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Channeling the Cosmos: A guide to the Oracle


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Here's a link to the google doc:

Channeling the Cosmos: A guide to the Oracle

As of this posting the guide is still being completed, but I'm interested in feedback and possible errors.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Here's a link to the google doc:

Channeling the Cosmos: A guide to the Oracle

As of this posting the guide is still being completed, but I'm interested in feedback and possible errors.

Looks like a good start.

One comment: on your critique of "Lame", you note it would be a no-brainer for this and any mystery/revelation that boosts your speed. In the APG errata version 1.0:

Quote:

Page 47—In the Flame mystery, in the Cinder Dance

revelation, add the following sentence to the end of
the paragraph:
Oracles with the lame oracle curse cannot select this
revelation.

just thought you'd want to know.


ENHenry wrote:

One comment: on your critique of "Lame", you note it would be a no-brainer for this and any mystery/revelation that boosts your speed. In the APG errata version 1.0:

Quote:

Page 47—In the Flame mystery, in the Cinder Dance

revelation, add the following sentence to the end of
the paragraph:
Oracles with the lame oracle curse cannot select this
revelation.
just thought you'd want to know.

I saw that when I reviewed the flame oracle, but also noted that the Metal mystery successfully overcomes this. Once I finish the mysteries I'll go back and specifically note which mysteries can overcome this.

Thanks for pointing that out, though. And thanks for taking the time to look through it. :D


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Should be noted that at 5th level your sight for the clouded vision curse increases to 60ft darkvision. This is hardly ideal for many but its well within charge range of some battle oracles.

Also keep in mind in the cramped environments of dungeons or indoor environments being able to see past thirty feet makes little difference as you can "hear" or "smell" (in the case of scent) just fine. You're not going to be scouting, but there are classes that are superior in that role anyway.


TarkXT wrote:

Should be noted that at 5th level your sight for the clouded vision curse increases to 60ft darkvision. This is hardly ideal for many but its well within charge range of some battle oracles.

Also keep in mind in the cramped environments of dungeons or indoor environments being able to see past thirty feet makes little difference as you can "hear" or "smell" (in the case of scent) just fine. You're not going to be scouting, but there are classes that are superior in that role anyway.

That's a good point, TarkXT. I'll reassess the curse.


Great guide Sean! I'm glad there's finally one for oracles and I like a lot of your ratings. I do have a couple questions about your assessment of the Bones mystery.

-Death's Touch: why the orange? I would think its green, especially early. Its the equivalent of a shortsword that hits touch AC at level 1 and adds +1 damage every two levels. That's 1d6+2 at lvl 5, 1d6+4 at lvl 8, 1d6+6 at lvl 12 and its all negative energy. Throw in the channel resistance for undead and it sounds pretty good, or am I overestimating it?

-Maybe its just my DM, but Near Death sounds pretty useful. There's always someone who has poison in the AP's and a bonus against that is pretty nice.

-Soul Syphon: the 1/day isn't too bad of a restriction, this is something you wanna save for the boss/caster. Negative levels in any amount are pretty strong (see Enervation).


OmegaZ wrote:
Great guide Sean! I'm glad there's finally one for oracles and I like a lot of your ratings. I do have a couple questions about your assessment of the Bones mystery.

Haha, thanks! I'm happy to respond to anything about the guide.

OmegaZ wrote:
-Death's Touch: why the orange? I would think its green, especially early. Its the equivalent of a shortsword that hits touch AC at level 1 and adds +1 damage every two levels. That's 1d6+2 at lvl 5, 1d6+4 at lvl 8, 1d6+6 at lvl 12 and its all negative energy. Throw in the channel resistance for undead and it sounds pretty good, or am I overestimating it?

Oh, it is good early on, but past level 5 it just isn't enough damage to care about. In terms of damage it becomes a so-so way to waste time, because most enemies aren't going to be phased by 3-8 damage. The channel resistance is a nice little buff for sure, but you could better spend your time putting an end to the creature channeling positive energy rather than giving a single minion a +2 to resistance. The biggest problem with the revelation is that it doesn't hold up over the length of your career as an oracle. It's a solid form of backup healing, so it never becomes truly useless. That's why I ranked it orange.

OmegaZ wrote:
-Maybe its just my DM, but Near Death sounds pretty useful. There's always someone who has poison in the AP's and a bonus against that is pretty nice.

That is a good point. Looking over the ability it becomes pretty solid later on, but it's never really spectacular.

OmegaZ wrote:
-Soul Syphon: the 1/day isn't too bad of a restriction, this is something you wanna save for the boss/caster. Negative levels in any amount are pretty strong (see Enervation).

The ability only gives 1 negative level, and negative levels aren't great anymore. It means -1 to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, caster level, and 5 less hit points. Enervation is at least decent because it's applying 1d4 negative levels, so it has the opportunity to be a lot stronger. I just can't get excited about something that is essentially half the shaken condition, especially when it's only got a single target.


Very good guide. I was partly though making a guide and ranked all of the Curses and Mysteries with my opinion and we usually line up decently well. I don't see as much of a point for me publishing mine because yours is already so good, so I'll throw out a few thoughts:

1. You list archery as a viable combat style for an Oracle. I agree that generally archery in Pathfinder is amazing, but I don't see it as being as good a focus for the Oracle as melee or casting. It has almost no support from any of the Mysteries. The only exception that I can see is Wood with Wood Bond, and even then it's a relatively small amount. The Wood Mystery focuses more on melee and battlefield control. Without significant help from a Mystery or bonus feats at all for that matter, archery is simply too feat intensive to make good, especially when you could be taking other feats, like metamagic feats for example.

2. I agree with your rankings on race. My main thoughts are on the half-orc. If melee is the best option for a combat Oracle, then they're somewhat likely take Skill At Arms from Battle or Metal. That makes the half-orc weapon proficiencies less of a big deal. I'd probably go Chain Fighter if it was me, that way Skill at Arms gives a couple of extra proficiencies. Also, Gate Crasher and Toothy replace Orc Ferocity, which I'd never do on a half-orc that can cast healing spells. Probably between half-orc and human for best combat Oracle.

3. I'd stick with a straight Human, HP for first 3 levels, and more spells the rest of the way. The feat is good for picking up an extra Revelation among other things. Also, you recommend a bunch of skills in your guide. The skills you recommend are good, but your sample builds only list an Int of 10. 4 + 0 skills per level isn't enough to cover all of that and make them good. Humans need their bonus skill points, especially because you're highly unlikely to use favored class for it.

3. As for curses, I agree with TarkXT that Clouded Vision isn't a horrible choice for melee Oracles. If nothing else, talking is a free action: "Hey, where's the guy I need to get?" "Over there, start toward that big tree and turn to the right." and so on. Characters could even make a shorthand for it.

4. I'm also not sure that Deaf deserves an orange rating. Yes autofailing audible perception checks sucks, but that'll eventually be the only drawback. The Initiative penalty wears off and you could pick a Revelation to let you reroll it. Also, deaf people can and do have social lives and be interactive, especially if they became deaf later in life. All the curse says is that you are deaf. It doesn't say you were born that way. People that become deaf after they learn social skills can still be good at social things. I'd think all it would take is lip reading, which is a reasonable assumption that your character could do.

5. As for the Lame curse, yes a mounted build would have the least drawback from it. Then again, I'd think they'd have the least benefit from it as well. If you're mounted all the time, it wouldn't matter nearly as much if you're fatigued. Still likely the best choice and good for sleeping in armor and becoming a Rage Prophet and all, just a thought. Also, if Cinder Dance was errata'd I'd think there's a decent chance Dance of Blades will be as well in the future.

6. Tongues has additional immediate uses. If you like to Summon for instance.

7. As for skills, I agree that some Knowledges are quite important and if you're flying (as you should be) Fly is important. Did you give consideration to whether the Mystery made skills more useful directly? For instance, if two Mysteries were to give Fly as a class skill, rank it differently depending on if the Mystery itself gives flight.

8. For Battle mystery, you ranked Weapon Mastery orange. I see your reasons and I agree that it has a lot to compete with, but did you consider that not only do you get Improved Critical, you also get it three levels earlier than you otherwise could have?

9. For Bones, should Undead Servitude be blue? I'm not that familiar with Necromancy, but it'd seem quite useful as a first pick.

10. For Dark Tapestry, I'd think another point against Brain Drain is that often the creatures that you'd want to hit with it the most have a high Will save.

11. For Flame Mystery, I'd put Cinder Dance as at least green. It doesn't have a whole lot to compete with and bonus movement is always good, even for a caster. I'd also make a note for blaster Oracles in general that for the most part all you have for blasting is your bonus spells. As such, the best build I can think of for a straight blaster will always be a Flame Oracle and Elemental Spell because the other "blaster" Mysteries don't have a lot of blast spells. I'm not saying the Flame Mystery is better overall (I'm not much of a blaster myself) and the other Mysteries have other good effects besides blasting. Just, for a straight blaster, that's likely as good as it'll get.

12. For Heavens Mystery, if I didn't have a more urgent feat I'd take Extra Revelation for Lure of the Heavens at 5th level. Probably the best time to pick it up, walking on water has its uses. Also, great tip on enraging casters. At later levels at least Guiding Star becomes better if you don't feel like taking Extend for some reason. Extend your hours/level buff every night and it lasts through the next day. Would that qualify for Abundant Revelation? Anyway, it's essentially a 1/night spontaneous silent or still spell, which definitely has its uses.

13. For Life, I'd put Channel at green at least. It doesn't have a lot to compete with, as most of your other stuff is orange, especially at low levels before you can or should take the good stuff. I'd take Channel at 1st, Energy Body at 3rd, and Enhanced Cures at 7th. Sure channeling gets worse at high levels, but what else would be worth it? It helps significantly at 1st level and will always be there. Every bit of healing helps.

14. For Lore, nice catch on Spellcraft. lol.

15. For Metal, in mine, for Riddle of Steel I simply put "Crafting? Really?" Wow that's bad.

16. For Nature, I'd put Nature's Whispers at green. If you're riding a mount, you'll likely want a good Dex. Also, if you're mounted, Cha for Dex to CMD shouldn't be as good as for Reflex.

17. For Spellscar and Outer Rifts, I tried to rank Spellscar, got to the revelations and quit. Still haven't ranked either. You dodged a bullet on that one lol. I still don't know what the 16th level bonus spell on Spellscar is. It just links to a Google thing that I don't have.

18. For Time, another possible use of Erase From Time is to remove a potential liability from combat. We've all played escort missions of shooter games. Not having to bodyguard a dumb npc could be a good use. It'd avoid the attack roll and their save (assuming they trust you. At any rate, yay Diplomacy.) and then they come back a few rounds later completely unharmed. Granted, you have to be higher level for them to be gone long enough. I'd also downgrade Time Sight to green. True Seeing and especially Moment of Preescience are great, but Foresight isn't as much.

Yeah I have a lot of thoughts. I'm curious as to what you think. Once again, great guide!! Thanks a lot.


I notice that you haven't put an ratings of the mysteries as a whole. Its not terribly hard to average out how many stars each has, but will you be adding something like that later? Which mysteries would you prefer? Which ones are best avoided?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hope you don't mine me adding your guide to the Guide to the Guides.


nategar05 wrote:
A very wordy dissection. :)

Alrighty! Lotsa points here. I'll try to address each of them as thoroughly as they deserve.

1. I'm absolutely in agreement with you here. Archery is a difficult beast to tackle (effectively) and it's likely a very poor choice for lower point buy characters. A character pursuing archery would end up investing some/all of her feats into simply being decent. Still, I think it's something that would be pursued at least in theoretical terms. I need to append the role section to discuss this point.

2. I agree about replacing Orc Ferocity. It's a powerful ability in the hands of a spellcaster. However, some players are of the opinion that rarely functioning abilities, no matter how powerful, are less optimal than abilities used daily. On that logic, toothy and gate crasher are decent substitutes. Chain fighter is a good point, I'll need to append that as well.

3. I don't really approach skills as if they should be maxed every level. My philosophy on skills would actually be more apparent if I'd ever finish the skill section, but as it stands it just looks like I'm pointing randomly at skills and saying "this is good!" Most have diminishing returns, though. Knowledges outside of the "big four" are fine with a net bonus of +10, and you should consider talking to your group to avoid overlap on which skills people will specialize in. Socialite oracles should invest in two skills: a convo skill (diplomacy or intimidate) and sense motive. Intimidate should be maxed out, but Diplomacy works fine with a +15.

3 again. I can see the arguments for workarounds and for the battle oracle, and I have noted those in my assessment of the ability. I still feel that the curse applies a much larger penalty to the character than you ever get back.

4. My older sister is deaf, so I've got a bit of insight in that particular situation. There are a lot of methods to work around this, but most of them require DM fiat and a reinterpretation of social situations. It's not unplayable by any means, but a deaf character is going to have an additional set of challenges above and beyond the mechanical aspects of being deaf. From an optimization standpoint, this makes it less than good.

5. I wonder about the errata too, but as it stands it's a viable choice. I see lame as one of the "curse lite" options for those who still want to pursue language dependent magic and remain pretty.

6. I'm not sure what you mean here. All of the languages available through the tongues curse are also available through the linguistics skill.

7. With knowledges I see the "big four" as the most important: arcana, nature, planes, religion. These are the ones that are going to identify monsters in combat, and it's within your role to have at least one of them down pat. I may have been in wizard mode when I examined the use of the fly skill on some mysteries, but on the whole I tried to look at the skills at determine if they became useful with particular revelations. For instance, Metal grants disable device, but nothing in the mystery ever touches on this so I ignored it. Generally speaking I hit the independently useful skills. Or at least I attempted to.

8. Every time I examined something for a Warrior type I weighed it from the vantage that the oracle was a full caster who was also good with a weapon. I see a successful Warrior oracle as one who wades into combat and uses both her magic and her weapon to turn the tide of battle, tossing out buffs and wall spells and whatever her team needs. Perks like improved critical are gold for true martial types, but for a character who should be spending half her time casting spells it's just a nice perk. A player who isn't using the oracle as a hybrid caster should really just be playing a fighter or paladin.

9. Eh, I don't personally think so. The ability is actually probably orange, but the Bones mystery plays on the minion aspect and that makes it better. You can only "tame" up to your own HD of undead minions, and the undead are known for having HD bloat. Unless you're fighting undead below your CR (in groups or whatever) the odds of an undead being eligible for this ability aren't great. This becomes more true as levels go on.

10. A solid point. It's a crap ability.

11. I hadn't considered the mobility required when blasting, so I think you're right. I'll bump it up a point.

12. My whole problem with Guiding Star is that it's so specific in its activation, and even when you achieve that it's only once per day. It can safely be assumed that a revelation is equivalent to a feat (give or take), and in nearly every instance simply taking the Extend spell is a better choice. It's not worthless, but it's not useful enough.

13. Yeah, looking at how I rated some other things later on I think you're right. It's a very modest ability, but it pulls its weight throughout your career. I'll bump it to green.

14. I laughed when I saw it.

15. And it could have actually been decent! Fabricate, but only on metal objects or something.

16. I'm not sure I agree here. An oracle is already going to struggle with having a decent dex score, and this takes the weight off of it considerably. A mounted oracle might need it less, but medium characters often have to leave their mounts at the door. It's also an opportunity to drop down to light armor, which is really helpful for small oracles due to the weight issues and low strength.

17. Haha, yeah. I looked them over and groaned. Then I saw that they were accessory rules and immediately erased them.

18. That's a good point about Erase from Time. I'll add a note there as well, though I don't think that it pushes it into green territory for most players. As far as Time Sight goes, I feel like True Seeing and Moment of Prescience are enough to make this a blue ability. I can't count how many times I've read "nothing short of True Seeing will uncover this ability," and the bonuses from Moment of Prescience are phenomenal. Foresight exists mostly as a fun little boost.

I'm happy you took the time to go over it all. Thanks a bunch for the comments, and I'm glad to explore any of these further.


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OmegaZ wrote:
I notice that you haven't put an ratings of the mysteries as a whole. Its not terribly hard to average out how many stars each has, but will you be adding something like that later? Which mysteries would you prefer? Which ones are best avoided?

Ok, it sounds goofy, but I firmly believe that all of the mysteries are good and solid choices if you know what you're getting into. Some are clearly more versatile than others, but I've yet to review a mystery and think "God, this is awful!"

I don't want to do an overall review of a mystery beyond assigning it a suggested role because I feel like that will belittle the flexibility of the oracle as a whole. Without any feats, an oracle is going to gain six revelations if she goes all the way to 20. But most campaigns won't pass 15th level, and PF society doesn't even pass 12th. If you only ever take 3-4 revelations you'd be hard pressed to find a single mystery that couldn't meet that expectation.

I have no problem rating the revelations as singular entities, but I do try to keep in mind the mystery they're tied to and what that mystery is trying to accomplish. You'll notice that some of the copypasta divinations under the Lore mystery are rated higher than other versions of them elsewhere.

All in all, some of the mysteries might look weak when you see how everything stacks up side by side. But it you only look at the character sheet of a particular oracle it's probably going to look fantastic.


harmor wrote:
Hope you don't mine me adding your guide to the Guide to the Guides.

Don't mind at all! I'm blushing. :D

Shadow Lodge

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I have an Aberrant Sorcerer that ended up taking a level of Bones Oracle. Bleeding Wounds turned out to be the best revelation for him, because he uses a lot of Chill Touch. Note that Bleeding Wounds scales with level, so you'll be doing more damage with it at higher levels (not much more, but whatever). More importantly, though, it's best to share the love with multiple creatures with this spell; take a level of Cleric and spam negative energy channels. Have a Spell Storing weapon available to cast Inflict on whoever you attack. If you're fighting a single opponent, it's not as helpful, but it's great against a horde of mooks.

Also, check out the "Mist Assassin" thread. There's a Deaf Waves Oracle/Ninja that works because the assassin's deaf, and a Waves Oracle. Don't underestimate the power of Deaf + Silence. You can cast, no one else can. Also, the Waves Oracle is much more sneaky than most other oracles (Wind can do sneaky, too).


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Thank you.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
I have an Aberrant Sorcerer that ended up taking a level of Bones Oracle. Bleeding Wounds turned out to be the best revelation for him, because he uses a lot of Chill Touch. Note that Bleeding Wounds scales with level, so you'll be doing more damage with it at higher levels (not much more, but whatever). More importantly, though, it's best to share the love with multiple creatures with this spell; take a level of Cleric and spam negative energy channels. Have a Spell Storing weapon available to cast Inflict on whoever you attack. If you're fighting a single opponent, it's not as helpful, but it's great against a horde of mooks.

That's a really interesting combination, and I can see how it worked for you. But on the whole, a few points of bleed damage per round, even if spread out over two dozen enemies, isn't something worth caring about when enemies have 80+ HP and will be attacking my group every round that HP ticks down.

Quote:
Also, check out the "Mist Assassin" thread. There's a Deaf Waves Oracle/Ninja that works because the assassin's deaf, and a Waves Oracle. Don't underestimate the power of Deaf + Silence. You can cast, no one else can. Also, the Waves Oracle is much more sneaky than most other oracles (Wind can do sneaky, too).

I had actually read that, yeah! I thought it was a really clever combination of the classes. It's a hedge case though, and I don't feel that it's worth boosting the rating. I'll make a note about the silent spell, though.

Shadow Lodge

Sean FitzSimon wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I have an Aberrant Sorcerer that ended up taking a level of Bones Oracle. Bleeding Wounds turned out to be the best revelation for him, because he uses a lot of Chill Touch. Note that Bleeding Wounds scales with level, so you'll be doing more damage with it at higher levels (not much more, but whatever). More importantly, though, it's best to share the love with multiple creatures with this spell; take a level of Cleric and spam negative energy channels. Have a Spell Storing weapon available to cast Inflict on whoever you attack. If you're fighting a single opponent, it's not as helpful, but it's great against a horde of mooks.

That's a really interesting combination, and I can see how it worked for you. But on the whole, a few points of bleed damage per round, even if spread out over two dozen enemies, isn't something worth caring about when enemies have 80+ HP and will be attacking my group every round that HP ticks down.

Depends on the foe. If they're dumb enough, the party tactic becomes "Touch him, then run, hide, and wait out the slow death." It's anticlimactic, but potent.


Here is my half cent...

Life Oracle: the mystery for the "healer" role

Channel should be blue all the way.

Level 1-2 = +14ish (4 uses) hitpoints healing (to the group) per day
Level 3-4 = +35ish (5 uses)
...
Level 19-20 = 350ish (10+ uses) = still relevant

Energy Body should be blue all the way. The elemental benefits are super. The raw amount healed per day is awesome. The part where it adds action economy to healing (and that being the Life Oracle's true niche) is priceless.

Enhanced Cures should be yellow at most. It has zero effect until level 6. From levels 6-10, you could cast all your 1st level spells as Cure Light Wounds and still not heal close to what single target Channeling or Energy Body would heal. From levels 11-15, it still can't compete with single target Channeling or Energy Body in amount healed and it largely becomes obsolete once Heal hits the scene at levels 12 to 14.

Life Link should be green to start, but should turn blue starting around 5th level. You gain the ability to heal at range, auto-stabilize, bring people back up, and focus damage into healing efficiency later. The best part is the added action economy efficiency for healing that this grants.


Rory wrote:

Channel should be blue all the way.

Level 1-2 = +14ish (4 uses) hitpoints healing (to the group) per day
Level 3-4 = +35ish (5 uses)
...
Level 19-20 = 350ish (10+ uses) = still relevant

Yeah, it's probably worth a blue rating just for the fact that it pulls its weight out of combat.

Quote:
Energy Body should be blue all the way. The elemental benefits are super. The raw amount healed per day is awesome. The part where it adds action economy to healing (and that being the Life Oracle's true niche) is priceless.

The action economy is good, yes, but it's only 1d6+level healing as a move action. It has more value when paired with Life Link to be sure, and having your allies dodge and weave through your space is a good way to really get the most bang for your buck, but I don't think that justifies a blue rating. It's just not enough.

Quote:
Enhanced Cures should be yellow at most. It has zero effect until level 6. From levels 6-10, you could cast all your 1st level spells as Cure Light Wounds and still not heal close to what single target Channeling or Energy Body would heal. From levels 11-15, it still can't compete with single target Channeling or Energy Body in amount healed and it largely becomes obsolete once Heal hits the scene at levels 12 to 14.

That's a solid point. I'll reexamine the ability.

Quote:
Life Link should be green to start, but should turn blue starting around 5th level. You gain the ability to heal at range, auto-stabilize, bring people back up, and focus damage into healing efficiency later. The best part is the added action economy efficiency for healing that this grants.

I can see it being green just for its ability to stabilize and slowly bring up allies, but I think you might be overestimating the strength of 5 HP a round. I also think it can lead to a very dangerous way to play the oracle. You'll end up taking a lot of damage if a fight goes south, and for a while you won't have any hard hitting heals to cover the gap of 5 damage from every party member. It's a nice ability, worth a green rating, but never worth a blue rating.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Yeah, it's probably worth a blue rating just for the fact that it pulls its weight out of combat.

Level 20 Life Oracle, CHA 28... out of combat healing calcs...

Channeling = ~350 healing single target (10d6 channel, 10/day)
Energy Body = ~470 healing single target (1d6+20, 20 rounds per day)
Life Link = ~350 healing (doubles Channeling's single target healing)
Enhanced Cures = ~255 healing bonus (9x +15 from CLW, 8x +10 from CSW, 8x +5 from CMW)

Channeling, Energy Body, and Life Link have pretty nice effects in addition to the out of combat healing. And since each one beats Enhanced Cures (which was a blue), I was surprised these were not also blue.


Rory wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Yeah, it's probably worth a blue rating just for the fact that it pulls its weight out of combat.

Level 20 Life Oracle, CHA 28... out of combat healing calcs...

Channeling = ~350 healing single target (10d6 channel, 10/day)
Energy Body = ~470 healing single target (1d6+20, 20 rounds per day)
Life Link = ~350 healing (doubles Channeling's single target healing)
Enhanced Cures = ~255 healing bonus (9x +15 from CLW, 8x +10 from CSW, 8x +5 from CMW)

Channeling, Energy Body, and Life Link have pretty nice effects in addition to the out of combat healing. And since each one beats Enhanced Cures (which was a blue), I was surprised these were not also blue.

I've modified the guide.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
I have an Aberrant Sorcerer that ended up taking a level of Bones Oracle. Bleeding Wounds turned out to be the best revelation for him, because he uses a lot of Chill Touch. Note that Bleeding Wounds scales with level, so you'll be doing more damage with it at higher levels (not much more, but whatever). More importantly, though, it's best to share the love with multiple creatures with this spell; take a level of Cleric and spam negative energy channels. Have a Spell Storing weapon available to cast Inflict on whoever you attack. If you're fighting a single opponent, it's not as helpful, but it's great against a horde of mooks.

That's a really interesting combination, and I can see how it worked for you. But on the whole, a few points of bleed damage per round, even if spread out over two dozen enemies, isn't something worth caring about when enemies have 80+ HP and will be attacking my group every round that HP ticks down.

Quote:
Also, check out the "Mist Assassin" thread. There's a Deaf Waves Oracle/Ninja that works because the assassin's deaf, and a Waves Oracle. Don't underestimate the power of Deaf + Silence. You can cast, no one else can. Also, the Waves Oracle is much more sneaky than most other oracles (Wind can do sneaky, too).
I had actually read that, yeah! I thought it was a really clever combination of the classes. It's a hedge case though, and I don't feel that it's worth boosting the rating. I'll make a note about the silent spell, though.

Not sure I agree with the assessment of Bleeding Wounds. If you hit a 5 creatures with Inflict Light Wounds when you have the Bleeding Wounds revelation, that's a minimum of 5 damage each round. Add in the damage you do in addition to that and the damage the rest of your party does, and its not bad at all. If you hit someone at the start of the fight you're gonna do, on average, anywhere from 15-50 damage plus the initial 1d8+caster level. I'm not terribly good at evaluating the math here, but it sounds pretty good to me. Also, I'm curious if Bleeding Wounds would give your undead minions "fast healing".


OmegaZ wrote:
Not sure I agree with the assessment of Bleeding Wounds. If you hit a 5 creatures with Inflict Light Wounds when you have the Bleeding Wounds revelation, that's a minimum of 5 damage each round. Add in the damage you do in addition to that and the damage the rest of your party does, and its not bad at all. If you hit someone at the start of the fight you're gonna do, on average, anywhere from 15-50 damage plus the initial 1d8+caster level. I'm not terribly good at...

Damage over time is generally inferior, because you aren't removing threats from combat. They are still hurting your party until they drop, meaning its far more effective to spend your actions on things which will remove them more quickly; efficiency is only good to a point on the offense. You're going to save resources on healing recovery by spending your offensive actions reducing the actual need for such recovery, which damage over time is not good for.

Does that make sense? It doesn't matter how efficient damage over time effects are, they aren't an effective way of winning a combat... for players at least. Bad guys get lots more mileage out of that stuff against PC's.


OmegaZ wrote:
Not sure I agree with the assessment of Bleeding Wounds. If you hit a 5 creatures with Inflict Light Wounds when you have the Bleeding Wounds revelation, that's a minimum of 5 damage each round. Add in the damage you do in addition to that and the damage the rest of your party does, and its not bad at all. If you hit someone at the start of the fight you're gonna do, on average, anywhere from 15-50 damage plus the initial 1d8+caster level. I'm not terribly good at evaluating the math here, but it sounds pretty good to me. Also, I'm curious if Bleeding Wounds would give your undead minions "fast healing".

I personally find blasting to be a really crappy option in nearly all cases, unless it's paired up with a team who focuses on multi-target damage or a DM who caters to your playstyle with many low HP enemies. Leaving your opponents alive for a series of rounds, even if you're doing great damage over all, still means that your opponents are alive for a series of rounds and acting against you. The core problem is that an enemy with 1 HP is just as powerful as one with 100 HP.

I do make my opinion of blasting very clear in the section about roles, and note that characters interested in blasting should consider my ratings to be a point or two higher than I have them.

Undead are immune to bleed effects, so they can't be affected by the ability. Plus, it's a normal bleed effect and not negative energy. I actually got kind of excited about this before I went back and read it again.


KrispyXIV wrote:
OmegaZ wrote:
Not sure I agree with the assessment of Bleeding Wounds. If you hit a 5 creatures with Inflict Light Wounds when you have the Bleeding Wounds revelation, that's a minimum of 5 damage each round. Add in the damage you do in addition to that and the damage the rest of your party does, and its not bad at all. If you hit someone at the start of the fight you're gonna do, on average, anywhere from 15-50 damage plus the initial 1d8+caster level. I'm not terribly good at...

Damage over time is generally inferior, because you aren't removing threats from combat. They are still hurting your party until they drop, meaning its far more effective to spend your actions on things which will remove them more quickly; efficiency is only good to a point on the offense. You're going to save resources on healing recovery by spending your offensive actions reducing the actual need for such recovery, which damage over time is not good for.

Does that make sense? It doesn't matter how efficient damage over time effects are, they aren't an effective way of winning a combat... for players at least. Bad guys get lots more mileage out of that stuff against PC's.

Yeah, I understand that. Are there enough of those on the oracle spell-list to utilize though? I thought that was more the purview of blasters like sorcerers and wizards. Melee combat would work, as well as sending in undead minions to get the job done once they're bleeding. But I'll cede to the expertise of others, especially with math. :)


6. Yes you can take Linguistics for them, but if you're mainly focusing on one or two different kinds of summons it could save you some skill points. Or you could do both and have even more flexibility.

8. Good point.

9. I'll take your word for it. I'm not a necromancer by any means (I usually play Conjurors or Summoners). I just cobbled together a bunch of other people's reviews into my review, and went by Tark's Cleric Guide and his rating of Command Undead.

11. Do you agree that for pure blasting Elemental Spell Flame Oracle would be best?

12. Good point.

16. Good point.

18. By my reading of RAW, you don't get new abilities as you level from Time Sight. They get replaced:

"Time Sight (Su): You can peer through the mists of time to see things as they truly are, as if using the true seeing spell. At 15th level, this functions like moment of prescience. At 18th level, this functions like foresight. You can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level, but these minutes do not need to be consecutive. You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation."

"This functions", not "this can function". Though most campaigns don't get to 18th level anyway. I think it's still worth noting though.


Excellent, I've been eagerly awaiting an oracle guide. So far it's a nice guide, but I anxiously await to see your review of the spells.

I do disagree with some of what you said about the Time spell list, though. Permanency and Contingency are amazing spells that divine casters normally don't get. Permanency is great for making things like comprehend languages and tongues permanent, so that you can pick other spells known instead. It's also incredible with Use Magic Device, allowing you to permanency things like arcane sight and see invisibility on yourself!

As for contingency, yes, it's "only" one spell at a time, but are you telling me that wizards still don't prize this spell despite that fact? For divine casters, it's just as useful, perhaps even more so. Imagine having contingency with things like heal, death ward, spell immunity, freedom of movement and other powerful protective or restorative spells! This is a fantastic spell that is right up there with Time Stop, IMHO.

I also can't say I agree with your assessment that the Bone spell list is terrible. Cause fear and Circle of Death are indeed pretty bad, no argument there, but animate dead is absolutely incredible and well worth the 25gp per HD. You can create minions as good or better than what you can often summon at various levels, and unlike summoned monsters, they stick around. This spell remains useful all the way to level 20. And yes, Horrid Wilting is a "blast", but it's also, IMO, the best blast in the game, dealing untyped damage (no resistance or immunity to energy helps), targeting a huge area, no friendly fire, and targeting fort instead of reflex (so no evasion). Overall, I'd say the Bone spell list is orange.

Anyway, great guide, I hope you finish it soon!


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One thing about the bleeding revelation, it effectively turns Harm into an instant-kill spell. Harm can lower them to one HP, and then they bleed and die. *cackles evily*


nategar05 wrote:
11. Do you agree that for pure blasting Elemental Spell Flame Oracle would be best?

Oh, absolutely. The Flame mystery is dead set on having you burn the world down.

Quote:

18. By my reading of RAW, you don't get new abilities as you level from Time Sight. They get replaced:

"Time Sight (Su): You can peer through the mists of time to see things as they truly are, as if using the true seeing spell. At 15th level, this functions like moment of prescience. At 18th level, this functions like foresight. You can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level, but these minutes do not need to be consecutive. You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation."

"This functions", not "this can function". Though most campaigns don't get to 18th level anyway. I think it's still worth noting though.

I never noticed that. That's a rough interpretation, and really drives the usefulness of the ability down. I'll have to make a note of that.


nategar05 wrote:

18. By my reading of RAW, you don't get new abilities as you level from Time Sight. They get replaced:

"Time Sight (Su): You can peer through the mists of time to see things as they truly are, as if using the true seeing spell. At 15th level, this functions like moment of prescience. At 18th level, this functions like foresight. You can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level, but these minutes do not need to be consecutive. You must be at least 11th level to select this revelation."

"This functions", not "this can function". Though most campaigns don't get to 18th level anyway. I think it's still worth noting though.

Sean FitzSimon wrote:


I never noticed that. That's a rough interpretation, and really drives the usefulness of the ability down. I'll have to make a note of that.

I think it was intended that you get all of those abilities when it is active. Otherwise, I'd rather not level, since I consider true seeing to be more useful than either of moment of prescience or foresight.

It's also just odd having moment of prescience in there, since it's a one-shot ability. Can you only use the bonus it grants once, or multiple times while it's active? It'd be nice if Paizo clarified this power.


FallingIcicle wrote:
Excellent, I've been eagerly awaiting an oracle guide. So far it's a nice guide, but I anxiously await to see your review of the spells.

Oh my god, I don't even want to think about the spells, lol.

Quote:
I do disagree with some of what you said about the Time spell list, though. Permanency and Contingency are amazing spells that divine casters normally don't get. Permanency is great for making things like comprehend languages and tongues permanent, so that you can pick other spells known instead. It's also incredible with Use Magic Device, allowing you to permanency things like arcane sight and see invisibility on yourself!

I'm not arguing the usefulness of the permanency spell, or how great it is to get access to those as a divine caster. Those are both clear advantages. The problem is that you've got an expensive and rarely used spell on your spells known, and that's a serious mark against it. It's occupying space that's at a premium for spontaneous casters.

Quote:
As for contingency, yes, it's "only" one spell at a time, but are you telling me that wizards still don't prize this spell despite that fact? For divine casters, it's just as useful, perhaps even more so. Imagine having contingency with things like heal, death ward, spell immunity, freedom of movement and other powerful protective or restorative spells! This is a fantastic spell that is right up there with Time Stop, IMHO.

Oh, I fully agree that contingency is a right powerful spell. The problem is the same as permanency, though to a much lesser degree. You may only cast it once a day, or once every other day, and that makes it dead weight during the times you're ignoring it. I don't have a problem with the spell itself, only in how it interacts with a spontaneous list.

Quote:

I also can't say I agree with your assessment that the Bone spell list is terrible. Cause fear and Circle of Death are indeed pretty bad, no argument there, but animate dead is absolutely incredible and well worth the 25gp per HD. You can create minions as good or better than what you can often summon at various levels, and unlike summoned monsters, they stick around. This spell remains useful all the way to level 20. And yes, Horrid Wilting is a "blast", but it's also, IMO, the best blast in the game, dealing untyped damage (no resistance or immunity to energy helps), targeting a huge area, no friendly fire, and targeting fort instead of reflex (so no evasion). Overall, I'd say the Bone spell list is orange.

Anyway, great guide, I hope you finish it soon!

Animate dead is fantastic for the concept, but you're probably only using it once every few days. The overall problem with the Bones spell list is that it's full of spells that either suck or aren't going to be useful on a day to day basis. You're probably right though, and it's about an orange (though very much on the low side of orange).


FallingIcicle wrote:

I think it was intended that you get all of those abilities when it is active. Otherwise, I'd rather not level, since I consider true seeing to be more useful than either of moment of prescience or foresight.

It's also just odd having moment of prescience in there, since it's a one-shot ability. Can you only use the bonus it grants once, or multiple times while it's active? It'd be nice if Paizo clarified this power.

I agree- it's very likely that this was the intention. It's not the first time that awkward wording has marred an ability and left it up to DM fiat to determine RAI.


Yeah, gotta love awkward wording.

Were you as disappointed with the Heavens capstone as I was? You get half of it by being a 3rd level Paladin.

Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to mention that Toughness is best taken at 1st level if taken at all. Still really good by all means though.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:


I'm not arguing the usefulness of the permanency spell, or how great it is to get access to those as a divine caster. Those are both clear advantages. The problem is that you've got an expensive and rarely used spell on your spells known, and that's a serious mark against it. It's occupying space that's at a premium for spontaneous casters.

True, but I think that is offset by the other spells known you can remove from your list because they're now permanent. Though I guess you could have just used a scroll of Permanency to do the same thing. So I'll agree it's not the best spell, but it's certainly better than some of the nigh-useless spells like Temporal Stasis.


nategar05 wrote:

Yeah, gotta love awkward wording.

Were you as disappointed with the Heavens capstone as I was? You get half of it by being a 3rd level Paladin.

Honestly I haven't even read half of them. I didn't want the capstone affecting my core judgement of the class. :)

FallingIcicle wrote:
True, but I think that is offset by the other spells known you can remove from your list because they're now permanent. Though I guess you could have just used a scroll of Permanency to do the same thing. So I'll agree it's not the best spell, but it's certainly better than some of the nigh-useless spells like Temporal Stasis.

Totally agree there. The one thing I really noticed about the Time oracle is that more than any other mystery it doesn't seem to know what it's doing with itself. It doesn't really fit into any of the four roles I ascribed to the oracle, and instead just sort of wears the nebulous badge of "utility."


As for Aging Touch, am I correct that, since it is Strength damage rather than a penalty to Strength, it stacks with itself? If so, that might make the ability fairly potent, since, at least at higher levels, two or three uses of this ability can cripple virtually any creature. There doesn't seem to be any saving throw, so... ouch.

Also, in addition to the uses you mentioned, couldn't Time Hop also be used to escape from grapples?


FallingIcicle wrote:
As for Aging Touch, am I correct that, since it is Strength damage rather than a penalty to Strength, it stacks with itself? If so, that might make the ability fairly potent, since, at least at higher levels, two or three uses of this ability can cripple virtually any creature. There doesn't seem to be any saving throw, so... ouch.

Yeah, it would stack so that's a mark in its favor. But you don't get many uses, and you'll be spending several rounds in an attempt to cripple a single enemy to death. Against a BBEG I can see this, but the monster manual is full of creatures with inflated strength scores.

Quote:
Also, in addition to the uses you mentioned, couldn't Time Hop also be used to escape from grapples?

By my understanding, yes it could. I'll need to note that.

I'm currently doing the feat section. Holy crap there are a lot of feats.


Do Oracles even need component pouches or Eschew Materials? Most spells say M/DF, so divine casters use a DF instead of a material component (and Oracles don't even need the DF component).


I love teleporting. My current character is a Conjuror with Teleportation subschool. As a swift action, he can teleport 20 ft. 10 times a day without provoking attacks of opportunity. He just hit 8th level, so now he has 240 ft / day of Dimension Door. If he gets up to 17th level I may go Major Spell Expertise: Teleport.

He currently does NOT have Combat Casting. : P

So yes. Supernatural abilities are awesome.


FallingIcicle wrote:
Do Oracles even need component pouches or Eschew Materials? Most spells say M/DF, so divine casters use a DF instead of a material component (and Oracles don't even need the DF component).

Just looked it up and you're right. Just gonna go ahead and remove that bit, then.


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Welp, I'm finally done with feats. I now need to do the Wood mystery, the archetypes, and then start with multiclass options. I'll be putting spells off until the very end.


Naturally, I'd be doing spells last too. Buncha spells.

As far as multiclassing, anyone have any ideas other than Rage Prophet? I can't think it'd be a good dipping class because of the curse.


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nategar05 wrote:

Naturally, I'd be doing spells last too. Buncha spells.

As far as multiclassing, anyone have any ideas other than Rage Prophet? I can't think it'd be a good dipping class because of the curse.

On the whole I'm pretty opposed to the idea of doing a proper multiclass with the oracle, but dipping either can really bolster a character. A lot of the mysteries have some really powerful abilities right at level 1.

I wouldn't worry about the curse too much. Tongues isn't a hindrance to a fighting type (a paladin only speaking celestial is really cool), and haunted won't do much to a caster sort. Wasting is another good option if you don't mind being ugly. It's just a -4 to charisma skills, which you may not care about anyways.

Taking a single level of something else as an oracle has quite a few options. Sorcerer nets a bloodline arcana which may or may not be absolutely awesome. Archaeologist bard gives you a bunch of class skills and the archaeologists luck feature. Martial dips expand your weapon/armor selection if you aren't in a mystery that does it for you. The guide ranger gives a 1/day "smite lite," as well as a lot of class skills. Witch gives you a single hex and the ability to take more through feats. A single level of Magus grants spell combat.


Good point. probably Lore or Nature with a good Cha. Then dump Dex. Or Time or Battle and reroll Initiative.


I have a life oracle and I was reading that section of your guide and it gave me some good ideas. I was surprised Life Link getting such a good rating. When I first read that ability I immediately thought, "I'm not a tank per say, I'm going to die faster." and didn't choose it. I'm not much of a risk taker. Why have the healer risk his life in such a way? Having read your guide, I can see the benefits, essentially fast healing 5 for everyone linked (auto-heal bleed and stabilize is great stuff), but I still have the feeling of "I'm going to die quickly" thought. Is there something I'm missing?


Soullos wrote:
I have a life oracle and I was reading that section of your guide and it gave me some good ideas. I was surprised Life Link getting such a good rating. When I first read that ability I immediately thought, "I'm not a tank per say, I'm going to die faster." and didn't choose it. I'm not much of a risk taker. Why have the healer risk his life in such a way? Having read your guide, I can see the benefits, essentially fast healing 5 for everyone linked (auto-heal bleed and stabilize is great stuff), but I still have the feeling of "I'm going to die quickly" thought. Is there something I'm missing?

I played with an Oracle of Life that maxed Charisma and Constitution, followed by Dexterity. Kept us all alive like no other. Our DM did the math and at level 8 (?) she could heal about 300 damage without casting a single spell.


Soullos wrote:
I have a life oracle and I was reading that section of your guide and it gave me some good ideas. I was surprised Life Link getting such a good rating. When I first read that ability I immediately thought, "I'm not a tank per say, I'm going to die faster." and didn't choose it. I'm not much of a risk taker. Why have the healer risk his life in such a way? Having read your guide, I can see the benefits, essentially fast healing 5 for everyone linked (auto-heal bleed and stabilize is great stuff), but I still have the feeling of "I'm going to die quickly" thought. Is there something I'm missing?

You're absolutely not wrong here. The Life Link ability is something that the oracle is going to have to watch with a critical eye. In a battle that quickly goes south you can accrue some significant damage very rapidly. The benefit, as was pointed out earlier, is that since the damage is slowly making its way to the oracle it's much easier for her to heal. Energy Body offers a move action heal for a modest amount (enough to deflect at least some of that incoming damage), and the touch range early cure spells mean you won't have to heal anyone but yourself.

A life oracle should consider a higher con score than most others just based on the fact that her hitpoints are her primary resource. This particular oracle has quite a few options that make her a decent candidate for a Warrior type, mostly in the way of feats tied to channel energy, but I think that she's almost better at avoiding Life Link in this instance. You've got a really good chance at taking a LOT of damage, which is worth remembering. It's a fun game of balancing things between the group as a life oracle, and I think it'll change your perspective of the game as a whole.


Thanks for the expanded explanation, guys, that definitely puts things into perspective. :)


Soullos wrote:
I have a life oracle and I was reading that section of your guide and it gave me some good ideas. I was surprised Life Link getting such a good rating. When I first read that ability I immediately thought, "I'm not a tank per say, I'm going to die faster." and didn't choose it. I'm not much of a risk taker. Why have the healer risk his life in such a way? Having read your guide, I can see the benefits, essentially fast healing 5 for everyone linked (auto-heal bleed and stabilize is great stuff), but I still have the feeling of "I'm going to die quickly" thought. Is there something I'm missing?

Yes.

Life Link is a standard action to set up. That means you can put it up in combat, but most of the time it will be established outside of combat.

Life Link is an immediate action to remove. You can remove Life Link at anytime, even not on your turn, to control precisely how much damage you will be taking (and healing others).

Life Link damage happens at the start of your turn. You know exactly how much you will be taking. You know how much healing you can do that round if needed. You know if there is a better option than healing, that you can snip the link if needed.

You end up with too much control for Life Link to be dangerous.

**********************************************

Potential Multi-Class Oracle Option:

1 level of Life Oracle (choose Life Link as the revelation)
X levels of any other class that yields Fast Healing

You instantly become the out-of-combat inifinite healer for the entire party.

Liberty's Edge

nategar05 wrote:

Naturally, I'd be doing spells last too. Buncha spells.

As far as multiclassing, anyone have any ideas other than Rage Prophet? I can't think it'd be a good dipping class because of the curse.

For barbarian the "curse" is the whole reason to dip. Remember, non-oracle levels advance your curse by 1/2. Lame gets you immunity to fatigue. Immunity to fatigue is normally a 17th level barbarian ability.

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