Poor Cleric/Specialty combination

Mystical Healer, Human Cleric of the LifeGiver

Healing Initiate grants cure minor wounds and resistance
LifeGiver grants cure minor wounds and one additional cantrip

You can see that this combination gives you the "cure minor wounds" cantrip twice, meaning that the character essentially loses a cantrip. 

I (as the DM) basically made a ruling that instead of healing 1HP per casting, that the cantrip heals 2HP per casting, and can raise characters to 5HP instead of 4HP.

Thoughts? A better way to handle this? 
I just let the PC take another cantrip instead.

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Yeah I remember the first few packets had a lot of redundancy and the rule of thumb has always been take something else.

Vampire Class/Feat in 2013!

I prefer Next because 4E players and CharOpers can't find their ass without a grid and a power called "Find Ass."

Or just don't take Healing Initiate if you're already a Cleric. You can replace any of the feats with something else, you don't have to go by what the specialty says. Specialties are just there to give you a way to quickly pick a related set of feats if you don't feel like (or don't have time for) picking them yourself.
They could possibly put a warning (maybe in the flavor text) that says something like, "Although you are not a cleric, you can provide small amounts of healing for your allies". 

(and yes, I won't quit my day job. Someone else can write it far better than I, but you get the gist.) 
It makes sense for a healer Cleric to take that specialty, though, no player should be punished for doing something perfectly logical. I mean it makes sense for a Barbarian to choose Reaper, but they don't make it overlap with the class features Barbarians get.

Easy fix would be a universal rule that in case of overlap, choose a free one.
It makes sense for a healer Cleric to take that specialty, though, no player should be punished for doing something perfectly logical. I mean it makes sense for a Barbarian to choose Reaper, but they don't make it overlap with the class features Barbarians get.

Easy fix would be a universal rule that in case of overlap, choose a free one.

It doesn't make sense, because it's taking an ability you already have. That is the opposite of making sense. It makes sense for a Cleric to be able to call themselves a "Healer", sure... but they can do that without taking that particular specialty. Or that particular feat; it's called "Healing Initiate for a reason, it's what the initiates take. The untrained, first-year types who aren't already casting Cure Wounds and adventuring out in the world. Once you've taken the Cleric class, you've progressed past "Initiate", and you have no reason to take the feat that says "Initiate" right in the name.
It makes sense for a healer Cleric to take that specialty, though, no player should be punished for doing something perfectly logical. I mean it makes sense for a Barbarian to choose Reaper, but they don't make it overlap with the class features Barbarians get.

Easy fix would be a universal rule that in case of overlap, choose a free one.

It doesn't make sense, because it's taking an ability you already have. That is the opposite of making sense. It makes sense for a Cleric to be able to call themselves a "Healer", sure... but they can do that without taking that particular specialty. Or that particular feat; it's called "Healing Initiate for a reason, it's what the initiates take. The untrained, first-year types who aren't already casting Cure Wounds and adventuring out in the world. Once you've taken the Cleric class, you've progressed past "Initiate", and you have no reason to take the feat that says "Initiate" right in the name.



None of the other specialties are like that. If you're an arcane caster, you're expected to take Hedge Magician or Metamagician to get the most out of your class, but if you're a Cleric focused on healing, you're encouraged to not take the healer specialty? What sense does that make. Ideally no specialty should overlap with any class, so you can choose to specialize in what your class does or branch out into a different strategy, and you aren't penalized either way.
None of the other specialties are like that. If you're an arcane caster, you're expected to take Hedge Magician or Metamagician to get the most out of your class, but if you're a Cleric focused on healing, you're encouraged to not take the healer specialty? What sense does that make. Ideally no specialty should overlap with any class, so you can choose to specialize in what your class does or branch out into a different strategy, and you aren't penalized either way.

If no specialty overlaps with any class, then how will you ever get mini-multiclassing? Why shouldn't my Paladin be able to take Healing Initiate to get Cure Minor Wounds and Resistance? There's nothing wrong with having some feats that overlap a class, since not everybody will be playing that class. Sure, the Cleric might not have any reason to take Healing Initiate... that doesn't mean that nobody will ever have a reason to take it.

People keep thinking of the specialties as locked-in sets of feats. They're not. They're nothing more than simple suggestions of what feats go well together. You don't have to take a specialty, you can just pick your feats as you want. If you're a Cleric and you take Healing Initiate when you don't need it, you don't get to complain just because you chose not to take one of the many, many other feats that could prove useful to a Cleric.

And by the way, it's still pretty damn useful to the large number of Clerics that don't automatically get Cure Minor Wounds and Resistance.
They could easily change it to, "Grants you the Cure Minor Wounds cantrip, or gives the cantrip a +1 bonus if you already have it."

A cleric that wanted to use a cantrip slot could theoretically get a CMW that does +3.  Game breaking?  I don't think so. 
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
My group's cleric has a similar problem. Aaron the halfling would take something different, but it is a requirement for the later feat "Restore life", which looks handy. He thinks Clerics and Paladins should be exempt because they are already healing initiates. He makes a good point, perhaps the requirement should just be "Can cast Cure Minor Wounds". Thoughts?
I like it.
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