Divine Favor by the numbers.

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DIVINE FAVOR
1st Lvl Evocation (Word of Power)
Effect:
You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls until your concentration is broken, but for no longer than 1 minute. 


Let's consider a +2 str cleric,  hitting a 13 AC training dummy. hitting it 50% of the time with a 1d8 weapon and ignoring criticals for now.

on a single melee attack he would average 3.25 damage accounting for misses, on ten attacks he would deal an average of 32.5 damage.

under the efects of Divine Favor (DF) he would average 4.125 damage and on ten attacks he would deal an averga of 41.25 damage

Remember that since DF is a word of power he doesn't waste a turn casting it.

Now lets say the same cleric casts a Inflict Light Wounds (ILW) spell and that for simplicity's sake it will hit 50% of the time too, that would assume a +1 wis Cleric.

The cast of ILW would deal an average of 10.125 damage, ILW is NOT a word of power so ILW +9 melee attacks would deal 39.375 damage

As you can appreciate, DF is barely better than ILW, but this is only if you actually manage to attack all 10 turns, not counting what would happen if you were unable to reach a target any given round, or if combat ended before 10 rounds, or you were incapacited or lost your concentration.

In this scenario DF becomes better than ILW only at the 8th turn, with a +3 str modifier it goes down to 7th turn.


This makes DF not a very desirable spell in my eyes, and while the flavor of buffing yourself up as a battle cleric seems better than sending a wave of negative energy, the numbers aren't quite there.

Ramping up DF to +2 damage bonus would make it a better option than ILW after the 5th turn, and would provoid 46.75 damage after 10 turns.


To me, having a ten round duration is this spells biggest liabity as buffing its damage increase might become too powerful if you are able to ride out the duration attacking every turn.

If you were to halve the duration of DF, and make it's damage bonus 1d6.

you would have ILW +4 melee for 23.125 damage and DF+5 melee for 27.5 damage, but again you would only see a benefit after the 4th turn.

Maybe we should have to accept that being able to make 10 straight attacks on subsequent turns without losing concentration is an achievement that should be rewarded with better performance.

at 10 rounds duration and +1 attack bonus +1d6 damage, you'll have an average of 55 damage for the ten melee attacks, a 39% improvement over using ILW and 9 melee attacks. You would start to see this improvement after the 4th turn. It would also comparetively make you comparable with a +2 str bonus fighter for the duration of the spell, except for the use of manuevers (dont worry, you have your channel divinity)

making the damage bonus only 1d4, would bring out the damage total to 49.5 and improvement after the 5th turn.


Divine Favor could use a buff though, that's for sure, and for those wondering how hit rate factor in at 90% hit chance, you'll find out that you only feel the benefit at the 6th turn, and after the 10th turn, DF only did 6 more damage.


What do you think should be done with Divine Favor? I really think a 1d6 damage bonus would be a really attractive option while not being game breaking.
Casting Inflict Light Wounds 8 times really eats through your spell slots. Divine Favor has an advantage in being much more economical.
I didn't check the math, but I believe the scenario involves casting ILW on the first round and making normal melee attacks for the remaining nine rounds. vs. Divine Favor (WoP) and 10 DF boosted attacks over ten rounds.

With regard to the test, it is pretty situational. I think it may depend more on character build. For instance, in the current playtest packet, the self-buffing cleric could actually dump his wisdom score if he never intended to cast any spells other than buffing or healing. Instead, the cleric could prioritize strength, dex, & con over wisdom. This could improve damage output/staying power by a small factor over the cleric who has to spec wisdom in order to land those ILWs. Granted, in the given scenario, a training dummy isn't fighting back, but in a situation with an active combatant, improved Con and Dex could make a big difference.

Might want to look at it using test characters using the standard array and see how it plays out when one characteris generally forced to prioritize Wis and the other one isn't. Also, let the training dummy fight back.

ETA: One potential additional advantage of DF over ILW is that ILW is a touch spell whereas DF doesn't specify the type of attack. Staying at range can have its advantages.
Casting Inflict Light Wounds 8 times really eats through your spell slots. Divine Favor has an advantage in being much more economical.



I'm comparing a scenario where a Cleric casts ILW once and then attacks melee 9 times with another scenario where a Cleric casts the DF word of power and attacks on the first turn, and then proceeds to attack in melee 9 more times.



..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />With regard to the test, it is pretty situational. I think it may depend more on character build. For instance, in the current playtest packet, the self-buffing cleric could actually dump his wisdom score if he never intended to cast any spells other than buffing or healing. Instead, the cleric could prioritize strength, dex, & con over wisdom. This could improve damage output/staying power by a small factor over the cleric who has to spec wisdom in order to land those ILWs. Granted, in the given scenario, a training dummy isn't fighting back, but in a situation with an active combatant, improved Con and Dex could make a big difference.

Might want to look at it using test characters using the standard array and see how it plays out when one characteris generally forced to prioritize Wis and the other one isn't. Also, let the training dummy fight back.

ETA: One potential additional advantage of DF over ILW is that ILW is a touch spell whereas DF doesn't specify the type of attack. Staying at range can have its advantages.



The character has that i used for the test has 14 str, I also showed what a 16 str one could do.

I considered a 50% hit chance for ILW, If you consider a 12 wis Cleric, that would give you a 12 DC and that would get 50% chance on an enemy with +2 wisdom saving throw.

For this particular test, you could say im prioritizing Strength over Wisdom.

The ability to stay at range could be a factor to benefit DF, but having opponents fighting back would benefit ILW greatly as your chances of staying up for 10 rounds without taking a break for healing aren't that hot.

If anyone can suggest a decent mock encounter to test this out in a more realistic enviroment, please do so and I'll be happy to recreate the fight.

From what I recall, ILW isn't a save based attack. It's the cleric's magic attack vs. AC. In order to have the same chance of landing the spell as hitting with a weapon, the Cleric's WIS would have to be the same as STR or DEX (14). Edit: You're correct on that point since the cleric has the +1 Spellcasting Bonus at first level, which would provide a bonus to hit. For the sake of the test I'd just use a goblin with 10x the hitpoints but everything else the same. Should last several rounds.

I have a feeling that a STR focused cleric would probably be far better for the use of DF. Using the standard array, a 1st level Human Cleric could pretty easily have an 18 STR and 14 CON or DEX, with everything else relgated to the basement. The 18 STR cleric would do 66.5 over 10 rounds. Granted, the ILW cleric could also have an 18 STR, but if WIS is neglected in favor of strength, the chance of a full damage hit is less likely against higher ACs.

With that said, the current playtest Cleric is probably going to do better overall casting spells given the class-based spellcasting bonus is always higher than the weapon attack bonus.

Edit: I also just noticed that almost all of our "maths" are slightly off. If you need a 10 to hit on a D20, you have a 55% chance of success.
I've run a couple of permutations of this scenario. Two things are sticking out:

1) ILW is pretty powerful due to the nature of the spell. Normal damage on a hit/half on a miss makes it a very nice alpha strike type power, although its DPS benefits less from a higher casting stat (it just changes the percentile chance for full/half damage rather than moving the goalposts, so to speak).

1st Level Cleric/WIS 12 : 10.4625 average damage (55% of 13.5 avg + 45% of 6.75 avg)
1st Level Cleric/WIS 18: 11.475 average damage (70% of 13.5 avg + 30% of 6.75 avg)

It's a very good "alpha strike" if you're in range. It's not really that suprising that it takes a while for DF to catch up when the attack itself is (basically) doing 3xDFs damage potential on a hit and 1.5 on a miss. To be fair, call it 2x on a hit and 1x on a miss.

2) To-Hit/Damage modifiers make a major difference. With the example combat against AC 12, take a cleric specced for STR (18) versus one specced for WIS (18) with a 14 in STR. The first guy is using DF, the second regular attacks.

1st Level Cleric/STR 18: 6.65 average damage (70% of 9.5 avg damage + 30% of 0 damage)
1st Level Cleric/STR 14: 3.575 average damage (55% of 6.5 avg damage + 45% of 0 damage)

Summary: I can only think of a few times where DF is going to be a better option that ILW: If you're at range and don't/can't get closer (and are out of range of Lance of Faith, natch). If you're fighting a bunch of mooks and the potential damage from ILW is overkill. If you're fighting undead or things that love necrotic damage. Maybe at later levels where you have MDD. Otherwise, it takes too long to overcome the damage advantage that ILW provides to make it really meaningful (around round 8 or 9).
I realize that you are trying to look at the raw math, but I rarely fight in dungeons full of target dummies. If you remove the situation, situational spells become far less useful.
Additionally, not all Clerics are built the same (at least, I hope they won't be). A melee Cleric with a high strength will see increased advantage from DF because they are already hitting more often and the increased damage will show up more as a result. They also benefit less from IFLW because they have less of a chance of hitting with it, and possibly wasting the spell slot. DI, on the other hand, will always take effect.
I kind of already did the math on that actually. With an 18 STR and 12 WIS, using ILW then doing regular attacks is a superior option (devoid of any other particulars) for about 8 rounds or so. The effect of ILW is just massive. 3d8 on a succesful hit or 3d8/2 on a miss.

I have run the numbers on a Cleric with 18 STR using DF vs. a Cleric with 14 STR/18WIS using ILW and regular attacks. In that situation, the DF Cleric starts becoming more equitable much more quickly, but when comparing an apple to an apple (two clerics with the same stats), I haven't really found a build where DF is the superior option (other then incredibly long fights and the corner cases mentioned above).
Assuming you are attacking a single target. There are potential situations where you might be mobbed, but ILW would just be overkill on a single monster.
Assuming you are attacking a single target. There are potential situations where you might be mobbed, but ILW would just be overkill on a single monster.



Well yeah, I mentioned that in post 6 ("the corner cases mentioned above"), just didn't want to repeat everything there.
Yeah, I think I missed some of your post. My main point is that I don't understand why DF is even being compared to ILW. They seem to be two very different spells that do very different things, but people seem largely focused on the amount of damage they deal to a single static target dummy. ILW is a lot of burst damage that does decent damage on a miss, and that will often be useful. DF is a buff that doesn't cost an action and increases your damage/attack by a slight amount for a period of time. I know I have fought a lot more packs of kobolds/goblins/orcs so far than individual boss monsters, but YMMV
It's being compared because along with bless, they are the offensive oriented level 1 cleric spells.


Just wondering, at the low levels, what has been the average lenght of your encounters?