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Cohort Advice


Advice


(Okay, I'll try to post again, boards keep eating posts and displaying them as empty...)

Okay, I'm playing a level 12 paladin who is going to be picking up a cohort sometime soon via the leadership feat (finally, yay!). The cohort will be an already existing character in-game. So far that character's definition has only been 1)she's a human, and 2) she's a childhood friend of the paladin. They both will be followers of Sarenrae. The cohort recently died and was brought back by the party the paladin is in.

I already rolled up her ability scores and consulted with the DM (the character is going to be a cleric). Her ability scores are :13,15,12,14,17,and 11. Not bad if I do say so myself. So the advice is on her build itself. I know she won't be involved in much of the adventuring and certainly not in heavy combat, so doing her as a support character sounds like the best path. Problem is, I'm a n00b when it comes to divine casters, for the most part. We have access to Pathfinder Core and most 3.5 stuff (pending the DM's approval, of course). So, any advice will be welcome. (Checked various other cleric things and most of them seem to focus on, "I'm the cleric and I destroy everything because I'm that awesome!!!!", and that does not fit story and flavor or function here).

If any additional flavor/backstory information is needed, I'll be happy to supply it.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is she going to be adventuring with the party, or just following them around, taking care of the entourage of peons and such?

If she's adventuring, how about a bard? I know that's not what you might think at first, but Sarenrae has some bards in her clergy, and with the ability to heal, buff, and generally get along with most people that would be a natural fit. Put her 17 in charisma, her 15 in int (for skills), and her 14 in dex, 13 con, 12 str, and 11 wisdom. She can stroll into towns playing and singing the good word of Sarenrae, while the big bad paladin stands back in his shiny armor and gives a silent reminder that Sarenrae has a strong side too.

If she's not going to be adventuring with the group, but is instead holding down the home office and keeping track of things, go for a cleric build, but boost her int as her second stat, and give her skill points as her favored boosts, basically turn her into a skill monkey/healer that keeps the books. Give her some item crafting feats as well, to make things while you're out adventuring.


mdt wrote:

Is she going to be adventuring with the party, or just following them around, taking care of the entourage of peons and such?

If she's adventuring, how about a bard? I know that's not what you might think at first, but Sarenrae has some bards in her clergy, and with the ability to heal, buff, and generally get along with most people that would be a natural fit. Put her 17 in charisma, her 15 in int (for skills), and her 14 in dex, 13 con, 12 str, and 11 wisdom. She can stroll into towns playing and singing the good word of Sarenrae, while the big bad paladin stands back in his shiny armor and gives a silent reminder that Sarenrae has a strong side too.

If she's not going to be adventuring with the group, but is instead holding down the home office and keeping track of things, go for a cleric build, but boost her int as her second stat, and give her skill points as her favored boosts, basically turn her into a skill monkey/healer that keeps the books. Give her some item crafting feats as well, to make things while you're out adventuring.

She'll be more of the "hold down the fort" type. I had considered the item creation feats, as well. Would skill focus (diplomacy) and persuasive be worthwhile? With a base diplomacy of 10 from ranks, 3 from it being a class skill, and the +6 and +4 from the feats, that'd be an impressive bonus.

More than likely (and for their best interest) she will train and keep track of the followers, too.

Thanks for the input!


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If she's going to be a 'hold down the fort' girl, then yeah, diplomacy boosts help, always. You might also want to pump her linguistics up, give her a dozen languages or so. If you had the APG, I'd suggest an Oracle and the Cosmopolitan feat instead.

You might want to consider a profession (Administrator) for her as well, or Profession (Teacher), if she's going to be running the base of operations.

Honestly, it's a really good pick for a cohort. I have a game I was just starting (playing in for a change), but now that's going caput since I'm now moving to TX. However, I had planned on taking Leadership at 7th level myself. I was going to get myself a Rogue/Sorcerer wizard (1 Rogue/5 Wizard), and put him in charge of our base of operations myself (the character is a trouble shooter in a giant imperial city, lawful neutral, spell-less urban ranger, he does odd jobs, body guard, guide, etc).


Xavier Dorland wrote:
(Okay, I'll try to post again, boards keep eating posts and displaying them as empty...)

You will soon learn to <ctr>c your posts before you hit the 'post' button. This will save your sanity.

Quote:
I already rolled up her ability scores and consulted with the DM (the character is going to be a cleric). Her ability scores are :13,15,12,14,17,and 11. Not bad if I do say so myself. So the advice is on her build itself. I know she won't be involved in much of the adventuring and certainly not in heavy combat, so doing her as a support character sounds like the best path.

Well, if she's in support roles and not melee, you don't have to worry about saving throws, so you don't need to go super high wisdom. I'd go with this build:

Str12 Dex11 Con13 Int14 Wis15 Cha17. Add the +2 to Wisdom. Use the 4th and 8th level bumps to put Wis to 18 and Cha to 18.

Give her Diplomacy and Sense Motive maxed out. Max Spellcraft if she's going to craft items, and don't neglect Knowledge Religion (though max ranks not required).

With that buff Charisma she'll want to take Selective Channeling and maybe Extra Channel, though Turn Undead is very appropriate to her goddess. After that, item creation feats and skill booster feats.


I would highly recommend looking into the Pathfinder Savant prestige class, if possible. The prestige class is intended for characters that are part of the Pathfinder Society, which could be a viable reason for why she wasn't always around before. Possibly studying the various magic items and artifacts the Society collected over the past decade or so, while learning to craft whatever items she's been tinkering with all these years. I really like this class for cohorts, since it's not primarily a combat focused class that can be used for any caster (Typically wizards, but clerics work fine as well, imo. The only problem is you miss out on channel energy at higher levels, but it's not that big a deal if she's not always with the party).

The prestige class' ability to identify, cast their base class's magic in addition to 'wild card' magic (Esoteric Magic), and counterspell makes them a fairly useful handyman of sorts if needed in combat or healing/support. In regards to crafting, the cohort could be *very* useful in this as well, although at a -2 character level when compared to the rest of the party. This is moot, as they can *always* take 10 when using Knowledge(arcana), Spellcraft, and UMD checks (The former two only when not endangered/in combat, so ideally for crafting) in addition to getting half their class as a bonus to those checks. Plus, being able to use scrolls at her level, swift action identify items, activate magical items using UMD with ridiculous bonuses and spontaneously cast healing (from being a base cleric) or counterspelling would be a nice thing to have on the side board.

Just an example, but in the campaign I played recently, my cohort (half-orc wizard pf savant) rarely accompanied us in our journeys until a large section that popped us in the Plane of Fire (most people should know which PF adventure path this is now :D ). He helped a little in many of our encounters, but was mostly useful in identifying items as we came across them, using analyze dweomer on the few encounters that had a lot of magic involved to find our opponent's weaknesses or at least their trump-cards, and most importantly, after finding an item that cast quench (a 3rd level druid spell that does damage to fire subtypes with NO save, counterspells fire spells and even 'deactivates' fire-based magical weapons/items), decided to take it upon himself to learn the spell for those tricky battles. It got us out of many pickles, to say the least.

Take a look at the link above for all the details for the class and read the Seeker of Secrets book for a bit more content if you want her backstory to be similar to or related to the Society. Since Sarenrae is a good god, there shouldn't be anything really stopping her from being a cleric while taking the more 'scholarly' route that this prestige might somewhat imply. Otherwise, just work with whatever fits best to your campaign, hopefully with some input from your DM. Hopefully your DM allows the content on that site, as it's a great source of nearly *everything* Paizo has published rules-wise, aside from the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Players Guide.


Another note: mdt did add that the cohort could make a useful bard. The prestige class I mentioned works for a bard as well, especially many of their variants. This is of course, if you feel that this is a *ton* better than what you've already decided to do with your DM and works with the plot you've set for her currently (as a cleric).

The Archivist, Detective, and Magician variants all fit if you'd like to go that route, especially the Magician.

They have an arcane bonded item, also have bonus arcane spells (from Bard, Sorcerer, Summoner, Witch or Wizard lists), improved counterspelling, and more bonuses for their knowledge (arcana), spellcraft and UMD checks.

With only 1 rank in UMD and an 18 charisma they'd have a minimum result of 22 at level 10, *without* the Skill focus feat, since they can take 10 regardless of the situation. That basically gives them the ability to use any magic item they want without failure. This same thing goes for spellcraft and knowledge(arcana) checks. If you had 10 ranks in any of these skills, the minimum take 10 would result in 31 or a 39 with skill focus. This is great for those tough craft checks. If you're trying to figure out the properties of something you 'could' even toss a swift identify in and you're looking at a 51-59 potential take 10 spellcraft check. It's overkill, since if you can't ID with a check like that at level 10, it's probably a greater artifact or an illusion, lol.

It looks like they also get wand mastery (use your charisma bonus for DCs instead of wand's DC; the other ability wouldn't be obtainable unless you played to 16th level bard), which would make her the jack of all trades for all magical items - wands, scrolls and anything else she'd ever get her hands on.

Getting Arcane Bond (the bonded item) at 5th level is perfect for the prestige class as well, since they can add magical attributes to the item as if they had the feats required for it. This effectively gives her a 'bonus' craft feat for her own personal use.


Wow, that's a lot of good advice and it's hard to decide from which to go. Those are some good ideas for the cleric build (and close to what I had in mind). Looked closer at the oracle idea, and that could work. But then again, a bard/pathfinder savant could be handy, too. Hmmm... Tough choice. Thanks for the advice so far!


Yeah, no problem. If you have any other questions or comments about what I talked about, just ask. Also be sure to update with what you ended up doing. I'm curious to see what path you took. :)

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