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Rogue Eidolon's Guide to Cleric Domains (Optimisation)


Advice


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Hey all, I just finished my guide for Cleric Domains, which is accessible at Google Docs here click me!. I'm going to finish my Fighter guide now, leaving just the domains for Clerics for the moment.

The Exchange

May I? :)


I think you might have overlooked the power of the Death domains' 1st level ability.

It is untyped damage. Not even Bleed damage.

So it stacks with itself.


d20pfsrd.com wrote:
May I? :)

Sure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Disenchanter wrote:

I think you might have overlooked the power of the Death domains' 1st level ability.

It is untyped damage. Not even Bleed damage.

So it stacks with itself.

I did consider the stackage when rating it Red. Unfortunately, it has a final duration before it stops, unlike other bleed damage (in fact, until level 4 it does less damage than the elemental touches and not at range). Even assuming they never try to heal it, it will still only do as much damage to a single target as a Channel Negative Energy (without the phylactery) does to all within the range, and the damage is done slowly over time, whereas in 3.5 and Pathfinder, doing it up front and ending the fight is a bit advantage.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

I think you might have overlooked the power of the Death domains' 1st level ability.

It is untyped damage. Not even Bleed damage.

So it stacks with itself.

I did consider the stackage when rating it Red. Unfortunately, it has a final duration before it stops, unlike other bleed damage (in fact, until level 4 it does less damage than the elemental touches and not at range). Even assuming they never try to heal it, it will still only do as much damage to a single target as a Channel Negative Energy (without the phylactery) does to all within the range, and the damage is done slowly over time, whereas in 3.5 and Pathfinder, doing it up front and ending the fight is a bit advantage.

I get all of that.

But I look at it as the anti-BBEG tactic.

Let us say 8th level.

Round -- Damage
1 -- 1D6
2 -- 2D6
3 -- 3D6
4 -- 4D6
5 -- 3D6
6 -- 2D6
7 -- 1D6

And if the target should try and heal it, that probably provokes an attack of opportunity from allies plus yourself. (And if the Cleric is planning on using this, they have a favorable to hit roll.)

Potentially 16D6 (over 7 rounds) at 8th level is fairly good. Even if it requires 4 melee touch attacks. And, at 8th level, you likely have 2 or 3 uses left over.

Depending on your GM, it could be even better if the constant damage forces Concentration checks (and the target is a spell caster).

I am not suggesting it is the best in the bunch...

But it is far and away better than the Healing Domain first level ability.


Disenchanter wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

I think you might have overlooked the power of the Death domains' 1st level ability.

It is untyped damage. Not even Bleed damage.

So it stacks with itself.

I did consider the stackage when rating it Red. Unfortunately, it has a final duration before it stops, unlike other bleed damage (in fact, until level 4 it does less damage than the elemental touches and not at range). Even assuming they never try to heal it, it will still only do as much damage to a single target as a Channel Negative Energy (without the phylactery) does to all within the range, and the damage is done slowly over time, whereas in 3.5 and Pathfinder, doing it up front and ending the fight is a bit advantage.

I get all of that.

But I look at it as the anti-BBEG tactic.

Let us say 8th level.

Round -- Damage
1 -- 1D6
2 -- 2D6
3 -- 3D6
4 -- 4D6
5 -- 3D6
6 -- 2D6
7 -- 1D6

And if the target should try and heal it, that probably provokes an attack of opportunity from allies plus yourself. (And if the Cleric is planning on using this, they have a favorable to hit roll.)

Potentially 16D6 (over 7 rounds) at 8th level is fairly good. Even if it requires 4 melee touch attacks. And, at 8th level, you likely have 2 or 3 uses left over.

Depending on your GM, it could be even better if the constant damage forces Concentration checks (and the target is a spell caster).

I am not suggesting it is the best in the bunch...

But it is far and away better than the Healing Domain first level ability.

I wish there were more gradations sometimes because I do agree that it's better than some others that I labeled red, but then it would make it really hard to compare; I do like it better than the Healing Domain first level, I rated that red too.

It looks like your example uses the Bleeding Touch on four consecutive rounds against the BBEG. You do 16d6 over 7 rounds, and you only spend 4 actual actions to do it. However, with a Phylactery of Negative Channeling, you can do 18d6 in three rounds with three actions (save for half) to multiple targets. At 8th level you also have the Death Domain's amazing level 8 ability, so you'd be healing yourself too. Bleeding Touch clearly gains gorund against single target BBEGs, but Pathfinder gave us some near-broken abilities for dealing with those sorts (I'd rather use Staggering Touch on any non-spellcaster lone BBEGs for those four rounds, for instance, and definitely I'd rather use Chaos Touch, or a combo with Visions of Madness). I guess I don't see many scenarios where it would be safe for my Cleric to spend actions on that; it's kind of like having a 3rd caster level Scorching Ray wand around. It surely isn't useless, but I consider it a 'bad option' in most cases.

Feel free to disagree with me, of course. As long as I give you some benefit at all for your games and get you thinking (even if that thinking is "I don't agree at all"), then I'm happy. I mean, I have great respect for Treantmonk and his guides, but I don't agree with him on everything either. A lot of it can also be the bias of the games we play in--I tried to remove that bias and analyse things based on what I know from many groups (and so I rated some powers that are very very useful in my campaigns as Orange, for instance), but I'm sure I didn't get anything.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.


Oh, I am not trying to argue you into raising the rating of Bleeding Touch.

Just "bouncing ideas off of you."

You clearly have thought things through, and I am testing my understanding by reading your thoughts.

And yes, Channel Energy could do more damage, with less actions - but only if the Cleric Channels negative energy. And then only if the targets don't save. And then the Cleric is required to take Selective Channeling feat (as opposed to just really, really, should take) when Bleeding Touch is more of a scalpel. A scalpel that can set up yourself and your allies.

As a tactic, if the Bleeding Touch Cleric plans to use it against a single - likely 'last' - foe, they do not have to hold back on spells. Well, at least not as much as other Clerics. They do not have to use Channel Energy in its' place so they do not have to take Negative Energy. (I see most Death Domain Clerics being Neutral myself, and taking the Channeling that best fits the groups playstyle. With Positive being the default in my mind.) They aren't required to take feats to prevent harming their allies.

While we are at it, I think you might have rated the Destruction Domain ability Destructive Aura a little too high.

It is worded to say that "attacks made against targets in this area (including you)" so that means standing next to your allied archers does nothing - except make them fall a little easier. And even anyone attacking you gets the benefit. It is something of a "suicide tactic." I think you might have misunderstood it. Or I did.


Disenchanter wrote:

Oh, I am not trying to argue you into raising the rating of Bleeding Touch.

Just "bouncing ideas off of you."

You clearly have thought things through, and I am testing my understanding by reading your thoughts.

And yes, Channel Energy could do more damage, with less actions - but only if the Cleric Channels negative energy. And then only if the targets don't save. And then the Cleric is required to take Selective Channeling feat (as opposed to just really, really, should take) when Bleeding Touch is more of a scalpel. A scalpel that can set up yourself and your allies.

As a tactic, if the Bleeding Touch Cleric plans to use it against a single - likely 'last' - foe, they do not have to hold back on spells. Well, at least not as much as other Clerics. They do not have to use Channel Energy in its' place so they do not have to take Negative Energy. (I see most Death Domain Clerics being Neutral myself, and taking the Channeling that best fits the groups playstyle. With Positive being the default in my mind.) They aren't required to take feats to prevent harming their allies.

While we are at it, I think you might have rated the Destruction Domain ability Destructive Aura a little too high.

It is worded to say that "attacks made against targets in this area (including you)" so that means standing next to your allied archers does nothing - except make them fall a little easier. And even anyone attacking you gets the benefit. It is something of a "suicide tactic." I think you might have misunderstood it. Or I did.

If I ever make the full Cleric guide, Selective Channeling is going to be a Blue must-have feat for any type. Remember, positive channelers don't have to take a feat to avoid harming their allies, but they do have to take it to avoid healing the enemy if they use it in battle.

You're right about Destructive Aura--I misread it and thought it said attacks made "by" targets in this aura. This makes it even better than I thought in some ways, since you don't even have to choose to stand near the archers or the melee--you just stand near the bad guy, but it also means the enemy is getting the effect, which is just awful. Huh, that's not a blue now. Good catch! That moves the entire Destruction Domain down to orange. I've adjusted it as per the actual power.

As for Bleeding Touch, it depends on what type of Cleric you are. You get two attacks at level 8--if you can deal at least 7 damage with each of them (expected value, after calculating your chance of missing), then that adds up to as much as Bleeding Touch does in its whole time (assuming it automatically hits).


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
As for Bleeding Touch, it depends on what type of Cleric you are. You get two attacks at level 8--if you can deal at least 7 damage with each of them (expected value, after calculating your chance of missing), then that adds up to as much as Bleeding Touch does in its whole time (assuming it automatically hits).

This sold me on your position. I still rate Bleeding Touch higher than you, but I often forget that my personal ranking of tactics differs from the majority of people. I have a story about that from Shadowrun, but this isn't the place.

I also forget how high most people rank Selective Channeling. Mostly from my, some what "weird," personal tactic ranking. But partially because I keep remembering the phrase that has been crammed down my throat: "It is more efficient to heal after battle than during it!" If this phrase is actually true, then Selective Channeling wouldn't be a must have feat.

The rest of your domain guide I pretty much agree with (and I like that there are others that feel that some of the powers are almost insulting). Except the Copycat power is ranked much higher than I would rank it. A single mirror image image that lasts a number of rounds as your level - or it gets hit, and a limited number of times per day? I don't think I would rate it Blue. But I won't dwell on it, since I have corrected my thinking to be more in tune with "most others" for tactics.


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Disenchanter wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
As for Bleeding Touch, it depends on what type of Cleric you are. You get two attacks at level 8--if you can deal at least 7 damage with each of them (expected value, after calculating your chance of missing), then that adds up to as much as Bleeding Touch does in its whole time (assuming it automatically hits).

This sold me on your position. I still rate Bleeding Touch higher than you, but I often forget that my personal ranking of tactics differs from the majority of people. I have a story about that from Shadowrun, but this isn't the place.

I also forget how high most people rank Selective Channeling. Mostly from my, some what "weird," personal tactic ranking. But partially because I keep remembering the phrase that has been crammed down my throat: "It is more efficient to heal after battle than during it!" If this phrase is actually true, then Selective Channeling wouldn't be a must have feat.

The rest of your domain guide I pretty much agree with (and I like that there are others that feel that some of the powers are almost insulting). Except the Copycat power is ranked much higher than I would rank it. A single mirror image image that lasts a number of rounds as your level - or it gets hit, and a limited number of times per day? I don't think I would rate it Blue. But I won't dwell on it, since I have corrected my thinking to be more in tune with "most others" for tactics.

I always like hearing from everyone so I can make sure my advice works for as many games as possible, not just games like mine.

It is definitely more efficient to heal after battle, but sometimes you need it during the fight. For those times, Selective Channeling is a must-have so that you don't heal the bad guys, even if you try your best not to use it.

As for Copycat, it's a Move Action. That's a big deal because you can do your spell or other power (such as Visions of Madness or Chaos Touch if you're Lamasthu) and then use Copycat on the same turn. It would probably be red if it was a standard action for the reasons you've stated.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
As for Copycat, it's a Move Action. That's a big deal because you can do your spell or other power (such as Visions of Madness or Chaos Touch if you're Lamasthu) and then use Copycat on the same turn. It would probably be red if it was a standard action for the reasons you've stated.

And there we go. I missed that it was a move action. That does raise its' usefulness. Okay. I think that puts your guide on par with my thoughts. Any differences are minor - and depending on game.


Pretty much what I thought it was gonna be, Liberation, Luck, Travel, and Trickery are chock full of awesome, while the rest range from situational to utter crap, most being the latter.

I wonder if James and the gang would ever show an accurate numerical representation of Desna's faith being the overwhleming majority for adventuring clerics in Golarion and discuss it in the Pathfinder books, cause that would get a hearty laugh from me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can anybody explain to me why Caydean Cailean, the God of Freedom, does not have the Liberation domain?

Dark Archive

Gambit wrote:
Desna's faith being the overwhleming majority for adventuring clerics in Golarion

She does seem to be the Tymora of Golarion, doesn't she? :)


Regarding the selective channeling: I am the GM for a kingmaker campaign, and were it not for the cleric and her focus on channeling (specifically SELECTIVE channeling), the party would have been wiped at least three times. Remember, it is not just healing everyone, it is healing everyone at RANGE. Meaning she can stay back and not be worried about the huge brutes tearing her apart as well.

magnuskn wrote:
Can anybody explain to me why Caydean Cailean, the God of Freedom, does not have the Liberation domain?

I have wondered this myself. Fits better than any of the non-forced domains. It would be like Shelyn not having Charm, or Sarenrae not having Sun or Healing.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Can anybody explain to me why Caydean Cailean, the God of Freedom, does not have the Liberation domain?

That or Trickery both seem much more likely for him than Strength.

Dark Archive

I had never read the madness domain; good stuff... it is clearly meant to be used that way, otherwise it wouldn't be listed as an attack. Still - 1/2 your cleric level to attacks AND saves is pretty frikkin' sick for a touch attack with no save.

Great guide over all, I think you underestimate the Weather domain a little; though maybe I'm a little prejudice in the sense I've seen it working well for a druid. Eh, I guess there are far better when you're not restricted to the druid list... fair enough.


Thalin wrote:

I had never read the madness domain; good stuff... it is clearly meant to be used that way, otherwise it wouldn't be listed as an attack. Still - 1/2 your cleric level to attacks AND saves is pretty frikkin' sick for a touch attack with no save.

Great guide over all, I think you underestimate the Weather domain a little; though maybe I'm a little prejudice in the sense I've seen it working well for a druid. Eh, I guess there are far better when you're not restricted to the druid list... fair enough.

And it lasts three rounds!

All of the Druid domains are worse than the others overall, but for a Druid, the point is that if you pick the domain, you get another spell slot per day per level that you wouldn't already get, so it can be worth it just for that reason, and in that case you bias on spells (and Weather has reasonable spells). The Cleric only has to find one good spell in each slot that they want between both domains put together.


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magnuskn wrote:
Can anybody explain to me why Caydean Cailean, the God of Freedom, does not have the Liberation domain?

Cause that would encroach upon Desna's monopoly of awesome, and we cant have that now can we... ;-)


Set wrote:
Gambit wrote:
Desna's faith being the overwhleming majority for adventuring clerics in Golarion

She does seem to be the Tymora of Golarion, doesn't she? :)

I was thinking Selune myself


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gambit wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Can anybody explain to me why Caydean Cailean, the God of Freedom, does not have the Liberation domain?
Cause that would encroach upon Desna's monopoly of awesome, and we cant have that now can we... ;-)

Well, I think if I ever get a Cleric in a campaign I run, I'll give Caydean Liberation and take away Strength. I dislike giving one God such a clear advantage, if it is so obvious that another God should have that advantage, too.

Dark Archive

MerrikCale wrote:
Set wrote:
Gambit wrote:
Desna's faith being the overwhleming majority for adventuring clerics in Golarion
She does seem to be the Tymora of Golarion, doesn't she? :)
I was thinking Selune myself

Heh, must be different in different regions. Pretty much every FR Cleric we saw back in those days was of Tymora. Even in 2nd edition, before Domains, it was Tymora's Touch this and Tymora's Touch that.


Coming up with a sample build based on reading this.

Goal: Dwarf Cleric of Desna with an aggro machanic
Role: Backup Melee, Flank Buddy. (buffer, healer caster)

Kay how's this want it good. Most 3.5 allowed, TOB feats ok but not classes, with 2 flaws, no DMM.

Domains: Liberation and Travel

Scores
STR 18 (put boosts to 22)
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 13
Wiz 19 (1 boost to 20)
Cha 6

30ft spd Dwarf, Heavy armour, shield, Flail (+2 Trip)
With awesome Domain mobility powers

1Cleric1 Vanguard Strike (TOB), PA, Combat Exp
2Fighter 1 Wpn Fcs: Flail
3Iron Guard's Glare (TOB- threatened enemies -4 to hit allies)
4
5Improved Trip
6
7 Gtr Trip
8
9Combat Ref (need dex item for extra AOO, or cats grace)
10
11Vexing Flanker
12
13Quicken Spell
14
15Defensive Combat Training
16
17Rolibar's Gambit
18
19Deft Oppurtunist
20Cleric 19

The idea is to prebuff pals then fight as a tripper. Attack buffs from spells,feats etc add to CMB
Flai +2
Gtr Trip +4
Divine Power +6
Vexing Flank or Deft OP +4
If vs huge opponent use Righteous Might first

So with a move and standard attack you trip
If adjacent trip with an attack out of you full attack, iteratives to hit prone enemy. Basically you pin him down with trips and Iron guard's glare encourages the enemy to either move away from you of attack you (-4 to hit your allies), leaving your flanking rogue or fighter to slay...

Workable and effective?


I would like to add, in case of an eventual Cleric Guide, that Quicken Spell-like Ability is extra juicy with certain domain power.

The problem is that the effective level of domain spell-like abilities has not been specified, but you can reasonabily work with 1st level for lvl 1 SPs and 4th for lvl 8 abilities.

Humbly,
Yawar

Dark Archive

Non-specified = non-core; also by default, monster guide feats aren't available for PCs (sadface for Druid and lack of quickened shapechanges). Even if you fiat all of that, when available those almost always use half the caster level as the "spell level"; that's just from the DC math.

On that dwarves' stats... That's a 33 point build. We can argue about dwarves and Desna worship later (like the LGR world where Fharlehn was worshipped by every cleric except the Microwaves of Pelor).


Yeah, i know it's 33 points, but i rolled.

It's not theoretical, it's for an AP. We'll be playing Crimson Throne

We got a cavalier (order of the shield, TWF swordnboard),
Witch,
Rogue (TH Falcion Half-Orc shatter defences build)
and a Bard.

As always i'm torn what to do with my cleric (i tend to play melee types)


Set wrote:

Heh, must be different in different regions. Pretty much every FR Cleric we saw back in those days was of Tymora. Even in 2nd edition, before Domains, it was Tymora's Touch this and Tymora's Touch that.

That was Ed Greenwood's fault


This guide does not take in to account sub domains but it is the only one I could find. Do any of they change significantly or is there a guide that does take them in to account?

Edit: also thread necromancy


Tark's guide updated RE's for subdomains in the APG, at least. I haven't looked to see if it includes any newer material.

link


Thank you.

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