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Tark's Big Holy Book of Clerical Optimization


Advice

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16 people marked this as a favorite.

So after a few weeks of casual lazy work I've managed to get this to a stage where I feel comfortable actually presenting it.

Link

Note that like any of these guides much of it is opinion so your experiences may vary. My games tend not to include traits so I didn't include those. Additionally not everyone runs games in Golarion so I avoided settin material except in the case of gods.

There's more to add including a run down of spells and what not plus I need to do more editing. It's a work in progress.

At some point I plan on a complete guide to pathfinder necromancy


Nice guide, thanks!

Humbly,
Yawar


Nice guide, the "Bad Touch" build looks particularly interesting. I look forward to seeing its updates!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice guide. May I suggest you talk to the owners of http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ - he's an admin: jreyst@gmail.com to become a Contributor.

May I suggest another build, the "Channel Master".

This build has Charisma as their primary stat.

Abilities: CHA>CON>DEX>INT>STR>WIS

Its an off-shoot of the Support build, but they focus primarily on healing during combat using their Channel Ability.

Getting Selected Channeling is a must at first level. Extra Turning is also a boon to get early thus why being Human is best.

Getting a Rod of Metamagic, Reach and a Phylactery of Positive Channeling should be one of your highest priorities.

Since you have a high Charisma you might as well invest skills allowing you to be the Face of the party.

You do not focus on any spell that requires a save or an SR check.


harmor wrote:

Nice guide. May I suggest you talk to the owners of http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ - he's an admin: jreyst@gmail.com to become a Contributor.

May I suggest another build, the "Channel Master".

This build has Charisma as their primary stat.

Abilities: CHA>CON>DEX>INT>STR>WIS

Its an off-shoot of the Support build, but they focus primarily on healing during combat using their Channel Ability.

Getting Selected Channeling is a must at first level. Extra Turning is also a boon to get early thus why being Human is best.

Getting a Rod of Metamagic, Reach and a Phylactery of Positive Channeling should be one of your highest priorities.

Since you have a high Charisma you might as well invest skills allowing you to be the Face of the party.

You do not focus on any spell that requires a save or an SR check.

I've already sent out an email though I'll keep this one in mind if I don't get a response thanks.

As to your build...three things.

First, healing from an optimization perspective is generally a waste of an action. Now in many cases where the fighter is about to eat it or the wizard get's a scratch and is bleeding out on the pavement healing might just save you. In which case you really don't need to go nuts with it.

Second, you're dumping Wis. This is a big big no no especially since it'll kill some of your better skills (Heal, Sense Motive) while simultaneously gimping your spell casting. Remember you have to have a minimum amount of your primary spell casting ability (10+the level of the spell to be cast) in order to cast said spells. Now, were this an oracle build things would be different. I'd say "looks good" and move on.

Thirdly, you can be a face in any of the other builds presented very easily with some minor rearranging. One of the reasons I've fallen in love with the Heroism domain is that its bonuses stack with one another and pertain to skill checks as well as anything else.

Now what you can do is get away with a pure casting/channeling build that's pacifistic and never draws a weapon against another. So you have a concept/build package already in one. In which case you'd dump Strength or Dexterity. Strength is an option but be wary of your loads since you don't want to be casting ant haul just to wear armor. Dex is another possibility but I'm wary of it being a negative as well since one good hard reflex save would be all it takes to end the cleric.


You did a good job. The only thing I noticed in my quick read over was that manyshot was not blue. Manyshot provides more damage than any other archery feat. It is the feat that gives archers the most damage compared to other builds.


Pathfinder Cleric Handbook

Oracle 20


Darvon wrote:

Pathfinder Cleric Handbook

Oracle 20

How is the oracle better except at combat?

PS:In order not to derail this thread you can answer in the other one.


Looks like you missed a couple of sub domains... Cloud, Daemon...

Also, I think your promoting dumping charisma a bit too much, as only getting 3 channels a day if you don't have a charisma modifier is selling yourself short on your best mass healing ability.


daemonprince wrote:

Looks like you missed a couple of sub domains... Cloud, Daemon...

Also, I think your promoting dumping charisma a bit too much, as only getting 3 channels a day if you don't have a charisma modifier is selling yourself short on your best mass healing ability.

Ah I did.

The reason I promote so much so because clerics need so much. The only build I'd recommend taking charisma higher would be the support cleric and only if you never plan on getting into melee ever. hey have lots of ways to get around a lowish charisma for skills but no good ways to get outside not having enough skill points, carrying capacity, and what not.

After level 5 the base channel levels off and starts to be significantly worse than spells you can cast spontaneously. In the early levels it works great since it's the only mass heal readily available and it can heal full or almost full hit points.

With invested feats this doesn't get any better. There's no "empowered channeling" nor any feat that encourages having more channels. There's lots of ways to encourage its use offensively, but little else besides that.

Lastly some groups just won't need it very often. It's inefficient for individual healing and if that individual is the party fighter or barbarian than you'll probably want more (or less!) healing than your channel energy.

When you start to factor in secondary spellcasters in the group, minor healing abilities and what not your channel energy is either "too much" or "not enough".

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

You mention taking Gozreh for the feather and growth sub-domains in your battle cleric advice. However, Gozreh doesn't get access to the feather sub-domain, just the regular animal domain.

Erastil, however, gets access to both. On top of that his favored weapon is a longbow so if you play a half-orc, half-elf with the weapon alternate feature, or anyone spending a feat for a weapon proficiency better than a trident you will still have occasional use for the free granted longbow proficiency.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
First, healing from an optimization perspective is generally a waste of an action. Now in many cases where the fighter is about to eat it or the wizard get's a scratch and is bleeding out on the pavement healing might just save you. In which case you really don't need to go nuts with it.

The best damage is the damage never taken. By focusing on protection and enhancement spells you help your party avoid taking damage all together.

So with a high Charisma build you rely on your Channeling ability to heal instead of using your daily allotment of spells.

You can also help with the fight by casting Summoning spells.

TarkXT wrote:
Second, you're dumping Wis. This is a big big no no especially since it'll kill some of your better skills (Heal, Sense Motive) while simultaneously gimping your spell casting. Remember you have to have a minimum amount of your primary spell casting ability (10+the level of the spell to be cast) in order to cast said spells. Now, were this an oracle build things would be different. I'd say "looks good" and move on.

There are plenty of Domains/Sub-domains that don't use your Wisdom modifier to determine uses per day. Personally I prefer passive bonuses than use per day skills. You don't need to focus on offensive spells, which require a high wisdom, you'll already be high on the list of targets of any meany.

Heal and Sense Motive are already class skills. You can subplement both with spells. I would much rather have high Charisma skills like Diplomacy and Bluff. Oh and with a high Charisma you also can take Use Magical Device - although with low skill points it'll probably be 8th or 9th level before have enough skill points so you can get a +10 so you can't fail on Sorcerer/Wizard wands).

TarkXT wrote:


Thirdly, you can be a face in any of the other builds presented very easily with some minor rearranging. One of the reasons I've fallen in love with the Heroism domain is that its bonuses stack with one another and pertain to...

Don't get me wrong, having a low wisdom you sure are loosing alot, but you should try out this Channel Master build and see how you like it - I've been very successful with this build for the past year and a half. None have died on my watch except when I fail my save on a Confusion/Dominate spell (which happens because I have a lower Wisdom :-P score).

I played a dwarven cleric with 8 Charisma and 22 Wisdom to level 12 before - and I wish I had a higher Charisma. I've since played two clerics with high Charisma and I like it.

Look forward to your updates to your guide.


Demoyn wrote:

You mention taking Gozreh for the feather and growth sub-domains in your battle cleric advice. However, Gozreh doesn't get access to the feather sub-domain, just the regular animal domain.

Erastil, however, gets access to both. On top of that his favored weapon is a longbow so if you play a half-orc, half-elf with the weapon alternate feature, or anyone spending a feat for a weapon proficiency better than a trident you will still have occasional use for the free granted longbow proficiency.

Thanks for catching that. Fixed.

Andoran

Liberation got omitted - it's mentioned under Freedom as its parent domain, but doesn't get its own entry.
No mention of the Guided weapon power? Has saved me from having to dump CHA in favor of STR on many occasions, particularly for clerics of Sarenrae (Dervish Dance can help them in this respect as well, but costs a feat).


Areteas wrote:

Liberation got omitted - it's mentioned under Freedom as its parent domain, but doesn't get its own entry.

No mention of the Guided weapon power? Has saved me from having to dump CHA in favor of STR on many occasions, particularly for clerics of Sarenrae (Dervish Dance can help them in this respect as well, but costs a feat).

You'll note that I did not include any actual Domains in the guide because Rogue Eidolon already did a good one to which I linked at the start of the subdomain section.

As to the weapon, I can make a mention of it should I make a more detailed equipment section.

As is though I tend to work under the assumption that people start at level 1 and go through 20. So I don't like to use things like that to make up for weaknesses at lvl 1 that you won't get till lvl 6-7. It also sounds like a really good "screw me" button. Lord Sunder will enjoy watching you weep tears of sorrow as he shatters your pathetic crutch of a blade.


Updated with 0-2nd level spells out of the core and apg.


I have to protest the defense rating of red, the inclusion of Shield and Barkskin gives you solid protection that is valuable at all levels and not normally available to clerics and the ability is simply not very powerful not useless like a real red domain power is.

I just noticed how cool the feather sub-domain was and am playing around with a super perception build for a Inquisitor and I am glad you noticed as well.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having a high perception is great when playing a dwarf underground.

Andoran

thomas nelson wrote:
I have to protest the defense rating of red, the inclusion of Shield and Barkskin gives you solid protection that is valuable at all levels and not normally available to clerics and the ability is simply not very powerful not useless like a real red domain power is.

I've got to agree. the normal Protection power is useless if the party's got Cloaks of Resistance, and hurts your own Saves. The Defense power is a flat bonus that costs you nothing. It not improving is sad, but being able to use a Wand of Shield with your Greatsword makes up for a lot.


thomas nelson wrote:

I have to protest the defense rating of red, the inclusion of Shield and Barkskin gives you solid protection that is valuable at all levels and not normally available to clerics and the ability is simply not very powerful not useless like a real red domain power is.

I just noticed how cool the feather sub-domain was and am playing around with a super perception build for a Inquisitor and I am glad you noticed as well.

The thing is you've got so much better things to be casting than ways to give yourself higher AC. Just because you stole some other classes reasonable buffs doesn't make it good for you. At the level you're casting shield you have protection from evil which covers so many more bases. Bark skin is okay but again you have shield of faith at that level which provides an even better kind of bonus to you.

Ultimately both domains are bad.

As to the feather domain it is indeed very good.


TarkXT wrote:
thomas nelson wrote:

I have to protest the defense rating of red, the inclusion of Shield and Barkskin gives you solid protection that is valuable at all levels and not normally available to clerics and the ability is simply not very powerful not useless like a real red domain power is.

I just noticed how cool the feather sub-domain was and am playing around with a super perception build for a Inquisitor and I am glad you noticed as well.

The thing is you've got so much better things to be casting than ways to give yourself higher AC. Just because you stole some other classes reasonable buffs doesn't make it good for you. At the level you're casting shield you have protection from evil which covers so many more bases. Bark skin is okay but again you have shield of faith at that level which provides an even better kind of bonus to you.

Ultimately both domains are bad.

As to the feather domain it is indeed very good.

Except with the sub domain you can cast Shield and and Shield of Faith or Prot. Evil and Barkskin and have them all stack, normally you can only cast Shield of faith, at third level you are looking at a +8 to your AC on top of your body armor and dexterity. As for the Class ability, it is not something that can be replaced by having a 99 cent item like bramble hands and your entire party and all of the people you are protecting can benefit from it, its duration is its real flaw but it is hardly a red subdomain.

The real cream is the spells you get are almost exclusively wizard and druid spells that layer nicely with your cleric spells.


Actually its real flaw is that you can do it once per day. Only once. And it never gets better. Never.

Plus, you're blowing 3 spells to get that +8 ac. Speaking as your flanking buddy, Mr. Rogue, I'm incredibly upset that you spent the first three rounds not casting Bless and divine favor/magic weapon and getting over here to help me since Mr. Fighter just took the suggestion about holding me down while the goblins turn my internal organs into a surrealist painting.

All in all I think its best to agree to disagree. At best even in a better world it would never rate higher then orange. We have better domains to take gentlemen.


TarkXT wrote:

Actually its real flaw is that you can do it once per day. Only once. And it never gets better. Never.

Plus, you're blowing 3 spells to get that +8 ac. Speaking as your flanking buddy, Mr. Rogue, I'm incredibly upset that you spent the first three rounds not casting Bless and divine favor/magic weapon and getting over here to help me since Mr. Fighter just took the suggestion about holding me down while the goblins turn my internal organs into a surrealist painting.

All in all I think its best to agree to disagree. At best even in a better world it would never rate higher then orange. We have better domains to take gentlemen.

Those two domain spells last 3-30 minutes in my example, if you are casting them in combat instead of beforehand then you deserve the rogue's contempt for not managing your time better, but thats not the domain's fault.


thomas nelson wrote:


Those two domain spells last 3-30 minutes in my example, if you are casting them in combat instead of beforehand then you deserve the rogue's contempt for not managing your time better, but thats not the domain's fault.

In an ideal world you'd be correct. In that same world the fighter would have made his save because I used my time wisely and gave him that resistance bonus he needed. :)

In an even better one I would have taken Travel and not even needed the AC.


TarkXT wrote:
thomas nelson wrote:


Those two domain spells last 3-30 minutes in my example, if you are casting them in combat instead of beforehand then you deserve the rogue's contempt for not managing your time better, but thats not the domain's fault.

In an ideal world you'd be correct. In that same world the fighter would have made his save because I used my time wisely and gave him that resistance bonus he needed. :)

In an even better one I would have taken Travel and not even needed the AC.

and there are a half dozen other ways he could have gotten that resistance bonus, most notably a frigging cantrip all casters get access to.


thomas nelson wrote:


and there are a half dozen other ways he could have gotten that resistance bonus, most notably a frigging cantrip all casters get access to.

Which doesn't scale. It can hit the whole party though.

Listen, both are bad. Just because one's marginally better than the other does not mean you should take it. The gods who get it also happen to get such wonderful domains like Law, Good, Travel, Destruction, Luck etc. So even at orange you have no real incentive to bother.

I don't advocate either but if you feel your glaive wielding cleric absolutely must have bark skin and shield by all means go for it.

Personally I'm just wondering where Mr. Wizard went instead of color spraying those goblins...


@ the OP: I could not find the preferred spell feat? What book is it in?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
thomas nelson wrote:

I have to protest the defense rating of red, the inclusion of Shield and Barkskin gives you solid protection that is valuable at all levels and not normally available to clerics and the ability is simply not very powerful not useless like a real red domain power is.

If this were divided up more like Treanmonk's druid domain guide you'd probably see the defense in red, the shield spell in blue, and the barkskin spell in green. Barkskin doesn't stack with one of the "big six" items (amulet of natural armor) so it's good at low levels but useless at high levels.

The shield spell is always "good", but spending the action to cast it is not. After you get high enough level on a battle cleric to get the more offensive spells like divine power and righteous might the shield spell just doesn't rate as a high enough priority to cast anymore. You can only buff so much before combat ends for better or worse. Personally, I typically only cast one buff spell on a battle cleric per fight because our fights usually last somewhere around three rounds total (of course my group is filled with optimizers).

On the other hand, the argument against those spells was that shield of faith and protection from evil were better. This is simply not true. Shield of faith and protection from evil's armor component are both deflection bonuses which not only fail to stack with each other but also fail to stack with a different "big six" item (ring of protection). On top of that, protection from evil's save bonus is resistance, just like the third "big six" item cloak of resistance. As such I vehemently disagree with the rating given to the agathion domain based on the situational usefulness of the only two real abilities you'd get from it: mind control prevention and summoned creature protection.


wraithstrike wrote:
@ the OP: I could not find the preferred spell feat? What book is it in?

APG page 154 on the list. A full description is on page 167.

As to the agathion domain. Some of this written many moons ago and giving it a second look it can be brought down to green.

However I don't think because "I can buy a magic item of it" is a reason for it to be considered bad. They're common magic items true enough. But many people aren't running out and grabbing cloaks of resistance or amulets of natural armor. Some are grabbing amulet's of mighty fists and cape's of the montebanks. And even then the bonuses in question might only be a +1. At higher levels of course the argument is moot since everyone's glowing like a christmas tree come the higher levels. So it went down because in part I agree.

Also I think you can't ignore the other benefits of the spell affect it lays on you. Particularly going into levels where outsiders and Dominate gets much more prevalent. It's worth noting that the armor and saving throw bonus it gives are both separate components of this effect.

And it might be worth to go back and do as you suggested when I have things mostly complete on the other ends. The guide itself is massive and doing as you suggested would add many more pages. Sooner or later I'm going to have to split the guide up into several parts for ease of reference.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sorry, been swamped with some other things on the site and have at least 5 more misc. new things hitting soon... also, on the road so won't be able to do anything involved till I get to the hotel.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:


However I don't think because "I can buy a magic item of it" is a reason for it to be considered bad.

I wouldn't think that either. When I'm looking at optimization guides, though, I'm expecting to be optimized. I just can't imagine taking all that time to study and piece together the perfectly optimized character just to choose a cloak of the mountebank over one of the staple optimization items like cloak of resistance, which is why I mentioned it.

There are some instances where an optimized character would take an amulet of mighty fists over an amulet of natural armor, though, so I rate barskin as slightly higher than most (plus the duration is more favorable). Then again, any character that chose an amulet of mighty fists isn't a character my clerics would be too concerned about letting die anyway (read: monks). ;)


Demoyn wrote:
TarkXT wrote:


However I don't think because "I can buy a magic item of it" is a reason for it to be considered bad.

I wouldn't think that either. When I'm looking at optimization guides, though, I'm expecting to be optimized. I just can't imagine taking all that time to study and piece together the perfectly optimized character just to choose a cloak of the mountebank over one of the staple optimization items like cloak of resistance, which is why I mentioned it.

There are some instances where an optimized character would take an amulet of mighty fists over an amulet of natural armor, though, so I rate barskin as slightly higher than most (plus the duration is more favorable). Then again, any character that chose an amulet of mighty fists isn't a character my clerics would be too concerned about letting die anyway (read: monks). ;)

Ah, but you're a support character, mind. You might be optimized but Mr. Montebank and his Robe of Bones is not. It's that kind of consideration one has to make. In a fully optimized group with fully optimized characters the support cleric will spend most of his time not doing anything. But, because the world is not optimized, we optimize our support cleric.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
But, because the world is not optimized, we optimize our support cleric.

That's a valid point, but I'm still of the opinion that I should just let them die. :)

I'm also of the opinion that you shouldn't rate abilities based around the lowest common denominator, but instead around an average party. Obviously, though, it's your guide and simply one person's opinion. As with ANY guide a user should use critical thinking skills while applying advice to their individual situations. As such it's really not a huge deal either way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What of your archetypes would you say are most compatible with one another if you had sufficient stats?


Choant wrote:
What of your archetypes would you say are most compatible with one another if you had sufficient stats?

If you mean like working in a group I'd say all of them mechanically speaking. You'd be amazed how well divine spellcasters can work together when they have completely different focuses. Realistically speaking your average good aligned support cleric would try to strangle the lord of udneath to death. That's if he isnt torn to pieces by the lord of undeath's Fast Zombie Chuul first.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
Choant wrote:
What of your archetypes would you say are most compatible with one another if you had sufficient stats?
If you mean like working in a group I'd say all of them mechanically speaking. You'd be amazed how well divine spellcasters can work together when they have completely different focuses. Realistically speaking your average good aligned support cleric would try to strangle the lord of udneath to death. That's if he isnt torn to pieces by the lord of undeath's Fast Zombie Chuul first.

Actually I meant a bad touch/undead lord or bad touch/combat as in one character not a group, however the group idea is interesting...


Ah. Well the lord of undeath combines well enough with anything if you're willing to make sacrifices in one area or another. My Ideal Lord of Undeath is a Charismatic man wiht a legion of of minions both living and dead at his beck and call. IT's easy to change some stats around adn make him a brutal warlord or a cunning archer.

As a bad touch cleric i cant say for certain. His minions certainly can make use of the debuffs he tosses out but you'll be spending so many spell slots to hurt people with you will be unlikely to have spare ones left to make your army with.

Shadow Lodge

Really good read Tark, thx fo the hard work of putting this together. As a construtive criticism i would like to offer two opinions on the manuscript:

As a general rule i would like to see a more detailed tatics break down , on offence, defence and support, for each of the sugested builds and which class abilitys work best for each one of them.

Also i feel like there should be a chapter on domains/subdomains, even if its a copy and paste from rogue eidolon post with his credits on. A link is not enoth, it should all be in the same document.

But overall great work, i really enjoyed reading it.

-Merck the bugbear


Fate domain: As you are a crature in your line of sight (as are your allies), the power this subdomain grants is far more flexible than the original. Also Borrow Fortune spell is a "luck point" you would otherwise miss (and it comes at 5th level), although the Protection From Energy is also very nice (and often useful) spell. Anyway as a whole I would still rate this subdomain blue and even compared to the original I definately wouldn't give it red.


@ Merck: I do plan on doing a number of things to this to not only get more details into it but also make it easier to reference.

@Riku: On second review I agree actualy. Still though you sacrifice more and earlier uses of one ability for an upgraded bit of luck. So no blue for you.


TarkXT wrote:

@ Merck: I do plan on doing a number of things to this to not only get more details into it but also make it easier to reference.

@Riku: On second review I agree actualy. Still though you sacrifice more and earlier uses of one ability for an upgraded bit of luck. So no blue for you.

Just a hypothetical Tark, for an undead heavy campaign such as the Carrion Crown AP, what build would you recommend? I could see obvious benefits to a Lord of Undeath, but many drawbacks as well (disabling haunts without positive energy, stigma et al). I've been toying with an idea for a hybrid battle/undead slayer cleric with heroism and sun domains, but the statistical needs of such a build seem a bit daunting.


Well it never pays to get superfocused on a single aspect of the setting even in a "blank" heavy game.

That being said clerics are great at smashing the undead without ever having to build themselves toward it. There are plenty of spells targeted purely towards murdering the dead and even becoming completely invisible to them in the list. Sun gives you searing light which is a pretty nasty undead zapper. Spiritual weapon bashes incorporeal heads as easily as solid ones and ghostbane dirge targets what will likely be there weakest save in many cases and allows your whole group to smashy-smashy the dead with impunity.

So you can still be a battle cleric and own the undead. Charisma just powers your energy channeling which is an unreliable undead zapper (it targets there biggest save and forces you to get in the thick of them to get the most out of it. Ew.) On top of that th rest of your whiny party will be going "Oh god mr. shiny why on earth did you waste those delicious heals on the dead! Look! My finger is scratches! *faint*"

My thinking is just to build yourself up as a battle cleric with a bit of extra wisdom so your offensive undead annihilators don't get saved against.

Alternatively just ignore having to make attack rolls and build yourself chock full of wisdom and charisma and be a pure caster with lots of channel energies. Play the mild mannered support cleric until an undead shows up wherein you explode in righteous fury on it.


Right so I'm planning on one major update before I set this aside and work on other things. I'll comeback to it, probably after Ultimate Magic is released adn I get a copy.

For now however I'm giving people an oppurtunity to contribute builds to the build section. Clerics can be a highly varied lot so having multiple voices express how they would go about building one of the common or uncommon archetypes is a good thing. However I'd like them to be submitted a certain way to make it easier on myself. Depending on the number of people actually contributing I'll take some but not all the builds. If you want yours to be considered stick close to my guidelines and you'll do fine. :)

Simple Stuff.

1. The build has to be a legal build. But you knew that already right?

2. The build has to be feasible from levels one all the way to twenty. If the guy can't survive level one he has no business being level twenty.

3. Stick to the core (Core+APG) Not everyone plays in golaria and while i love the AP's even I run a homebrew setting, so no setting stuff unless it's absolutely necessary for the success of the build.

4. I'm my own worst editor, which is scary coming out of a freelance writer. So do you and me a favor and check your spellign.

Alright below is a template to follow. This will be what I put in the guide proper so all i have to do is copy paste it.

Name: (Something catchy and short like "Iomedae's Crusader" or "Rovagug's Hand")

Contributed By: (Your name here)

Category: (The categories are Support, Battle, Archer, Lord of Undeath, Bad Touch, and Other. Refer to the guide to best figure out what archetype your build follows. If it doesn't follow any of these than put Other here.)

Description: (Give a brief description on what the build is and what it does. You may include a picture or a link to a picture here if you like and it will be added.)

Race: (duh)

Ability Scores: (Use 20 point buy and show all the choices for scores from levels and race from 1-20. You can use higher or lower if you wish to illustrate a point but 20 point buy must be show)

God: (If you worship an ideal rather than a god briefly describe it here)

Domains: (Pick two)

Alignment: (More than any other class is a cleric defined by their alignment.)

Traits: (I don't play many games that allow them and some gm's won't. So if you're build functions without the need of traits leave this blank. IF you absolutely need to for a proficiency or skill then put it here. Please no campaign traits.)

Feats: (The meat and bones of the build. List them in order that they should be taken, note any bonus feats you get.)

Equipment: (What should I be wearing? Swinging? Utilizing to enhance myself? Be as vague or as detailed as you wish.)

Spells: (List notable spells for your build. Try to avoid the blindingly obvious like Divine Power for a battle cleric. Rather stick to spells that synergize well with the build and explain why.)

Tactics: (Now you explain your work. Why did you build the way you did? What's the goal of the character? How should he perform in combat compared to his peers? etc. etc. Be detailed.)

Below is an example of this at work so you know what it should look like.

example:

Name: "Iomedae's Zealot"
Contributed by: Tark
Category: Battle
Description: A power attacking master of combat maneuvers.

*piclink*

Race: Half Orc

Scores:
Str: 14+2+1
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 15+1+1+1+1
Cha: 10

God: Iomedae
Domains: Heroism, Tactics
Alignment: LG

Traits: None.

Feats:
1. Extra Channeling/Toughness/Improved Initiative/Combat Casting (player's choice)
3. Weapon Focus (Falchion)
5. Power Attack
7. Improved Sunder
9. Improved Overrun
11. Furious Focus
13. Quicken Spell
15. Improved Critical
17. Critical Focus
19. Improved Initiative

Equipment: The Zealot needs to be packing the best Keen Falchion he can buy and the best armor he can afford. He'll want a glove of storing to keep metamagic rods in since he'll want to throw down fast buffs that last a good while before wading into the thick of it.

Spells: Anything that boosts his CMB will be necessary since you'll be doing alot of combat maneuvers. Beyond that any of the typical battle cleric stuff applies.

Tactics: The Zealot of Iomedae is tactical versatility personified. In the first five levels he's an average battle cleric. At 5-7 he'll start looking into combat maneuvers. By level eight however he comes into fruition as an incredibly versatile combatant thanks to the 8th level tactics domain power. He'll be able to qualify for a lot of feats, certainly enough to cover any situation that might arise. He can gain access to any of the greater versions of the power attack feats he has and can even grab feats from the power attack or critical focus line. As a battlefield controller he'll do immensely well. An alternate version would switch the Dex and Int scores around with a 1st level combat expertise as the feat. At that point the character can customize themselves to get things like Greater Dirty Trick, Trip, or others.


OK, now read through the whole thing... the other thing that made my eyes hurt was the Tactics. The ability from tactics is usable in every combat (even though only once) giving almost extra (and is stackable with) Improved Initiative to the party member who needs it most (except you). I think the Tactics should be Green on its own right (and especailly when compared to the original). The original is about useless first 3-5 levels (better just throw Guidance). Later you should be able to do something more valuable during the combat. For example at level 10 you use the ability to an archer with 4 attacks, the max effect is 20hps... lame. The initiative thing however continue to raise its value when levels go up I think. (well but Orange to Green isn't major leap... just the comparing the abilities about equal "enraged" me). I would actually take Acid Dart or similar over the original War domain ability, since that is at keast useful at low levels (witch tells how bad I think the ability is).

Generally I agreed with the domain powers. Hmm.. sometimes it though seemed you gave Green when the subdomain was better than the original (like Metal) even if doesn't necessaruly deserve it when compared to other domains. If you like more work, I would suggest that you ask Rogue Eidolon a permission to merge the documents & then preferably rate the subdomains and domains based on their abilities (not as compared to each other)... heh heh lazy man suggesting work for another...

About skills: I would rate the Knowledges Green at max, since many classes get bonuses for those (well at least Bard & Inquisitor) and int is not your thing.

In 3 first build frames (support, battle & archery) I would rate WIS one place higher (or at least would put = instead of >), but I guess you have thought about it, since its usually too hard for cleric to drop WIS (at least reading forums... I can't remember when I last saw Cleric with higher WIS than STR in my table, but that is just how we see Clerics... battle build all the way).


TarkXT wrote:

Well it never pays to get superfocused on a single aspect of the setting even in a "blank" heavy game.

That being said clerics are great at smashing the undead without ever having to build themselves toward it. There are plenty of spells targeted purely towards murdering the dead and even becoming completely invisible to them in the list. Sun gives you searing light which is a pretty nasty undead zapper. Spiritual weapon bashes incorporeal heads as easily as solid ones and ghostbane dirge targets what will likely be there weakest save in many cases and allows your whole group to smashy-smashy the dead with impunity.

So you can still be a battle cleric and own the undead. Charisma just powers your energy channeling which is an unreliable undead zapper (it targets there biggest save and forces you to get in the thick of them to get the most out of it. Ew.) On top of that th rest of your whiny party will be going "Oh god mr. shiny why on earth did you waste those delicious heals on the dead! Look! My finger is scratches! *faint*"

My thinking is just to build yourself up as a battle cleric with a bit of extra wisdom so your offensive undead annihilators don't get saved against.

Alternatively just ignore having to make attack rolls and build yourself chock full of wisdom and charisma and be a pure caster with lots of channel energies. Play the mild mannered support cleric until an undead shows up wherein you explode in righteous fury on it.

Thanks for the input. This actually isn't for me as I will be GM'ing the AP but a long time friend first time player will be joining our group for this campaign and i'm trying to help him come up with a good cleric build for this campaign that won't leave him feeling left out among 4 other 20+ year veterans with optimized characters.

It's a fine line, because I want to give him something versatile and fun to play but not so complicated as to overwhelm him the first time. I'm leaning towards your second suggestion, because a wis/cha caster cleric could be effective in other ways as well. The other 4 all dumped cha so he could take the role of the face of the party, which can be quite crucial in this campaign. I believe that, in conjunction with some of the undead slayer abilities we've already mentioned would be enough to spruce up a support cleric and make it more fun for him to play.


TarkXT wrote:


For now however I'm giving people an oppurtunity to contribute builds to the build section. Clerics can be a highly varied lot so having multiple voices express how they would go about building one of the common or uncommon archetypes is a good thing. However I'd like them to be submitted a certain way to make it easier on myself. Depending on the number of people actually contributing I'll take some but not all the builds. If you want yours to be considered stick close to my guidelines and you'll do fine. :)

Here's a build I came up with:

Lamashtu's Harbinger of Chaos

Name: Dagny

Contributed by: Jon Kines

Category: Bad Touch Cleric

Description: A master of affliction, debuffing, and wreaking havoc on the battlefield.

Race: Human

Ability Scores: (20 point buy)

Strength: 13
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 16
Charisma: 10

God: Lamashtu (note if you play in Golarion, Groetus (CN) offers access to the following domains as well which would allow for a CG version of this build should that be more suitable to party makeup)

Domains: Protean, Madness

Alignment: CN (alignment within one step and allows for choice of energy channeling giving greater flexibility based on party makeup)

Traits: None

Feats:

1 Improved Unarmed Strike, Scribe Scroll
3 Dodge
6 Mobility
9 Spring Attack
12 Reach Spell
15 Bouncing Spell
18 Disruptive Spell (note unlike most other debuff spell feats this one does NOT require the affected spell to do damage, making it a nice anti-caster addition to this build)

Equipment: Headband of Mental Prowess, Belt of Incredible Dexterity, Boots of Striding and Springing, Cloak of Displacement, Heward's Haversack, Gloves of Storing, and Metamagic Rods such as extend, silent, and still would all be beneficial to this build.

Spells: Spell selection should focus on debuffs and save or sucks in addition to cleric staples such as lesser restoration so you aren't neglecting your general duties. The Scribe scroll feat is very helpful for helping cover such duties without cutting too heavily into spell selection.

Tactics: Aura of chaos-->best debuff available for the situation or target in question-->Vision of Madness-->Touch of Chaos (at this point you might want to let the Wizard know now would be a good time to blast)-->best save or suck available


Big complaint: while I haven't looked at technical aspects, it isn't that pretty. It would significantly benefit from fancy formatting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lamashtu's harbinger has a few errors, firstly it needs more feats, second evil gods only let you channel negative energy no matter your alignment.


Choant wrote:
Lamashtu's harbinger has a few errors, firstly it needs more feats, second evil gods only let you channel negative energy no matter your alignment.

That's what I get for doing it off the top of my head regarding feat numbers, and I was thinking Groteus on the channeling (he is CN so it would be player choice in that case). I can no longer edit the post so going to repost a fixed version. Thanks for the catch!


Choant wrote:
Lamashtu's harbinger has a few errors, firstly it needs more feats, second evil gods only let you channel negative energy no matter your alignment.

*Corrected*

Here's a build I came up with:
Lamashtu's Harbinger of Chaos

Name: Dagny

Contributed by: Jon Kines

Category: Bad Touch Cleric

Description: A master of affliction, debuffing, and wreaking havoc on the battlefield.

Race: Human

Ability Scores: (20 point buy)

Strength: 13
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 16
Charisma: 10

God: Lamashtu (note if you play in Golarion, Groetus (CN) offers access to the following domains as well which would allow for a CG version of this build should that be more suitable to party makeup)

Domains: Protean, Madness

Alignment: CN

Traits: None

Feats:

1 Improved Unarmed Strike, Scribe Scroll
3 Improved Initiative
5 Dodge
7 Mobility
9 Spring Attack
11 Perfect Strike
13 Reach Spell
15 Touch of Serenity
17 Bouncing Spell
19 Disruptive Spell (note: unlike other debuff spell feats, disruptive does not require the effective spell to deal damage, giving it some nice anti-caster utility for this build)

Equipment: Headband of Mental Prowess, Belt of Incredible Dexterity, Boots of Striding and Springing, Cloak of Displacement, Heward's Haversack, Gloves of Storing, and Metamagic Rods such as extend, silent, and still would all be beneficial to this build.

Spells: Spell selection should focus on debuffs and save or sucks in addition to cleric staples such as lesser restoration so you aren't neglecting your general duties. The Scribe scroll feat is very helpful for helping cover such duties without cutting too heavily into spell selection.

Tactics: Aura of chaos-->best debuff available for the situation or target in question-->Vision of Madness-->Touch of Chaos (at this point you might want to let the Wizard know now would be a good time to blast)-->best save or suck available

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