)   Grants advantage on the save.

No more petty bonuses before the roll.


Cure Minor Wounds
(word  of power)
Effect: Choose a living creature within 50 feet of you that has 3 hit points or fewer. It regains 1 hit point.

Problem:  It only heals 1 hit point, still it's useful as it allows someone to get back to combat.

How to Fix it:  Make it set the target's life to 3 hit points instead of regaining 1hp, maybe even set their current HP to 3+their CON mod.




Not much to add here.   I do think more than one hit point would probably be a good idea.  3 + ConMod makes it too close to CLW and generally healing spells don't do more healing based on target hit points/con.  3 + caster's WisMod would be more in keeping with how such spells work.  But personally, I think just bumping it to 3 points is sufficient.


Also add more cantrips.

A Spell Similar to Resistance that gives AC instead would be a sweet option, specially if it is a word of power. Only +1 bonus though.



I don't care for petty bonuses (no surprise, I know) and I think advantage on AC would to significant a bonus - I think this is unwise.


What about?

Blessed Swing.
(word of power)
Effect:  You Touch a weapon (choose a weapon within 30feet of you), the next attack with that weapon deals an additional 1d4 radiant damage.

Minor Damage Absorption
Effect:  Choose a creature with at least 1 hit point within 50 feet of you. If you can sense the presence of an hostile creature in a 100 feet radius centered in the chesen creature, you grant that creature 2d4 (1d6/1d8?) temporal hit points for a minute, only one Minor Damage Abosorption effect can be present on each creature at time.

Minor Reactive Healing.

Effect: Until the start of your next turn, each time a creature within 50 feet of you is damaged, as a reaction you can make that creature regain up to 1d10 (2d4/1d8?) hit points, this creature cannot regain more hit points than the damage he took to trigger this effect.






One idea I had was:


Pain

Effect:  The target is wracked with pain.  If the target is concentrating on a spell, the target must make a Will saving throw or their concentration is broken.

Carl


I thought the exact same thing about Resistance, Carl. Grants advantage as a reaction. I'm just not sure if that puts it out of range of a cantrip/orison as an At-Will.
I thought the exact same thing about Resistance, Carl. Grants advantage as a reaction. I'm just not sure if that puts it out of range of a cantrip/orison as an At-Will.



Possibly.  But when you have fighter's parrying at-will and Rogue Artful Dodger's imposing disadvantage on attacks at-will I don't think it's a problem.   With the clarification that you must be adjacent (it is a touch spell) I think it should be OK.


Carl
I thought about making the spell a reaction, but that would only work if you are still restrictedto 2 cantrips, as if you had many, which is something i'd like to see, you'd still Lance of Faith with your action and just save your reaction for resistance or whatevs.

I Kinda Agree with getting away from measly bonuses, if you consider that anyone can take the Dodge action to get +4 AC and Dex Saves, the value of the action should be something across that line.

Resistance could give more than +1 without being over powered, the actual number would need to be looked at more in depth.


How it is important to distinguish between Combat intended cantrips and the ones who are not, having to spend an action is HUGE in a combat situation, outside of combat it's pretty much trivial so if you take the current iteration of Guidance for example.

If you have that cantrip, your party basically gets +1 on most skill rolls done calmly outside of combat. Making that spell much better could have game breaking effects.

I agree with you on shaping light.

What do you think about letting Clerics have 1+Wis known Cantrips besides the one specifically granted by your deity?


Could someone explain the reason why my Cleric knows every spell available to Clerics in the game except the level 0 ones? It seems a little odd that the only knowledge my god chooses to keep secret is the most trivial.


clerics dont actually KNOW any spells except for 0 levels.

their preparation involves asking their diety for the power to cast certain spells that day.\
the 0 levels are just like cantrips for wizards, so basic and using minimal energy, it doesnt drain naything from the user
Could someone explain the reason why my Cleric knows every spell available to Clerics in the game except the level 0 ones? It seems a little odd that the only knowledge my god chooses to keep secret is the most trivial.

I can invent a reason for that.

A Cleric learns cantrips as the foundation of Channel Divinity, this is why starting cantrips are dictated by the Diety of the Cleric. The exact awakening that an individual needs to achieve in order to become a conduit for Divine Power is the reason why clergy of the same Diety have different Cantrips.

Clerical cantrips are not spells, they are magical effects created by manipulating the power of Faith.
Seems like your main complaint boils down to not being able to know many cantrips. I'd have to agree.

The best solution IMO is to bring back the spells/day version of zero level spells used back in the 10/29 and 11/13 packets, while still retaining this version's very limited number of spells clerics get to cast at-will, an unlimited number of times per day, based on their deity.

 
Cure minor wounds is a no-brainer because having a player drop negative and being out of spells really really sucks, and it will happen.

Lance of Faith is the only other one because players are not really used to Words of Power yet. Most players made their cleric before Words of Power were a thing so they didn't make a character who was good with weapons unless they used the dwarf from the packet. Without a high dex or strength, Lance of Faith is not merely a good choice, it is necessary.

I think once players have a chance to explore the system and make new characters, a lot more will make sure their cleric has compotent weapon attacks. That would make Lance of Faith less important and free up the other slot for something more interesting.

I do agree, though, that resistance is a horrible spell. A ranged Word of Power would be a smart move. 
As much as I like rolling 2d6 lance of faith, its too powerful and not appropriate.
Wizards closest can trip does 1d10 and 2d6 is pretty much like here is a free great weapon that doesn't weight anything... at level one.
As much as I like rolling 2d6 lance of faith, its too powerful and not appropriate.
Wizards closest can trip does 1d10 and 2d6 is pretty much like here is a free great weapon that doesn't weight anything... at level one.


But having 1d6 would mean you cannot make a cleric that doesn't use a weapon. The other option is making it do 1d6 but if you are in x domain that gains Lance of Faith it does 2d6. This would be because if it doesn't gain a weapon or armor prof then it is proficient with that specific spell and would channel more of their deity's power through it.
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
As much as I like rolling 2d6 lance of faith, its too powerful and not appropriate.
Wizards closest can trip does 1d10 and 2d6 is pretty much like here is a free great weapon that doesn't weight anything... at level one.


2d6 damage is too much? Factoring in stat mods it is less damage than a nonmagical quarterstaff and on par with a sling.
As much as I like rolling 2d6 lance of faith, its too powerful and not appropriate.
Wizards closest can trip does 1d10 and 2d6 is pretty much like here is a free great weapon that doesn't weight anything... at level one.


2d6 damage is too much? Factoring in stat mods it is less damage than a nonmagical quarterstaff and on par with a sling.



Yup 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

My bad, what about starting at d6 and scaling the cantrip at levels?
My bad, what about starting at d6 and scaling the cantrip at levels?


It does have a progression. The cantrip goes up at level 7 and again at level 10. The problem I have with going to a d6 is that the cleric cannot do anything effectively at lower levels that doesn't involve a weapon. However, in PF we changed cantrips from a d4 to a d6+mod damage. So for a cleric it would be wisdom which for a non-weapon cleric then it would be fine. Then add d6s to it at levels 7-10. Because honestly a weapon-wielding cleric will be wanting to do damage mostly from cutting. This makes wisdom more useful for some cleric builds as well. 
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
Maybe wisdom should govern clerics melee, like they are divinely powering up the sword? Idk this game is cray. Its better the simplier it is, yet they keep trying to add too much especially at the starting levels.
I agree that Resistance should grant advantage on saving throws, but unfortunately Guidance granting advantage would be too powerful out of combat. (Imagine granting advantage on every search check, lockpicking, diplomacy check...) 
I agree that Resistance should grant advantage on saving throws, but unfortunately Guidance granting advantage would be too powerful out of combat. (Imagine granting advantage on every search check, lockpicking, diplomacy check...) 


They should both be words of power. It would make them better in combat without becoming any better out of combat.
I think Guidance and Resistance granting advantage would be fine, so long as they only apply to a single round action.  Search, pick lock, diplomacy all take multiple rounds, even minutes, but a single jump, spot or listen check to glimpse/detect something, int check to remember something, con check to concentrate, cha check to flash a smile, etc would be fine.  Word of power would be good too.  Casting resistance as a reaction would be good too.

I think Lance of Faith should do 1d10 damage like all the other damage cantrips, but have a secondary effect appropriate to clerics.  Maybe the target's concentration is broken unless they make a con save?  Good for caster versus caster battles perhaps.

I also find Cure Minor Wounds overpowered.  I think it should either
a) only cure 3 hp at a casting (to a maximum of 3 hp total, and stabilising anyone below zero but taking them from -x to 3-x hit points, or
b) work as is, but if the recipient were Unconscious previously, leave them Stunned for one round, and Prone for the following round.

My 5c.  Well 15c I guess.
As much as I like rolling 2d6 lance of faith, its too powerful and not appropriate.
Wizards closest can trip does 1d10 and 2d6 is pretty much like here is a free great weapon that doesn't weight anything... at level one.



Remember that some of the wizard cantrips, while doing less damage also have an effect rider- shocking grasp effectivley negates OAs for a turn, ray of frost slows, chill touch prevents enemy healing.
A concern I have right now is that there should be a cantrip that is more thematically appropriate for clerics that don't follow the sun god, or the healer god, that estimates an at-will bread and butter spell like Lance of Faith.

For deities like the Stormcaller, the Trickster and the Reaper, Lance of Faith doesn't seem to be really appropriate to take.

In a way I'd like to see a Curse cantrip, or some form of malediction to fill this niche. I have a hundred ideas of course, but I would want the cantrip to be balanced and appropriate.
I'm just looking forward to MORE cantrips, as the five we have cover some very narrow territory.  THere's all sorts of deity concepts that fall outside of CMW/LoF/Resistance.  Like a crafter deity, who might give you Mend.  Or a knowledge deity who might give you Read Magic or Comprehend Languages or something.  Or a divination deity who might give you something not even on this list.  Or a nature deity, or a passion/beauty deity or...

I'm optimistic though that as they add more deity archetypes, the cantrip list will grow accordingly.
Sign In to post comments