For some reason the Player’s Handbook classes have been bugging me more than usual. In this state, there’s little I can do but tinker with things until the feeling goes away on its own. Today I’ve decided to do some work on the Templar Cleric.

The Templar as in, the modified and updated class in the Class Compendium. The plan right now is to build a better Cleric, drawing inspiration from all over 4e.

Here’s where I want to start — by making “Healing Word” an at-will power with some pretty serious modifications:

Word of Healing [Channeling, Speech, Healing]
Minor action * At-will * Close burst 5
Requirement: You must not be deafened.
Target: You or one ally in burst.
Effect: The target can spend a healing surge.
Special: You can use only one channeling power per turn.

First of all I want to make it an at-will power, and I know that might be hard for some people to swallow. Consider this however, a Cleric can already use the power twice per encounter at 1st level, and gains an additional use at 16th level. Three total.

The strength of Healing Word is not in its usage limitation however — its primary strength lies in how it trades in the Action Economy. First Aid (most players don’t bother) requires a Standard action and can only be performed at melee range.

Not only does Healing Word require a Minor action, but it can be performed up to 5 squares away — saving the leader’s Move action and their Standard action. But to make it an at-will power is tricky — at-wills just don’t work the same way.

In addition to dropping scaling from the power — it stays a burst 5 into Paragon and Epic tiers and there’s no extra healing on top — I’ve added the Speech keyword, a keyword I’ve been hoping to unveil for a while now, but needed the right class.

There’s no love for the deafened condition nowadays, but back in Third Edition it imposed a 1-in-5 failure chance for spells with a verbal spell component.

Deafened is back with a vengeance.

Rather than applying a system-wide rule that could cause numerous problems for players of existing classes and blah-de-blah, I’m simply adding a requirement to current and future “Word” powers, and powers that rely on spoken communication.

I’m also collapsing various “Channel Divinity” powers into the Channeling keyword, which will represent not only Divine powers, but certain Spirit powers as well. When I re-release the Incarnate, you can expect to see Channeling powers.

The advantage of consolidating these numerous powers under the Channeling keyword is that it can be used to encourage strategic play when utilizing multiple Divine or Primal powers — powers often more powerful than a typical utility.